Historical Event 1: Supreme Court denies the Sigaw ng Bayan motion for reconsideration with finality, but plays coy and says that 10 justices opined that there is an adequate enabling law for charter change.
Current Event 1: Charter change proponents rejoice at the window that seems to have opened when the SC slammed the door shut. Charter change oppositors are strangely silent about the irregularity of the SC’s implied reversal of doctrine, even though implied reversals are generally unacceptable.
Hypothetical Event 1: A new petition for initiative is started up. The proponents take pains to ensure that Carpio’s criticisms are all met. Taken in conjunction with the SC’s obiter, it looks like a plebiscite is inevitable.
Hypothetical Event 2: Once the petition is filed with the COMELEC, Charter change oppositors come galloping in questioning the COMELEC’s right to take cognizance of the petition, citing the permanent injunction in Santiago v. COMELEC. This is when they trot out their arguments against implied reversals.
Hypothetical Event 3: The COMELEC either: takes cognizance of the petition, noting that the SC’s Ishmael Khan categorically said that the obiter constituted an implied reversal of Santiago; OR the COMELEC refuses to take cognizance saying that it wants a clearer picture from the SC.
Hypothetical Event 4: Either way, the petition gets shunted to the SC on a certiorari suit where the COMELEC is once again accused of grave abuse of discretion. In both cases, the COMELEC gets subjected to all sorts of pressure and accusations of partisanship. We get dragged through the mud again, tarred and feathered.
Hypothetical Event 5: The Supreme Court finally revists Santiago and rules, once and for all, whether the enabling law is adequate.
If the end result is the same, with the Supreme Court eventually having to decide squarely on the adequacy of the enabling law, why did it just not do so with the Motion for Reconsideration? By refusing to rule definitively, the SC has just prolonged the agony of uncertainty. And now, it looks like the people over at ULAP are itching for a rematch, serving only to confirm my dread that before 2007 is over, the whole three-ring circus will have come to town again.
What am I saying? The circus never left town.