Supreme Court ‘a confused lot,’ says lawyer


The Supreme Court cannot issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) or a status quo ante order (SQAO) to remove the restrictions imposed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) regarding airtime limits for campaign ads by candidates in next month’s polls, a lawyer said on Friday.

Romulo Macalintal said the Supreme Court “seems to be a confused lot” when it issued a TRO on the airtime limits and directed the Comelec to use its 2010 rules on broadcast limits.

The Court’s public information officer, lawyer Theodore Te, earlier said the justices issued an SQAO but later issued a correction, stating it was a TRO that was issued.

Separate set

“The rule is very clear that for every election period, a separate set of resolution has to be issued by the Comelec to implement a particular provision of the election law sought to be enforced,” Macalintal said.

The airtime limits—120 minutes for TV and 180 minutes for radio for national candidates, and 60 minutes TV and 80 minutes radio for local candidates—are contained in Section 6 of Republic Act No. 9006 or the Fair Election Act of 2001. Macalintal said the law provides that its provisions are to be implemented by the Comelec by issuing the corresponding rules and regulations.

For the 2010 elections, Comelec issued Resolution No. 8758 specifically “in relation to the May 10, 2010 elections for national and local elections” to implement RA 9006. For 2013, Resolution No. 9615 was issued by the Comelec “in relation to the May 13, 2013, national, local and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.”

Resolution 8758 interpreted the airtime limits as “per television and radio station” but Resolution 9615 said the time limits are “aggregate.” Media companies and candidates complained about the Resolution 9615 before the Supreme Court.

Macalintal said that in imposing a TRO on Resolution 9615, the Court cannot say that Resolution 8758 should to be observed.

“Resolution 9615 is clearly separate and distinct from the aforesaid Resolution No. 8758, which was specifically designed and applicable to activities in the 2010 elections.

Macalintal warned that candidates who might avail of the TRO and use more time to air their political ads in excess of that set by the Comelec may find themselves in trouble should the Court later decide in favor of the Comelec position.

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  • Hey_Dudes

    We have a very confused supreme court and we can blame ourselves for having one. For everything we do including utang ni Kabisi to Mang Pidlaw, we ask the court to intervene and everything else including how the roof need to get fixed. Ayun! lumake ang mga ulo they even have factions among themselves. Employees , instead of showing their reverence to the people who pays them, instead look up to these dumbos like they are someone they must serve no question ask. We saw how these employees acted during the time Corona Eskambo and it is a pity.

    • Paulstronghold

      Right! Don’t be surprised, Escudero and Heart marriage plan will soon be elevated to SC for TRO…

      • El_Gran_Capitan

        Yeah maybe those even trivial matter, and no wonder, there are so many unresolved cases are pending in the SC because SC try to interpret all, what a bunch of MORONS

      • Kristoidolo Gugmagkalinaw

        kasi, epekto ito ng isang Pilipinas na dominated by lawyers, kaya ayon, lahat ng galaw me asunto he he

      • El_Gran_Capitan

        Mga mukhang pera kasi

      • Mary Jane Ammari

        They have high thoughts about themselves , thinking they are higher than anyone else , which is so very wrong , esp in a catholic country , there in the Bible , it says over and over again that the people who thinks they are greater than anyone else , has only a place serve or waiting for them come doomsday , HELL !!

      • El_Gran_Capitan

        well said, they think they are omnipotent, when they are completely impotent

      • tarikan

        According to my not so legal mind if & when a TRO (by the SC, no less) has been issued on a proposed marriage, the couple are inhibited to have sex during the duration of the TRO otherwise the Supreme Court would slap them charges of contempt of court and illegal entry/invasion of privacy.

      • Eagle from davao

        question,how will you verify that the couples had sex or not. We need medico legal and detain the couple have their genitals examined and maybe have sealed with heavy duty duct tapes with hologram seal.

    • kokak

      Maybe we can also ask the Supreme Court to intervene in the rules and results of PBA games.


      • j1u2a3n

        Let’s include public swimming pool rules.

      • Eagle from davao


  • Guest

    This is the only Supreme Court who is addicted to TRO and SQAO in every turn.

  • Guest

    This is the only Supreme Court who is addicted to TRO and SQAO in every turn.

  • farmerpo

    Confused? The acts are deliberate to smear the SC and thus
    the CJ. The pasaway justices can’t bring it up to themselves why they
    were leapfrogged by a younger Justice for the CJ post. Being co-equal is
    just a technical placebo of the mind. The phsycological impact of
    Justice Sereno becoming the CJ misaligned their brains and manifested in
    not showing up for Flag Ceremonies which they trivialized. That in
    itself, an act inculcated from the very formative age of a Pilinino, was
    disdainly done just to show their displeasure. Confused? Sir, you are
    too kind to your ‘panyeros’.

