Category Archives: Shadow of Doubt

Excerpt from "Shadow of Doubt"

I’m still waiting for my copy of Shadow of Doubt to arrive in the mail. In the meantime, Asia Sentinel has posted an excerpt. Here are some highlights:

It’s the 16th anniversary of the Jesus Is Our Shield ministry, a born-again Christian group, and Renato Carillo, who calls himself an apostle, “the man of God in the Philippine islands,” delivers almost an hour-long sermon. He’s a showman; he breaks into sobs while talking, his tearless face pained….

This show would have been like any other born-again group’s event except for one noticeable difference—and he sat among the audience. Chief Justice Reynato Puno was the ministry’s special guest that night, the speaker who was to close more than four hours of prayer and celebration.

That’s why Carillo emphasized how that day in March 2009 could “change the course of our country.” At the time, the Supreme Court Chief Justice was being asked to run for president by some groups, mainly those similar to Carillo’s ministry. Puno attracted these religious groups because he was a Methodist preacher and he was then convening a “moral force” movement to which they gravitated.

Carillo proudly talked of their special guest. “He (Puno) told me that he gets invited to many cocktail parties where there are lots of food but he’d rather be with the poor…. He ought to be a bishop.” The two had met at a breakfast meeting of select members of the ministry in October 2008, where Puno was invited by retired police General Reynaldo Osia….

The KME saw a kindred spirit in Puno, classifying him as an “economic nationalist.” It was for this reason that they asked to meet with him. The Chief Justice agreed— and he could only have known, at the back of his mind, that the group was urging him to lead an interim government, a junta of sorts, and violate his oath to defend the Constitution.

Also, there are reports that President Arroyo is making dozens of “midnight appointments” in the Executive branch. What isn’t clear from the article is whether these occurred before or after March 11, the start of the two-month ban on appointments under Chapter VII, Article 15 of the Constitution.

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Serious Doubts in the Shadows

There’s yet more controversy surrounding the new book about the Philippine Supreme Court, Shadow of Doubt. Here is an except of a report from the Philippine Inquirer:

A spokesman of the Supreme Court found “ridiculous” Newsbreak editor Marites Vitug’s claim that she has received death threats over her newly released book about the high court.

“I really find it funny there’s a death threat. Let’s not make it a big issue,” Court Administrator Midas Marquez told reporters when asked to comment on Vitug’s claim.

Asked why he found funny Vitug’s claim that she had recently received death threats, he replied: “Well, she’s ascribing that justices will make death threats. Don’t you think that’s ridiculous?”

“I hope it’s not a statement to generate sales for the book,” he continued, referring to Vitug’s book “Shadow of Doubt.”

Marquez said he has not yet read the book which assails Chief Justice Reynato Puno and some other justices.

He said Vitug could go to the police to file a report.

“I don’t know if these threats are genuine. I really find it ridiculous to take these allegations (in the book) so seriously as to threaten the author,” he said.

I haven’t received the book yet, but one Filipino human rights lawyer I know said it was biased and too harsh on Chief Justice Puno. I’ll have more when I read my copy.

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