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Mar 22

The Long View: Presidential tar pit

The Long View
Presidential tar pit
By Manuel L. Quezon III
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:53:00 03/21/2010

YOU have to wonder why President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has to provoke the legal community – and the public, too – by insisting on appointing the next chief justice. To be sure, part of it is due to her relishing the powers and prerogatives of her office up to 11:59:59 a.m. June 30, 2010. Another is that she is never content with a partial victory if a total one can be achieved, particularly if it allows her to spite her many critics. A third would be that she also enjoys proving her writ extends beyond the limits of her office. And the fourth, which I’d like to focus on, is that she hopes to diminish all her potential successors even as they’re campaigning to obtain a popular mandate in May.

We haven’t yet reached the point of no return: the Supreme Court has reversed past precedents and ignored the consensus in the legal community on the issue; it has also been dismissive of public opinion. That old maxim “when the guns speak, the law falls silent” is not just a warning but a threat: if the ultimate interpreters of what the law says – that is, the Supreme Court – is to be defied, it can only imperil the stability of society itself, substituting a flawed legal system with the law of the jungle.

For this reason, every attempt to challenge the Supreme Court has collapsed with the justices’ willingness to call the bluff of every other institution as well as to ignore the court of public opinion. After Edsa II, the legitimacy of the new administration was resolved in the Supreme Court. When the unwillingess of the Supreme Court to subject its finances to public scrutiny was challenged in Congress, the impeachment effort marshaled by Gilbert Teodoro Jr. collapsed in the face of the Court’s own challenge to the House of Representatives: obey us and stop this, or we will have to authorize the chief executive to enforce the law – an ultimate nightmare scenario for lawmakers; for when the guns speak, the legislature falls silent, too.

When the Iron Curtain fell, and partial credit was given to Pope John Paul II for communism’s fall, pundits regularly re-quoted Stalin’s dismissive comment “How many divisions has the pope?” as proof of the blindness of dictators to the power of organized religion. In a similar manner, the judiciary has no army, but it is armed with the public’s instinctive – however grudging – obedience to the law, because it fears a radical outcome.

At the heart of the President’s zest for creating divisions by means of artificial crises – she could very well have respected tradition, exercised self-control and preferred stability to strife by simply letting the appointment be handled by her successor – is her recognition of the public’s fear of things getting out of hand, trumping decency and justice. At the heart of the high court’s majority decision is a similar zest to wield power and subdue opposition, calculating on the public’s aversion to inaugurating the next administration with a constitutional crisis.

In response, the presidential candidates have, remarkably enough, achieved a consensus but disagree on how, specifically, to manifest their commonly held objection to the President appointing the next chief justice.

Noynoy Aquino had previously stated he was opposed to the appointment and would refuse to recognize a chief justice appointed by the incumbent in the waning months of her term. He also said that if a case were to be made that the Supreme Court had decided on anything other than sound legal principles, the justices involved might be opening themselves up to an impeachment case in the next Congress. Nick Perlas has taken a similar stand: he will not recognize a chief justice appointed by the President and will support a petition for review of the decision before the high court. Manny Villar was very terse, saying he was saddened by the decision but otherwise remaining silent. Dick Gordon also said he was saddened by the ruling, but whoever is appointed would have to stay rather than provoke a constitutional crisis.

Gibo Teodoro earlier described the issue as divisive: carefully phrasing his objection to the President’s intent by saying if there’s no vacancy, there should be no appointment, because that appointment would always have a cloud of doubt hanging over the new chief justice. More recently he said even if she can make an appointment, the President should refrain from doing so anyway. Joseph Estrada took a similar approach, saying it’s a question of delicadeza, and JC de los Reyes said the next president should make the appointment. Jamby Madrigal is more uncompromising, insisting that the appointment should be revoked.

So far, none of the candidates have tied their hands by saying they intend to personally sign any motion for reconsideration filed before the Supreme Court. For those inclined not to recognize an Arroyo-appointed chief justice, there seems to be a practical legal reason for this. Were a candidate, subsequently elected president, to appeal to the Court, the lawyers could say that by participating, personally, in the process, he had been estopped, or barred, from further questioning the legality of the appointment, should the court uphold its ruling.

