CJ Corona Impeached: “Tuwid na Daan” Takes a “Biglang Liko”
December 13, 2011 13 Comments
With 188 votes, more than the 1/3 constitutional requirement, the House of Representatives transmitted the Articles of Impeachment against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. These articles are now in the hands of the senators, who shall now become senator-judges, to either convict or acquit the Chief Justice.
I respect the move of the House of Representatives in exercising this constitutional power. All public officers should be held accountable for their actions. Public office is public trust. However, the constitution also guarantees “due process”, which means giving the respondent time to respond to the allegations against him.
In the impeachment system, the House of Representatives is like a prosecutor. As one, its primary function is to determine probable cause. Should it be found, then it shall transmit its articles to the Senate and become prosecutors, or lawyers, on behalf of the complainants.
The salient feature of the complaint is Corona’s voting pattern in favor of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former President and now Pampanga Congresswoman. I do not even think that this constitutes betrayal of public trust. It may just be an incidental trend. Assuming without conceding that Corona had this pattern, are we not also supposed to file impeachment cases against the three Aquino appointees, who also have a consistent voting pattern for the incumbent President?
Clearly, this complaint was filed under the wrong and dangerous presumption of the powers-that-be that the Supreme Court and its Justices must always vote on their favor. The Supreme Court is independent, and however their vote swings in one question must be within the bounds of law, reason, and jurisprudence, to which Corona, as a Justice, has done. The Supreme Court is beholden to none except to the people and to their own conscience.
I would like to touch base on the allegations that the impeachment complaint was signed in exchange of the PDAF release. If this is true, then this President has no difference to the rest who came before him. If true, then the tuwid na daan has taken a biglang liko; how can we trust a President who promised to bring us to new heights and admonish the deeds of the past if he does the same in the spirit of personal interest?
The only tool the people have now is vigilance. Let us be vigilant.
- Tactless? (rojan88.wordpress.com)
- Philippine Supreme Court chief justice impeached (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Aanhin pa ang Tuwid na Daan, Kung Lubak Lubak Naman (akosijcmasajo.wordpress.com)
- Philippine High Court Justice Impeached (time.com)
- Philippines top judge impeached (bbc.co.uk)