There was no stopping President Benigno Aquino 3rd from stepping up his attack on the judiciary on Tuesday, this time blaming the co-equal branch of the government for the country's slow economy.
A judicial system that does not promote stability and certainty does not enhance the economic environment, President Aquino said during the media forum Bulong Pulungan at Hotel Sofitel in Pasay City (Metro Manila).
As such, the President added, whipping up the economy into better shape by making it generate employment would still be his administration's main concern for next year.
We are not changing priorities, the very first problem that I had during the campaign was jobs, it is still the economy that is still the priority in 2012, he said.
Mr. Aquino, however, sued for time.
Adversely, an economic environment that does not have a level playing field will not see [an improved economy] as possible but we are saying that in about an hour's time I am meeting with the economic team and one of the questions that we will get is how, we are in transition from before, the money of government or the public's money was being spent, so now the purpose of prudent spending, change in culture that could not happen overnight, he said.
According to him, he wanted to maintain the safeguards and, at the same time, accelerate the
process where disbursements by the DBM [Department of Budget and Management] are actually utilized by the line agencies at the quickest possible time.
I do not want a repeat of what transpired this year, he added, without elaborating.
The President called for prudent spending, which, he said, enabled the government to get closer to the number of classrooms (45,000) that he had promised during his State of the Nation Address in July this year.
He announced progress in his administration's Public-Private Partnership program, citing the bidding for an expressway project and rebuilding of Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport then of course the aesthetics after that.
Mr. Aquino attacked the Supreme Court on Monday, telling Chief Justice Renato Corona that he was a midnight appointee of then-President Gloria Arroyo.
On December 2, he also publicly humiliated Corona before the elite Makati Business Club.
Monday's savaging of the Chief Justice came with the territory, according to the President's allies in the House of Representatives.
Rep. Miro Quimbo of Marikina City (also in Metro Manila) told the weekly Ugnayan sa Batasan News
Forum that the High Tribunal should not be onion-skinned.
Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat of Ifugao agreed, saying that the Supreme Court is not a sacred council.
Joseph Victor Ejercito of San Juan City (also in Metro Manila) said, also without elaborating, that the attack on the Chief Justice resulted from the President's frustration.
Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that the President did it because he wanted to remind all government officials that we are all accountable to the people.