Wreck of the motherland

By: Editorial March 04,2018 - 10:24 PM

If the honorable members of the Supreme Court (SC) think they have shielded themselves — in forcing Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to go on indefinite leave — from harassment by the executive and legislative branches of government, they have another think or more coming.

The unprecedented ejection of Sereno is in the first place not so much defense from the enemies of democracy as it is capitulation to the siege Malacañang and its legislative as well as civil society allies launched against the High Court way back in 2016.

Had the justices been less agitated by rivalry, childish infighting and blind ambition, they would not have sunk to this point between the devil that is interference from co-equal government branches and the deep blue sea that is their sorry imitation oneness — a oneness in compelling their captain to walk the plank.

Those who abet or promote the removal of the Chief Justice may rightly be called foes of liberty. For they are averse to checks and balances on their exercise of power.

What lies beneath the current dispensation’s obsession with putting itself beyond question and protest?

Is it not enough that its supporters control the upper and lower chambers of Congress?

Is it not enough that the President is the supreme power in the executive department?

Why must the judiciary be cowed into submission?

The judiciary must become pliant because otherwise it will remain a bulwark between a normative and a nominal, nay, sham democracy.

It must bend to the will of the one who hankers after absolute power because not even high popularity and approval ratings can justify executive unrighteousness as in pronouncements that encourage vigilantism or the trampling of women’s rights.

It must be converted into an echo chamber for diktats from a Malacañang that cannot tolerate even separate opinions which while outvoted tear apart the legalese that masquerades as jurisprudence to favor the administration.

From where did words that chimed martial law and its extension in Mindanao and the rehabilitation of dictator Ferdinand Marcos come but the minority in the SC?

From where did the admonition against the unsubstantiated naming and shaming of alleged narco-judges, which miffed the executive, come but Chief Justice Sereno?

As a branch that allows dissenting justices to use searing reason and the law’s majesty to excoriate official duplicity, an unfettered SC is a liability.

The siege of the high tribunal is a moral evil. It is based on flawed assumptions that a populist regime cannot make erroneous moves, that discerning interrogation of official acts is no contribution to nation-building but blind contrarianism.

The siege is a hallmark of the caudillo who consolidates power out of good intentions only to break a nation’s soul out of power-drunkenness.

It should be resisted by every Filipino of goodwill.

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TAGS: motherland, of, THE, wreck

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