You know what’s trippy with CJ Sereno’s ouster? It’s the fact that this is a political exercise, a flexing of political muscle by the Duterte regime against a political critic. Sereno has been an outspoken and staunch critic of Duterte’s war on drugs. This is a blatant political show of force and the fact that all branches, Executive, Legislative, Judiciary, of the government have now fallen into the hands of the Duterte’s war machine. It would have been received in a different way if not for the many blunders and double standards that this regime has held for its trolls and henchmen.
Whether or not the petition for Quo Warranto is a valid form to punish a Chief Justice remains open for academic discussion. But the fact that it was decided by a majority which has no credibility for neutrality and impartiality seriously undermines the verdict. 5 of the 8 justices were asked to inhibit from the case because of their personal prejudices against the accused but they refused. In common sense, why should you allow biased people, those who do not like you, to decide your fate? Nobody in the right mind does that.
The Chief Justice is not the Judiciary. The same way that the President is not the Executive nor the Senate President/Speaker of the House, the Legislative. But realpolitik dictates that these persons of authority and any attack against them seriously undermines the institutions they represent.
Duterte now controls the three co-equal branches of the government. As co-equals, they function as checks and balances to safeguard democracy. But in this case that Duterte’s regime has now taken control over the last bastion of political independence, then there is no stopping anymore whatever means to railroad legislation and other policies that will serve their purpose.
Who shall save us? None can save us if the good people fail to rise up. But even then, this will be a fight that will pit us against fellow Filipinos. Fanatics against fanatics trolls against trolls and it will get ugly.
It is ironic that the very democracy which we preach and love is what ultimately delivers us into the evil clutches dictatorships. The democracy of numbers can easily become the tyranny of numbers.
Banner photo from CNN Philippines