La Salle put out a pastoral letter concerning the recent events centered around now former Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno . This pastoral letter written by Brother Jose Mari Jimenez, FSC is available to the public in a certain column in the Philippine Star called Breakthough authored by legendary DLSU prof Dr. Elfren Cruz. You can read up on Bro. Jose Mari’s credentials there.
Last year I questioned a pastoral letter by Abp. Socrates B. Villegas, D.D. I explored my confusion why the pastoral letter seemed to be against physical harm but treated causalities in the drug trade like a novelty. It seemed to be very focused on who they thought was committing the physical harm and left other potential perpetrators alone. In short, it read more like a precisely aimed political vendetta than spiritual guidance.
I am no legal mind , in fact I barely have a mind. What I will do though is juxtapose some of Bro. Jose Mari’s thoughts and interpretations with another prominent Catholic who happens to teach law. Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino a well-known constitutionalist, is currently the vice president for administration of Cagayan State University (CSU) and the dean of the Graduate School of Law in San Beda College. I will lift his opinion directly from his Facebook page. I then give what passes as my thoughts. You can take what I say with a grain of salt or two shots of Bushmills. I don’t really care which.
Brother Jose Mari Jimenez:
We mourn today. The decision of the Supreme Court on the quo warranto case against Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno is in the words of a dissenting justice, a “legal abomination.”
Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino :
6. Conviction following impeachment presupposes that one has been validly appointed and has committed an offense or a series of acts warranting impeachment under Article XI of the Constitution.
7. But if one who lacks the qualifications is appointed, even without committing any impeachable act, then the remedy is quo warranto, otherwise there would no remedy against an unqualified or ineligible appointee.
8. While the SALN issue is an issue raised against the CJ in relation to the impeachment complaint filed by Gadon, it also was raised by the SolGen as a qualification issue, because the Constitution makes “probity and integrity” requirements for appointment to the office of Chief Justice.
9. The CJ herself in a dissent in the Corona Case articulated the position that failure to submit the SALN when this was required was tantamount to lack of integrity.
Gogs, Get Real Philippines:
Brother Jose Mari considers the ouster of Sereno as a a “legal abomination.” quoting an unnamed dissenting justice. You may look up the definition of dissent in a legal context here. It is merely a statement that you disagree with the majority. We have all been there but I doubt most of us are in the Supreme Court. It is merely a declaration and in no way changes the conclusion. Very similar to what LeBron James recently did after Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He told you what he thought happened but it has no bearing on the Boston Celtics win.
In point #7 of Father Ranhilio that “quo warranto” is the procedure for those who lack qualifications because you can not impeach someone who is an “unqualified or ineligible appointee.” How can you kick somebody out of a game when they were an ineligible player to begin with? In point #9 he says that Sereno formally admitted in a dissent ” that failure to submit the SALN when this was required was tantamount to lack of integrity.” A point that Florin Hilbay explains only as laziness. In point #8 “probity and integrity” are mandatory to occupy the position of Chief Justice. So basically in point #9 Sereno is cannibalizing herself using her own words.
As the Chief Justice echoed the need to subscribe to the law and respect the fundamental rights of citizens, the President publicly declared her his enemy.
17. Academic discussions like these are interesting, and it is the duty of legal academics and legal theorists (not necessarily practicing lawyers) to continue the debate. But for state operations and practical purposes, discussions must somehow end. That is why the Supreme Court is “supreme”.
Sereno did not comply with was required of a member of the Supreme Court let alone a Chief Justice and Brother Jose Mari somehow worked what he thinks is the President’s view of her? For all those protesting the decision of the Supreme Court and thinking they can change what is decided , point # 17 is simply saying :
13. The argument: Mammals have two eyes. Reptiles are not mammals. Therefore: Reptiles do not have two eyes is FALLACIOUS. And it is exactly the same argument as: Lawyers know the law (itself a doubtful proposition). Fr. RCA is not a lawyer. Therefore: Fr. RCA does not know the law.
Tommy Lasorda pitched 26 games and 58 1/3 innings in the Major Leagues of Baseball. Going by the logic of the critics of FRCA then Tommy Lasorda had no business coaching, developing and managing Orel Hershiser who pitched 3130 innings and 510 games in the Major Leagues of Baseball. Well not only did he manage Hershiser for his entire LA Dodger career that totaled 13 years but Lasorda managed a total of 21 years in the major leagues which meant over 3000 games.
Whether it is baseball or the legal profession, someone has to develop raw talent and mold them into competent professionals. Lasorda has absorbed enough baseball to make him the 20th all time winning manager at the time of his retirement. Father Ranhilio may not be in a court room in a formal capacity but he is accredited to develop those who are there and those who will be there.
16. Last time I checked, everyone is free to weigh in. And as far as I know, that guarantee has not yet been excised.
Anyone can weigh in and I am obviously weighing in. Making the case for something is something bloggers often do. My legal experience? Besides watching A Few Good Men about ten times? I wrote about being a juror in a domestic assault case. We had to consider 5 charges and the requirement was unanimous vote was required for a guilty verdict. I can remember it very clearly. There was one charge where 11 jurors thought the accused was guilty and one juror did not. He would not budge. We hung on that charge. Technically as I remember, a hung jury was the equivalent of finding the person not guilty. None of us could change the outcome. At least in our case, we did not make the mistake Vizzini made. We understood unanimous means what we thought it really means.
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