Constitutional and moral meltdown, what next?

49

Nine justices vs the Constitution
I was with Christian and Muslim leaders of the National Transformation Council in Mindanao on Tuesday when nine of the 15 Justices of the Supreme Court voted to reverse the ruling of the Commission on Elections En Banc disqualifying Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares as a presidential candidate and cancelling her Certificate of Candidacy, for misrepresenting herself as a natural-born citizen and a resident of the country for 10 years and 11 months (counted backwards from the day before the May 9 election).  This has electrified the Llamanzares camp, but it may have destabilized and endangered the peace of the nation.

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The Court spokesman announced the nine to six voting, without revealing its constitutional basis. So the nation does not know how the Justices arrived at their decision, and the original petitioners before the Comelec, like myself, have nothing upon which to base their Motion for Reconsideration, should they feel like filing one. Should they simply assume that the Justices had been bought, as reported, and would remain bought, and that it would be pointless to file an MR?

Only the problematic Comelec chair Andres Bautista was quick to declare that he would respect the vote of the nine, even without reading the text of the majority  ruling or waiting for the seven-man Comelec en banc to decide what to do under the circumstances.

Total breakdown

A bosom friend of mine who shares my position on the case to the last detail texted me to say “condolences” as soon as he heard of the voting. He said he was saddened more for the nation than for myself or any of the petitioners. That was exactly what I also felt.  It is a complete breakdown of the constitutional and moral order.

Although I was convinced I was right that no power on earth could declare a foundling of no known parentage a natural-born Filipino and therefore qualified to run for President, I was nevertheless prepared to be proved wrong. But  nothing ever prepared me to lose the case  simply because of the suggestion, unproved but hardly  disproved either,  that the Justices had been coerced and bought to subvert and wage treason on the Constitution.
As one of the four original  petitioners,(the others being Estrella Elamparo, Antonio Contreras and Amado Valdez,) I have been asked by the media to react to the decision of the nine. I have also begun getting abusive mail from ignorant and uncouth partisans who seem to believe that the destruction of the Constitution by the nine Justices is a triumph for Mrs. Llamanzares and her political bosses and financiers.  It is nobody’s triumph, but a defeat for everyone. The Constitution is now an absolute wreck, and I cannot see where on earth she gets the nerve to still want to become the President.

No interviews

Since Tuesday, I have been getting all sorts of requests for media interviews. But  I have avoided doing so, for at least three reasons.  First, I was  out of Manila when the story broke; second, I have not read the ruling nor sat down with my lawyer, Atty. Manuelito Luna, to discuss the next step to take; and third, the vote of the nine is now a matter of extreme concern to the National Transformation Council, to which I belong, and I wanted the  NTC moral and political leadership to take a position on it before I issue any statement.

The moral and political leaders of the NTC met  in Butuan on Monday and Tuesday, and then in Cebu yesterday, and  decided to issue a formal statement on the national situation after Easter. But I can now make a preliminary response to what happened.

As I reported in my column on Wednesday, I nearly bumped into Mrs. Llamanzares at the Butuan airport on Monday morning, and at  Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos’ residence later that day. She flew out on her private plane before sundown, but left  her local campaigners behind.  Some informants noticed that as early as then, they were already talking of her SC “victory” the next day.  This became clearer on Tuesday when she held a rally at Liwasang Bonifacio, a short distance from the Supreme Court, ready to receive the news of her “victory.”

Lobbying the Justices

A few days before that, SC sources leaked reports to The Manila Times that Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo had been assigned to draft the ponencia, permanently disqualifying Llamanzares. Court sources at the time counted at least 10 Justices in support of disqualification, but the Times leak succeeded in merely provoking the anti-Mar Roxas wing of Malacañang to intensify its efforts to work on the Justices, in collaboration with the well-advertised corporate executive who has been reputedly bankrolling the candidate’s campaign from Day One.

