KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS: Effect of GMA objections vs. SC justice PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 June 2011 13:40

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: `Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm’… maintain justice in the courts…” (Psalms 105:14-15, Amos 5:15, the Holy Bible).
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LEGAL EFFECT OF GMA’S OBJECTIONS VS. OMBUDSMAN NOMINEE: What is the effect, if any, of the objections which former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo and former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales raised against retiring Supreme Court Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, who is aspiring to be appointed as the country’s next Ombudsman?

Grave and debilitating, if we consider what Section 2, Rule 10, Rules of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC 009, November 2000), provides. This section says: “In every case where the integrity of an applicant who is not otherwise disqualified for nomination is raised or challenged, the affirmative vote of all the Members of the Council must be obtained for the favorable consideration of his nomination.”

In other words, so that the JBC can even consider her as a nominee, Morales must get the nod first of all the members of the Council, in view of the objections to her integrity and impartiality. If she does not get the affirmative vote of all the Council’s members, she can not even be considered a nominee at all.

As of now, there are nine members of the JBC who comprise its full membership: Chief Justice Renato Corona, chairman, and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Sen. Francis Escudero, Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., retired Supreme Court Justice Regino Hermosisima Jr., Atty. Jose V. Mejia, retired Court of Appeals Justice Aurora Santiago Lagman, Atty. Maria Milagros Fernan Cayosa, and Atty. Jose Midas Marquez, members.
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SC JUSTICE NEEDS FULL JBC VOTE FOR OMBUDSMAN POST: The question, of course, is, will Morales get the votes of all these JBC members so that her nomination could be passed upon by the Council and her name later on submitted to the President? Your guess is as good as mine, but there are strong indications she may not be able to do so.

For one, Sen. Escudero already went public in saying that he concurs with the objections raised by former Ombudsman Aniano Desierto, to the effect that Morales maybe too old for the job at this point, she being 70 years of age already (that is why she is retiring from the Supreme Court).

While age is an issue that does not dwell with integrity, we now have a fair inkling of how Escudero is going to vote. If Escudero sticks to his concurrence with Desierto’s objections, his negative vote alone already would be enough to throw Morales out of contention.

This is unfortunate, considering that she appears to be a favorite choice of President Aquino, with reports circulating that he had already in fact offered that position to her. But then again, Arroyo and Gonzales could not be expected to simply sit idly by as things that would put them in jeopardy develop, are they?

And then, again, one other member of the JBC is also widely expected to be cool, and would therefore object, to her appointment as Ombudsman, for one reason or another. Who is this member? Abangan ang susunod na kabanata!!! --Atty. BATAS MAURICIO