President Aquino yesterday hit the Supreme Court for being biased in favor of ex-President Gloria Arroyo. In his speech before businessmen yesterday, Aquino cited numerous occasions when the SC justices decided not to hear the government's position and instead followed the plea of the now accused former leader.
One of the most contentious issues that put a wedge between the palace and the Supreme Court was the motion of the Arroyo camp for it to be granted the right to leave the country. Tension between the two branches mounted when the Supreme Court hastily issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to the order of the Department of Justice barring the Arroyos from leaving and reportedly seeking medical treatment abroad.
Inspite of an oral argument pending, the SC issued the TRO which was immediately availed of by the Arroyos. Immigration officials were quicker to the draw though. The Arroyos failed to leave. Mrs. Arroyo retreated to the confines of the St Luke's Medical Center. She is still at St. Luke's awaiting Monday when Arroyo is supposed to be hauled to the Veteran Memorial Center.
Mrs. Arroyo stands accused of the crime of electoral fraud, a non-bailable offense. The Pasay Regional Trial Court has already issued a warrant for her arrest. Arroyo went thru the motions, and submitted herself to the jurisdiction of the court. She is now a certified convict of the State.
What remains is her transfer from St Luke's to the Veteran's Memorial hospital, a move widely welcomed by most Filipinos.
This "stalemate" situation between the Supreme Court and the Palace is sending wrong signals to the foreign investor community. One of the comments made by a Chamber of Commerce on the incident says that this tension is sending wrong signals to would-be investors. A flip-flopping Supreme Court, and heavily politicized at that, does not augur well in a functioning democracy, since laws and legal decisions are supposed to be balanced.
What do you think should be done to repair the institutional damage created by this lingering animosity between the SC and the palace?