Disclaimer: This post is not related to the elections, it is made to inform the public about the anomalies that our Judicial System is currently facing.
For those who aren’t aware, I have posted here before the case of Keppel VS Pioneer. It’s stated there that once a case was already written in the Book of Entries it should be final and executory. But unfortunately, the Supreme court re-opened the case, that is why it was being questioned by various lawyers in the country and now the senators and congressmen.
To quote here are some reactions from Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Sen. Franklin Drilon and Anakpawis Representative Rafael Mariano
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a former judge, called the decision “extremely unfortunate” that could undermine the court’s credibility.
She said that under SC rules, a party cannot file a second motion for consideration or appeal without leave from the court.
“So you file two documents. First, a motion pleading with the Court to allow for a second motion for reconsideration, then you file your second motion for reconsideration. My question is, was there an order from the Supreme Court allowing this second motion for reconsideration?” the senator said, adding the appeal was not even a pleading but a letter.
Second appeals are only allowed in case the decision was “legally erroneous,” patently unjust, or will cause irreparable damage or injury, Santiago said.
“So, the Supreme Court only has to look into its own internal rules and see if these three requirements have been complied (with),” Santiago said.
She questioned that even if the decision was issued by the wrong division, “will that technicality now suffice to overturn 13 years of legislative research and analysis on this problem?”
“I am angry because, as a citizen, I fear that the citizenry might turn its back on the Supreme Court, the bulwark of our civil liberties. If the Supreme Court loses its credibility in this instance, it will be impossible to regain it in a number of years,” she warned.
Senator Franklin Drilon, a former justice secretary, said the reversal “would appear to be not in the usual procedure.”
This is not the first time that the SC has gone back on a supposedly final decision. It previously reversed itself on the cityhood of 16 towns that were declared cities despite opposition from the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP). The LCP opposed the cityhood of the 16 towns, saying the 16 municipalities do not have large enough population or income to qualify as cities.
The SC ruled against the 16 towns in 2010, and then upheld their cityhood early this year. The LCP appealed the decision but lost.
“I am no longer surprised at the flip-flopping,” Drilon said. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile refused to join the fray as he saw the court’s move as valid and in good faith. “Being seasoned lawyers and juries, they do not just throw out a decision if there is no reason for it,” he said.
For his part, Anakpawis Representative Rafael Mariano said the SC committed severe injustice to workers due to this development.
“In the hierarchy of employees’ rights, the right to security of tenure is high, if not the highest. The paramount value of that right is recognized and guaranteed under the 1987 Constitution. The other complementary rights are meaningless to an unemployed worker,” he said.
Mariano added that the SC’s reversal of its ruling on the Fasap case completes the “triple whammy of attack” against PAL pilots, cabin crews and airport workers by various courts, the Department of Labor and Employment and Malacanang.
Some 2,600 positions of ground workers were outsourced this month after President Benigno Aquino III authorized the airline’s spinoff program.
On July 22, 2008, the SC ruled in favor of Fasap declaring as illegal the dismissal of 1,400 flight attendants in 1998.
A month later on August 20, PAL filed a motion for reconsideration but this was junked with finality in October 2, 2009.
However, on January 2, 2011, PAL filed a second motion for reconsideration, which the SC denied last September 7, saying “no further pleadings shall be entertained.”
The airline was also ordered to reinstate the affected flight attendants with full back wages.
- How SC Flip-Flopping affects the people on Cityhood Cases?
- Indecisiveness in the Supreme Court
- When The Supreme Court’s Flip-Flopping Prevent The People from Knowing the Truth
- Steel Corporation of the Philippines (SCP), placed under liquidation proceedings
- Various Top Lawyers worried about SC Flip Flopping