Secretary De Lima struggled to justify why she thinks CJ Corona favors GMA

How does one prove allegations that Chief Justice Renato Corona betrayed the public trust through his partiality to former President Gloria M Arroyo (GMA)? As what most rational people had for so long expected, it is indeed proving to be difficult. Even Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila De Lima failed to prove it in her testimony as the prosecution’s first witness for Article VII during the impeachment trial of the Chief Justice.

In Secretary De Lima’s efforts to prove that Chief Justice Corona granted favors to GMA, she inadvertently proved her own partiality towards the incumbent President, Noynoy Aquino (PNoy). It is no secret that it is PNoy’s great desire to get rid of Chief Justice Corona at all cost, and as a dutiful staff member it seems like Secretary De Lima had to do everything to please PNoy even to the point of defying the Supreme Court (SC).

When asked by lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas if the executive branch has any authority to review decisions or orders made by the Supreme Court, De Lima repliedThere is no such power.” But the records show that as the head of the DOJ, she took it upon herself to defy the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the SC against the watch list order (WLO) on GMA, presumably upon the orders of PNoy. Therefore, she went beyond her capacity and authority in violating the decisions of majority of the justices.

Secretary De Lima’s testimony was very questionable. It had more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese. Her statements were mostly based on hearsays and her personal opinions. Her testimony at some point was even funny because she relied heavily on the dissenting opinion of associate judge Maria Lourdes Sereno — meaning, she naturally gravitated to the opinion of someone who pretty much agreed with her views. And because she was not involved in the voting process, she could only speculate on why the majority voted to grant the TRO to its petitioners.

To those who were watching the trial, it was obvious that De Lima also found it hard to answer the question on whether she thought there was a conspiracy to allow GMA to leave the country. Her long pauses and long-winded responses said a lot about her attempts at justifying her defiance of the orders of the Supreme Court. It took a while but De Lima had to reluctantly admit that she thought that the seven other justices conspired with the Chief Justice in coming out with a decision to issue a TRO on the travel ban on GMA. “If the question is demanding a categorical answer on my part, there was conspiracy because they issued the questionable TRO (temporary restraining order).” She was indeed stuck between a rock and a hard place because if she denied that she thought the judges conspired to help GMA, then it would be inconsistent with what the articles of impeachment are implying.

De Lima had a tendency to hypothesize in her testimonies a lot. Having not been a Chief Justice herself, she appeared clueless as to the real functions of Chief Justice Corona. While she acknowledged that Chief Justice Corona’s vote is only one vote when it comes to decisions, she added that “there are other functions and duties and powers of the Chief Justice as primus inter pares (the first among equals)”. But then she wasn’t and couldn’t be specific about what those other functions and duties and powers were. Therefore, she was merely imagining what he could have done to make the other judges grant the TRO.

It was very uncomfortable to watch a woman of De Lima’s calibre reduced to defending her indefensible actions. The simple question asked by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on whether or not the Chief Justice acted alone in trying to enforce the TRO — to which De Lima replied, “The direct answer to that is no” — already reveals her untenable position. The fact that other justices are free to vote “yea” or “nay” is a testament to the freedom accorded them by the Supreme Court as an institution. And for De Lima to insinuate that the other justice’s decision can be easily swayed is an insult to the justices themselves as individuals and to the institution itself.

De Lima also alleges that Chief Justice Renato Corona wanted to let GMA “leave the country in November despite her facing charges of electoral sabotage.” Her statement was inconsistent with how things truly transpired. We recall that GMA and former first Gentleman Jose Miquel Arroyo’s first attempt to leave was on the 15th of November 2011 and at that time, there were no charges filed against her. It was on this basis that the Supreme Court issued the TRO citing that their decision was “”¦consistent with the constitutional provision on the presumption of innocence” because the Arroyos are not yet accused.

It was former Aquino ally and economist, Solita Collas-Monsod who was among the first to find this series of events rushed and “disturbing”:

On Oct. 21, 2011, according to De Lima, the fact-finding team was to have submitted their report, forwarding it to the joint preliminary investigation committee. I was unable to secure a copy of the fact-finding team’s report, but from the news reports, it seemed to me that everything was hearsay, until Oct. 11, when former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr.’s chief aide, Norie Unas, revealed that he had overheard Arroyo ordering Ampatuan to deliver a 12-0 vote for the administration candidates in 2007. That was the only eyewitness account (and Ampatuan has just called Unas a liar and denied that the conversation took place).

