Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Davide Factor

Chief Justice Hilario Davide is set to retire on Dec. 20, 2005, when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70. Many justices come and go, several silently. But, according to Supreme Court insiders, Davide is not going anywhere.

Indeed, I was told that Filipinos are going to find a "new Davide" after Dec. 20. He will become more vocal and will weigh in on issues confronting the nation, including the present political crisis. He will use his stature and credibility to help steer this country forward, I was told. He will be vocal against Arroyo and her corruptive effect not only on politics but on our national life.

"He might just reinvent himself," an insider said.

For a country sorely lacking in moral guidance, Davide could certainly fill some of this vacuum. Because the bench has a way of suppressing the opinions and positions of justices, his retirement could certainly unshackle him, which might be good for us poor souls.

One motivation could be that Davide will attempt to redeem himself. He was, after all, the one who legitimized Arroyo when she grabbed power in 2001. Davide cannot allow Arroyo to become his legacy to the Filipino people. And as Davide redeems himself, he will redeem, too, the Filipino people.

Oftentimes, redemption is the main engine that drives people -- especially decent people who happened to make bad choices -- as they approach the end of their lives.

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