De Lima out; 8 names in CJ shortlist
By Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com
Posted at 08/13/2012 1:03 PM | Updated as of 08/13/2012 1:45 PM
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 2) – The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has chosen eight names for its shortlist of nominees for the position of Chief Justice.
The 8 are incumbent Supreme Court justices Antonio Carpio, Roberto Abad, Arturo Brion, Teresita Leonardo De Castro and Maria Lourdes Sereno; Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, Ateneo Law School Dean Cesar Villanueva and Rep. Ronaldo Zamora.
The JBC also decided not to include Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in the shortlist of nominees for chief justice.
Speaking to reporters, Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. said the JBC did not vote on his proposal to suspend or amend the JBC rule to disqualify candidates facing administrative cases including disbarment.
“Wala nang voting. We did not suspend the rule. We tried to decide by consensus but we did not get it so na-disqualify si Secretary de Lima,” he said.
De Lima, rumored to be President Aquino’s top pick for the CJ post, was disqualified due to pending disbarment cases before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. The IBP earlier refused de Lima’s petition to junk the disbarment cases.
Last Friday, JBC members failed to reach a consensus on the suspension or amendment of its disqualification rule.
Since the time of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. has been proposing for an amendment to the rule that disqualifies candidates to any judicial post and posts in the Office of the Ombudsman with pending criminal and/or regular administrative cases.
This rule is part of the Rules of the Judicial and Bar Council promulgated in October 2000.
Carpio led the shortlist with 7 votes. Abad, Brion, Jardeleza, Sereno, Zamora got six votes each. De Castro and Villanueva, on the other hand, got five votes each.
Jardeleza was earlier disqualified because of a pending disbarment case.
In an ambush interview, Tupas said Jardeleza was reconsidered because there was no prima facie evidence against him.
A source said SEC Chairperson Teresita Herbosa was also reconsidered, but failed to get into the shortlist.
The decision of the Supreme Court last week, automatically dismissing Carpio’s disbarment case, was used in the reconsideration of Jardeleza and Herbosa’s case.
Meanwhile, Tupas said his proposed amendment did not get support from the other members. He said, however, that this will be taken up at the proper time in the future.
He said the shortlist should be transmitted to Malacanang this afternoon.
Senators’ explanation of their votes (excerpts)
Verdict rebuilds ‘new paradigm of transparency’
The Constitution and our statutes oblige every public official to make and submit “a complete disclosure of his assets, liabilities, and net worth in order to suppress any questionable accumulation of wealth.”
This obligatory constitutional rule seeks to eradicate corruption, promote transparency in government and maintain a standard of honesty in the public service.
The prosecution and the defense were one in producing proof that the Chief Justice has bank accounts he did not declare in his SALN. Removing any iota of doubt about this vital fact was the Chief Justice himself who openly admitted before this court that he has four US dollar accounts totaling $2.4 million, and three peso accounts of P80.7 million.
I may grant the Chief Justice’s plea of honest mistake of judgment. But given his broad experience in public law and practice in investment advisory services, his willful and deliberate omission, together with the magnitude of the subject matter, amounts to a culpable violation—thus a failure meriting condemnation.
ALAN PETER CAYETANO
The impeachment court does not simply pass judgment on this specific case, or on this specific Chief Justice. The court action, being far-reaching and precedent-setting, is actually rebuilding a new paradigm of transparency and accountability in public office.
The verdict of this court will affect more than 1.3 million civil or public servants, government employees and officials. It will affect 100 million Filipinos in other countries. It will affect our future.
I cannot agree with the Chief Justice’s interpretation of the law in his explanation of the P80 million and $2.4 million deposits. However, in signing the waiver that allows the Ombudsman to look into his bank accounts, he has set a new standard.
I ask the President to instruct his Cabinet to sign the waivers or resign and leave the government. Lead by following, or get out of the way. Executive, legislative, judiciary. COA, Comelec, BIR, Customs, judges, governors, mayors, barangay captains, congressmen, senators, let us agree on one standard.
