LACSON REACTION TO SUPREME COURT RULING

Manila, April 2, 2003  (By SEN. PANFILO LACSON ) - It is most lamentable 
that the Supreme Court, voting 10-4-1, has reversed its original 13-0 
ruling, which remanded the controversial Kuratong Baleleng case to the 
Quezon Regional Trial Court.

It seems unthinkable that the Supreme Court, voting unanimously 10 months 
ago, would now reverse itself and move for the reopening of the multiple 
murder case, which was provisionally dismissed by the Court of Appeals in 
March 31,1999 and again reaffirmed on Aug. 24, 2001 by the CA's Special 
Third Division. They had ruled that that the case could no longer be 
revived due to the lapse of the two-year prescriptive period.

The decision of the High Tribunal bodes ill for the rule of law in this 
country, considering that the same Supreme Court defined the rules of 
prescription. Reversing itself today even without the benefit of new 
arguments, with seven of the SC justices who voted earlier for the 13-0 
ruling reversing themselves, leaves a lot to speculation.

I have already conferred with my lawyers and they will file a motion for 
reconsideration but as things stand now, there's a very slim chance that 
our motion will be granted.

In the meantime, I can only hope and pray that our justices in the Supreme 
Court will continue to have an open mind and exercise utmost objectivity 
and fairness in their decisions.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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