Blending, not separation, of powers


The Supreme Court (SC) continues to be secretive? A truthful assets statements cannot lead anyone to trouble. Yet, the SC has again denied a request of the BIR (no longer Bigay Ikaw Regalo under the leadership of Kim Henares, whose shame campaign I disfavor though) for assets statements, making SC stand for Secretive Court. It would not even give the public certain rulings! Nor copies of papers in a case where the one requesting is not a party. For crying out loud.

Marcos was one tough criminal genius who imprisoned Senators Aquino, Diokno, Rodrigo, Mitra and Salonga. But, he had the full panoply of martial law to back up his egregious misadventure into kakistocracy and kleptocracy. Macoy had non-crony media outlets closed.

All AmPaw PNoy has done was to work for the ouster of a Chief Justice (CJ) and now three senators are in jail. Without martial law at that and with a Wild, Wild Press validating that media is the plural of mediocre (Rocky Bridges), knowing all the answers which are hopelessly contradictory. Columnists galore confirming Arthur Hoppe’s definition that a columnist such as I scan the papers, and finding something I don’t understand I proceed to explain it, in this paradise of sabong journalists.

Here, mediocrity can really go far. Cuz PNoy is Ampaw, sans martial law and does the legal traditional way, in freedom, such as in moving to recon. One should see what Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to do with the US Supreme Court in the 30s.

This is the same SC which said Rene Corona’s post-midnight appointment was OK. The Constitution provided a way for the people to make him jobless by reversing the SC. He had decided to testify in his impeachment trial. Hara kiri. His legal team called Chit Carpio-Morales, who twisted the sword. You don’t ask a question the answer to which you don’t already know—was very early on drilled us by our betters who knew the law, not the judge. And a lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client, another early lesson confirmed.

PNoy did threaten the Supreme Court (SC)—not with salvaging or detention, but with a motion for reconsideration. Thoroughly legal and traditional. Lame? I can’t see how.

Bribery? You do something now and collect a year later? Comic relief. Of course we have problems, following World II, the Marcos dictatorship and the GMA Power Grab.

We can always blame our horned leaders, including the haloed saints in the wings, who may come marching in in less than two years, if the comic impeachment tries succeed. For trying to give our people a better life?

But, we are scofflaws multiplying like rabbits in our ungovernable culture, aware of our Bill of Rights, but not our Bill of Duties.

In 700 days we won’t have PNoy to kick around anymore.

Today, we see court personnel demoing for the Supreme Court. Their right – outside of office hours. They did it during office hours in the case of Rene Corona. But, whatever for? The Judiciary Development Fund which only a Chief Justice from 1984 can deal with? The arrangement is so undemocratic. Others, particularly other unelected Justices and the elected lawmakers should be involved. Cross-border? We may even ask that the Fund be increased as the Judiciary may not have enough datong. In Makati where I live, the City’s executive gives allowances, vehicles and other perks to the judiciary.

If true, so what? If it is to improve the administration of justice. Those in government must work as one, not as a circular firing squad. Prof. Carlo L. Cruz, eminent son of the great late Justice Isagani A. Cruz, just gifted me (cum the usual blarney for a dedication) with a 2014 edition of Philippine Political Law. Justice Isagani moved me when in 2005 he dedicated a book “to a brilliant lawyer of lost causes, from a fellow loser.” I can live with losing. So can PNoy, I believe, but we are pledged to raise all colorable entertainable defenses, as in pro duty bound, under our lawyer’s oath.

All in government are pledged to try to work together to give our people a better life. “[T]here is some difficulty in classifying some of them [powers]as definitely legislative, executive or judicial. Justice Holmes put it vividly when he remarked that `the great ordinances of the Constitution do not establish and divide fields of black and white. Even the more specific of them are found to terminate in a penumbra shading gradually from one extreme to another.’ “ At 134.

The point is have we all forgotten “blending of powers” and remember only their separation. Local governments like Makati and Taguig can continue giving judicial personnel allowances, vehicles and other perks, I submit. Cross-border, we are one family. Do the protesters want money from local government units stopped? I don’t.

I can even agree to giving Justices a million a month so they will stop collecting pay disingenuously in the Presidential Electoral Tribunal which has no case, as PNoy clearly won in 2010. For the masa, it’s no work no pay.

The protesters may wear any color, their right. Yellow remains my choice, forever and a day.

Meantime, the SC brags that it accounts to the people on the Judiciary Development Fund. PD No. 1949 says there should be quarterly reports, to be given, among others, to executive judges. I have been telling my students, for years, to get one copy of the reports from such judges, to pass my subject. Up to now, none.