…I aslso have difficulty accepting the defense on commingled funds. The fact of commingling, I can accept that but the huge amount involved leaves too much doubt in my mind. In our interpretation of the law, we who hold a position of public trust, must choose the interpretation that will uphold public interest over private interest. Regardless of whether malice or an intent to suppress the truth was present, we must remember that public office is a public trust. Once that trust is gone, we must step down to preserve the integrity of the position we hold…
From the start, I questioned breaches in procedural law and ethical conduct of various participants in the impeachment process—the trial by publicity and the irresponsible hurtling of bloated unverified figures of assets, among others…
The other lesson must go beyond the Chief Justice. It is the call for transparency. I echo that call. Those of us who sit as judges, those who acted as prosecutors and all those in public service should not hide behind our titles…
The Constiturion commands the respondent Chief Justice to file an accurate and complete SALN.
Respondent concealed his luxurious condominiums for five years after they were fully paid. Worse, respondent reported the values of these condominiums at less than 50 percent of their acquisition cost.
Respondent admits he did not declare $2.4 million and P80 million in his SALN. The enormity of respondent’s hidden assets—over P180 million, or 50 times more than his declared cash assets—is scandalous. It is grossly disproportionate to his total income for 10 years of about P27 million. It establishes a prima facie case of ill-gotten wealth under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The Supreme Court dismissed Delsa Flores, a lowly court interpreter, for not reporting in her SALN her stall in a public market.
The Chief Justice must be held to a much higher standard.
Where our Constitution and our laws require disclosure, he chose the path of concealment. He has lost his moral fitness to serve the people. He has betrayed the public trust.
today, chief justice corona will testify at the impeachment court trying his case. everyone is saying this is the pivotal point in this trial. his testimony will either nmake or break corona in the trial.
after his testimony at the impeachment trial do you think he is guilty or not guilty?
for the summary of evidence that have been presented in the trial, scroll down or go to this link: http://wp.me/pnw03-1zB
very soon, probably next week, the event we have all been waiting for will happen – chief justice corona will testify at the impeachment court trial.
after many weeks of corona and his defense lawyers consistently and strongly saying he will not testify in court, a miracle happened and his lawyers said in open court that the chief justice will testify on the condition that the ombudsman and others who have charged that he owns $10M are sent subpoenas to appear in court.
so far, all those he wanted to appear in court have signified their intent to appear in court. with no more barriers for an appearance in court. corona testifying seems like a sure thing.
when corona testifies, that means it’s open city for corona at the court. the prosecution lawyers and the senator judges can ask corona whatever questions they like.
senator kiko pangilinan tweeted just today asking for netizens to send him questions that they want corona to answer at the hearing. we are following senator pangilinan’s lead and opening up this blog for netizens to post the questions they want corona to answer during the hearing.
to send in your questions, hit the reply button in this post and type in your questions. we will be letting senator pangilinan about this post here for him to check out your questions for cj corona.
source Pulse Asia : http://pulseasia.com.ph/pulseasia/story.asp?ID=748
- chief justice corona’s approval rating plunges to 14% from previous 38% and his disapproval rating took an upward sizzle from 24% to 58%. those can only be described as a catastrophic meltdown all due to the impeachment case t oust him being held at the senate. there is no other way to describe in approval rating by more than half and a more than doubling of number of responding disapproving of corona.’s performance.
- results on corona in this poll is highly consistent with the other Pulse Asia that showed a high 47% of the respondent found corona guilty versus only a 5% of the respondents found him innocent of the charges filed at the impeachment court.
- this is the court of public opinion, not the impeachment court so many things can come into play on this resulting approval/disapproval rating of corona by the respondents.
- over at twitter, we had said corona should form his own professional Crisis Management Team very early during the impeachment case. we had called out for this need almost on the first day the case was filed at the house of representatives. we figured the prosecution team obviously had their own team operating prior to day 1 of the whole process. the actions and messages of the prosecution team was so well crafted and well planned that there was a strategy in play and that can only come from a professional team of PR practitioners or media managers.
- the need for corona to have his own Crisis Management Team was not only necessary because of their adversary, but also this was obviously a very major development in the chief justice’s career. something as major as an impeachment case needed major efforts to protect his interests. the impeachment case was something very public, live tv coverage has been announced and that meant corona needed professionals to manage the media aspect of it.
