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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


The race for Ombudsman/woman is on and I, for one, intend to join the fray.

My fearful (not fearless) forecast - She may seem to be llamado but I do not think Presidential Chief Legal Counsel, Merceditas Gutierrez, will be appointed the next Ombudsman. There are a number of things going against her, but gender is not one of them.

First, her perceived closeness to the First Gentleman is not only a disagreeable fact but a hefty liability. The fact that she was a classmate of Mr. Mike Arroyo will only bring another round of guffaw and criticism against the Arroyo administration.

Guffaw because the First Gentleman is not a known heavyweight in legal circles and through guilt by association, rightly or wrongly, non sequitur conclusions, her present status as Presidential Chief Legal Counsel was not by virtue of her intellect but by virtue of her proximity to the Big One.

Criticism because there has been no significant achievement that Merceditas Gutierrez, Esq., can lay claim to other than the fact that she was an Undersecretary of Justice who did not seem to see eye to eye with the current Justice Secretary. Of course, her present employment's patron cannot be gainsaid.

There is a marked difference between Simeon Marcelo and her. While both are perceived to be close to the President, the appointment of Simeon Marcelo came at a time where the president enjoyed popular support and Mr. Marcelo has proven his legal mettle long before he became famous in the Erap impeachment trial.

On the other hand, the appointment of Madam Gutierrez will come at a time when the president is at her lowest popularity and credibility, where her acts, speeches and decisions are met with increasing incredulity and political suspicion. Not to mention that her closeness to the First Gentleman will only buttress the charge that she is being appointed to hold the barbarians at the gate and to keep the backdoor shut while the president holds fort till 2010.

Second, she will not be appointed because she is a mere stooge in the political stage. She is being touted quite loudly so that when the protests by people’s groups questioning her lack of qualifications or closeness to the First Gentleman reach fever pitch, the palace will matter-of-factly announced that the president has heard the voice of the people and will appoint another one, less controversial albeit equally protective of their interests.

Her supposed appointment is actually a trial balloon meant to gauge the outrage of the people. It is a balloon meant to be burst at the last minute giving the impression that the Palace is not insensitive to the cries of its people

But it will not be Diosdado Peralta. He is relatively new to the powers that be in the Palace. He is known for trying hard to follow the footsteps of the other hanging judge, Max Asuncion.

My hunch: The president will appoint the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, Mr. Victor Fernandez, who is legally pedigreed, being the son of the late, eminent Justice Estanislao Fernandez, competent personnel in the Office of the Ombudsman and in the IBP Ethics Committee, a Sigma Rhoan fraternity member (like Justice Carpio, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Defense Secretary Nonong Cruz) but more importantly, he is close to the Firm, the powers-that-be in judicial and constitutional appointments.

Mr. Fernandez may have bewailed the suspicion that Merceditas Gutierrez may have bagged presidential preference. But that outcry is another trial balloon being floated by the palace to seduce the public to accept him. The Byzantine playbook is at work.

Merceditas will take the heat and reap the whirlwind of public animosity, but Victor will reap the harvest of her labor. And the government nonchalantly would have scored a moral victory.

Until Garci surfaces.


Blogger categorically imperative said...

balloon tactics...genius.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Karl M. Garcia said...

I won't repeat my drama accidentally unleashed In Ricky's blog....

All I want is for the man/woman to just do it....

there are ways in tackling cases by not blaming the system

The case I was mentioning that they blamed the entire navy higherups in a certain scam instead of focusing on a limitted few....

maybe they were protecting the most guilty..I don't know
but that is just one example as the way to go

Stop blaming System failure or
system error lang po

6:36 PM  
Blogger Karl M. Garcia said...

I ahve to agree though that it shouldn't be someone that will not lift GMA up

in the other space I mentioned that if its a batabata it wouldbe her

since there area other ways to skin a cat other than the favorite choice

the least favorite might be chosen

6:52 PM  
Blogger Karl M. Garcia said...

seems the blogosphere is already busy with the Ricky Carandang scoop

maybe as i type this you are blogging your take on it.....

10:12 PM  
Blogger Karl M. Garcia said...

What will be your move if it follows what you have written in the other meeting palace of ours

the abs interactive news scoop
already catches some of your"suggestions"

1:29 AM  
Blogger Rizalist said...


Do you ever read The Volokh Conspiracy
or StopTheACLU?

They are thought-provoking sites..i highly recommend them in case you are not familiar...

11:07 AM  
Anonymous thepublicthing said...

ill put you in my warrior link edwin, i might ask for a lawyer --if alive -- when I get home...

11:52 AM  
Blogger Rizalist said...

Shouldn't Grace Garcillano be arrested on the spot for aiding in the flight of a fugitive from Justice with a warrant for his arrest? Maybe they should concentrate on her to put pressure on him?

12:31 PM  
Blogger Punzi said...

SHE defied your logic and reasoning and appointed Gutirrez anyway...

Throw delicadeza out the window and to the victor truly goes the spoils...

6:52 AM  
Blogger gari said...

Sir Dawin, Gloria failed to read your blog on the "baloon tactics"...Garci resurfaced, Gutierrez is the new ombudswoman.

Mixed reaction/

10:36 PM  

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