What the President wants is to bring the candidates down to her level by provoking them into acting in a manner that might suit an activist but is contrary to public expectation of the measured, firm, deliberative but temperate – or at least, not reckless – behavior that should characterize a president. Every candidate then has to walk a tightrope suspended over a tar pit, sticky and bubbling, created by the President herself. The candidate who loses his balance will fall into the pit, and the President doesn’t lack for people who will hoot and jeer at whoever ends up looking more like a fanatic than a chief executive.

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  1. Carl Cid Inting

    After 12 years of controversies and so much acoustics, it is hoped that, after June 30th, the country can have some peace and quiet.

  2. nick

    Hope, yes. But somebody up there is preparing the ingredients for total chaos.

  3. UP n Grad

    Noynoy has revealed an important part of his understanding of the separation of powers when he said that he will not recognize a justice of the supreme court appointed by his immediate predecessor. That Noynoy has begun to walk back from his words of bravadura does not negate that he has a willingness to disregard the Constitutional process out of spite?

  4. mlq3

    How has he begun to walk back? He said he would not recognize a Chief Justice appointed by the President -and rightly so. The whole point of the issue is that the Constitution is being violated, on that there is a sizeable consensus; the republic is being parboiled.

  5. Abe N. Margallo

    And remember, the Constitution is the one that is supreme, not the the Court’s decision (unconstitutionally) interpreting it.

  6. ramrod

    At the heart of the President’s zest for creating divisions by means of artificial crises—she could very well have respected tradition, exercised self-control and preferred stability to strife by simply letting the appointment be handled by her successor—is her recognition of the public’s fear of things getting out of hand, trumping decency and justice. At the heart of the high court’s majority decision is a similar zest to wield power and subdue opposition, calculating on the public’s aversion to inaugurating the next administration with a constitutional crisis.
    ————————————————–

    Masterful! Can anyone compete with such brilliance? Even foreigners see that only Arroyo can keep the country stable, especially the economy…everything to the contrary are “alleged.” There is this ridiculous impression going around that sans Arroyo the country will be embroiled in power struggles from all sides sending the economy in a downward spiral…Arroyo’s administration will make a good case study someday…

  7. mlq3

    A case could be made that the artificial crises permits the President to destabilize things, because the economy has an umbilical cord to OFW’s: this means two things. People can always look for greener pastures overseas and keep people at home afloat, giving less of an incentive to stay tuned to developments politically; at the same time more politics can be attended to by the politicians because in the end whatever they do, the country stays afloat.

  8. ramrod

    Precisely Manolo, thats what I always say every time some Singaporean comments about perceived political immaturity on the part of the Filipinos. The Filipinos have endured “inspite of” not “because of” the government…

  9. Carl Cid Inting

    Can’t argue about Filipinos enduring inspite of their government. They have done so for at least the past three quarters of a century.

    I also agree with the assumption that stumbling into the OFW phenomenon has provide Philippine society with a remarkable safety valve. It has provided a cushion that somewhat softens the enormous pain that would result as a consequence of our terribly flawed economic and social structure. What is even more exceptional, is that it has withstood the test of time, going on now for a few generations. Should this slow down, or come to a halt, the social “anesthetic” it provides could wear off, provoking upheaval.

  10. manuel

    The administration was hoping Noynoy would react emotionally to the issue. His rational and tempered response left them disappointed, without a horse to whip. And so they sent out deputy spokesman Charity Planas, she with the saliva bubbles at the corners of her mouth when she speaks, to distract the public with talks of a military junta.

  11. UP n Grad

    to mlq3 and AbeMargallo: Surge-the-gates versus supreme-court decisions.

    When there is no surge-the-gates, then the constitution is decided by Supreme court decisions (in my opinion). The writers of the 1987 Constitution did not give the Pilipinas president (much less this or that presidential candidate) the authority to decide what is constitutional or not, which is why I sense wisdom for noynoy to retreat from his bravadura statement that he will not recognize the next appointment by GMA to the supreme court.

    And when just the Pilipinas Supreme Court just recently decided that GMA can fill the vacancy for Pilipinas Supreme Court, then really, would you want to elect a presidential candidate who says that he will not recognize the decision of the Pilipinas Supreme Court? Even Marcos was not dictatorial enough to say that!

    And then this situation (now this is tiptoeing into speculation…but) what will Noynoy do if Pilipinas Supreme Court decides against Hacienda Luisita, also say he will not recognize the Pilipinas Supreme Court decision?

