I apologize as I’ve been traveling a bit and hadn’t had time to update my posts recently, but there are a few pieces of news from the Philippines.
First, Justice Carpio-Morales, the lone dissenter in the de Castro v. JBC case last year that paved the way for President Arroyo to appoint the chief justice, is resigning from the Supreme Court. However, she’s already decided what to do next. Merceditas Gutierrez had resigned as Ombudsman earlier this summer after facing impeachment complaints from the Congress. Justice Carpio-Morales is the frontrunner to replace her. Her nomination is being considered by the JBC right now. Whether she gets the position or not she is approaching the retirement age of 70 and must step down soon anyways, giving Aquino another Supreme Court seat to fill.
Second, the Supreme Court finally denied a petition to hold Senator Lacson liable for the murders of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver. The case is from 2000 and had been litigated for quite some time. Dacer’s daughters sought to overturn a Court of Appeals ruling that cleared Lacson of the murder, but the Supreme Court found that they lacked standing. In particular, Philippine criminal procedure law gives only the state the ability to appeal the dismissal of a criminal action (with one or two exceptions of course). Sadly, given the problems Filipino human rights activists have faced in cajoling prosecutors to bring these cases, this ruling could limit the ability of advocates to pursue these cases through the criminal justice system.
Finally, the Marcus burial issue has yet to be resolved. However, Vice President Binay has proposed burying Marcos with full military honors Marcos’ home province of Ilocos Norte as a compromise. I haven’t seen any further word on the lawsuit brought by Marcos allies for him to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (national cemetery).