SC TRO a Damocles sword

THERE are people who say that a constitutional crisis has been averted because the Supreme Court en banc without the participation of impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona voted not to issue a temprorary restraining order (TRO) against the Senate.

That is farthest from the truth. What the en banc said was that it would just consolidated the petitions for a TRO against the impeachment trial and then decide whether it would issue a TRO. The Sword of Damocles is still hanging over the Senate which, together with the House of Representatives, is a co-equal branch of the government.

The petitioners asking for the SC to stop the Corona trial include former governor Homobono Adaza who said the House of Representatives had committed “grave abuse of discretion” in swiftly gathering signatures of 188 members to eight articles of impeachment against Corona during a caucus last month and transmitting the document to the Senate for trial .

The spokesman of the SC, who also looks like to be speaking for the chief justice explained the decision of the Supreme Court en banc.

Midas Marquez said: “There are many options here. They could be dismissed right away. It could be comments and then oral arguments. It could be TRO right away. The court can always issue a TRO at any time or call oral arguments at any time.

“So, the court deliberated and this was a unanimous decision. Without (the court) assuming jurisdiction over the case, the respondents are being directed to comment.”

To me, that is a veil threat coming from a co-equal body. What the SC is saying in effect that we, the SC as a whole, are the real bosses of the country.

The SC is the only constitutional body who can decide the fate of anyone, right or wrong. It can rule against anyone, it can rule against Congress and against the executive department. It can rule against the impeachment of anyone and favor the chief justice and even his associates.

This is a scary situation.

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