The Filipino people are on trial, not just the Chief Justice

The Filipino people are at a crossroads in their political lives. The impeachment trial of Chief Justice (CJ) Corona will resume on March 12, which gives us time to think how we have gotten to this point. GRP personified benign0 gives us an idea here.

Let us recall what has happened in the last two weeks. Evidence presented by the prosecution got thrown out. Secretary de Lima struggled with her testimony. The prosecution dropped five out of their eight original articles of impeachment. Senator Miriam Santiago delivered her most ear-wrenching lecture yet (gago!). Vitallano Aguirre made the mistake of covering his ears just to keep from hearing one of Santiago’s lectures, which in turn earned him a citation in contempt of court. He resigned from the prosecution panel shortly thereafter.

In summary, the prosecution’s case is going rather well.

We the Filipino people, in a way are involved in a trial of our own. We stand accused of not thinking for ourselves these last 26 years. We stand accused of being responsible for our own lack of progress. We stand accused of not taking our destinies into our own hands as a people. We stand accused of squandering opportunities that have come to improve our way of life.

In short, we stand accused of paving the road towards our own demise.

CJ Corona’s case has clearly divided us. There are those who have pre-judged the CJ even if the trial has not yet finished, and there are those who have come to appreciate the law, the idea of due process, and the idea of three coequal branches of government, for what they really stand for. We have seen our Senators rise to the occasion, and for some, fall flat on their faces. Whatever the verdict will be, Filipino society will never be the same.

In one of my previous articles, I enjoyed the exercise of drawing parallels between a fictional work, and our current state of Philippine politics. I thought I would do it again here.

Our reference this time is the very noteworthy film, A Few Good Men. It stars Tom Cruise and Demi Moore as Judge Advocate General (JAG) lawyer Kaffee and Naval Investigator Galloway, respectively. Jack Nicholson stars, in perhaps one of his most memorable roles, as Colonel Jessup. Plot summary here.

The story follows the trial of two United States Marine Corps (USMC) soldiers, Downey and Dawson, who are being investigated for murder following the death of a fellow Marine, Willy Santiago. They were stationed at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, where the commanding officer is Colonel Jessup. If you think about it, the two defendants can represent two types of Filipino citizens. I will elaborate on this later.

The courtroom scene towards the end is the source for one of the best lines in film ever. After Kaffee caught Jessup in one of his own lies, he decided that the time was ripe to force the colonel to admit ordering a Code Red, a euphemism for an extrajudicial punishment. Although he was close to being cited in contempt of court, he felt he could get the colonel to admit it.

Jessup: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!!!
Jessup: You can’t handle the truth!!!

Substitute President Aquino (PNoy) for Jessup, and a Concerned citizen (cross-examiner) for Kaffee, and take any scenario of his being caught in an awkward situation where he had been inconsistent, or inadvertently shown his own bias (take your pick):

PNoy: You want answers?
Cross-examiner: I want the truth!!!
Pnoy: You can’t handle the truth!!!

After that, Jessup delivers a short speech where he regards Kaffee as disrespectful of Marines doing their duty. It’s not too far from the notion of PNoy disrespecting his critics, isn’t it? Kaffee continues anyway.

Kaffee: Did you order the Code Red?!?!?!?
Jessup: You’re goddamn right I did!!!

Now, let’s define “Code Red” in our own context. We can make Code Red stand for COrona DEcision (on Hacienda Luisita) REDone, or COrona DEposed, REputation Destroyed. I leave it up to the readers to think of their own terms. The significance of this phrase to us is that even just by dragging him through an impeachment trial, PNoy has effectively killed not just the career of CJ Corona, but of anyone who has an opinion that he does not like. Do the same role substitutions, and we get the following exchange:

Cross-examiner: Did you order the Code Red?!?!?!?
PNoy: You’re goddamn right I did!!!

As for the defendants, they were found not guilty of murder, but they were not able to avoid dishonorable discharge, due to being guilty of conduct unbecoming of a Marine. The difference lies in the way each of them accepted the verdict:

Downey: Colonel Jessup said he ordered the Code Red!!! What did we do wrong?!?!?!? We did nothing wrong!!!
Dawson: Yeah, we did. We were supposed to fight for people who couldn’t fight for themselves. We were supposed to fight for Willy.

I mentioned earlier that the two Marines on trial can symbolize two types of Filipino citizens. Downey represents a Filipino who just blindly follows his leaders’ words and nothing else. Dawson symbolizes a Filipino who, in the end, had learned to discern between right and wrong, between what his duty is and what he should not do, albeit too late.

It’s interesting to note, by the way, that the USMC motto is Semper fidelis, which means “always loyal” in Latin. I wonder how much longer PNoy’s supporters will be able to feel that for him.

While we are talking movie references, let’s mention the sci-fi classic, Tron.. I am referring to the very first film, released in 1982, not the sequel from 2010. Let’s proceed to the scene where the security program, Tron, is doing battle with the main villain’s assistant, Sark.

Sark: You’re very persistent, Tron!
Tron: I’m also better than you!

Now substitute Corona for Tron, and PNoy for Sark. Hey, even the roles that they play fit! We get the following dialogue:

PNoy: You’re very persistent, Corona!
Corona: I’m also better than you!

Those familiar with the movie will probably find more parallels between it and our current political situation, but I won’t go through them in detail here. I leave it as an exercise to the readers (hint: Master Control Program (MCP) = oligarchs).

