Monthly Archives: December 2006

Legal Basis

After the “chamber session” yesterday, our group’s discussion turned to politics.

Somebody suggested that with the travesty of recent events (the attempt of the House of Representatives to change the constitution on its own) will give the military an opportunity to intervene.

But let me go beyond that. I say they may have the legal basis (or even further, the duty) to intervene in this situation.

The basis it the military’s sworn duty is Section 5, Article 16 of the 1987 Constitution that states:

All members of the armed forces shall take an oath or affirmation to uphold and defend this Constitution.

When this Constitution is under attack (by illegal means), the military is therefore duty-bound to defend it.

Something to think about over the week….


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Perfect Timing

Don’t you think the timing of the constituent assembly move of congress is a little too perfect?

Think about it. This move had military precision. Just in time when an anti-charter change chief justice retired and a pro-charter change new chief justice is sworn in.

But in the end, all these people need is time to get the job done. And this exactly what they have.

Now, it’s 7-7 (anti-charter change Justices Carpio, Ynares-Santiago, Austria-Martinez, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio-Morales, Callejo, Sr. and Azcuna; pro-charter change Justices [now Chief Justice] Puno, Quisumbing, Corona, Tinga, Chico-Nazario, Garcia and Velasco, Jr.).

This is very significant. There would be a deadlock whether to issue a temporary restraining order on the charter change train. And the oppositors would therefore probably fail to get one. This crucial lack of injunction is probably all the time these people need to propose and approve the amendment(s) and get it out to the people on a plebicite.

I know the rules state:

SEC. 7. Procedure if opinion is equally divided.—Where the court en banc is equally divided in opinion, or the necessary majority cannot be had, the case shall again be deliberated on, and if after such deliberation no decision is reached, the original action commenced in the court shall be dismissed; in appealed cases, the judgment or order appealed from shall stand affirmed; and on all incidental matters, the petition or motion shall be denied. (Section 7, Rule 56, 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure)

But by then, the principle of Salus Populi est Supreme Lex would have set in, assuming the people vote in favor of charter change, of course.

So it’s really up to the people to decide whether they would let this travesty pass… Pardon me but at this point, given the electoral system, it may really pass.

Then a future appointment of a certified pro-charter change new justice would seal the deal…

They knew what they were doing. They were geniuses in a twisted way.

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