On Nov. 14, or five days ago, the joint preliminary investigation committee completed its investigation.

On Nov. 16, per the Comelec chair, he received a copy of the report of the Comelec lawyers involved in the investigation, and its recommendations. Note: Only two days elapsed between the time of completion of the investigation and the recommendations.

On Nov. 17, the Comelec en banc voted to file charges against Arroyo, with two commissioners refusing to sign because they had not read the report. Does that sound rushed or not?

It is crystal clear that Secretary De Lima is getting her timeline mixed up. The charges against GMA were filed on the 17th of November 2011 after the issuance of a TRO on her travel ban. But in her inconsistent testimony, De Lima was making it look like the issuance of the TRO was quite suspect. Unfortunately for De Lima, the records show otherwise.

In relying too much on her gut feeling, Secretary De Lima shows even she can be partial to her own bias. At least the members of Supreme Court can vote based on their own so-called “biases” but have to accept the majority’s decision whether it is favourable to them or not. Meanwhile, De Lima acted as directed by her superior but will ultimately be answerable to the Supreme Court for defying their rulings on her own.

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Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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76 Comments on "Secretary De Lima struggled to justify why she thinks CJ Corona favors GMA"

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hasik64
Guest

Why is it that all the lawyers under Aquino, from his cabinet to his prosecutors in the impeachment trial against CJ Corona, seem to be incapable of rational/logical thinking?

Sphynx
Guest

I think it is because they have to align or lower themselves at a parallel with the head so as to justify its actions. hehe! If they had more free will in the matter, I would believe they would have acted and expressed themselves differently.

karim
Guest

i believe not all lawyers and cabinet members of Pnoy are all dumb and stupid. in fact many of them are smart and wise. all they have to do is just to follow orders of Pnoy and by doing it they are allowed or licensed to make errors and they were not subjected to accountability even the collateral damages were so big. in pleasing Pnoy they will be rewarded by unlimited pardon of wrong doings.

Sphynx
Guest

Yes. I am not saying they are dumb, but rather they have to lower themselves or align themselves to the level of the head.

karim
Guest

yah your observation is true, even the are really smart and wise, hey have to submit themselves to the stupidity of the president.

the problem is all of them are “yes men” and as saying goes; “if the two of them are “yes men” one of them is redundant.”

thank you for rebutting me , 🙂 godbless

victordupa
Guest

Perhaps,Pnoy’s lawyers and cabinet members are smart before but unwise. Whoever, when they joins/aligned with Pnoy government they became dumb and stupid.

Aegis-Judex
Guest

So, basically they’re just following orders? I’m sure that was a relief to the defendants of Nuremberg.

ncyB
Guest

i presume that PNOy’s prosecutors down to his cabinet members are all witty yet stupid enough to turn their victim to evil one like CJ Corona. although the evidences are there yet they don’t know how to prove it, so pathetic people!

alconce
Guest

With Aquino’s alleged unstable state of mind, what is there to expect?

johnny
Guest
Secretary de Lima, like BIR’s Henares, is arrogant. She came into the spotlight when gloria Arroyo appointed her as Human rights commissioner. But Arroyo in 2005 affirmed the decision of DAR to distribute the Hacienda Luisita lands to the workers. And so she was already in the telescopic sight of the landlords, hacenderos and big agribusiness corporations way back then, aside from the Aquino-Danding Cojuangco clan. Angry, Cory Aquino the ignorant housewife who accidentally became president, demanded that she resign. Ironically, Cory had exempted their lands from agrarian reform. It was during her time when farmers were massacred at Mendiola… Read more »
Elizabeth Raquel
Guest

Because they are all mentally incapable due to drugs.

GinTonic
Guest

If she is accusing CJ Corona of impartiality, and admitting that CJ have not had any decisions done alone, then that’s the biggest hole in her testimony.

