Press Release
March 17, 2010


"The Liberal Party and I, and almost certainly the vast majority of the Filipino people, are deeply alarmed by the Supreme Court's decision to grant President Arroyo the power to appoint the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at this late stage in her term.

"It scares many of our people that even on a very crucial issue of constitutionality and decency in government, the Justices of our Supreme Court would bow to the mighty powers of this President who has bent the rules and even our Constitution to suit her whims. It sends a chill into our people's hearts that a scenario of a failure of election could really happen, especially now with automation of the elections under question by many sectors and experts.

"We must rely on our faith in the principles and processes that give democracy its lifeblood. We shall appeal this decision. We shall fight, within the bounds of decency -- bounds that the current administration seems to care little for -- so the people's will prevails.

"The prohibition on appointments during the election period was designed to ensure a sitting President will not influence the elections. And the prohibition imposed on an outgoing president to name the head of constitutional bodies, especially a body as sensitive as the Supreme Court, was put in place precisely to guard against the kind of abuse being exhibited now, especially in this case where it can be used to protect Mrs. Arroyo if she ever leaves office in June 30 because of her Administration's involvement in numerous irregularities.

"With this decision, one of the most sacrosanct rule governing our democracy -- that of co-equal branches of government serving as a check and balance to each other -- has been thrown out the window. It sends a foreboding message to the people whose faith in the democratic system has been tested too many times, yet has never wavered.

"Whoever rules now makes the rules. The blindfold of Lady Justice has now been stripped off, and she is now being coerced to tip her scales in favor of President Arroyo and her clique who intend to keep power at all costs.

"This is not how a democracy is supposed to work. Mangling the spirit of our constitution to serve the whims of the present administration sets a dangerous precedent: Where once we had a glimmer of hope for the return of decency's reign, now that glimmer has dimmed considerably. Future generations of Filipinos will now have to live under a system where the strong and mighty defines what is right and wrong.

"Hindi tayo papayag na yurakan ang demokrasya at ang ating Saligang Batas para mapanatili sa poder ang mga tiwali sa ating pamahalaan. Huwag nating biguin ang matagal nang inaasam ng ating taumbayan na pagbabago sa ating bansa.

"Kasama ang buong sambayanan, lalaban tayo!"

News Latest News Feed