Thursday, February 4, 2016

Chief Justice Sereno’s “presumption theory” on natural-born citizenship

Legal scholars should enlighten Chief Justice Sereno that natural-born citizenship is never acquired by “presumption”, as a general rule.

On the matter of the strict and special qualifications for the position of President, the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions define who is a natural-born Filipino citizen, what “natural-born Filipino citizenship” means, how it is acquired, and how it is lost.

Chief Justice Sereno’s “presumption theory” will disturb and endanger the stability of the “stare decisis” system of Philippine Jurisprudence if her colleagues in the Supreme Court adopt her position in the final deliberations of the Court on the pending petitions of Sen. Grace Poe.

If the “exception” (presumption theory) of Chief Justice Sereno is irresponsibly applied by the Supreme Court simply to accommodate the political ambition of Sen. Poe or to succumb to the transitory political passions and spins of the times, the Court would unwittingly weaken, if not disable, the “general rule” (i.e., the express constitutional provisions of Citizenship) to shameful and demoralizing inutility and uselessness.

It would be a grossly disappointing scenario considering that what is at stake is the paramount position of the Presidency of the Republic of the Philippines for the next six (6) years.

Not only is the Supreme Court the “court of last resort”, where, at the end of the day, numbers rule in the voting. 

More importantly, the Supreme Court is the “court of ultimate hope”; it is the “court of high scholarship”; and it is the “court of impeccable idealism and reason”.

In other words, all decisions of the Supreme Court should lead us to the high grounds of reason, equity, and morality if it desires to be the “ultimate healing institution” in our broken, wounded, and abused democratic Republic.