I’m starting to really enjoy Supreme Court spokesman Midas Marquez’ commentary on recent cases. Yesterday, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported him blatantly proclaiming, ““This is not an Arroyo court.” Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez filed a complaint alleging that Congress had filed two articles of impeachment against her in one year, in violation of the constitution (interesting aside: this same provision saved former Chief Justice Davide in 2003). Gutierrez was an Arroyo appointee, allegedly close to Mike Arroyo, and some worried that the Supreme Court might protect her, given that most of the justices are also Arroyo appointees (14 out of 15).* However, the justices voted 9-7 to dismiss her complaint because the two impeachment charges had been filed in the same proceeding of Congress. The article goes on to state:
According to Marquez, the court’s ruling allowing the House committee on justice to proceed with the impeachment proceedings against the Ombudsman was not meant to deodorize its image.
It’s not clear if Marquez actually used the word “deodorize,” or if that was the reporter’s invention, but that certainly presents quite an image – or smell, rather – of the Supreme Court’s current standing in the Philippines.
* For more on these allegations, see my earlier post here.