VP: On Amending the Charter to Clip the Power of the Judiciary

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Those advising the President to pursue a course that will lead to a frontal confrontation with the Supreme Court are bringing our country to the brink of a political and constitutional crisis. They are also putting in peril the President’s chance to leave a positive legacy to the people. In doing so, they invoke the name of public interest. To blur the delineation between their selfish interest and public interest is dangerous and despotic.

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Checks and balances are the foundations of democracy. When the Supreme Court declared the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional, it was in exercise of its power and duty as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution ratified during the time of President Cory Aquino.

The Constitution is quite explicit when it reposed on the judiciary not only the power but also the duty “to determine whether or not there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch of instrumentality of government.” This was included precisely to prevent a situation where the judiciary bends to the wills of one branch, or of one man as was the case during martial law.

As one of those who fought for freedom and democracy during martial law, I appreciate the powers vested in the Supreme Court by the 1987 Constitution. It enshrines the hopes of the millions of Filipinos who made the 1986 Edsa Revolution possible for a strong judicial institution as the best safeguard against dictatorship in whatever form.

As a lawyer, I firmly believe that a democracy obligates the three co-equal branches — executive, judiciary and legislature — to respect each one’s independence and recognize each one’s powers, duties and limitations set by the Constitution. A healthy democracy will benefit the people.

While I respect the views of those who complain of judicial overreach as well as those who believe in lifting presidential term limits, I pray for sober reflection to restrain abrupt political initiatives. We must never allow purely partisan considerations to erode the institutions that guarantee our freedoms.

I have declared even before the President’s statement the other day my opposition to Charter change, except only on the economic provisions. My position has not changed. I will continue to oppose political Charter change not only because of principle but because it will be destabilizing and divisive at the very moment that we need national unity.

(Statement released by the office of the Vice President on August 15.)

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6 Comments

  1. I do not mine at all to extend for at least 2 more years for Pnoy
    to bring more reform to the country. Yes that is what we need
    and hope he will be given that chance. SC should start to bring
    out their accounts so we know where those funds are. We are the people
    who wants to know the taxes they are spending.
    Glad that SC Corona got kick out. Can you imagine how he accumulated
    so much money through the years specially serving Little Girl GMA.
    Abused of power and hope everybody pays and declare there taxes
    regardless if they earned or not. CARRY ON PNOY the majority of
    the people are with you. You have done things that other president
    has done specially to this three musketeers now in jail. One
    should not be in the Hospital like Little Girl who started it all.
    Masarap sa Hospital, Malambot ang Kama at masarap ang
    pagkain at Aircon Pa.

  2. With his sincere, straight forward attitude and untarnished honesty, he is the only one in the office of presidency that had accomplished so much and captured the respect of world leaders than Pnoy. Had he not been the president when typhoon Yolanda hit the country, perhaps, donations would have dwindled to almost nothing. His honesty and openness in governance have attracted so many nations and companies wanting to do business in the country. Another 6 years if given a chance by fate to rule the country, there would be great progress. But I guess this will not be so, for perhaps God hates the Philippines…a bastion of many thieves…starting from the street vendors all the way up to the Senate and Supreme Court…in the person of ex CJ Corona and probably his allies. Why don’t they show their SALNs?

    To those against him, you people are just remnants of the corrupt society…especially the media who trumpets all kinds of criticisms they could find. Why? That’s because they miss those corrupt presidents who bride them.

    Personally, I would prefer Pnoy to rule the country for life if only to erase all traces of corruption.

  3. Thank God, there is a Presidential Decree 1949 passed into Law by the genius former President Marcos enhancing and preserving the Independence of the Supreme Court , the one and only branch of gov’t that people like us the poor can depend on. We prayed.

  4. VP Binay was in malacañang when BS Aquino the TURD was speaking live on television and radio last july 25 friday 6pm I think, defending DAP and attacking SC? I saw VP Binay clapping his hands, meaning he is in favor of everything BS Aquino the Turd is talkiing about and airing his grievances to the public and asking the people to wear yellow to show support for him. Now, malacañang wants to clip the powers of SC and thinking about a term extension, now VP Binay is saying that “Checks and balances are the foundations of democracy. When the Supreme Court declared the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional, it was in exercise of its power and duty as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution ratified during the time of President Cory Aquino”.
    Ano ba talagang ang stand ni VP Binay sa issue na ito? Is this because his ambition might not push thru if there is a term extension for BS Aquino the Turd? This Abnoy will use all the money in the treasury and the hocus Pcos to win if ever. Just asking lang.

  5. Dominador D. Canastra on

    Great, commendable statement, Mr. Vice-President.

    May the majority of our countrymen continue to see you as the most trustworthy person in public office and not be swayed by the lies and demolition campaign of the Palace, the Liberal Party and the other criminals close to President Arroyo, Secretary Abad, Senate Prez Drilon and others who derserve to be made accountable for their betrayal of the Philippine Republic.

  6. What on earth is this president thinking. Is he such a spolied brat that he thinks he is above the law. Im sure he will find that if he tries to change the law so he can override the supreme court he will come unstuck. The people will be against him. It will show what type of a man he is. If he doesnt think that is a corrupt practice then he needs to go back to school.