PNoy's bad hair day

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By Jun Sula


Thursday, July 17, 2014

OBVIOUSLY, PNoy was pissed off by an in-your-face rebuke by the Supreme Court over the DAP issue. I guess it was ego, political or personal.

Nothing outrages a person more, especially one in power, especially one occupying the highest perch,than to be told he was wrong about something he fiercely believed he was right.

I had worked with many powerful people before who, when confronted with the truth about their decisions or actions, seldom admitted they were wrong.


In truth, PNoy was pissed off by the democratic system of checks-and-balances. His mildly threatening tone on a day he appeared to be still smarting from a constitutional dressing down was knee-jerk, more visceral than cerebral.

It was both disappointing and reassuring. It was disappointing to see the President, with all that legislative and Constitution-related experience, to be acting like an ignorant, spoiled brat.

It was not ennobling, to put it kindly. It was also reassuring to draw from PNoy's belligerent reaction that his action was properly checked by the Highest Court, and found wanting from a constitutional viewpoint.

The dynamic calculus of democracy allows enough tension among the three branches of government, namely the executive, legislative and judiciary to ensure that, when one gets off track, one or the other or both, tries to get its attention one way or the other. Ultimately, the tension that leads to confrontation becomes a matter of public debate. And that's where and when the spirit of democracy really kicks in.

Blessed are we, in this instance, that the present Supreme Court, whatever the other perceived motivation Pnoy hinted during his lamented speech, has the nerve to tell it like it is in the face of a President that has already willfully broken the rules and is wittingly or unwittingly treading a slippery slope.

I would even be willing to concede that perhaps the High Court was wrong in its decision. It is final not because it is infallible, so the saying goes, but it is final and therefore infallible. The beauty lies in what is was designed for: to expose a tyrant or would-be tyrant. Its decision stopped an ill-advised wrecking ball on its track before it could inflict more harm on our already-compromised institutions, even if the intentions were good.

The DAP has clearly illustrated that it is a risky proposition to put all the levers of power in the hands of one man. Democracy may not be a perfect system; it isn't. But, as all democrats have argued, it beats the alternative.

In the face of a stinging reversal from the SC, Pnoy should be thankful there is one to remind him he has crossed over. The 13-0 KO was a huge favor,

It's a bad hair day but one that will save him from other potential troubles, legal and otherwise, he risks putting himself in – and the country- in the future. Bad for PNoy, good for democracy.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 18, 2014.


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