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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Philippine Executive, Legislative branches urged to oppose Supreme Court

Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan
Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan has urged the executive and legislative branches of government to stand up and oppose the Supreme Court (SC).

Pangilinan said the two branches must come together to ensure that a wayward judiciary is put in its proper place.

"No, this is not anarchy. This is democracy at work. This is checks and balances at work. It is the sworn duty of the executives and the legislative departments to act as a check on a wayward judiciary," he said in a statement on Monday.

"Whether it is the legislative or the executive branch, to stand up and oppose the Supreme Court is to fulfill our constitutional duty to serve as a check on a co-equal branch," he said.

Senator Pangilinan pointed out the Supreme Court's alleged failure to restore the people's faith and respect for justice system and it's "almost-whimsical and arbitrary" exercise of judicial authority in a number of recent cases.

He specifically cited the latest clash between the executive and the judiciary over the travel ban issue of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The case, he said, was a test to the limits of constitutional democracy.

"The old ways and old approaches in our efforts to fight corruption have failed us. The system of justice has by and large failed to ensure respect for the rule of law. This explains why lawlessness and disregard for the rule of law continues to plague us," said the senator.

"The Supreme Court, in quite a number of recent decisions, most unfortunately, has not helped much in restoring faith and respect for our justice system. In fact, it has courted insubordination and disrespect for it almost-whimsical and arbitrary exercise of judicial authority in a number of recent cases," he pointed out.

Pangilinan then cited the case of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who is facing contempt charges for defying the temporary restraining order issued by the high tribunal against the travel ban on the former president.

"The Supreme Court should think long and hard before it punishes De Lima," he said.

"They may have to cite many others in contempt and there won't be enough jails in the land to place all those who have grown sick and tired of the pervasive corruption and inutility in the justice system we have all come to know all these years now," said the senator.

It is also worth noting that the SC magistrates, including the Chief Justice in position, was appointed by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo before she stepped down. This may explain why the SC's decisions seem to be in favor of the Arroyos, and thus, is being doubted by the current administration as being bias and corrupt.


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