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Bacolod City, PhilippinesFriday, February 18, 2011
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Editorial

A most unusual thing

Daily Star logo
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
NINFA R. LEONARDIA
Editor-in-Chief & President

CARLA P. GOMEZ
Editor

GUILLERMO TEJIDA III
Desk Editor
PATRICK PANGILINAN
Busines Editor

NIDA A. BUENAFE

Sports Editor
RENE GENOVE
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
Advertising Coordinator

CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
Administrative Officer

It’s unconstitutional.

It’s not unconstitutional.

It’s unconstitutional.

It’s not unconstitutional.

That’s the Philippine Supreme Court, the highest Court in the land for you. Four times since the very controversial conversion of some 16 towns in the country to the higher category of cities, the Supreme Court has changed its mind over the issue.

No wonder almost one hundred percent of the news items on its latest decision used the term “flip-flop” to describe its act. Indeed, the court, supposedly composed of the most brilliant and pedantic legal minds in the land, has flipped and flopped on this case for no less than four times. And it had also declared that the rulings were final each time they were made.

A brief history of the case shows that the 16 towns were proposed to be converted or upgraded into cities by their respective representatives in Congress who obviously just glossed over the Constitutional requirements of population, income and territory. It is generally believed that most of the members of Congress were aware of this, but approved the bills anyway, along the principle of “pakisama (camaraderie)”, and probably also in the hope that the favor will be returned later.

Note that the bills just lapsed into law. Note also that the members of the so-called august body, had voted 7-6 in this latest flip-flop, and this is because one of the justices had turned “balimbing” in his vote.

No wonder even the spokesperson and administrator of the Supreme Court called the case “unusual”. To the country Filipino, however, it is not the case that us unusual, something else is.*

 

 
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