BEHIND THE LINES: Renato crown affair PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 14:19

BY BOB JALDON

They who wish for the crown of beleaguered Chief Justice Renato Corona, including the senator-judges, must martial the facts in support of their contention to unseat the highest official of the judiciary. We all have the opportunity of sharing in the process of this inquiry, this trial in coffee shops, barber shops and beauty parlors – the first in the annals of Philippine politics. It was ERAP who first denounced the “hoodlums in robes.” But he stopped there, knowing fully well the separation of powers of the three pillars of government. Now, it is a fight that involves the executive and legislative combined against the judiciary, specifically Corona. This is unprecedented – Congress working as an “employee” of the executive department instead of for the people who elected them into office.

The verdict, no matter how flatly denied by the impeachment court even before it convenes for the trial of Corona is crystal clear – GUILTY. And, of what and for what? There are 10 reasons why Corona is now in the hot seat. First, he is an appointee of former president, now representative, GMA. Never mind the nine other reasons. By law, it is the senators, not the senate, that will try Corona for alleged sins that are not his to pay. The senators will properly sit as inquisitors for the nation that is suffering from mother nature’s wrath, poverty, population explosion and sins of the flesh. And the topic of its discussion are alleged offenses revolving around misconduct and betrayal of public trust. Whose trust did Corona violate? The accusers are the congressmen, minus a few, and the judges the senators – all falling under one House. Will P-Noy get the 16 votes needed to impeach Corona? YES. It was U.S. President Woodrow Wilson who said that “nothing short of the grossest offenses against the plain law of the land will suffice to give them speed and effectiveness. Indignation so great as to overgrow party interest may secure a conviction, for nothing else can.”

The responsibility before the lower chamber, being the prosecutors, and the upper house, being the judges, is great. For months, congress will forgo its principal oath of passing laws. Malacanang will lobby to get a conviction and, therefore, deviate from the course of which P-Noy pledged in the last campaign – housing for the poor, health care, poverty alleviation, energy enhancement, environmental protection, transportation and tax reduction.

Did CJ Corona try to subvert the Constitution when he and other justices of the Supreme Court declared the Truth Commission as unconstitutional? He took his oath not to subvert but to take care that the laws are faithfully protected and executed. If he violated his oath, then he must hang. But let reason, not public clamor or sentiment or P-Noy’s popularity, guide the senators in rendering final judgment on Corona, for that is the process of criminal justice.