On the FlipsideThis is a comment lifted from a PCIJ Blog article on the UP Law Deanship controvery alongside other supposed manifestations of GMA's wrath.
Your report on the UP Deanship issue missed out the most important point - Dean Salvador Carlota is the best qualified among all the candidates for the position. Prof. Carlota is the most senior among all candidates, both in tenure and academic achievements. The fact that there is no protest from the UP College of Law faculty and students over his appointment is testament enough to the trust and confidence he enjoys from his peers and students.
The endorsement of Dean Raul Pangalangan's candidacy by a majority of the faculty should not be read to mean that the faculty favored him over Dean Carlota for the simple reason that the straw polls was conducted long before Dean Carlota expressed his intention to run for dean; hence, Dean Carlota's name was not included among the nominees for whom the faculty voted during the straw polls.
Nor should Dean Carlota's supposed advanced age be taken against him, as in fact, unless a candidate is past retirement age, age is never a factor in choosing the dean of the UP College of Law. US Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist was himself over 80 years old when he died in office.
In any event, Raul Pangalangan was not eligible for a third term because (a) he was not the only nominee; and (b) he did not get the unanimous endorsement of the UP Law Faculty. Thus, there was actually no need for Malacanang to lift its finger in order to "oust" Dean Pangalangan, as he was not even eligible for a third term as UP Law Dean.
Your report that the three law fraternities in UP entered into an alliance to back Dean Carlota's candidacy, and the ensuing conclusion that Malacanang had a hand in such alliance, are utterly erroneous. In the first place, one of the candidates, Prof. Danilo Concepcion, is an Upsilonian. Thus, Upsilon Sigma Phi could not have junked their own fraternity brother in favor of Dean Carlota who is a member of the Alpha Phi Beta. As for the Sigma Rho, it stayed on the sidelines as its erstwhile candidate, Prof. Avila, backed out even before he could be officially nominated.
In any event, assuming your report of the "alliance" to be true, don't you think it should be viewed as evidence of Dean Carlota's qualification to be UP Law dean? You yourself pointed out that the three fraternities are perennial rivals. To say that all it took for the alliance to be born is the order of Mrs. Arroyo is giving too much credit to Mrs. Arroyo.
Also, you failed to include in the equation that Sen. Drilon, a staunch Sigma Rhoan, called for the resignation of Mrs. Arroyo. Hence, it is highly improbable that Sen. Drilon would have allowed his fraternity to back Dean Carlota's candidacy at the behest of his nemesis, Mrs. Arroyo.
Lastly, it should be pointed out that Dean Pangalangan's first appointment as UP Law Dean back in 1998 was far more controversial than the present appointment of Dean Carlota. In Dean Pangalangan's case, his appointment was opposed by the entire UP Law Faculty, even leading to the resignation of some UP Law professors. UP Law students were likewise opposed to Dean Pangalangan's appointment and staged several mass actions. However, Dean Pangalangan's appointment was reportedly made possible by the endorsement of then Faculty Regent and his fraternity brother in Alpha Sigma, Randy David, who was in turn very close to President Estrada at that time.
It is thus ironic that certain personalities are now sour graping over the supposed "ousting" of Dean Pangalangan. To stress, Dean Pangalangan was not even a qualified candidate, so where's the injustice there? The question therefore becomes, who is best qualified to be UP Law Dean, Dean Carlota or the other candidates namely, Prof. Marvic Leonen and Prof. Danny Concepcion?
Certainly, Prof. Carlota is better qualified over the two junior faculty of the UP College of Law. I dare anybody to say otherwise.