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PIA Press Release

Commentary: Supreme Court upholds "majesty of the law"

By Henry S. Lagasca

San Fernando City, La Union (27 October) -- The Arroyo administration reiterates full respect for the integrity of the Supreme Court and the collective individual wisdom of the magistrates.

The highest judicial institution recently voted 8-7 to dismiss the petition of the Sigaw ng Bayan and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) to nullify the Comelec ruling that dismissed the people’s initiative allaying doubts and uncertainties that the high court would treat fairly on the issue.

The tribunal had in effect “saved the country from further divisiveness so that our nation can move forward with great speed and unity.”

In a 52-page decision written by Justice Antonio Carpio said in part that “this court exists to defend and protect the Constitution.” In a separate concurring opinion, Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban said that the Supreme Court decision would be talked about in history “either in shame or in pride” and be known to the whole world for its independence, integrity, industry and intelligence.”

Proponents Sigaw ng Bayan and Ulap put up a brave front that the vote is close 8-7. Proponents said they would ask the tribunal to reconsider its decision which was described as “a complete disregard of the sovereign will of the people.”

Ulap’s spokesperson Gov. Ben Evardone insisted that the people’s initiative was still the “most potent and viable option” to amend the Charter but had to “agree with the majesty of the law as upheld by the Supreme Court.”

Senior Associate Justice Reynato S. Puno’s dissenting opinion acknowledged the right of the people to exercise initiative and referendum.

Speaker Jose De Venecia also said he was “bowing” to the high court’s decision while Congress is looking at other “constitutional remedies” of changing our backward-looking 1987 Constitution “which failed to address on the real and urgent political problems that impoverish the masses of Filipinos and cause our country in the world’s fastest growing region.”

Everyone knows that the delivery of justice is a perennial shortcoming of our society but now that the highest tribunal of the land has spoken let everyone knows that “it is unfair for our justices to be judged as “not fair” on something they have yet to decide on.” (PIA 1) [top]

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