Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hacienda Luisita case is not a direct hit against Aquino administration

Some columnists say that the score is dead set at 2-2, with both the Supreme Court and the Palace getting a deuce. The reason for the "equal score"--this recent decision by the Supreme Court granting more than 6,000 farmers, beneficiaries of the vast Hacienda Luisita, a property of the Cojuangcos. The case against the Cojuangcos had dragged for so many years already. It should have been subject to Agrarian reform but for some mysterious maneuvering, remains in the hands of the Cojuangco corporation.

Now, the Supreme Court reportedly got one from the palace. Of course, this is a cause celebre for the farmers who, for decades, waited for this judicious verdict to come.

Of course, the timing of the release of the decision was again, a subject of political suspicion. There is an ongoing power struggle between two branches of government. Unknown to the public though, even before this Gloria issue came about, the Executive and the Judiciary have been fighting tooth and nail for one thing---money.

The Judiciary wants the Executive to release several billions of pesos for something which they think they deserve, but according to the law, they don't.

I am talking about that allocated billions of pesos for judicial personnel. The Judicial department wants the 2.02 billion pesos for salaries of miscellaneous personnel be given to them and let them "decide where to spend it".

Those billions are supposed to be allocated for salaries of "would-be" or "future" Judicial personnel. Meaning, it is allocated for those whom the Judiciary will hire.

Why allocate a budget such as that? Budgets should have allocations for specific things or specific performances, not dubious allocations such as these.

The Executive branch, together with the Legislative, were correct in setting these billions aside until the Judiciary satisfies the condition of finalizing and hiring these personnel and thereafter, providing those 2billion pesos in the process.

So, for those who think that this power struggle is more of a struggle of "legal or ideological principles" between these two branches of government, think again.

It is not just about power, but about money matters. And when money is the root cause of the conflict, expect these gentlemen to fight tooth and nail for it.