Apparently alarmed by the leak about its effort to procure support for Mrs. Llamanzares among the Justices, the anti-Roxas wing of Malacañang planted an absurd story, also in the Times, that some people were also trying to buy some Justices in order to “disqualify” Mrs. Llamanzares.  They tried to make a big production of this patently bogus story by having the Malacañang spokesman Sonny Coloma issue a statement strongly condemning the “irresponsible statement.”  This failed to dispel persistent talk within and outside the premises of the Court of the intense lobbying among the Justices.

Early Tuesday, it was initially reported that the Justices were having a hard time deciding, and might have to meet in a special session the next day. But by mid-afternoon, the Court spokesman announced the result of the voting without releasing the summary of any agreed text.

What the nation knows

So we do not know how Mrs. Llamanzares became a natural-born citizen, and a resident of the country for at least ten years immediately preceding the May 9 elections. The Constitution is clear, and the facts of the case are undisputed——she is not a natural-born citizen, as required by the Constitution, and from her own sworn statements, her total continuous residence in the country is less than 10 years, far short of the 10 years and 11 months she claims in her COC.

This is what the nation knows, and the nine Justices have offered nothing to show that it has erred in its knowledge.  Thus many tend to believe, even without irresistible proof, that the votes in her favor have been bought.

Grand design

Many were quick to conclude that the decision to make her a bona fide presidential candidate despite her constitutional disabilities is but the execution of a grand  design that may have been crafted even before she entered the Senate in 2013. Making this former American citizen “the next President of the Philippines” appears to be a longterm project conceived and worked on by Malacañang, big business and some external forces. It is now about to be accomplished, thanks to the unrestrained  activism of the nine Justices.

Not a valid vote

We in the NTC doubt that the votes of the nine Justices can be taken as a valid and legitimate decision of the Supreme Court. For us they represent a total betrayal and breakdown of our constitutional, political and moral order.  By their votes, the nine Justices made themselves  unelected, unaccountable,  adventurous and arrogant legislators who usurped a power they did not have, but from which there is no appeal to a higher court, to rewrite the letter and spirit of the Constitution, the law and jurisprudence.

This is raw power without authority, a prerogative exercised by despots throughout the ages. It makes the nine Justices the most dangerous men and women in our midst.  Not even the despotic Aquino, who is part of this abomination, could be any more dangerous.

For his crimes against the Constitution and the law remain repugnant and punishable crimes, but they never mature into law or jurisprudence, clothed with unimpeachability and permanence, which is what happens even to the most outrageous rulings of our highest Court.

The decision of the nine cannot bind and should not bind anyone, least of all the entire citizenry.  For it lacks justice, and justice alone, not any majority vote by men and women acting in direct opposition to the Constitution, can make any law binding, whether in a democracy or in an autocracy.  An unjust law, which is what the nine Justices now seek to create, cannot bind in either jurisdiction. Their votes must be rejected by our sovereign people, who alone have the authority to change or revise the Constitution.

All are impeachable

The nine Justices have made themselves, each one of them, clearly and inexorably impeachable. They should be impeached and removed as soon as the constitutional order is restored and returns  to normalcy. For now, our people must reject the lawlessness imposed by their decision, and deal with its authors promptly and adequately.

fstatad@gmail.com

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49 Comments

  1. robert evora on

    i salute you, sir kit tatad..ganito na talaga kabulok ang sistema ng ating gobyerno…we need a true leader to stand up against the aquino robots in the supreme court…nakakahiya ang ginawa nitong 9 nine PROSTITUTE JUSTICES OF yTHE SUPREME COURT…i salute you again, sir tatad, i and my family are behind your advocacy…kudos!!!

  2. “Qui desiderat pacem praparat bellum.” He who desires peace should prepare for war. The only plausible outcome of this is violence or war, in the days to come. People who are doing these lacks vision to see the chain of events and people’s reaction to their folly.

