The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday junked the plea for a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would stop President Benigno Aquino 3rd from enforcing his order appointing former Sen. Panfilo Lacson as rehabilitation czar.
In an interview, Lacson said that he will leave the case with the lawyers of the government.
Lacson said that it is a sacrifice on his part and whatever the high court rules, he will obey.
“For now I will continue my work. Whatever the ruling of the court, I will obey. I will leave it to the wisdom of the court. I will not cling to the position,” Lacson told The Manila Times.
During the SC en banc deliberations Tuesday, the SC denied the plea to halt Lacson from effectively functioning as presidential assistant in building homes for the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas.
In the meantime, the SC ordered Malacañang to comment on the legality of the appointment of Lacson as rehabilitation czar. It ordered the Palace to lodge its comment within a period of 10 days.
Malacañang will be given a chance to dispute the petition filed by taxpayer Luis Biraogo which assailed the constitutionality of Lacson’s new office after it was created by President Aquino.
Biraogo questioned the constitutionality of Memorandum Order No. 62 dated December 6, 2013, which gave Lacson the cabinet portfolio as presidential assistant to oversee the rehabilitation and recovery efforts in the earthquake and typhoon ravaged areas in the Visayas.
Lawyer Theodore Te, chief of the SC’s public information office (PIO), said that Biraogo stated in his petition that the memorandum order violates Republic Act 10121, which created the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
It was also argued in the petition that the NDRRMC was created to carryout post-disaster rehabilitation programs for the government.
“Hence there is no need for the new office created by the President which respondent Lacson currently occupies,” the petition states.
“The issuance of MO 62 effectively amends or modifies RA 10121 and thus is a usurpation of legislative power of Congress which designated the secretary of defense as head/chair of NDRRMC and thus MO 62 cannot confer upon the presidential assistant the authority conferred by law on the secretary of defense,” added Biraogo’s petition.