  12. UP n Grad

    to Abe: did you just say that the latest Pilipinas Supreme court decision (about GMA making the appointment) is unconstitutional? You probably just meant to say that you disagree with the latest decision, that is what I think.

    Because…. where would you find in the 1987 Constitution any paragraph or section that will support your statement?

    There are sections in the 1987 Constitution about the reasons to impeach a supreme court justice, I have not seen any paragraphs which describe when to rule that a Supreme Court decision is unconstitutional.

  13. nick

    When a former decision of an impartial Supreme Court is overturned by a present Supreme Court whose members are all appointed by the President, is the decision of the present Supreme Court favoring the interests of their president be considered impartial? Is it constitutional? Is it ethical?

  14. UP n Grad

    good questions, nick. Add those to what I asked earlier:
    I am glad that Noynoy has already retreated, but still….

    doesn’t it trigger some alarm bells when …. … a presidential candidate says that he will not recognize the decision of the Pilipinas Supreme Court?

    Of course, Noynoy did not say that he will do it all the time,
    but will a ruling on VFA be another instance when Noynoy will
    not recognize a decision of the Pilipinas Supreme Court? Will
    a ruling on Hacienda Luisita?

  15. Carl Cid Inting

    “Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking.” – Clement Atlee

    Regarding Hacienda Luisita, Fernando Cojuangco has already spoken for the family. And he hasn’t retracted what he said. Apparently, nobody listens to Noynoy. Not even his family. The poor fellow can’t get no respect, not even at home. 🙂

  16. mlq3

    the supreme court answered a specific question, put forward by the JBC: do we have to submit a list to the President on the day Puno retires? Answer is yes, you should. The Court did not say the President should fill the vacancy but that she can. So there’s a reconsideration of this decision which also opens up judicial appointments during the election ban if in turn the SC saying the exemption applies to all the judiciary except the Supreme Court, or any variation therefore that in the ends serves to void the 1961 and 1998 decisions.

    This is an artifical crisis because a sober law abiding president would look to history and past precedents and decline to tie the hands of the duly-elected successor. But she insists, so now the legal community is up in arms over a decision describe by many lawyers in unprintable terms. Read it and see why. It points to a whimsical court which will decided, with finality, then upon an appeal of the appeal, finally oveturn; meaning no decision will ever be considered final.

    So one way it can play out Constitutionally is that the next Chief Justice is considered illegally installed. The only thing sa President can do is decline to take the oath before that accursed judge. If a case for impeachment can be made, then impeachment is necessary. Or wait until the court wakes up from being under the thrall of the past president and recoverses its senses and voids the appointment: but by then the whole court has been tarnished.
    I do not see any retreat, however nor have you shown me where he retreated. He stated he won’t recognize -he hasn’t said he withdraws that. He says if the case can be made, the justices involved could face impeachment. He says it is bad for the courts and our institutions and a lot of people in the legal community feel the same way. No one is saying abolish the court, but that the court has embarked on an illogical and illegal because unfounded on constitutional principles and precedent, course of action.
    As for what Marcos did, he issued them an ultimatum: validate martial law and the 1973 constitution or lose your jobs. They chose their jobs.

  17. UP n Grad

    Has “Tabako” Ramos ever defied a Supreme Court ruling?
    Has Erap or GMA?

  18. nick

    “good questions, nick. Add those to what I asked earlier:
    I am glad that Noynoy has already retreated, but still….”-UP n

    UP n,

    You mean you agree that PGMA’s appointing her own Supreme Court chief justice is unconstitutional? Ok then, so Noynoy, when he become president, must be right, as you think, if he does not recognize that CJ appointed by PGMA. Therefore Noynoy has a point not retracting from his words of not recognizing PGMA’s chief justice. Yes? Yes.

  19. UP n Grad

    Nick: majority (nine of the Pilipinas Supreme Court judges) ruled that GMA can appoint. One has dissented. There are many news reports to this effect (e.g. a report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer : Arroyo can name next Chief Justice, says SC
    By Dona Pazzibugan Philippine Daily Inquirer
    Posted date: March 18, 2010

    MANILA, Philippines— . . . . According to the nine, Section 15 Article VII that prohibits midnight appointments does not apply to the Supreme Court.

