The day we’ve been fearing has arrived. The decision of the Supreme Court to grant the Quo Warranto petition against the Chief Justice is a blatant circumvention of the most sacred institution in our land: our Constitution. Both our fundamental law and a long line of Supreme Court decisions establish that impeachment is the sole means through which an impeachable officer, like the Chief Justice, can be removed from office. This decision sets a very dangerous precedent that may seriously undermine the independence of the judiciary. We express alarm over this decision in the strongest terms.
With the granting of the Quo Warranto petition, we are confronting very serious questions. Where can Filipinos run to for a fair fight and a guarantee of justice when the very foundation of our judicial system has been compromised? What can be our final recourse in the face of a constitutional question when the very integrity of the institution that we depend on to resolve such matters has been besmirched?
Today, we have crossed an unprecedented threshold, plunging our nation into uncertainty. In such times, we need to look to each other for strength and courage. When everything else fails, there is a singular truth we can depend on: we are each other’s final hope. True power will always be with the people. I ask the Filipino people to join me in utmost vigilance as the rest of these developments unfold and to add their voice as we defend our judicial system, our Constitution and – ultimately – our democracy.
As the second highest official in the land, let me assure you: the fight is not yet over. Let us support all moves to right this wrong, particularly given how close the vote was for a decision of such magnitude.
Tuloy ang laban!