Other presidents never questioned SC powers: analyst

Posted at 08/14/14 11:57 AM


MANILA - A constitutional expert on Thursday disagreed with President Aquino's plan to clip the Supreme Court's power of judicial review.

San Beda Graduate School of Law Dean Fr. Ranhilio Aquino said though the SC's recent decisions have been against the Aquino administration, the Constitution was designed to spread the powers of government among its three branches precisely to prevent tyranny.

"Parating may nagsasabi na sa 1987 constitution, pinalawak ang power of judicial review. Hindi pinalawak yan. Inilantad lang ang kapangyarihan ng hudikatura na mag-review, magrepaso ng mga ginagawa ng Executive department kasi nasa ilalim tayo ng rule of law. Kahit anong gawin mo, may limitasyon yan at ang limitasyon ay batas," he said in a radio DZMM interview.

Fr. Aquino said other presidents never questioned the powers of the Supreme Court.

"Those powers were there long before he became president. President Cory could live with those powers. President Ramos could deal with those powers. President Estrada could live within those powers and so did Gloria Arroyo. It is only President Aquno who is saying that the Supreme Court has become too powerful," he said.

The law dean also said he finds “self-serving” talk that the Charter change would lead to a possible term extension for President Aquino.

"Payo ni Tita Cory kay FVR noon: ‘Eddie, do not believe people who say you are indispensable…’ Yan din sana ang payo na pakinggan ng anak niya."

President Aquino has said the immense powers of the Supreme Court made him rethink his stand on Charter change.

He said the High Court seemed to be using its powers to check on other branches of government too often, disrupting the balance between the three branches.

Amending the Constitution can clip those powers, limiting the judiciary's reach on the executive and legislative branches.