March 14, 2016

Grace Poe DQ: Carpio-Sereno rift casts doubt on CJ’s Mental Health

Throughout the hearings and up to the release of the Supreme Court (SC) decision, Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno’s bias in favor of respondent presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares led some Filipino netizens to raise questions on Sereno’s mental health.

Here are some of the Facebook comments about the Carpio-Sereno saga.
“Iba talaga tama n’yan[g si Sereno] palibhasa she failed her psychological test ([Sereno’s] on a different level of ‘crazy’, having failed her psychological test),” quipped a netizen, whose identity is kept hidden for her own protection.
Another netizen said, “It seems CJ voted based on emotions.”
“Kagalang galang na mga shunga laganap na sa Supreme Court. Akala ko sa kalye lang makasalamuha (Honorable idiots are rampant in the Supreme Court. I thought they can only be found in the streets),” another netizen said. 

DLSU PolSci Professor Antonio Contreras even blasted the "the idiocy of the logic behind CJ Sereno's contention that 7 is a majority."

Posted by Antonio P. Contreras on Saturday, March 12, 2016

Carpio vs Sereno

The comments came in light of the squabble between Sereno and Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.
Carpio said Thursday, “…there is no majority of this Court that holds that… Poe… is a natural-born Filipino” in his scathing dissent in Poe vs. Comelec. [SC]
Carpio contradicted Sereno’s claim Thursday that they voted 9-6, forming a majority. [BusinessWorld]
The two crossed swords since Carpio’s announcement, with Sereno saying that it just adds “uncertainty on an already tense situation.” [GMA]
Before Sereno, chief justices very rarely discuss cases outside their written ponencias, let alone argue over national TV. In the past, the public learned about the SC decisions only upon the release of the ponencias, and not through press conferences.
Quite recently, however, this has not been the case. The SC Public Information Office (PIO), widely considered as the Chief Justice’s mouthpiece, announced the 9-6 decision in a press conference Tuesday. [Rappler
Aside from this SC issue, Poe is also receiving flak for allegedly defending accused plunderer Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco.

Sereno’s "Passion"

Sereno’s general demeanor on the Poe’s case runs contrary to the expectation of impartiality among all judges involved in the case. 
Since the first round of oral arguments, Sereno’s line of questioning favor of Poe, with Sereno going so far as implying that an adverse decision will disenfranchise all foundlings in the country. [Rappler]
Sereno implied the decision will set bad precedent; however, Poe vs COMELEC ended up in a virtual split decision accompanied by scathing dissents from Justices Carpio, del Castillo [SC], and Perlas-Bernabe [SC], severely minimizing its impact on anti-foundling jurisprudence.
L to R: SC Associate Justices Carpio, del Castillo, and Perlas-Bernabe
This led some netizens to doubt Sereno’s mental health, especially since she has failed her JBC-mandated psychological/psychiatric test prior to her appointment as chief magistrate.

The JBC conducted a psych exam on Sereno, where she got a grade of 4. [Rappler]
The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) is the organization that vets all Supreme Court nominees.
The grading system goes from 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest, 3 being satisfactory and 5 being psychotic.
The JBC psych report said Sereno has an “IQ of 109” and “a strong tendency to make decisions based on current mood, thus outcome is highly subjective and self-righteous.” [MT]
Despite these test results, President Benigno Aquino III went with the appointment.
After sitting as Chief Justice, Sereno decided not to renew the contracts of JBC’s psych team.
“They were fired because the CJ [Chief Justice] has an ax to grind. They tested her and found her to have failed the psychiatric test,” according to an MT source. [MT]
The JBC’s team of psychologists and psychometricians has served the organization for years, long before Sereno became Chief Justice.
Sereno was the first appointee of Aquino to the High Court. A former Executive Director of the Asian Institute of Management.  Appointed at age 50, Sereno is the youngest to be named chief magistrate. [Thinking Pinoy]

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