And if i remember correctly, she defied the TRO because she allegedly received a text messages that Arroyo will go to certain places. This proves the that DeLima is incapable of her position believing in mere hearsays and opinions.

jay
Guest

delima – opinion, heresay, largely irrelevant.

the prosecution is likely to drop some of the articles – they are desperate that the trial finishes by march 23, before senate break.

they will be left with next to nothing – at best , errors in SALN.

corona will be acquitted so panic is setting in at malacanan and am sure more games to come

FantasticNoy
Guest

and more money to waste to divert the attention of the people to the real issue of gov’t administration….

more pun in Philippines

Domingo Arong
Guest
The Department of Justice, Republic of the Philippines (DOJ): http://www.doj.gov.ph/?page=3 Secretary (June 2010 -): Atty. Leila Magistrado De Lima (appointed by and alter ego of the President) DOJ VISION AND PLEDGE Vision: A just … society anchored on the principles of … fairness and truth. Mandate: To uphold the rule of law. Pledge: … to faithfully safeguard constitutional rights and to ensure that no one is deprived of due process of law. We shall work with honor and integrity for the institution, for God and country. –GMA and Corona: We beg to differ! NOTE: The DOJ “Pledge” should have included… Read more »
Lord Chimera
Guest

Not a very impressive is she? But then again I was not expecting her to be one and her testimonies just revealed her flaws outright.

Members of the Yellow Cabal like this makes one wonder if the King in Yellow really wants CJ to be acquitted considering that they are not trying very to win this impeachment, even they can’t BE this stupid…..or are they?

BenK
Editor

My impression is that they actually are. If you met some of them, and see the quality of their work in things that are not related to this, you would be struck by how amateurish it is. There are a few bright spots – Secretary Romulo, for example, comes across as an experienced professional – but for the most part the people in this Administration, besides having a bad attitude and selfish priorities, are operating way over their design ceilings.

Lord Chimera
Guest

Pnoy’s incompetence must be infectious. One after the other the members of the Yellow cabal are degrading in quality. As expected the prosecution’s new move was disappointing to sat the least.

Fred
Guest
Pinag gugulan nila talaga ng tyempo at pinay kaka isahan itong impeachment trial.. wala na ba talaga magawa ang ating pangulo na halatang halata na PAGHIHIGANTI lng ang intetion… hindi nag iisip sa pakanan ng marami.. ni hindi nga naka pasa ng bill sa senado… mabuti nlng hindi ako nag kamali na hindi xa binoto. daan na tuwid ba sabi ni PNOY? cge anu ang maitutuwid mu pag katapos ng impeachment trial? maitutuwid mu ba ang buhay ng marami nating kababayan na nag hihirap at nag hihirap? matalino ka nga pero hindi mu namn gna gamit xa tamng paraan.. emosyon… Read more »
roi
Guest
First: De Lima even proudly trumpeted yesterday in the Senate that she defied the TRO for 2 reasons. 1) Copy of it was not yet served to them; and 2) They believed there was no compliance to the attached conditions yet. It must be remembered however that one day after the TRO was issued, a copy of it was officially delivered to the DOJ office and all the conditions were fulfilled by the Arroyos. But still, she categorically stated in a press conference then that the Arroyo couple would still be barred from leaving pending their appeal to the Supreme… Read more »
Mark
Guest

I am really confused now. If Chief Justice Coronas voting with the majority proves bias for towards the Arroyos, then obviously that also proves that Carpio and Sereno are biased towards Aquino, as is pretty clear from their recent opinions.

So when does bias become an impeachable offense and when is it not?

Does this mean that any Senator who will vote to acquit Chief Justice Corona can then be impeached for being biased?

Why not just hang anyone who does not agree with PNoy. I am sure that would make people agree with whatever he would want.

cool ass
Guest

what kind of followers can we expect from a monkey leader?…

cool ass
Guest

what Pnoy fails to see is the that we are living in a democratic society where everyone is entitled to his opinion…kaya nga may botohan, majority wins…
kaso para kay baliw na pangulo natin, ang hindi sumang ayon sa gusto nya ay BIAS sa kalaban nya…

