MANILA, JULY 18, 2012 (MALAYA) Written by AMADO P. MACASAET - ('We need a Chief Justice who can protect the President from trumped up charges and who knows a purely political issue when he sees one.’)

EXECUTIVE Secretary Paquito Ochoa and his brother-in-law, Gerry Acuzar, have practically ensured that the Liberal Party of President Aquino will be clobbered in next year’s local elections, in the province of Bulacan, anyway.

With a little luck and more betrayal by the President’s own men, the Liberal Party can lose in the 2016 national elections to Vice President Jejomar Binay.

It appears that the supposed legal mind of Ochoa and his “real” patron, Acuzar, are in bed in Binay who is head of the UNA.

The first sign of disaffection between Aquino and Binay appeared when 188 members of the House of Representatives impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona.

The signature of Congresswoman Abby Binay, daughter of the Vice President, was not among the 188.

Not a surprise to anyone considering that Binay was the running mate of former President Estrada. Mar Roxas was the vice presiden­tial bet of Pnoy. It was like history repeating itself.

Diosdado Macapagal won as vice president from the Liberal Party. Carlos P. Garcia, candidate of the Nacionalista Party won that elec­tion.

In the 1962 elections, the voters elected Macapagal as president but chose Emmanuel Pelaez, a Nacionalista, as vice president.

We never learned any lesson of the benefits of block voting at least for President and Vice President from these two weird cases. And now Mar Roxas is the third. He lost to Binay who ran under the Partido ng Masang Pilipino of Joseph Estrada.

If the jockeying for president in the 2016 elections has indeed be­gun, the first object of brickbats will be President Aquino. He is an easy prey because the legal minds around him are lightweights.

Without exactly saying that the President must have a Supreme Court in his pocket, his political fate or that of his presidential bet, presumably DOTC Secretary Manuel Araneta Roxas, will depend on the independence of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court he has not yet picked.

At least, we should have a Chief Justice who recognizes that the separation of powers does not allow the Court to tackle political questions. That is better than having a decision for or against Presi­dent Aquino that could be used against him.

A completely independent Supreme Court may well be the crown­ing glory of the Aquino administration since it admits playing a big role in the impeachment and eventual conviction of then Chief Jus­tice Renato Corona.

If this success is not properly exploited by appointing a Head Mag­istrate who is well versed in the mudslinging ways of politics, two possibilities can happen.. Before his term could expire, President Aquino could very well be bombarded with suits that have no other purpose but to harass his government and destroy his Liberal Party.

The LP has already lost its hold in the politics of Bulacan cour­tesy of his own executive secre­tary and Gerry Acuzar who are said to be in complete sympathy with Vice President Jejomar Bi­nay.

Things like these have happened before. In politics there are no permanent enemies. There are no permanent friends. There are only permanent interests.

Permanent interests respect no principles. Why are the Liberal party supporters of today, such as the executive secretary, in bed with the political opponents this early in the day?

The fact that Paquito Ochoa is bedding with the President’s enemy and continues to wield vast powers although his head is known to be weak is an omen for the President.

For all we know trumped up charges may be filed against PNoy during his presidency just to har­ass him.

More may be filed after he steps down when he no longer enjoys immunity.

A Chief Justice capable of dis­cerning purely political -- in fact harassment – cases can save the President and promote the inde­pendence of the Supreme Court. Never again shall we have a Su­preme Court that interferes in the choice of a national artist by issu­ing a temporary restraining order against Malacañang.

Never again should we have a Supreme Court that allowed the creation of a separate con­gressional district although the number of citizens or voters in the new district is not enough as required by the Constitution.

The Arroyo Supreme Court - probably for lack of complaints -allowed the payment of hundreds of millions of pesos to retiring military generals as “going away” presents.

The Ampatuans kept an armory of weapons with markings of the “Armed Forces of the Philip­pines” but, again for the lack of complaints - the Supreme Court of Gloria Arroyo never noticed the excessive abuse of the Execu­tive Department.

All these and many more be­came vestiges of the past with the conviction of Chief Justice Re­nato Corona. They can happen again if President Aquino picks the wrong man for the job left by Corona.

As they say, those who do not learn from the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.

We need a Chief Justice who can protect the President from trumped up charges and who knows a purely political issue when he sees one.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved