Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Prayers Were Answered

Until late last night, I was not sure if the prosecution had the numbers to convict Renato Corona. I was busy coaching my players competing in the Philippine National Game. I frantically texted some friends to ask if we had the numbers, they replied, yes. I still did not believe them and snuck out several times to listen to each verdict. When the count went past the 3-2 result, I knew Corona will be found guilty. What surprised me is the final count, 20-3. The expected holdouts stuck to their stands. Lapid, Revilla and Villar surprised me. Lapid showed how he used on common sense better than Joker, Miriam and Marcos.

I must commend the "grand old statesman" of the senate, Senate Pres. Juan Ponce Enrile fairly and justly managed the impeachment from start to finish. He even delivered the coup de grace and will leave a legacy he can truly be proud of. One after the other, senator judges used the case of Delsa Flores. It's as if the heavens sent each senator an email of my humble request. Twenty out of twenty-three heeded my prayers. Equal protection of the law was applied. A big fish was caught and convicted because of his arrogance and his self-serving interpretation of an outdated law. Corona was betrayed by his arrogance. After his own admission, he sealed his own fate. All the drama and the theatrics was not able to save him.

Corona is finally convicted. His illegitimate reign as the Supreme Court Chief Justice is over. He not only disgraced himself but he is the first chief justice to be removed from office. He will lose his job and his retirement benefits. He will never work in government again. He should have resigned instead of dragging the entire judiciary and using it to defend himself. He will lose his simple life of P15,000 dinners, his P25,000 Barong Tagalogs and his P100,000 Christmas gifts. Even his traveling privileges will be taken away. PAL no longer needs to cozy up to him. Perhaps, his wife Cristina will truly reconcile with her relatives and not use them as props for her PR stunts. Corona will now have all the time in the world to dissect what happened to him. He can now look back and hopefully realize that his position and his power to interpret the law to use to serve his purpose wrong. Maybe he would regret ever wanting to be chief justice despite his obvious lack of court service. 

I am not kicking a man when he is down even if he deserves it. I'm simply pointing out why he is where he is now, why things had to happen and why his career ended this way. I can now sleep soundly at night knowing that Lady Justice is blind again. No discrimination between rich and poor and the law will be equally applied. We just sent the justices a strong message, they can be made accountable. My prayers were answered.


Equal Protection Of The Law

We demand and exact very high standards on "all" government employees. From the lowly janitor, messenger and even clerks to the highest officials of the land. Administrative cases are harsh. When found guilty, a government employee will be dismissed from office, barred 'til death from ever serving in government and all his/her retirement benefits taken away. I have always emphasized that these standards of ethics and integrity is raised as the position goes higher. What then makes Renato Corona an exception to the rule? Do we not expect more from him? His excuses are nothing, as pointed out by Rep. Rodolfo Farinas. They are self-serving and flimsy and even revolting to our common sense. 

In the '90s, a lowly court interpreter was dismissed by the Supreme Court for failing to disclose a small market stall she owns. The value, a mere P1,000. Corona hid millions in pesos and dollars. How then can we reconcile these two very similar case? Yes, one is administrative in nature, and the other an impeachable official. Isn't it just proper that we apply the law equally? To acquit Corona because of his flimsy legal justification, are we applying the law equally? Both are government employees, public servants that we all expect to be honest, person of integrity and possessing very high moral values. Isn't it proper to say that we should treat as both public servants?

We should ask more from Corona because he is the highest magistrate and lawyer of the land. He is not exempted from the law that rules the ordinary government employee. Delsa Flores hid mere change compared to Corona's millions. His defense team claims no ill intent on the part of Corona. They say that Corona's poor judgement is not enough reason to convict him. Can they say this while looking at Delsa Flores straight in the eye? Isn't it the height of absurdity to try and justify hiding millions from the public? I'm not a genius but certainly not stupid. It is clear that Corona willfully. It came straight from Corona himself. He was trying to avoid forfeiture. 

To the senator judges who will decide Corona's fate, I have only one request, bare in mind that a lowly court interpreter lost everything for a measly P1080. Corona deserves to be removed from office, barred from ever holding any public position and his retirement benefits taken away. Corona deserves no less. His position is not a guarantee for immunity. We have always asked why only the small fish fry. Here is a good chance for us to make a big fish pay. All we ask is that the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the law be applied.    


Thursday, May 24, 2012

The King And His Court

Renato Corona finally took the witness stand to tell his side of the story. His litany took all three hours to complete. Al through his storytelling, he took jabs at all his critics. Even the dead was not spared. He used all the adjectives he can use to malign his detractors. Like a child throwing a tantrum, he utilized every liberal minute afforded to him by the very lenient presiding officer of the impeachment court. He couldn't care less who insulted. The illegitimate chief justice spewed lie after lie after lie to defend himself. Acting like a pompous ass of a king, he declared his position at the end of his speech and walked out of the impeachment court.

The man who never served as a judge in any court tried to escape but was prevented by the senate's sergeant at arms from leaving the premises. Even Corona's driver was ready to spirit him away. Corona must be an avid viewer of past senate hearings. He has learned from past witnesses. Health is the key to escape being asked questions. He is the king of the imperialist Supreme Court. What they say is law. He can get away with anything. He can disrespect even a coequal branch of government. 

The senate finally has had enough. They cannot be bullied even by the illegitimate chief justice and gave his lawyers an ultimatum. This changes the entire picture. He must appear before the tribunal tomorrow. We can speculate on how things will play out tomorrow. He can always act, he has proven his acting prowess before. Yes, he will face the court with doctors in tow. His lawyers will ask him questions and from time to time, will ask him how he feels. After a while, he will appear weak and his doctors will ask the court to excuse him.

The presiding officer will be put in a bind. To ask that the Corona finish the direct and cross examination will make him appear heartless and inhuman. To discharge him without the prosecution and the senator asking Corona questions and then convicting Corona can be made by his camp to appear as an abuse of discretion and the trampling of his right to due process. A sickly Corona can claim bravery for risking his life if only to clear his name. What a travesty of justice. Corona's court can now declare the impeachment proceeding as an abuse of power.

I hope I am wrong. It's just my speculative mind at work. How about you, how do you think things will play out tomorrow?