Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Opposite of Oposa

I think part of Oposa's enduring appeal was the idea that the Philippine Supreme Court signaled it's willingness to step into the political thicket for the sake of the environment. After nearly 15 years since it was promulgated, that potential role has now been clarified by the Supreme Court. The Court will not usurp the functions of Congress in environmental matters and will not so casually order a co-equal branch of government to perform acts that pertain to its sphere.

Henares v. LTFRB (G.R. No. 158290, October 23, 2006) in my view, is the opposite of Oposa. The Supreme Court has informed advocates of the environment to take their campaign to the political branches of government to ask Congress to enact the measures that they think are needed. The Court, evidently, will return to its more reactive posture, even in the field of environmental law.

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