Yes, we long for those great debates in the chandeliered chambers of the Old Congress — the great debates in which eloquent orators were able to present their cases and carry the day through the sheer force of their arguments— no longer take place. The likes of Tanada, Recto, Diokno, Manglapus, Macapagal, Aquino, and Kalaw are simply not re-echoed.
The Supreme Court is, of course, the institution further removed from popular Control— that is to say being above politics and bribery as originally conceived. But in recent times, in numerous cases, it is seen to be acting arbitrarily or precipitously or with unusual delay in resolving cases far beyond the limits of precedent or common sense of justice. In so doing, it has not only forfeited a substantial degree of popular support and respect. And so, it has weakened the perception that ours is a government by consensus— of institutional consensus represented by a Constitution that can only be modified through amendatory process. One measurable consequence of Judicial indiscretion of the past two decades is that the high Court’s dockets is now perpetually clogged which naturally bear a distressing impact on the everyday lives of common citizens. It is time that our judicial system rediscover the virtues of judicial restraint to enable it to revisit that enlightened common sense that once enabled us to strike the appropriate balance between private rights and public and to appreciate the limits of governmental power in a free society.
Yet, ultimately, the doctrine of checks and balances, more than its intendment to the three branches of government, finds compelling friendship to those of us who have a responsibility to do something about limiting, if not totally eliminating, the opportunities of those in government to use the coercive power of the state to the detriment of the very people who empowered them.