By: Elena Grace Flores
SC Abuse of Power
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno used her power in the Supreme Court by delivering a litany to City Mayor Junjun Binay’s lawyers during their second oral argument that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales’ suspension order on the Makati mayor is unconstitutional based on the Doctrine of Condonation.
Doctrine of Condonation in Question
The condonation doctrine was first introduced by the Supreme Court itself into our jurisprudence in the case of then Mayor Arturo Pascual vs. The Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija, G.R. L-11959, in 1959. It stated that a reelected public official cannot be removed from his position for an administrative misconduct committed during his prior term because his reelection assumes the people’s forgiveness or perhaps unbelief on the allegations as per the case of Mayor Binay.
The Student vs. the Professor
Sereno losts her composure when she desperately argued with Binay’s lawyer Sandra Marie Olaso-Coronel, who was her former law student with the probable implications that the doctrine of condonation does not exclude the mayor’s case even if the allegations of corruption have not been proven yet – since they occurred during his previous term.
Sereno has no Right
Sereno did not have the right to scold Coronel because she did not author the doctrine. She should just campaign its revision if she thinks that it’s not favorable to the SC at this time unlike when it was first used.
Senator Santiago’s Take
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has all the rights to pass Senate bill 2716 to counteract the Doctrine of Condonation but she is surely disrespectful to the authors of this manifest when she criticized it. At this time of writing, the status of this bill is still “pending” thus cannot be used on the judgement of Mayor Binay’s case.
Senate Bill 2716
Senate bill 2716 amends the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act to make an elected official liable for any wrongdoing committed during a previous term even if he or she was reelected. This is not yet voted for.
This is a big test if our justice system under Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno if it will diligently follow our constitution – or will do otherwise to serve their own beliefs and interests!
Image Source: Inquirer.net