MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III wants to clip the powers of the Judiciary because he thinks he is the “prophet of righteousness,” a law dean said Monday.
Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, dean of the San Beda College’s Graduate School of Law, said that the President believes the “mental fallacy” that “nobody else is righteous” and all others are corrupt.
“He does not want the Supreme Court to stand in the way because this man is so convinced that he is the prophet of righteousness so anybody else who doesn’t agree with him cannot be righteous,” the law dean said.
In the first place, he said there was even no judicial breach on the part of the high court.
“All that was being asked by the Supreme Court was whether or not DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) was in accord with the constitution which is clearly a justiciable issue,” he said, pointing out that the issue was raised by the people to be acted upon by the court.
Fr. Aquino said the President simply does not want other people to stand in his path.
“And the Supreme Court, as an institution ordained by the constitution, can stand in his way if he does violated the Constitution. ‘Yan ang hindi matanggap ng ating Pangulo (That’s something that the President cannot accept),” he said.
Last week, during an exclusive interview with TV5, the President admitted that he was mulling over the issue of charter change, especially amid the alleged “judicial breach” that stemmed from the SC decision against DAP.
The high court declared DAP partly unconstitutional last July. Two weeks after, the President assailed the decision and said that it negatively affected the Executive’s programs for the people.
The law dean, on the other hand, said that such actions make Aquino a “very dangerous” president. He said even former president Ferdinand Marcos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo left the Supreme Court to its own devices amid unfavorable decisions.
“The real purpose of separation of powers was to prevent one branch of government from being all powerful,” Fr. Aquino said. “It is to prevent a tyranny. It is to prevent a concentration of power on only one person or on only one branch.”
Nevertheless, Fr. Aquino said he still hopes the President would change his mind and start listening to “better” advisers.
He also dismissed Aquino’s claim that he continues to listen to the “voice of his bosses.”
“’Yung dumarating sa kanya na boses ng boss nya ay boses ng mga nagsasalita sa kanya na gusto nilang protektahan ang sarili nilang interes,” Fr. Aquino said.
“In a democracy, people elect a president not to do what he is told by the people but to do what he thinks best. We choose a president who is capable of governing,” Fr. Aquino said.
The law dean also said that the situation reminded him of his experience as a professor.
“The students who learn fastest and the students who are willing to listen, the students who are willing to be taught are often the brightest. And that says a lot about the opposite,” he said.
Fr. Aquino said that for their part, the public should express their opposition to charter change and term extension and protect their rights enshrined in the Constitution. (MNS)