“I have constantly held that those who face who face the judgement of imperfect and fallible mortals like us have recourse to the judgement of history, and, ultimately, of God.”
- Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile
|photo from starmometer.com|
After more than a month of trial, Renato Corona was found guilty by the impeachment court of the Philippine Senate for not being transparent to the people about his wealth. For the first time in the history of our country a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was impeached.
I can’t give an expert opinion on this matter or make a logical and valid analysis of the proceedings. But I am convinced of one thing: this event reeks badly of political orchestration, conspiracy, political ambitions, and character assassination. As one of the nameless myriad of spectators of this trial, I am not thoroughly convinced of the former Chief Justice’s crime. Enrile himself said that the verdict handed down by the senators was neither the result of the prosecution panel’s skills and tactics nor the testimonies of their witnesses and their evidences. None of them were compellingly convincing. It was, as some experts and even what senator-judges say, the defense panel’s failure to manage the situation in their favour.
From the start, I was expecting an acquittal. Seeing Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s treatment of the proceedings in utmost disregard, the trial was pointless. In her explanation of her vote, she called the trial as KAGAGUHAN.
In the end, the verdict is guilty, but definitely not beyond the shadow of doubts. It was probably destined to come to this point. He started as a appointee with lots of constitutional loopholes. He’s paying for something he shouldn’t have accepted.
But then, I am but a mere fool trying to voice out his insignificant opinions and perplexities.
After all the brawls, the lectures, the pointing of fingers, the covering of ears, the grand-standings, the unlimited speeches, the kagaguhans, the ever-present dramatic scenes in the political arena (politics is more fun in the Philippines), the walk-outs, what did we get from all of these? What did the common man of the streets learn from this? What would change in the lives of the poor, the illiterate, and the hungry? Was justice finally served?
Maybe this really is the start, the beginning of the restoration of honour in our government. Despite the political ambitions of crocodiles, the conspiracies, and grand-standing, at least we have seen that issues can be solved and evil can be deterred by the rule and process of law, no matter how dubious and how unintelligibly profound the words and the proceedings are. It seems like democracy and the Constitution are finally gaining grounds in the hearts of men and in the political arena. We’ve got to start somewhere, yes?
It’s still a long way to go. If we really want justice to be served, such pursuit must not end with
. Arroyo and her
family and their friends must come to the light and answer the questions and
the accusations against them. The Marcoses and cronies are still in power and
must pay a lifetime for their life-long crimes committed in the past. Oligarchs
and patrician families, and political dynasties must come down and compromise a
deal with the people to share wealth and power. Corona
I know I’m asking too much now. Forget about the other things. Go get Arroyo! Do something about poverty, educate the people, and don’t just address these issues from the pulpits and podiums with never-ending diatribes and unlimited speeches.
Otherwise, the impeachment would lose its meaning and relevance to the people. It would be just like any other whimsical and idiotic television series, another national favourite past-time of the people that makes them dream of utopia, and when it ends, they would brush it away from their minds and go back again to their reality- misery, hunger, and hopeless ignorance.
Amidst all the positivity and the optimistic perspective of what happened, I shuddered when I heard the words of Sen. Joker Arroyo in his last speech in the impeachment trial, like it was some ominous
“I can’t imagine removing the Chief Justice on account of the
SALN. Today, we are
one step from violating the Constitution and passing a bill of attainder. No
one can stop us if we don’t stop ourselves. This is not justice, political or
legal. This is certainly not law; for it’s not the law of the Constitution.
It’s only naked power as it was in 1972.”
So I ask once again, after all the brawls and the kagaguhans, what did we get from all of these? What did the common man of the streets learn from this? What would change in the lives of the poor, the illiterate, and the hungry? Was justice finally served?