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Why she was ousted

Sunday and Monday saw double celebrations for my family, specifically for myself and my wife.

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and yesterday was our 63rd wedding anniversary.

When somebody asks how I have managed to stay married to the same woman for 63 years, I always say I make sure I have the last word in the house: “Yes, darling!”

Joking aside, I think we lasted this long because our meeting is anchored on mutual trust and faith in God. Sure, marriage is not a bed of roses. But we are mature enough and educated as we are, we always fall back on prayers.

The problem with most marriages today is when problems arise, especially when it comes to money, they no longer talk and resolve things. They give up and take the easy way out. They don’t like to sacrifice, something essential in fulfilling marriage vows.

The bottom line is making God the third party in any marriage.

There are many considerations to a lasting marriage, aside from love. First and foremost is the realization that when you get married, it’s total commitment.

It is also essential for couples to have the same background. It’s only in the movies where you see the son of a hacendero marrying a farmer’s daughter.

My wife and I may just belong to the disappearing tribe of married people who have stayed married for a long time. The secret to a lasting marriage? Mutual trust, fortitude, commitment, sacrifice and faith in God.

* * *

The 8-6 decision of the Supreme Court ousting Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is now being analyzed and argued to death my opinion writers, so-called legal and political analysts, and many others in boardrooms and coffee shops.

In the final analysis, whatever is said about the decision on the quo warranto case, it is the law of the land whether the people like it or not.

As a lawyer myself, I believe that the majority decision adheres to the law. Those who dissented admit that Sereno committed violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust by not filing a complete set of Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.

Thus, logic dictates that the quo warranto petition that questioned the credentials of Sereno is warranted and necessary.

Some argue that the Constitution says a chief justice can only be removed through impeachment better read the law again. The framers of the charter say “may” when they provided how impeachable officials can be removed.

“May” is a permissive term that does not have any mandatory effect.

The majority decision added: “We have constantly held that the term ‘may’ is indicative of a mere possibility, opportunity or option. An option to remove by impeachment admits of an alternative mode of effecting the removal. In other words, in effecting the removal of an impeachable public officer, the law provides remedies, like a quo warranto proceeding.”

In arguing against the quo warranto case in Sereno’s ouster, there is speculation that the Supreme Court has set a bad precedent that any impeachable official can now be removed by quo warranto.

I laughed when Sereno called her ouster a moral victory. What Sereno should worry about now is the fact that she can be indicted with violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

The majority decision correctly stated that a quo warranto petition challenges the legality of a public official’s appointment, while an impeachment process indicts him or her for so-called impeachable offenses without questioning his or her title to the office held. I think this is clear enough.

* * *

The killings, other acts of violence, vote buying and cheating that accompanied the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections were not unexpected. This mirror Philippine national and local elections.

What I cannot understand however is why candidates for these levels resort to cheating and violence when the honoraria they get is not commensurate with what they do in these positions.

Is it power? Something else?

* * *

I have nothing but praise for Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in repairing our relationship with Kuwait.

However I still have to see Cayetano file a diplomatic protest against China’s militarization with the landing of fighter planes and installation of missiles in both the Panganiban and Subi Reefs within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

I don’t know what President Duterte and Cayetano have in mind, but they should realize that when they pretend to be deaf and dumb about China’s incursion into our EEZ, they are acquiescing to what the Chinese are doing.

If Vietnam can file a diplomatic protest against China, why can’t we?

* * *

I express my deepest sympathies to the family of the late former Senator Edong Angara. I covered him for many years, and I know him to be a man of honesty and integrity. He will be missed.

Topics: Mother’s Day , Silvestre Bello III , Rodrigo Duterte , Alan Peter Cayetano , Maria Lourdes Sereno , Supreme Court
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