Ateneo Law School has recently released a statement on the Gloriagate Scandal. The Inquirer quotes Ateneo Law School Dean Cesar L. Villanueva as follows:
"We do not demand that the President resign, but we do ask of her, as the duly proclaimed Chief Executive of our Republic, to determine what is best for the country, and that her decision be made with the best interest of the nation in mind," the Ateneo Law School said in a statement issued by Dean Cesar L. Villanueva."As our President, we must rely on Ms Arroyo to make the proper decision, and once having made it, to then follow what would be in accordance with the terms provided for in our Constitution," he said.
"As our President, we must rely on Ms. Arroyo to make the proper decision, and once having made it, to then follow what would be in accordance with the terms provided for in our Constitution," he said.
This is a safe position to take. It's what old lawyers say as "neither here nor there" argument. And you might be wondering why this is how they stand. I have a theory. The Ateneo Law faculty is composed mostly of law practitioners in the big law firms in Makati who are counselling big time business supporters of the President. These lawyers are beholden to their clients who do not like their lawyers to be nosing around politics, especially when it threatens business. Now, as big business has thrown its support to GMA, can we expect their lawyers to take a diffferent position?
Compare the Ateneo's position with that of UP, and you wonder why these law schools have different takes on Gloriagate. Well, UP Law School is dominated by law academicians. Their roster is full of LLM's from Ivy League schools, and many of them write good and competent legal papers that affect social policy. JJ Disini and Sassy Lawyer can correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression is the UP law professors are not beholden to big business. Thus, UP Law's stand on the matter is clear, idealistic and principled.
Is there something about being an academic that makes you throw all caution to the wind, so to speak, when you find something condemnable and you condemn it? And is there something about being a lawyer, that makes you hesitate -- and perhaps, even cower in fear -- in the same situation?
How come UP and Ateneo do not have the same position on Gloriagate? UP Law is run by academics, and Ateneo, by lawyers.