    —————-

  20. mlq3

    Fernando Cojuangco spoke up for himself. Aquino said there is a family consensus. It could be entirely possible F.C. has his own gambit -to keep his job.

  21. UP n Grad

    nick: GMAnews TV news report identifies how the individual Pilipinas Supreme Court voted.

    Supreme Court allows Arroyo to appoint next chief justice
    03/17/2010 | 10:50 AM (Updated 8:36 p.m.) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo can appoint the next chief justice, the Supreme Court said in a decision Wednesday, amid legal questions on whether the president can pick Justice Reynato Puno’s successor within a period of two months before her term ends.

    In a special meeting, nine justices—Lucas Bersamin, Jose Perez, Roberto Abad, Martin Villarama, Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Arturo Brion, Jose Mendoza, Mariano del Castillo, and Diosdado Peralta—voted in favor of Mrs. Arroyo’s appointment of the next chief justice.

    Only Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales gave a vote of dissent, while magistrates Eduardo Nachura and Presbitero Velasco Jr. said the case was premature.

    Puno, Antonio Carpio, and Renato Corona inhibited themselves from voting. Carpio—the most senior magistrate—and Corona are the strongest contenders for the top judicial post.
    —————————–

  22. mlq3

    FRVR’s legatees did. but your point overlooks the real issue: which is how the supreme court has been used by the present dispensation as its ultimate fig leaf.

  23. ramrod

    Well, as I said earlier, GMA’s administration is a good case study in the future on how to hold on to power and throw your weight around with impunity legally…or “how to rear end the Filipino people as much as you like but leave them saying uhh its okay…” 🙂

  24. First NameJuancho

    In political struggles and business competition, the overriding foundation is risk/reward equation.

    The President under the present constitution has awesome powers due to the fact that a large part of purse strings of the state are under her direct control.

    The hierarchy in military establishment and the courts have become transformed into royal grants and largess’s. Government appointments with all its perks have become the rewards of faithful service.

    Hence corruption has become the mainstream as the threat even of discovery goes unpunished. Just look at the Road Board and the Agriculture Department.

    Corruption is a respected way of life in this country. Just look at the intellectual arrogance of a Gary Olivar. “Catch us if you can”

    We need a Jacobin like system to correct this horrendous imbalance of reward over risk in governance.

  25. Carl Cid Inting

    Gloria Arroyo has a propensity to bitch-slap her critics at every turn, to the point that she gets carried away. She probably enjoys getting them riled up so much, that it’s almost sadistic. This latest caper is a catch-22 for her critics, though, because going against her appointee could very well wreck what remains of our institutions. It’s a game of chicken, and my guess is that her critics won’t have the nerve to push this to the limit.

    It’s a perverse game of one-upmanship and, after 8 years, it’s getting worn. Will we get over the skirmishing after she’s gone?

  26. UP n Grad

    It is practically a given that GMA leaves Malacanang in a few weeks. Reason — she follows the 1987 Constitution. Likewise FVR tried, but when he could not get it done, he too conformed to the 1987 Constitution and he left office.

    Time to look forward elections May2010 and think. Have any candidates expressed otherwise? To me (my personal opinion, others may believe otherwise) My personal opinion is that it is critical whoever you vote for — when the majority of the Pilipinas Supreme Court decides against his/her political (or familial) interests, that he will follow the decision of the Supreme Court.

    Laban! Never again!

  27. Carl Cid Inting

    After the New York Times article came out, Noynoy Aquino said a mouthful. At first he said that Fernando Cojuangco was misquoted. And he went on to accuse the writer of being a “leftist”.

    That’s Noynoy’s way isn’t it? When he can’t get people to agree with him, he resorts to personal attacks and name-calling. Very childish of him. But then, he is a man-child whose only claim to fame are his famous parents and sister, isn’t he?

    Apparently, when Noynoy’s disclaimer fell flat on its face because Fernando Cojuangco never never denied making those statements to the New York Times, Fernando Cojuangco is now being portrayed by Noynoy flunkies as a clinging leech who only wants to hang on to his job. Poor little bugger, it’s quite a ways from “kamag-anak”, to being shunned as “kapit-tuko”. 🙂

  28. UP n Grad

    IF…. if Noynoy can get away with not recognizing a GMA supreme court appointee, then consider what he can do should Pilipinas Supreme Court in 2011 or 2012 decide in favor of the Cojuango-clan versus the farmers with regards Hacienda Luisita. Noynoy can take the side of the farmers and say he will not recognize the Pilipinas Supreme Court decision — something about “… GMA appointees”.

