Monday, September 19, 2005

Where's the Motion for Reconsideration on the EVAT TRO from the Gov't?

Don't believe Bunye when he says that GMA blah blah blah wants to implement the EVAT immediately.

I read the Supreme Court decision on the EVAT law constitutionlaity. The last line is the real curious item. It says,

"There being no constitutional impediment to the full enforcement and implementation of R.A. No. 9337, the temporary restraining order issued by the Court on July 1, 2005 is LIFTED upon finality of herein decision."

I find this really weird, because normally a temporary restraining order is lifted immediately, if there is a finding that there is no basis for its issuance, without waiting for the finality of the decision. The TRO was issued earlier, because there was a cloud of doubt, as it were, that the EVAT law is unconstitutional. But with the decision that the law is constitutional, then the cloud has been removed. So why does the TRO hold?

To the non-lawyers, think of a TRO as quick-fix drug. The doctor gives it to you, if it looks like you are sick. But if it turns out that you are not, the drug is immediately withdrawn from you. No need to wait for a final decision. In the case of the EVAT law case, it seems the quick fix drug has not been withdrawn, even if the doctor says we're perfectly well.

Geez, I just don't know if I I can cite this case in the future.

That is why when Bunye claims that "She (GMA) is determined to have the TRO issued by the Supreme Court lifted as soon as possible," we know that is pure hot air. The Government should have filed its own Motion for Reconsideration for the lifting of the TRO, as discussed above if it really meant to have the law implemented. Having that last line is all they need to have reversed. The last line must have been an oversight. Jurisprudence can surely back up the Motion. But where is the Motion Mr. Bunye?

An idea hit me the other day. What if every Filipino taxpayer intervenes in the case and files a Motion for Reconsideration? it will take forever for the Supreme Court clerks to file those pleadings in the docket, and it will effectively keep the decision from maturing into finality. It will also delay the lifting of the TRO perpetually. Well. it might work. But if I start it, I would definitely get a show cause order from the Bar Confidant for clogging the dockets and fomenting suits.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want the tax measure implemented, especially when I know it is intended to cover the shortfall in the budget that was partly brought about by lavish government spending for the re-election of the sitting President. But if the law is valid, then it should not be suspended. If it's a bad law, then the people responsible for its passage should get the bad press, regardless of the political weather. I hate it when laws become unpredictable. It makes me think that our people are not worthy of the sacrifices of our heroes who fought for self-government. Bonifacio must be turning in his grave (whereever it may be.)


Major Tom said...

Truly, the final line of the decision is quite strange and seemingly unprecedenteed where the lifting of a TRO is conditioned upon the finality of the case. What if such finality takes a lifetime, like ten years, then that temporary retraint might just become almost permanent.

I think this case may just become a jurisprudential precedence and such strange mode becomes such a "bad law", when nobody shall move to improve that seemingly flawed "last line".

marvin said...

Well, nobody's complaining but us, Major Tom. Ha ha ha.

It's the same feeling I had when the Davide Court trooped to EDSA in January 2001.

But we're just court jesters. Let the role players of history do their thing, while we note our observations.