Press Release
July 3, 2015


The Supreme Court Chief Justice's birthday wish is a virtual indictment of Malacañang for its propensity to disregard the constitution, Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" R. Marcos, Jr. said today.

Reports said that on her birthday last Thursday, SC Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno 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? "Marcos said.

Marcos noted that the SC under Sereno has declared unconstitutional Malacañang'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 SC 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 Malacañang'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.

He 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 Malacañang's version of the bill after the panel members met with the President.

"That shows either Malacañang'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," Marcos said.

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.

The senator pointed out that Chief Justice Sereno was obviously 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."

The senator 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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