November 19, 2011
A day after the court served a warrant of arrest to former president and now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan points out that the bigger issue now hounding the Supreme Court is that of accountability and justice.
He says, “It is my view that one cannot look at the TRO controversy involving Gloria and Mike Arroyo simply as a textbook case in constitutional law. It has to be viewed from a larger context to include the fact that: 1) the persons involved are a former president and former first gentleman, both of whom have been subject of numerous investigations involving allegations of illegal activities to the tune of billions of pesos; 2) a Chief Justice appointed by the former president under a shroud of doubtful legality for allegedly being a midnight appointment; 3) a Supreme Court faced with a string of controversial cases that have eroded its reputation–including the TRO on the House of Representatives in its impeachment proceedings against (former Ombudsman) Mercy Gutierrez, who has been accused of sitting on cases involving both GMA and Mike Arroyo; the voiding of the Truth Commission meant to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by Gloria and Mike Arroyo; and now this TRO in favor of Mike and Gloria Arroyo.”
The lawmaker also cites the high court’s tarnished image because of the reversal of some of its high-profile decisions, including “its flip-flopping four times on the cityhood case (of 16 municipalities in the League of Cities of the Philippines) and its flip-flop on the FASAP case, (which have) likewise raised eyebrows as to the manner in which the SC conducts its business.”
“All these should, at the minimum, make us pause and think seriously about the role of the SC in all these cases involving the former president and first gentleman. One cannot help but wonder if the SC is upholding the interest of the nation and its people, or if it has become, as earlier feared, a court beholden to the Arroyos and ready to do as told by the Arroyos.”
Image Source: Supreme Court of the Philippines