Chief Justice Renato Corona’s trial-by-publicity heats up as Malacañang PR machine switches to overdrive

It is not very surprising behaviour coming from the parties that seek to oust Chief Justice Renato Corona from the Supreme Court. Even before the 16th of January impeachment trial to be conducted by the Philippine Senate, efforts to sway public opinion by demonising Corona are already underway. The most obvious among these is disclosure to the media by Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas Jr of a luxury penthouse owned by Corona — a move that was denounced by several Senators who will be serving in the impeachment trial.

The Inquirer.net for its part also exhibited a rather revealing enthusiasm in the way it published a “report” of another property owned by Corona in Taguig. Said “report” was based on information provided by an anonymous source who “lack[ed] clearance to speak on the matter.”

The whole trial-by-media circus against Corona had started even earlier; back, for example, when “investigative journalist” Raissa Robles posted an article on her blog (a 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 the John Hay Management Corporation — revelations that fail the “So What?” test when taken in the context of the impeachment case against her husband.

More recently, Rappler.com “online journalist” Marites Vitug also attempted to make a big deal about Corona’s being granted a doctorate degree by the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in a “report” she published on the self-described “social news network” site. A similarly revealing overzealousness in what turned out, on closer scrutiny, to be sloppy investigative reporting on Vitug’s part all but brought to light the question of who the financial backers of this new “social news network” could be — a piece of crucial information that, as far as I know, Rappler.com has so far been silent about.

Thus is evident the trouble with a trial overseen by the Senate — a political body composed of officials elected by popular vote, many of whom routinely act with careful consideration of their re-election prospects. In effect, it is actually possible to campaign for a desired outcome in such a trial — because the officiators of said trial are beholden to a public, composed of a majority who are blind consumers of mass media. A public sentiment bent towards a certain notion may as well be a firm twist on the arm of one Senator or another.

If, for example, the publicity machine of Malacañang succeeds at turning Corona into evil personified before the Filipino public, Senators who perhaps would have wanted to do the right thing would be placed in a difficult position. They will be faced with the prospect of ruling in favour of a perceived demon if the evidence against Corona proves to be flaccid. Indeed, Corona’s lead counsel Serafin Cuevas sees this as an indication that the prosecution could be scrounging around for evidence at the eleventh-hour, further highlighting the hasty rail-roaded nature of the way the impeachment complaint was filed in early December last year. “I thought they were very well prepared. Why are they still looking for evidence now?” Cuevas was quoted as saying in reference to the way the House prosecution panel is presenting evidence to the media “piecemeal”. Rule XVIII of the “Rules of Procedure on Impeachment Trials” stipulates that…

The Presiding Officer and the Members of the Senate shall refrain from making any comments and disclosures in public pertaining to the merits of a pending impeachment trial.

The same shall likewise apply to the prosecutors, to the person impeached, and to their respective counsel and witnesses.

Then again, this is the Philippines, a society where even the simplest guidelines cannot be followed and where the media jump upon even the most lurid stories even at the expense of the well-being and safety of human life all in the name of the scoop.

It’s called “the Philippines”.

[Image courtesy Alrroya.com.]

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61 Comments on “Chief Justice Renato Corona’s trial-by-publicity heats up as Malacañang PR machine switches to overdrive”

  1. Which brings me to a realiziation that these media organizations have no business pontificating us common Filipinos about morality, decency and integrity which they have long lost.

      1. “No, they inform the truTh about Coronas greediness in everythng. Mrme naniniwala sknila”

        Not everyone believes your stupid nonsense stupid idiot. Pagnaipasa na ang FOI, lagot ang tito noy mo at malalabas na ang malagim na katotohanan tungkol sa hacienda luisita niya.

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        1. Even if its watered down, it still proves that Aquino has something dirty to hide.
          Why would it be watered down if you don’t have something to HIDE from the public?

        2. True; perhaps that is the silver lining in this scenario.

          The problem now is if the zombies realize this.

        3. I never really understood the explanation given in the news article on why the president should be excluded from the FOI probes? Did anyone? Tough luck having the big media giants to cover this issue.

          The lawmakers should also specifically cite what they consider as matters affecting diplomacy and peace and security (which include dealings with communist rebels and the like) in the bill/law to prevent workarounds from shrewd politicians. Or it might be a better idea if these are removed from the list of exceptions as most matters in politics deal with diplomacy and peace and security anyway.

        4. @Goreymac:
          I didn’t either.

          All I felt was excluding the highest elected official of the country (actually, any official) pretty much defeated the purpose of the bill.

      2. @Nutzi Vincenzo
        You must be mesmerized by the subliminal black propaganda of BadNoy. He is making dark lies appear as truth.

        Tell your master this. God is not on his side. Your master will be destroyed by Him.

