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Inquirer’s Failed Pre-Judgment Anti-Corona Propaganda

May 29, 2012

The Philippine Daily Inquirer published today an editorial-propaganda piece (purportedly penned by President Aquino publicist Conrado de Quiros). This piece is titled ‘His Own Witness’, which primarily focuses on ousted chief justice Corona’s one-liner response to Sen. Franklin Drilon, a notorious yellow ally.

Inquirer’s obviously yellowish, impartial editorial opens with the following lead: “To a question posed by Sen. Franklin Drilon about his assets, Renato Corona curiously responded that he did not understand certain financial matters: “Pardon me, hindi po ako nakakaintindi ng asset-debit na yan.””

That opening sentence was followed by a patently biased, politically charged paragraph that starts with the name-call–  “the incredible shrinking Chief Justice”. It goes on to say:

“Every time he emerged from his sanctum sanctorum at the Supreme Court and addressed the public, one thing was progressively and inevitably confirmed: He was a letdown. Supposedly the embodiment of the majesty and authority of the Philippine judicial system and ultimate arbiter of truth and fairness in legal affairs, he came off, instead, as a small—and small-minded—man. The nation’s highest magistrate turned out to be a man given to gutter language, melodramatic flourishes, a shockingly self-serving appreciation of the law, and, worst of all, a facility for lying.”

How can the Inquirer call for the conviction a chief justice for merely stating he doesn’t understand the concept of “asset-debit”? Perhaps the Inquirer is right in calling the ousted chief justice a “small-and-small-minded-man” for simply failing to satisfy Aquino ally Drilon’s query. But what about President Noynoy Aquino’s obvious refusal to reveal his dollar accounts? Oh! Did the president include his dollar deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth? For refusing to fulfill his campaign promise, are we also justified to say that the incumbent president now “turned out to be a “man given to gutter language, melodramatic flourishes, a shockingly self-serving appreciation of the law, and, worst of all, a facility for lying”?

Oh wait! The Inquirer editorial writer is generous enough to back his name-calling and pathetic attack on the jettisoned magistrate:

“Take that statement he gave Drilon, that whatever omissions his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth might show, it was all because he is a simple man unversed in the ways of accounting. This, from someone who had also bragged at his impeachment trial, by way of explaining his millions in undisclosed peso and dollar deposits, that he was a “matagumpay na abogado” before he entered public service. And that successful career in law included, among others, a long stint as an officer in the tax and corporate counseling divisions of SyCip, Gorres, Velayo—the Philippines’ largest accounting firm; 17 years as lecturer in commercial, taxation and corporate law in his alma mater, the Ateneo School of Law; several years as one of the top officers of a commercial bank; an MBA again from Ateneo, and a master of laws degree, focusing on the regulation of financial institutions, from Harvard University. Here’s an excerpt of its today’s editorial: “In the end, Corona’s attempt at passing himself off as a simpleton to duck the requirements of the law he was sworn to uphold only reaffirmed how undeserving he is of the august position he holds, which isn’t called “primus inter pares”—first above all—for nothing.””

So, it’s very clear that the entire Aquino machinery and its Yellow Journalists openly conceded- or admitted- that their only remaining weapon against Corona is his undeclared dollar deposits, including his P80 million in commingled funds. That specific weak point or area is obviously what the entire Yellow machinery had been focusing on. They knew that it was Corona’s Achilles’ heel. However, I disagree- and everybody in his right man should as well- that that was all the prosecution needed to convict a high-ranking official.

Is the omission to correctly declare one’s dollar or peso deposits in his/her SALN an impeachable offense? Does this particular omission carry the same weight or gravity as treason, bribery, graft and corruption and other high crimes? Does it now belong to the class of impeachable offenses enumerated in the 1987 Constitution?

As I stated in a previous blog, the President of this country, Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino IIIis guilty of exploiting all the available machineries of his regime in order to oust the chief justice and to weaken the judiciary. This impeachment case has been politically motivated from the very beginning. Yes, the entire impeachment process was a moro-moro.

All throughout the impeachment trial, the president’s fingerprint was all over the place. Sen. Bongbong Marcos correctly described this impeachment case when he cast his ‘not guilty’ vote, saying “nowhere is this precept more apposite than in this case, where the government has mustered all the resources at its disposal, not only to secure evidence against the Chief Justice but, further, to ensure his conviction.”

Obviously, the editorial writer (whoever he is) resorted to nitpicking, cherry-picking, rationalization and equivocation to prove his/her utterly weak argument that the Chief Justice is deserving of the verdict of conviction.

The editorial further states:

“Given that all such information has long been public knowledge, one wonders at Corona’s mindset. What on earth was he thinking, testifying so brazenly to such patent, and easily verifiable, untruths even as he was under oath on the witness stand? Such ease in double-talk must have taken years of practice. In the end, Corona’s attempt at passing himself off as a simpleton to duck the requirements of the law he was sworn to uphold only reaffirmed how undeserving he is of the august position he holds, which isn’t called “primus inter pares”—first above all—for nothing.”

Holy cow!

The Latin phrase “primus inter pares” does not mean ‘first above all’ but ‘first among equals’ or ‘first among peers’. Perhaps that’s the reason why the entire editorial staff of the Inquirer miserably believed the Chief Justice should be held liable for the Supreme Court’s ‘biased’, ‘impartial’ collegial decisions. Perhaps its editorial staff should start researching what this term ‘collegial decision’ means…

The Inquirer should congratulate itself for fulfilling its most important Yellow mission.

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