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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Friday, March 03, 2006

Fearless Forecast: The Supremes and 1017

Here we are again, our fearless forecast on how Supreme Court will rule on Proclamation 1017.

I will based my less-than-zero prediction on the conduct of each of the Supreme Court justices based on a recent case of Sanlakas v. Reyes where the Supremes ruled on the constitutionality of the GMA’s declaration of a State of Rebellion.

Before I give my prediction, let me guide you to how I think each justice will rule on the petition:

1. Chief Justice Panganiban – if the State of National Emergency is lifted this weekend, the CJ will rule that the filed petitions are already moot and academic on the ground that (a) there is no longer an actual controversy since it has been lifted and (b) the adjudication of the constitutional issue is not indispensable to the case.

However, if the State of National Emergency is not lifted, I think he will rule that 1017 is valid on the ground that the President has broad powers under the 1987 Constitution to make a declaration.

Incidentally, if I am not mistaken, the CJ used to be the Chairman of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I hope that having been exposed to the workings of the Fourth Estate, he would rule against the constitutionality of 1017 as a form of prior restraint but I am not all too confident.

2. Justice Reynato Puno – the would-be great dissenter in the Panganiban Court. I believe Justice Puno will rule against the constitutionality of 1017 as a form of prior restraint. Of all justices, he is the most profound and competent to handle constitutional law cases.

3. Justice Leonardo Quisumbing – an appointee of Ramos, he joined the opinion of Panganiban in the Sanlakas case. But since his patron’s support for GMA is waning, waning, and waning, perhaps his opinion of 1017 will also wane against GMA.

4 - 7. Justices Antonio Carpio, Renato Corona, Alicia Austria-Martinez and Conchita Carpio-Morales – the first two are presidential appointees of GMA and therefore, their conclusion needs no crystal ball gazing. Justice Carpio-Morales, a relative of Justice Carpio, and Austria-Martinez ruled in favor of GMA in the Sanlakas case.

8 - 9. Justices Consuelo Ynares Santiago and Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez – These two lady justices ruled against the constitutionality of GMA’s declaration of a State of Rebellion and their opinion that a State of Rebellion amounts to an undeclared martial law has become the oft-repeated battle cry of lawyers against 1017.

It is hoped that both will rule likewise against this present state of national emergency, notwithstanding the fact that Justice Ynares Santiago is the sibling of Governor Casimiro Ynares of Rizal, erstwhile Erap supporter but now GMA ally.

10. Justice Romeo Callejo, Sr. – the noted criminal law and criminal procedural law expert but to me, a big disappointment in the Sanlakas case when he agreed that rebellion is a continuing crime without making any qualification.

This notwithstanding, I believe he will reverse himself considering that unlike the Sanlakas case, the President has arrogated upon herself powers that are required to be delegated by the Legislative Department to her to carry out a declared policy in times of national emergency. He will likewise rule against 1017 as a form of prior restraint.

11. Justice Adolf Azcuna – the Cory appointee. Like Justices Carpio and Renato, this brethren’s ruling will require no crystal ball gazing and will rule against 1017.

12. Justice Dante O. Tinga – a dyed-in-the-wool politician whose son is the mayor of Taguig. He penned the majority opinion in Sanlakas which upheld GMA’s power to declare a state of rebellion. He also stated that a declaration of a state of rebellion is devoid of legal significance which is neither here nor there considering that he voted in favor of GMA’s powers.

13 - 14. Justices Minita Chico-Nazario and Cancio C. Garcia – the unknowns.

The verdict: 1017 will be upheld. 8 to 6 in favor of GMA.


Anonymous Arbet said...

I concur. =P

My forecast is that it will be upheld because GMA will lift 1017 by weekend, or Monday at the latest. Though it is possible that 1017 will not be lifted by the time that the SC decides on the issue. In that case, it will still be for 1017. I cannot say what will the numbers be.

2:29 AM  
Blogger Rizalist said...

moot and academic, or as john nery put it, cat-n-mouse game.

But I was talking to some brilliant lawyers recently. They say a crime has already been committed by Lomibao and that a class action criminal suit against him would automatically raise a Constitutional question -- thus forcing the mouse back into the cat's lair. The criminal case would make it impossible for the SC to declare the issue "moot and academic."

What do you think?

7:47 AM  
Blogger Edwin Lacierda said...


That depends. The constitutionality of the 1017 must be the central issue in a case or what they call the lis mota of the case, then that is possible.

I think if the SC will render the petitions as moot and academic, the case against Lomibao may not prosper. Ruling 1017 as unconstitutional will have a big positive impact on the case against Lomibao.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Karl M. Garcia said...


First of all..this is a three month old overdue Acknowledgemnt!

Nafilter ko po lahat ng comments sa blog ko kaya kahapon ko lang nabasa...and never too late to comply with your suggestions though..


If ever or whenever Gloria last till impeachment time;
How to overcome the numbers game in the congress will always be the question.

For now,

What would you suggest to the lawyers planning to question the PP even after its lifting.?

Do you think the SC is the next institution after the AFP,and PNP to be ruined by GMA?

9:32 AM  

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