PNoy claims judiciary delaying his projects
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III took a swipe at the judiciary on Friday saying several courts had been delaying government infrastructure projects by refusing to issue a writ of possession so the government could proceed with those projects.
“In infrastructure projects there is a requirement of a deposit for the payment of taxes on land expropriated [by the government]. Once this has been made, the court should then immediately issue a Writ of Possession,” Aquino said.
“Now, [Public Works] Secretary Babes Singson has reported to us that one of the reasons why there is a delay in the implementation of a number of [infrastructure] projects is that after [Public Works] has deposited the funds, the court still does not issue a Writ of Possession,” Aquino said.
He made his statement even as Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno responded to the concerns raised by Aquino over the high court’s “judicial legislation” in some cases.
She said the justices were aware of the limits in their power of judicial review.
“In every en banc [session] we continue to debate whether what we are doing is already legislation or still in the bounds of what we can do,” Sereno said.
“But ultimately, it will redound to what the final vote will be. So it’s an evolving thing but we are mindful of the need to maintain that line.”
Aquino made his statement in a speech at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Supreme Court complex in the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
He also criticized the alleged anomalies in the judiciary, where the one who “knows the judge” are the ones being favored in the decisions made by the court.
“In the Introduction to Law, they say there are two kinds of lawyers: those who know the law and those who know the judge,” Aquino said.
Aquino asked the high court to speed up the resolution of cases, citing relevant provisions in the Constitution mandating it to resolve cases within 24 months upon their submission for resolution.
He said the infrastructure projects were being delayed because the high court still required from Public Works a “determination of just compensation.”
“I bring this issue to you. I hope you will be able to issue a decision on issues such as this as soon as possible,” Aquino said.
“It is clear in the law that the government has the right to continue with the projects even though the case is still pending in the courts regarding payment.”
Aquino also reminded the justices that the law prohibits courts from issuing temporary restraining orders on infrastructure projects.
“Just look at the situation of one our expressways, where the project was delayed because the court failed to issue a writ of possession right away. I think delaying a project is just like issuing a TRO,” Aquino said.