Red and Black protest continues on SONA day

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 28 2014 11:37 AM | Updated as of Jul 29 2014 12:42 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - Judiciary employees donned red and black colors again on Monday as they continue their 'Red and Black Monday' protest against President Aquino's defiant stance against the Supreme Court (SC) in the wake of the high court's ruling striking down his administration's Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

At the SC, the justices in attendance during the flag-raising ceremony also wore the protest colors, with Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, Jr. wearing a black suit with a red tie, and Associate Justices Mariano Del Castillo and Martin Villarama, Jr. wearing white barongs and black pants, as did Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA) Chancellor and retired SC Associate Justice Adolfo Azcuna.

Judiciary Employees Association (Judea) president Jojo Guerrero, asked to rate the President, said judiciary employees are giving Aquino an approval rating of not more than 30-percent, and a trust rating of zero amid Aquino's recent public tirades against the SC.

"Bumagsak talaga rating niya nung hindi siya nagsasabi ng totoo [about so-called cross-border transfer of funds committed by the SC]. Hindi totoong facts and figures sinabi niya. Hangga't hindi niya ma-straighten facts and figures, dito sa judiciary, mababa pa sa trenta. Sa trust rating, talagang wall," Guerrero said.

STOP GANGING UP ON THE JUDICIARY

Guerrero lamented how Malacanan and Aquino's allies in Congress seem to be "ganging up" on the judiciary with the threat to phase out the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF), a source of funds for allowances of justices, judges and court personnel as well as infrastructure support.

Judea has also hit Aquino's televised speech last July 19 in defense of the DAP, where he hinted at Congress coming in to "intervene" in the conflict between the other two branches. The statement was taken to mean a threat to rally Aquino's allies in Congress to impeach the SC justices in light of the DAP ruling.

Guerrero said they would not be surprised if Aquino issues fresh attacks on the judiciary during his State of the Nation Address (SONA), but warns the President he has been violating the sub judice rule eversince he first went public against the DAP ruling.

Still, Guerrero said court employees will listen to Aquino's SONA.

"Yung ginagawa niya sa DAP, sub judice yan. Kung ordinaryong tao gagawa, contempt na yan. Sana manahimik na muna siya para mabigyan mga mahistrado pagkakataon mag-isip [on government's motion for reconsideration].

"Sana ibang issues naman pag-usapan [in the SONA]... tigil tigilan muna niya ang DAP tutal may Senate inquiry na and MR," Guerrero said.

Judiciary employees will continue their series of protests, as they vow to "defend judicial independence and the Constitution."

"Ang demokrasya sa bansa natin ay buhay na buhay, may checks and balances. Pero mukhang yung isang branch of government, parang ayaw," Guerrero said, referring to the executive department.