JUSTICE is cheap in the Philippines. Nothing clearly illustrates this tragic and ugly reality than the appointment of Teresita de Castro as the chief justice of the Supreme Court following the patently illegal and brazenly unconstitutional ouster of Chief Justice (CJ) Maria Lourdes Sereno as the chief magistrate of the land.
Outrage and indignation greeted de Castro’s selection and if viral memes are indicators, she will go down in history as the most detested person to occupy the position. Filipinos expressed their disgust and vented their anger in the social media. Only a thick-faced, shameless person, with no conscience and boldly indecent can withstand the harsh backlash the appointment generated.
Netizens calling her Injustice in Chief was the mildest of the memes. A meme dubbed de “Castro Cheap Justice” while another renamed her “Tirisin de CashTro.” She was also hailed as the “Thief Justice.” The best meme is a picture de Castor as Gollum. No justice of the Supreme Court had been bashed and condemned as de Castro, which revealed her widespread unpopularity and the very low public esteem of her person.
The adverse public reaction to de Castro’s ascendancy is understandable considering the highly irregular, dubious, and unsavory circumstances of her appointment. The Constitution has to be set aside, trampled upon, and torn to pieces for her to become chief justice. To satisfy one woman’s insatiable hunger for power and fulfill a president’s vendetta, the justice system of the country has to be destroyed. This explains the stiff resistance to de Castro’s appoint and universal condemnation of it.
From the day Du30 assumed the presidency, CJ Maria Lourdes Serena was marked person. Publicly and silently, he maneuvered to remove CJ Sereno from her post. Du30 publicly declared her his enemy after she became critical of his war on drugs.
First Du30 tried to remove her the constitutional way, through impeachment. After almost a half a year of deliberations, it became apparent that the impeachment charges against CJ Sereno at the Lower House are not only shallow but also have no basis at all. Even if the allies of Du30 can push through with the impeachment using the tyranny of majority, there is not enough numbers in the Senate to convict CJ Sereno since the charges against her are clearly bogus.
Du30 and his cahoots in the Supreme Court came up with a legal novelty that is not only non-existent in the jurisprudence but one that is absent in the Constitution. They conjured the abominable idea that impeachable officials can be removed through a quo warranto.
Nearly a month after the executive filed a quo warranto petition against CJ Sereno, the Supreme Court granted it. With unusual speed and haste, the Supreme Court ruled that CJ Sereno is removed from her post. Never mind if the decision has no constitutional legs to stand on and violated the Rules of Court (Section 11, Rule 66) of the High Court which says a quo warranto can only filed within a year of the official’s appointment. CJ Sereno is already chief justice for five years.
Teresita de Castro played a pivotal role in the campaign to oust Sereno, publicly bearing her bitterness when bypassed for the chief justice position in 2012. She joyfully cheered and merrily applauded while Du30 and his minions rape the Constitution.
In an unprecedented move, de Castro testified against CJ Sereno in the impeachment hearings. When the quo warranto petition was filed, she refused to inhibit herself in the case even if she is also the accuser. After CJ Sereno was forced out of office, de Castro applied for her post and gleefully accepted when appointed.
The behavior of de Castro reveals she is a person who utterly lacks delicadeza or sense of propriety. Delicadeza is one of the hallmarks of fair and just person, a vital characteristic of a jurist. Shameless and devoid of any sense of justice or fairness de Castro has zero or even has a negative integrity and credibility.
In several crucial decisions, de Castro is always on the wrong side of history. She voted for the midnight appointment of Corona as chief justice, dismissed the plunder cases against Gloria Arroyo, and allowed the dictator Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani to name a few vile decisions of de Castro.
Worst, de Castro is also guilty of the crime, she accused CJ Sereno of. CJ Sereno was removed from office according to de Castro and her accomplices for her failure to submit all her statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs). Investigative journalist Raissa Robles found that de Castro also failed to submit all her SALNs when she applied for the position of chief justice in 2012.
In her letter to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), de Castro claimed that her SALNs from 1978 to 1997 were burned in a DOJ fire. The fire occurred in December 11, 1995 and granting that her SALNs were burned, how can that 1995 fire destroy her 1996 and 1997 SALNs? Robles’ sources at DOJ also disclosed that de Castro’s SALNs were not in the burned building. Something is very wrong here. De Castro is definitely lying to JBC. Now this untruthful person is chief justice.
What made de Castro’s appointment very fishy is, she will be chief justice for 41 days only and will retire on October 8. It is obvious her appointment is a reward for helping Du30 trash the Constitution, wreck the justice system, and make justice cheap in the country.
A Cheap Justice leading a cheap judiciary, promoting cheap justice, de Castro deserves her farcical and fraud appointment. She is only after the fat retirement benefits from the position – a shining example of the corrupting effect of the glitter of gold.