  2. Question:
    When for example CJ Corona is finally exonerated by the Senate (which I hope he will be), do you think he has legal ammunition to file a case against media organizations who very clearly committed libel by publishing unverified information that are not only malicious but also damaging?

    1. Maybe he should. He’s got good lawyers and people who think to back him up. Perhaps there could also be a more focused effort on “citizen journalists” to prove that they are, in fact, real “citizen journalists” by exposing the underground trade many traditional journalists engage in, which is to put their writing skills and influence (or their silence as the case may be) up for sale to the highest bidder.

      1. “It thnk not. Kung meron man, dpat si Horn yan. Fiction ksi mga sinasbi nya.”

        No, Fiction lang ang sinasabi mo
        gunggong

      2. Are you for real? You can’t even type complete words, doing it like you do your text messages. You sound like the village idiot as usual, spouting out stupid oneliners. Go take your meds, you fool!

  3. Another question:
    Is an impeachment really more of a political trial rather than judicial as what some of the senators said? Does this mean that not much weight will be given to evidence? If so, why waste taxpayers money convening an impeachment court when as early as now judgment can already be rendered based on the senator-judges’ political agenda?

    1. INdeed, this is the point I make in the following excerpt:

      the trouble with a trial overseen by the Senate — a political body composed of officials elected by popular vote, many of whom routinely act with careful consideration of their re-election prospects. In effect, it is actually possible to campaign for a desired outcome in such a trial — because the officiators of said trial are beholden to a public, composed of a majority who are blind consumers of mass media. A public sentiment bent towards a certain notion may as well be a firm twist on the arm of one Senator or another.

      It is not just a waste of taxpayers’ money but a perversion of the Senate itself. But then this will be a good test of the true character of these so-called “representatives” of the people. Hey did I just say they are representatives of the people? Indeed they are! That means we are truly doomed. 😀

      1. @Nutzi Vincenzo

        You are a poor victim of BadNoy’s mind control. Please go to noynoy aquino website. There are a lot of opposition hitting him there. Defend him there and just leave us in peace.

  4. Actually, what most of the Articles of Impeachment against Corona show is that what is on trial here is the RIGHT to express an opinion and, in the case of the judiciary, the constitutional DUTY to render a decision “in writing” to convey the Court’s opinion on a case at bar, specifically the reasons that lurked behind why Corona concurred or dissented (or even recused himself) in the cited decisions handed down by a collegial body of equal vote.

    So, that which is on trial in Corona’s case is practically what media and the press is all about and jealously guard against any form of governmental restriction–the Freedom of Expression.

  5. thanks again benigno. you are so brillant. i like the way you are writing all this stories it keeps me entertain. death to pnoy and all yellow submarine

  6. The continuing trial by publicity is nothing more than a hate campaign. It is designed to destroy the image of CJ Corona. The dictator Mr. Aquino is just repeating what was done to GMA. His propaganda style is already known to the discerning public. Recent news indicates that some senators will be also targetted by the communications group. Mr. Aquino should tread carefully in the senate as any illegal moves to force the issue will surely boomerang against him.

      1. Walang masama kung gustong malaman ng taong bayan, walang kasing sama kapag nilalason ng maling impormasyon. Si PNoy, anu bang ginagawa nya para umunlad ang bayan?

      2. at mabuting malaman ang kasinungalingan ng administrasyon…ang sama dito, ang mahihirap na tulad natin Vincenzo ang laging naloloko, vulnerable ang mga walang pinag aralan at mahirap na katulad natin…kasi umaasa tayo na Tito Nyoy ang pag asa natin…napakadali nating lokohin, kasi nga di masyadong mataas yung pinag aralan natin…maiintindihan mo din ako balang araw.

  7. I was nodding my head in general agreement with your article until this:

    “Then again, this is the Philippines, a society where even the simplest guidelines cannot be followed. . .”

    Must you always frame issues with Pinoy-bashing lenses?

    Hmm, really makes me wonder?

    1. I go home on foot everyday during rush hour and I am rushed aside by motorcycle monkeys driving on the sidewalk. So yes, “the Philippines,a society where even the simplest guidelines cannot be followed” is very true. (Unless it happens only in Metro Manila, in which case the Philippines are unfairly represented by Manillans).

      1. I just have to post a comment saying that I very much agree with this. All of us following the simplest guidelines will go a long way.

      1. tsk tsk tsk, your puny little brain just can’t handle the TRUTH can you vincenzo?
        You are the stupid one vincenzo

        GIVE UP TROLL

      2. Is that all you can say vincenzo? that we’re paid hacks even though you can’t even PROVE it AT ALL?
        Someone should put you out of your misery since you are nothing but a blight on mankind and a miserable pile of secrets.

      3. why won’t you write a post of your own to counter this instead of posting one-liners? (Since you are being paid by PNoy.)

