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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Justice Renato Corona, Who is Alleged to Have Betrayed the Public Trust, Violated the Constitution, and Committed Graft and Corruption, Entered a “not Guilty Plea” Against All Charges Hurled Against Him


Philippine Politics: Which of the Two Branches of Government Has a Greater Magnet that Draws the Crowd? PNoy Representing the Executive Branch of Government and Corona Representing the Judiciary Branch of Government

"According to Dr. Greg Zamoras, political analyst, "the president and the senators, including their allies are doing their job to prosecute the accused. If Corona thinks he is very innocent, he must present it with evidence in the senate as impeachment..."




COMMENTARY | Our politics in the Philippines is not really "that very strong" compared to other countries. You know why? Our politicians are more on politicking rather than on sticking to the main issues in order for the political problem to get finally resolved. There are lots of reasons why we have experienced the low self-esteem politics' profile. Corona's impeachment trial is a definite no-no by a number of Filipinos as it brings chaos among the citizens, most particularly to the officials representing the three branches of government. Besides, Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, who is alleged to have betrayed the public trust, violated the Constitution, and committed graft and corruption, entered a "not guilty plea" against all charges hurled against him. The plea was made through his counsel, retired Associate Justice Serafin Cuevas, who told the Senate impeachment court that the chief magistrate was present to show his respect for the Senate impeachment court. 

The ongoing impeachment trial has accumulated a few controversial "highlighted statements" and salient points to take into account: 1) The prosecution had requested to subpoena the financial records of the Supreme Court to prove that Corona used public funds for his personal gain; 2) A lawmaker pointed out that the allegation that the chief justice dipped into the judicial funds for personal use is included in the body of Article III; 3) President Benigno Aquino III said that he was satisfied with the performance of the House prosecution panel in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona; 4) Corona is seeking the inhibition of SC justices Antonio Carpio and Maria Lourdes Sereno from the deliberation of his petition; 5) Farinas, when asked by Jinggoy Estrada's inquiry on why he did not sign the impeachment complaint, added that he is a slow reader and was not yet finished reading the complaint when the House of Representatives successfully collected enough number of signatures to impeach Corona; and 6) The impeachment trial against Corona is a serious internal political affair and must be resolved by the Philippines alone. 

We can't deny that our politics seems not fully ripe because of the political system. It's the system that never alters since the time immemorial. Most of us like traditional politicians ride only on the ship with much-awaited fame and glory; despite the fact, it ruins the entire system and, at the same time, it gives shame to the people who take advantage of our system. The impeachment trial is the result of political system. The word SYSTEM gives us the acronym to describe or make publicly known its ulterior motive to the Filipino people in general. It is up for us now to resolve this deeply-rooted problem at once. 

Let's attempt to hear some voices of the people about impeachment trial and give them utmost importance as far as the president of the Philippines and Chief Justice Renato Corona are concerned. Most of their comments when interviewed by the local reporters were: 

1st Commenter: According to Dr. Greg Zamoras, political analyst, "the president and the senators, including their allies are doing their job to prosecute the accused. If Corona thinks he is very innocent, he must present it with evidence in the senate as impeachment body. The president made his right decision to punish the accused who is charged with the following: to have betrayed the public trust, violated the Constitution, and committed graft and corruption. I hope the senators who act as judges on impeachment trial will resolve the case right away and find ways to judge not by technicalities but by evidence presented by both parties so that we can assess beforehand that trial is really great and it should be dealt with the people who are guilty of such crimes. I won't conclude that Corona is guilty unless he can clear his name out by presenting much evidence to counteract the allegations hurled against him by the prosecutors on the government side. Let's uncover the concealed truth so that the public may know the real truth behind it." 

2nd Commenter: Mr. James Faja, college instructor from a prestigious university said, "Let the prosecution panel and the 188 congressmen who signed the impeachment complaint against Corona open their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) to the public so we may know who, among them, are serving the people with honesty and sincerity; in other words, these people must have the integrity to handle such positions without politically tarnishing them. The truth should come out fairly and should prevail over bad publicity or character assassination. We don't know that these people are more corrupt than Corona. As the saying goes, 'Let the one who has not sinned cast the first stone.' Remember about yourself first, before you point your finger, your other fingers are pointing at you, or that before you point your finger to others, make sure your hands are clean. Don't pretend that you're clean without even resorting to graft or bad practices. And don't judge anybody right away if you are not certain of something behind the bad scene. The law said 'A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.' We should not be swayed by our blind emotions and, to know the truth, we should be keen at observing the flow of impeachment trial in order to arrive at final judgment with honest and credible impeachment trial against Corona." 

3rd Commenter: Mr. Jun Vlackat, Supreme Student Government (SSG) president said, "Let us not judge CJ Corona before the impeachment trial is finished. He has no 'pork barrel' unlike some congressmen and senators, who are tagged as CORRUPT and DISHONEST public officials ... getting rich on their public funds, have the pork barrel. Those officials, who are not performing well and who are claiming that they are clean, do not have the right to prematurely judge Corona and point a finger at him. Tell me, who among the Congressmen and Senators do not have millions or billions in their bank accounts? Why don't they resign first and open their bank accounts to public scrutiny, and submit their SALN and ITR for public examination? Let us see who the big time corrupt public officials are really unworthy of public trust. Let us not be blinded by our emotion and trial by publicity. Let justice be served fair and square. Let rationalization prevail in this trial. For all we know the accusers are more guilty than the accused." 

Finally, there are pros and cons of the controversial issue about impeachment trial in the Philippines. No foreigners will intervene so as to come by the real truth about it. The statement coming from the foreign observer like "The impeachment trial against Corona is a serious internal political affair and must be resolved by the Philippines alone" is correct and neutral because it cushions the impact of sui generispolitics that we have in the Philippines. The Filipinos are the only ones who can at once resolve the political conflicts among the branches of government without inviting the foreigners to intervene or actively take part in impeachment trial. In the end, the truth will gradually set us free if we are innocent of the charges filed or charged against us.

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