Friday, October 27, 2006

Carpio is the Next Chief Justice?

I think uppermost in the President's mind in choosing the next Chief Justice is not the fate of JDV, FVR and their harebrained chacha. She is preoccupied with her own survival in the bloody battles that loom ahead as the Senate, rejuvenated by Supreme Court rulings on their power of inquiry, looks set to fall into Opposition hands. The long coat-tails of that predicted victory could radically transform both the battleground for the Lower House and the dynamics of impeachment and conviction. She will need someone reliable at the High Court...
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!

UPDATES: 28-OCT-2006


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!

30 comments:

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

You can't be serious! Tony Carpio for chief justice?

Oh well, perhaps he's totally a different person now, for the better that is.

Looking at his pic, I think he's put on a lot of weight.

HILLBLOGGER said...

I think your description of Gloria's 'political character' is very, very accurate and your explanation as to why she should choose Carpio as chief justice makes sense... yep, the art of the areglo, is Gloria modus for governance.

And if you are right, Gloria will never have to answer her accusers anywhere, neither in Congress nor in court, save if as you predict, the opposition becomes majority after next election.

What a dreadful thought just the same to have for chief justice someone who is almost a member of the Arroyo clan, especially one so close to Jose Miguel Pidal Arroyo.

Rizalist said...

Hillblogger, Carpio is definitely her man. The more I think of it, nothing else make sense, if I were GMA myself. Remember he's the guy that was there at the MOMENT she became President. Panganiban in Chapter 10 of his book reveals the fact that it was Carpio who composed that famous fax. It is prima facie evidence of the dereliction of duty of Davide and the conspiracy with GMA of how to resolve Edsa 2 BEFORE the Senate could resume the impeachment trial and ACQUIT Erap. Now Carpio has to help her get acquitted or avoid trial altogether. Also there are other battles with the Senate that will SURELY arrive at the Supreme Court, mainly on power of inquiry issues. What happens for example if Biazon pushes through with hearings on national security bills -- he could dredge up Garci all over again, this time with the blessing of rulings like Sabio v. Gordon.

ricelander said...

If you get that right, Dean, I would concede her deviousness is beyond compare. Yet I do not see from where I sit how she is maneuvering to win a losing contest in May 2007 elections with this defeat. Make her win Con-ass with Carpio at the helm? Ow, that seems to me even more remote.

While I agree with you about most of the things that happened in 2001, I grant that some of them were honest errors in judgement-- which I also make fun of sometimes out of pique for some people's hypocrisy-- and not necessarily well thought out in criminal fashion.

Rizalist said...

ricelander,
Let me put it like this. If the Garci Scandal had never happened, GMA would not be have been pushing for a Unicameral Parliament at all, starting at her 2005 Sona. Her main agenda was always economic, but when the Garci thing happened she had to strike a deal with JDV and FVR to let them attempt chacha. But because Civil Society vigorously opposed them, now that it has failed, they can hardly blame her for it! But she can afford to have them "miserably fail" [sic!] because chacha has already served her purpose. She has fulfilled her end of quid pro quo while they bought her time by saving her from impeachment, not once but twice.

I don't mean to suggest btw that she has such fine control of events. She takes what she always knew she had: if chacha failed that leaves the status quo, which is her 6 year term! By opposing chacha, many have only been fighting for that status quo.

Now that it is defeated, she stands with pleats unruffled. It's JDV who looks like a loser. Not her!

ricelander said...

"If chacha failed that leaves the status quo, which is her 6 year term!"

...which you yourself have been saying is in grave danger because the Opposition is sure to win in 2007 elections, thus opening up to the possibility of a successful impeachment?

Rizalist said...

right! and stoking the fires will be a battery of senate investigations into pcgg, goccs, afp, garci, venable, jocjoc, budget, the works!

manuelbuencamino said...

DJB,

I love your theory. As Melanie Marquez used to say, "she wants to eat her cake and bake it too"

But a word of caution.

You might end up giving credit where it is not due.

Carpio will be appointed by God not by GMA.

Or have you forgotten - “I believe that I am here now because that is the plan of God for me and for us.”

john marzan said...

i prefer one of these two non-arroyo appointees who voted vs. P.I. over carpio.

Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez or Consuelo Ynares-Santiago.

And yes, CHA CHA is the Grand Diversion. matagal ko nang sinasabi yan.

Rizalist said...

You probably just want a CHICK JUSTICE John. hehe

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

Media, the public, civil society are all giving Carpio the accolade that he perhaps deserves for being the ponente for this one crucial issue - the revision of the Constitution but really, I am extremely wary of Carpio.

He is dangerously manipulative just as he is a legal genius. In the scheme of things today, if there is one person whom I don't trust in the country next to Gloria is Carpio - his being a chief justice will reinforce his Machiavellic nature. Just imagine what he could do when he is chief justice of the SC?

Both have the capabilities for turning the art of the impossible to possible.

