Thursday, October 26, 2006

RESTRAINED JOY

The most anticipated Supreme Court vote in years was too close to call. As we stated earlier, it was in God’s hands. In the end, the vote was 8-7 against PIG (People’s Initiative of Gloria). Although a narrow victory, the Court’s erudite decision reinforces our belief in the independence of the judiciary as an institution that can withstand pressure exerted by the two other branches of government.

The Black & White Movement lauds the Supreme Court for strengthening our faith in the rule of law by junking Sigaw ng Bayan’s petition regarding a People’s Initiative. The majority opinion confirmed our longstanding charge that the Lambino petition is a bogus people's initiative of which the people were never apprised.

Enteng Romano, B&W lead convenor was elated, saying, “We commend the Court for this momentous decision, most especially the women Justices of the Supreme Court, whose dedication to the preservation of the Court’s independence of thought and judgment led the way to agree on an informed and rightful ruling.”

B&W convenor, Atty. Edwin Lacierda says, “The people were never made to read the proposed changes to the 1987 Constitution when asked to sign the petition. The Court was right, this endeavor was never a people's initiative from the get go.”

But the war is far from won, much work is left to be done. This renewed confidence in the third bastion of government should be viewed with restrained joy, as the decision was far from unanimous.

“We should view this as a tactical victory that allows the democratic forces some breathing space to press on”, says Chito Gascon, B&W co-convenor and Managing Trustee of the National Institute of Policy Studies (NIPS). “We must keep vigilant and remember that the enemies of democracy will stop at nothing to get what they want. Even now, they plot – as long as GMA remains, our freedoms and institutions are at risk”, he cautions.

In closing, as a reminder to those who wish to continue this weird push to Cha-Cha via a Constituent Assembly, our next arena of opposition, the Black & White Movement hopes our solons heed the concluding words of Justice Antonio Carpio:

“The Constitution, as the fundamental law of the land, deserves the utmost respect and obedience of all the citizens of this nation. No one can trivialize the Constitution by cavalierly amending or revising it in blatant violation of the clearly specified modes of amendment and revision laid down in the Constitution itself.

To allow such change in the fundamental law is to set adrift the Constitution in unchartered waters, to be tossed and turned by every dominant political group of the day. If this Court allows today a cavalier change in the Constitution outside the constitutionally prescribed modes, tomorrow the new dominant political group that comes will demand its own set of changes in the same cavalier and unconstitutional fashion. A revolving-door constitution does not augur well for the rule of law in this country.”

13 comments:

schumey said...

You are so very right. At least the SC has shown this administration that the whimsical caprice of the pretender will always be subjected to what is lawful and no pressure from her will change that. JDV will be facing an uphill battle with his Con-Ass, what I'm afraid of is the NO-EL scenario.

john marzan said...

I agree, Helga. Meron pa kasing Con Ass at magre-retire si Justice Panganiban at the end of the year.

A new appointed justice that favors Arroyo's PIG or ConAss could change everything.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Hi Helga,

Congratulations! Close shave but worth all the effort...

I met Sen Madrigal here in Brussels before the SC junking of SnB petiton - she and Rep Satur Ocampo were making the rounds of the EU institutions; Sen Madrigal was not quite sure that there would be elections. Reading schumey's comment reminded me of what she said.

How could they (GMA's camp) enforce a NO-EL scenario? You mean, if they manage to have a CON-Ass? That seems to me like a suicide scenario? Don't you think? It will be pushing people to take to the streets just when election fever is starting to set in...

Just a thought.

vic said...

Congratulations for a well deserved vitory. One battle at a time. There still a big war looming, but I believe the initial victory is an indication of the outcome of the overall war.

Helga said...

Bonjour Anna!

Sen. Madrigal's fears are not without basis. Both schumey and john are correct, and I hear the scenarios could go like this - if they manage a Con-Ass, the House will adopt Pichay's resolution which allows for a postponement of elections to November to make room for a Plebiscite. But I believe that will take some time because you know how much those guys in the House love to argue amongst themselves, and the Senate is not going to acquiesce. And before a Plebiscite can happen, there will be the Supreme Court for the proponents to contend with.

Another scenario is john's - Gloria et al will wait till December, when the present CJ retires from the Court. Rumor has it, Justice Puno has earned his appointment to CJ, and Gloria will, of course, demand total loyalty and bias from him and her new appointee.

There are a third and fourth means to ensure Gloria's defense against accountability, but will keep them to myself for now. But I bet you've been thinking about those two other means for a while now. :->

Speaking of the Senators, I wonder why quite a few of them have been less than assertive regarding this matter. I think they should throw off the gloves and really weigh in. I've been told some of them believe the people would regard their enthusiasm to preserve their institution as lacking in delicadeza, but I say, damn all the pussyfooting and cuteness, our democracy is at stake!

Helga said...

Thank you, Vic! Lots of work for us weary ones, but we plod on. On another note, I heard my second home, Toronto, is already too cold for comfort. Keep warm, eh?

vic said...

Yes, helga, old man winter always visit us earlier than most, but just bundle ourselves good and we'll be ok, lest of our worry, than my other home, especially my residence at brookside when everytime there's a little rain, always a threat to turn into a 'noah's arch'..take care and keep up the good fight..

sparc said...

People's Initiative? Why is it that it seems the politicos (GMA et al) are the ones eager to have it changed? It's more of a "Deceived People" than a "People's Initiative."

Congratulations to the Citizens of the Republic for winning this round.

sparc said...

eager is such a weak word to describe it. Let me ammend it by changing "eager" with "drooling."

Just an observation your honors.

the bystander said...

your article's title is perfect. though we rejoice in this latest victory, the war is far from over. we should not let our guard down. i thank the black and white movement for continuing the fight and exposing the biggest fraud (at par with Gloria's hello garci) in our nation's history. kudos and God bless!

the bystander said...

"Speaking of the Senators, I wonder why quite a few of them have been less than assertive regarding this matter. I think they should throw off the gloves and really weigh in. I've been told some of them believe the people would regard their enthusiasm to preserve their institution as lacking in delicadeza, but I say, damn all the pussyfooting and cuteness, our democracy is at stake! -- hillblogger"

splendid observation HB! i too am wondering why the senate has not been so assertive in this regard when what is at stake is not only its existence as an institution but our democracy as well. i think our senators should take a more active role in resisting the dictator's whims and caprices.

the bystander said...

sorry, it's helga i mean..

Helga said...

Hi Bystander! Truly, we all deserve a little pat on the back - thanks to bloggers like you that take the country's crises to heart, it is the fuel many of us on the frontlines depend on to keep us fired up.

As to the senators, one of the most quiet has been Mar Roxas, as observed by Isagani Cruz, check out his column in Inquirer. With all due respect to Mar's supporters, he has kept well too far in the background, and risk aversion does not make a for a sure win. The public likes assertive, informed risk-taking.