Monday, February 13, 2012

To the Senate impeachment court: Assert your constitutional power and duty.

(Facebook comment on CJ  Corona impeachment trial)

To the Senate impeachment court: Don't kowtow to the SC on matters w/in your sole jurisdiction. Assert your express and sacred constitutional power and duty:

The pro-Corona IBP board and the Manila Judges Assn (as well as Fr. Bernas and Christian Monsod) are wrong in their theory that the SC's "expanded power of judicial review" under Art. VIII of the 1987 Const. invests it w/ jurisdiction over final orders, final judgments, and interlocutory orders of the Senate impeachment court. 

It seems to be the same mentality that the pro-Corona SC justices had adopted when 8 of its members issued a TRO vs. the unraveling by the impeachment court of the US dollar account records of their boss and friend CJ Corona. 

We must realize that the power of judicial review of the SC is limited by the Const to regular or ordinary duties of co-equal branches of Govt, e.g., Exec., Legis., and Jud.. 

The impeachment court was expressly designed by the Const. to be the "sole" trier and decision-maker in impeachment cases. Its orders (final or interlocutory) and final judgments are not appealable (by ordinary appeal) to or reviewable (by certiorari) by the SC. 

There's a dearth of impeachment jurisprudence in this country because only Erap and CJ Corona have faced the impeachment court so far. 

In Erap's case, his impeachment trial was aborted by Edsa II (people power + "constructive resignation"), which had brought Gloria Arroyo to power for 9 notorious, bloody and sorrowful years. 

In CJ Corona's case, the impeachment court is insecure as to its real authority due to lack of local impeachment precedents. 

But it may use US, UK and Latin American impeachment jurisprudence to educate itself and to re-affirm and assert its true jurisdiction. The Senate impeachment court has many inhouse lawyers who can do the necessary research along this line. 

The members of the impeachment court must not kowtow to the SC or be beholden to the SC, whose UNELECTED 15 members were precisely deprived by Art. XI of the Const of the special power of trying and deciding impeachment cases because its framers felt that such an extraordinary mission ought to be (and wisely so) assigned to the ELECTED senators of the country acting on impeachment complaints commenced by ELECTED congressional representatives of the people.

In impeachment cases, it is the PEOPLE who initiate, commence, try, and decide thru their duly ELECTED representatives in Congress.

Let not the UNELECTED Supreme Court justices meddle in an extraordinary and historical activity that the Constitution has clearly deprived them of any power to intervene.

To the SC, I say: Stick to your constitutional boundary.

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