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MENDIOLA, Reyzen Paul Unite

1G

I dissent. I disagree how things turned out to be. I don’t like how a person’s
accusers became the judges of her cause, ultimately leading the disgraced Chief
Justice to her doom, her ouster in this case. The fact that the very bastions of hope and
justice became corrupted with hate, greed, and malfeasance all for their own interest is
a sign of a bad omen, a sign for things that are yet to come.
Like most states, the Philippines have this supreme law called the Constitution.
Being positioned at the top of the hierarchy of laws, it is the source of all other laws in
the Philippines. It granted the legislature the power to enact laws, the executive the
power to enforce it, and the judiciary the power to interpret it. The constitution is so
powerful that if a law, or even just a provision of the law, goes against it, the Court can
just pronounce it unconstitutional thereby invalidating it even if all of legislature and the
President voted in its favor and they cannot go against this decision. 1
Going into the main issue, the Constitution expressly stated that the President,
the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the
Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman can only be removed from office by
impeachment.2 A long, tedious, and difficult process that is. Now, because it is in the
Constitution, regular laws cannot go against it, right?
A quo warranto is a type of attack against a public official. 3 It was born from a
regular law. And being created by a regular law, it must follow the deeper law of the
Constitution. This is one of the very basic, most fundamental legal principle drilled into
the heads of every lawyer since the beginning of law school. In fact, this is even how the
jurisprudences interpreted the provisions of law or Constitution.
What’s more interesting is that a petition for quo warranto actually comes from
the Rules of Court. Rules are even lower than those of laws. If it goes against a law,
then that rule is invalidated. The hierarchy of laws goes like this: The Constitution at the
top, statutes in the middle, and rules at the bottom.

1
scheme_milk (2018, May 11). Explain like I’m 5, why is the ousting of CJ Sereno a bad thing? Retrieved from
https://www.reddit.com/r/Philippines/comments/8illj9/explain_like_im_5_why_is_the_ousting_of_cj_sereno/

2
1987 Constitution. Article XI, section 2. The President, the Vice- President, the Members of the Supreme Court,
the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office, on
impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption,
other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office
as provided by law, but not by impeachment.

3
Rules of Court. Rule 66, section 1. Action by Government against individuals. – An action for the usurpation of
public office, position or franchise may be commenced by a verified petition brought in the name of the Republic
of the Philippines against: (a) A person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office,
position or franchise; (b) A public officer who does or suffers an act which, by the provision of law, constitutes a
ground for the forfeiture of his office; (c) An association which acts as a corporation within the Philippines without
being legally incorporated or without lawful authority so to act.
The Court’s decision allowing a quo warranto against the Chief Justice means
that the very branch tasked to uphold the Constitution and maintain the balance
between the three branches of the government allowed a very low form of law to go
against the Constitution. Obviously, this is a blatant violation of a clear constitutional
provision. The court has let itself be influenced by another branch. Of course, this opens
the floodgates to more constitutional violations. This action represents a new but
disturbing precedents.