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“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.” ― Archibald MacLeish

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Conchita Carpio-Morales:" Lady Justice Personified"

Lady Justice is the symbol of justice. Lady Justice is depicted as a goddess equipped with three symbols of justice: a sword symbolising the court's coercive power; scales representing an objective standard by which competing claims are weighed; and a blindfold indicating that justice is (or should be) meted out objectively, without fear or favor, regardless of identity, money, power, or weakness.[1] From Wikipedia

Conchita Carpio-Morales And Cecilia Munoz-Palma

Good judges will have good character. 
They will be impartial and honest. Moses challenged the first judges with the following words.
Judge fairly, whether the case is between brother Israelites or between one of them and an alien. Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it (Deut 1:16,17).
"Moses required of those first judges that quality, rare then and rarer still today, of incorruptibility."
 “History tells us that modern-day truth and exposés were considered heresies and blasphemies at their inception until after there were painstakingly challenged and distilled in the agora of ideas where sacred beliefs and sacrilegious opinions clash to produce that spark that enlightens.” 
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales
 Traditionally, it is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines who administers the oath of office to the incoming President and the Vice President, however, incoming President Benigno Aquino III refused to allow Chief Justice Renato Corona to swear him into office, due to Aquino's opposition to the midnight appointment of Corona by outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on May 12, 2010, two days after the 2010 elections and a month before Arroyo's term expires.[3] Instead, Aquino formally requested Associate Justice Carpio-Morales, who opposed the midnight appointment of Corona, to swear him into office.[4] On June 30, 2010, President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay took the oath of office at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila.[5][6] The oath of office was administered by Associate Justice Carpio-Morales, who officially accepted Aquino's request to swear him into office,[4][6] reminiscent of the decision of Aquino's mother, President Corazon Aquino, who in 1986, was sworn into the presidency by Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee.[7] She is also the first female magistrate to administer the oath of office of the President of the Philippines
On July 25, 2011, during his State of the Nation Address, President Noynoy Aquino announced the appointment of Carpio-Morales as Ombudsman of the Philippines.[8] From Wikipedia

She was born on June 19, 1941 in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. She is the daughter of Lucas D. Carpio, a judge, and Maria Claudio Carpio.
From 1968 to 1971, she started her career in a Manila law firm where she was an Assistant Attorney.[1] In 1971, a former University of the Philippines professor of Carpio-Morales, Secretary of Justice Vicente Abad Santos, took her in as a Special Assistant at the Department of Justice.[1] From 1971 to 1983, Carpio-Morales worked at the Department of Justice as assistant, lawyer, researcher, assistant special lawyer and senior state counsel before she became a judge.[1]
Between 1983 to 1986, President Ferdinand Marcos appointed Carpio-Morales as a Regional Trial Court judge in Pili, Camarines Sur.[1] On November 4, 1986, President Corazon Aquino appointed Carpio-Morales as RTC judge in Pasay City.[1]
In 1994, President Fidel V. Ramos appointed her to the Philippine Court of Appeals. She headed the 7th Division of the Court of Appeals.[1]
In 2000, Carpio-Morales was a bar examiner in legal ethics. She also conferred the Ulirang Ina Award for Law and the Judiciary by the National Mother's Day & Father's Day Foundation, Inc.[1]
On September 3, 2002, upon the unanimous endorsement of the members of the Judicial and Bar Council, Carpio-Morales was appointed to the high court by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.[2 From Wikipedia
 From The PCIJ Blog
OMBUDSMAN CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES told the impeachment court that her initial findings showed the Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona had a total of 82 US dollar accounts in five banks amounting to an aggregate value of at least 10 million dollars.
Moreover, Morales claimed that Corona appeared to have made “significant deposits and withdrawals” on some significant dates, including the 2004 and 2007 elections, and the day that Corona was impeached by the House of Representatives.
At the resumption of the impeachment trial this afternoon, Morales told prosecution lawyer Mario Bautista that she had listed several bank accounts in Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) and several other banks in Corona’s name.
Asked by Bautista how she had arrived at the figure of $10 million, Morales then proceeded to enumerate some of the transactions that she had taken note of.
Morales said she had listed all the different bank accounts that she had discovered, and started classifying them.
This was when she started noticing a pattern in the movement of the accounts, she said.
For example, Morales said she noticed that “one hundred thousand dollars were withdrawn in three tranches and then transferred to three different account, XYand Z,” Morales told the court.
Morales said she had several initial findings, which she listed down.
For one, Morales said Corona appeared to have at least ten million dollars in “transactional balances.”
In addition, Morales said there were “significant deposits and withdrawals including the 2004 and 2007 elections, and the week that he was impeached.”
For example, Morales said that on December 12, 2011, or the day that he was impeached, someone withdrew $ 480,000 from one account and transferred the money to a Bank of the Philippine Islands account in San Francisco del Monte in Quezon City.
At this point, defense lawyers objected to Morales’ testimony, saying it was already being done in narrative form, and in effect denying the defense the opportunity to object.
 From ABS-CBN News