  3. So this is the day we start the new Government – without benigno. Will that National Transformation Council stand up, please! Stop doing the rounds going over the provinces – do something concrete: 1) Get the patriotic Filipinos, NPA and MILF led by Digong to do a surgical operation on all the corrupt justices, bureaucrats, drug lords, smugglers and jueteng lords; 2) put a newspaper ad for the people to nominate the members of the propose civic-military-religious junta to run the government in 60 days within which they will select the 60 constitutional delegates who will draw a new constitution; 3) put a draft constitution in two newspapers of general circulation and invite the public to send their inputs thereto; and 4) select the members of the junta within 15 days hereafter.

  4. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    11 March 2016

    Close observers of the disqualification case against presidential candidate GRACE POE LLAMANZARES must be dumbfounded by this close 9-6 ruling of the Supreme Court allowing her to run, obviously without legal or sensible basis, and thus committing an “act of grave abuse of discretion” or “legislating from the bench!”

    Arrogantly the SC substituted its own baseless judgment for that of the COMELEC, the constitutional body which is charged with responsibility and given the requisite authority–by the Constitution–to vet all candidates for public office, which ruled, after careful and due deliberation, to disqualify her on two grounds: 1] she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen, and 2] she is not in compliance with the 10-year residency requirement [although she feloniously tried to falsify her COC to make it appear that she is].

    In effect, this despotic and baseless ruling of the Supreme Court has effectively rendered the COMELEC inutile, as far as vetting candidates for public office is concerned. The Constitution now needs to be amended to transfer that function or responsibility to the Supreme Court,and simply limit the function of the COMELEC to conducting elections.

    One final crucial point: If there is solid or incontrovertible evidence that each of those 9 Supreme Court justices were bribed in the amount of P50 million each, then all nine of them should be subject to impeachment proceedings posthaste.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  5. The 9 Justices should immediately prepare their ponencia. The dissenting opinion is as simple as the Constitution provides. What do they have in mind are hundreds of million reasons.

  6. What you should do Mr. Tatad (Spokesman of Marcos’ Martial Law) is First, return to Manila so that you’ll see how the overwhelming Manileños welcome the SC decision on Sen. Poe. Second, fire your lawyer, Atty. Manuelito Luna, he doesn’t look one anyway, and Third, the vote of the nine forms part of the laws of the land. Be a good sport, get over it, move on, and get a life, man!

  7. Dave Quevedo on

    S’Tatad, well it just showed that the student council government that we have is indeed a organized crime syndicate after all.

  8. This is the heart & soul of the SC decision on Poe: BINASURA ng SC ang pagiging Pilipino. The best way to show our outrage for the circumvention and disrespect of our Constitution is to vote #RoxasRobredo, the ONLY candidates who respect the rule of law.

  9. The nine justices will carry forever the stain and tarnish of their trashing of the Constitution. Let their faces be shown everywhere so people will not forget their subversion of this document – a reflection of the people’s will.

    Lord Acton said: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. These justices are not elected legislators, but political appointees. They are not accountable to anyone and so they abuse their position by ruling extra-judicially, not to mention slanting a decision in exchange for financial consideration. I agree that that A Motion for Reconsideration should be filed by the petitioners as soon as the decision and various opinions have been released. Immediately after, concerned citizens should prepare for impeachment. It may take a long long time to go through impeachment, but it must be done, or democracy and the system of checks and balances will never be restored. Bang your drum loudly, Mr. Tatad. Many people will march behind you and watch your back.

    Mr. Homobono Adaza is perhaps correct, after all. A revolution is warranted or this country controlled by oligarchs will never change. The status quo needs and should get an enema.

    Mayor Duterte is the only candidate who says he disagrees with the decision. For this alone, he is worth a second look. What say you Miriam, Jejomar, and Mar?

  10. from day 1 of noykapon admin,
    constitutional and moral meltdown started.
    constitution is now regarded as just a piece of literary work,
    which could be bought and displayed as adornment in walls;
    meanwhile, the sc has been privatized and controlled
    by big corporate business;
    ph a failed state.