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      They should be lynched without justice.

      • El_Gran_Capitan

        You mean de-witted the SC Justices starting with Brion Carpio, etc, arrange alphabetically

    • Ayjayar

      The “younger Justice” who leap-frogged dem ole foggies (pertaining to their AGE of course, not to their brains) and became CJ, wrote the DISSENTING OPINION on the air-time issue.. Now, I just wonder why Atty Romeo Macalintal wasn’t even considered for SC Justice, when his knowledge of law probably exceeds most of those occupying their august positions now??? Ah alam ko nah!… abogado kasi ni PGMA… enough to disqualify him… weder-weder lang hehe.

  • virtualnook

    A bunch of bitter men in robes who can not move forward with the fact that a very able outsider has been appointed CJ. They tell us that party list congress seats are not for marginalized sector, and now this BS about airtime limits for political candidates. Seems like at new garbage dump is rising in PFaura.

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      They sat on their molasses behind and wait for big bucks coming their way. Fair justice comes only to those with money.

    • Leo Capurictan

      Very Able? wow what a languiage, the fact that she can’t control the others is her failure

      • GProf007

        These SC Justices are not kids to control… putting all the blame on one person for an institution’s failure is foregoing the fact that everyone in that institution is accountable.

    • Ayjayar

      Pls add the fact that it was this “very able outsider appointed CJ” who wrote the DISSENTING OPINION on air-time limits, just when the giant media outfits (read: ABS-CBN) complained about it.
      Talagang BS…look at the way they understood the conflicting statements of two ex-Concon delegates while they were deliberating the question of party-listing. Delegate Monsod, who later became Comelec chair, testified that the “true intent” of the 1987 framers of the cory constitution was to “expand” the party-list representation, saying that the party-list system is not synonymous with that of the sectoral representation.. that it is not exclusive to a particular sector. And yet, upon Monsod’s direct questioning, Delegate Tadeo asserted without challenge that the Comelec was the sole and final arbiter of who or what should constitute a sectoral representation – PRECISELY the “poor, marginalized and under-represented” SECTORS of Philippine society!
      And then another BS, this time from AJ Carpio, as reported: AJ Carpio doesn’t care if the Sectoral Representative comes to Congress on an [EXPENSIVE] SUV, as long as he/she represents the “poor, marginalized and under-represented???” Aguruuuuy!!

  • tra6Gpeche

    Confused or plain dumb, arrogant and incompetent? Either way, it is a shame to have a Supreme Court like this in the Philippines.

  • $20926843

    The SC a confused lot? Then who is to blame for this mess? Not the SC of course because they are just doing their job in accordance with the mandate of the 1987 cory CURSED constitution. The first to blame here is the constitution which effectively expanded the powers of the present SC to intervene on equally expanded justiciable issues that includes mundane election issues. This was done through the machination of cory aquino’s factotum commissioners in the constitutional commission which she herself created to hasten her legitimacy as president and as a reaction to the SC during the Marcos administration which they considered as weak. The Second to blame here is the present sitting inutile and autistic president in malacanang which effectively destroyed the harmony in this institution by impeaching the former CJ and appointing the least qualified successor. So the principal authors of all these mess in out country today is MADONA or the combination of mother and child, which is cory and noynoy!

    • D_BystandeR

      I’m afraid you have far exceeded the limits of how a legitimate comment should be carried out in a fair and objective discussion of related and relevant facts. You now
      touched the widely accepted belief about the impeachment of the former CJ and blamed it to have disturbed the harmony existing within that institution and this will only give rise to your identity that are one of those who wrongfully clamored for the
      retention of that highly partisan CJ who considered his loyalty to GMA as the primary and foremost reason why he should be allowed to stay there. And you’re calling names to our President with such disrespectful description as “inutile and autistic.” With this kind of comment I’m sure the reading public know how to treat it.
      And they will not be wasting a minute to dump it to where it belongs – to the trash!

      • Luthmar

        Do not waste your time with this alazzka person. She must be one of the Marcoses’ardent supporter. Also, “arguing with a fool only proves that there are two”.

    • magsasakasanayon

      you’re worse than confused; you’re a confused idiot. blaming everyone except the maniacal gloria makapal-arroyo. you have no credibility whatsoever, idiot!

