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My sainted ass! Here’s why Winnie Monsod thinks SC is far from ‘honorable’

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The Supreme Court may be one of the most revered institutions in the land, but University of the Philippines economics professor Winnie Monsod believes majority of the magistrates are far from living up to the adjective “honorable.”

In her June 16 column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Monsod said the Supreme Court has “failed miserably” as the last bastion of democracy. She cited its recent decisions– such as upholding the constitutionality of the declaration of martial law in Mindanao– as proof that the tribunal gives the rule of law “a bad name.”

“This Court, ‘honorable’? My sainted ass,” Monsod said.

The former socioeconomic planning secretary said the spotty records of majority of the Supreme Court magistrates are to blame for its tainted credibility.

Out of the 15 justices– including ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno– Monsod said only six can be considered spotless. They are Sereno, acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo, Estela Perlas Bernabe, Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Caguioa.

The magistrates who the economics professor thinks have checkered reputation are: Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco, Teresita de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin and Francis Jardeleza.

Monsod did not elaborate further on the reputation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointees, Associate Justices Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes and Alexander Gesmundo, though she said Martires is “controversial” due to some of his decisions when he was still an Aassociate Justice of the Sandiganbayan.

Interestingly, except for Velasco, the five magistrates whom Monsod thinks have a “spotless” reputation voted against the ouster of Sereno in the quo warranto case decided last month.