By ousting Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, the Supreme Court has set in motion a political crisis that may lead to extra constitutional actions if not addressed properly, a political analyst Ramon Casiple warned on Tuesday.
Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, said the high court’s ruling may pose a problem for the government in the days to come.
“This [ruling]was not acceptable to some political groups and other sectors, public opinion was clear that they do not agree with it,” Casiple said in an interview.
The ruling, he added, was similar to the incident in 1973 wherein the high court upheld the ratification of the 1973 constitution. Then President Ferdinand Marcos issued Proclamation 1102 proclaiming that the 1973 Constitution has been in effect after it was ratified by the Filipino people.
The case was brought to the SC and the tribunal ruled in favor of Marcos.
Casiple said the 1973 SC decision was one of the factors that caused widespread rebellion that eventually led to the ouster of Marcos.
“So some sectors viewed the SC ruling on Sereno’s case similar to 1973 political crisis, but this is not the type of crisis that will have immediate implications,” the political analyst explained. “But the opposition now has ammunition.”
If the opposition, he said, could somehow make the people think that there is an absence of checks and balances and rule of law, the public might be led to think that they are free to be unconstitutional.
Casiple said there is still a chance to prevent a political crisis and it is through the motion for reconsideration (MR) Sereno will be filing.
He said that even if the high tribunal said its ruling was “immediately executory,” Sereno is allowed to filed a motion for reconsideration under the rules of court.
Casiple said the SC can reverse its earlier ruling since it would only take one of the eight justices who ruled in favor of the quo warranto petition to swing the vote.
“The question is who among the eight would do it, because if they would insist on their earlier vote and disregard the motion for reconsideration, it could start a political crisis,” he added.
Casiple noted that the dissatisfaction on the SC ruling should not be ignored because it could pose a real threat especially if some sectors like the middle class, the academe and religious groups decided to get involved.
He said these institutions have certain influence in some levels of power in government including the military and police.