    • Bisaya

      we have mental institutions for those having problems with mental health, but we don’t have institution for idiots. don’t blame someone for a shortcoming of another who are supposed to independent. the decisions being dispensed by sc is indeed mundane and only should have let comelec handle its turf. the sc justices are not incompetent, they are just plainly arrogant. now blaming the president and invoking inappropriate names is just pathetic. are your deeds more commendable?

    • Luthmar

      Are you Christina Corona? The “least qualified successor” you are talking about was recommended by the Judicial Bar Council. The president was given 3 or 5 (I don’t remember how many) candidates to chose from. You are so fond of insults and name calling. You must be perfect. But then again, if you are you won’t have an attitude problem.

  • johnlordphilip

    The SC justices lost all sense of OBJECTIVITY. People see how political, religious, and personal considerations play in every decision they make.

  • Horst Manure

    When Vietnam and some south African have a better judiciary than here what can you expect, like dirty diapers you change both for the same reason.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Supreme Court is a bunch of donkeyholes.

  • regd

    They want to show their intrusive authority. It’s time to cut their legs some more. Start another impeachment!

  • Paulstronghold

    Really confusing as a non-lawyer like me. What then should prevail, the RA 9006/Resolution 9615 or the TRO issued by the SC? Strictly stipulated under the law is during election time, the Comelec is the SOLE authority and has the POWER to issue amendments to some provisions of the law through Resolutions, Not even the co-equal branches of this government – Malacanang, the Senate/Congress can overturned their decisions. For instance, gun and liquor ban, size of poster advertisements – including AIR TIME broadcast exposure of ALL candidates covers this power. The rationale of course, is to level-off the playing field so that abuses can be curtailed by those candidates in power blessed with government unlimited logistical support behind them. Significant reason is that the poor candidates will have chances to compete with moneyed candidates.

    Why on earth should the SC issue a TRO . Cannot undertand, really! What’s the idea behind? Right to Free Communications? Or to satisfy “padrinos?” It is precisely the reason why it was amended by Comelec. Brillantes is very right: maybe the SC should instead, run the election themselves. He is also right when he pushed the SC not to let the public “hanging” by immediately resolving the TRO because election is barely two months.

    In my opinion, the SC should “learn to KNOW MORE of our past election history.” for realization. Old legal stuff no longer apply this time. Almost always, our election scenario is marred by vote buying, intimidation, “dagdag bawas” etc. and worse, only those millionaires – even dispalinghado or tonto/ bobo always win the election. The mental faculties of some SC justices are .no longer senile and that’s to me a sign of mental decay and therefore should resign to save the institution’s face.

    • Eagle from davao

      the TV stations need the money . candidate air time are always paid in cash. no need for 30 to 60 days PDC. Cash is a very good incentive to raise that TRO.

  • John Smith

    More of a PAID lot to me on this one. Billions of airtime rates are at stake here.

  • speedstream2

    The guys at Padre Faura are not a confused lot. Their actions though are sort of confusing, which leaves many citizens dumbfounded, shaking their heads in disbelief and asking: what are they up to?

    • Eagle from davao

      money and more money plus more influence.

  • Jlgp Jong

    mas nakakalito siguro kapag ang pera nasa harap na.. oo nalang ng oo…

  • Wakats

    The issue of TRO & SQAO has been resolved but makalintal is muddying the issue of airtime limits based on his own opinion only. He should petition the High Court for clarification as the issues he raised are debatable and can be interpreted in various forms….

    • Eagle from davao

      your honor I need to clarify the clarification and to question the unquestionable authority of the Comelec.

  • Lakan Dupil

    Kailangang mag review uli sa bar ng mga SC Justices!!

  • patrickinca

    its time to get rid of this low class justices



    • Mr Moonlight

      You got it right, i second the motion

  • Mr Moonlight

    majority of the supreme court justices are appointed by GMA, what do you expect ?

    • popeyee

      Common, GMA again? GMA will not in anyway benefited by the SC’s TRO. Let’s move on…

      • Mr Moonlight

        dont be naive bro

      • tra6Gpeche

        In general, Filipinos are known to religiously and seriously believe in “utang na loob.” Most of the times, “utang na loob” makes one devoid of independence and it hurts the welfare and progress of the Filipinos and the country, as a whole.

    • Ayjayar

      Ayan ka na naman… puro ka GMA, GMA… when are you going to give up? You remind me of a poster in one of the US mags on an article about the Benghazi attack on the US consulate where the US ambassador and an aide died.. he blamed George Bush, the ex-president… this was in 2012 when Obama had already won his SECOND TERM and had control over the VAST POWERS of the US presidency!

