PHILCONSA DENOUNCES ASSAULT ON JUDICIARY
• August 24, 2014
• Written by People’s Journal
• Published in Top Stories
LEYTE Rep. Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez and Manuel M. Lazaro, President and Chairman/CEO, respectively, of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), reacting to the probe into the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) and in defense of the judiciary said:
“The Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) is not and cannot be likened to the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). The JDF is a special purpose fund established for specific purposes from specific sources. The sources and beneficiaries of the disbursements are transparent and accountable. The Chief Justice administers the JDF in accordance with specific rules adopted. Eighty (80%) percent of the JDF shall be utilized to augment the allowances of the members and personnel of the judiciary and not more than twenty (20%) percent shall be used for office equipment and facilities of the Courts.”
In the case of DAP, the purposes are determined by politicians for political objectives. The sources, the amounts of disbursements and the projects, are dependent on the whims, casuistries and caprices of the incredulous politicians motivated by politics with the use and cooperation of local units and/or dubious/bogus NGOs.
Romualdez and Lazaro remarked: “It is embarrassing and humiliating for the Supreme Court when political leaders proposing to amend the Constitution act purposely to clip and envelop the wrongly perceived superiority of the Supreme Court vis-à-vis the acts of the Executive and Legislative Departments. The public should know that when the Supreme Court declares unconstitutional executive and legislative actions, it is not because the judiciary has superiority over the legislative or executive. The Supreme Court simply mediates, as mandated by the Constitution, and admonishes the co-equal branches that their acts are not in accordance with the Constitution. The High Court only asserts its solemn and sacred duty as the final interpreter of the Constitution. The Court is the umpire to decide whether the executive or legislative branches act wrongly or rightly in accordance with the Constitution.
The Philconsa exhorts and pleads with the political leaders to be more judicious and cautious in their reactions/actuations towards the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court. Lazaro and Romualdez admired and commended the Chief Justice and the members of the Supreme Court for their sober, dignified and cool stance in the face of the uncourtly and unchivalrous reactions of the executive and legislative departments against the Judiciary when it interpreted and declared unconstitutional legislative and executive acts contrary to the Constitution. The move of Congress to probe the JDF under the awkward unpleasant setting is nothing but a puerile act of vengeance.