Tijam on fears of an all-powerfull Calida : It assumes Justices are crooks, SolGen is just Duterte’s pawn to control SC
Associate Justice Noel Tijam doused fears that the Solicitor General Jose Calida has become more powerful following his victory in ousting former Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno through a quo warranto petition.
Tijam, ponente of the 8-6 majority decision on the ouster of Sereno, admitted that there was some basis to fears that the SolGen has been given a “sword” to wield over the heads of each member of Supreme Court.
“Such view, while not improbable, betrays a fallacious and cynical view of the competence and professionalism of the Solicitor General and the members. of this Court. It presupposes that members of this Court are law
offenders. It also proceeds from the premise that the Solicitor General is the Executive’s pawn in its perceived quest for a ‘more friendly’ Court,” said Tijam.
But Tijam said that while the Solicitor General has a prerogative to file a quo warranto against any magistrate, the SC still has the power to review its deployment.
“In the event that quo warranto cases
against members of the Judiciary inundate the courts’ dockets, it does not follow that the courts are powerless to shield its members against suits which are obviously lacking in merit, or those merely intended to harass the
respondent,” said Tijam.