Confronted by mounting allegations of corruption, electoral fraud, andabuse of executive power, the government of Philippine President GloriaMacapagal-Arroyo (2001–2010) called on critics and demonstrators tocease their dissent and uphold the “rule of law.” Amid this unsettling voidin political authority, the Philippine Supreme Court used its judicial powerto promulgate rules that would enforce the “human rights” of citizens. Byanalyzing the speeches of President Arroyo and Supreme Court ChiefJustice Reynato S. Puno (2006–2010), the paper will examine how thisdynamic plays out on the terrain of signification, where large politicalbodies, which claim to speak for the multitude of Filipinos, struggle overthe parameters of sovereign power or the idea of what the government“should do” and “cannot do.”
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Perspectives in the Arts and Humanities Asia is a peer-reviewed journal published twice a year by the School of Humanities of the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines. Multidisciplinary in scope, it welcomes articles in English or Filipino in the following fields: literature, philosophy, theology, performance arts, visual arts, forms of media and other related areas, especially studies engaging Philippine and Asian experience.