THE issue of the Supreme Court’s decision to remove Maria Lourdes Sereno as its Chief Justice for not being qualified to the post has again revealed—to a nauseating level—the Yellow Cultists’ penchant for emotionalism as well as their shameless hypocrisy.
One of their shriller shrieks for attention lately involves a slogan that Sereno’s ouster means the “Death of Democracy.” But what has really died is reason in their silly little minds.
How can Sereno’s ouster be the death of democracy, when every single step of the required democratic, republican process was undertaken: the Solicitor General’s filing of the quo warranto case at the Supreme Court; the submission of arguments and counter-arguments to the high court; Sereno’s “day in court” when she even stupidly quarreled with her judges; the voting by the 14 justices on the issue.
Has there been one justice who claims that he was warned that his life was threatened or would become difficult if he did not vote to oust Sereno, in the same manner that Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo was hounded by Aquino minions with charges of plagiarism as a threat—a failed one—to the court to cooperate with its project to take out Chief Justice Renato Corona then?
For the Yellows, democracy is alive when they get what they want. It is dead when their plots are blocked or its high priests (or priestesses) are ousted.
Degradation of democracy
The death or more precisely, the degradation of democracy, is when a democratic institution such as the Senate impeachment court was bribed with hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money—in the form not only of the traditional pork barrel funds but a new one that they invented for the purpose, called the Disbursement Acceleration Program financing—to remove Chief Justice Corona, just because he was appointed to the post by President Arroyo.
Not only were they bribed, the President himself personally asked a few of them, according to Sen. Bong Revilla, to vote against Corona, with his sidekick Mar Roxas even driving him to Malacañang for that meeting.
I have written several columns on this and to this day, the claim that Aquino bribed the senators has not been questioned at all.
The degradation of democracy occurred when a democratic institution like the media, particularly its biggest outfits like the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the ABS-CBN network, were mobilized to demonize the Chief Justice in 2012. This was the smokescreen to hide the fact that the senator-judges would decide not on the arguments and facts presented in the trial but on the hundreds of millions of pesos in pork-barrel and DAP funds given to them right before, during, and after the trial.
Do you remember that on the day the impeachment trial started, the Philippine Daily Inquirer had a screaming banner headline for a totally fallacious article claiming that Corona cheated to get his Ph.D. from the University of Santo Tomas written by the editor-at-large of the internet-only website Rappler, which started its operations in 2012, as the social-media arm of the propaganda machine to take out Corona? Do you remember the headlines on Corona’s alleged hidden properties, even one in California, which turned out be owned by a rich Fil-Am surgeon his daughter stayed with to save on expenses while studying there?
I can go on and on to detail how in 2012, democracy was degraded by the Yellow Cult.
Classic pieces of emotionalism
Read the columns defending Sereno—ranging from that of a UP academic at a broadsheet who I bet has also not been filing his SALNs, to manifestos—and they are classic pieces of emotionalism, the type of arguments you’ll get from somebody who screams and jumps up and down when he or she cannot defend his or her stance.
They claim that only Congress has the power to remove Sereno when the Constitution uses the verb “may” for its authority to impeach, without qualifying that authority as the only means of removing an impeachable official.
We can argue until kingdom come that this or that is constitutional or not. Guess what? The republican system has provided for a body to rule rationally what is constitutional or not: The Supreme Court, whose main job in fact it is to do so.
Has anyone claimed that a Supreme Court justice who voted to oust Sereno was bribed by President Duterte or was asked by him to do so, in the way Aquino did to remove Corona in 2012?
But it has not really been part of the Yellow mentality to respect institutions. It was astonishing that even the Yellow spokesman of the Supreme Court, Theodore Te, did not grasp this essence of democracy— our bowing down to majority rule—when he posted in his Facebook page, right after he announced the Supreme Court decision on Sereno, as if he were a justice: “I dissent.”
He even justified his post: “Because even mouthpieces enjoy freedom of expression and this is personal opinion on my personal FB page.” That of course is so wrong: he should resign first as the court’s mouthpiece, if he wants his mouth to be heard instead, which nobody would listen to if he were not the court’s spokesman. (Perhaps after remembering that he is a lawyer, Te took down his post, although screenshots of it had been circulated in social media.)
Melodramatic but ignorant
One of the most melodramatic but totally ignorant defense of Sereno was by a columnist in the Inquirer: “It is a final blow not only against Sereno, but against all judicial decency, or what remains of it, in an institution whose authority rests completely on its being able to command the public’s awe and respect.”
If this columnist, who is married to Yellow stalwart Mar Roxas’ cousin, just bothered to do some reporting, he will find that Sereno’s ouster has been wildly applauded in the judiciary—which has been privy since 2010 of that lady’s arrogance, profligacy, and incompetence—as the reclaiming of decency in the judicial branch of government, and the restoration of their faith in the Supreme Court.
So ignorant indeed: The authority of the Supreme Court does not rest “completely on its being able to command the public’s awe and respect.” The public’s awe and respect is an ideal. But its authority completely rests on what Justice Marivic Leonen probably would say is just a piece of paper: the Constitution.
Democracy really isn’t just an institution intended solely to block one-man rule. It is civilization’s invention to rein in emotionalism and the irrational in human beings. But together with hypocrisy, those deleterious traits define the Yellow mentality.