“Where Is the Justice?”

For Dec. 13, 2011
Good Morning Philippines

So, the cat is out of the bag. The dye was cast as early as when the TRO was issued allowing GMA to travel, but was ordered stopped at the airport and prevented from leaving by Secretary de Lima, and the rest is history still in the making. According to Speaker of the House Sonny Belmonte, a “furious” Aquino had made it known to him that he wanted Corona out of the picture and no matter which words you choose to say that to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, it could only mean “impeachment,” a process that must emanate from the Lower House, they having the exclusive power to impeach officials holding specific positions in government including that of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. So the Speaker,the good soldier that he is, began work on building a case that they now hope will culminate in the prosecution of Chief Justice Corona. It seems PNoy has learned well from GMA how to control the Lower House, the other half of Congress that lends itself easy to being a tool, a lap dog – as they used to call it during GMA’s time — of the Presidency. And with the persistent denial coming from the Palace claiming PNoy had no knowledge of it even after Cavite Representative Joseph E.A. Abaya had already revealed to media that President Aquino wanted a “fast” impeachment of Corona at the time of the issuance of the TRO, the comedic zarsuela was complete a la GMA style. Obviously, “pork” still tastes as good now as it did then, but that’s something some opposition Representatives wouldn’t know. So, what happens next?

Christmas being around the corner, it should go to the Senate for adjudication, but not until next year, with the Senators sitting in as judges in a trial that will be more political than judicial. Again, as was the case with the filing of the articles of impeachment in the Lower House, it still is basically a numbers game in the Senate where a 2/3 vote is needed to obtain a “guilty” verdict. That’s not as easy as mustering the signatures of 1/3 of the members of the Lower House needed to approve a motion to impeach.

The looming battle will be in winning the support of the majority of the public at large to pressure the Senators to either convict or acquit or be damned come election time. In that sense, it is a PR battle for “perception.” If Corona is painted into a corner together with the “demonized” GMA, I think he would already have lost the battle. For him to beat this, he will have to be perceived as the representative of the last bastion of democracy and as the titular and legitimate head of the Judiciary branch of government wanting to be chopped off by the Executive branch of government; and for icing on the cake, a victim of a vengeful President retaliating against the Supreme Court decision to distribute the land in Hacienda Luisita to the tenant farmers. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, that decision came about around the same time the TRO was issued and disobeyed by the Secretary of Justice. To say that the Supreme Court decision (unanimous, including votes of Aquino appointed Justices) to distribute the land of Hacienda Luisita is of no consequence to the President is to believe that the loss of the Jose Cojuangco, Sr. (lolo of PNoy) ancestral home, of the hacienda PNoy knew from birth, the “crown jewels” of his clan, the symbol of the Cojuangco wealth and power for half a century, the 6,000 hectare “playground” to three generations of his mother’s family, and the bond that has kept their family together “in wealth and in wealth,” had no effect on PNoy. If we believe that, then we might as well believe that Corona and GMA are strangers to each other and FG is not corrupt. Let the games begin!


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