Officialdom as Violator; (Editora[euro][TM]s Note: National Leaders Who Ignore the Supreme Court Decisions and the Constitution Are Setting Bad Models as Noted by the Author.)

Manila Bulletin, April 4, 2006 | Go to article overview

Officialdom as Violator; (Editora[euro][TM]s Note: National Leaders Who Ignore the Supreme Court Decisions and the Constitution Are Setting Bad Models as Noted by the Author.)


IN emergency power cases in the past, the Supreme Court declared that conditions requiring extraordinary powers no longer existed. President Quirino threw in the towel and meekly obeyed the courtas decision.

Obedience contributes to public order

Mr. Quirino in 1952 suspended Mayor Arsenio H. Lacson for misconduct, a serious ground for disciplinary action against elective local officials.

Lacson was also charged with libel and after his acquittal by CFI Judge Magno Gatmaitan he was immediately reinstated. Lacsonas Calvary ended with his acquittal. President Quirino lost his bid for re-election to his former defense secretary, Ramon Magsaysay.

Poet released by the Supreme Court

Poet and labor leader Amado Hernandez (husband of popular stage songbird Atang de la Rama) was among those charged and convicted of the complex crime of rebellion with murder and was given the penalty for the graver offense of murder.

The Supreme Court ruled that "rebellion cannot be complexed with, but absorbs, acts committed in the furtherance of the rebellious movement." Hernandez was immediately released without a murmur from his tormentors a" the Liberal Party high officials and leaders. (In 1966, Hernandez gave me a copy of his award-winning book of poems.)

Enrile case follows Hernandez doctrine

In 1990, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile also faced the same charges thrown against Hernandez. The Supreme Court merely reiterated the Hernandez experience as a doctrinal rule on rebellion complexed with other crimes.

President Cory and other Palace advisers abruptly stopped barking at Enrile and other persons similarly situated.

No adequate mechanism

In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that the amendment of the Constitution by means of peopleas initiative was not supported by an enabling act for the exercise of this right by the people.

The court ruled that exercising the peopleas initiative lacks the mechanisms to authenticate millions of signatures of the total number of registered voters nationwide.

Teachers should authenticate signatures

In the 2004 elections for instance, voters needed proper identification before they could cast their votes like: 1) their names were in the list of registered voters; 2) before they were given ballots to be filled they were asked to sign a thick book of voters registry, and 3) before leaving the booth indelible ink was applied to the voteras right thumb to stop him from becoming a "flying" voter for a high fee.

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