- the need for a professional Crisis Management Team to handle corona’s affairs was highlighted when he decided to deliver a speech in front of the Supreme Court premises attacking President Noynoy Aquino. corona with that speech decided to be a politician and effectively declared a media war and opened the court of public opinion. moves like that should not be done without careful thinking and professional handling.
Pulse Asia’s Chief Justice Corona Trial Poll results – the people sees past through prosecution’s incompetence
- we are surprised at the high number of 84% of the respondents following the developments of the impeachment rial of chief justice corona. we thought it would not be this high. after all this is not the president of the country like the erap estrada impeachment, just the chief justice. the erap impeachment getting high numbers will not be a surprise but a chief justice impeachment is.
- a high number of those who follow the developments say tv is their media choice at 80%. that means many of the people are watching the live coverage of the impeachment trial. they are getting the developments first hand, seeing the drama unfold in front of their eyes.
- internet for some reason got a very low number – just 1%, we think this is mostly a function of low computer incidence and low internet usage among the poor who accounts for a large majority of the philippine population.
- radio coming in only at 12% is a shock. radio is the dominant media ownership in the country, almost 100% of homes have radio. for radio to be a non factor in medium choice is very surprising. this means tv has become a most important medium in the country. (the advertising industry need to retool some of theoir thinking on this one.)
- the defense was trying to make something out of their charge that the impeachment complaint was fast-tracked at the Hour Of Representatives. we really don’t understand why this is important and what it is for but they seem to be saying because it was railroaded at the house, the complaint is invalid, don’t ask us why because we can;t explain it.
- also we do not think it really matters, the fact is the senate has opened an impeachment court. whether it has been fast-tracked or not no longer matters.
- this table is a practically a split where respondents can’t decide whether it was fast-tracked or not at he HOR. the numbers are practically tied with 32% saying it was fast-tracked while 38% do not think it was fast-tracked.
- looks like the defense team has lost his battle.
this chart to us the most important findings of the poll – how people feel about the guilt or innocence of the the chief justice on the charges brought to him bu the HOR (House Of Representatives).
it is important to take note of this from the Pulse Asia website:
The survey fieldwork was conducted from February 26 to March 9, 2012 using face-to-face interviews. The following developments preoccupied Filipinos immediately prior to and during the conduct of the interviews for this survey: (1) the ongoing impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona* ; (2) the arraignment for electoral fraud of former President and incumbent Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; (3) the death and destruction caused by a 6.9 intensity earthquake in the Visayas on 06 February 2012; (4) the commemoration of the 26th anniversary of EDSA People Power I; (5) the controversies involving a few presidential appointees; (6) the death of Negros Occidental Representative Ignacio Arroyo and the fight over his remains; and (7) the increase in oil prices, fluctuating power rates, declining headline inflation rate, and the record-breaking performance of the Philippine Stock Exchange.
this survey was conducted while the prosecution was still presenting their witnesses and evidence to the court. the defense has not started any of their presentations yet.
- the significant difference in those who believe corona is guilty at 47% versus those who believe he is innocent at 5% is a very significant finding. that means at that point in time when the poll was taken, when the prosecution was still making their case, the people was seeing corona as guilty.
- we were of the view that the prosecution team was screwing up big time. we are not lawyers but we can tell they were doing a very bad job. the only time the prosecution did well was when neil tupas, the lead prosecutor delivered his opening speech during the trial. everything after that speech was horrible for the prosecution. he did well because he read a written speech.
- the corona trial became a sad telenovela of “what did the prosecution do wrong this time? the prosecution delivered – they seemed to have done something new that was wrong on a daily basis. we knew that as senator miriam defensor santiago and the presiding judge himself, senator juan ponce enrile delivered their most impassioned speeches in the trial berating the prosecution team on their latest blunders, incompetence or errors, senator santiago didn;t even bother to sugar coat her words, she just said it in plain, actually elegant and biting english. wha?!
- over and beyond that thick muck of prosecution incompetence, the prosecution in reality was able to get past the court evidence and testimonies that to say the least corona needed to explain to the court and the country or evidence and testimony that can be used by the senator judges to convict corona.
- for the respondents to see through that thick muck of prosecution incompetence and find corona guilty to us is just short of being a miracle or brilliance on the part of the respondents.
