The Impeachment Trial Part 2

Sagging Economy?

This whole episode of branches of the government going at each others throat calls for a clear delineation of roles and functions of the three branches of government. Constitutional experts and legal luminaries would be most welcome in elucidating for everyone these basic tenets of the Constitution. This is one time politicians can show bipartisan efforts in defusing the situation  so that it would not really culminate in a Constitutional crisis that will further drag down our already sagging economy.

The Justices of the High Court may retaliate and ask the President to inhibit himself from participating in decisions involving the economy because he is obviously biased against economic growth. (It’s a joke?)

All sides ascribe noble motives to themselves and the worst to the other. We shall dwell in the lull of their long lyrics.

I think we shall all be exploring the nuances of the terms “political” and “judicial” which apply in half measures to this.

Executive and Legislative tiff with the Judiciary falls exactly on peace and conflict journalism. All consolidating, all drawing lines.

Political showbiz roller-coaster tirades among them at all sides, Philippines is the casualty. 

Going After The Crooks

Who decides who a “corrupt Justice” is? The House & Senate, sole and exclusive!

It should only be after a showing of evidence. Anything less is farce.

Wasn’t PNoy meant to provide “space” for our institutions to heal? How come one is going to be put under even more strain?

PNoy: “ Hinuhubog natin ang kinabukasan; itulak ang pagbabago at siguraduhing managot ang may kasalanan kahit sino ka man.”

The PNoy regime is now delivering political death to CGMA and her henchmen.

One should immediately get rid of these “parasites” and “vampires” before we become desensitized to our environment and what’s really going on.

The disappointing thing is: If goverment runs after the corrupt, people grunt. If government doesn’t convict, people rant. Damn if you do, damn if you don’t.

The creation of a more peaceful and happier society has to begin from the level of the individual.

Representatives Irk

Rep. Toby Tiangco of Navotas resigns from majority. He said he was dismayed with how Corona was impeached.Tiangco said that they were not given a copy of the impeachment complaint nor were allowed to ask questions regarding it. Just sign.

“This is not about PNoy vs GMA. This is about the integrity and dependence of the Supreme Court.”says Tiangco

Rep.Teddy Casiño admitted that they were not allowed to read the 57-page document on Corona Impeachment?

Rep. Benjo Benaldo gets flak for signing the impeachment complaint for the wrong reason.

Rep. Rudy Farinas says the Lower House can’t handle two impeachment cases. He suggests that SC Associate Justice Del Castillo just be censured. Del Castillo and two other Justices, all Arroyo appointees, are said to be also candidates for impeachment.

Rep. Hermilando Mandanas says he has resigned from the Liberal Party because he was removed from a chairmanship, and points the blame to  his decline to sign the impeachment complaint..

Rep. Edcel Lagman says to Senators: “Do not succumb to blackmail as what my colleagues in the Lower House had to go through.”

Rep. Sonny Belmonte admitted PNoy was aware of the Liberal party’s plan of impeaching the Chief Justice.

In a country where popularity and fame is the key to success, I wonder if integrity and hard work has a place.

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.

Senators Worry

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago: “My only worry is many of the Senators are not lawyers or did not study the law. They might depend heavily on their consultants.”

Sen. Osmena believes the impeachment trial won’t happen. “I expect that CJ Corona will resign to save himself from embarrassment.”

Sen. Drilon says he won’t inhibit as Senator-Judge in Corona’s impeachment, saying he never called for Corona’s resignation or impeachment, only for his inhibition to cases to settle public clamor for unbiased court rulings.

In this reality, you should “Worry about your reputation, not your character. Your character is who you are. Your reputation is who people think you are.”

The courage to correctly and unbiasedly assess if the decisions of the Chief Justice were not just slavish loyalty or owing “utang na loob” to a former leader now lies in the hands of our Senators.

Can our Senators assure us and the rest of the world that what were looking at here are very good judges?

The job of the Senator judges is cut out for them: They should understand the charges, appreciate the evidence presented, and most importantly, decide based solely on what they believe to be fair and just whether it be popular or not. That’s what they owe the people that voted for them. That’s what they can give to our country.

The Big Chill

When impeachment is based on votes cast by a single justice, isn’t that a  big chill? Isn’t the Supreme Court collegial after all? The lack of partiality was indeed collegial.

It wasn’t only Corona who was partial. My fear is that this is only a Damocles sword and that agenda is to get a pliable Supreme Court.

Shouldn’t conspiracy have been alleged and if so the voting record becomes irrelevant because it’s the collusion that is the betrayal?

And if conspiracy were to be alleged, shouldn’t all the justices who concurred be included in the impeachment complaint? What about the ponentes?

The midnight appointment of Corona, though of CGMA’s act, puts in context the lack of faith of many people on Corona’s impartiality, but whether it is enough to convince three-fourth of the Senate to convict is another thing.

Would the questionable appointment of Corona by a mostly GMA-appointed Supreme Court be a material factor in Corona’s impeachment case? I am not sure if it would be material in the sense that the illegality of the appointment is not on Corona’s part but on Arroyo’s

Should Corona have declined? Perhaps. But is it a betrayal of public trust to not have declined the appointment?

Final Note/Huling Hirit:

Sure, impeachment is legal and provided for in the Constitution and can be used in extreme cases such as an erring President or Chief Justice.

However, does it look like that the Supreme Court is only the “flavor of the month” excuse for the shortcomings of this administration?

We were not successful in impeaching GMA before because she subjugated the Lower House into blocking all the impeachment complaints against her, so we are now fully determined to impeach Corona.

The problem with blaming or needing scapegoats is if, say, Corona is successfully removed from his office, does that make this administration any more competent than it is? Will that automatically make them better at alleviating poverty? Better in governance and providing basic services and bringing down the crime rate? Will it improve the economy? Or do we again look for a new scapegoat?

The sooner we admit to our own shortcomings, the quicker it will be to correct them. The more we stay with the blame game, the deeper the hole in which we are in becomes.

“No one really knows what’s up next. Don’t be too quick to judge. Never assume. Nothing is definite. Not in this lifetime.”

 Luke 17:3-4

3 “Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him. 4 Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.”

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