  • disqusted0fu

    This is why it is important to have a CJ who is mentally sound. There will be confusion if your leader is not mentally fit. Same goes for the executive branch or any kind of leadership for that matter. Leaders have to be physically and mentally strong. Otherwise, they will not be as effective.

    • Luthmar

      Are you mentally fit to lead and govern? Are you saying the Chief Justice is not mentally fit? Then blame the Judicial Bar Council and some govt. representatives in electing and recommending the CJ to the president. He was given the choice and he made his choice. Do not forget 9 out 12 SC Justices were Arroyo appointees.

  • erica

    Because the SC is lead by confused person with questionable mental stability.

  • mad_as_Hamlet

    * * * * *

    ONLY as far as their TRO against the airtime limits imposed by the Comelec is concerned, the Supreme Court Justices, I am afraid, have acted as supreme courtesans of big business.

    A petition (like Mr. Sen. A Cayetano’s) against the Comelec’s airtime limits premised on the claim that the said limits infringe upon the right of politicians to free speech and the public’s right to information is the most ridiculous petition in the history of our country’s political and legal history!

    Even if all the tv and radio stations were shut down, there will be no stopping a politician from opening his big mouth and shouting off his head through any public address system just to “inform” the public that his opponent has a bigger mouth.

  • divictes

    Confused is the state wherein you are trying to explain and convince the missus why Inday and you are sharing same blanket. The justices are just plain juveniles having a contest who could weewee the farthest. And we are getting drenched.

  • julius espinosa

    I certainly agree with Atty. Macalintal’s observation. Indeed, what a confused SC we have. Only in the Philippines. And it adds why foreign tourists CHOOSE PHILIPPINES because its really more fun in here. Hahahaha!

  • RyanE

    This is the big problem when SC justices are appointed not based on their qualifications and track records but on political accommodation and connections.. Tsk.tsk

  • buritos

    Nosey Supreme Court..naka amoy yata ng pera ang mga ulopong.
    Sila nalang kaya ang mamahala ng eleksyon total nkialam na.
    Kahit simpling manok at itlog papatulan. Bwahaha…

  • virgoyap

    Is their confusing decisions has nothing to do with the appointment of Sereno as Chief Justice?

  • Mark

    Hindi Kasi sila united, may mga tampuhan at iringan kaya ganyan ang mga desisyon, parang mga college students lang na nag OJT sa korte ang ang desisyon nila.

    My Senatoriables:

    Ramon Magsaysay, Jr.
    (Nagsiwalat ng mga Fertilizer scam at iba pang scam sa panahon ni GMA)

    Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel
    (Hindi Trapo, Totoo ang hangarin tumulong sa mahihirap)

    Bam Aquino
    (Hindi Trapo, boses ng mga kabataan at edukasyon)

    Richard Gordon
    (Hindi Trapo, kilala sa pagtulong sa mahihirap)

    Edward Hagedorn
    (Magaling na mayor ng Puerto Princesa, kailangan natin ang gaya nya sa Senado)

    Jamby Madrigal
    (Lumaban sa C5 scam ni Villar)

    Aquilino Pimentel III
    (May prinsipiyo, umalis sa UNA para hindi makasama ung mandaraya sa eleksyon)

    Grace Poe
    (Hindi Trapo, Maganda magtrabaho noong nasa MTRCB pa sya)

    Alan Cayetano
    (Numero-unong kaaway ni GMA at FG Mike)

    Antonio Trillanes IV
    (Numero-unong kaaway ni matandang Enrile, GMA at FG Mike)

    • tra6Gpeche

      These are good choices, kabayan. Why not include Teddy Casiño and Loren Legarda?

      • Mark

        Kampon ng NPA si Teddy Casino, aminin nya o hindi, mas gugustuhin nya na si Joma Sison ang presidente ng Pinas at sa NPA lang nya ibibigay ang pork barrel nya.

        Loren can go to any political party for political convenience and selfish interest, that’s the main description of a TRAPO.

      • tra6Gpeche

        I respect your opinion, kabayan! Thanks for responding and explaining your side.

  • Hurtlocker1

    hayaan nyo na lang sila mga SC justices….

    Hindi naman natutulod c Lord eh.

    Frankly in my whole life, i have known ONLY ONE lawyer friend na super simple down-to-earth, so softspoken person, pati wife nya.

    Well, ayun c brod lawyer, naging judge na…and im sure he carried with him being the same man i knew, as a true Christian. May God always bless him and his family.

