Press Release
July 29, 2009

Press statement of Senator Loren Legarda


Malacañang's rejection of the six nominees for the Supreme Court by the Judicial and Bar Council is a strong and unmistakable indication that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is intent on packing the highest court of the land with justices who could be depended upon to do her bidding. This would appear as a violation of the Constitution.

Under the Constitution, the President's prerogative to choose an appointee for each vacancy is limited to the three recommendees of the JBC. The President's rejection of the list can only be interpreted to mean that she has deviated from the limitation enjoined of her by the Constitution.

The Supreme Court is supposed to be one of the independent branches of government, co-equal to the Congress and the Executive. With many sensitive and crucial issues expected to brought to the Supreme Court affecting the future of our country, such as the charter change proposal, it is vital that the Court should maintain its independence and integrity.


The increase in the interest and repayment of our public debt shows the weakness of our economy, contrary to the claim of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her SONA. According to the Department of Finance, the debt service of our government has risen by 2.8 percent to P361.7 billion compared to the P351.7 billion last year.

Finance officials say that the public debt may reach 57.3 percent of the Gross National Product this year. Payments to foreign creditors have also increased by 26.1 percent, indicating that the foreign debt component of the public debt has likewise increased.

President Arroyo's claim that we have a "strong and resilient economy" therefore falls flat on the prospect that our targeted budgetary deficit of P250 billion may be exceeded, forcing the government to borrow more.

This means that the government has been deficient in its collection of taxes because of inefficiency and widespread corruption. Despite the borrowing, there has not been enough funds for infrastructure projects, education, health and agriculture, resulting in poorer services and production. GMA has not been telling the whole truth to the Filipino people.

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