Oh, yes, my source says, “ampaw, you might be happy with for a while but after 10 minutes, you’re hungry because there’s nothing in it,’ PNoy said in Filipino. `Ampaw’ is a pejorative for people lacking in substance.”

Look where the toughies are. Caged.

Pusong Mamon, I distrust anyone in whom the instinct to punish is powerful – Nietzsche. I was a fierce critic of Manong from 1972 up to his dishonest Memoirs but I don’t kick anyone wh o is down. Hors de combat. In Italy and Spain, I understand no jail time for septuagenarians. Way to go. He is going on 91.

But unwell Manong Johnny should be given civilized city arrest, as in the case of Suharto.

All this, from a human rights advocate trying hard to be a Christian.


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  1. huling-huli na si penoy at si abad sa kanilang pagnanakaw at panunuhol sa mga congressista at senadores. nasa harap mo na kung sino sino pa ang binabanggit mo.

  2. ALLMOST ALL POLITICIANS THAT That occupy senate congress and malacañang are PRO MARCOS PRETENDING TO BE ANTI alam nyo kung bakit no one BOTHERS to REPEAL MARCOSIAN LAWS

  3. kung papayag ka sana Mr. Sagisag mag debate tayo tungkol sa mga sinulat ninyo ngayon….gusto ko debate sa public…..sobrang bobo ko naman kung papayag o maniwala ako sa mga sinasabi mo… kahit hindi ako lawyer haharapin kita ng ponto sa ponto tungkol sa mga sinabi mo.

  4. arlyn pagaran on

    Bihira lang talaga ang may logic at common sense na katulad mo sa Manila Times.Keep on providing your sane analysis. Hopefully yung mga mahilig sa abusado at magnanakaw na Marcos, Gloria, Corona—will see the light

  5. mang rene, paghandaan mo na ang depensa sa idol mong penoy. malapit na siyang putaktihin ng kaso sa oras na mag-expire ang kanyang termino. dito mo patunayan yang mga sinasabi mo. tingnan natin kung o-obra yang mga logic mo, at kung kaya mo siyang i-iwas sa tiyak na pagkakulong.

  6. “Bribery? You do something now and collect a year later? Comic relief.”

    You’d think that Enrile and his bloc would have convicted if not for a promise to collect later? You’d think the congressmen would have voted to impeach without reading the articles without the promise of collecting later?

    Ows c’mon now, Atty Saguisag. Intellectual dishonesty is a disservice to oneself.

  7. When all these people have completed their saln & submitted it surely its kept on file somewhere in either the bir or government. If its then archieved then surely any government agency would be allowed to look at it whenever they want. This is again secrecy that shouldnt be there. It also appertains to the bank secrecy law, look when they recently debated it in congress & said they need to keep it or the banks would suffer as people would lose faith in them. What a load of tosh. Thats what filipine politicians are good at spouting tosh. You see when examining saln’s it should also be able to see whats in peoples accounts, i dont care how honourable they are & that we should believe their word as just look at cj corona. Did his saln ever show he had P180,000,000 in it, no never so he was hiding it from the governemnt & the bir. This countries hierarchy wants to retain as much secrecy as they can as most if not all politicians are not 100% honest when it comes to money.

  8. You are a rare honest and Christian Filipino, Atty. Rene Saguisag.
    Sadly, in the matter of Aquino-Abad’s wrongdoings your loyalty to the Yellow Flag blinds you to the truth.
    God bless you.
    May our country have more people like you, sir. But also better than you in being more clear sighted about the malfeasance of this Cojuangco-Aquino who has turned away from the values his mother held dear.

  9. As they called you a Constitutional lawyer, you should know it, GMA did not grab her position to become President, she was the Vice President when Estrada was found guilty of plunder .And Arturo M. Tolentino should have been installed as President not Cory Aquino, she grabbed the position from Vice Pres Arturo Tolentino. And to call Marcos a criminal genius , the Philippines then was infiltrated with CPPA-NPA under the leadership of Jose Maria Sison and Benigno Aquino in collaboration with him, both and others were imprisoned plotting and de-stabilizing the gov,t and The Plaza Miranda in Quiapo bombing injuring radio broadcaster Rafael Yabut which the communist media blamed it on Marcos, come to found out it was done by CPPA-NPA..

  10. Very eloquent. Well written. If lawyers and judges are as honest and incorruptible like you, politicians and the rest would obey the laws. Then Filipinos would be in hog heaven. Pardon the pun.