Leonen clams up after appointment to SC


New SC member Mario Victor “Marvic” Leonen. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – From media darling to media shy.

Newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen has begun to shun media interviews in deference to his new position, a far cry from the days he was the government’s chief negotiator in peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“You’re going to make me inhibit from a lot of cases,” a smiling Leonen told reporters Friday night at the UP Law Alumni Homecoming, where the UP Batch ’87 to which he belongs celebrated as Silver Jubilarians.

The homecoming was a gathering of sorts for the members of the high Court. There was former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, former Justice now Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, and Justices Antonio Carpio and Teresita Leonardo-de Castro.

Carpio greeted Leonen before Batch ’87 made its grand entrance to the Makati Shangrila Ballroom, a friend of Leonen’s told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

There were several questions the Inquirer had wanted to ask Leonen: Did he recommend anyone as his replacement as government chief negotiator? How is his working relationship with fellow UP alumni and faculty member Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno? What does he perceive would be his role on the Supreme Court?

And is he prepared to spend the next 21 years of his life in seclusion?

His friends and batchmates from UP Law told the Inquirer that Leonen was equipped, prepared and capable to spend two decades on the Supreme Court.

Leonen was the preferred source of the media for explanation of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro soon after it was signed by the government and MILF in Malacañang in October.

The former UP College of Law dean never seemed to get tired of explaining the context and minutest details of the Framework Agreement. And he did so with utmost ease and patience, just like a professor lecturing to a class.

“Be prepared. We’ll have a quiz after this,” a TV reporter joked after listening to Leonen’s talk at a Rotary International meeting after the Framework Agreement signing.

The Inquirer learned that it was President Aquino himself who designated Leonen to explain the Framework Agreement to the public.

Leonen said that the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process will continue to be the official spokesperson on the peace process with the MILF.

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  • speedstream2

    It’s the right thing to do. Like they say, the Supreme Court justices are best seen and heard from the decisions they render.

  • $29483279

    Excellent move for the Judiciary/Supteme Court. Let’s hope and pray it will be as good  to the important on-going peace process in Mindanao.

  • okabato

    Put them young and beyond the reach of politics just like in the US.

  • Russell Ariola

    Tama lang na bawasan ang satsat sa media. Si TJ Corona lang mey estelo nun.

    Nun naman kasi, kelangan ng media exposure yung peace process para malaman ng karamihan lalo na sa bandang timog natin. Eh ngayun nasa SC na si AJ Leonen, yung mga promulgasyun at disposisyon na lang nya sa mga kaso sa SC ang magpapahayag at maglalarawan kung sinoat anong klase ng AJ sya.

  • EOJ

    Si corona lang ang mahilig magpa pogi sa media dahil pulitiko naman talaga yon.

    The supreme court of old I remember is not sensitive to public opinion. The justices do not give interviews to the media. Dignified silence as CJ sereno describes it, is the way to go.

  • 12JEM

    The best EXPLAINER of many things, number one is Marvic Leonen of Batch 87.

  • $20733759

    Its not only the correct, it is the proper decorum expected of, even demanded by,the position of an  Associate Justice of the highest Court of the land. Remember , justices are seldom seen or even heard,except through the decisions they promulgate. Yan ang tamang katayuan , dala ng kahalagahan ng kanilang tungkulin. Congrats to his Honor, Justice Leonen, we are truly proud of you.

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