"The death of democracy" - The Yellow propaganda overdrive over Sereno ouster

Tuesday May 22, 2018 ()

The Yellow cult has found a new rallying cry in the ouster of former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno from the Supreme Court. In the past few days since the high court ruling came out, the "dilawan" and their minions have started crawling out of the woodwork to denounce the removal of PNoy's anointed, calling it "the death knell for democracy" or a "drift towards authoritarianism" or some other doomsday forecast.

Among the targets in the crosshairs of the Yellow cult are the eight SC justices who voted to grant the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida: Associate Justices Noel Tijam, who penned the landmark ruling; Diosdado Peralta, Samuel Martires, Teresita de Castro, Francis Jardeleza, Lucas Bersamin, Andres Reyes Jr., and Alexander Gesmundo.

Hilario Davide
(Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.)

Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., for one, has accused the magistrates of a "culpable violation of the Constitution," saying they could be subjected to impeachment for voting for the removal of Sereno. "The mere act of voting to oust the Chief Justice in gross and culpable violation of the Constitution would itself be a basis to charge them of an impeachable offense," Davide said. The magistrates of the high court "know very well" that impeachment was the only route to remove an impeachable officer, he added.

First of all, Davide should take a good hard look at himself in the mirror. It seems the former politician-turned-chief magistrate has conveniently forgotten that, almost two decades ago, he too, was complicit in removing an impeachable officer, not through impeachment, but by a judicial decree—the very same process which he now condemns. I'm referring to ouster of former President Joseph Estrada in 2001.

Article VII, Section 8 of the Constitution clearly states that a Vice President may be installed as President only in case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the President. We all know Estrada had not died, was not permanently disabled, was not removed from office, and had not resigned. Yet Davide, as the then Chief Justice, even went to the EDSA Shrine on January 20, 2001 to personally swear in Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo not just as acting but as permanent president. It was also during his watch as Chief Justice, and reportedly at his behest, that the SC came out with the "novel" (or should I say, dumbfounding) decision that effectively ousted Estrada from office.

Davide was also the presiding judge during the aborted impeachment trial of Estrada before the Senate. Perhaps the former chief magistrate should explain why he never resumed the impeachment trial—and instead allowed the SC to unseat Estrada—if he "knows very well" that impeachment is the only route to remove an impeachable officer.

I find it hypocritical that the ex-chief justice is vilifying the eight incumbent SC justices for voting to remove an impeachable officer when the justices of the Davide Court also did the same thing back in 2001 when they ousted Estrada. Why should the SC's removal of an impeachable official be "lawful" then (as in Estrada's case) but constitute an impeachable offense?

Davide's political posturing is understandable. An ardent supporter of PNoy, the ex-chief justice gave up his post as Permanent Representative to the United Nations to campaign for the Liberal Party standard-bearer in the 2010 elections. His son, Hilario Davide 3rd, the LP provincial chairman and current governor of Cebu, owes his 2013 gubernatorial victory to the Yellow cult machinery—and chicanery. To stack the odds in favor of the younger Davide, the DILG meted a six-month suspension on then incumbent Cebu governor Gwen Garcia five months before the elections, and installed an LP vice governor as acting governor.

Not to be outdone, the party-list representative of Akbayan has revealed his plan to file impeachment complaints against the eight SC justices also for culpable violation of the Constitution. "It is clearly stated in our Constitution that you can only remove a sitting justice through an impeachment proceeding," the Akbayan representative said, echoing Davide's pronouncements.

Of course, many people know Akbayan as the party-list front of the Liberal Party that's masquerading as a marginalized group. Its leaders were appointed to top-level government posts during the Yellow administration. Its most famous alumnus, Risa Hontiveros, managed to snag a Senate seat on her third try as a candidate of the Yellow cult coalition.

Apparently disgruntled at not having had any "fruitful" participation in Sereno's banishment, fourteen senators, most of whom were former LP coalition candidates, filed a resolution asking the SC to reconsider its ruling ousting Sereno, claiming that it "transgresses the exclusive powers of the legislative branch to initiate, try, and decide all cases of impeachment."

It seems some senators are being too presumptuous and overeager, especially since the Lower House had not yet impeached Sereno. Without the congressional hearings ripening into an impeachment trial, what powers of the Senate were supposedly transgressed? Aber?!

Meanwhile, a social-media group allied with the Liberal Party, the "The Silent Majority," has trained its sights on Solicitor General Jose Calida, threatening to file a disbarment case against the government's principal lawyer who filed the quo warranto case against Sereno. The group, originally formed as a social media advocate for the Mar Roxas-Leni Robredo campaign in 2016, eventually (and expectedly) morphed into a socmed arm of the anti-Duterte coalition, Tindig Pilipinas.

One does not need to be an Einstein to know that all this noise about Sereno's ouster is political propaganda by the Yellow cult aimed at swaying public sentiment against the Duterte administration after one of their own was unceremoniously given the boot. They obviously don't like being given a taste of their own medicine.

Sources:

  • 'Yellow' propaganda on overdrive over Sereno ouster, Atty. Dodo Dulay, May 22, 2018, The Manila Times

(This article is adapted from the source listed above. We are unable to grant permission for any kind of reproduction other than social media shares.)


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