“Neutral men are the devil’s allies.”
— Edwin Hubbel Chapin
By Alex P. Vidal
The front pages of all the newspapers, headline news of all TV and radio networks yesterday said it all!
The judiciary is hell-bent not to genuflect before the executive branch, its co-equal in government, as manifested by the gallant stand of the majority of the judges, prosecutors, and other hall of justice employees all over the country who wore black last Monday to assert judicial independence.
The move was precipitated by President Benigno Aquino III’s astonishing brickbats against the Supreme Court, which had torpedoed the Palace’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) or pork barrel.
Mr. Aquino’s unprecedented tirades against the higher court initially failed to catch fire among lawmakers and local government executives.
They, too, were caught by surprise by the President’s boldness and, to some extent, stubbornness. Many mayors and governors were made to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea.
But lately, some tong-gressmen, city and municipal mayors and governors started to voice their support for their embattled chief executive in Malacanang.
They were even undaunted and willing to engage in a slugfest the church’s top prelates who denounced the DAP in the pulpits.
These tong-gressmen and some local chief executives must have realized they would be accused by Malacanang as “ingrates” for abandoning the cause that benefited their districts, cities, municipalities and provinces if they did not take a stand and come to the President’s defense at this crucial moment.
A common cause that benefited their favorite contractors and, what else, their own pockets!
DAP funded most local infrastructure and public works projects through the tong-gressmen and sin-nators bribed by Malacanang to impeach Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
In unity there is strength. United we stand, united we fall.
This must be the battlecry of the local chief executives, tong-gressmen and sin-nators who are now singing hallelujah to President Aquino.
In Negros and Iloilo, many mayors and governors have started to show their true colors by joining the Palace in justifying why DAP should not have been shot down by the Supreme Court like the Malaysian Airlines jet.
They knew that if they abandoned the king, they would be isolated politically and made to face the Commission on Audit’s wrath like condemned and captured enemies facing the firing squad.
The Supreme Court has ordered those who had feasted on the P137.3 billion worth of DAP to return the people’s money. Unable to do so would be tantamount to stealing and the act is punishable by law.
Hence, local chief executives, tong-gressmen and sin-nators are frantically moving heaven and earth in the propaganda and publicity department to reverse the storm by coming out in public and risk their reelection to defend the “good side” of DAP.
The court’s black Monday onslaught was a curt message to the executive branch: we are co-equal and, therefore, will not succumb to any dictatorial fulmination and display of absolute power and attempt to force us on our knees.
We will know if President Aquino’s rah-rah boys and girls in the local government units are really determined to swim and sink with their king if the League of Provinces and League of Cities and Municipalities will pass resolutions defending the president and the DAP.
Tell us who your friends are and we will tell you who you are!