Public may have in their minds several grounds or causations why House of Representatives impeached Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. However, while others may have only one, Aquino administration has eight grounds. After all, some may notice that there are only just two:
- The thwarted creation of the Truth Commission engineered by President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, himself; (The Supreme Court concurred to declare Truth Commission unconstitutional)
- The Supreme Court decision for the Hacienda Luisita case, which allegedly unfavorable to the Cojuancos and Aquinos.
Everyone may know that the Articles of Impeachment that discusses the eight grounds are only supplementary in nature or weak arguments to cover the true causation of the Aquino administration’s dissatisfaction with the chief justice.
I beg to disagree that the chief justice is impeached because of the waning public trust. Further, I disagree that the impeachment trial of the chief justice is a victory of the country’s living democracy; rather, it was the victory of the will of oligarchs – the will of the few, motivated by vindictive politics and political greed using the political machinery (in the Congress). Everybody may know it, even the Aquinos, perhaps.
Impeachment of yesterday vs. today
In the older days (during Joseph Ejercito Estrada impeachment, former Republic of the Philippines president) and in other countries (prominently in United States and in England), impeachment is filed when substantial allegations against the impeachable officials of the government found to be existing with the majority concurrence (1/3 votes) of the Congress after deliberation. Why?
Public office is a public trust; theoretically understood not only by the common public but by the public officials, themselves, as well. Pragmatically, it is under the high degree of discretion of authority, and the public left knowingly or unknowingly, yet at the high time of political clash, the same innocent public, in general, is used.
Initiating impeachment must be crucial. Thus, the Constitution provides the sole authority to the Congress and the Senate to initiate and try impeachment cases, respectively, impliedly to carry it out to its highest degree of substantiality.
Today (Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona impeachment), impeachment is allegedly mandated by a dissatisfying president of the Philippine Republic, himself, using his political machinery in the Congress to initiate as such.
In other words, impeachment today can be initiated by the will of the ruling oligarchs to remove officials shown to be unfavorable to the allegiance of the sitting president. That is how impeachment today so political in nature and in substance. Why?
High office officials are appointed by the president. Thus, appointees’ office is subject to the president’s trust. Such practice mandated by the Constitution, itself. The moment a public official has shown allegiance to the public and not to the president, he or she will be under the hostile ire of the latter. See what happened to the Chief Justice Renato Corona. The president, at least, is vocal for his dislike of the chief justice for several reasons as what he claimed. Consequently, the impeachment case against the chief justice can not be construed or even be accepted as an initiative by the Congress to perform checks and balances; rather, an initiative of a desperate administration, perhaps.
Now, impeachment rolls in the Senate; the public can not help but to observe and criticize. Senators-judges are said to be impartial, that’s it, but who will attest their impartiality? Only their selves and no one else, except their political conscience.
Senator Franklin Drilon is apparently partisan in favor to prosecution, yet consistently denying this allegation. Action speaks louder than words, Senator Drilon and other “discreet” partisans must have known it!
However, at the end of the day, the chief justice would be convicted not by substantial evidence but by substantial votes of conscience!
Filed under: Politics and Government Tagged: | Chief Justice Corona, Congress, grounds of impeachment, Impeachment, Joseph Estrada, Philippine Truth Commission, Philippines, President Aquino, Senate, Supreme Court, US impeachment