After months of on-and-off protests, Philippine judges have finally secured a budget increase. The Aquino administration has pledged another 107 pesos for salaries. However, notably the administration is also requesting the Supreme Court to allow an audit of the Supreme Court’s Special Allowance for the Judiciary funds. Perhaps not coincidentally, a similar issue (auditing special funds) led to the impeachment attempt against former Chief Justice Hilario Davide in 2003. Davide resisted Congress’ demands for an audit of the Court’s special funds, citing judicial independence. While the Supreme Court ultimately dismissed the impeachment attempt as unconstitutional (it was the second drawn up that year), the whole affair does suggest the sensitivity of the issue. The PhilStar article doesn’t record the Supreme Court’s response to Aquino’s request, but I suspect it won’t turn over its books quietly.