MANILA – Justice Lucas Bersamin criticized Justice Marvic Leonen for baring his dissenting opinion on the Supreme Court’s resolution granting bail to Senator Juan Ponce Enrile who has been detained for more than a year for his alleged involvement in the multi-billion pork barrel scam.
Moreover, Bersamin was displeased with Leonen’s ‘unprecedented invasion’ over the ponencia or the majority’s opinion and the ‘gross distortions’ in his dissenting opinion.
“I wish to state that Justice Leonen overstepped the bounds of respect for the majority. Once the vote was taken he had absolutely no business implying anything against him the majority had voted, or how their consensus had been reached. He was a member of the minority; he should have stayed there. He should have confined himself to expressing his losing views. He should not fret, and assail the process that he could not control from his side of the vote. This is the context in which I view and regard his comments,” he said.
In his five-page rejoinder, Bersamin clarified that the final version of the resolution passed for signature was the one voted upon on August 18 and not the copy on August 14.
He also had the ‘impression’ that Leonen was implying the majority justices signed the final version without scrutinizing its contents.
“He (Leonen) and other members of the minority cast their vote against the ponencia while eight of us (including myself) cast our vote in favor; and, second, he knew as much as any other member of the court voting on Aug. 18, 2015, that I have never substantially varied from the first large draft that I submitted for deliberations [for the session on] Feb. 24, 2015,” he said.
The Court sitting en banc will be discussing the magistrate’s rejoinder next week.