Fails the So What? Test: Raissa Robles on Mrs Cristina Corona as ‘GMA appointee’ @raissawriter

By “investigative journalist” Raissa Robles’s own admission, some people end up as collateral damage when “dirt” about them gets dug up when scandal erupts. That’s what “investigative journalists” do after all. Dig up dirt. So the collateral supposedly damaged by Robles’s recent article is Mrs Cristina Corona, wife of Chief Justice Renato Corona who is currently undergoing impeachment proceedings.

“Whenever a political squabble erupts, all the alleged dirt comes out in the open,” says Robles. Indeed they do. But does Mrs Corona’s “dirt” that Robles “exposes” in painful “investigative” detail pass the So What? test?

Refer to the article with the painful title “Cash gifts & car plans – COA report shows what Corona’s wife did as a GMA appointee“.

All Robles essentially does is answer the question “Are they true?” (“they” referring to said “dirt” “reported” in the above article). And to answer this question, she digs up some old Commission on Audit (COA) reports to imply that they are true.

So what are these “shocking” revelations of impropriety on Mrs Corona’s part that our perky investigative reporter dug up?

Here they are:

(1) Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) made it a point to appoint Mrs Corona to the Board of Directors of John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC) in 2001.

This “point” is brought up, Robles explains, because she notes that at the time in that year, it was “roughly a week after Estrada loyalists had stormed Malacanang Palace and nearly unseated Arroyo”. So in Robles’s mind, the “fact” that Arroyo would take “the time out to make such an appointment” in the middle of a garden-variety Filipino political circus is a basis to “conclude” that this was “important enough to be on [Arroyo’s] to-do list” to do so.


She goes on to note that Mr Corona was “rewarded” (for what exactly, Robles does not mention) with a “plum” seat in the Supreme Court (SC). As such…

(2) There was, supposedly, a “possible conflict of interest” [my italics] in an SC justice being married to a Board member of the JHMC both of whom were appointed by GMA to those positions.

Unfortunately, I’m left scratching my head as to what specifically that “possible” conflict of interest might be as Robles did not go into the detail of that matter in her “report”. Perhaps I am slow. But, as I observed, so are Robles’s readers. So I’m in good company.

See, (and, again, by Robles’s own admission), that “question over the possible conflict of interest involved in a top judge, appointed by the President, having a wife occupy a position also by virtue of presidential appointment” was not raised at the time. It’s a point made uncanny by Robles’s timing in making it. I’m reminded of how “illegal logging” is, well, illegal whether or not it contributes to making a storm-induced deluge deadlier than it should have been. But then we can be assured that the excuse that nobody makes a big deal about illegal logging in times of clement weather holds water (pardon the pun). As long as someone does make a big deal about it after thousands die in the NEXT one of those uniquely-Filipino disasters, everyone can feel that they have “done their part”.

Tough luck for the multi-thousand Filipinos who’ve been dying needlessly over the last several decades because of template disasters such as the one wrought by Sendong today.

By the same token, back in 2001 nobody made a big deal about this nebulous “conflict of interest” that Robles shocks us with in her “report” — until “things dramatically changed” in 2005 when Filipinos “learned” that “very possibly Mrs Arroyo had cheated in the 2004 elections in order to win by a million votes”.

Politicians cheat.


Robles then goes into C3P0 mode, relating her account of the eeevvvvilllls that GMA did to cling to power, and how Corona either agreed or dissented to SC rulings presumably depending on how favourable or unfavourable these were to GMA’s personal health. Perhaps there was a correlation. But see, Ms Robles, if you had taken up logic while taking your English course back in school, you will probably have appreciated the reality that correlation does not necessarily imply a causal relationship between the elements observed to be correlated.

Consuelo de bobo na lang. As Han Solo said to the yammering droid in the excellent film The Empire Strikes Back, “I’m glad you’re here to tell us these things.”

Well to be fair, Robles makes one of her now famous “points” after all that, noting how…

(3) Mr Corona sat in the SC as a justice courtesy of GMA’s “reward” and Mrs Corona enjoyed a plum Board position in the JHMC over the rest of the period of GMA’s cling-on presidency.

Noted. I stand corrected. Perhaps that is a conflict of interest having a GMA-appointed justice married to a GMA-appointed Board member of a state corporation that becomes relevant at a time when the legitimacy of the appointer‘s claim to the throne is being questioned.

That reminds me. Fast forward to today then rewind a bit to mid-2010 when noob President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III ate his words (after a long temper tantrum against “midnight appointments”) and officially recognised Renato Corona as Chief Justice of the SC.

“Obvious” according to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Eduardo De Mesa.

But then the relevance of that decision became evident today now that the family jewels — the vast Hacienda Luisita of Presidential Uncle Peping Cojuangco — is imperiled. And so Corona has to go. Uncle Peping reportedly says so. Which is why Corona is now being impeached — and why Mrs Corona is now being hung out to dry. Collateral damage.

Robles then puts her C3P0 hat back on and quotes huge blocks of text from the COA report on Mrs Corona’s shocking use of JHMC resources. Whatever. It brings us to a twist to Robles’s article in the end. She does, yet again, admit that all that really has “little to do with Mrs Corona’s husband’s impeachment trial”.

Holy waste of space Batman!

But then, Robles, yet again notes in considering that the Php170,000 value associated with one of Mrs Corona’s alleged improprieties as a JHMC senior officer is tiny, but that;

(4) “[P]ublic officials have been jailed for far less than P170,000.”

File a case then Ms Robles.

Oh yeah, I forgot. Those instances of Mrs Corona’s alleged impropriety weren’t relevant at the time. But now they are, right? You just highlighted everything about the Philippines that is wrong. You just don’t know that you did in this article of yours. Thanks for doing my job.

