-MINUS IN HISTORY AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW.
That is the grade that retiring CHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G. DAVIDE, Jr., deserves for his seven years of unrepentant, militant JUDICIAL ACTIVISM as helmsman of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. In The Paradox of People Power I have laid out as carefully as I can, the central role Davide played in the JUDICIAL PUTSCH that unexpectedly crowned EDSA II with a sudden victory that surprised the angry throngs at the EDSA Shrine on 20 January 2001, almost as much as it did the hapless, incompetent dipsomaniacal but democratically-elected Joseph Estrada. Only the ceaseless mythologizing of that so-called people power event has obscured the COUP D'ETAT that was at the heart of its success. Above is reproduced the TWO HUNDRED PESO BILL (yes it exists! it was released in late 2002 as legal tender [sic!]) that immortalizes that day of infamy. I cannot imagine a darker day for Philippine democracy and its system of checks and balances than when LUCIO TAN, allegedly the biggest tax-evader in Philippine History and the biggest Filipino-Chinese taipan, recommended Davide to the same Joseph Estrada in 1998, and Davide became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Considering everything Davide did in that lofty post to DISHONOR the cause of JUSTICE and LIBERTY for all in this archipelago, I cannot conversely imagine a brighter day than today, for starting today such abominations as Estrada vs. Arroyo (March 2001) and Estrada vs. Desierto (April 2001) , and a whole string of questionable other decisions -- the quashing of the Automated Counting System of the Commission on Elections in December, 2003, just months before they should have been used, and the PIATCO-Fraport AG fiasco -- all these Davide Court decisions come closer to being REVERSED and ABJURED by a more JUDICIOUS and CONSTITUTION-LOVING edition of the Supreme Court. I can't see how any Law School can teach these Decisions with any kind of intellectual honesty and consistency, because even English Composition Majors can see what is morally wrong with them. If one is to mourn the utter moral and legal chaos in the Justice system, or decry the wider depravities that are so evident in the GRIDLOCK between the government's various branches, or wonder at the MULTIPLE ORGAN FAILURE of our institutions, one need look no further for the root of these evils than in the devastation wrought by the Davide judicial train wreck beginning on 20 January 2001. The Day Davide strangled Democracy but everybody celebrated PEOPLE POWER. The country is still paying for that blind injustice. Justice hurried was Justice buried! RELATED POSTS can be found here.
UPDATE (2300) ABSCBN NEWS reports that President Arroyo has appointed ARTEMIO V. PANGANIBAN to become the new CHIEF JUSTICE of the Philippines Supreme Court.
FREEDOM HOUSE AGREES? In a stunning confirmation of above dour assessment of the state of Philippine Democracy, today's 2006 Global Survey of "Freedom in the World" DOWNGRADES the Philippines from FREE to PARTLY FREE.
In noteworthy country developments, Ukraine and Indonesia saw their status improve from Partly Free to Free; Afghanistan moved from Not Free to Partly Free; and the Philippines saw its status decline from Free to Partly Free...Of the four countries that registered an outright decline in status, the most significant was the Philippines. The decision to downgrade this country from Free to Partly Free was based on credible allegations of massive electoral fraud, corruption, and the government's intimidation of elements in the political opposition.This is SERIOUS. Looks like Freedom House even knows about GLORIAGATE.
Well maybe this will force those DARN Filipino-American leaders in America to pull their heads out of the sand and quit acting as footmen for the Palace whenever its tenant pays a state visit to their fiefdoms in Daly City and New Jersey. I'm talking about people like YOU Loida Nicolas Lewis, with all your billion of dollars at Beatrice Foods, and YOU Rodel Rodis, President of the San Francisco City School Board, and all you 4 million loyal Filipino American doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, soldiers, community leaders, who are pillars of your communties -- shamefully silent over there on the Continent, safe and secure in Liberty's glorious protection. While here in the Archipelago, we are merely PARTLY FREE!
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