By Reynard Magtoto
NAGA CITY – With protest action in front of the Supreme Court yesterday, simultaneous indignation rally was also held in front of the Hall of Justice here to protest the May 11 decision of the majority of its magistrates to oust Ma. Lourdes Sereno as chief justice.
In a show of solidarity and indignation, lawyers and different progressive groups marched to the Supreme Court and provincial level indignation was held to oppose the continuing attacks against judicial independence and to express dissent on what they call as an evident and brazen pattern of an impending authoritarianism.
“The legal community has spoken : we express our strongest opposition against the ouster of the Chief Justice through a Quo Warranto proceeding not only because it is legally erroneous and unconstitutional, but more importantly, because it practically decapitated the judiciary and sent a chilling effect,” National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) Secretary-General Atty. Ephraim B. Cortez, said in a statement.
“Obviously, the decision has laid the predicate for authoritarianism as it completes concentration of power in the Executive. Attacks against judicial independence and the rule of justice place our democracy in peril,” Atty. Cortez added.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) – Camarines Sur is in full force and vigorously condemns the illegal process and unfair decision of the highest court.
“The votes of the eight justices show that they are serving as puppets of Duterte,” Bayan-CamSur said in a statement. “The three branches of the government failed the people because of continued service as puppies of Duterte instead of serving as fangs of the people.”
The NUPL encouraged all members of the legal profession, law students, and court workers to stand up and rise against this de facto dictatorship.
“We are calling on members of the legal profession, law students, and court workers to make our voices heard even outside the courtroom and seek constitutional redemption from those that undermine our supposed democratic institutions,” Atty. Cortez added.
“Our democracy is in peril. Monopoly of power in the Executive without checks and balance is practically complete,” the NUPL said. (BaretangBikolnon.com)