“Supreme Court of idiots”

After Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago was not considered for the position of Chief Justice by the Judicial and Bar Council, she delivered a speech on the Senate floor and was quoted as saying:

I am not angry. I am irate. I am foaming in the mouth. I am homicidal. I am suicidal. I am humiliated, debased, degraded. And I am not only that, I feel like throwing up to be living my middle years in a country of this nature. I am nauseated. I spit on the face of Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and his cohorts in the Supreme Court, I am no longer interested in the position [of Chief Justice] if I was to be surrounded by idiots. I would rather be in another environment but not in the Supreme Court of idiots. . .

In a sworn letter complaint dated December 22, 2006, a certain Antero J. Pobre asked the Supreme Court to undertake disbarment proceedings or other disciplinary action against Senator Santiago on the ground that her statements reflected a total disrespect on the part of the speaker towards then Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and the other members of the Court and constituted direct contempt of court.

In her comment, Senator Santiago, through counsel, did not deny making the statements. However, she explained that those statements were covered by the constitutional provision on parliamentary immunity, being part of a speech she delivered in the discharge of her duty as member of Congress. The purpose of her speech, according to her, was to bring out in the open controversial anomalies in governance with a view to future remedial legislation.

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