Future Chief Justice: Leila De Lima can still rescue Hacienda Luisita from the Filipino peasantry

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 Arroyo’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 “State of the Nation” described by former Senator Ernesto M. Maceda last week on the occasion of Pee-noy’s 500th day in office didn’t just happen overnight. Everyone should have seen what was coming when Aquino coyly suggested – almost before his mother’s corpse had a chance to cool off – 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 — 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.

24 Replies to “Future Chief Justice: Leila De Lima can still rescue Hacienda Luisita from the Filipino peasantry”

  1. The most important word in this article – medieval. It’s the one word that completely sums up the entire problem with Filipino society and culture.

  2. Just like Lee Kuan Yew said after Marcos was ousted: the problem of the Philippines is in their culture. Until now, serfdom still exists.

    I was a bit infuriated when De Lima said that she was proud of putting her in the list of one of the nominees. What are her qualifications?

    The ‘Aquino Court’ is imminent if this happens?

    1. But all I know that God allows to happen these things, not this one. True Christianity doesn’t deal with that situation, as you noted. He just allow them to happen.

      I’m a Christian but I agree with this: Walang katungkulan ang Diyos sa politiko. Sa bagay ilang taon na nakatingin ang Diyos sa bansa natin at palpak pa rin ang gobyerno. That’s why my father declined an offer to be mayor of Isabela, Basilan. He said “There are many ways that I can help Basilan, but being a politician is a big no.”

    2. And I thought, as a Christian, the way God answers prayers are through His word, which is in the Bible (at least for Bible-believing Christians, that is). Its a pretty scary thing to listen to thoughts in your head and think it’s God talking to you, without counter-checking that answer if it is according to the teachings of the Bible.

      1. yes its true.. and im not fond of the bible but im not so sure if theres many guidelines as to politics/governance, if there is, it might be general or broad. ah.. de lima was like giving love rather God a bad name..

  3. We are still in the Middle Ages…we have Feudalism. We have political dynasties. We have provincial warlords. The Aquinos are the worse perpetrators of Feudalism. Is De Lima, hearing voices? Then, be sure she has a check on her sanity. People who hears voices, are either : Saints or Delusional. I’m sure De Lima is not a Saint. She has a Driver Lover.
    So much so for the Supreme Court Drama. Noynoy Aquino has destroyed the independence of the Judiciary already. It cannot be repaired; unless he departs from power or is ousted for good.

    1. Hey, Spidey is also known for being a flawed character yet makes up for his mistakes. De Lima doesn’t get it. She should read “Civil War” and she’ll find out that Spidey is an idiot.

      As in the great words of Michael Jordan in his HOF speech:

      “You’re making a mistake, dude.”

    1. that would be a very good thing to do.. syempre shes the one who took the stand to witness against the so called impeachable offense of SALn, so she must have been very honest to do so.. lets see if how clean she is thus we can praise her..

  4. The Supreme Court is but another branch of the goverment whose membership were recruited from the same fuedal/intelectual elite whose ‘integrity’ is no different from the ‘integrity’ if te traditional elite that occupy the executive department and congress.

    At least for now, one has stood against this judicial pretension – whereas before, everyone bows before it in silence. In the Philippines there is no such thing as ‘judicial independence.’ This is just a romantic concept we conveniently invoke whenever the executive department goes on public debate about the integrity of the court rather than lobby the court through its backdoor.

    “Castro (Chief Justice) rushed to Pangarap to counsel Marcos on what data would appeal best to his fellow judges. he also recommended that Maros put his military chief of staff through a ‘dry run’ to practice his briefing befoe facing the court. And finally, the night before the crucial intelligence briefing to the full Supreme Court, Castro himself secretely presided over the administration’s last midnight practice session at Pangarap. Through it all, Castro’s confidence had encouraged Marcos.”

    “He (Castro) assured me there is nothing to fear from the Supreme Court. That even if the case would not be decided unanimously that it would be decided with an overwhelment majority. He said that this would strengthen my hand.” (Marcos Diary).

    “While the court was being lobbied from the inside by Justice Castro, there were acts of violence in the city that skeptics openly suggested were cruded attempts to impress the court.” (Delusion of A Dictator by William C. Rempel).

  5. “Marcos left nothing to chance. There were additional private contacts between Malacanang and the court. Marcos, as well as Imelda, also conferred with Justices Teehankee and Antonio P. Barredo. But none was a crucial as Castro, who not only kept the president informed but also lobbied his colleagues with intelligence data provided exclusively to him by the palace.” (ibid, p. 119).

    1. It not because Marcos did it during his time; that Noynoy Aquino should also do it this time. We have to improve things in our country. Not repeat our mistakes, over and over again…

  6. hyden, you missed it. the court can be lobbied upon by anyone. it is given. gma lobbied the court during her time and even beyond her time. it can be lobbied by BS Aquino too – or he can appoint someone with a direct line to his Palace. The only question, is BS Aquino’s lobbying an attempt to bend the law or was it lobbying to to make his program of government unhindered by judicial hypocrisy and pretensions?

  7. I wonder if some anti-Coronans are now regretting lobbying for the impeachment. That is, if they don’t like De Lima. But if they do like her as CJ… I’d ask those guys, what are you smoking?

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