Protests and Gwen’s fight-A A +A
Thursday, January 10, 2013
HOW much do demonstrations of contenders in a controversial, high-profile court dispute like the Capitol row affect its outcome?
When then Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona fought for his seat, his defense arsenal included religious services that showed him on verge of tears and Mrs. Corona in throes of anxiety.
The images evoked sympathy, which was short-lived, though: at the trial Corona couldn't explain undeclared bank deposits in his name.
In the current controversy over control of the Capitol--Gov. Gwen Garcia, suspended on order of the president, and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, installed as acting governor-–both sides employ widely publicized masses and prayer meetings.
Litigation scrimmage starts at Court of Appeals in Manila today. But oral arguments focus on what the law says and means, not what each side says or does in rallies cum religious services.
Short of a breakdown in law and order, which police have zealously tried to avoid to the point of being oppressive, the CA trial division will look mostly at the legal points.
That is what the plea to nullify the president's suspension order is all about: Could the president lawfully make the order? Did DILG commit abuse of authority in enforcing it? Should Gwen be restored to her position before Dec. 19 and allowed to assume her duties as governor?
Noise from rallies isn’t crucial in resolving the legal clash.
Yet, directing the megaphone at the public is useful device to win voters. Beyond the courtroom is the battle of public opinion, which may translate into votes next May.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2013.