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Impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona: Political more than Legal
Alas, after 5 months and PhP 5.7 million, a verdict has been bestowed upon CJ Corona. With an overwhelming senatorial vote of 20-3, Corona is now impeached from his position as chief justice of the Philippines.
Presider Senator Enrile, in his final vote, stated that the decision has both legal and political implications. I personally believe that the trial has more political repercussions rather than legal ones; this can be immediately considered as one of the P-noy administration’s highlights towards the president’s campaign of “matuwid na daan”.
Going back before the 5-month trial, I believe Corona’s affiliation with former President GMA and his role in the disbanding of the Truth Commission, together with the TRO on GMA’s banning to leave the country, led the P-noy administration to usurp from Corona the chief justice role. Now that GMA’s ally and appointee is gone from being the highest ranked judge of the land, P-noy can now aggressively pursue GMA and her cohorts and make them liable for their supposed corruption.
“No one is untouchable,” said Senator Trillanes. This highly-publicized trial is a shoutout to people in government that no matter how high-ranking one’s position is, the P-noy administration will find ways to expose corruption. The political implications show that P-noy has a greater control, having now the capability to appoint a new chief justice that can be advantageous to his political interests.
Now that I’ve written the previous paragraphs, I would like now to focus on the following detail: the three (3) senators’ premise on why they did believed Corona was not to be impeached.
Senator Joker Arroyo. Arroyo’s main statement is “This is not justice, political or legal; certainly not the law… it is only naked power, as it was in 1972.” The senator’s statement clearly shows his belief of the impeachment trial being a show of power by P-noy, more than anything else.
Senator Bongbong Marcos. “When the furor has died down and this political storm has subsided, I know that like the lady Justice we shall find solace in the fact that this decision, though maybe not popular, was fair, impartial and just.” The keypoint that struck me in the senator’s statement is political storm. His statement shows how he believes that politics may have played and may be still playing a role in decision making, interfering from objective “lady Justice”. On a side note, this decision of Marcos, in my personal opinion, may be a political stand and strategy to be the opposition to P-noy’s agenda. If Marcos should run in the future, he may be planning to be the political opposition of the current P-noy administration.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. “Does SALN omission amount to an impeachable offense? NO! SALN carries light penalty, allows correction. I am insulted by the way your minds run.” Senator Miriam’s stance illustrates how she upholds legal basis above anything else. Her interpretation implies that yes, Corona has committed wrongdoing but it is not an impeachable offense. However, there are some reporters offering insights that Senator Miriam has ties with the chief justice, and that she will also vote “not guilty” as a sign of pakikisama.
This event can now be written in the history books. Though filled with greater political implications rather than the pursuit of legal justice, I am satisfied with the final decision. Although, I must admit that I am pro-administration because of P-noy’s promise of anti-corruption. More political rather than legal this decision may be, my only hope now is the P-noy administration not betraying my faith in their pursuit of the greater good. I used “faith” because I am not that impressed with P-noy’s track record, however, his promise to weed out corruption is enough to persuade me to believe in his platforms.
Yes, this may be a show of political power; this may be more political rather than legal. But if this political current is heading towards the greater good, towards P-noy’s “matuwid na daan”, I shall willingly go with the current. However, I now possess a more scrutinizing eye for the current administration. P-noy has no more excuses to fail in jumpstarting a great pursuit to eradicate evils in the government.
Amidst the political implications of this trial, P-noy, do not waste my faith (and with others that I share the same faith) in letting you run the show.