SC stepping out of bounds – Kiko

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan yesterday lashed out at the Supreme Court for “stepping on the toes” of the executive branch of government
on the issue of the “midnight appointees.”

Pangilinan said this is not the first time that the High Court is stepping “beyond that which is within its jurisdiction.”

“First it went against Congress when it prevented the House of Representatives to proceed with the impeachment case against the Ombudsman. Now it is going against the Executive department,” the lawmaker said.

Pangilinan said the SC’s decision will drag the case on and will render the Aquino government virtually inefficient. “Such actions create widespread uncertainty in the bureaucracy especially since the official acts of these individuals remain of doubtful legally until the matter is resolved. Until such time, transactions by the public with these offices will most likely be placed on hold,” he said.

The Supreme Court issued on Wednesday a status quo ante order on the implementation of Executive Order No. 2 revoking the “midnight appointments” made by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The order, contained in a resolution, was issued following the petitions filed by Bai Omera Dianalan-Lucman, commissioner and secretary of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), and Eddie Tamondong, director of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

Pangilinan said that until the cases are resolved, the “midnight appointees” remain “in limbo and their agencies and the services they deliver will be in limbo too.”

“We urge the Supreme Court to rethink its position on these twin issues and exercise courtesy and respect towards the legislative and executive branches,” he added.

Before Arroyo stepped down from Malacañang, she went on an appointment blitz.

Reports have it that there were at least 977 suspected midnight appointees. Last July 30, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III issued Executive Order (EO) 2 revoking the appointments by the previous administration two months before the national elections.

“This order has the potential to derail, or even nullify, our efforts to uncover and reverse midnight deals; streamline the bureaucracy; and implement reforms to bring back good governance,” Aquino said.

“It will enable those who had participated in midnight deals to at the very least, cover their tracks, if not complete acts inimical to the public interest,” he added.

He said those who knowingly accepted “illegal appointments” in the past became part of a “conspiracy to impede and to thwart, our people’s clamor for a return to good governance.”  Bong D. Fabe

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