NOW it can be said that our courts have unduly been dragged into the political whirlpool of our time.

It is difficult to truly and honestly pinpoint how it happened that the Supreme Court has behaved in a way that some concerned sectors never expected.

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Most stinging of this was the decision on the “16 cities” case where a tie (6-6) was no longer construed as denial of petition.

When the matter was brought before the public, court observers were disconcerted that a long standing judicial tradition dating back to the first decade of the 20th century could just as easily be overturned or laid aside by the Court.

That, for some people, is an indication that the country’s judicial system is already gravely politicized.

Winner

The more recent case is the one on the representation in Cebu province’s Fourth District.

The victory of the earlier declared winner of the 2007 polls in accordance with the election results was protested by the loser based on 5,000 votes considered stray, and hence not counted in favor of the loser.

In the Supreme Court decision, the petitioner was declared the winner because the stray ballots should have been counted in his favor.

Hence, the loser was suddenly the winner.

And unless the SC reverses itself, the loser is the winner.

Politics has become very difficult to prevent from infiltrating the sanctity of our Courts.

While it is a verity that there has long been a dividing line that our early leaders had drawn between the executive and judicial branches of our democratic government, the fact still remains that the boundary has often been breached.

Qualification

Another challenging case that the SC may have to decide on as soon as possible is the one on a convicted plunderer and impeached former president who is running for president again after he was pardoned.

The Comelec said he is qualified to run but his political opponents will likely bring the case to the SC.

How the SC will finally resolve this issue will determine how deeply it is immersed in the politics of our time.

And how deftly it can extricate itself, and stand again on its own pristine glory and integrity, without stain whatsoever of political bias, is the measure of its credibility.

It should generate a clear reflection of its image from the people’s eyes.