THE United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Sunday expressed belief that the justices of the Supreme Court (SC) were the targets of the recent public address of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
UNA Secretary General and Rep. Tobias “Toby” Tiangco of Navotas believes that President Aquino’s unprecedented speech on Wednesday was addressed not to the people but to a select audience—the SC justices.
“It was obviously a desperate move to call the attention of the Supreme Court to contemplate on the supposed benefits of DAP [Disbursement Acceleration Program],” he added.
He pointed out that the President is aware that an SC decision against DAP will have a damaging impact on his Administration, and “will expose the hypocrisy of his administration.”
“He was actually subtly exerting pressure on the Supreme Court that is why he went out of his way to sound rational and reasonable on primetime TV. But unfortunately it was not a masterful job in laying the predicate to appeal for a constitutional blunder that is DAP,” Tiangco stressed.
Tiangco hopes that the High Tribunal will not forget how the DAP was used to influence a co-equal branch of government during the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
“The Supreme Court is the last bastion of democracy—it is the guardian of the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Malacañang may have control over the legislature but the SC would never allow itself to be subservient to the whims of the Executive Branch. The SC should stand their ground, otherwise, mawawalan ng saysay ang demokrasya [democracy would lose its meaning],” Tiangco said.
“We hope and trust that the SC will not reverse themselves in the ruling they made in Demetria vs. Alba, wherein the same mechanism used in DAP was already declared unconstitutional,” he cited.
The SC deferred the issuance of a temporary restraining order on the DAP and instead decided to hear on November 11 the oral arguments of all the petitioners seeking to declare the DAP unconstitutional.