It’s the cop out of choice of Filipinos. God made me do it. Current Philippine Justice Secretary Leila De Lima reportedly “agonized” over the decision on whether or not to accept her nomination to the seat of the Supreme Court Chief Justice. According to her, she spoke to Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III twice — the first time he told her that he “would rather keep her in the Department of Justice (DOJ) so she may follow through on the programs she started,” and the second time the President indicated that he would respect her decision if she decided to accept the nomination.
Ultimately, as it turns out, it wasn’t really up to De Lima after all…
She prayed hard for it, and got her answer — to give it a shot
Like boss, like minion. Recall too that President BS Aquino also decided to accede to “insistent public demand” that he give the presidency a shot after he came out of some sort of prayer “retreat”. Then again, prayer is a subjective activity. Who’s to know that in the midst of such an activity that it is really your own voice that you are hearing in your head and your own personal biases confirming your own thoughts.
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Holy conflict of interest Batman!
How different is an assertion that “My prayers were answered!” from claiming the imagined self-evidence of one’s own good looks? Obviously that irony is lost on the sort of people who adamantly attest to their own blessedness before God’s eyes.
Fortunately in the age of ready-access to digital information, one need not go far for insight on the sort of person Leila De Lima is and what seems to be a bizarre personal contempt for the Supreme Court that she harbours. Our own Leila De Lima archive is one such treasure trove of information. Any argument against a character like De Lima becoming the top magistrate of the land stems from a single act of defiance she perpetrated a short time back in late-2011 when her office violated the civil rights of former President Gloria by barring her from travelling abroad without any legal basis.
And following that, De Lima also defied a subsequent order issued by the Supreme Court to desist from enforcing that travel ban on Arroyo. The effects of such outrageous acts by a top officer of the law such as De Lima still ripple across Philippine society and the precise nature of its ultimate impact on modern governance and the stability of the country still remain uncertain. To actually consider such a character for the post of Chief Justice is laughable at best. Then again, this is the Philippines.
The common denominator, it seems, is the endurance in the Philippines of a very Medieval regard for the source of political power…
The uproar over the uncharged and unconvicted former President Arroyoâ€™s being prevented from leaving the country for medical treatment has finally shaken at least a part of this country out of its torpor to realize there is something very undemocratic and very wrong with the way High Chancellor Sutler President Aquino is discharging his office. But the woeful â€œState of the Nationâ€ described by former Senator Ernesto M. Maceda last week on the occasion of Pee-noyâ€™s 500th day in office didnâ€™t just happen overnight. Everyone should have seen what was coming when Aquino coyly suggested â€“ almost before his motherâ€™s corpse had a chance to cool off â€“ that his presidency would be ordained by God.
Back in the old days, monarchs depended on God — or more specifically — his very mortal representatives in the Holy Roman clergy to keep their peasants and underlords beholden to their crowns. It was common — no, essential form — for a bishop to be the last person to touch a crown before it is laid upon the head of a newly-ascended king for the first time. So this whole business with answered prayers and post-retreat epiphanies are, indeed, very effective in the woefully backward society that is the Philippines.
Suffice to say, no Medieval king was truly “good” in the modern sense despite these quaint symbols of divine endorsement. They ruled by the sword and taxed their subjects to wretchedness in order to wage wars fueled by their vanities and family squabbles. The Philippines is a modern-day analogue of these old Medieval dynamics that Europe had long since painfully extricated itself from. At the centre of President BS Aquino’s singular campaign to purge the country of the legacy of his predecessor’s rule is his clan’s family jewels, the vast Hacienda Luisita estate — a fiefdom that all but defines the Second Aquino Administration…
The fate of control over the vast estate by the Aquino-Cojuangco clan in the face of deadlines to fully implement the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) by 2014 presents what could be the single biggest plausible motivation for the massively-funded engineering of a Second Aquino Administration from 2009 to 2010. Noynoy, being the culmination of that investment, is unfortunately living his worst nightmare â€” finding himself face-to-face with a monumental roadblock to his singular mission as President: Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona who was appointed at the eleventh hour by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Well, half of the roadblock is gone. Former Chief Justice Corona had since been removed from office in a political extravaganza that took up more than six months of the already stunted attention span of the Filipino. The trouble is, the CARPing of Hacienda Luisita is already well underway, its inititiation approved by the Supreme Court in the midst of Corona’s impeachment trial.
As President BS Aquino’s top commander in the crusade to save the Holy Land — in this case, Hacienda Luisita — from the infidels, Leila De Lima still has a job to do in the remaining two years before the 2014 deadline mandated by the law as the deadest deadline for the full implementation of the CARP. She just needs her bum to warm that coveted seat in the Philippines’ highest court.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.