  11. I believe you are not a lawyer and these 9 justices are renowned lawyers. They have the responsibility to interpret the constitution. The question is , how can you and me say that there is a constitutional meltdown ? My teacher always ask this question, define constitutional meltdown. If you cannot define these term, you should not be using these term and my teacher will give you a failing mark.

  12. I agree with you Mr. Senator. I feel that she is a divisive candidate that has divided the nation even before she can be president (I hope she won’t). If she truly loves this country (love is her slogan) she can make that ultimate sacrifice of backing out of the race. Whether she will do that or not though – the justices should have their day in the ultimate court of the people for what they have done to our constitution.

    • How can you say she is divisive when she has not attack anyone personally. She is leading in every poll surveys and how can she be called divisive is beyond my comprehension.

  13. Sir,

    “When the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them.
    — Justice Jose P. Laurel[1]

    The role of the Constitution cannot be overlooked. It is through the Constitution that the fundamental powers of government are established, limited and defined, and by which these powers are distributed among the several departments.[2] The Constitution is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to which all persons, including the highest officials of the land, must defer.[3] Constitutional doctrines must remain steadfast no matter what may be the tides of time. It cannot be simply made to sway and accommodate the call of situations and much more tailor itself to the whims and caprices of government and the people who run it.[4]…”
    click:
    http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2010/december2010/192935.htm#_ftnref109

    On grace poe case.

    GracePoe IN …Our Constitution ratified by Sovereign Filipino People…Foundling!

  14. another sad day for our PHILIPPINES! lets see what the 9 justices will say, really very sad!

  15. Impeach the 9 justices for bastardizing the CONSTITUTION. QUALIFICATION is a standard set for anybody to meet and satisfy its requirement. The 9 justices read the constitution beyond what is written and made a lot of presumption and implication. if the constitution is wanting , let that wanting be addressed by corrective measures through legislation by congress. The 9 justices usurped the function of congress . Betrayal of public Trust among the 9 so called learned of prevarication of the constitution.

  16. I am also very curious to read the bases of the nine justices of the Supreme Court how they arrived to the decision of upholding the candidacy of Ms. Grace Poe. The Constitution requires that all court decision shall be backed up,as part of the documents, the explanation on how such decision was arrived at.

  17. We have 2 months left before election .
    The True Opposition parties should start talking and set aside their difference if they really want to save this country from manipulators of power.

    Binay and Duterte should find a common ground to work together Now . A coalition of this 2 parties who both have a serious support from people who really want Change and Solve the country’s problem can be a stronghold to protect the Constitution of our country and preserve democracy.
    They need each other and we need them both to unite the country!

  18. Constitutional and moral meltdown that is your opinion Mr. Tatad….
    what next?…..

    Honorable and senator Grace Poe will become our commander in chief IN MAY 10,2016 ,she will make our nation progressive and peaceful . The corruption will be solve and no one will be left behind .She will give us gobyernong may puso at talino…May parating na magagandang umaga sa PAMUMUNO ni GRACE POE .

    • Sir, the sinister part about your piece is that it lays the foundation for the citizenship issue to hound Poe throughout her presidency IF elected, hanging over her head like Damocles’ sword. To people who still think Poe is a good candidate: WAKE UP! The SC decision shows how and why she is SO EASY TO CONTROL AND MANIPULATE by vested interests. She is merely their puppet. #PuppetPoe

  19. Let us all move on ..respect the supreme courts decision …the 9 justices votes shown that our country Philippines has a strong democracy .We salute to all 9 honorable justices .

    Let us all vote for the untainted ,sincere ,smart, brave and compassionate candidate senator Grace Poe in may 2016 presidential election.

    • Agree. The people who are against Grace are suffering from lack of LOVE. Definitely they have interest to protect.

  20. We are thankful/grateful to all 9 SUPREME COURTS members who voted
    for grace Poe to run as president in may 2016 election ..MABUHAY POE SA
    9 NA JUSTICES …MAY YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES BE BLESS THIS YEAR AND SO
    ON.

