Some 8509 miles from across the globe, New York Times counseled President Benigno Simeon Aquino to step down from power after 2016 because the fragile democracy in the country is in peril if he amends the constitution to run again and to clip the powers of the Supreme Court. This unsolicited advice betrays a certain measure of white man’s arrogance in the transportability of his values across the globe with indigenous culture different from his own and expect them to work. Or was it a carry-over of that vintage imperial attitude towards RP still his vassal archipelago whose colonial leaders he can lecture upon on constitutional issues and good government at will and with gusto?
Doesn’t the U.S. constitution itself been amended 33 times to address new challenges of the period? Why can’t President Aquino initiate for the first time the amendment of the 1987 constitution for the same reason?
Incidentally, two Asian countries whose style of governments were a far cry from western ideals — Japan and Singapore, had long been Asian economic tigers while RP despite its government being patterned after the U.S. tripartite system, remains an economic kitten for so long a time. May be it is about time that we weaned ourselves from the coattails of Uncle Sam and pursue our own unique system that is devoid of western values that gave us a rambunctious press, an arrogant Supreme Court and politicos that robbed the people blind and with impunity.
But why is “democracy in peril” if the President can run again for a second term, when American presidents are allowed to run for the second term and yet its democratic ideals have never been at one time or another placed in great peril?
And why clipping the powers of the Supreme Court imperils democracy when American presidents since Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln up to Barack Obama would like to clip the powers of the US Supreme Court too?
“Lincoln did not accept the Dred Scott decision and defied the Court opinion by issuing passports to blacks and otherwise treating them as citizens and he signed a legislation to place limits on slavery in the Western Territories. The Dred Scott decision exacerbated the conflict over efforts to restrict slavery and pushed America toward a terrible war to correct the injustice wrought by the power-grabbing Supreme Court.” (Schlafly, The Supremacists).
President Obama in his State of the Nation address had criticized the Supreme Court for voiding a century-old practice of limiting election contribution from lobby interests and urged Congress to overturn that court decision.
Isn’t it an American value that echoes throughout this narrative that the unelected members of the government (judiciary) should not be allowed to engage in policy making because this is destructive of self-government and removes the power from the people? Isn’t it power without accountability according to Thomas Jefferson?
And why it was only President Aquino who committed the grievous constitutional sin when he criticized the Supreme Court over its decision on DAP, while American Presidents are free to engage their court for its judicial missteps? Free speech is rooted in the American culture and yet NY Times finds it obtrusive that a Philippine President upbraid the court for its ruling on DAP, but it is entirely speechless when its own Presidents took potshots at their court.
President Aquino is a reformist President. He wasn’t afraid to fight toe to toe with the most secretive and powerful branch of the government, the judiciary. He also put his predecessor at hospital arrest for thievery and election fraud and the crooks and their proxies behind bars and more crooks are in the pipeline waiting their well-deserved chains.
President Aquino was a square peg in a political round hole. He does not fit in the priorities of most politicos and the judiciary where thieving is the chief business. The crooks, the jukebox media including NY Times wanted Aquino to exit after his term.
You may ask why NY Times?
Please remember that Imelda Marcos was acquitted for racketeering charges filed in New York courtesy of the press and the jurors who cannot convict the first lady and her cohorts because their racketeering activities were sanctioned by the U.S. government itself and New York was always a beneficiary of Imelda whenever she was in city to splurge. The economic benefits to New York was tremendous – and an estimated $140 Million was stashed in that city during the time that Ferdinand and Imelda ruled the country.
Under an incorruptible Philippine government, New York would lose prospective patrons that can splurge their loot in this prestigious city. (Imelda’s caper). NY York Times perhaps was only echoing a business concern that without bad guys and their wives attracted to the neon lights of New York willing to squander stolen millions, the city and its press can lose substantial business.