Tuesday 19 June, 2018
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Leonen’s 6 terrible effects of SC decision to uphold quo warranto case: No. 1 is giving SolGen Calida more steroids

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Associate Justice Marvic Leonen described as a “legal abomination” the Supreme Court’s 8-6 decision upholding the quo warranto case against former Chief Justice.

In his dissenting opinion, Leonen cited six dire consequences of the SC majority’s decision to steal the power of Congress to remove an impeachable officer:

1) The Solicitor General has been granted awesome powers to determine who should sit in the High Court.

“Granting the Quo Warranto Petition as the majority proposes, is tantamount to empowering the Solicitor General, a repeat litigant representing the current political administration, far more than any other constitutional officer. The Solicitor General will be granted the competence to what amounts to a reconsideration of the determination of the Judicial and Bar Council and the President as to the qualifications of any appointed judge or justice,” said Leonen.

2) Judges can seek the removal of other judges.

“A trial court judge can now oust a colleague from another branch or another judicial region or a Court of Appeals division ousting another justice belonging to another division or working in another region. The logical consequence is to diminish the concept of professional collegiality and independence also among lower courts.”

3) SC will lose its monopoly power to discipline lower courts

“This Decision would inexorably empower appellate court judges to exercise discipline and control over lower courts through acting on Petitions for Quo Warranto against other lower court judges.”

4) Justices will be vulnerable and averse to going against the tide “There will be no security of tenure for justices of this Court who will consistently dissent against the majority.”

5) All SC Justices can be removed despite passing through a rigid selection process

“This precedent opens the way to reviewing actions of the Judicial Bar Council and the President. It is an illicit motion for reconsideration against an appointment, even long after the exercise of judicial power.”

6) Adds another layer of requirement to aspiring judges

“We have effectively included another requirement for the selection of judges and justices even though we are not constitutionally mandated to do so. Through the majority opinion, we now require the submission of all the Statements of Assets and Liabilities of a candidate.”

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