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11 June 2011

Arroyo is "dangerous and disturbing" to block Morales' Ombudsman bid - Malacanang

Statement of Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda:
On Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s aspersion on the Supreme Court
[Released on June 9, 2011]
The Judicial and Bar Council has the mandate to receive nominations, vet them, and submit a list from which the President will ultimately select the next Ombudsman. This process is ongoing and the President’s role in the process only starts when the JBC submits its shortlist to the chief executive.
While every citizen has the right to file opinions on candidates being considered by the Judicial and Bar Council, the arguments made by Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her opposition to the nomination, and consideration, of Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales for the position of Ombudsman are part of a disturbing piece. Mrs. Arroyo takes a dangerous, verging on scurrilous, tack by imputing a lack of judicial integrity to Justice Morales on the basis of her voting record.
It wasn’t so long ago as to be beyond recall when Mrs. Arroyo and her acolytes had virtuously declaimed that the Supreme Court was not in her pocket as president, saying it was sheer coincidence the majority voted favorably on cases raised against her policies. And yet she now adopts an opinion she had formerly insisted was beyond consideration. She says that the voting record of Justice Morales -dissenting in many cases where the majority had voted to uphold Mrs. Arroyo when she was president- is proof positive that as Ombudsman, Justice Morales would not give the Arroyos due process and a fair handling of cases.
As Claro M. Recto famously remarked, what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. At the very least the aggressive assertion of independence on the part of the high court’s majority Mrs. Arroyo insisted upon should be given Justice Morales. Otherwise it would serve to admit what Mrs. Arroyo had long denied: that the justices voted not on the basis of impartial law, but instead, with partisan considerations. We cannot determine what would inspire Mrs. Arroyo to go off message and even unleash that living monument to her maladministration of the justice system, former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales, but it does seem she has some explaining to do to the Supreme Court and the Filipino people.

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