    Then there was another one but different scenario. before he became a lawyer, mabait naman..anak nga ng fren ko eh…aba…after he passed the bar, and later, later on…nag iba ang dating….nyayyyyy!!!! hindi na friendly and dating na!! iba na pare!!!!!

    buti na lang hindi ako naging LAWYER..baka mapagkamalan ako, jejejejee….
    meron ako kababata, naging lawyer, nagkita kami one time…ummm me dating nga…syempre, ipakita being abogado, the talks, the gestures, so on and so forth..

    as if, being a LAWYER, parang associated na ung pagka being mayabang ang dating…aba, eh lalo na kong maging judge, justice…
    opkors, being a lawyer, ikaw yung pinakamataas na me pinag aralan, di ba?? lalo pa kong me PHD, like, Atty Agaton, LLB, PHD, MD..

    basta ako, i always remain humble in the eyes of the Lord, and to my fellowmen.

    how about u?

    • tarikan

      Me? Thanks Lord I’m not a lawyer. I’m a man of science — the purest of the pure. Our laws are interpreted as they should be unlike the laws of them abogagos. Lawyers splitting hairs in their interpretation of the law. I have a close relative who upon passing the bar frown on anybody even his father calling him his nickname. He wanted his father to call him ATTORNEY, FISCAL! Attorney my A**, what a demented legal mind. In America legal counsels are happy enough you address them plain Mister.

  • Handiong

    The SC justices are not only confused, they are mediocre.

  • disqus_WIkXYUshrh

    Macakintal is a good lawyer and should have been in the Supreme court. Kaya lang identified yata siya kay Gloria?

    Politics politics.

  • Ako_Hiking

    A confused lot indeed…the entire Aquino Administration seems to be one confused lot.They don’t know who’s in-charge at times and who is authorized to speak with who and just simply unorganized. This is not just the SC but it even hits Malacanang and other departments.

  • tarikan

    Ano ba talaga mga kuya, TRO o SQAO? Flip-flop # 12 na ba tayo? Will someone make a tally so that later it can be submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records. Wow Philippines pa rin! It is not getting more fun anymore!

  • doncleo

    Dalawa lang yan..kung hindi kabobohan ay napeperahan kaya naco-confuse.

  • kilabot

    in fairness to sc,
    its job is to complicate the simple;
    to justify its existence.

    • jga94

      Correct…good one…to complicate the simple…

  • mabyrik

    That is a nice comment on SC coming from a fellow lawyer.

    Hey Macalintal, your license might be revoked by SC by saying it is so confused, short of saying it is composed of stupid, ignorant and incompetent lawyers.

    Macalintal, don’t you know that those SC judges feel they are like gods who can do no wrong for they they adhere in only 2 SC ruling?

    First Rule-SC justices are always right.

    Second Rule- If SC justices are wrong, ignore it, refer to First Rule.

    Pity this country for having SC judges whose primordial concern is for themselves and their pride, never mind justice, never mind the institution they represent, never mind the welfare of the country. If the country is screwed by its ruling, so be it for as long as these SC justices are able to satisfy their whims and caprices and their egos boosted.

  • Mang Teban

    Atty. Romulo Macalintal has a valid point on this matter. This should give Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes the needed boost after being disheartened and disgusted by the successive acts by the Supreme Court to interfere in his job.

    I think that it is alright to tell the SC justices are a “confused lot” because this is to remind them that there are powers solely granted to the Comelec. Since the SC had confirmed that it was simply a TRO, then the Comelec should hope for a reversal of the TRO and the SC to withdraw its order. We need people in government with focus and sanity to keep order in the government service. We cannot afford a “confused” SC to make mistakes and issue TROs to prevent an independent commission established in our constitution from doing what it thinks is best for this country at this crucial stage of the coming elections. I congratulate Atty. Macalintal for giving a sound legal opinion to enlighten the entire electorate…and hopefully, the SC justices.


      Hindi naman Permanent yong TRO e-Lift yon one day before election. So what’s wrong with that ! The constitution is still adhered to…. nyaaaaaaa >>>>>>>>

  • guest

    So who is going to check the supreme court if they made a mistake in their TRO? It is supposed to be congress but it takes time to impeach them. Maybe it is time to amend the constitution and make it easier for the legislative and executive to change and correct them. I think a term limit and an elected sc justices will be good.

  • eltee2012

    >>> may kasabihan sa abugasya…”IT IS NOT WHAT YOU KNOW IS WHAT YOU CAN PROVE IN COURT” So let it be written and let it be done.

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