I may be over-reacting but after carefully re-reading your post/s, those of others the several news reports on Carpio's 'brilliant' SC essay, couple those with what I know of Carpio having dealt with him at length as well as with his law office when he was legal adviser to FVR, I am left with this horrendous feeling that the Philippine justice system will not be well served.

Can you imagine those two masters of the art of the areglo - Gloria and Carpio - uniting their forces?

The battle should be waged against Carpio landing the job. I don't know how it can be done but there must be a way.

(There are two people in Gloria's cabinet who know Carpio through and through - Gabby Claudio and T. Guingona, ask them about the Australian defence project for the Philippines during FVR's time...)

john marzan said...

You probably just want a CHICK JUSTICE John. hehe.

it's about time we have a chief justice na babae.

puro lalaki oh.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Justice_of_the_Philippines

besides, mas may tiwala ako sa mga women candidates kaysa sa mga male candidates na available sa SC (puno, quisumbing, carpio).

HILLBLOGGER said...

Ooops, correction Dean, T Guingona ain't a member of Gloria's cabinet no more. He's standing right in the opposite camp. Tee-hee!

HILLBLOGGER said...

John,

What if Gloria is grooming R Bengzon to be a member of the SC?

john marzan said...

John,

What if Gloria is grooming R Bengzon to be a member of the SC?


Or si Miriam and Ombudsgirl, diba?

but what i said was, mas may tiwala ako sa mga women candidates (ynares santiago and sandoval gutierrez) kaysa sa mga male candidates (Puno, quisumbing, carpio) na currently available for the soon to be vacant chief justice position. Puno and Quisumbing voted for P.I., and carpio is arroyo's former lawyer at The Firm.

btw, here's the round-by-round scorecard on how the justices voted.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Just accessed your blog. Hahah!

Talagang nakakatakot pala nga.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

Failed 'areglo' between Carpio's former law firm and The Malacanang Corp. or Gonzalez propaganda machina in motion?

Got this from the Inquirer:

"Gonzalez did not name the firm, but in a subsequent interview with the Inquirer, he indirectly gave its identity away when he said the reason why it worked to junk the initiative petition was its failure to bag the top post of the Office of the Ombudsman.

"He claimed that the firm had wanted to get a former member—Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Victor Fernandez—appointed Ombudsman."

Rizalist said...

Let's TEST the hypothesis in the next few days that CARPIO is GMA's real choice and desire for CJ.

If you were her, how WOULD you do it?

Would you portray a close, trusting relationship between the palace and "the firm?" if you want to appoint one of its former principal partners in Carpio?

R. O. said...

To Mr. Adrian Cristobal: please blog! Your kind is totally outnumbered online.

john marzan said...

Let's TEST the hypothesis in the next few days that CARPIO is GMA's real choice and desire for CJ.

If you were her, how WOULD you do it?

Would you portray a close, trusting relationship between the palace and "the firm?" if you want to appoint one of its former principal partners in Carpio?


if arroyo appoints carpio to the SC, bypassing 4 other senior members of the SC, then people will become suspicious (even if mr. carpio is one of the 8 who voted vs. P.I.)

if i were carpio, i would tell arroyo, NOT NOW YOU FOOL!

baycas said...

newsbreak's tidbits on carpio...

john marzan said...

Joker lauds the 4 women justices.

What Balls! What Guts!

http://newsinfo.inq7.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view_article.php?article_id=28775

Rizalist said...

if you were in danger of impeachment (and I claim she is now in triple jeopardy of that) who would you want to be the Presiding Judge at your Trial? As for seniority, didn't she already skip all that old fuddy duddy tradition?

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

Having read lots about Gloria's character from the press and heard about her from some people who knew her first hand, it is safe to assume that Gloria is a 1) 'spoiled brat' or gets upset quite easily 2) quick thinker (spontaneous) 3)determined or stubborn but she's also a 4) first-class pragmatist.

I believe she is a "sensor", someone who basically lives and decides on things as warrants the present; this doesn't mean that she doesn't think of the future - absolutely not the case at all but her character is in tune with the present and I reckon he being a pragmatist, she is capable of appointing Carpio even to the detriment of the other more senior chief justices but I don't believe she will do that. She has lawyer Avelino Cruz to arrange things with the Firm if it's true that there's a rift between the Arroyos and the law firm. Gloria might go for Puno, at least she believes he will stand by her come hell or high water (isn't his relative with the DILG too?)

Carpio will not want to shake the status quo, he is a long term and meticulous planner and just like what John suggested, he might refuse the appointment (he's got a lot of time ahead of him in the first place) if Gloria is inclined to think of him, won't be the astute thing to do he might be telling himself since he is bound to become a chief justice one day anyway and the only way to do that is to show his sense of independence.

I do believe that there's a bit of a problem between Carpio and Gloria today - not a huge one however, this PI thing is an irritant. But Gloria, ever the sensor, is really thinking of 2010 - the failed PI petition thing is past her now; If I were her I would go full blast and tackle the 2007 elections, work on the governors, the mayors, prepare the military for the job of everseeing things discreetly (you know ballot boxes can be prepared ahead of time, delivered by navy vessels and substituted so very easily) and put all my effort on making her allies in the lower Chamber win. If her allies win the majority in the Lower Chamber, she can go and tackle Con Ass full blast after that (only 3 years to go so it's gotta be after May 2007 or never.)

