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Fortified legislature

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In most democracies, the legislature is the most powerful branch of government because it represents and expresses the sovereign will of the people. This is especially true in parliamentary systems. Here, the chief executives, called prime ministers, are elected by and owe absolute loyalty to parliament. Once parliament loses confidence in them for whatever reason, they are deposed. The tripartite separation of powers finds no application in parliamentary governments.

Posted: August 31st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Transformation of SC justices

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Assuming his Supreme Court seat on Aug. 20, Justice Francis H. Jardeleza aptly declared, “I will dispense my duties with competence, integrity, probity and independence, always bearing in mind the interest of the Filipino people.” To these four traits required by the Constitution (which I code-named “CIPI”), may I add industry to speed up the cases in the Court. I agree with him that justices should promote the interest of our people by, in my humble view, safeguarding liberty and nurturing prosperity. History will judge judges on how they adhered to CIPI++.

Posted: August 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Weakened presidency

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To be sure our people would never again experience the horrors and torments of authoritarian rule, the 1987 Constitution fortified the legislature, empowered the judiciary, institutionalized people power, and weakened the presidency.

Posted: August 17th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

An afternoon at the New Bilibid Prison

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The most surprising reaction to my column last Sunday, in which I recounted the subhuman conditions of our jails, came from an ex-convict who had served his 20-year sentence. He reminded me of a handwritten note he gave me during my visit as a sitting member of the Supreme Court at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City over a decade ago.

Posted: August 10th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Decrepit, congested and subhuman

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The brouhaha over the transfer of Janet Lim Napoles and Jessica “Gigi” Reyes, who are accused of plunder related to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, to the detention facilities of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Bicutan, Taguig City, brought to public focus the decrepit, congested and subhuman condition of our jails.

Posted: August 3rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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