It is not a secret that the present administration has a low judicial standing. This is well shown by the number of times the Supreme Court decidedly quashed its many attempts to arrogate power beyond its competence. It is somehow funny that no less than the opposition advised it to get better legal representation.
But with the recent Supreme Court decision once again demolishing its quest for political advantage under the pretense of a “People’s Initiative” to change the fundamental law of the land, the already low judicial stature of the Administration in fact even became lower. To date, in addition to the Philippine Senate, the Supreme Court serves as a good and effective check of the administrative branch in the latter’s insistence of pretending to be above the law.
It is now clear that the so-called “People’s Initiative” could be anything but a people’s move, in both form and substance. It was in reality the Administration’s initiative. Those pushing it through all ways and means were all pro-administration. It is hard even but to imagine that funds used for its loud and repeated trimedia promotions were financed by the people.
One can simply wonder how low this present Administration is willing to go precisely in its baseless high aspiration at power and influence. The problem with this lack of self-respect is that the people themselves look at the Administration with more scorn and less esteem. This makes harder and harder for the Administration to effectively govern.
The truth of the matter is that the junking of the government’s initiative to change the Constitution is strangely a big favor to the present Administration. Reason: were it upheld by the Supreme Court, this Administration would be in big trouble. From students to teachers, from the common citizens to professionals, the poor to the wealthy—all these would surely go to the streets, stage rallies and join marches.
Who knows were such popular dissent to the “People’s Initiative” and resentment towards the Administration would lead. It could go anywhere but towards social order and peace. It might become anything except making the present administration more acceptable.
26 October 2006