The Philippine Supreme Court and Aquino administration are at odds again, this time over money. First, the administration cut the judiciary’s proposed budget in half, from P 27.1 billion to P 14.65 billion. Now, according to PhilStar, the administration is seeking to set aside P 1.98 billion for a new Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF). The judiciary – through spokesman Marquez – has lambasted the shortchange as a violation of the constitution as the government cannot reduce the court’s budget. Allies of former president Arroyo, including Senator Joker Arroyo, have criticized the Aquino administration’s actions. It’s an unfortunate development in that now the judiciary seems to have to fight for its budget every year, which could drain the court’s resources and undermine the justices’ willingness to make difficult rulings.
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