Congress has impeached the wrong official.


Our constitution tows the line clearly with respect to the powers and functions of the three co-equal branches. The executive, headed by a President, executes and implements the laws of the land. The legislature, composed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, is tasked with the creation of laws and providing specifics to provisions where the Constitution speaks vaguely. The judiciary, composed by the Supreme Court and all the courts created by the Constitution and other laws, is tasked with interpreting the laws of the land; determining whether any branch of the government has exercised excessive discretion in its decision-making, and deciding on constitutionality of disputed legislation. Looking at this simple, freshman college explanation of how our government works, one can see that the judiciary plays a crucial role in the growth and continuing existence of a democracy.

Many like myself have not been graced with the honor of studying the law in extensive detail. But there is one thing I know for sure; the Supreme Court serves as the final interpreter of any dispute. The Supreme Court holds the tremendous obligation of delivering their take on issues, knowing that what they promulgate forms part of the law of the land. No other branch of government is bestowed with such an obligation.

The events of last week has threatened the very concept of the judiciary and of the High Court. In the impeachment complaint filed against Chief Justice Renato Corona by PNoy’s 188 House cohorts, the complaint included as a salient feature the pro-Arroyo voting record of the Chief Justice in issues such as the Truth Commission and Administrative Circular 41, the complainants argued that the Chief Justice has betrayed the people’s trust.

In my opinion, the impeachment complaint on this basis supersedes the constitutional authority of the Court to interpret the law. The legislature, by elevating this impeachment on the matter of sufficiency in substance, has, in effect, exercised grave abuse of discretion. The legislature’s role is to legislate and create laws, not interpret whether the Court has gone too far in its role of interpreting the law.  I’m not even sure if that constitutes an impeachable offense; for if it does, then the judiciary has surrendered its power to the legislature.

Many of the legislators believed that the Chief Justice is an obstruction to PNoy’s quest for accountability. In my view, the Chief Justice has not been the obstruction; it is the incapability of the President and his men to build strong cases against the Arroyos. Let us take as an example the issue of the Truth Commission. It would’ve been legal if PNoy investigated all former Presidents, with the inclusion of his mother, for such shall not be a violation of the equal protection clause. But Pnoy chose to focus on Gloria, and this focus led to the Truth Commission’s death.

The Supreme Court issued a TRO against administrative circular 41, citing that there is no constitutional basis nor an enabling law for Secretary de Lima’s order. Secretary de Lima replied saying that there is a “higher cause”; to bad such words are not in the Constitution. She then said that CGMA issued the order herself, but I’m sure she understood that it did not make it legal. She then violated the Court’s order by disallowing CGMA to travel despite a Court order.

At face value, it seems that President Noynoy Aquino’s actions more strongly reflect an impeachable offense than that of CJ Corona.

Congress has impeached the wrong official.

About carlomasajo
I am a 21 year old Fine Arts student from the University of Santo Tomas trying to help this nation become a better one.

2 Responses to Congress has impeached the wrong official.

  1. A student does not need to study the finer points of law to conclude that the following opinion is wrong.

    “In my opinion, the impeachment complaint on this basis supersedes the constitutional authority of the Court to interpret the law. The legislature, by elevating this impeachment on the matter of sufficiency in substance, has, in effect, exercised grave abuse of discretion. The legislature’s role is to legislate and create laws, not interpret whether the Court has gone too far in its role of interpreting the law. I’m not even sure if that constitutes an impeachable offense; for if it does, then the judiciary has surrendered its power to the legislature.”

    Our constitution mandates that justices of the Supreme Court are impeachable officials. This is crystal clear. The Supreme Court, if ever, cannot interpret this otherwise. They can be impeached and the process involves 1/3 of the members of the Lower House.

    I am not a lawyer myself. But I can still remember my political science way back in college. The Philippine constitution provides that the Chief Justice is not immune to impeachment. He is an impeachable official. And the Lower House is mandated to be the only body who can do the impeaching, not matter how a justice, or even a blogger, interprets it.

  2. carlomasajo says:

    Thank you for your comment. God bless!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: