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By mlq3 Posted in Events Mode on October 25, 2006 130 Comments 1 min read
Wars are not won by evacuations Previous Something Disturbing in the Plebiscite Demand Next

ANC scooped everyone by reporting the Supreme Court’s reached a decision, 8-7 against the so-called “people’s initiative.”

Round 2 starts today. As news was swirling, the President arrived at the Manila Hotel to talk to the League of Municipalities of the Philippines’ convention. I wonder if they’re feeling droopy or not -perhaps girding for round 2.

It’s far from over, folks. Talk is, the Chief Justice cast the tie-breaking vote. But he wraps up his term in December. Around the time a last-ditch House-led effort would reach the Supreme Court, a new chief justice, and a new justice appointed to replace Justice Panganiban.

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  1. you’re right, mlq3. with that kind of vote, there’s still a motion for reconsideration underway and the tide may still turn in favor of the so-called people’s initiative..

  2. So I guess this means Con Ass will pass? win-win?

    Sources told ABS-CBN News that eight justices, including Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, voted against the petition and only seven voted for it.

    Those who voted against the people’s initiative’s petition were Justices Consuelo Ynares-Santiago, Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, Antonio Carpio, Romeo Callejo Sr., Ma. Alicia Martinez, Conchita Carpio-Morales and Adolfo Azcuna.

    Those who voted for the petition were Justices Reynato Puno, Leonardo Quisumbing, Renato Corona, Dante Tinga, Cancio Garcia, Minita Chico-Nazario and Presbiterio Velasco Jr.

    panganiban, puno, quisumbing, ynares santiago, and sandoval gutierrez are non-arroyo appointees.

    ABS-CBN correspondent Marieton Pacheco said Carpio has been tasked to write the final draft of the ruling.

    The Firm will write the final draft. astig!

  3. the solution for arroyo is to appoint a new justice that is favorable to their PI or Con Ass once panganiban is out.

    the TieBreaker. the SwingVote Justice.


    Chief Justice Panganiban’s place is safe in history. He leaves a legacy of decency, uprightness, legal acumen, wisdom; and fortitude to withstand any temptation from the powers that are. He could have had the world. But he chose to simply do his job. And for that, we say: thank you. Thank you Mr. Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban.
    History will look with favor too upon Justice Ynares-Santiago, Justice Sandoval-Gutierrez, Justice Carpio, Justice Callejo, Justice Martinez, Justice Carpio Morales, and Justice Azcuna. However they may have ruled in other cases in the past, today, they deserve the appellation “Justice”, and make me truly proud of belonging to this profession.
    Let it not go unsaid too that the indefatigable, untiring, self-sacrificing, visionary members of One Voice deserve all our thanks and support; and while these are just words, they will be passed on to all who had been worried these past weeks and all those who care about our country, that there was one group of men and women, and many more like them, who did not just have words, they walked and carried and struggled and pushed, so that many more would join the effort to restore dignity and honor to this country.

  5. As long as GMA stays, it’s still Gloria’s round.She’s still setting the agenda.

    The real agenda should be the resolution of the legitmacy issue which is the central issue.

    The people should push for its agenda not just react to GMA’s agenda. A campaign for snap election is a good and doable agenda.

  6. Chief Justice Panganiban should lead the oppositions senate slate. and when GMA is impeached the 7 Judas justices should be impeached with her. they can all move to London and live with Taksin

  7. Chief Justice Art Panganiban was able to redeem the Supreme Court after the damage caused by Davide. History will judge Chief Justice Panganiban well.

    Mabuhay po kayo, Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban!



    KUDO’s to the 8 JUSTICES led by PANGANIBAN – They
    proved that SUPREME COURT decides on its OWN and
    will succumb to PRESSURE by those WHO POWER TRIP …

    MONOPOLY of ONE – which the ILLEGITIMATE and FAKE one is trying to achieve …. (Executive, Legislative and Judiciary)


  9. Now we have to face the JDV gang and the NO-EL choir. Nice to know that the SC has enough decent people to thwart an evil plan.

  10. I would like to join JM in thanking ONE VOICE and the other organizations that helped to make round 1 a success.

    However, the ‘war’ ain’t over yet and we must prepare for more difficult battles to come.

    Congratulations are in order and a round of applause for a job well done, mlq3, ONE VOICE and to all!

  11. It looks like p.i. never even got to first base. The Supreme Court found the initiative petition insufficient in form, because the paper people signed did not contain a complete copy of the proposed amendment but merely asked if people agreed to amend.the unbending requirement is that the people must first see the full text of the proposed amendments before they sign to signify their assent, and that the people must sign on an initiative petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments.[16] It said the Lambino Group “miserably failed” to comply with even the most basic requirements in the Constitution.

  12. Anna,

    “Insufficient in form” may seem like the simplest infirmity to avoid. It would seem to be a mere FORMality. But as controversies such as these are resolved, we learn that the hardest things to see are those that are right in front of our face.

    That a complete copy of the proposed amendment(s) be “shown to the people” before they sign the initiative petition IS such a formality, but its absence points to something more than carelessness. It points to the fact that the whole Unicameral Parliamentary idea is such a big complex thing with all sorts of legal and political ramifications that they COULDN’T even provide a complete copy of the thing in a finished and final form. They were merely asking for LICENSE to dick around with the Constitution and make a Parliament and all that.

    So even a formal technicality or a technical formality can be an important requirement that enforces SUBSTANTIAL aspects, such as having a complete amendment ready to go to be signed without further changes.

    Why did 7 not agree with such a slam dunk? Well, I surely didn’t see it as being so decisive when I first thought or read about this objection to PI a long time ago. Was it so obvious to everybody? Most were focussed on the evil motives of the backers of the petition.

    However, it is entirely possible those justices are jockeying for Chief Justice. As you know, after panganiban retires, there is the possibility of a reversal.

    But that would be an even longer shot than this one.

  13. Congratulations to the Supreme Court, One Voice and all other oppositors to the Singaw petition, and, most of all, to the Filipino People for the victory of constitutionalism. I am especially proud of my undergraduate contemporay at the Ateneo de Manila, Justice Antonio Carpio, for penning the brilliant and erudite decision for the majority. He really aimed at the jugular, touching on the core issues. But I’m saddened at the way another contemporary and classmate, Justice Renato Corona, voted.

    Despite the victory at the SC today, the call for vigilance is very much in order.

  14. Anna de brux, Tony Carpio voted against SnB. He even penned the majority decision.

  15. much as i want to already shout “Yehey!,” it’s right to think it’s still premature to rejoice. the Con-Ass mode is about to be pressed.

    i think it’s safe to just say “Yeh!” at this point.

  16. Next action for everyone would be to stop the appointment of a pro-Arroyo/pro-PI justice to the position of Chief Justice.

  17. If we look at the Justices who voted for and against the PI, we can tell that even up to the high court the effect of partisanship is still the norm. Before the decision was handed down, there were already a lot a speculations of who will vote for or against. We already knew that the vote will not be a unanimous or a clear majority but by the slimmest of margin. I believe that if another major issue is be resolved which involves the fight between the administration groups and the opposition’s, the same Justices will be making the same decisions. So the reality are these justices are not making decision based on the merit of the case, but to whose side they are beholden. But I reserve my firm conclusion for more future decisions and the pattern of their votes..

  18. Let’s not be hasty in condemning the dissenters. We really need to read the dissenting opinion. Unfortunately, there seems to be 6 dissenting opinions and even 5 concurring opinions.

    Nevertheless, Congratulations not only to ONE VOICE but to also all who contributed.

    The fight may not be over but still this victory is so so sweet.

  19. i suggest mr. lambino should shot himself in the head (no, just kidding!). no less than the supreme court rebuked him in this manner:

    1. “The Lambino Group miserably failed to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution for conducting a people’s initiative.”

    2. “Atty. Lambino and his group deceived the 6.3 million signatories, and even the entire nation.”

    3. “The result is a grand deception on the 6.3 million signatories who were led to believe that the proposed changes would require the holding in 2007 of elections for the regular Parliament simultaneously with the local elections.”

    4. “An initiative that gathers signatures from the people without first showing to the people the full text of the proposed amendments is most likely a deception, and can operate as a gigantic fraud on the people.”

    5. “In short, the Lambino Group’s initiative is void and unconstitutional because it dismally fails to comply with the requirement of Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution that the initiative must be “directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition.”

    6. “A popular clamor, even one backed by 6.3 million signatures, cannot justify a deviation from the specific modes prescribed in the Constitution itself.”

    7. “The Lambino Group trivializes the serious matter of changing the fundamental law of the land.”

    8. “Such a theory, devoid of any jurisprudential mooring and inviting inconsistencies in the Constitution, only exposes the flimsiness of the Lambino Group’s position.”

    9. “In the COMELEC, the Lambino Group, claiming to act “together with” the 6.3 million signatories, merely attached the signature sheets to the petition and amended petition. Thus, the petition and amended petition filed with the COMELEC did not even comply with the basic requirement of RA 6735 that the Lambino Group claims as valid.”

    10. “No one can trivialize the Constitution by cavalierly amending or revising it in blatant violation of the clearly specified modes of amendment and revision laid down in the Constitution itself.”

    11. “An overwhelming majority − 16,622,111 voters comprising 76.3 percent of the total votes cast − approved our Constitution in a national plebiscite held on 11 February 1987. That approval is the unmistakable voice of the people, the full expression of the people’s sovereign will. That approval included the prescribed modes for amending or revising the Constitution.”

    12. “No amount of signatures, not even the 6,327,952 million signatures gathered by the Lambino Group, can change our Constitution contrary to the specific modes that the people, in their sovereign capacity, prescribed when they ratified the Constitution.”

    13. “Incantations of “people’s voice,” “people’s sovereign will,” or “let the people decide” cannot override the specific modes of changing the Constitution as prescribed in the Constitution itself.”

    14. “Otherwise, the Constitution ― the people’s fundamental covenant that provides enduring stability to our society ― becomes easily susceptible to manipulative changes by political groups gathering signatures through false promises. Then, the Constitution ceases to be the bedrock of the nation’s stability.”

    15. “The Lambino Group thus admits that their “people’s” initiative is an “unqualified support to the agenda” of the incumbent President to change the Constitution. This forewarns the Court to be wary of incantations of “people’s voice” or “sovereign will” in the present initiative.”

    16. “To allow this constitutionally infirm initiative, propelled by deceptively gathered signatures, to alter basic principles in the Constitution is to allow a desecration of the Constitution.”


  20. Bystander,

    I hope you’re wrong.

    I’m hoping it will be difficult for even one among the eight justices to do a somersault. They may have cut off their legs when they called the Singaw petition “a gigantic fraud” and “deceptive and misleading”.
    They even likened Sigaw’s “it’s a political question” argument to witches casting spells – “Incantations of “people’s voice,” “people’s sovereign will,” or “let the people decide” cannot override the specific modes of changing the Constitution as prescribed in the Constitution itself.”

    But then again the majority may have included an “if any” clause after it’s ruling and that clause, as any Ombudsgirl or shyster lawyer will tell you, is the trampoline most favored by acrobats.

  21. “Let’s not be hasty in condemning the dissenters. We really need to read the dissenting opinion. Unfortunately, there seems to be 6 dissenting opinions and even 5 concurring opinions.”

    — to a certain extent, i agree with justice league. let’s read the dissenting opinions first before we make any conclusions about their so-called “partisanship”. who isn’t partisan anyway?

  22. MB,

    my apprehensions are premised on the fact that CJ Panganiban will be retiring soon. these assholes will file a motion for reconsideration for sure. let’s just hope that the MR will be resolved before he retires. otherwise the ombudsgirl of “there is a crime but no criminal” fame will be the swing vote who will reverse this landmark decision.

  23. Bystander,

    I just read the dissent of Nazario and Quisimbing. The others are erratic online. But my enthusiasm to read further has dampened a bit.

    I’ll read further some other day but the 2 dissents I’ve read so far are lessening the joy I feel today!

  24. – to a certain extent, i agree with justice league. let’s read the dissenting opinions first before we make any conclusions about their so-called “partisanship”. who isn’t partisan anyway? – by bystander..

    I believe the supreme court to be an independent body. Individually a SC justice may have his/her ideologies (liberal, consevative, etc.), but other than those like the issue of what is the mode of “ammending of revising” the constitution, partisanship as shown by the justices, no matter what their accompanying opinions can not wash away the impression that the decision was not based on the issue but a foregone conclusion. Only the vote of Chief Justice surprised most obervers..

  25. On Defending the Constitution.

    The Supreme Court’s decision is a call to one and all , Soldiers and Citizens, to be vigilant and always be ready to fulfill their “duty to defend and protect the Constitution”.

    “No amount of signatures, not even the 6,327,952 million signatures gathered by the Lambino Group, can change our Constitution contrary to the specific modes that the people, in their sovereign capacity, prescribed when they ratified the Constitution. The alternative is an extra-constitutional change, which means subverting the people’s sovereign will and discarding the Constitution. This is one act the Court cannot and should never do. As the ultimate guardian of the Constitution, this Court is sworn to perform its solemn duty to defend and protect the Constitution, which embodies the real sovereign will of the people.” …

    “This Court cannot betray its primordial duty to defend and protect the Constitution. The Constitution, which embodies the people’s sovereign will, is the bible of this Court. This Court exists to defend and protect the Constitution.” SC EN BANC G.R. No. 174153

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines is also the “guardian of the Constitution, (and) … is sworn to perform its solemn duty to defend and protect the Constitution, which embodies the real sovereign will of the people.”

    The Supreme Court is taking the lead for our Soldiers in the Armed Forces to undertake a Soldiers’ Initiative for a Renewal of Pledge to Uphold and Defend the Constitution.

  26. you’re entitled to whatever is your opinion about the individual justices’ partisanship, vic. the important thing, i guess, is they as an institution voted down a document that would have been potentially disastrous to our already ravaged nation.

  27. The beautiful concurring opimiom of SANDOVAL–GUTIERREZ, J.:

    Vox populi vox Dei — the voice of the people is the voice of God. Caution should be exercised in choosing one’s battlecry, lest it does more harm than good to one’s cause. In its original context, the complete version of this Latin phrase means exactly the opposite of what it is frequently taken to mean. It originated from a holy man, the monk Alcuin, who advised Charlemagne, “nec audiendi qui solent dicere vox populi vox Dei quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit,” meaning, “And those people should not be listened to who keep on saying, ‘The voice of the people is the voice of God,’ since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness.”[1] Perhaps, it is by providence that the true meaning of the Latin phrase is revealed upon petitioners and their allies – that they may reflect upon the sincerity and authenticity of their “people’s initiative.”

    Let us not repeat the mistake committed by this Court in Javellana v. The Executive Secretary.[45] The Court then ruled that “This being the vote of the majority, there is no further judicial obstacle to the new Constitution being considered in force and effect,” although it had notice that the Constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention was not validly ratified by the people in accordance with the 1935 Constitution. The Court concluded, among others, that the viva voce voting in the Citizens’ Assemblies “was and is null and void ab initio.” That was during martial law when perhaps majority of the justices were scared of the dictator. Luckily at present, we are not under a martial law regime. There is, therefore, no reason why this Court should allow itself to be used as a legitimizing authority by the so-called people’s initiative for those who want to perpetuate themselves in power.

  28. jm,

    “Soldiers’ Initiative for a Renewal of Pledge to Uphold and Defend the Constitution.”

    The soldiers of the Philippine Republic can easily do that – a ceremony of sorts in Luneta is easy to organize. Military pomp and pagenatry is always a beautiful sight to behild.

    Unfortunately, they who compose the AFP, as effectitve “guardians of the Constitution” cannot pen decisions nor vote to uphold the Constitution en banc in the same manner that the SC justices can.

    They are limited, to a certain extent, to keeping vigil so that the Constitution may not be alterred or desecrated. If they overstep their role or forget that sworn duty of theirs, they will have to reckon with sovereign will, the people’s will.

