- The Supreme Court initially shielded Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez from impeachment in the House of Representatives by granting her motion for certiorari of Sept. 13, 2010, “without” deliberating on the petition
- This was disclosed in Assoc. Justice Sererno's separate opinion on the SC Feb. 15 ruling which lifted the status quo ante order which the magistrates—in a vote of 8-3 with four abstentions—issued in favor of the Ombudsman on Sept. 14, 2010, a day after she filed the petition.
- The status quo ante order suspended the House impeachment proceedings for five months!!!
and the majority in the SC granted Gutierrez’s petition despite her and Senior Associate Justices Antonio Carpio’s and Conchita Carpio Morales’ objections.
- The quo ante order was voted upon in the morning of Sept. 14, 2010, without the benefit of a genuinely informed debate.Several members of the court” had not seen the copy of Gutierrez’s petition when the tribunal acted favorably on it during their regular full court session that day.
Copies of the Feb. 15 decision—which was issued after the high court conducted several oral arguments on the Gutierrez petition—as well as those of Sereno and other justices’ own opinions were only made available to the media last week.
- The SC court did not issue a resolution explaining its Sept. 14, 2010, ruling. Instead, Supreme Court spokesperson Midas Marquez held a news briefing to announce that Gutierrez had won a reprieve from the court.
- The House did not violate the constitutional provision barring the filing of more than one impeachment case within a year against a public official.
- The first impeachment complaint against the Ombudsman was filed by former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros, freed renegade soldier Danilo Lim and the parents of the late Navy Ensign Phillip Pestaño on July 22, 2010.
The group accused Gutierrez of betraying the public trust and violating the Constitution for the “dismal and unconscionably low” performance of her office in convicting corrupt public officials.
Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. filed a separate complaint against Gutierrez on Aug. 3, 2010, for her alleged failure to prosecute those behind the P728-million fertilizer fund scam.
- the two complaints were consolidated as they were referred to the committe on Justice of the House in one day.
- In her petition, Gutierrez claimed that the House justice committee violated her right to due process when it declared that the two complaints were sufficient in form and substance.
This raises the intriguing question. By their very acts and turn of events, we wonder if the Supreme Court has really shown impartiality to cases involving former appointees and friends of former president Macapagal -Arroyo when cases involving them arrive in their hallowed chambers, and when most of them are themselves appointees of Pres. Macapagal-Arroyo?
A writ of certiorari currently means an order by a higher court directing a lower court, tribunal, or public authority to send the record in a given case for review. (wikipedia).
The objective of a "status quo ante" or the "way things were before" temporary restraining order or a rescission in which the situation is restored to "the state in which previously" it existed.