Beyond moral reproach

OF all the three branches of government namely the executive, legislative and judiciary, the judiciary is the weakest.

It is, however, the noblest branch for it is only the government body that relies on moral integrity for its continued existence.

It is also this high moral ground that enables this body to compel the other branches of government to follow its rulings or decisions, which are always presumed to have been reached impartially through the judicious interpretation of the laws of the land.

Members of the judiciary, from the ordinary lawyer to the magistrates of the Supreme Court, are governed by a strict code of ethics as their actions and legal decisions should always be beyond moral reproach.

Members of the judiciary are subject to a much higher moral standard compared to the members of the other branches of government because they are the ultimate arbiter of disputes and the protector of the rights of the people.

The judiciary is the last line of legal defense against political tyranny.

Thus when a judge or magistrate feels that he is incapable of rendering an impartial decision in a particular case for what-ever reason, he has the option to inhibit himself from it to ensure that he will remain beyond moral reproach.

Inhibition is also a way to protect the integrity of the court.

Unfortunately, except when a party to a dispute is a relative of the judge or magistrate hearing the case, the members of the other branches of government or even the public cannot compel a member of the judiciary to inhibit.

Inhibition is a voluntary act and personal decision of the judge or justice concerned.

Other than what is mandated by law, the decision to inhibit is usually based on the character of the individual.

Nevertheless, it is the duty of all members of the judiciary, especially the chief justice, to protect its integrity by keeping the institution beyond moral reproach.

Isn’t that right Chief Justice Renato Corona?

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President Benigno Aquino III’s scathing remarks against Chief Justice Renato Corona at the First National Summit on Criminality last Monday is an indication of the strength of character of the President.

The members of the judiciary should not be onion skinned as what Aquino did was to state his case in person lest it be subject to misinterpretation should it be subject to existing protocol.

That was a frank statement of facts and I hope Aquino could do more of that “say it in your face remarks.”

We are in extraordinary times and we needed extraordinary actions.

* * *

Does boredom wear you down or is there just a nagging feeling that you want to get away from the metropolis and be with mother-nature?

Then go and visit Bato Springs in Barangay San Cristobal, San Pablo City.

Located at the foot of the mystical Mt. Banahaw, Bato Springs is just one hour and 30 minute drive from Manila.

You have a spacious parking space that could even accommodate tourist buses and first class amenities for all your business and pleasure needs.

For more information call Ms. Elaine Garchitorena at 049562-0976.

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