Lastly, I just want to mention that it’s a given in these forums, that we get the occasional commenters who just do not get it. There are some who have the gall to keep insisting that we are too concerned about the procedures of the impeachment trial, instead of focusing on the truth. An example of such a statement, below:

“And all of you are making a controversy out of the PROCEDURE while missing the goal and the crux of the matter which is the TRUTH. How pathetic. I’m out of here.“

If your data is flawed, then your conclusion is flawed, that simple. This is non-negotiable for anything that has to go through a systematic procedure, such as a court trial. If you don’t follow a systematic procedure, you’re doing no better than a witch hunt. People like the above-mentioned will never be able to appreciate, nor understand that.

Once again, that epic exchange from A Few Good Men plays in my head:

“I want the truth!!!”
“You can’t handle the truth!!!”

PNoy, his prosecution team, his supporters, and anyone who does not want to think, do not look very capable of handling the truth. The case against CJ Corona has just gotten even flimsier. The house of cards is about to come crashing down.


About FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. - But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

Post Author: FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. - But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

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174 Comments on "The Filipino people are on trial, not just the Chief Justice"

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Nice one on comparing the impeachment with those movies you’ve mentioned. Although you should also include this from Judge Dredd since this is about the law (Dredd as Corona while Rico as pnoy):

Joe America
Wonderful article. That is a classic line “you can’t handle the truth”. As I recollect, it was spouted in rage by the Nicholson character, who ended up in jail and disgrace. So his fear of getting information out – the truth – is what did him in. I dunno. I see the incompetence of the prosecution and the SALN that does not add up and the rants and taunts and say “yep, this is the Philippines, where real life is better than most movies”. For myself I don’t like having a Chief Justice who testifies to an SALN that adds… Read more »

This is a nice twist in the realm of opinion posting! If I may borrow and alter a line from the movie Philadelphia to answer Sir Parallax’s analogy

“With all due respect your honor, *this is not a boxing match*”

* Moviebuff


Sir Domo:

It’s good you mentioned Judge Dredd and compared him to Corona. Remember these lines uttered by Corona, errr….Judge Dredd

“I did not betray the law. I AM THE LAW”

Domingo Arong
Fallen Angel The “Watergate Scandal” (1972) and the Cover Up that ensued with the involvement of no less than the Executive would be closer, because it was Nixon, no less, who masterminded and funded the underhanded techniques the accusers employed, particularly the resort to “dirty tricks”–the “manufactured, irrelevant, cruel and incorrect rumors or outright falsehoods designed to damage or destroy an opponent.” As regards the “truth” in Corona’s SALN declarations and Dollar accounts (Joe America), let’s be patient and just wait for the crucial testimonies of the Central Bank “plumbers” in the on-going Senate Hearings, which might lead to the… Read more »

what is code red in this analogy? what did pnoy order which the soldiers followed?


Is it possible the author of this article haven’t reviewed his piece thoroughly?

On one hand you already judged that Pnoy gave the marching orders for the impeachment

(read).Cross-examiner: Did you order the Code Red?!?!?!?
PNoy: You’re goddamn right I did!!!

While on the other hand you are demanding that Corona should not be judged before the defense present their counterargument.


@ 1luna

it’s just a metaphor, a figure of speech which a term or phrase is applied to something


I think the author is the best one to defend that.

From how I read it, he is more on the technical rather than the literature author.


I don’t know if people here are refined enough, but I present this:


hey..? napanuod ko ung a few good men.
Jack Nicholson as always blow me away (Kahit sa The Departed, at the Shining).

err. balik sa topic.
are we Filipinos cant really handle the “Truth”??


they have valium at mercury. would be nice if you could down a few.

Hyden Toro

We are looking for A Few Good Men, who will stop this madness that this mentally ill President has gotten us into…Philippine Embassies are closing due to lack of funds…and this mentally ill President is bent on spending our funds on this useless impeachment. Just to hold on his Hacienda Luisita and his hidden agendas of his Cojuangco family…
Some good Filipinos must stop this madness…


Well, I was expecting somehow a more thought of answer. It turned out they were going back to the predictable one-track mind rebuttals. Typical ad infinitum, ad nauseum argument (it that qualifies as one).

Engage yourself in some simple mental calisthenics sometimes. It doesn’t feel it but brain atrophy might be settling in.

(That’s an advise, but then you know better, right?)


You want the Truth?

(1) Hyden

You’re going the EMO way…way to go for STOICS like your minions

(2) Wha!!!! No Mush Room comments for Hyden?

(3) From the Movie Philadelphia

– “You’re talking about Law, you’re talking about procedures…Now let’s see what this procedure is all about?!”

– “Are you guys ONE-TRACK MINDED?! Are you guys ONE-TRACK MINDED?! It’s a simple yes-or-no question.”

(4) The Last of the Mohicans

“How I love to take scalps……It was 1Luna’s kill”

Proceed with the ass kissing of your kind guys :-).


Let the man speak. Since he seems to know a thing or two about GRP and claims that our agenda is “halatang halata”, let’s allow him to enlighten us as to what exactly this “agenda” is.

Tell us, Mr “Kalokohan ang GRP”: What do you think the “agenda” of GRP is? 😀


You really don’t get the point of the articles of GRP because you’re an ignorant flip who doesn’t give a damn on the sorry state of this country. At katulad talaga kayo ng bobo mong presidente: mahilig magbintang kahit inosente at walang matibay na ebidensya para lang sa ikakasaya ng sarili nyo.


I’m surprised we still have to give the lesser men “The Reason You Suck” Speech over and over again. Do they ever learn?



Am borrowing from Parallax’s. (I like your wits sometimes)