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.

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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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domo
Guest

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):

domo
Guest

Oops correction: (Corona as Dredd while pnoy as Rico)

Joe America
Guest
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 »
Parallax
Guest

if i were in a boxing match i’d want my opponent to NEVER protect himself too, joe. but then, what will my win prove?

Joe America
Guest

Facts SHOULD prove he deserves to stay in office.

That he is fighting so desperately to hide information sends the wrong message, that he believes in the exercise of law, rather than the good the law is designed to protect.

In other words, he is acting like an attorney rather than a judge.

Der Fuhrer
Guest

@Joe America

Why don’t we await the defense panel’s turn before making statements against CJ Corona.

Mush Room
Guest

That he is fighting so desperately to hide information sends the wrong message, that he believes in the exercise of law, rather than the good the law is designed to protect.

Those two things are not mutually exclusive. False dichotomy Mister Joe.

LosEnemigos
Guest

I think Mister Joe’s arguments are direct. You may have been too strict on the punctuations that is why you treated it as one sentence.

Mister Joe’s approach here is one of literary style and textbook Mechanic’s of Arguments on Debate sadly does not apply all the time.

Try correcting the Gettysburg Address and see how pale that will become.

Combuzz
Guest

we’re not sure yet why he has those accounts, the defense hasn’t defended their position yet. You’ve already judged him as someone who is hiding stuff because he has dollar accounts. Maybe he uses them for currency arbitrage or they can be outright empty.He also did not hire attorneys just to make sure his dollar accounts are hidden, the law provides that it is illegal to open those accounts.The attorneys are there to defend his innocence.

Joe America
Guest
Combuzz, I am simply giving a personal impression. We can’t know what is in the accounts unless the defense is willing to allow it, because secrecy of the accounts is a law. The judge doesn’t want us to know, when the purpose of the SALN is perfectly clear. Public officials ought not to be able to hide illgotten wealth in a nation that does this routinely. In the US it is called fraud. How do you right the ship? Transparency. Just as the U.S. is breaking down Swiss secrecy laws in the hunt for tax evaders. I am looking forward… Read more »
Parallax
Guest
@joe: those “facts” should have been part of legally obtained evidence. if you personally have an issue with legally obtaining evidence, go ask a lawyer why evidence MUST be legally obtained. now, if those “facts” are NOT part of evidence, and the prosecution is FISHING for possible things to whack the accused with, that’s already allowing the accusing party (who is, take note, accusing without proof) to hound the accused as long as the accuser’s benefactor has enough resources to keep intruding into everything. it will have no end except in the accused losing in the end, whether the accused… Read more »
Joe America
Guest

parallelaxe, I agree, even the bank accounts of President Aquino should be available to law enforcement agencies upon showing “reasonable cause” to a judge, and receiving a warrant for access. I also agree the courtroom should not be used as a fish bowl.

Fallen Angel, I took my pills before commenting. Just like Senator Santiago ought to do.

MoViEbUfF
Guest

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

Parallax
Guest

@moviebuff: the thing about analogies is that there’s a common context that allows the parallelism to be expressed.

now, if we’re just going to take snippets of whatever from anywhere without using context, then any schmoe could answer you back quoting from a fairly frequently heard line from penn & teller’s popular series named “bullshit”. guess what that word is.

get what i mean?

MoViEbUfF
Guest

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”

Der Fuhrer
Guest

In reality… CJ Corona never said “I am the law.”
I sure miss the critter Vincenzo. Looks like the good trolling lure attracted trash fish again.

MoViEbUfF
Guest

Let’s wait for their time to present then. Here’s hoping that a permanent, errr…. temporary (what the heck there is no difference anyway) restraining order is not in the works.

I really hate to say (from the movie “I, Robot” uttered by WIll Smith)…”I told you so, does not quite make it”.

…..your temper Sir

MoViEbUfF
Guest

And Sir, that is what one gets when one tries to tailor a movie’s storyline and context to fit one’s point of view 😉

MoViEbUfF
Guest

LOOSE ENDS

Parallax
Guest

loose ends are the hallmark of pamimilosopo, and you’re the one who got them. no surprise there.

Amir al Bahr
Guest

Der Fuhrer,

A quote from Archie comics comes into mind:

“*sigh*. We used to get a higher class of trash in this neighborhood.”

FreakingTroll
Guest

……Kids.

Domingo Arong
Guest
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 »
GabbyD
Guest

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

Lord Chimera
Guest

What order you say? Why almost everything, from demonizing said person in media to the 188 fools who signed and have not read said impeachment articles.

Parallax
Guest

i gotta hand it to you, gabbyd. if there’s anything at all that’s completely reliable about you, it’s quality control.

FallenAngel
Guest

internal quality audit. The problem is that the yield is always less than satisfactory.

Parallax
Guest

guaranteed to fail virtually all the time, everytime.

it’s so damn reliable it’s practically six sigma in fail. no more than 3.4 comments of substance (the six sigma defect) per million opportunities.

