JUSTICE ANTONIO T. CARPIO has led a long and distinguished career in Academe and Government since graduating valedictorian of the UP College of Law in 1975 and being appointed to the Supreme Court by Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2001. He attained another high point recently when he penned the Majority Decision in Lambino v. Comelec. Prior to this ponencia however, he is most famous for composing and transmitting to the Supreme Court a certain historic fax message on 20 January 2001 inviting them to a Regime Change, the story of which is best told by Chief Justice Panganiban In His Own Words. Suffice it to say that the fact of Justice Carpio being the ponente in the People's Initiative decision, to me, speaks volumes. He, among all her ten appointees is longest and most closely associated with the First Couple, especially as a law partner in "the Firm" Carpio, Villaraza & Cruz (now Villaraza & Angangco) with the First Gentleman. The President's lukewarm vows yesterday to continue the fight for political reforms via Charter Change seems to be all she can do to hold up her end of the bargain with FVR and JDV. Chacha, after all, was part of the quid pro quo last year, when, teetering on brink of resignation from the Garci Scandal last July, they offered to save her in exchange for this. Craftily, the President accepted the lifesaver, and got on the chacha choochoo train during her 2005 Sona. But she always kept chacha at an arm's length, never fully embracing Jose de Venecia's sophomoric rhetoric about the panacea in a Unicameral Parliament, perhaps knowing that sooner or later his crazy ideas would come to this, a Train Wreck on the steps of the Supreme Court. Now, her main man on the High Court gets to call it all a GRAND DECEPTION and blows the quid pro quo to smithereens without the President being responsible for it.
More is the President's secret pleasure because all that pseudoscientific survey talk of the people "doubting" the fairness of the Supreme Court is now forgotten as yesterday's manufactured news. (Or another "blip" like the 2004 NCR SWS Exit Poll.) Even anti-chacha forces are obliged to sing Hosannas to the Supreme Court, marveling at the impassioned and colorful prose of her ponente, and hailing how democracy and freedom have won.
There is one thing people have always underestimated about Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and that is her unerring sense of just what politicians can actually get away with. She has mastered the fine arts of the areglo as adroitly as that of brinksmanship and perhaps always suspected that it would come to this. And let it happen. For chacha in her view, was the mere slip of a woman's promise to a couple of Old Balding Men, over whose fate she really had no control. That was always a function of the Public's ultimate response to their own silly recipes for national salvation. In some sense, groups like One Voice only did the job for her of ensuring she wouldn't actually have to go through with JDV's harebrained schemes that would only expose her to dangerous disdain and imperil her Presidency worse than impeachment.
With Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban on the way out, everybody thinks that next at the helm of the High Court will be Reynato S. Puno. It's part of the newest conspiracy theory that the Palace is determined to overturn the new decision and push chacha through by appointing Puno, whose Dissenting Opinion is brilliant, and a new associate judge, perhaps Ombudsgirl Merceditas Gutierrez for an 8-7 reversal in favor of people's initiative.
I have a different opinion about that because the President doesn't want to look like a loser and would rather have her cake and eat it too, thank you!
My guess is, she will appoint Antonio T. Carpio as the next Chief Justice.
Who in the political opposition would oppose that when Puno was for what they were against in chacha? Who in the Media or Civil Society or Academe that opposed the Lambino people's initiative will now reject the ponente of an historic "victory for democracy and freedom" as the next Chief Justice?
Who better to safeguard one's deepest secrets than a trusted friend as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Scribe that saw you seize Supreme Power with a fax he composed for you, and proved he could still live with himself after it!
STEER! Note that the information that made it to a banner headline today comes from a "Malacañang official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject". To me the story comes from the Palace with its blessings. But the President has "plausible deniability" since she is in China "wooing businessmen". (As if the flood of cheap Chinese goods hasn't caused enough fires and killed innocents already!) But Carpio's closeness to the President and First Gent will surely attract flies. A dignified distance must be built to make the hypothesized appointment as Chief Justice believable.
Then there is Winnie Monsod praising Carpio and dissing Puno. Expect more of the same from others the Palace can play like a fiddle.
And of course, the Social Weather Stations needs some ink-loving after PDI's headline a few days ago -- following the SWS Media Bureau's own misrepresentations -- said the people DOUBTED the Supreme Court's ability to deliver a fair decision. So they pick out some other question they asked months ago in June and claim to be "consistent." Do tell! Consistent with a ruling that wasn't even brought before the Supreme Court until August. Uh-huh. Here pull my other leg, will ya?
Bel Cunanan may find a lot more CROW on the menus of some of those exclusive cocktail parties and insider junkets she attends courtesy of the Palace, JDV, FVR and other major players, in exchange for trotting out their tete-a-tete in her column. Chicken Les Miserable Failure and Grand Duck l'Deception. Bon apetito!
Isagani Cruz thinks Mar Roxas has been missing in action since the 2004 elections. Mr. Palengke has been a big fat ZERO thus far, it's true. Six years may indeed be too long for a President-in-waiting who doesn't have a clue WHY he would want to be president. If he does marry Korina Sanchez, malicious rumour has it that they could always run as a husband and wife team in 2010. But which of them would stand a better chance for President? Bill and Hillary Clinton bear watching in 2008 for clues.
Adrian Cristobal comments on foreign ownership of media with the soul of wit evident in a brief salvo in the Manila Bulletin
But I foresee nationalists (a vanishing breed) objecting that foreigners (correspondents and commentators) neither know nor understand our country and people. I find the objection rather flimsy, since a glance at many local broadcasters, commentators, and pundits would show that they neither know nor understand us either, except that some cynics say that the ignorance and lack of understanding are deliberate.Touche!