When the Absolute Gets Corrupted
THE THEORY OF Constitutional Checks and Balances in government grew from the classical theory of separation of powers in goverment–between the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary. This allows a branch of government to provide a check on the other branch when it falls into the decadence of corruption and abuse of power. In theory, the legislative and judicial branches can reign on a rogue executive; the executive and the judiciary on a rogue legislative, and; the executive and legislative branches on a rogue judiciary.
In fact, however, the executive and legislative branches of today are having a hard time checking a rogue judiciary. In the general rule of the majority, a judiciary with majority behaving like they are not accountable to their wrongdoings, who can put a check on an institution that supposed to have “absolute” power in the interpretation of the Philippine Constitution?
Of course, the problem is not the Constitution. It is the interpretation that in many instances had been colored with obvious partiality. The midnight appointment of the current Chief Justice Renato Corona smacked of that non-blind justice where delicadeza was thrown out of the window in the sneaky “loophole” that the Constitution was interpreted in favor of an obvious midnight appointment. Will this present Supreme Court do better in rendering justice to the Filipino people even at the expense of its wayward Chief Justice?
If the present set of SC justices failed to do that in the name of self-preservation, they can do that again, and again, and again.
And, these justices will turn every legal table to oppose the Impeachment Court in an effort to protect their ally in Corona. Their weapon is obviously their “absolute” and exclusive power to interpret the Constitution however they want to interpret it, the way they interpreted the Corona midnight appointment.
The only thorn in their side is the Impeachment Court, and its power to remove corrupt justices from an office they do not deserve, and brought shame to. Right now they want to create a precedence in the impeachment trial they hope might pave a way in frustrating this check of their powers as justices, knowing fully well that those corrupt justices will themselves have to face the same impeachment trial later on should they fail now.
The threat of jurisdiction that the Senate as an Impeachment Court is facing right now does not come solely from the impeached Chief Justice. It too comes from those associate justices, those allies of Corona, who themselves will be facing the same impeachment process, once their Boss gets removed from the pinnacle of judicial power.
The failure of justice to uphold the truth by hiding behind a “loophole” of law is a blatant proof that moral ascendancy in those who should administer law and justice have been long lost. What we are dealing now are empty shells where morality and justice no longer resides. Blind justice has regained its sight, and is now looking at its self-interest to protect with vengeance.
When the “absolute” interpreters of the Constitution succumb to partial justice in their interpretation of that Constitution, who will put them to account for their errors? In such a scenario, only the Senate convened as an Impeachment Court can save the nation in the brink of legal collapse. Only the Impeachment Court has been given the power to protect the Constitution from its rogue interpreters.
And the Senate as the Impeachment Court must not cower, and shrink from its constitutional mandate to protect the people. It must not fail in protecting both the Constitution and the people. Otherwise, the people will have to rise again and cut down those who bastardize them in office.
At the end of the day, the Filipino people must always be willing to take justice into their hands when justice can no longer be handed to them by the institutions they put into office to do so. For where is order when the law itself can be bastardized by those who supposed to protect it. Theory or not; law or not, souvereign people, we Filipinos are!
Photo credit: newsinfo.inquirer.net
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This post was submitted by Zosimo Literatus.