- to be fair the incompetence the prosecution showed was not really on the main point of their existence in the impeachment court, but on the almost and everything they did outside the court and before the impeachment court came into being. the fact is they were able to get the court to accept testimony and evidence that the senator judges can use to convict corona.
- okay, we stand corrected, the prosecution also showed incompetence during the trial as they were constantly berated by senators santiago and enrile on their lack of knowledge and skills in presenting evidence and testimony of their witnesses. in other words, the senator judges were saying the prosecution did not know how to properly conduct a trial. that of course was a surprise considering the prosecutors are lawyers who were elected congressmen in their districts. apparently, not all lawyers are created equal and these congressmen who are also lawyers were shortchanged on that aspect when God made them lawyers.
- does that mean the respondents were so brilliantly gifted that they were able to separate the garbage from the prosecution on their lawyering skills versus the evidence they were able to get the court accepted?
- there is no other explanation for it. it looks like the respondents know what a corrupt official is versus one that is not. or an impeachable chief justice versus one who is not.
- we think the people are just so fed up with corrupt and incompetent government officials that it did not matter even if the messenger of the message is being faulted by santiago on a daily basis.
more on this next….
the corona impeachment trial has become a telenovela played out on national tv like an afternoon soap but unlike the telenovelas, this one has stopped taking twists and turns, it has in fact been on a single track – a daily watch of what new blunder the prosecution has been up to this time and who among the senator jurors will be giving the prosecution a lecture on their errors and shortcomings. the usual suspects are senator juan pnce enrile and senator miriam defensor santiago and on occasion the defense lead counsel, serafin cuevas.
this took a bizarre, almost cataclysmic proportion when senator jinggoy estrada calls out private prosecutor vitaliano aguirre for covering his ears the whole time senator santiago was giving a first class lecture on the prosecuti0n’s latest blunder of the day.
this could have been just another day for the prosecution but senator santiago was particularly volcanic on this day that we were glued to our seat, with cell phone on hand ready to dial emergency 911 to call for an ambulance to go to the senate just in case senator santiago had a heart attack.
the irony of it all was on this day the prosecution has rested it’s case. in other words senator santiago’s near heart attack volcanic anger and attorney aguirre’s comic or is it cosmic cover-the-ears antic will be the last image, audio and memory the prosecution will be leaving not only in the minds of the public but more importantly in the senator jurors’.
for the record, we had called for the replacement of the prosecution team in this trial almost from the very start. although we began calling for the replacement of congressman neil tupas as lead prosecutor, it became clear to us that most of the members of the prosecution team were also showing incompetence. this incident with aguirre is just an exclamation point to the many that we have seen in the course of the trial.
the prosecution has closed their presentation. unfortunately, they were not able to close on a high note but on a note of infamy with the image of attorney aguirre’s hands covering his ears.
is it all lost for the prosecution? well, legally speaking, no not yet. the defense still has to present their evidence and counter evidence. even before that step, the prosecution still has to make a formal offer on the evidence that will be accepted by the court. so far what has been done was the evidence has been marked only. there will of course be a legal battle royal when the prosecution does this. it is expected that the defense will obeject to each and every evidence that has been marked.
we do not how this will go and equally important how the defense will do when it is their thing on the court. for all we know it could be as horrible or wosrt for the defense.
while these questions are still to be answered, it is prudent for the prosecution to assume the worst for themselves. based on current trends in the court, the prosecution need to assume they will be at a great disadvantage by closing time.
we think the prosecution’s closing will be most crucial for them., the closing argument is in essence the summary of their case against corona. not only is it the summary but the closing is supposed to be the most persuasive for them. the idea is that this closing will be the last push to get senator jurors to see the guilt of corona and for them to vote to impeach corona.
for this closing, we think the prosecution need to do the following:
- they don;t just need a lawyer who will do the closing, they need superman to do it for them.. not even clark kent will do, they need superman himself, in his tights, a letter “S” on his chest and a red cape doing the closing.
- they need attorney superman in his most persuasive and in his clearest and sharpest because the prosecution attorneys on their own have muddled the issues in the case.
- the prosecution attorneys have drawn so much attention to everything and anything not related to the case or the evidence needed to convict corona that attorney superman will need to blind the senator jurors to these and get them to just focus on the real evidence that they have presented and just convict corona.
