A perusal of the articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona reveals that some of them concerns decisions of the Court. Since these decisions are decisions by the majority justices, it is interesting to see if they are the same justices in all cases who aligned with CJ Corona. It is also worthwhile to speculate if these justices will face the same impeachment charges in the future.
These decisions are the following:
1. SC disregarded the principle of separation of powers by issuing a “status quo ante” order against the House of Representatives in the case concerning the impeachment of then- Ombudsman Merceditas Navarro-Gutierrez;
2. SC exercised wanton arbitrariness and partiality in consistently disregarding the principle of res judicata and in deciding in favor of gerry-mandering in the cases involving the 16 newly-created cities, and the promotion of Dinagat Island into a province;
3. SC arrogated unto itself the authority and jurisdiction to improperly investigate a justice of the Supreme Court for the purpose of exculpating him. Such authority and jurisdiction is properly reposed by the constitution in the House of Representatives via impeachment; and
4. SC granted a temporary restraining order in favor of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo in order to give them an opportunity to escape prosecution and to frustrate the ends of justice, and in distorting the supreme court decision on the effectivity of the TRO in view of a clear failure to comply with the conditions of the Supreme Court’s own TRO.
These four SC decisions may implicate more justices and make them vulnerable to the same impeachment that CJ Corona earned. It is therefore that these justices will have no choice but to be involved in the Corona impeachment, either as a prosecution, hostile, or defense witness.
It is also a given that, whatever their votes are in subsequent SC decisions on pending and future cases involving former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her cohort, these will be interpreted by the public in terms of their previous decisions on GMA cases. Here, these may be perceived as partisan decisions in favor for or against GMA. The latter may be construed as compromising with Malacañang. At any rate, their credibility and impartiality will always be in question.
Chief Justice Renato Corona himself faces the same calvary, even if he wins in the impeachment case. There always will be questions about his future decisions.
Supreme Court, as an institution, will thus suffer as long you have justices perceived to be partial and biased on their decisions. The only honorable way out for them is to resign. An agonizing decision, sure, but, I think, they already lost it. The painful alternative is their own impeachment.
This is their supreme dilemma.