"x x x.
SHOWDOWN: The Supreme Court is under intense attack as an institution.
Much of the bombardment appears to be coming from the direction of
Malacañang and its allies.
Although the Executive and the Judiciary are supposed to be co-equal
branches of a tripartite system, the fight looks lopsided.
Versus the billions at the disposal of Malacañang for propaganda, the
Supreme Court has a measly sum for public information. Against the
Palace’s panel of spokespersons, a network of information officers all
over the bureaucracy, not to mention its mouthpieces imbedded in the
media, the SC has only its Court Administrator doubling as spokesperson.
While the President has at his beck and call the armed forces, the national
police and the National Bureau of Investigation, the Supreme Court has
only its sheriffs and process servers to enforce its rulings and orders.
* * *
ERODED RESPECT: The stakes are high. If it is unable to withstand the
attack, the Supreme Court as an institution could be reduced to irrelevance.
Its controversial decisions could end up routinely defied by losing parties
who have the means to put up an extrajudicial fight.
The open defiance by no less than the Justice Secretary of one of the Court’s
recent orders has far-reaching implications. Its repeated failure to compel
obedience results in the diminution of judicial power and influence all the
way down to the lower courts.
If the attack on the credibility of the Court succeeds, decisions with high
political impact or that go against the interests of influential parties could
be challenged in the streets by mobs-for-hire as they are heckled in a contrived
Court of Public Opinion.
* * *
SC SHORTCOMINGS: The Supreme Court is partly to blame for its vulnerability.
For instance, its flip-flopping
on high-profile cases raises
the question of what it takes —
aside from invoking the law —
to win a case or reverse a
decision that has long become
final and executory.
It is unfair to the institution or
to its majority, but the unsavory
reputation of a few of its members
stain the collective image of the
The Supreme Court must be saved
— from itself and from its unreasonable
detractors — and strengthened as an
To allow the psychological collapse
of this third leg of government would be
the country. Who will move
to save it as an institution?
x x x."