With a militarized cabinet, a rubber stamp Congress, and now, a beholden judiciary – the final nail on the coffin of a democratic system of checks-and-balances in government has been hammered.
The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) is one with all freedom-loving and justice-seeking Filipinos in outrage against the eight associate justices of the Supreme Court, seven of which are Arroyo and Duterte appointees, who favored the quo warranto petition ousting Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno from her office. On the other hand, we salute the six justices who voted to uphold judicial independence and junk the petition.
The decision is a blatant constitutional blunder. This underscores how corrupt the justice system is in the country. There is no rule of law. Only impunity and tyranny directed towards a reign of terror and dictatorship.
The Supreme Court’s role is to uphold the constitution, rule of law, interpret based on the spirit of the law to serve the interests of the people and country. But, the judiciary has now morphed into a legal tool to coerce all forms of opposition and dissent. Its role as the citizens’ court of last resort has diminished into a partisan tool advancing partisan interests.
The CPA as an alliance fighting for our right to self-determination and the defense of our ancestral domain has consistently opposed the anti-people policies of the national government concerning indigenous peoples’ rights, respect for ancestral land rights and environmental protection. The national government pushes for the interest of big businesses, foreign investors, land-grabbers and their political allies. We have campaigned against the plunder of our lands and trampling our rights in all levels, from the streets, to international platforms and even the courts.
Now that a tyrannical regime has virtually consolidated the executive, legislative and judiciary into the hands of one powerful president, we call on the Filipino people to intensify the struggle to fight for our democratic rights, civil liberties and justice. The Supreme Court is hijacked and its integrity is compromised by lapdogs of a despotic ruler. The people must now exercise our power as the supreme law and hold court on the streets to defend our rights against State terrorism and human rights violations of the Duterte regime.
Resist tyranny of the Duterte regime! People power for justice, democracy and peace!