By Elinando B. Cinco
The imminent impeachment of Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno can be likened to an introductory thrust of a new product. It has created a stir but its market is adamant about patronizing it.
Not only that. The manufacturer of the product itself is confused – whether to let the target consumers taste the product via sampling, or just delight the market with eye-popping package design and dazzling advertising.
And as if by a jerking reaction, the maker decided to utilize both of the above options.
Any hard-nose marketing professional will tell you that the dual thrust is not only costly but also confusing.
It will muddle the understanding of the product by would-be dealers and distributors, as well as potential retail outlets and their salesmen. And what sales features of that product are most ideal to highlight to consumers.
Further, that activity will confound industry and association endorsers of their full understanding of the product, and for them to contribute to its success as a planned consumable item.
That, my dear readers, is the parallel scenario that has unfolded all in the concerted effort by the government to unseat the chief justice.
I have yet to see in media or on the ground some genuine professional organizations waving placards and blasting microphones to show their support of the on-going Batasan rigmarole.
In the product launch I mentioned earlier, the foregoing is what I mean by the absence of industry endorsers, in the case of the first thrust in impeachment.
Last Monday, the Office of the Solicitor General filed a petition before the Supreme Court for a quo warranto to declare null and void the appointment of CJ Sereno in 2012.This is on top of the on-going congressional probe that will result in her formally being subject of an impeachment.
Thus, the OSG move becomes the second thrust that I am referring to above in a product test. If the first thrust – the congressional impeachment – was lacking of endorsers, the second one has attracted two:
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption whose officers posed for the camera while pinching a copy of the petition together with the SolGen. And then some SC associate justices and employees wearing red T-shirts and some sporting armbands, during the court’s Monday morning flag ceremony.
Obviously, the above endorsers could not wait any longer to let the nation know that they are averse to the CJ staying any day longer in office.
On the other side, there is a profusion of morale-boosting endorsements for the presumed underdog – the camp of CJ Sereno.
First to come out was the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). Its official stand is that the Chief Justice can only be removed from office via impeachment by Congress.
If Malacanang will insist on the quo warranto petition and the High Court approves it, it will subject the administration to rounds of severe criticisms and be a laughing stock of the civilized world, warned some legal experts.
Next to demonstrate their full support for CJ was the Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches which held a march last Tuesday, March 6, emanating from Commonwealth Avenue to the Batasan complex in Quezon City.
“We believe the chief justice is innocent of the allegations against her. We continue to stand with Chief Justice Sereno,” said Bishop Noel Pantoja, PCEC national director.
The Psychological Association of the Philippines officially condemned the “misleading” information and conclusion about Sereno’s psychological fitness to serve as Chief Justice. And it also criticized the “misuse” of the 2012 psychological assessment of the Chief Justice during House Committee hearings.
From the foregoing, many of our readers will know, from their first bite alone, if the “product” on test is palatable or not.