Carpio-Morales: 'I didn't want to miss history'

Marami ang humanga sa walang kagatol-gatol na testimonya ni Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales sa makasaysayang impeachment trial ni Chief Justice Renato Corona. Marami nang tumiklop sa pagtatanong ng lead counsel ng defense na si dating Justice Serafin Cuevas, pero hindi ang Ombdusman.
Unang gumawa ng kasaysayan si Carpio-Morales bilang kauna-unahang babaeng huwes na nagpanumpa sa isang Pangulo ng bansa noong June 30, 2010. Siya ang pinili ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino III sa halip na ang Punong Mahistrado, gaya ng nakagawian.
Bihirang magbigay ng panayam ang Ombudsman, ngunit naging mapalad ang aking programang Pipol, at kami ay kanyang pinaunlakan noong Oktubre 2010, ilang buwan lamang matapos siyang hirangin sa bagong puwesto.
Kuwento niya sa akin, masayang masaya siya sa karangalang makapagpanumpa sa Pangulo sa kabila ng kontrobersiya ukol dito.
“I was euphoric, people had been criticizing why I accepted it. People had been telling me I should decline it, and suggest it should be Chief Justice [Renato Corona] who should administer,” aniya.
“But who am I to suggest it? I could have declined, but to me it was an honor. It would have been hypocrisy on my part to decline it and miss history.”
Nauna dito, noong Marso 2010, si Carpio-Morales ang kaisa-isang Associate Justice ng Supreme Court na tumutol sa desisyon ng mayorya na nagpahintulot kay Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo na maghirang ng bagong Chief Justice sa kabila ng pagbabawal sa tinatawag na “midnight appointments.”
Isang buwan at kalahati bago bumaba sa puwesto si Pangulong Arroyo, nanumpa sa kanya si Corona bilang bagong Chief Justice. Tanong ko kay Carpio-Morales, “You must have nerves of steel to do that. What does it take to vote against your colleagues?”
Ang kanyang naging tugon, “It didn’t bother me, I had to do what I thought was right. And right or wrong, I had to decide. It was not difficult. I was happy writing [my dissenting opinion] because that was what I thought. If it turned out to be wrong, I’m sorry, that was what I thought.”
Sa tanong naman kung may pumigil sa kanyang desisyon, ito ang matapang niyang kasagutan,” No fortunately and even if there were I would have been I would have been unmindful of them. I am impervious to influence.”
Tinutulan ni dating Pangulong Arroyo ang appointment ni Carpio-Morales bilang Ombudsman sa dahilang magiging biased siya, pero sagot ng Ombudsman, “I have not, I am not, I will never be [biased]. I will go after the evidence.”
Sa nakaraang State of the Nation Address, inanunsyo ni Pangulong Aquino ang pagkakahirang sa dating Justice bilang Ombudsman. Sa pangambang magiging sunud-sunuran lang siya dito, buwelta ni Carpio-Morales, “I don’t think I get orders from the President. In fact, he told me after the SONA, ‘Maintain your independence.’ No instructions whatsoever.”
Tubong Ilocos Norte, sumunod sa yapak ng yumaong ama na si Judge Lucas Carpio si Conchita Carpio-Morales. Kaklase ni dating Presidente Ferdinand Marcos ang ama, kaya kumpiyansa ito na ang anak ay magiging hurado rin tulad niya. Pero natanggal sa listahan ang noo’y empleyado ng Deparment of Justice nang una itong mag-apply bilang hurado. Hindi daw kasi siya lumalapit sa mga politiko.
