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.”