Greed and technicality in cityhood cases (4)
Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza’s letter to Chief Justice Reynato Puno, copy furnished all the fourteen (14) other members of the SC at that time (“Deciding Court”), stating a technical defect in the voting by the SC justices (only 6 out of 15 justices voted, 5 dissented and 4 “took no part”) failed to rescue the beleaguered 16 applicant cities, as the SC, in its Resolution dated March 31, 2009, DENIED Mr. Mendoza’s December 9, 2009 Motion for Reconsideration.
A second MR was subsequently filed by Mr. Mendoza.
Meanwhile, some other members of the Deciding Court, namely Justices Alicia Martinez, Azcuna, Tinga and Nazario reached the compulsory retirement age. Their respective replacements were, of course, appointed in due time.
Then suddenly, and after the lapse of almost two years, the SC issued its February 15, 2011 Resolution (of Atty. Mendoza’s second MR) REVERSING its previous issuance and this time UPHOLDING the constitutionality of the 16 cityhood laws.
Surely, many settled jurisprudence/doctrines and legal provisions were shaken/swept away by this latest SC Resolution.
One of them is the iron-clad Doctrine of Finality of Judgments which every living practitioner/member of the bench/law professor is presumed to have fingertip-familiarity with.
Queries are also being raised in quick succession as to how many times should a losing SC litigant be allowed to file a motion for re-consideration in light of an express provision in The Rules of Court allowing the filing of only 1 such motion.
Would the SC’s ‘flip-flopping’ in disposing of the cityhood cases constitute an IMPEACHABLE offense?
There are perceptions even the courts (including the SC) are standing in the way of PNoy’s feverish pursuit of the “Tuwid Na Landas.” Alex Almario