Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Liberal Construction

In Law, there is such a thing called statutory construction--the study and interpretation of laws. In interpreting laws, there are also two things, quite commonly practiced--a strict interpretation and a "Liberal" construction. A strict interpretation means application of the law based strictly on what it truly means while in "liberal", a loose or often, "open" interpretation of the law.


Interpretation as to the letter or "spirit" of the law depends entirely on the courts. It is the court's duty to interpret what legislators meant or intended to do in the law. 


In this impeachment trial, interpreting what the Rules say, is reposed to the member jurors of the Senate as a court. The presiding officer, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, is just that--presiding over the entire proceedings. 


Now, what does the prosecution wants? It wants a liberal construction on the Rules on Evidence. Enrile asks--how liberal would you want the court to be? What do you mean when you said, a liberal construction?


" Is it like what the Aquino administration interprets the energy sector deregulation law? That the state is entirely powerless to stop rising fuel hikes by oil firms?"


" Is it like how the Aquino administration thinks the market should be? That food manufacturers can do exactly what they want, change their prices every single day, hike them up, so that people would not be able to pay for them?"


" Is it as "liberal" as what the Aquino administration thinks the Supreme Court should have acted---stop the TRO filed by Arroyo and send her to jail without even considering if there are actual and strong facts attending to the crimes charged against her."


" Is it as "liberal" as what the 188 Congressmen intends to conduct their business? Just sign papers without even reading them."


UNwittingly, the prosecution erred when it questioned the way the Senate acting as a Court interprets the Rules on Evidence. Why? Because they unwittingly revealed the true reason behind the ouster move--they want nothing more than transform the Senate into a "LIberal territory" Hehehehe.