Meanwhile, Carpio is safely ensconsced in SC - his plan is to be chief justice, he's got to provee himself little by little and starting with his ponencia on the PI petition was a masterpiece in terms of planning his career; who knows, perhaps he, being a lawyer of great caliber, he believes that there's a risk that things might not turn out that good for Gloria and so believes that he should be his own man.

What do you think?

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

Having read lots about Gloria's character from the press and heard about her from some people who knew her first hand, it is safe to assume that Gloria is a 1) 'spoiled brat' or gets upset quite easily 2) quick thinker (spontaneous) 3)determined or stubborn but she's also a 4) first-class pragmatist.

I believe she is a "sensor", someone who basically lives and decides on things as warrants the present; this doesn't mean that she doesn't think of the future - absolutely not the case at all but her character is in tune with the present and I reckon he being a pragmatist, she is capable of appointing Carpio even to the detriment of the other more senior chief justices but I don't believe she will do that. She has lawyer Avelino Cruz to arrange things with the Firm if it's true that there's a rift between the Arroyos and the law firm. Gloria might go for Puno, at least she believes he will stand by her come hell or high water (isn't his relative with the DILG too?)

Carpio will not want to shake the status quo, he is a long term and meticulous planner and just like what John suggested, he might refuse the appointment (he's got a lot of time ahead of him in the first place) if Gloria is inclined to think of him, won't be the astute thing to do he might be telling himself since he is bound to become a chief justice one day anyway and the only way to do that is to show his sense of independence.

I do believe that there's a bit of a problem between Carpio and Gloria today - not a huge one however, this PI thing is an irritant. But Gloria, ever the sensor, is really thinking of 2010 - the failed PI petition thing is past her now; If I were her I would go full blast and tackle the 2007 elections, work on the governors, the mayors, prepare the military for the job of everseeing things discreetly (you know ballot boxes can be prepared ahead of time, delivered by navy vessels and substituted so very easily) and put all my effort on making her allies in the lower Chamber win. If her allies win the majority in the Lower Chamber, she can go and tackle Con Ass full blast after that (only 3 years to go so it's gotta be after May 2007 or never.)

Meanwhile, Carpio is safely ensconsced in SC - his plan is to be chief justice, he's got to provee himself little by little and starting with his ponencia on the PI petition was a masterpiece in terms of planning his career; who knows, perhaps he, being a lawyer of great caliber, he believes that there's a risk that things might not turn out that good for Gloria and so believes that he should be his own man.

What do you think?

Rizalist said...

As long as a substantial man like Carpio is alive, we cannot judge his ultimate worth to Justice.

I have said he is the Keeper of Many Secrets for the First Couple. Becoming Chief Justice means you surmount the highest peak of the Judiciary. (Only William Howard Taft scaled both Exec and Judi peaks!)

From there, such secrets may take on a different meaning for a sensient and intelligent being.

Therefore, I make no judgments now of Mr. Justice Carpio.

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

John Marzan & Hillblogger, you are both right, Carpio should say no if offered the Chief Justiceship. But if Gloria does make the offer, Carpio cannot refuse, kakampi pa rin siya ng reyna at hindi siya makakatanggi NGAYON, habang namamayapag pa si Gloria.

But when it becomes obvious that Gloria is on the way out, that's when you will see him make a fighting stance against her and so will a lot of their barkada. There will be a DELUGE that will overflow even DJB's blog with people from the other side.
Pero in the meantime tayo-tayo lang and Carpio will not declare against Gloria.

Yes, DJB, Carpio might just be the next Chief Justice.

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

John Marzan & Hillblogger, you are both right, Carpio should say no if offered the Chief Justiceship. But if Gloria does make the offer, Carpio cannot refuse, kakampi pa rin siya ng reyna at hindi siya makakatanggi NGAYON, habang namamayapag pa si Gloria.

But when it becomes obvious that Gloria is on the way out, that's when you will see him make a fighting stance against her and so will a lot of their barkada. There will be a DELUGE that will overflow even DJB's blog with people from the other side.
Pero in the meantime tayo-tayo lang and Carpio will not declare against Gloria.

Yes, DJB, Carpio might just be the next Chief Justice.

HILLBLOGGER said...

To me, Winnie Monsod's piece is spot on. Didn't always agree with her but this one on the Carpio ponencia is good, particularly to an "unlettered legal mind" like mine.

That Bel Cunanan piece, on the other hand, is simply odious.

Well, wonder how she and her hubby would feel if they had to give up some of their freedom.

Fred said...

Dean, I'm not sure from you're article if you're in favor of Justice Carpio as the next Chief Justice. In any case, I included some of you statements in an article (Choosing the next Chief Justice: Breaking away from Tradition), although I really don't know if you would object to be quoted in that context.