- attorney superman must deliver superhuman logic, superhuman persuasiveness and superhuman clarity.
- we do not know how the tights and cape will do but this attorney superman need to be well respected by the senator jurors, someone the senator jurors see as at least equal to them in stature if not greater. if they can get john f kennedy or ronald reagan to wear a superman costume, that will do it for sure.
- the closing speech of the prosecution SHOULD NOT mention the word and the thought “technicality”. mentioning this will just be whining and will not sit well with the senator jurors. sure, the defense has used technicalities every half step of the way, but it is what defense lawyers do, complaining about technicalities will only insult the intelligence fo the senator jurors.
- the prosecution closing should completely ignore their stupidity and errors and not mention any of it. they should all be in denial and hope the senator juroirs do not remember any of it.
- the closing speech should overcome and actually exploit and turn the lead defense attorney serafin cuevas’ obsession with lectures to their advantage and a negative for the defense. for sure, attorney cuevas will deliver a lecture in his closing. a lecture is in his DNA, it is unavoidable for him. knowing cuevas will go into a lecture should be turned into an advantage by the prosecution.
- as peg, the prosecution team should frame the quality of the closing speech and the attorney superman as convincing senator miriam defensor santiago. the speech writer should write the speech thinking that this is his goal – to write a speech that will convince santiago. discovering the magic formula on that will make them win the case.
is it impossible? no, we do not think so. we have defined here very specific goals and needs. all that the prosecution need to do is deliver on these. they have a lot of time to get it right, around 4 to 5 weeks. but they should start preparing for the close now.
what the prosecution team needs to do is to be more creative and be very goal obsessed. here is a suggestion on the creativity part – they can stay closer to home and just get ninoy aquino or ferdinand marcos to deliver the closing speech, they are two of the country’s top orators and communicators. that is easy-peasy.
there will be a lot of words used to describe noynoy aquino’s decision to have Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales to administer his out of office rather than SC Chief Justice renato corona, but for us this is how we will put it – it is noynoy aquino’s declaration that what it is all about is upholding of principles and what is right.
renato corona is the poster boy of president arroyo’s midnight appointment binge. while corona’s appointment as SC chief did not have any legal impediment and was allowed by the SC in a decision, it is not absolved on the basis of morals and delicadeza.
aquino does not want to have his oath taking as president tainted by corona administering the oath. he would rather have the lone justice who disagreed with the SC decision to allow corona to be appointed administer it to him even if it detracts from tradition.
to us, it is a bold and admirable declaration of independent thinking and determination to be on the side of principles and what is right. this may very well be the defining moment of the aquino administration and very well done that it is happening on the very first second of the start of aquino’s presidency.
Lady justice to administer Aquino oath
The honor is mine,’ says Morales
By Dona Pazzibugan, Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:28:00 06/19/2010
MANILA, Philippines — Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales has officially accepted President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s request that she swear him into office on June 30, in what could yet be the most high-profile snub of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s “midnight appointee,” Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Carpio-Morales—who will hold the distinction of being the Philippines’ first woman justice of the high court to swear in a President—told Aquino in a five-paragraph letter sent at around 10 a.m. Friday that she was accepting his “gracious invitation.”
“As you enter on the execution of your office, I wish that you make good use of your family’s and our country’s patrimony of intangibles—the common heritage of moral courage and good judgment—which cannot be matched by any amount of affluence and can sustain you in the political road ahead,” Carpio-Morales wrote Aquino.
“Please consider this as an acceptance of your gracious invitation. The honor is mine,” she said.
Carpio-Morales had instructed her staff not to release to the media a copy of her letter. But she apparently did not pose an objection to the Aquino camp’s making it public.
In her letter, Carpio-Morales thanked Aquino for his “kind words in describing what I consider to be a plain performance of an official function—to uphold and defend the Constitution—which is part of the sworn duty of all public servants in this country.”
“Your parents, themselves public servants, bequeathed a lasting legacy and left an indelible imprint in the life of the nation. What better tribute to them than a life of selfless service to the Filipino people they so dearly loved?” she said, referring to the late President Corazon Aquino and martyred Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.