  29. (Heavens, for one split of a second, I thought I was reading Joselu there…)

    I meant to write: “Military pomp and pageantry is always a beautiful sight to behold.”

  30. I think Chacha is dead until 2010. Any move to overturn Lambino vs. Comelec so soon after it has been issued only risks another stunning defeat going into election season. The Palace is just letting the Opposition wail and flail away at it because they are actually concentrating already on averting their greatest nightmare from coming true: a solidly Opposition Senate in 2007 that would be a literal invitation to the Lower House to send her in for trial. Or any other Constitutional officer that can only be removed by impeachment. I think one thing people have really ignored about 2007 is that it is the first opportunity to make any impeachment stick. If GMA or Abalos had been impeached by now, they might also have been acquitted by now. But next year, the Senate may be in the mood for some CONVICTIONS.

    But first we need to see the true battlefield clearly: democratic elections in 2007 for the still bicameral Senate and House.

  31. Anna, no ceremony, no pomp, no pageantry. Oath ‘Refresh’ to keep soldiers while in vigil when the Constitution is in peril.

    Same way we remind ULAP and Congressmen,( of course the Pres. too, ) of Oath of Office:

    “The oath of office of the President of the Philippines is as follows:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God. (The last sentence is to be omitted if making an affirmation.)

    Oaths of office are usually a statement of loyalty to a constitution or other legal text, as well as an oath to the state or religion the office holder will be serving. It is often considered treason or a high crime to betray a sworn oath of office.”

  32. MLQ3 & friends, can we adapt this open letter?

    On Defending the Constitution in Congress

    “An Open Letter to the Members of Congress

    Dear Members of Congress:

    Each one of you who serve in Congress took an oath:

    ”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the … against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
    – A Promise to God. You promised us – you promised God— to defend the Constitution.
    – The Constitution Now Needs Defending. Has not a disturbing pattern emerged? From what we reliably know,… a pattern of disregard for the law and of presidential power-grabbing?
    -You’ve been entrusted by the people … Have you considered that your betrayal of that trust –in failing to rise to the defense of our … constitutional democracy—might reasonably be regarded as treason?
    -The Oath Does Not Allow You to Weigh the Cost.An honorable person, taking an oath …risks all to fulfill his oath. But you –members of both parties—are treating other considerations as more important. Those of you who .. face a political difficulty in that the assault on the Constitution comes from a president of your own party. It’s not easy opposing your own party’s leadership.
    But your oath gives you no honorable choice but to defend the Constitution. It does not allow you to defend such a president against the Constitution. It does not allow you to yield to the temptation to ingratiate yourself with power at the cost of the Constitution. You are obliged, by that oath, to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Even if that risks your losing your present proximity to great political power.
    – Your Choice: Which Will It Be?

    But the oath does not enforce itself. It requires either your honor in fulfilling your promise, or our wrath in driving from office those who break their oath.

    We, the undersigned citizens … , would like to ask you: Which will it be? Are you going to confront this apparent pattern of presidential lawlessness by conducting investigations and following them wherever your oath of office may require you to go? Or are we going to have to find other political leaders to protect our freedom under the rule of law?

    [Readers are encouraged to circulate this open letter as a petition to Congress.]

  33. from all of us at One Voice, thanks to everyone for your support and prayers! this victory belongs to all of us! to the Supreme Court justices, your collective wisdom, moral courage and statesmanship continue to be a source of never-ending hope. God bless our country!

  34. Who will be the next Supreme Court Justice? Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban will be retiring on December 2006. Is it possible that an “outsider” Senator Miriam Santiago will be appointed chief justice by GMA?

    The rule “Three Strikes and You’re Out” should apply to bogus President Gloria Arroyo. WHY?
    First Solid Blow: SC rules Proclamation 1017 unconstitutional.
    Second Strike: SC rules Executive Order 464 unconstitutional.
    Third Fatal Blow: SC rules Malacanang-sponsored bogus People’s Initiative unconstitutional.
    STRIKE FOUR- Final Mercy Killing Bullet: The Filipino people ousted Gloria Arroyo. Coming Soon!