Der Fuhrer
Guest

The continuing jungle adventures of Leila de Lima…

http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120223hed2.html

jay
Guest
at this stage the money is on aquittal ( remember only 8 are needed) final vote 14 – 9 – guilty – ( but not on all articles) – article 2 the closest vote. then it will be even more fun in the philippines and when hacienda luisita decision becomes final and executory the political tide will turn against aquino as these desperados start to realign and think about their future paydays. aquino is walking a political tightrope and noone will try to catch him when he falls. even the US are not so bothered about him especially with his… Read more »
mamang sorbetero
Guest
de lima is in a dilemma, how can she testify on something which she has no personal knowledge of the basic facts, she was not even there when the SC deliberated and voted for the TRO, her only basis was her readings of the dissenting opinion by justices serreno and carpio, in which case she admitted that she didn’t have any personal knowledge of what she claims as irregularities in the SC or for CJ showing partiality, even her basis of using the dissenting opinion is bias, she did not even bother to value the concurring opinion of other justices,… Read more »
ricelander
Guest
I suppose Secretary De Lima was for a time torn between her sense of gratitude and the prospects of higher office. Remember that she owes GMA and if we are to trust some rumors, she was in fact one of GMAs favorites and was even allegedly a recipient of Gloria’s special favors. So she tarried long and bid her time perhaps silently hoping GMA will simply take the backdoor or another office instead, the Ombudsman or Comelec, will take first action and file a case, basta sana yung first initiative hindi sa kanya galing. Or, was she hoping that PNoy… Read more »
ricelander
Guest

Someone must take the fall and it was not going to be her.

mommyjo
Guest

good analysis @ricelander!

Der Fuhrer
Guest
Leila de Lima is a pathetic example of what is happening to the government today. Her personal loyalty to Mr. Aquino has blinded her. She and many others like her, have forgotten their oath of office. There is nothing in the Constitution that says absolute loyalty or support should be extended to the chief executive. He is nothing but a political personality. When Mr. Aquino shows dictatorial tendencies he becomes a tyrant. When he protects his cronies and insulates them from accountability he becomes a hypocrite to his straight(and wide)path of his so-called reform program. When he shows ruthless and… Read more »
Lord Chimera
Guest

Selling one’s principles has great of it’s own. When one looks at the various groups aligning themselves to the King in Yellow’s cause it can be quite.

Sooner or later it will blow up in their faces, when that happens I will be taking great satisfaction in it.

sacrosanct
Guest

the prosecution claimed victory over the pronouncement of Enrile that the evidence required is not proof beyond reasonable doubt. do they really think their evidence would pass the quantum required.?

Sphynx
Guest

It is their way of indirectly saying that “Thank God the minimum passing grade is lower.”

Der Fuhrer
Guest

I have a different pioneering view. I say proof beyond reasonable doubt should apply. Why? The life, liberty and properties of CJ Corona is at stake here. His reputation and character could be utterly ruined. His entire family is subjected to state machinery vilification through black propaganda and trial by publicity. Should he be convicted, he will be open to the filing of criminal cases. In the final analysis, he stands to lose everything.

Phil Manila
Guest
Many of you might disagree with me, but today I thought Secretary De Lima was able to ‘connect the dots’ on SC CJ Corona’s influence, as administrative head and ‘primus inter pares’ of the Supreme Court, beyond the one-of-many, or collegial decision-making on the TRO. Thanks in many ways to the written dissenting views of Justices Sereno and Carpio, but to a large extent to the cool, calculating, and measured shepherding of public prosecutor Representaitve Daza. Did you notice how presiding Senator-judge Juan Ponce Enrile and lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas was kind of deferential, courteous to Rep Daza? And… Read more »
Hyden Toro
Guest

Another ignoramus of the law is testifying…De Lima contradicted herself in her testimony…
I do not believe anything of what she said…
A woman who is a high government official, and has an on going affair with her Driver, must be believed?

Der Fuhrer
Guest

While we were all distracted by Mr. Aquino’s injustice secretary he is trying hard to damage control the latest corruption/bribery scandal…

Two-faced Noy

Bribery by any other name is…

jay
Guest

laylo research
opinion poll published today

86% will accept senates decision
only 25% paying close attention to trial
50% think only 1 ex 8 articles credible ( bias to arroyo in cases)
32% think corona targetted because of hacienda luisita
only 17% definitely want corona impeached

admin media blitz failed
senate do not have to worry about public opinion
trillanes has to think for himself
p-noy hacienda link well established in peoples minds

all going pear shaped for p-noy

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