Supreme Court: The court of last error?

Article 8 of the Civil Code provides: “Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines.” In “Civil Code of the Philippines Annotated,” the late SC Justice Edgardo L. Paras explained: “The decisions referred to are those enunciated by the Supreme Court, which is the court of last resort,” citing Miranda v. Imperial: “Only the decisions of this … Court establishes jurisprudence or doctrines in this jurisdiction.”

Bartolome Fernandez Jr. parodied the Supreme Court as the “court of last error” in his letter (Opinion, 7/18/2017) because of so many notorious errors in its decisions. How then, in heaven’s name, can these “errors” form part of the law of the land? The problem lies in the fact that there are three divisions of the Supreme Court; in each one, only three out of five justices are enough to call the shots. As has often happened, each division renders decisions according to its own light or lack of it, such that one division says one thing and the other another, sometimes referring to the same material issues. If both contradictory decisions become “law,” so to speak, which one should the people get their legal bearings from?
SOURCE: GEORGE DEL MAR, 05:01 AM July 26, 2017. A ‘wild and weird’ suggestion for the Supreme Court. Read more: Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

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