  29. ramrod

    IF…. if Noynoy can get away with not recognizing a GMA supreme court appointee, then consider what he can do should Pilipinas Supreme Court in 2011 or 2012 decide in favor of the Cojuango-clan versus the farmers with regards Hacienda Luisita. Noynoy can take the side of the farmers and say he will not recognize the Pilipinas Supreme Court decision — something about “… GMA appointees”.
    ————————————

    Hmmmm. The way I see it, Noynoy is not embroiled in any anomalies yet (nor his family), but GMA is…how Noynoy can be portrayed as worst than GMA (wala pa nga eh) is puzzling…too much thinking done in the toilet…

  30. ramrod

    Philippine Supreme Court? More like GMA supreme court…Let them bring their own courts every time and lets see how it works out, this one we already know sucks, try another…why force feed us something rotten?

  31. ramrod

    Let the people decide, shall we recognize GMA appointees? Not! So lets kick them out, oops, we can’t, legal technicalities trump the people’s will anytime…so get a new bunch of lawyers to cook up some new legal technicalities…once in power of course…

  32. thecusponline

    In the common law system, there is no need to resort to Constitutional or legal restrictions such as the ones hard coded in other systems as these are enforced through conventions and traditions.

    Over the weekend, there was an election in my state. When the election period commenced, the public service went into caretaker mode, which meant that no major decisions involving investments or appointments that could bind the next govt would be elevated to Cabinet for approval.

    This caretaker mode has been in practice since the pre-War period. There are no laws or constitutional provisions that actually prescribe them, nor is it necessary since successive govts from both major parties have observed them. It guarantees stability of govt and a smoother transition of power I think.

  33. nick

    “Nick: majority (nine of the Pilipinas Supreme Court judges) ruled that GMA can appoint.”-UP n

    UP n,

    Are you saying that present members of the Supreme Court have the prerogatives to be beholdened to the person who appointed them but not beholden to the dictates of the constitution? That, we, the ordinary citizens, should just not mind the courts looking after the interests of the appointing powers rather than the interests of fair justice and ethical standards? That Noynoy the president should just take PGMA’s appointing a CJ with a grain of salt even if it undermines the integrity of the highest court of the land?

    UP n, are you saying those things that you said because you are for a certain presidential candidate, or, are you for a fair justice system? Just curious.

  34. UP n Grad

    nick: are you bothered by the things I said, or are you bothered by the cut-and-paste I did from GMA NewsTV or from Dona Pazzibugan Philippine Daily Inquirer? If you are bothered by the cut and paste, well, then you should, because many Pinoys (who will vote May2010) read GMA newsTV and/or Philippine Daily Inquirer.

    If you got bothered by the words I’ve said, then just go back to your cup of coffee or halo-halo. Relax! A UP n grad blog comment will not make a May2010 vote go this way or another. Knowing my thinking (HaagenDanz? Baskin-Robbins? Ben&Jerry’s ice cream) My choices are the least of your worries. Donna Pazzibugan… her, you have to worry about.

  35. UP n Grad

    More than me (I write 6, sometimes 10 or 11 sentence-long blog comments), worry about Jesusa Bernardo who writes elaborate presentations that can sway voters. Here is a cut-and-paste,
    you’ll see opinions presented with more “meat” to back up her assertions.
    —————-
    Reason 2. Tolerance of, if not complicity in covering up, the 2004 electoral fraud

    Noynoy’s little-spoken but nonetheless criminal deeds against the people did not end with the 2001 EDSA coup. During the 2004 elections, Noynoy allowed, or perhaps helped facilitate the electoral cheating committed against Fernando Poe Jr. in the conspiracy to fraudulently declare Arroyo as the winner of the presidential race. Noynoy as Tarlac congressman did nothing as stalwarts of his Liberal Party and others railroaded the congressional canvassing by refusing to open the contested COCs (certificates of canvass). As Daily Tribune’s Ninez Cacho-Olivares notes, Noynoy Aquino “kept his mouth shut even in the face of massive electoral cheating,” thus effectively preventing the Filipino public from knowing the real 2004 President-elect.

    She writes at philippinecommentary–blogspot .

