Privilege speech on the impeachment complaint vs Chief Justice Corona*
14 12 2011 Privilege Speech of Rep. Teddy Casiño
December 14, 2011
I rise on a matter of personal and collective privilege to clarify a news article that came out in today’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.The said article quotes me as saying that congressmen were clueless on the contents of the impeachment complaint and that we were prevented from reading the complaint prior to signing. The conclusion is that the complaint was signed by people who did not know what they were doing or getting into.
Mr. Speaker, the quotes attributed to me are accurate. However, they were made before the Majority caucus last Monday, during which time we still had no idea what the complaint would contain nor were given advanced copies of the same.
It was during the caucus at Andaya Hall that the complaint was presented and made available for viewing. After the caucus, the matter had become crystal clear. I, together with my colleagues in the Makabayan partylist bloc met separately and discussed, debated and finally decided to sign the complaint. I was no. 152 inthe list.
Siyam na taon po tayong nagtiis sa ilalim ng administrasyong Arroyo. Ginamit ng dating presidente ang Kongreso, ang Hudikatura, ang militar at ang COMELEC para gawing ang kanilang mga karumaldumal na gawain. Ang pagsisinungaling, pandaraya, pagnanakaw at pagpaslang ay isinagawa ng walang pakundangan ng mga taong dapat ay nagtataguyod ng katarungan, demokrasya, karapatang pantao at rule of law.
Ngayon ang dating pangulo at mga kasapakat niya ay pinapanagot sa kanilang mga krimen sa bayan. Pero lumalaban sila. At ngayon ginagamit nila ang lahat, pati ang Chief Justice na dating chief of staff, spokesperson at legal adviser ni Mrs. Arroyo bago siya binigyan ng midnight appointment sa kanyang kasalukuyang pusisyon.
For this we impeached the Chief Justice last Monday. We did it in the fastest way possible – by gathering at least 1/3 members of the House to stand as complainants. That is provided for in the Constitution and our Rules. It was swift, yes, but it was also fair, legal, and did not prejudice anyone’s rights. If it were not, I and my colleagues in the progressive party list bloc would not have signed the complaint.
I therefore resent any insinuations made by one of our colleagues that we were bamboozled into signing the complaint. That we signed this because we fear the non-release of our pork barrel. For those of us who did sign under duress, I suggest you withdraw your signatures.
Wala naman hong pilitan dito. If you don’t believe in the complaint, then don’t sign it. Huwag kayong magpapaniwala sa tsismis na ang pipirma mauuna ang release ng pork barrel at ang hindi pipirma walang pork barrel. Matanda na tayo para maniwala sa ganyang klaseng pambobola ng kapwa pulitiko. I should know, I have been here for 8 years. But really, if that’s what it takes to stand for your principles, then don’t whine about it. Huwag po tayong maging OA.
Impeachment is the manner in which we show the people that even the highest executive official, our constitutional commissioners, and yes, even the Gods in Padre Faura are always accountable to the people and cannot rise above them. This is not an attack on the Court by its enemies. This is an attack by the people’s elected representatives on those who would use the Court for evil, selfish ends.
We supported the impeachment complaint because Chief Justice Corona has to be held accountable for using his position not just to protect the former president from prosecution but to justify and legalize the many anti-people acts that she did when she was still president. The list is long – the NBN-ZTE contract, EO 464, Proclamation 1017 immediately comes to mind. And lately his vote on EO 1, the Truth Commission, and the TRO that would have allowed Mrs. Arroyo to leave the country to escape prosecution.
We supported the impeachment complaint because we believe that the Judiciary should be independent and not kowtow to the whims and caprice of the Executive. We do not want the Arroyo court to become an Aquino court. That is the last thing we want to do. We want the Supreme Court to be independent and to be the bastion of justice that it is supposed to be.
Thank you Mr. Speaker, my dear colleagues.#
Below is my opinion on the above speech:
What makes us “mechanical” to our speeches and discussions inside and out of the Congress is using, ALWAYS, the sympathy of the common good and the rule of law. Are we also aware of our implied actions over the expressed one? Definitely, we (you) are NOT.
Now, it may be crystal clear for you to comprehend that Arroyo and the Chief Justice should answer their allegations before the court, but let us not be blinded by our excitement to see them in jail without reviewing your bedrock of principles on why your bloc until now exists. I am talking about the respect of justice through a constitutional process and the rule of law where the basic human rights are STILL safeguarded and not RAILROADED.
In the premise between DOJ and Arroyo, we knew that there had been NO charges filed against them in any court, DURING THE TIME OF THE FORMER’s DEFIANCE OF THE SC TRO. Yet, Arroyos were prejudged and held for that presuming allegations or reasons, and your bloc is silent to defend a right cause in respect of justice of a basic constitutional right under attack.
Now, let’s go in the premise of impeachment against CJ Corona. Again, we are so excited seeing Corona in jail or at least out of the SC. It may be crystal clear in the Constitution the 3 ways of impeaching gov’t officials and thereby the committee applied the last one that is the 1/3 votes. Now, your bloc is known of being adherent to a constitutional, democratic process and justice. It was also a traditional process in the Philippine Congress to engage house deliberations whenever there will be any case subject to decision of the house, and that is democracy under the constitution.
Now, what had happened is an “express” railroading of a constitutional, democratic process! And your bloc has never been heard of even a gesture of halting the “signature campaign” process of impeachment. Your bloc is unifying the prevailing political exercise over a constitutional, democratic one… the reason why, MAYBE, you are delivering the above speech for you, in behalf, to excuse the guilt. Anyway, Filipinos and the world maybe matured enough to understand the principles of revolution that your bloc is champion of….
Sources and Related Readings:
*Privilege speech on the impeachment complaint vs Chief Justice Corona. Privilege Speech of Rep. Teddy Casiño. December 14, 2011. http://teddycasino.wordpress.com.
- ANALYSIS: Philippines under Constitutional Crisis Aquino Refuses. http://rqjavines.wordpress.com
- Impeachment Passed by Congress Is DISCRIMINATORY, LACK OF LEGAL FORTITUDE; Philippine Legal System May Now Be, DEAD?. http://rqjavines.wordpress.com
- The DOJ and Its (Seems to Be) Ignorance of the LAW: Will It Excuse Sec. De Lima from the Dilemma of Justice Apprehension?. http://rqjavines.wordpress.com
- Aquino and DOJ’s Dillydallying over Arroyo’s Medical Travel Request: A BLATANT CONTEMPT for a Constitutional Right!. http://rqjavines.wordpress.com
Filed under: Laws and Jurisprudence, Politics and Government Tagged: | Chief Justice Corona, Congress, Constitution, De Lima, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Impeachment, privilege speech, Rep. Teddy Casiño, Senate