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Puno

Part of me cringes whenever I see Puno on TV. There is just something that rings so dissonantly when the Chief Justice says his Court did the wrong thing. Panganiban – in one of his fits of self-aggrandizement – did the same thing once before and got slammed by his peers. Will Puno merit the same response for implying that his wisdom is superior to the wisdom of 9 other Justices?

On the other hand, the decision is just so piss-poor that I can’t help cheering Puno on either, albeit quietly and mostly just to myself. Yay, Puno! But he is treading on dangerous ground. The last thing a Chief Justice wants to do is to undermine public confidence in the Court (of course, one might argue that the decision did that well enough without any help from Puno, still, if the decision were nails on the SC’s credibility’s coffin – Puno’s comments only actually delivered the coup de’ grace).

I had actually hoped that the SC’s decision would cool-off the overheated proceedings at the Senate, maybe restore some semblance of objectivity or even dignity. That would have been possible if the decision had adopted fair standards for determining whether the invocation of executive privilege is righteous or not and then trust the other branches to respect those standards and to police themselves accordingly.  At the very least, the Court should not have appointed itself arbiter on the validity of specific invocations. Executive privilege, to my mind, is a pure political question falling well outside the scope of judicial review.

And in any case, even assuming that a claim of privilege is righteous, what’s wrong with tackling such issues in executive session? Surely, the Court did not mean to say that Senators cannot be trusted to respect the confidentiality of information disclosed behind closed doors. I know I don’t trust Senators to keep mum on information that might conceivably be used for political mileage, but certainly a co-equal branch of government cannot cast such aspersions on another co-equal. To do so would be to invite anarchy.

But I’m arguing the case again, right? Oh well.

All things considered (and no matter how much I agree with Puno’s dissent) I still have to say that Puno totally should not have sounded off like that. It didn’t add to the validity of his opinion, nor did it make the majority decision any more heinous than it already is. All he did was make sure that no one would ever fully trust his Court again.

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Filed under: jurisprudence, musings, politics, , , , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. shiro says:

    i think on the noted blogger’s blog, it was called the “sore loser whiny whiny”. i agree with you luv, bad form, very bad form.

  2. Jeg says:

    I agree. His dissenting opinion speaks for itself. No need to mug for the TV cameras. He should have at least sent a spokesman or something.

    (And what’s with the ‘noted blogger’ thing? Is he Voldemort? There I said it. Voldemort. And Im still alive. Hah! Say it with me: Ma-no-lo-que-zon.)

  3. rom says:

    jeg: its a matter of style, uncle. just like me calling you uncle. 😉

  4. Jeg says:

    Which I dont mind at all and in fact I find cute. 🙂

  5. BrianB says:

    Hey, and I really thought Manolo was your uncle! Damn I’m dumb.

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