SECTIONS
Sunday , June 24, 2018

Espinoza: Of impeachment and traffic woes

THE decision of the judges and employees of the judiciary in Cebu not to join calls for beleaguered Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to resign is admirable. The Cebu judges are really true to their chosen profession, that is, to dispense justice under the guiding principle of due process.

The call of some Supreme Court employees and some lawyers’ groups for CJ Sereno to resign is not only unethical but also non-procedural and illogical. Lawyers and the courts, as dispensers of justice, proceed from the presumption that a person charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

The judiciary I know in my college days is represented by a blindfolded white lady holding a sword and a scale that dispenses justice without fear or favor. The present judiciary is too politicized, said retired chief justice Hilario Davide Jr.

The protesters may argue that their right to speak is protected by the Constitution. But the judiciary is distinctly distinguished as apolitical compared with the two other branches of government, the Executive and Legislative.

The protesters forgot Section 1 of the Bill of Rights in our Constitution that states: “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.” Indeed, the Cebu judges made the right choice.

The chief justice is facing impeachment by the Lower House. The House committee on justice already found probable cause for it and the complaint will be submitted soon to the plenary for approval. Once approved, it will be sent to the Senate for trial.

The chief justice has repeatedly said she will not resign and is ready to face the impeachment trial by the Senate. So why won’t the SC employees/lawyers give her the opportunity to defend herself?

The protesters claim that the impeachment complaint against Sereno placed the judiciary in disgrace is too supercilious. In fact, these SC workers never asked the late chief justice Renato Corona to resign when he was impeached by the Lower House.

Under the present circumstances, where is our judiciary heading to? The top magistrates criticizing each other outside the Halls of Justice is a sign that the judiciary is now politicized. It’s scary to imagine the dispensation of justice also being politicized. Worse is if the judiciary would become dysfunctional as a consequence of this hullabaloo.

•••

Some friends were surprised but others were happy with the “monster’s father” tag that Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgar Labella gave Mayor Tomas Osmeña as a result of the monstrous traffic jam in Mambaling due to the construction of the underpass along N. Bacalso Ave. As Torni Frank puts it during our “Frankahay Ta” radio program at dyCM (1152AM) yesterday morning, it’s about time for Vice Mayor Labella to be assertive.

The underpass is the project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The traffic woes began when the contractor started the work without providing alternative routes for travelers, leaving the matter to the city’s traffic manager.

In response to Labella’s tirade, the city mayor sarcastically dared the vice mayor to bring the matter to Presidential Assistant Michael Dino now that he is a member of the president’s PDP-Laban.

The volume of motor vehicles in N. Bacalso can be reduced if buses and the PUJs from Talisay City and beyond take the SRP road. The city ordinance that bans PUJs from passing SRP shall be lifted. This is where the city council’s help comes in.


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