Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fraport, Corona and Carpio and the Impeachment

The Fraport deal was just one of many projects undertaken by the Firm. Yet, this one was the one which broke the camel's back so to speak. Many in the industry says this Firm earned double--they got money from their client and they also tried to get at least $ 20 million from Fraport. Worst, they were perceived to be playing both sides.

That is the worst sin ever committed by a legal practitioner. 

Back then, Executive secretary Renato Corona was in a quandary. He is very close to Antonio Carpio, one of the names who built CVC Law and Pancho Villaraza. They both came from Ateneo. They are both ambitious and tenacious. They want to be on top. 

Corona felt that he has to side with Right, and the right thing to do back then was to isolate the Arroyo administration from the Firm. The severage of ties between the Arroyos and the CVC partners were publicly announced. What the public perceived back then was the Firm was severing its ties because of the numerous anomalies entered into by the palace. The resignation of Avelino Cruz as defense secretary was perceived to be an attempt by the Firm to distance itself from alleged anomalous AFP deals. The truth is, it was the Fraport deal that really caused the rift between the Arroyos and the Firm.

The Firm's tentacles were really so deeply entrenched within the Philippine bureaucracy that several of Arroyo's closest associates made that move to distance themselves from the unpopular regime. The Firm, after distancing itself from Arroyo, really never actually stopped dealing with the regime. Some of them stayed with Arroyo, acting like close friends but in truth, really snooping for information that the Firm could use against the First Couple.

Corona was hurt when this thing happened but because he was very close to Gloria Arroyo, he did not abandon the regime. Corona stayed put, mindful even of the decision of the Arroyos and several people about the Firm and Carpio.

The decision for Corona to become Chief Justice was actually accomplished to spite Carpio. If Corona serves the entire length of his term as Chief Justice, that will only give Carpio several months before he himself retires from government service.

This is why several administration people want a term-sharing agreement between Corona and Carpio. If Corona manages to survive this and stay on as Chief Justice, and eventually the palace appoints Carpio as his replacement, Carpio only has a few months to stay as Chief Justice before he himself retires from the service. This will not serve the interests of Malacanang. 

Why? Several cases are still pending before the Supreme Court. An adversarial court will affect most of these cases, specifically those involving several personalities within the Aquino administration. 

Likewise, several cases involving the Cojuangcos are also pending before the Court. 

Corona is really in a tight fix. If the impeachment court decides to vote now, he will face defeat. The Firm has very strong ties with several Senators. 

Yes, Corona has his sins, but these pale in comparison with those committed by his adversaries. Worse, the people whom the palace wants to install in the Supreme Court owe their allegiance not to the Filipino People, but to the Firm. 

If, at all, President Aquino really want reforming the judiciary, he may probably just call for the resignation of all sitting justices and make the appointment of justices be the duty of a collegial body, composed of civil society, people's organisations, and legal bodies, and not a prerogative of Malacanang. 

Aquino's fate also hangs in the balance here. If he succeeds on toppling Corona, and appoints Carpio as his replacement, he risks a revolt here.