Pres. Aquino’s Moro-Moro Impeachment Process
What kind of mediocrity some people have been blabbing about? Some people say that the guilty verdict against Corona would deter officials, particularly those impeachable, from hiding behind the force of our foreign currency deposit law.
Is that so?
But isn’t that law perfectly constitutional? The mere fact that it guarantees absolute confidentiality of dollar or foreign currency deposits does not mean it could be easily abused by our crooked, corrupt officials and thus it should be repealed. The ousted chief justice himself set a precedent by waiving his right to confidentiality protected by R.A. 6426. That courage should be emulated by all our elected and appointive government officials if they want to stamp out corruption in this god-forsaken nation. Like Corona, they should have the courage to waive their confidentiality rights.
For instance, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile made the following statement before casting his ‘guilty’ verdict: “If we were to agree with the Chief Justice that he was correct, can we ever expect any SALN to be filed by public officials no matter how high or low, from hereon to be more accurate and true than they are today? I don’t think so.”
To my understanding, SALN is just one way to prove a complainant’s allegation, say, that an official has amassed an untold amount of ill-gotten wealth. Yes, failure to file SALN or failure to state the right amount of one’s monetary assets in his/her SALN is punishable under the law, but I disagree that it is an impeachable offense. Is failure 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? My answer is NO. Indeed, the answer should be NO. Mis-declaration of one’s SALN is not as grave or serious as graft and corruption. The first is the most effective way to prove the second, which is an impeachable offense. Thus, mis-declaration of SALN and graft and corruption do not belong to the same class or category.
Sen. Ralph Recto said: “So this boils down to the degree of the unintentional miscalculation.” He added: “Logic dictates we accept a slight inaccuracy.”
I’m sorry but I just don’t get the legal logic there.
Sen. Loren Legarda, who voted for Corona’s conviction, said: “If we acquit the Chief Justice, we tragically lift floodgates for public suspicion and widespread distrust. She added. “it lowers the bar of public accountability of government officials.”
That’s rubbish! Distrust? It’s simply because the public mind had been perfectly conditioned by the extensive propaganda machinery of the Aquino regime with the help of its Yellow journalists prior to the judgment day.
Sen. Bong Revilla’s guilty verdict states: “Alang alang sa pagkakaisa at paghilom ng bayan, alang alang sa pagpapatibay ng insti ng pamahalaan, alang alang sa darating pang henerasyon at ating kinabukasan, I find Chief Justice Renato Corona guilty.”
Good luck with your national unity, senator. National unity at the expense of weakening the judiciary or destroying the principle of separation of powers is not ‘unity’ but power-lust with a smile on its face. Although I think Sen. Revilla is right. Look at the countries that maintain national unity. Most of them are socialist and fascist countries that strictly implement the single-party system like today’s China and North Korea. The politicians in those countries effectively impose and realize what they call ‘national unity and harmony’. Perhaps that’s the President’s main objective. He wants to control the government’s two main branches– the judiciary and the legislative– so to easily and quickly impose his political will and agenda. That’s ‘national unity’ at the expense of destroying our remaining spirit of Republicanism.
If our President is serious enough to combat corruption in the government, he should start by signing his own waiver. Anyways, that’s one of his campaign promises before he was elected to public office. This is the right and proper time for him to fulfill that promise. Also, the President should start proving his determination to crackdown on corruption by asking all his cabinet officials and party-mates in Congress to sign their own waiver.
My humble opinion is that the impeachment process did not prove anything but the tendency of the executive branch to weaken its two co-equal branches with the intention of amassing more political power. It’s political cannibalism, plain and simple, in which the executive branch successfully cannibalized the judiciary with the cooperative help of the legislative branch. Like Sen. Joker Arroyo said, the impeachment process was not “justice” and “law”, but “only naked power as it was in 1972.”
Some senators and civic groups call it ‘democracy.’ Oh, yes! That most-abused word ‘democracy’ yet not so many people and intellectuals in these parts actually understand its proper concept or meaning.
Enrile said: “I am deeply concerned that the people may just so easily ignore, may forget, if not miss out, on the hard lessons we all must learn from this episode, instead of to grow and mature as citizens of a democratic nation.”
The Makati Business Club also said: “we hold the outcome of this impeachment trial as a triumph of our democracy’s system of checks and balances, and a revalidation of the fundamental principle that public office is a public trust and that all public officials are therefore accountable to the people.”
Of course, if we’re to apply the real, proper meaning of democracy, the entire impeachment trial or process was ‘democratic’. What these people don’t know is that democracy “is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch.” Yes, it’s two wolves (the executive branch and the legislative branch) and a sheep (the Yellow media) voting on what to take for lunch, and they’ve decided to cannibalize the judiciary. That so long as you and your comrades have the number, you can vote against the rights of anyone and disregard all the rules in the book.
So, what kind of precedent did the Corona conviction set? It simply showed that our system of government is becoming weaker and weaker. It is becoming more corrupt.
As I stated in a previous blog, “corruption in the public sector is not merely committed by raiding government coffers. That’s just one form of corruption. It is also done by destroying the economy through unsustainable, impractical, destructive economic policies. Corruption can be committed by encouraging a ‘Palamunin Culture’ and increasing welfare spending, thus draining the nation’s coffers (e.g., the ongoing cases of Greece and the Philippines). Corruption can be best committed by institutionalizing a culture of ‘sacrifice’ and ‘dependency on the state’ (e.g., the case of all regimes in RP). Corruption can be sustained and perpetuated by keeping the protectionist, oligarchic, welfare-statist status quo. These are actually what the President is doing.
First, the President corrupted the entire impeachment process, from the moment the lawmakers in Congress moved to impeach the Chief Justice up to the very day the senator-judges cast their votes. The President tried, and succeeded, in exploiting government machinery to politically assassinate the Chief Justice. Sen. Bongbong Marcos Jr. aptly described this political assassination in the following manner: “An impeachment trial is sui generis. Be that as it may, the Bill of Rights stands supreme over all the powers of government, including the power to impeach. And 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.” (Emphasis mine)
What kind of semi-political, semi-judicial precedent are they talking about? That the judiciary is now under the political control of the executive branch? Perhaps…