By Hannah Torregoza
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon warned on Tuesday that the continued politicization of the Supreme Court would erode the people’s faith and confidence in the judicial system.
Drilon said that if the bickering at the Supreme Court continues, “it would cause people to lose confidence in our judicial system, which is the foundation of a strong democracy.”
“The strength of our democracy depends, to a large extent, on the confidence of the people in our judicial system,” Drilon said, as he expressed disappointment at the current state of the judiciary.
Drilon made the statement in light of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s refusal to step down even as members of the judiciary are calling for her resignation.
Sereno is awaiting the transmission of the articles of impeachment to the Senate, which will convene as an impeachment court for her trial.
“The politicization in the judiciary is not good for our democratic system of government,” Drilon noted, adding that it was the first time that he witnessed such a divisive and politicized high court.
A former justice secretary and four-time Senate President, Drilon pointed out that justices are known because of the decisions they write which are read by lawyers and legal scholars, and not by what they say in public fora.
“As former Senator Rene Saguisag correctly put it, ‘justices were read, not seen nor heard.’ Unfortunately, this is no longer the case today,” Drilon lamented.
“That is what we miss today. It is very sad that our judiciary is highly politicized. This is not good for the independence and the prestige of the judiciary,” he said.
Drilon urged the judiciary, particularly the SC “to return to where it was before,” saying it is the only way to preserve and protect the people’s faith in the judicial system.
“Ang hudikatura ang takbuhan ng pangkaraniwang mamamayan. Ngayon kung wala ng tiwala sa ating husgado, saan ka tatakbo? Paano na ang rule of law? (Ordinary citizens run to the Judiciary for help. Now that the faith on the judiciary has been eroded, where do we run to? What happens to the rule of law?” Drilon pointed out.
“Nakakalungkot po kaya sana po maayos na ito at hindi maganda ito sa ating judiciary at hindi maganda sa ating demokrasya, (This development is saddening that’s why we hope this is resolved because it is not good for our judiciary and more so for our democracy),” he said.