A Concoction Called Democracy
December 6, 2011 3 Comments
A democracy is measured on its capability to balance its three coequal branches. This is a democracy’s tricky rope work; acknowledging that they have to live as individuals but need each other, at the right formulation, to survive.
Political analysts would classify nations on the basis of this balance, and also on the people handling the institutions in it. This is why political and legal brightminds begin to tag a country names when any of its three branches go too far. It can be compared to a medical concoction; put a little more of one ingredient and its effects vary from its original formulation.
Our constitution and the concept of republicanism has clearly defined the independence and interdependence of the executive, the legislature, and the courts. And in order for our democracy to work in the light of its purest, unadulterated form, this balance should be maintained.
Our executive power is vested to the President. His balancing capability includes, but is not limited to, his power to veto legislation and his power to appoint members of the judiciary (with guidance of the JBC). The legislative power is vested in the Congress, with balancing capability of confirming presidential appointments and the penning of legislation with the highest degree of qualification and clarity. They can also remove the President through the process of impeachment. The judiciary is the interpreter of the law, with a balancing power of being non-partisan; thus the reason why they are not elected and retire at a constitutionally designated age. Like the president, members of the High Courts can be impeached by the legislature. This is how democracies work.
In today’s times, even the blurriest of eyes can see that the executive may be in a bit of “power overdose”. If this is a mere sign of political will or an exhibition of its machismo is only for them to know. But nonetheless, we can see that it has gone a bit too far. And a bit too far is dangerous.
We have seen how the Executive Branch has aggressively gone against rulings of the Court, and how it has been on a national campaign to convince the people that the Supreme Court cannot be trusted. It has even come to an extent of asking the Chief Justice to resign due to bias. While the Executive has the prerogative to say what it has to say, it must not cross the borders of respect and protocol when speaking about a coequal branch, or its representatives. If somebody owes the people an explanation, or a resignation, it must be the executive for showing poor ethical conduct.
Given this action, the democratic concoction has turned bitter, due to an overpour of one of its ingredients, the executive.
I am one with the Filipino people that CGMA must have her day in Court. This will either convict her or acquit her. Cases are now filed in the Courts, and the executive must respect the way proceedings turned out as decided by the Magistrates. He has done the furthest an executive can do; to initiate the prosecution. Speaking about a case in court is not only unethical, but also contemptuous. Lucky for him he’s immune from that.
So, with all of these said, the President should begin to recognize the line between the branches. He is part of one branch, the Supreme Court is another branch. Though interdependent, they are INDEPENDENT from one another. Basic Constitution and Governance classes teach us of that.