NUPL on Sereno ouster: ‘A contortion of the Constitution’
Padre Faura has fallen.
This was how the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) described the Supreme Court (SC) en banc’s move to oust Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno by granting the Solicitor General’s controversial quo warranto plea.
The NUPL on Friday described the SC decision against Sereno as “deplorable, contemptuous and a contortion of the Constitution” and is a “red carpet for dictatorial rule.”
“It is abhorring to see the Supreme Court majority surrender its independence to the political pressure of a co-equal branch of government,” NUPL president Edre Olalia said in a statement.
Voting 8-6, the SC granted the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida that questioned Sereno’s qualification as the chief magistrate.
The High Court said the decision was immediately executory and declared the position of the chief justice vacant.
READ: ‘We won!’ – Sereno
Olalia said the SC decision does not affect the Chief Justice alone but the entire nation “practically crippled all the democratic institutions that supposedly ensure checks and balances within the government.”
“The decision is dishonorable. Where art thou the other paragons of fairness and symbols of justice? Is law being majestic an obvious fiction? Do we all have to go back to law school and relearn or unlearn what we studied? Is there honor of being in the same level and constitution as the charlatans and clowns who mock and distort basic rules of reason by dressing up partisanship with pretentious erudition?” Olalia said.
He said that as members of the Bar, they should be dispensers of justice and protectors of freedom and dignity as a nation and as a people.
But the justices, whom he called the “gods of Padre Faura,” literally and stubbornly refused this duty.
“Instead of a chance at principled redemption, the majority has generously given its brethren, their peers, the entire legal profession and the public at large reason to deny respect and dismiss any belief in the system,” he added.
For his part, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes said the three branches of government have “failed the people” with the decision.
He accused the Executive branch of maneuvering the removal of Sereno and consolidate its control over all the branches; the Legislative branch of destroying her reputation; and the Supreme Court of being a “willing tool in undermining judicial independence.”
“All three branches have only exposed the rottenness of the current ruling system. There will be a time for accountability,” Reyes said.
“Right now, the people are justified in their indignation. The people are right to protest the rising tyranny of the Duterte regime,” he added. /muf