“I THANK you that when you became President, you provided the atmosphere in which the Court had the freedom to acquit me of the trumped-up charges my successor and your predecessor filed against me.”
Profuse with gratitude, former President and former House Speaker Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo directly addressed President Duterte at the appreciation dinner hosted for her by members of the 17th Congress Tuesday night.
“The Court voted 11-4 in my favor, including half of those who were appointed by my accuser,” Macapagal-Arroyo drove her point home in all too obvious reference to former President BS Aquino III.
Macapagal-Arroyo was acquitted of the plunder case over her alleged misuse of P366- million in intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office on July 19, 2016 – less than three weeks after Duterte’s assumption of the presidency. Two days after, she was released from hospital arrest after nearly four years.
Comes now the Supreme Court – at least its spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka – on Wednesday assuring the Filipino people of its independence in its decisions.
Lest Macapagal-Arroyo’s gratitude to Duterte be (mis)construed as some case of influence-peddling, or worse, strong persuasion.
“The public can be assured that the Supreme Court has and will always act independently, and free from influence from the other branches of Government,” Hosaka said.
Stressing: “The Supreme Court is guided by the rule of law and its decisions are always based on facts, laws, and reason. The decisions of the Supreme Court are open to the public, and we encourage those concerned to read them so they can understand the reasons why they were decided that way.”
Yeah, it was facts of the case, laws, and reason that led to the acquittal of Macapagal-Arroyo. Not by any influence, persuasion, or pressure, that may have come from anyone, not even from the legislative and the executive branches. No need to ask Hosaka or any of the justices to cross their hearts and hope to die over their decision to acquit, peksman.
Doubt not, believe the Supreme Court. Just do. Macapagal-Arroyo and Duterte too.