July 28, 2016


By Arturo P. Garcia



After four years in “hospital arrest”, the Philippine Supreme Court has freed former President Gloria M. Arroyo and had overruled the Sandiganbayan decisions for “lack of evidence.

It came for many political analyst like me as no surprise. During the campaign, now President Duterte had promised to free her. GMA even shunned Duterte’s offer to pardon her and said, ” she relies on the favorable decision of the Supreme Court.” After that, she thanked President Duterte for his efforts for her.

The Supreme Court decision was not unanimous. At best, it was 11-4 with both sides of GMA appointed justices and Aquino appointees voted for and against it.

But the questioned remain: was it a political decision and not a just one?

Former Solicitor General and lawyer for fee, Estelito Mendoza gloated on his another legal victory not answering if that SC decision was political. He just gave his opinion that “ the case was made complicated with politics.”

News reports said she vowed revenge to those who cause her for four years of detention while on trial. She did not even greeted former President Aquino III, snubbing him during the National Security Council (NSC) Meeting in Malacanang.


Everyrbody knows that seven of the justices were appointed by GMA and they have the numbers to decide for her. But even the two of the five Aquino appointed justice voted for GMA. These same justices freed Juan Ponce Enrile for “humanitarian reasons”.

Some people still looked up to the Supreme Court as the last bastion of democracy and their redress of grievances. But the sad truth and fore me, the Supreme Court has been a political tool of the ruling class and the foreign interests to impose itself and their interests for a long time

The sad experience of the 14 years of martial law eroded our faith in the Supreme Court. The Marcos Supreme Court validated all the dictator laws and was a rubber-stamp of the dictator for all of its 14 years of martial rule.

True, at times there are gems in its decisions that favors justice and truth but the fact remains it is still majority of its decision is political and only favored a selected few. “Lutong Makaw” sabi nga ng masang Pilipino at its best. Lutong Korte Suprema at its worst.

Also at times, there were “ voices in the wilderness” in the court like Justice Claudio Teehankee and Roberto Concepcion, both became Chief Justice of the PH Supreme Court They were the exceptions and were the brave and far so few in between.

Let us face the fact that the law is blind that it cannot see. It only relies on technicalities or the so-called evidences. Thus the “ lack of evidence” is a common phrase or a trash word that sums up the travesty of the law. All courts are like that in varying degrees.

Even the SCOTUS or the Supreme Court of the United States functions like that. Remember for more than 70 years they implemented the “separate but equal” penned by Justice Brown in 1896 that perpetrated segregation of Blacks and the Caucasian White. And the same SCOTUS struck it down 70 years later after the decision on Brown vs The Board of Education in the 1950’s.

As they say “ dura lex, sed lex” and yet it is in contradiction with “salus populi est suprema lex.”

There you go, laws at their best are contradictions. Lawyers and justices knows when to use them.


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