    I agree
    Natalia Salvacion

    It is really awakening to the Filipinos, because Senator Grace POE is
    our future great leader! Because a great leader must lead by example.
    By walking her talk, she becomes a person others want to follow. When
    she say one thing, but do another, they erode trust, a critical element
    of productive leadership! Vote for Senator POE this election.
    ‪#‎POE2016‬

    senator grace deserves every bit of succes na tinatamasa nya ngayon!
    well grounded humble and genuinely kind. the supreme court did a great
    job siding her. hoping for the best madame president!

    • laguatanlawfirm on

      All your opinions are nothing but bullshit. I do not submit to your idiotic opinion, what I need is someone who is brainy and erudite.

  21. The Constitution is dead. Unrestrained naked force reigns supreme. And now, we are in for a time of troubles.
    The Constitution has now been relegated to the status of ‘toilet paper’ by nine treasonous justices who breached the public trust. By destroying the document that is the basis of their exalted positions, these magistrates may have sown the seeds for a jacobin response that will justify their own execution for treason.
    With naked force ruling the day, what would prevent the holders of organized force in the Philippine Polity from taking power for themselves. It was only the Constituion that was keeping the lid on latent military resentment and keeping them respectful of the supremacy of civilian rule over the military. Now that the Consitution has been torn to shreds it is open season for almost anything. After a jacobin response and a consequent thermidorian reaction, we may see a FIlipino Napoleon rising to power amidst the anarchiy that the absence of Constitutional Rule brings.
    In this context the coming elections has been relegated to inconsequnce. Grace Poe’s overweening ambitions and the manipulative actions of putative plutocrats may be the straw that breaks the camels back of the proto-democratic instituions of the Philippines.
    As for these nine treasonous magistrates the grace of mercy and forgiveness in the phrase “forgive them Father for they know not what they are doing” cannot apply at all. For they knew exactly what they were doing and forgiveness for them is totally out of the question.
    May God have mercy on their souls.

  22. Move on Mr. Tatad . Voters can now choice what they have decided to be the voice of God on May 2016. The SC court decision is final and because you are an intelligent man you know that filing a TRO or impeaching the nine justices is next to impossible.Stop bellyaching and start campaigning to your chosen candidate , this time the electors might believe you. If its Binay you want ,so be it, but please do not admonish us whom to vote according to your moral standard.

    • i do think tatad is asking you to vote for, you said, binay. what is pointing at is that there seems to be no decision that the sc can show to support their stand that llamanzares is eligible to run. in effect the sc is saying that llamanzares is natural born filipino and has the required number of years residing in the country, which tatad and others have questioned before the comelec which gave due course to their complaint. have you ever encountered the sc issuing a verdict without the necessary document called ponencia to prove their vote???

  23. As OFW I can only blog against the immorality of 9 SC justices. I know that 75% of common citizens hates G. Poequino. But just like me are poor and busy scrapping food for children’s mouth. I wish moneyed lawyers of IBP shall lead in denouncing SC immorality. Assisted by law students marching on the streets. What is the use of studying law if it can easily be desecrated by 9 bribed SC justices. Citizens will follow the lawyers lead.

    • I am hoping that there will be CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, since our Constitution is already DEAD.

  24. What next? Form and organize the Association of Perennial Sore Losers with you as President. I hope the Decision also mentions as to who shall bear the cost- usually the losers. That will teach you a lesson about filing “pa-epal” costly cases. You got away with RH and you should pay this time.

    • You’re right!

      The loosers will pay the price of this legal battle

      Unfortunately, it was the Filipino people who lost in this battle.

      Therefore, the 90M Filipinos will surely pay the price in the next 6 years if Poe can successfully cheat in our election

  25. Nine (9) is more than six (6) – half time score. This election will validate by our law abiding people the final count. This time your one (1) vote is as good of a score as mine,.
    that includes the fifteen (15) justices. My choice – win or lose, I am coming home to congratulate the winners.

