“Premature concerns”— Lady lawyer on Sen. Lacson’s fears of ‘constitutional crisis’ if SC approves quo warranto petition to revoke ABS-CBN franchise

If you ask Senator Ping Lacson, country is likely facing a ‘constitutional crisis’ if the Supreme Court approves the quo warranto petition to revoke ABS-CB franchise.

In a radio interview with DWIZ, the Senator from Cavite remarked that the renewal of franchise is the job of Congress as per 197 Constitution. The Congress deliberates and the President approves.

“Ang renewal ng franchise, ayon sa Constitution, nasa Kongreso yan. Kami ang magde-deliberate, at ang mag-a-approve niyan, Pangulo. I think parang superfluous ang mag-quo warranto pa para pigilan ang pag-renew ng franchise, kasi power ng Congress ‘yan .”

Lacson warned of a ‘constitutional crisis’ in case the Supreme Court enters the issue of franchise renewal.

“Baka magkaroon tayo ng constitutional crisis. Kasi halimbawa, kung mag-grant ang SC ng quo warranto at kasalukuyang nagsasagawa kami ng plenary deliberation sa renewal ng franchise ng ABS-CBN, ano ang mananaig doon? Of course sabi nila, pag sinabi ng SC ganito, it becomes part of the law of the land, pero Constitution itong pinag-uusapan natin. ‘Di pwedeng sabihin ng SC na unconstitutional ang ginagawang deliberation ng Congress sa pag-renew ng franchise kasi maliwanag sa Constitution na sa amin ‘yan.”

Meanwhile, lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles of the FB page “Luminous by Trixie Cruz-Angeles & Ahmed Paglinawan” thinks otherwise.

In a Facebook post published just today, Angeles wrote that Senator Lacson’s concerns is premature and worse, baseless.

Angeles cited the SC case of Fransisco et al v. House of Representatives et al GR NO 160261 Nov 10 2003 wherein the highest court of the land says there can be no ‘constitutional crisis’ if the roles of every governing bodies are clearly defined.

“There can be no constitutional crisis arising from a conflict, no matter how passionate and seemingly irreconcilable it may appear to be, over the determination by the independent branches of government of the nature, scope and extent of their respective constitutional powers where the Constitution itself provides for the means and bases for its resolution.”

But before digging deeper into the issue, Angeles highlighted the difference between the definition of constitutional crisis in US and PH setting.

In the US, according to Angeles, constitutional crisis is not clearly defined.

Sa US naka define ito:

“A constitutional crisis … is a potentially decisive turning point in the direction of the constitutional order, a moment at which the order threatens to break down, just as the body does in a medical crisis.” (Blake and Levinson)

Nagkakaruon ng crisis kapag may isyu na hindi mairesolba at ang standoff na ito ay maaaring maging gulo later on.

However, this is not true in the Philippines.

Hindi nakasulat ang definition ng constitutional crisis, Nguni’t sa Pilipinas naintindihan natin ito bilang hindi pagkakasundo ng dalawang equal and independent bodies, pero conflict na maaaring magka gulo kung hindi ito maresolba.

Ayon sa Korte Suprema, hindi nagkakaroon ng constitutional crisis kung naka define ang roles ng bawat governing body. Sabi nito sa Fransisco et al v. House of Representatives et al GR NO 160261 Nov 10 2003:

“There can be no constitutional crisis arising from a conflict, no matter how passionate and seemingly irreconcilable it may appear to be, over the determination by the independent branches of government of the nature, scope and extent of their respective constitutional powers where the Constitution itself provides for the means and bases for its resolution.”

In other words, constitutional crisis arises when the problem has no solution, there is a stand off and resulting ti chaos when no solution was found.

“So, magkakaruon lang ng constitutional crisis kung walang solusyon yung problema, may stand off, at magkakagulo kung hindi ito mahanapan ng paraan.”

Angeles asked if this is the case in the quo warranto petition of the Office of the Solgen?

The answer is a BIG NO. Why? Because the petition filed by the SolGen has not been recognized as valid by the SC. In short, Lacson’s concerns is premature.

“Tila hindi. Kasi hindi pa nga kinikilala yung validity ng petition na nail-file of ifa-file pa lang ni Solgen. In other words medyo premature ang concerns ni Senator Lacson.”

In addition, Angeles added that a mere misunderstanding between independent branches of the government is not a constitutional crises.

Also a mere misunderstanding between to independent branches is not a constitutional crises. Parati naman may hindi pagkakaintindihan within government.

And here’s the final word of Atty. Angeles addressed to Sen. Lacson’s fears.

And finally, if there is a means to resolve it, IT IS NOT A CRISIS.

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Source: Luminous by Trixie Cruz-Angeles & Ahmed Paglinawan Manila Bulletin

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