FED up by criticisms hurled at the Supreme Court (SC) following its ruling over chief justice appointment, Court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said Wednesday that some “unseen hands” are working to besmirch and undermine the integrity and independence of the court.
Speaking at a press briefing, Marquez warned about these criticisms going overboard – and that include throwing eggs at the gates of the SC, burning the blown-up pictures of the nine justices who ruled in favor of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and inciting the people to disobey the orders of the Court.
“That’s going overboard. But then again we have to exercise what they call maximum tolerance. The court, as much as possible, will try to be tolerant,” he said.
Marquez said there are some sectors trying to undermine the credibility of the court by attacking its decision regarding the appointment of Chief Justice Reynato Puno’s successor.
“They are trying to discredit the court. My suggestion to them is to read the decision of the court. Let us not look at the personalities involved and focus more on constitutional provisions invoked by the court,” he said.
He furthered that the justices need not respond to the issues raised by the critics because all of these have been discussed in the decision.
“The decision of the court speaks for the court. The justices are always in touch with what’s happening. Many, if not all, criticisms and disagreements being raised by those who disagree with the decision were already addressed in the opinion of the court,” he said.
While acknowledging the right of the people to hold protest rallies, Marquez urged critics to just wait until the Court ruled with finality on the case.
“Protests are an exercise of their right to assemble and freedom of expression. But perhaps they should give the judicial process a chance first. That’s the best option for them at the moment,” he said, noting that the parties still have 15 days or until April 2 to submit their motion for reconsiderations.
But should the protesters resort to violence, the official said the SC would not hesitate to have them arrested and charged before the courts.
“Disagreements with the decision of the court are okay. Criticizing the decision of the court is okay. But once you invite the people to go beyond that… that is another thing,” he said.
“If violence erupts we have our policemen to go after those doing violence. That would depend exactly on what they will be doing, DOJ (Department of Justice) prosecutors can conduct investigation and file charges against these people, if necessary. They can protest as much as they want for as long as they keep their protest in order,” he added. (JCV/Sunnex)