UPDATED. Watch 8:00pm live interview TV5-Bloomberg by news anchor Roby Alampay on CJ Sereno ouster
Watch The Big Story at 8:00 pm tonight, live interview by TV5 news anchor Roby Alampay on TV5- Bloomberg TV Philippines 24/7 news channel exclusive on Cignal TV Channel 250 (HD) Cable Cablelink, Channel 23 (SD) on the meaning, and the immediate and long-term implications/ repercussions of the quo warranto ouster of CJ Sereno.
perhaps, having litigated dozens of special civil actions in the Supreme Court (quo warranto is a special civil action), i might be able to help thresh out the following:
1.The decision of the Supreme Court 8 justices is UNFINISHED:
It has ancillary orders in its dispositive portion that are outside the scope of the quo warranto itself, and involves all the branches of government, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and the public — implementation of which are, problematic at best. (watch the live interview), such as the following (the bag of ancillary orders) : 2.The Supreme Court 8 justices could have stated that every petition for quo warranto should be decided on a “case-to-case” basis — but it said here that quo warranto could be used against any ineligible public official, at any time, if the ground relied upon allegedly occurred before the appointment or during the appointment, on the nebulous ground of “integrity” for acts committed prior to or incident to their appointment, as follows:
According to the Supreme Court 8 Justices:
“Quo warranto as a remedy to oust an ineligible public official may be availed of, provided that the requisites for the commencement thereof are present, when the subject act or omission was committed prior to or at the time of appointment or election relating to an official’s qualifications to hold office as to render such appointment or election invalid.”
Here, under “Guidelines for the Bench,…” etc.:
It should be noted however that for nominees to the judiciary, facts on “integrity” are heard at the JBC level. Even the Supreme Court 8 justices, in the case that they cited, showed that the “integrity” criterion is determined at the JBC level.
At the very least, these are questions of fact, not of mere argumentation, which require testimonies from custodians of documents and administrative officers before which the SALNs are filed, and which, if alleged as “culpable violations of the Constitution”, should be threshed out in an evidentiary hearing like the impeachment trial.
(Removing the prescriptive period of quo warranto would cover acts committed before your appointment which would cover everything you said or uttered or had done since you were born …)
2.The legal and theoretical framework of the decision of the Supreme Court 8 (particularly on pages 132-153(which it had to utilize to sustain the quo warranto) is: The Chief Justice was a de facto Chief Justice who sat only with “color of title” – i.e., was never legal but only appeared to be legal (de facto — like a guerilla movement, it was never part of government).
This kind of theory shakes the very foundation of the Supreme Court itself from 2012, then at every en banc session and decision, and from the moment it was convened last Monday, and to this day.
The legal and theoretical framework of the decision can be found in pages 134-153 … (see sample embedded page below)
While the Supreme Court has held in a line of cases that acts of a de facto officer may not be collaterally attacked — these may be assailed directly by quo warranto and as a result of a quo warranto.
The Supreme Court 8 justices, for their own existence and the existence of the Supreme Court, might want to address the legal status of all the acts presided upon by a “de facto Chief Justice” — since now, these can be assailed directly (the only prohibition being upon a collateral attack).
3.On the SALNs, faculty members of U.P. have some familiarity with the procedure for the filing of SALNs (it is not filed directly with the HRDO but with the administrative officer of each college) and the procedure the administrative officer adopts when the faculty member is on leave for more than a year. Then Associate Prof. Sereno went on leave up to the time of her voluntary resignation in 2006 – the years for which her SALNs were asked to be submitted to the JBC. An evidentiary hearing like the impeachment trial would have heard the administrative officers of various colleges in U.P. on this procedure. There is also some familiarity with the application for limited private practice, and the procedure for this if the faculty is on leave and not reporting for work at all by virtue of such approved leave. All these procedures would have been attested to by the responsible U.P. administrative officers in an evidentiary hearing like an impeachment trial.
4. The course Law on Mass Media and Communication covers the contempt powers of the Supreme Court, which covers a line of cases on prejudicial publicity against the accused versus a free press; and a line of cases on the use of contumacious language against the Supreme Court (an example is In Re Ramon Tulfo, when he called the Supreme Court justices “sangkatutak na bobo” etc, respondent Ramon Tulfo was reprimanded and asked to pay a fine, nothing more).
In this case, the six of the eight justices of the Supreme Court themselves spoke publicly against the Chief Justice on various occasions, before the Chief Justice spoke in various forums.
The show-cause order of the Supreme Court 8 justices on the CJ for her public statements hints that she would be disbarred.
Watch the live interview tonight 8:00 pm by news anchor Roby Alampay on TV5- Bloomberg TV Philippines on Cignal TV Cignal TV Channel 250 (HD) Cable Cablelink, Channel 23 (SD).
image by TV5 – Bloomberg TV Philippines, used here non-commercially for academic purposes