Analyst sees ‘weakened’ SC following justices’ testimonies vs Sereno
The Supreme Court (SC) has “weakened” as an institution after its magistrates bared the court’s internal disputes before the impeachment hearing against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno at the House of Representatives, a political analyst said.
Associate Justices Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam, Teresita de Castro and former Associate Justice Arturo Brion testified before the House committee on justice on the administrative issues hurled against Sereno at the SC.
Asked about the implications of the testimonies, Ramon Casiple of the Institute of Political and Electoral Reform said the SC became a “weakened institution” with the “divisive and noxious internal relations” between the SC justices.
“It opened the door for future intervention by other branches,” Casiple told INQUIRER.net in a text message, adding that it allows outside bodies to meddle in resolving administrative issues within the SC.
The High Court is the proper body to resolve the administrative complaints against the Chief Justice, Casiple stressed.
“With or without impeachment, they are internal matters that SC is the proper body to discuss. My standards for an impeachable offense are based on its impact on the interests of the people and the nation,” he said.
Casiple, however, said the High Court’s magistrates can still work “professionally” with each other in deciding on cases and petitions.
“They can still relate to each other professionally. Decisions still are individual,” he explained.
On Monday, Justice Jardeleza accused Sereno of treason for allegedly using a top secret document to block him from being nominated for the vacant post of SC Associate Justice in 2014.
In addition, Justice Brion said Sereno “manipulated” the nomination process and acted with “malice” for attempting to block Jardeleza’s appointment to the SC.
Justices De Castro and Tijam, meanwhile, accused the Chief Justice of failing to submit the request of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to transfer the Maute cases outside of Mindanao to the High Court en banc.
De Castro said Sereno “showed no respect and courtesy to the Court en banc” while Tijam said the chief magistrate “arrogated” unto herself Aguirre’s request for not following the proper procedure.