Will justices wear red and black at SONA?

Posted at 07/28/14 3:53 PM

MANILA - All eyes will also be on members of judiciary attending today's State of the Nation Address (SONA) given the rift between it and President Aquino over the Disbursement Acceleration Program and other issues.

Aquino is expected to comment anew on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). Some acts of the DAP have been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC).

The conflict between the 2 branches escalated after President Aquino castigated the Supreme Court for its ruling on the DAP.

In a televised speech days before his SONA, Aquino said: “My message to the Supreme Court: We do not want two equal branches of government to go head to head, needing a third branch to step in to intervene. We find it difficult to understand your decision.”

The SC has yet to react to this statement.

Immediately after his speech, however, some allies of Aquino began to attack the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF).

His allies in the House of Representatives said they will initiate a probe to look into what they call the pork barrel of the judiciary.

The Commission on Audit has also questioned the SC’s P3.19 billion savings despite its unpaid obligations.

In another speech days after his televised announcement, Aquino again hit the SC and cited instances whereby the SC supposedly made cross-border transfers, an act declared unconstitutional in the DAP.

“Ito po ang mga halimbawa: Noong Hulyo 2012, may savings ang Korte Suprema na nagkakahalaga ng 1.865 billion pesos. Inilaan ito para dagdagan ang pondong pampagawa ng Manila Hall of Justice. Ang totoo nga po, noong Agosto ng taong iyon, nag-groundbreaking na sila para sa bagong gusali. Ang problema lang po, nasa ilalim ng Department of Justice ang item ng ating budget para sa proyektong ito. Malinaw po: Ang pera ng hudikatura, inilaan nila para sa proyektong ehekutibo dapat ang gumagawa,” he said.

The SC denied it had agreed to the executive's proposal for cross-border transfer of funds.

SC spokesman Theodore Te earlier said these issues will be addressed when the high court decides on the Aquino administration's motion for reconsideration on the DAP.

Meanwhile, employees of the judiciary have started wearing colors red and black to counter Aquino's call for his supporters to wear yellow as a sign of support for his administration.