So the question now is this:

So what if Mrs Corona was a GMA appointee?

The saving grace of Robles’s monumental treatise on why she thinks Mrs Corona sucks lies in Item 4. As I said Ms Robles, file a case against Mrs Corona and I might give your article a C+. I’ll give you an A- if you can go after all the rest of them who did similar wrongs whether said wrongs are politically relevant now or not.


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107 Comments on "Fails the So What? Test: Raissa Robles on Mrs Cristina Corona as ‘GMA appointee’ @raissawriter"

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Will Raisa Robles be a able to convince and pass an impartial investigative panel that will probe, dig and expose the veracity of her report?

making extra effort about PNOY having recognized CJ Corona and yet he would want him impeached. HE is the CJ whether PNOY likes him or not. That he is perceived to be to partisan for Arroyo and would block his “matuwid na daan” to run after the crooks, then he should be removed from the way. There is no disconjunctive there. That he is being removed presupposes that he is entitled to the office of which PNOY has recognized– now that he could not be trusted upon to carry the policies of the new regime – (stumbling block,category), the impeachment… Read more »
Vincenzo B. Arellano

Kaya pla ang laki ng utang na loob ng Corona na ito kay Gloria. Kta m lhat ng kaso nya abswelto sya kpalit non ang pgging appointee. Dpat rin pla mkulong itong mag-asawang Corona

charles e. montez

@jcc & vincennzo

no matter how you defend your ngoyngoy, lots have already realize who he is. mga tagapagsalita niya iba-iba sinasabi para pagtakpan siya kung saan siya noong gabi ng nagbaha sa CDO & Iligan, huling-huli sila, kasama na ang 3 witches. hindi pa kayo nahiya?

Hyden Toro
It’s part of the self-delusion of Noynoy Aquino: to blame; seek faults; and evil doings on others. To cover : his own faults; incompetence and evil doings. We have not heard of the Hacienda Luisita massacre…using government troops, to kill farmers-tenants demonstrating. To ask increase in pay, for the starvation pays they were receiving, as farmers laborers of the Aquino-Cojuangco families. We have not heard about the Dacer-Corbito murder…We have not heard of his treasonous acts. The money, he gave to the MILF, and the portion of the Philippine territory, that he gave them as refuge… Corona issue , is… Read more »

Is being a midnight appointee so bad? Is it that evil?

But even taking out the “midnight appointees” won’t make the country better.

I consider Harry Roque an unhinged opinion maker. I have this exchange of notes from his blog. My remarks are enclosed in parenthesis []: “On December 10, 2010 at 5:54 pm Trosp said: [I’m not sure if I’ll just leave your post as it is or would I inquire for some clarifications -] H: “I did so because I have known since the appointment of its current Chief Justice, that the court is one of the many institutions that have been weakened by former president Gloria Arroyo to ensure her impunity.” [So, as mandated by the constitution for the president… Read more »
Another one from H. “The Unhinged” Roque blog. A profile of a Penoy hack: “On December 24, 2010 at 8:08 am Tell me the truth said: Seek the truth, Senator Trillanes, the fight is not over. Alibaba and the 40 thieves are still in congress enjoying their loot. I was wondering what this TROSP was talking about. What politically and morally convenience is he/she is talking about and whose agenda? At least, Senator Trillanes and Senator Lacson didn’t steal from the government and besides, they have the courage to expose the evil of the Arroyo regime “They always depend on… Read more »
It is very frustrating to see some journalist go to this low level, maliciously spreading gossip, feeding the masses with this (mis)information. They have huge responsibility to tell the truth because this (mis)information shapes our country. One of the best investigative journalist I’ve seen is Mr. Cecilio Arillo. His book Greed and Betrayal contains shocking information that most Filipinos do not know because of cover ups by the mainstream media. It’s about what happened after the EDSA revolution. The book does not merely narrates the hapennings but it contain interviews with high people in the government at that time (vice… Read more »

It’s a shame not all of my comments on Robles’ article are approved.They are just opinions but the moderators find it too much perhaps but they allow all comments from those who praise the pointless article. Darn.


Raisa Robles deleted my comments! What a close minded drone. 😀


[…] link to which is given prominent space on the ABS-CBN News homepage every now and then) detailing “shocking” revelations of impropriety on the part of Mrs Cristina Corona related to Board and executive management positions she held at […]


[…] journalist” Maritess Vitug scraping its bottom with their “reports” about the sketchy improprieties of Corona’s wife Mrs Cristina Corona and the “outrage” of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) awarding Mr Corona academic […]


[…] reporters like Raissa Robles and Maritess Vitug who published “shocking” exposés on Corona’s wife’s so-called “conflicts of interest” and the “outrage” surrounding the University of Santo Tomas (UST) awarding Mr Corona […]


hindi credible lahat ng evidenxa ni Raisa Robles kasi lahat ng reference nia type written,,, walang scanned document o what so ever na nagpapakita na original or xerox copy un… all content of her blog is type written lng at mananatiling hearsay at not credible… unlike sa book ni cecilio artillo pro scanned photo/document.. “greed and betrayal”


[…] Self-described “investigative journalist” has quite a dossier of journalistic infamy in our archives. Robles was instrumental to the success of the whole trial-by-media fiasco that was the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona. Her “contribution” to this “noble” endeavour was a full-court-press on Corona and his wife Cristina Corona that stood upon three questionable premises: […]


[…] The self-described “investigative journalist” has quite a dossier of journalistic infamy in our archives. Robles was instrumental to the success of the whole trial-by-media fiasco that was the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona. Her “contribution” to this “noble” endeavour was a full-court-press on Corona and his wife Cristina Corona that stood upon three questionable premises: […]