  36. abemargallo

    UP n,

    You have to remember that when Noynoy Aquino has said early this year that if elected president, he “will not recognize a chief justice appointed by the outgoing president, contrary to the constitutional ban on appointments during the wee hours of her presidency, and contrary to propriety, delicadeza and precedence,” the obtaining laws have been: 1) the precedent set in Aytona v. Castillo, 2) the plain language of the Constitution and 3) the Valenzuela ruling.

    In Valenzuela, the SC in a unanimous decision has said the violation of the constitutional ban is “considered an election offense.” Noynoy in issuing those statements is I suppose essentially saying it is criminal on the part of the incumbent president to appoint a chief justice under those circumstances.

    In Constitutional Law, the president of the Republic can also interpret the Constitution with the effect of finality. For example, if on constitutional ground the president vetoes a bill which requires that before a person by the name of UP n may be allowed to re-enter the Philippine soil he must first donate a million dollars to Lakas-Kampi, and the veto is not overridden, then his interpretation becomes final.

    So, if Noynoy is elected president (whose chief responsibility as president is to preserve and defend the Constitution and the faithful execution of the laws of the land) nothing, I believe, prevents him from interpreting such an enormous constitutional responsibility as allowing him to support impeachment proceedings against associate justice Bersamin and the other justices who concurred with him for culpable violation of the Constitution and/or prosecute them as criminal conspirators of Gloria Arroyo in violating the constitutional ban, the ruling in De Castro notwithstanding.

  37. iwriteasiwrite

    Anyone who cites The Daily Tribune is clearly presenting their bias.

    I have been appalled by their blatant flaunting of basic journalism rules and shrill, pot-boiled and hysterical rantings.

    Some level of bias is to be expected, but the extent that bias sways their “reporting”is laughable. It is basically a propaganda daily masquerading (and poorly at that) as a newspaper.

    Curious, did they also criticize Villar and Gibo? Because I remember that editorial by Olivares quickly rushed past those two focus solely on Noynoy. Remember who Olivares has long supported.

  38. UP n Grad

    to Abe: It will be interesting how many academics and newspaper reporters will mention “banana republic” should a Pilipinas President make unilateral executive decisions that disregard recent decisions by the Pilipinas Supreme Court. A more important question — will the Pilipinas military defend the Supreme Court or Malacanang? Wouldn’t the military, the civic society prefer the Marcos way (where first Marcos made the Supreme Court pen decisions that give him the cover before he doing what he wanted to do)?

    Should a Pilipinas President make unilateral executive decisions that disregard recent decisions by the Pilipinas Supreme Court — that will be, as MLQ3 has penned, quite a tar pit, wouldn’t it?

  39. UP n Grad

    Noynoy and GMA do differ in their view about Supreme Court vs Malacanang checks and balances. Case in point — obviously GMA does not believe that the Pilipinas President can disregard recent Supreme Court decisions. An evidence — Hacienda Luisita. In 2005 GMA’s administration/the DAR revoked the SDO deal, saying that the scheme did not result in the improvement in the lives of the 10,000 hacienda workers. DAR actions were for farmers and “…for the greater good”, except the Supreme Court intervened. Pilipinas Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order, now the case is pending in the court.

    I’m tempted to say that the GMA should have disregarded the Supreme Court decision and just proceed with “land reform” for Hacienda Luisita farmers. But surely many Pilipinos in Pinas are worried, too — give a president an inch and the president can get a mile (like extension of term limits???). On the other hand, a few Pinoys are waiting for a Lee Kuan Yew, right?

  40. nick

    “Should a Pilipinas President make unilateral executive decisions that disregard recent decisions by the Pilipinas Supreme Court — that will be, as MLQ3 has penned, quite a tar pit, wouldn’t it?”-UP n

    UP n,

    The answer to your question is ‘YES’. See? You’re agreeing with mlq3. PGMA’s appointing her own chief justice will be like pouring the tar into the tar pit. If Noynoy will be true to his words, the tar pit that PGMA has created will have its maximum effect on the country, and so you’ll be right in saying this: “to Abe: It will be interesting how many academics and newspaper reporters will mention “banana republic”…”

    To avoid such thing from happening, PGMA should not be “pouring tar into the tar pit” by not appointing her own chief justice. Yes? Yes.

