Saturday, November 4, 2006

Chick Justice Miriam Santiago?

Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) nominates Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. PDI is titillated by the possibility. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is eminently qualified for the position, as far as the Left is concerned, since she has called for abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement over the Subic Bay rape case. But Solicitor General Eduardo Nachura stressed that her "closeness to the President" should be no impediment:
“Senator Santiago is very qualified, and I’m sure that if she will be the next chief justice, she will be very fair and [special] considerations will be disallowed,” Nachura told reporters.

“There are no political considerations here. I don’t think Senator Santiago’s being an administration ally will be an issue. There are no politics here,” he stressed.
So, is Nachura, and by implication Malacanang Palace, publicly backing Santiago? Or is this the Palace's way of selling two important ideas: (1) That the President's eventual appointment will be based solely on merit, not considerations of her own political survival; and (2) That it will be okay to again ignore the traditions of seniority in the appointment of the Chief Justice, since even Miriam is a complete outsider.

I believe that uppermost in the President's mind in choosing the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the growing probability of an impeachment and trial as the Opposition looks set to capture the Senate in the 2007 midterm elections. I have been saying that the mere existence in the Senate of 16 "hanging Senator Judges" -- i.e. inclined to convict GMA in a fair trial -- will remove the Damocles Sword the Palace holds over members of the Lower House and make eighty or more votes for impeachment there, not inexorably suicidal for them.

If I were GMA, Miriam Santiago would be the last person I would want to be Chief Justice and the possible presiding judge of an impeachment trial. Remember, she has made a career of accusing Fidel V. Ramos of cheating HER out of the Presidency in 1992 (which many believe was actually true). She is also the person in Santiago v. Comelec, the 1997 Supreme Court ruling that killed the Pirma people's initiative.

Moreover, as Chief Justice, Miriam might find her true calling, and actually bring Constitutional law expertise to that post. And something even more important that GMA probably cannot afford: the cold impartiality of a neutral judge!

My guess is that her best hope, if any be left, is still with the guy who wrote the fax that brought GMA to power and knows all their secrets. Not Miriam the Unpredictable.

11 comments:

Karl M. Garcia said...

I still remeber Anna's OMG reaction,when I mentioned that possibility a year ago(funny, how time flies!)...


Do you still have the same reaction to that possibility,Anna?


For me, I guess she must just fill in the vacancy,but even that would make the Court of Appeals associate justices roar,like with the previous appointments.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Karl, I double that OMG reaction and end it with you can't be serious!!!!!!

The woman is mad, bonkers, I mean have you met her recently?

I have and she's gone from brilliance to schizophrenic scary.

manuelbuencamino said...

MIRIAM? Why not the Bulacan judge who believes in duendes?

manuelbuencamino said...

If Miriam becomes CJ, the court will have to lift the suspension of the Bulacan judge/

Rizalist said...

It's called bait n switch!

john marzan said...

whether you are for or against miriam as chief justice, i think miriam will make an interesting and controversial CJ.

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

The funny thing Hillblogger is that I voted for her as President against FVR, and I think she won in that election too. But that was my mistake and now I do not want her as Chief Justice. I also now believe that there is something shaky about her brain - not crazy mind you - but a DELUSION OF GREATNESS. She is not as great as she thinks she is.

This lady tried to woo FPJ to take her as Vice President, deluding perhaps that she can put one over Da King. But she did not count on the STREET SMARTS of the guy and forthwith dump him for Gloria on the rebound. Tapos siniraan niya si Da King, not knowing that in the eyes of the people he is a greater person, who would have been President had he lived.

baycas said...

CJ Miriam Defensor-Santiago moments after declaring in her ponencia that JDV’s conASS is UNconstitutional:

I lied…bwahahaha…

-----

I’m sure this blogpost of djb scared the hell out of this writer

schumey said...

DJB,

I posted something about Miriam on my blog but I view her nomination in a different light. I don't know if you would agree with my view.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

I may not like Santiago but I never underestimated her brilliance or capacity for doing almost anything, even for close in manipulating.

Let me try to explain...

If you want to come down to it or based on media stories and her critics, this woman has absolutely not a whiff of delicadeza in her brain or body.

True, with her brazen posturing for the chief justice post, she’s already alienating even those who are inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt, i.e., that’s she’s not really gone bonkers yet.

Of course, if we look at things at face value, Brenda is crazy to think that by launching a “pre-emptive strike” for the post, she would be able to twist the arm of Gloria and of course, fate.

Gloria may be accused of being corrupt, a liar, a cheat, a thief of the gargantuanesque category; it may be said that she has no delicadeza left in her being but one thing is certain, she ain’t dumb or not dumb enough to commit political and judicial suicide.

We do know that she is the most brazen political opportunist today, i.e., use anybody and everybody for her survival, but again, deep inside that opportunistic brain is great cunning - she knows Brenda is somehow "damaged goods" in the eyes of the public, and it’s one thing to appoint the unpredictable Brenda to the post of associate justice to SC but jumping the gun and appointing her chief justice could ultimately break her back.

She knows that even her staunchest supporters who are prepared to defend her come hell or high water might break ranks with her if she appoints Brenda to the highest SC post. Much too risky… So on that score, I don't believe she's prepared to appoint Brenda to the highest SC post.

However, what we don't know is there perhaps is a twist to the Brenda "assault "on the highest SC post.

I do believe Santiago knows, no matter how Brenda we think she is, that by stepping up the pressure via media of course, she is putting Gloria in quandary and she realizes that doing it the way she's going about it is putting the pressure on Gloria a notch or two higher. In reality, Brenda, for all her faults, knows pretty damn well that Gloria CAN NOT appoint her to the highest post in the SC...

So, why is she pushing it? Actually, what one doesn't know is if in fact, Brenda is using unprecedented guile to effect pressure because she wants the post badly or if the truth of the matter is that she’s after something else, something more lucrative and that her posturing for the top SC post is MERELY A PLOY for SOMETHING ELSE, something for either herself, her hubby or her brother... Perhaps in the end, she herself will say, “I’m finally withdrawing from the race," or "After witnessing the immense brouhaha my enthusiasm has caused, I will refuse it - SC chief justice post - even if it's offered to me because it’s unfair on our beloved president to feel pressured, blah, blah, blah…”

So, HERO pa siya but what we don’t know is if this is her way of negotiating with her dearly beloved president for, i.e., a post for her darling younger brother Benjie or something else!

Brenda may be going bonkers but really, she’s an extraordinarily astute negotiator and knows how to use media for great pressure effect.

Let’s wait and see what she’s up to…

mschumey07 said...

Dean,

Thanks for posting the other side of this unraveling twist. Anna is right in pointing out that this scheming woman has something up her sleeve.