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SC `supremacy’ over impeachment, settled law


LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life…” (Galatians 6:7-8, the Holy Bible).


SC “SUPREMACY” OVER IMPEACHMENT, SETTLED LAW: The Supreme Court’s “supremacy” over the Senate as an impeachment court, in the sense that the high tribunal can strike down acts of the impeachment court which are  considered as “grave abuse of discretion”, is a settled law in the Philippines, a second decision written by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales for the high court shows.

The second decision involves the case of “Merceditas Gutierrez vs. House of Representatives”, G.R. No. 193459, February 15, 2011, a case filed by the former Ombudsman Gutierrez to stop the impeachment against her early last year.

It upheld the earlier decision of the Supreme Court, also written by former Justice Carpio Morales, in the case of ““Francisco Jr. vs. Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino, Inc.” G.R. No. 160261, November 10, 2003.


SC CAN LOOK INTO CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS: Here was what Carpio Morales said, writing for the Supreme Court for the second time around over the issue of whether the high tribunal has the power to act against the Senate as an impeachment court:

“Francisco characterizes the power of judicial review as a duty which, as the expanded jurisdiction of this Court reflects, includes the power to `determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government’.

“In the present case, petitioner invokes the Court’s expanded certiorari jurisdiction… The Court finds it well-within its power to determine whether public respondent (House of Representatives) committed a violation of the Constitution or gravely abused its discretion in the exercise of its functions and prerogatives that could translate as lack or excess of jurisdiction, which would require corrective measures from the Court…”


GATDULA DISCRIMINATED AGAINST? Supporters of former National Bureau of Investigation Director Magtanggol Gatdula have a very valid point: why is Gatdula being treated differently by the government in the sense that he was removed from office right away even if his guilt is not proved yet, while other officials who are also being investigated for equally-serious wrongdoings have been allowed to remain in their jobs?

Yes, President Aquino as the appointing authority has spoken, but why has he chosen to speak only against Gatdula? Any special reason? Is it true, as Gatdula’s supporters are saying, that the former police general was treated more harshly because he is not really “that close” to the government? Can we fault his supporters for assailing the apparent “double standard”?


WHAT IS MIRIAM SICK OF? Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago must really be sick of something. I mean, how could she afford to absent herself from the on-going impeachment trial of Chief Justice Corona if she is not really sick? The trial is not only an opportunity to “shine” for her, in view of her vast legal and judicial experience, but likewise a history in the making which she should not miss. Can the public be informed of her real health status?

By Atty. Batas Mauricio

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