Louis "Barok" Biraogo warned today of an "unseen hand" using interest groups, including those from the church, to peddle Chief Justice Reynato Puno as a presidential candidate in 2010.
"What makes this entity sinister is that it wants a malleable president to emerge from the 2010 election. And who can be more inexperienced in politics than Puno himself?" said Biraogo.
"Chief Justice Puno admitted he'd be like a fish out of the water if thrust into the world of politics. That's precisely what makes him so attractive to king-makers and puppet-masters."
A slip of the tongue by Jocelyn Limkaichong, the beneficiary of Puno's non-promulgation of a Supreme Court decision ousting her as member of congress, "gave away the game plan," Biraogo added.
He noted that Limkaichong, whom he seeks to disqualify as a member of congress for being an alien, had been going around town trumpeting that an impeachment complaint will be filed against Puno.
She had been so certain about the impeachment that such a complaint, if it will be filed, will surely be the handiwork of the very people who want to depict Puno as a victim of political persecution, he pointed out.
"Administration allies in congress had emphasized that no impeachment complaint against Puno is forthcoming. That being the case, it would be in the interest of those behind Puno in 2010 campaign to have one filed against him to conform to the script of their zarzuela," Biraogo said.
In reality, the impeachment move against Puno is just "an illusion," said Biraogo, "intended to politicize the disqualification case against Limkaichong."
Biraogo warned the people not to allow themselves to be used by those who want a president in 2010 whom they can control. "Beware of the wolf in sheep's skin herding the flock into the slaughterhouse," he said.
The Commission on Election second division had found Limkaichong to be an alien and thus disqualified to run as Negros Oriental representative in the 2007 election. The Comelec en banc affirmed said decision.
Four cases had been consolidated before the SC over the Comelec Limkaichong Comelec decision. One was filed by Limkaichong herself seeking to overturn the Comelec ruling, another was filed by a rival candidate while two others were filed by concerned citizens, including one by Biraogo.
On July 15, 2008, the SC en banc affirmed the Comelec decision ousting Limkaichong. Fourteen Justices signed the ponencia of the now retired Justice Ruben Reyes but Puno had refused to promulgate it.