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THE practice by the Supreme Court of releasing a cursory media advisory on the bare results of its adjudication of high-profile cases, like the challenged Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (ATA) or Republic Act 11479, without the ponencia and the justices’ separate opinions, leaves the parties and the public in the dark on how the contentious issues were resolved.


ONE of the least invoked rules which expedites the adjudication of litigations is “judgment on the pleadings”.

Section 1 of Rule 19 of the Rules of Court provides: “Where an answer fails to tender an issue, or otherwise admits the material allegations of the adverse party’s pleading, the court may, on motion of that party, direct judgment on such pleading.” This rule has suppletory application to proceedings before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The declaration of unconstitutionality of only two provisions of the 2020 Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) fails to fully uphold and protect  due process, human rights, and fundamental freedoms which are derogated by the controversial statute.

While the nullity of the killer proviso under Section 4 of the ATA and the method for designation in Section 25, Paragraph 2 of the ATA, is welcome, the entire law should have been voided.

THE first time a candidate of note has withdrawn from a presidential race was 23 years ago. Thirteen days before election day, on April 29, 1998, former first lady Imelda Marcos, the widow of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, withdrew from the May 11, 1998 presidential contest with the contrived reason to “save the Filipino people from the ultimate injustice of a possible bloody election.” She did not explain how her withdrawal would save the country from electoral violence or why her continued candidacy could spark a bloody election. She was then far behind in the surveys and had appealed her conviction for graft.


THE recent withdrawal of Senators Panfilo Lacson and Emmanuel Pacquiao of their support for the reimposition of the death penalty further dooms the revival of capital punishment in the 18th Congress.  

In abandoning his Senate Bill No. 27 seeking to restore death penalty for heinous crimes, Lacson said it is “better to spare the life of a criminal than to wrongly execute an innocent person.” For his part, Pacquiao stated that the “country’s judicial system should first be fixed” before considering the restoration of the death penalty.