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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Five reasons why we need Justice Carpio to run for public office

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Paul Tena
Paul Tena is an alumnus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Politixxx Today and he also traverses into fiction writing in his spare time. Sometimes he goes by his pen name JPE Tena. His debut novel, The Lore Kingdom, was named an Honorable Mention in 2021 Lampara Prize. For more information, you may reach him via tenajpe@gmail.com.

He’s a maverick. Over the years as a leader, Justice Antonio Carpio’s service to the government is beyond commendable. The sad truth even points us to the fact that he is considered as the longest running Acting Chief Justice. Though it is undisputed that he deserved to be the Chief Justice, he declined the highest post that a lawyer can have during the tail end of his tenure. However, despite being retired, he continuously asserts the Philippines’ claim over the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea. He even calls on our fellow citizens to vote for leaders who will stand up to China. He has shown leadership in the era when we needed it the most. But as an observer, I can’t help but have a wishful thinking that Justice Carpio himself will dive into the arena of politics.

Former crossovers

In the past, we’ve seen notable figures in Philippine politics that transferred from one branch of the government to another. In fact, one of the most famous women in Philippine politics, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago used to be a trial court judge in Quezon City before being appointed by President Corazon Aquino into the Bureau of Immigration and Department of Agrarian Reform. She ran in a close fight during the 1992 elections before eventually running for a Senate seat in 1995. The rest became history.

Another member of the judiciary who attempted to transfer his service in 1992 was former Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan. He relinquished his post in the judiciary for a hopeful post in the executive. Reports claim that he initially wanted to run as President but he later on decided to run as running mate of presidential candidate and former House Speaker Ramon Mitra. He placed second in the polls next only to Joseph Estrada who won as Vice President then. Although these brilliant minds had all it takes to lead, the electorate decided otherwise. The list of possible fresh crossovers may go on and the possibility in this context is there.

Given these circumstances, the Filipinos’ compelling need grows stronger. At this point, we need someone to do it in the person of Justice Antonio Carpio.

Who is Justice Carpio anyway?

Justice Antonio Tirol Carpio traces his roots in Mindanao. He was born on October 26, 1949. While pursuing his basic education, he studied at Ateneo De Davao University. At an early age, he showed promising potential that eventually turned him as one of the best legal luminaries of the country. This kind of talent must be exposed more to the general public. Now, let’s not delay any further and start counting the reasons why he should run in the 2022 Philippine elections.

Reason 1: He is brilliant

Justice Carpio earned his degrees in some of the top academic institutions in our country. For instance, he earned his pre-law degree at the Ateneo De Manila University with a degree in Economics. He went on for his law degree at the University of the Philippines (UP). As if those are not impressive enough, he graduated as class valedictorian and cum laude in UP. Soon thereafter, he placed sixth in the 1975 bar exams.

These kinds of feats from our leaders are starting to get rare nowadays. We should need to revive the meritocracy in the top posts in the government by electing the best to lead our nation. With that, Justice Carpio fits the mold of excellence.

Reason 2: He is a nationalist

On this aspect, Justice Carpio walks the talk. Actually, even before his retirement, we witnessed his passion for his advocacy in protecting our interests on the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea. Backed by his brilliant mind, he goes around for lectures that open our eyes of the importance in asserting our claim.

We don’t see Justice Carpio do trivial acts to prove his nationalism. He doesn’t need to say that he loves the Philippines. Instead, we see it, we feel it, and most importantly, we learn from it. A leader like Justice Carpio is someone who can spark the nationalism to those who are losing hope. For those who are already eager about their passion for our country, someone like Justice Carpio can even inspire them some more with the amount of knowledge that they can learn.

Reason 3: He is experienced

Justice Carpio has been a lawyer for almost five decades. The wealth of his experience can be something that will be beneficial to the Filipinos. Since Justice Carpio has degrees in economics and law, his expertise on these subject matters can make a difference on our nation-building. On top of that, his years of practice will help us in navigating the complexities of leading our country.

Thus, it is beyond cavil, that Justice Carpio is qualified to hold a high position either in the executive or legislative branches of the government. Now, more than ever, we need this kind of experienced leaders to bring about the plans against the struggles that our country faces.

Reason 4: He is a man of integrity

Scanning through the decisions penned by Justice Carpio, one can conclude how his mind works. The way he sheds light to the controversies that were raised before him as a magistrate fleshed out his character as an individual. Another proof is his rationale for declining the offer to be a Chief Justice before his retirement. The amount of integrity in his dissents also leaves us in awe.

This characteristic in a leader should be placed on top of our list whenever we go to the polls. If we want to succeed as a nation, we must elect those with untarnished character that we can also aspire to be.

Reason 5: He is inspiring

We cannot undermine the value of hope. A leader like Justice Carpio can bring about inspiration in all of us. The way he leads should be a guiding force to all Filipinos on how we work our way to the top. His noteworthy manner on how he brings about his message distinguishes him from the rest. The firm yet reassuring tone that he employs would be a great leadership trait.

Indeed, Justice Carpio possesses this important quality that is a must for a leader.

Final takeaway

Filipinos need not want a leader like Justice Carpio. We rather need him. We, as citizens, must learn from our mistakes whenever election time comes. Moving forward, our citizenry must veer away from empty promises and hollow messages. If we want to be prosperous, we must put the best in the top leadership post. For now, I can only count the qualified leaders that can potentially lead us by 2022 and Justice Carpio is one of the few.

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