“I was very confident. I am Ilokana, my father was a classmate. Anyway, so I thought I would make it. The KBL (Kilusang Bagong Lipunan) people said, Ilokana nga ako pero hindi ako lumalapit. I didn’t think I had to approach politicians.”
Pero nagdasal si Carpio-Morales sa Neustra Señora de Peñafrancia ng Bicol para matupad ang pangarap ng ama para sa kanya. Nagulat na lamang siya na noong taong 1983 ay sa Bicol region siya na-destino.
Nahirang siya bilang huwes ng Regional Trial Court sa Pili, Camarines Sur. Dito lamang napaluha ang matapang na Justice nang balikan ang naging sakripisyo bilang ina. Tuwing weekend lang kasi siya umuuwi para makapiling ang mga anak.
“It was heartbreaking. I left my sons when they were still young, and because my father wanted me to be a judge as long as he was alive, I had to accept the appointment. It was a distance of more than 450 kilometers. I would leave my sons late at night, and my husband would drive me to the bus station. My younger son would cling to me like a bat,” ani Carpio-Morales.
Sa 28 taong pagserbisyo sa hudikatura, walang bahid si Carpio-Morales. Nakilala siya sa pagiging tapat ng kanyang mga desisyon sa korte. Ito ang simple niyang paliwanag nang pag-usapan namin kung paano niya natamo ang kanyang malinis sa reputasyon:
Ces: I am sure there have been attempts to infuence you throughout your career? How can one be impervious to influence?
Carpio-Morales: All you have to do is look at the facts of the case and apply it in relation to the law. Whether you are right or wrong if that is your opinion that is it.
Ces: It is very clinical?
Carpio-Morales: Very. I will tell you sometimes extra legal factors come in, it is inhuman of you not to consider the extralegal, but in weighing these extralegal factors, it should be legal factors which should dominate. If you take into consideration [extralegal factors], you will not be true to yourself.
Ces: You cannot live with yourself?
Carpio-Morales: Yes.
Ces: As simple as that?
Carpio-Morales: Yes!
Malaki pa ang hamon kay Carpio-Morales sa pagtupad ng kanyang tungkulin bilang Ombudsman. Marami ang umaasang magtatagumpay siya sa trabahong pagsugpo sa katiwalian, dahil ito ay kanyang isinabuhay.

The Ombudsman

Morales revealed her eight-point agenda for the next seven years in order to combat graft and corruption in the government. These include resolution of high-profile cases, no backlog, improved quality of the results of fact-finding bodies, strict monitoring of cases referred, enhanced responsiveness to public assistance, better anti-corruption policy and program coordination within sectors, rationalization of the functional structure, and improved transparency and reliability.

Morales said she shall ensure efficiency, transparency, accountability and responsiveness of her office to combat graft and corruption. She vowed to prioritize high-profile cases involving top government officials and cases concerning huge amounts of money.

“I will not be satisfied with catching small fish as we must go after the school of big fish lurking in government offices,” Morales assured.

She also said she will resolve the more than 11,000 pending complaints she inherited before her term expires in 2017.

“The OMB will observe transparency in all its dealings with the public,” Morales declared.

She also assured the public that she will not give in to any compulsion or intimidation provided by Malacañang as it was President Noynoy Aquino himself who ordered her to be independent and do what is right.