Thursday, May 31, 2012

The trial of the Chief Justice: Epilogue

The trial is over. The verdict is out. Renato Corona is chief justice no more. Curiously, however, I am still hung up on it. So with this post I am letting it all out. I have to let go.

1. From the very beginning, and without considering any evidence, I never believed  Corona was innocent. Yes, it was baseless as it was merely my impression. Ironically, however, I wanted him to be acquitted simply because the impeachment case was not about justice but a political assassination engineered by the Aquino administration. Obviously, I loathe this cocky and unattractive joke of a president so much. It was all too clear from the start that whatever system we had in place was completely railroaded, the very testament to it being the shoddily-crafted and hastily-approved articles of impeachment by the House of Representatives. It was an attack on the Judiciary.


2. Just because Corona was found guilty by the impeachment court does not necessarily mean that the Prosecution won the case. My God, as repeatedly seen on national television, they were a bunch of bumbling idiots! Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago's "mga gago naman" was but apt for them. They never were really able to present any respectable evidence to support the charges against Corona. Forty-five properties, et al.? Deny it as they may but they were simply fishing for evidence throughout the trial. Why the now-former Chief Justice was convicted was an entirely different matter, for which not even an iota of credit ever accrued to the Prosecution.

3. Had a pre-trial been conducted, a lot of these issues that dragged the trial for months would have been cleared and precious time and taxpayers's money would have been saved. Where the Prosecution got their basis for the forty-five properties Corona allegedly owned would have already been scrutinized, probably even dismissed along with Articles I, IV, V, VI and VIII. On the other hand, we got to see how inept these people were, which provided unparalleled entertainment value that easily trumped those of the most-watched reality shows today.

4. That the whole impeachment case was a political assassination was only reaffirmed time and again throughout the trial. Amid press conferences here and there, we saw the emergence of suspicious "evidences" from the "small lady," "Mr. Anonymous" and so forth, and which were maliciously leaked to the media. We bore witness to a PowerPoint presentation based on an unverified AMLC report. Another case was filed against Corona despite the ongoing impeachment, which, as was admitted by the Ombudsman under oath, could be used in filing yet another impeachment case should Corona be acquitted in this one. We hear our balding, bespectacled President issuing statements of a sure conviction left and right. Still you thought this was about justice?

5. Oftentimes during the past months people kept on forgetting what the now-former Chief Justice was actually being accused of. Oddly enough, the Prosecution was mostly at the forefront of this recurring confusion, yet another proof of their laughable incompetence and that they were only building the case as the trial went on. Thankfully in the end, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile made it clear that Corona never stood accused of amassing ill-gotten wealth. It was all about non-declaration of assets in his SALN.

6. During the course of the trial, I often caught myself cheering whenever accusations against Corona were quashed or refuted. Not even the Ombudsman's supposedly damning testimony swayed me into thinking Corona was guilty. Regrettably, it was the now-former Chief Justice's very testimony that convinced me he would be convicted despite my wanting him to be acquitted so badly. He admitted he had assets that he did not declare in his SALN, and interpretation of supposedly conflicting laws aside, the amount involved was just too material to ignore. I knew the senator-judges would hang on to it. Nevertheless, Corona had me rallying behind him when he dared his accusers to sign a waiver that would allow all their accounts, foreign currency or otherwise, to be investigated. Not surprisingly, only a handful were up to the challenge. Something to hide?

7. The fate of Corona was already decided from the very start. Much like American Idol where the contestants's performances never really mattered because people already knew who to vote for, all those presentations of evidences, oral arguments, testimonies, cross-examinations and whatnot never actually mattered because, except for a few, the Senator-Judges already had their verdict. Politics, arguably, was the biggest, if not sole, deciding factor. The now-former Chief Justice was damned from the very start.

Aquino has already boldly declared that the road block that was Corona is now gone. Of course he was preening about it. Now he can appoint a new Chief Justice according to his liking. After Congress, now he can control the Supreme Court. Now he can have full control over all branches of government. Now he can be a dictator -- all while Noynoying. Dammit!

1 comment:

  1. Love your commitment!
    All the best:)

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