First time that a Chief of Justice of the Supreme Court boldly expressed its overly dismay against the Executive branch of the government.
The Aquino administration was accused of disrespect and lack of civility as Chief Justice Renato Corona slammed the move to held hostage of their budget for 2012, after an apparent mistake and then recalling a decision on the case filed by Flights and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP).
The past few months have been specially difficult and trying for all of us. Never before has the entire Judiciary, even in the days of martial law, been subjected to so much disrespect and lack of civility from sectors we sincerely consider to be our partners in nation-building. I mince no words and I speak of nothing else but the insidious attempts to undermine, destroy even, the independence of the Judiciary through such means as forcing us to beg for the funds guaranteed to us by the Constitution or the repeated threats of impeachment based on a distorted and power-tripping interpretation of breach of public trust. I say to them: Enough is enough!
The Judiciary has no power of the sword nor power of the purse, but it will not hesitate to use the power of the pen to strike down what is illegal, unconstitutional and patently immoral. Right is right. Wrong is wrong. In the Supreme Court, under my watch, right will always find a sanctuary and wrong will never find refuge. Let not those who pervert democracy and the Constitution for their selfish political ends mistake our judicial decorum, wisdom of silence and sense of dignity as signs of weakness, for nothing can be farther from the truth. As long as I am the head of the Judiciary, the third and coequal branch of government, I will perform the duty that the Almighty and the Constitution have entrusted to me, without fear and without vacillation.
Slashing the judicial budget is believed to be against the Constitution, especially now that there are unfilled positions that needs to be funded. The Department of Budget and Management cut around P2 billion of the judiciary’s budget.
Even the spokespersons of both branches had their own word war regarding the issue. And it’s getting nowhere and doesn’t solve anything.
There is what we called separation of powers in the branches of government in the Philippines. The judiciary has fiscal autonomy but the Legislative and the Executive has the power of the purse.
This is how the checks and balance should do its work. But some people are really forgetting its limitations and boundaries.