Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Harassment impeachment case vs. Chief Justice

Manuel Laserna Jr. with Eldrin Cruz and 35 others.
7 hrs

The impeachment complaint being planned by a private lawyer (a losing senatorial candidate) against the Chief Justice seems to me to be an act of harassment.

I smell the hands of the political operators of the Duterte camp behind this issue.

If the purchase of the new bullet-proof high-end SUV Toyota Land Cruiser had been duly approved by the Supreme Court en banc as appearing in and pursuant to its annual budget, if the transaction had undergone the regular bidding procedures as per the procurement law, and if the same had been approved by the COA auditor assigned in the Court, I do not see any constitutional, legal and factual basis to impeach the Chief Justice.

The Chief Justice is the head of a co-equal branch of the Executive and the Legislative. She is entitled to full safety and protection when she travels daily to and from the Court. She is the leader of the court of last resort of the land.

In the case of Duterte, Pimentel and Alvarez, they travel in bullet-proof SUVS, secured by many heavily armed PSG soldiers and congressional security personnel riding in high-end SUVs. Not to mention the public and private planes they use in their political and personal sorties.

As reported in the news below, the Chief Justice used to ride in a simple Hyundai Starex van and a Toyota Camry, as if she was an ordinary bureau director in the Executive Department. This is both an insult and a great security risk.

As to the attorney's fees from the international arbitration case that the Chief Justice had handled as a private lawyer while she was still connected with a big law firm, the news below misleads us by implying that the fees awarded in the arbitration case went directly to her own pockets and not to the law firm where she worked.

As to the allegation of the lawyer-complainant that the Chief Justice allegedly did not declare in her SALN her share in the fees, the facts are a matter of record and a matter of evidence. The SALNs speak for themselves.

When a partisan press conference is held way in advance of the date of the actual filing of a complaint, and the general tenor of the press conference is to prematurely discredit a respondent, you can be sure it is an unfair and dirty public relations demolition tactic. It is called "trial by publicity."

The Duterte camp should be advised that he cannot be an effective Executive if he continues to inspire his character demolition camp to threaten to impeach the Vice President, the Ombudsman and the Chief Justice --- the top three lady officials of the land who refuse to be subjugated by the Duterte Autocracy.
MANILA, Philippines - The judiciary that perennially complains of insufficient fund allocations apparently has millions to spend for a luxury car.