    • That’s a bullock! I am sure they have record of the deliberation to justify that GP is qualified to run and reverse the Comelec decision . Why not impeach the ones that did not vote for a change. Let’s not forget that GP is consistently leading the polls. Let’s listen to majority of the Filipinos. Who does Kit Tatad is supporting is my question.

  26. This is a crucial time for all lawyers, legal experts, justices and concerned citizens should come together as one and initiate the move for the process of impeachment of those dissenting justices who clearly violated the provisions of the Constitution. If we allow this kind of bastardization of our Constitution which is supreme over the supreme court, then what framework do we have left as a nation to stand on?

    • Civil disobedience!

      What kind of law should we follow anyway?

      And this is very unfair to law-abiding citizens!

  27. adonis b. rocha on

    Yes Kit, you are right on the dot. There is no more law in the country, everything is for sale. Any law abiding and country loving citizen muts now unleash the might of our sovereign right by campaigning against this super egoistic Grace Llamanzares and derail her over weening ambition to hold rein in Malancang. Let us trample the greed of her oligarch backers and this Abnoy and mpany. No one, will disagree to grant a Filipino citizenship to all foundlings found in the Philippines, but not to accord upon anyone of them a natural born status.

    A NO VOTE for this certified liar, selfish and disloyal novato named Grace Llamanzares come May 9, 2016 is a TOTAL VICTORY FOR THE FILIPINOS.

    The next administration be it Roxas, Duterte, or Miriam along with Congress and Senate must correct this disrespect of our constitution and law by taking up with dispacth the IMPEACHMENT complaints that all well meaning Pinoys will file in due course.

    This is a war between Good and evil. Let us rather err on the side of Good than evil.

  28. Felix Sevidad on

    Now that our Constitution has been raped and trampled by these nine justices, what’s next? I guess it’ll be Andres Bautista’s move to secure GP victory by his Hukos Picos machine.I don’t believe by their gimmick, that they really wanted GP out of the race, it was only a ploy to make it appear that they will not favor someone.
    I hope these nine justices will regret in what they did to our Constitution,
    These rapist did not raped our Constitution alone but the whole nation
    Including themselves and their families. I just hope that this, will not lead into lawlessness. What we need to do right now is to be vigilant.

    • Sour gripes!! Do you really believe that all nine justices do not use their mind when they voted to qualify GP to run for President. As far I am concerned the nine justices have the guts and moral values to consider GP to run for President for the sake of the whole nation. That’s the reason why GP is ahead on every poll surveys. Many Filipinos wanted her to become the President. She has vindicated the defeat of her father. She will further extend her lead from other candidates. This is simple and easy to comprehend… Grace Poe will be our next President. For sure she will continue what PNOY has started. That’s the deal and I have nothing against it since I am one of the millions of OFWs who wanted her to win as President. Do you have a problem with that??
      Constitution can be amended to become simple and smart.

  29. They should be impeached and removed as soon as the constitutional order is restored
    ————————————–

    When is that going to happen ?
    If i had to guess i would say never, the people lack the will to care, the people are easily duped by everyone after being shut out from real information for so long. The dynasty families control everything in the Philippines, They control the government, the courts, the law enforcement Dept’s, Most of the media via television and radio stations and the major businesses.

    The Philippines is a huge criminal organization that cater to the rich, they own everything including the people apparently.

  30. It would be morally wrong for the citizenry to reject this well thought of recommendation by former Sen. F.S. Tatad.

    “The nine Justices have made themselves, each one of them, clearly and inexorably impeachable. They should be impeached and removed as soon as the constitutional order is restored and returns to normalcy. For now, our people must reject the lawlessness imposed by their decision, and deal with its authors promptly and adequately.”

    The nine Justices, by their treason against the Constitution and the nation, have put themselves squarely in front of a firing squad. It is very right to expect that no one who upholds and loves our Constitution should be minded to follow their prejudiced decision favoring the “Manchurian candidate.’

    • Wow. Wala na ba kayong alam kundi “impeach” pag talo ang manok!!
      I truly believe that the 9 justices have done their work with their heart and conscience.