Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How long will they disregard the Philippine Constitution

"You know our deep concern is that, sometimes, our Constitution is not being considered very seriously in the discussions that are going on in other branches of government and maybe even in some sectors.  
So our duty is to ensure that everything that comes out is always in accordance with the Constitution. 
The challenge for the SC is always to look at the Constitution intently...
“Ipaglaban po natin ang ating karapatan at ating Constitution, upang mapangalagaan ang ating mamamayan.” - SC Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno
Philippine Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno
 Marcos laments charter breaches


by Bernadette E. Tamayo, Journal

THE reported birthday wish of Supreme Court Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno for the country to elect a leader who will defend and honor the Constitution is a virtual “indictment” of the Aquino administration for its propensity to disregard the Charter.
    
Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., made the remark amid reports that on her birthday, Sereno supposedly wished for a new leader next year who would be faithful to the Constitution, particularly to the concept of checks and balances.
     
While the Chief Justice was diplomatic enough not to comment on how President Aquino measures up to her criteria of a good leader, Marcos said she is clearly not satisfied with the administration’s track record in complying with the Constitution.
     
“Why else would the Chief Justice make such a wish?“ asked Marcos. He noted that the Supreme Court under Sereno has declared unconstitutional Malacanang’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), particularly the provisions allowing the Palace to go around congressional powers to channel funds where it wanted.
     
Among the provisions of the DAP that the high court struck down were: the withdrawal of unobligated funds and their declaration as savings; the funding of projects not covered by the General Appropriations Act;  and the “cross-border” transfer of savings by the Executive branch.
     
The high tribunal said these were “in violation of Section 25 (5) of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and the doctrine of separation of powers.” 
    
Another example of Malacanang’s disregard for the Constitution, according to Marcos, is the Palace’s insistence that Congress pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law without any changes despite its unconstitutional provisions.
     
Marcos noted that while the ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives initially found several provisions of the draft BBL unconstitutional, it reversed its position and approved Malacanang’s version of the bill after the panel members met with the President.
     
“That shows either Malacanang’s lack of understanding of the basic mandate of Congress to enact laws faithful to the Constitution or, worse, contempt for the concept of separation of powers by treating the Legislature as a mere stamp pad of the Executive,” said Marcos.
     
Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government deliberating on the BBL, earlier said he would submit a substitute bill to correct not only the constitutional flaws of the draft BBL, but also the administrative and other practical issues raised against the proposed law.
     
He said Sereno was apparently concerned too about the unconstitutional provisions in the draft BBL. Marcos cited Sereno’s comments during the Independence Day Celebrations where she said: “Our deep concern is that sometimes, our Constitution is not being considered very seriously in the discussions that are going on in other branches of government, and maybe even by some sectors.”
 
He reiterated his vow to resist any attempt at railroading the BBL in the Senate.

He said the substitute bill he is preparing will likely be ready for the discussion of the committee members when Congress resumes session on July 27.

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