        🙂

      4. @Nutzi Vincenzo

        You poor victim of BadNoy mind control. You have no mind of your own. You are a slave to an iconoclast. As I said before my loyalty is to the red, white and blue. Not to the yellow ribbon. I am doing this for freedom!

      5. That’s squatter mentality.

        Anyways, same goes for the Yellow Propaganda that you’re spitting on us all the time. Fact is the Yellow Zombies and the likes of Vicenzo are the present day Damasos. 🙂

      6. we’re not paid hacks, you fool, most of us didn’t even vote for her (Arroyo). We’re thinking, fed up, and educated Filipinos, which I couldn’t say the same about you. Nakakainis ka na vincenzo arrelano ha.

        1. I do believe that we should just leave Vincenzo alone. Maybe he gets his kicks from this. So I dunno, leave the kid alone and maybe he’ll stop his brainless drool from spewing out his mouth =)

          Cheers Vincenzo! May you come out of this with more sense than you ever once had in your life.

          Stop eating chips though, MSG kills braincells.

          A friendly advice from your fellow GRP visitor. =)

  8. rappler presumably is malacanans pr move into social media.
    no wonder they will not disclose their funding.
    more hypocricy and cheap ‘journalism’
    the corona saga portrays why the country has no international respect.
    it cannot exhibit any sense of decorum or decency

    1. Actually newsbreak has had a long association with abs-cbn, merging with rappler is a convenient move taken by newsbreak to cover its bases. Anyhow there’s no doubt that they are well financed, what with Maria Ressa in their roster.

  9. It’s th usual tactic of the YellowTards. Demonize the person. Put some paid YellowTard Journalists, to write some fictional interesting stories about the demonized person. Then, put it on final stage on the Lopez Media, ABS-CBN network, or other networks , willing to take it, with some “CASH-SUNDUAN”.
    However , the issue of the Hacienda Luisita ruling, that is the Main Cause of the Impeachment. Is placed aside…can you see, these people : Aquinos and the Cojuangcos…They are not only unabashed liars…They are very Selfish and Greedy…They use the money (swindled from us) to manipulate people…and the informations…;Like Joeseff Goebbels of Nazi Germany…Are we descending into Nazism?

  10. Contexts of trial by publicity:

    – NEWS SOURCE WHO WISHED CONFIDENTIALITY means somebody who is mopping the floor and happens to be the only person around to answer their phone inquiry.

    – AS WHAT EXPERTS HAVE BEEN CLAIMING means they have rejected other experts opinion and have published/aired only those who conform with their agendas.

    – LIVE INTERVIEW means preselected interview.

    – RANDOM INTERVIEW is same as the above definition of live interview.

    Try watching Ch 2 or reading Inquirer to validate them.

  11. BadNoy’s subliminal black propaganda at work. Making lies appear as truth. Mind manipulation and control.

    “The public is already with us. They said they believe in President Aquino and not Corona. The public wants the(impeachment)trial to continue. The public believes in the cause of the President,” -Lacierda Palace, House won’t clam up, Philippine Star January 6, 2012

    Notice the repetition(3X) of the word public.

  12. Heil der Nutzi Fuhrer BadNoy! The greatest Nutzi propaganda artist in the reich! Watch his black Nutzi propaganda as it triggers hatred in select gullible and ignorant people of the improved society! Watch him appear as the heroic Nutzi iconoclast so clean, pure and without sin while his perceived enemies are already guilty before trial! Watch him command his leftist minions to occupy the pro-democracy Supreme Court!

    Der Nutzi Fuhrer BadNoy repeats his lies again and again and soon this is accepted as the truth! He attacks the real truth and makes this appear as lies! Truly a master Nutzi evil schemer who destroys personalities and institutions! Watch as he continues to divide the people of the improved society! Manipulating and controlling their minds by black propaganda!

    Destruction is his aim! Nutzi domination is his highest ambition! Control over all is best as his superior Nutzi mind continues to scheme and plan. Thus is society, culture and mindset damaged by his evil Nutzi examples! All designed to propagate his absolute power over institutions and the improved society! Der Nutzi Fuhrer loves reichstag member Nutzi Tupas as he continues to spread the propaganda of hate against the pro-democracy CJ Corona!

    Der Nutzi Fuhrer is not content with his black propaganda blitzkrieg! He now schemes against the pro-democracy senators! Trying hard to destroy their credibility. Like a snake, he pretends to show that he is not the one manipulating Nutzi pawns and innocent lives! Der Nutzi Fuhrer BadNoy wants absolute power! Everyone must kneel or bow to him! He will reap the whirlwind when the time comes! He is now known in the international community! Nein! God is not on his side as the dark force is strong within him! Heil Der power mad Nutzi Fuhrer! Truly a dark being bent on destruction!

  13. Just sharing. I just turned on the T.V. and ABS-CBN just showed a biased version of Sen. Santiago’s interview and every-time they mentioned something negative they show a screen clip of the defense council and of the presiding officer.

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