Corona guilty of Articles 9 and 10-A A +A
By Jun Ledesma
Thursday, March 1, 2012
ALL the President’s political comrades crafted eight impeachment articles at the speed of light and signed the charges at a lightning speed and they came to the Senate with all the hoopla, the glare of the TV klieg lights and a truckload of evidence. Even before the Senate tribunal could convene, the prosecution and Malacanang Palace were cocksure that Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona will be convicted. But in each of these assertions is the tagline: “to save his (Corona) face and benefits, the only recourse he can take is to resign”.
Unfortunately, for the foes of the President and his men, the Batangueno in Corona shows his fighting form. I remembered him crying in tears: “wala akong ginawang kasalanan sa batas at sa bayan”.
When the impeachment court rang the bell to signal round 1 the prosecution hedged and demanded that the contest start with round 2. That early, the inquisitors displayed lack of preparation and evidence. More than what they claim as evidence was hollow, meaning empty, or was never there in the first place. Some pieces of evidence were stolen by what they describe as a “small lady” and by a phantom courier. In the course of the trial it appears that either the Anti-Money Laundering agency or the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas pried into the records of Corona. The act being criminal, the fruit of that act is inadmissible in court. The lawyers would say, “fruit of a poison tree”. The bank officials asserted the pieces of evidence presented are fake and tampered so where will this case end? Will the evidence convict Corona? I do not know whether it will stand on solid and legal grounds in an impeachment court. But one thing which could possibly happen is that if there are people who will face their own prosecution will be the prosecutors themselves.
The magma of issues which the prosecution had raised against Corona are indexed in the 8 articles of impeachable offences. Obviously lacking proofs to show the culpability of the chief justice the Chief Prosecutor Niel Tupaz and company pared down the eight articles to just three and unilaterally withdrew the other five. This is unfair to the public as well as to the person accused. The public was made to believe that Corona was guilty in all eight counts and defamed him in the process. Having wrecked him in total abandon and cruelty, they decided not to pursue prosecution of the other five charges.
The prosecution claimed that the three articles are enough to prove culpable violation of public trust and the constitution. The issue here is that if at all Corona had committed something, does it fall under the category of “high crime”? Will the fake or faked bank documents be enough to nail him down? Will the discrepancies in his Statement of Assets, liabilities and Network be the high crime that can hang him? The prosecution is only banking on one possible crime. As of this writing we only heard the prosecution side. Some of the so-called damaging documents were not even presented yet as evidence. Be that as it may, the prosecution rested its case.
I heard it from the prosecution in one of their interviews that even if they lose this one, they may re-file it anyway. And having learned their lessons they will come better prepared next time.
This is a symptom of defeat. The next time around, the people will be very angry for being dragged into this political plot which seems like a pre-election propaganda. It is clear in the mind now that the only fault of Renato C. Corona is contained in the unwritten and unarticulated Articles 9 and 10: having been appointed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by ex-Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and being part of the unanimous en banc decision of the High Court to distribute to the tenant-farmers the 6,000-hectare Hacienda Luisita.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 02, 2012.