  41. UP n Grad

    nick: I am truly glad that GMA has brought this issue to the forefront. The reason I say this is that the CJ-nomination issue became revelation that Noynoy will on case-by-case basis disregard the decision of the majority of Pilipinas Supreme Court. Today, CJ-nomination. Down the road he’ll face VFA legalities; Mindanao issues; land reform issues; highway-contracts or electricity power-grid issues; broadband infrastructure contracts, airport construction contracts. How often and what are the instances when Noynoy will disregard Pilipinas Supreme Court decisions?

    Maybe Pilipinas May2010 voters are thinking about this or maybe they are not. To me, this is serious, to you maybe not. For me, I sincerely believe that the writers of the 1987 Pilipinas Constitution do not want a Malacanang resident to be able to unilaterally decide on the contents and interpretation of Pilipinas Constitution. They would not want it for Marcos, no one would want it for GMA, I do not see why the country would want the next president to be able to unilaterally decide on Constitution interpretation or to disregard recent decisions of Pilipinas Supreme Court.

    So nick, if you think this is only a PGMA issue, then you are A-okay, it is your vote. Think cool thoughts, be sure to vote May2010.

  42. mlq3

    this neatly sidesteps the question of whether it was a valid assertion to make, and the circumstances surrounding its preliminary endorsement by the high court. and of course turns on its head the whole objection -not just one person’s alone but held fairly widely within legal circles- on the inaccurate assertion of disregarding the court. just as the present decision can be appealed, there remains the avenue of the jbc deciding whether to provide the president with a list, and even the possibility of the president being prudent and not making an appointment; there remain other fully constitutional avenues and the treatment of one is not a dismissal of the whole -even if a large number potentially end up impeached, itself a fully constitutional option.

  43. nick

    “So nick, if you think this is only a PGMA issue, then you are A-okay.”-UP n

    Thanks, UP n. So you trust GMA so well. In that case you are A-okay too, so vote for her manok, it’s your right. Just don’t forget that, even if you trust her so well, the Filipino people has given her already a resounding NEGATIVE 138% TRUST AND POPULARITY ratings. And you know the reasons why, yes? Yes.

  1. A very sound reason…

    […] “Were a candidate, subsequently elected president, to appeal to the Court, the lawyers could say that by participating, personally, in the process, he had been estopped, or barred, from further questioning the legality of the appointment, should the court uphold its ruling.” – Manuel Quezon III […]

  2. Yes, we can! | Filipino Voices

    […] in De Castro to join the fray by unceremoniously allowing Arroyo the slack she needs) other than as Manolo Quezon colorfully puts it “to bring the candidates down to her level” (of illegitimacy) and force them “to walk a […]

  3. GLOBAL BALITA » Blog Archive » The presidential tar pit

    […] http://www.quezon.ph/2010/03/22/the-long-view-presidential-tar-pit/   YOU have to wonder why President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has to provoke the legal community—and the public, too—by insisting on appointing the next chief justice. To be sure, part of it is due to her relishing the powers and prerogatives of her office up to 11:59:59 a.m. June 30, 2010. Another is that she is never content with a partial victory if a total one can be achieved, particularly if it allows her to spite her many critics. A third would be that she also enjoys proving her writ extends beyond the limits of her office. And the fourth, which I’d like to focus on, is that she hopes to diminish all her potential successors even as they’re campaigning to obtain a popular mandate in May. […]

  4. The Long View: Home stretch : Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose

    […] one: Will you risk entering into unknown territory, constitutionally and politically speaking, or help maintain the fiction that the veneer of legality actually represents legitimacy? The risks were graphically represented by the armed might of the state being mobilized “and […]

  5. Spotifyripping.com » Blog Archive » The real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash – Charlie's Diary

    […] The Long View: Presidential tar pit : Manuel L. Quezon III: The … […]

  6. The Long View: Form and substance : Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose

    […] (January 23, 2010), and, in my columns Scorched earth to the bitter end (January 18, 2010) nd The presidential tar pit (March 21, 2010), and in this transcript of my interview on The Rundown last Tuesday. See also […]

  7. Yes, we can! - Filipino Voices

    […] in De Castro to join the fray by unceremoniously allowing Arroyo the slack she needs) other than as Manolo Quezon colorfully puts it “to bring the candidates down to her level” (of illegitimacy) and force them “to walk a […]

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