Thoughts Unleashed: On the Impeachment Trial
My Thoughts on the Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona
First, I am glad that my gut feel towards the verdict was wrong last night. I want him to be convicted for failing to disclose all of his assets in his SALN especially his foreign currency deposit but yesterday I have a weird feeling that he might be acquitted.
I am not a law student nor a Political Science graduate but I won’t deny the fact that I once dream to be a lawyer. I am one of the many firm believers of due process and I always believed that the nation must be judge by the character of their leaders. The Philippines has the potential to be a great nation but how can it happen if we are always been exposed to different controversies. The trust of the people to their leaders have been replaced by doubt and I guess it has always been. Only few of our leaders earned my respect as most of them are just like those who were corrupt and betrayed our trust.
Today, we faced another historic moment in the Philippines. Our Chief Justice was put into trial and was given enough time to defend himself as both parties the prosecution and the defense team provided facts and presentations that supported their arguments. It was tiresome for the people involved to debate whether he is guilty or not. There were dramas that was highly sensationalized by the media but most importantly, I am glad that it is already over and all opinions were heard and the judgment of each senator judges were explained. Nobody abstained and he was found guilty based on the judgment of 20 and only 3 acquitted him.
Let me post the questions asked by Sen. Sergio Osmeña earlier and I will answer it based on my own judgment.
Did Corona violate our constitution? Yes.
Did the Chief Justice indeed betrayed the public trust? Yes.
Did he do it knowingly? That I don’t know.
I will explain my opinion not just by explaining the articles of impeachment that the Chief Justice violated nor the legality of facts presented but also by taking my opinion based on my values and principles in life. I pity the Chief Justice as he is just one of the many who did not declare all his statement of accounts, liabilities and net worth. I just hoped that he should have avoided transactions with commingled funds — another reason that convicted him. I have no idea if he did it knowingly or if it is indeed part of his plan. Yes, he humbly admitted that he has a foreign currency deposit on the last days of the trial and that was actually a strong ground for him to be convicted as he was able to hide something to the public whether the number of million dollar accounts accused was correct or not. The defense explained about the Bank Secrecy Act and so as the Foreign Currency Deposit Act. Bottomline was that he has a foreign currency deposit that was not declared. The defense provided credible evidences that refuted each accusations of the prosecution team and I actually believed that there were no ill intentions to misrepresent his properties. I’m glad that it was now cleared to the public but again we cannot deny the fact that our trust has been broken yet I already forgiven him. I quote Senator Teofisto Guingona III earlier in his speech: “Our constitution is sacred, there is no higher law.”
CJ Corona is now facing one of the darkest hour of his life. It is not easy to appear on court with media coverage. I admire his courage to face the public and his unconditional love for his family. Apart from being the Chief Justice, he is a father and most importantly a human being. He has pride and most of all dignity to protect not just his but also for his family and most especially his children. What he has done does not tantamount to condemnation of the public. A lot of people judged, condemned, rallied on the streets and hated him plus also the fact that he was one of PGMA’s midnight appointees. I DO NOT CONDEMN OUR CHIEF JUSTICE RENATO C. CORONA for what he has done as I firmly believed that he is not just the one guilty. I was actually amazed by his guts to challenge the 188 senators and congressmen to sign the waiver to review their bank accounts. Indeed, not all of them are declaring and some whether they deny or not have ill-gotten wealth. Let’s not be hypocrite to that fact because not all of them are actually HONEST enough.
Among all the senators who casted their votes, only one man summarized my thoughts regarding the impeachment of our Chief Justice and I quote him:
“The measures we use to accuse others should be the same measures we should use to ourselves.” — Sen. Francis Escudero
May what have happened today shall served as a lesson to everybody not just to our leaders but also for every Filipino. We should be accountable to what we are doing and always be mindful of what we are saying as those words may be used against us someday. We cannot escape our constitution. Let us all heal from this experience but I know more dramas will happen especially that the Chief Justice will soon leave his office and hoping that this will not cause disbarment on his end.
I hope all will be well.
God bless our country, God bless us all.