MANILA – Employees of the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday wore black and red shirts in protest of President Aquino's ''bullying'' of the high court over the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
SC employees greeted SC Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe who arrived at the SC wearing dark gray suit and black jacket, respectively, for Monday's flag-raising ceremony.
Sereno and Perlas-Bernabe are both Aquino appointees.
Court employees believe the executive department is not respecting the judiciary's power to interpret the law when the President questioned the high court's ruling on the DAP.
Today's protest is reminiscent of the Judiciary's "red and black Monday protest" at the height of the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Employees of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan, and Court of Tax Appeals, are also expected to hold their own protests.
In a recent televised speech, Aquino said the SC may have erred in ruling that certain acts in DAP are unconstitutional. He said the high court snubbed the Administrative Code of 1987 which supposedly allows the president to realign funds.
In its decision, the SC said the following acts in DAP are illegal:
a.) The withdrawal of unobligated allotment from the implementing agencies and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriation Acts
b) The cross-border transfers of the savings of the Executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the Executive
c) Funding of projects and activities and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the GAA
Some analysts say Aquino's remarks may trigger constitutional crisis. The president's allies have also begun to scrutinize the Judiciary Development Fund, which is tagged as the judiciary's pork barrel.