Monday, April 13, 2009

Chief Justice Puno and the Moral Force Movement: A Delicate Balancing Act

I was a guest this morning at the early morning show in ABS-CBN, in the segment called “Punto por Punto” of Anthony Taberna. The topic was about a comment I made regarding the Moral Force Movement which is supposed to be spearheaded by Chief Justice (http://www.yehey.com/news/Article.aspx?id=237853).

Previously, asked by reporters, I commented that “the Chief Justice’s involvement with the moral recovery group is a very delicate balancing act between being a social conscience and a political player. There is a fine line between the two. While it is true that Philippine society needs moral recovery, there is also no denying that much of it is political reform, and one must join the political fray to be an agent of change in that field. Being the Chief Justice, he must have a conscious effort not to be dragged into politics. But if he really wants to be an agent of moral recovery in politics, he must first relinquish his post in the judiciary and be a full time politician.”

Of course, the media reported it in a simpler way: “Solon asks Chief Justice to resign”. Hence, the interview this morning. Actually, my intent was not to ask the Chief Justice to resign. My intent was to remind him that Politics and the Judiciary don’t mix. It shouldn’t mix. Pretty much like what the Bible says that one cannot serve two masters, one can only choose to be either in the Judiciary or in Politics. But never both. The Judiciary is meant to be apolitical and non-partisan.

That’s why in the field of Law, there is such a principle as the ‘Cold Neutrality of an Impartial Judge”. With the power of finding favor or fault in cases brought before the Court, or interpretation of the law’s intents and purposes in the hands of the Judiciary headed by the Chief Justice, it is imperative that just as the military should be insulated from politics and partisanship, so too must the Chief Justice be.

It is under the same principle that many times in the past I had expressed objection for a politician, presently or formerly engaged in the profession of politics, to be appointed to a judiciary position. Because once a politician, always a politician. And you know what they say about politics being the Art of Compromise.

It may be said that there is nothing wrong for the Chief Justice to make known his desire for moral recovery in this country. Indeed, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, every Filipino should by now have it in his heart and soul to have moral recovery within himself and call on others to do the same.

But heading a movement that seeks to engage in political moral reform while at the same time being the Chief Justice is opening the leadership of the High Court and the institution itself to vulnerability. To make it clear, I am 100% in agreement and supportive of the goals and objectives of the Moral Force Movement. But my concern is that the Chief and the Court might be unwittingly dragged into an arena that they are supposed to avoid.

While it is the noble intention of the Moral Force to provide a guide and standard in moral governance, it also clear that the agenda is political because the ends is to enable the populace to elect the ideal leaders in the coming 2010 elections. The Moral Force may not want politicians to be a part of their movement, but they are engaged in politics themselves.

And that is the apprehension I expressed over the Chief Justice’s spearheading the Moral Force Movement. While we cannot take away from him the right to speak his mind about the restoration of a government with a firm moral foundation, it will be treading on dangerous political ground for him to spearhead the movement. Especially because several quarters have openly endorsed him to run for president, which he did consider for a while before finally saying he is not interested.

I’m not asking him to resign because one is only asked to resign only if one has committed a mistake or offense. And Chief Justice Puno has not committed a mistake or offense. I continually hold him in high esteem.

But I do remind him to tread carefully. I wouldn’t want him and the High Court to be tainted by the “dirty” field of politics.

4 comments:

jcc said...

Puno has not committed any crime and you regard him with high esteem. How adulatory.

He is a hallowhead to me: :)

http://jcc34.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/an-open-letter-to-chief-justice-reynato-s-puno/

Anonymous said...

Hallowhead? Seems like someone has an axe to grind :)

No wonder you remain in indefinite suspension from the practice of law. Your disrespectful attitude will bring shame to the profession had you been allowed to continue with its practice. I applaud CJ Puno’s decision.

Give it up and try knitting instead :)

jcc said...

liz,

I argue my case with reason while you make a general statement that I am a hallowhead, a shame to the profession and deserved to be suspended indefinitely. Those are judgmental conclusions and are not facts. You sound every bit of the institution you fawned at.

I never was a charge to the government treasury unlike your “honorable jurists” and my opinions are not colored by desire to continue being a charge to the treasury and maintain the perks and privilege of the position. My opinions are crsytal clear compared to those people who delivered their opinions after much haggling at the backdoor.

Read the facts other than that being dished out by the Court and acknowledged that lately some jurists were dishonored for corruption in the bench.

Parts of my blog are my two motions. Please read them carefully before you make a general conclusion about my person. Be reminded that there are certain percentage in the Bilibid Prison who were there despite their being innocent. What is the chance of me being innocent and yet had been declared otherwise?

If you think the SC is infallible, fine, but do not impose your sycophant predilections to others with contrary opinions.

http://jcc34.wordpress.com/2008/05/26/first-motion-for-reconsideration/

http://jcc34.wordpress.com/2008/05/26/second-motion-for-reconsideration/

jcc34 said...

Liz, Anonymous;

argue my case with reason while you make a general statement that I am a hallowhead, a shame to the profession and deserved to be suspended indefinitely. Those are judgmental conclusions and are not facts. You sound every bit of the institution you fawned at.

I never was a charge to the government treasury unlike your “honorable jurists” and my opinions are not colored by desire to continue being a charge to the treasury and maintain the perks and privilege of the position. My opinions are crsytal clear compared to those people who delivered their opinions after much haggling at the backdoor.

Read the facts other than that being dished out by the Court and acknowledged that lately some jurists were dishonored for corruption in the bench.

Parts of my blog are my two motions. Please read them carefully before you make a general conclusion about my person. Be reminded that there are certain percentage in the Bilibid Prison who were there despite their being innocent. What is the chance of me being innocent and yet had been declared otherwise?

If you think the SC is infallible, fine, but do not impose your sycophant predilections to others with contrary opinions.

http://jcc34.wordpress.com/2008/05/26/first-motion-for-reconsideration/

http://jcc34.wordpress.com/2008/05/26/second-motion-for-reconsideration/
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