For Friday, December 30, 2011
Good Morning Philippines
ON SECOND THOUGHT
What would have been gained and what would have been lost in removing Chief Justice Renato Corona?
Firstly, what would have been gained? A) The removal of one single vote (Corona) in the Supreme Court that is, let us assume, biased in favor of his benefactor GMA; and, let us assume again, the realization of the prosecution of GMA – a reckoning that most of us opine (and this is just an opinion and happens to be mine, too) is over-due; and if we might add, that of FG, too, we hope; B) a judiciary that will be more “circumspect” and dutiful (fearful?) in rendering decisions that should be at par with the fairness and impartiality people expect and deserve from judges; C) a Supreme Court that will be more “in tune” with PNoy’s “crusade against corruption” — assuming that’s what it is. This is, however, a double bladed knife that could be used against any of the judges that will not toe the line of Malacanang whether they be acting in accordance with the Constitution or not (eg. The Pasay judge, Jesus Mupas, has not been questioned by Malacanang about his “speed reading prowess,” and record breaking time in issuing a warrant of arrest against GMA presumably because he acted in accordance with the Palace’s wishes as in fact, he did. But a misdeed by this judge is reprehensible regardless of who was victimized and who gained by such a misdeed. In contrast, the seventh article of impeachment against Corona accuses him of “betrayal of public trust and bias for Arroyo, as purportedly shown in the hasty issuance of the TRO”).
What would have been lost? A) The independence of the judiciary, one of 3 co-equal branches of government that was meant to function without interference from the executive or legislative branches of government, or from both conspiring to undermine its independence. (This loss of independence would now influence, “coincidentally,” decisions that are to be made by “cowering in fear” Justices of the SC, on the question of the “just compensation” PNoy’s family is to receive for the Hacienda Luisita land that the Supreme Court has ordered re-distributed to the farmer-tenants. The price is now being contested by his family against differing opinions that peg it from a range of P300M [$7M] based on the 1989 valuation, to P12B [$285M], based on today’s “market value,” to zilch if the families of the farmers that have worked the land for 3 generations have it their way. This issue involves no less than the President’s immediate family and an amount that is no “loose change” [US$ 285M!!] for the government/taxpayers, and for PNoy’s family, too, to be sure); B) the democratic framework from which our constitutional democracy is supposed to function with well defined roles and specific mandates given to each of the 3 co-equal branches of government; C) a government that respects and upholds the rights of its’ people including “the most hated by Malacanang” individual, down to the last citizen; D) and, the spotlight is lost that should be focused on Congressmen that sign documents upon orders from the Palace without first reading them — “but why make a fuss over a lapdog that’s our dog anyway,” the Palace could be saying.
So, that’s a short list of what ostensibly could be gained and could be lost from Corona’s ouster. Kwarta o Kahon?
How can the President speak credibly of instituting reforms in one branch of government, the judiciary, while he makes a mockery of another branch of government, the legislative (the Lower House, so far), pretending that its obsequiousness, its’ obeisance to Malacanang, and the contemptible manner of execution of the impeachment of Chief Justice Corona is indicative of its agreement with Malacanang to the reform that he speaks of. Or does “reform” to the President mean, subservience to him? To be sure, that servility does not come without a price and PNoy, a Congressman for 9 years, can’t possibly not know it. The question now is: who will institute reforms in the Executive and Legislative branches? Or, has it boiled down to: “majority rules – two branches against one, we win!” It’s all nice, cozy, neat and dandy; the Filipino loses again.
Happy New Year!