Press Release
November 21, 2011


This latest clash between the executive and the judiciary is testing the limits of our constitutional democracy--and rightly so. The old ways and old approaches in our efforts to fight corruption have failed us. The system of justice has by and large failed to ensure respect for the rule of law. This explains why lawlessness and disregard for the rule of law continue to plague us.

The Supreme Court, in quite a number of recent decisions, most unfortunately, has not helped much in restoring faith and respect for our justice system. In fact, it has courted insubordination and disrespect for its almost-whimsical and arbitrary exercise of judicial authority in a number of recent cases.

It is in this context that we must, in fact, push and test the limits of our constitutional democracy and see how far we can go to effect sweeping change and reforms. We need to think out of the box. We need to do things differently. We need to be bold and daring and, yes, bordering on near-recklessness if we wish to effect genuine change for our nation.

It is also in this context that we support the position taken by Secretary Leila de Lima, and we urge the Supreme Court to read the writing on the wall. Arbitrary and whimsical court orders that show utter disrespect for a co-equal, whether the executive or the legislative branch of government, will be faced frontally. In fact, both the executive and the legislative branches must come together and ensure that a wayward judiciary is put in its proper place.

No, this is not anarchy. This is democracy at work. This is checks and balances at work. It is the sworn duty of the executive and the legislative departments to act as a check on a wayward judiciary.

Whether it the legislative or the executive branch, to stand up and oppose the Supreme Court is to fulfill our constitutional duty to serve as a check on a co-equal branch. The Supreme Court should think long and hard before it punishes Secretary de Lima. They may have to cite many others in contempt and there won't be enough jails in the land to place all those who have grown sick and tired of the pervasive corruption and inutility in the justice system we have all come to know all these years now.

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