Friday, December 16, 2011

Dictatorship and efforts at claiming the Courts for the people

Justice secretary Leila de Lima says President Noynoy Aquino is determined to "reclaim the court to the people". Question---who are the "people" that De Lima claims owns the Court?


Clearly, the Constitution says the People is the "Filipino people". So, now, what kind of claim will Noynoy and his political allies do? 


De Lima did not elaborate. This opens this issue to doubt. How can the Executive claim the Court, when in the Constitution, the Court is definitely independent of the Executive?


How will the Executive claim what is definitely not theirs in the first place? It is not the Chief Executive that will claim the Court "for and in behalf of the People" because theoretically, he is not the only representative of the People. 


Besides, the Chief Executive has a different interpretation of the "people". His people may be his closest allies, those who control major companies in this country. It may be his "people" are those who occupy the palace or his "people" may also be his supporters.


This is problematic, because what the Constitution defines the people is the mass of individuals composing this Republican state. Who has the plurality of voice, but the Legislative?


If someone wants to claim the Judiciary or the Courts, he must do it thru the Legislature, not thru the police powers of the Executive nor thru machinations.


Is De Lima suggesting that mob rule dominates reason or the Law? That is not what Noynoy intends to do. The Chief Executive wants to cleanse the judiciary of misfits like Chief Justice Renato Corona. And there is a process of doing it, and it is thru the impeachment process.


Now, if the Chief Executive fails to see thru with this impeachment, this will boomerang against him---politically.


What this issue right now is doing is giving the political enemies of this administration, a venue and an opportunity to consolidate their forces against Aquino.


Former UP law dean Raul Pangalangan says that efforts right now are directed at Corona and two other justices because, for the longest time, the Court has not exercised what the Constitution calls for, that is, a court with an "impartial judge".


How will the people trust this institution of governance when the very head of this branch of government, thru his overt acts, shows his partiality and total dogged allegiance to the former dispensation?


Chief justice Corona is not fighting for the independence of the Supreme Court, no. He is fighting for his political survival. He is agitating people and trying to portray the Court as "unassailable".


The Supreme Court has no real power, except those given by the people. It is the people's trust and confidence that fuels or makes its decisions "unassailable". It is the people's trust that makes its decisions acceptable.


If the Supreme Court, in its litany of decisions, always side with a clique in this society's elites, then, it cannot claim to be oppressed when the very same decisions that make it as it is, are the same ones that condemn it?


Who then is the dictator here? The one who wants nothing more than save the Judiciary from its present rut so that the confidence and trust of the people would be restored?


Or someone who wants nothing more than make this Court always hallowed ground for those who robbed the people of billions and prostituted the very voice of the People?