FallenAngel
Guest

ROFL 🙂

The six sigma reference is downright hilarious, all the more so because I have an IE background

Parallax
Guest

would have been in ie myself had i not run into certain forks along the way. 🙂

1Luna
Guest

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.

ahehe
Guest

Pnoy did. It’s called pork barrel. Just ask the baguio rep who regretted signing the complaint in exchange for millions of pesos.

LosEnemigos
Guest

The Pro-Pnoy supporter will also say likewise to Corona’s bank and dollar accounts.

You missed the point.

Parallax
Guest

@losenemigos: 1luna is trying to reconcile this

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

with

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

but pnoy being the driving force of the impeachment wasn’t something to be “judged”. it’s fact. corona’s guilt or innocence is what’s to be determined in the trial.

hihirit ka lang mali pa.

1Luna
Guest

Then it defeats the writer’s intention of educating us of the workings of Law because we ourselves are guilty of the pre-judging.

Parallax
Guest

hi 1luna. see my reply to losenemigos. thanks.

karim
Guest

@ 1luna

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

1Luna
Guest

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.

Peste
Guest

I don’t know if people here are refined enough, but I present this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keZlextkcDI

Chryz
Guest

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”??

FallenAngel
Guest

sa madaling salita, hindi. May mga Pilipinong hindi kinakayanang tanggapin ang katotohanan, sapagkat balat-sibuyas sila. Ngunit ito ay paksa para sa ibang talakayan. 🙂

Kalokohan ang GRP
Guest

oo nga, may mga Pilipinong hindi matanggap na corrupt ang midnight appointee ng pekeng pangulo. gumagawa pa sila ng site na sumusuporta sa kanya.

Anonymous
Guest

Nice try troll but your post is full of fail.
Get a life you ignoramus.

domo
Guest

Source or your nose is getting longer troll.

Daido Katsumi
Guest

Iyan ang mga paniniwala ng mga taong grasa sa Pilipinas and worse, people like you love to make TSISMIS as national pastime.

We can never progress as a country if you refuse to THINK. Sabi pa nga ni Richard Gordon “Filipinos don’t think. They REACT.”

Please give us FACTS and not conspiracy theories and other crap that you’re spouting.

Parallax
Guest

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

Kalokohan ang GRP
Guest

wow, seryoso, yun ang sagot mo sa akin? i feel so enlightened about the Philippines already! tell me more, gusto ko talagang malaman kung paano mag-isip ang mga tao dito.

Daido Katsumi
Guest
Well, kalokohan ka rin because of your “anti-Pnoy at pro-CoronArroyo” approach. Sorry to say, but you should GET REAL because you’re completely missing the point. In short, you never get what the article says. Like Parallax said, Pnoy being the driving force for Corona’s trial is a FACT. May hidden agenda din sa Pnoy if you ask me. For the record, you’re not really enlightened about the Philippines either. We do; that is because we saw the flaws and what it wrong with our country with things like our dysfunctional culture and other factors which made the Philippines as “Asia’s… Read more »
Parallax
Guest

@kalokohan: why, of course. i know it’s hard for you to miss a dose. it makes people like yourself go emo before using their brain.

Hyden Toro
Guest

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…

EmoDetector
Guest

EMO detected.

LosEnemigos
Guest

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?)

Parallax
Guest

oh come on. you have yet to score ONE. chest-beating prosecution style is so last month.

MoViEbUfF
Guest

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 :-).

Parallax
Guest

you seem to enjoy conveniently taking snippets and never applying context (even after having been told).

very well.

here’s the quote you seem to have missed, the one that’s an excellent response to your butthurtness, moviebuff:

“bullshit!!!”
-quoted from the penn & teller series “bullshit”

benign0
Admin

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? 😀

Kalokohan ang GRP
Guest

Ay, sorry, mali ba ako ng hula kung sino ang nagpa-fund sa inyo? Sino ba? Please enlighten me.

Parallax
Guest

go have a fishing expedition yourself and find out.

Daido Katsumi
Guest

@Kalokohan: why you don’t just admit the fact that what are you doing is nothing but spouting nonsense by putting up rhetorics and conspiracy theories and crap.

Ayaw mong aminin na you’re just a SLANDERER. Most of the trolls here are funded by the Yellow Media.

domo
Guest

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.

Kalokohan ang GRP
Guest

Wala ba talaga kayong ibang strategy kundi mag-name calling? Napakaenlightened naman! I really felt your concern for the country.

Patunayan niyo na lang na hindi kayo propaganda machine. Yung may logic na paliwanag ha, wag yung puro ignorant flip+inosente-si-corona-because-I-said-so na hirit.

Anonymous
Guest

IKAW, wala ka na bang ibang alam kundi maggulo at mang gago sa site na ito? Mukhang wala ka nang alam kundi manggulo lang dito gunggong!

domo
Guest

But GRP IS not a propaganda machine but rather to enlighten ignorant flips like you. Ang hirap lang kasi sa iyo, masyadong malaki ang duda mo sa amin. And it’s very obvious na ang hilig mong magbintang. If you think we are paid hacks, who told you that? Your crystal ball?

Daido Katsumi
Guest

Hehe, if you want to talk about a propaganda machine, that is the Yellow Media (ABS-CBN, Inquirer, etc.)

You’re not enlightened at all. You’re just deluded, accusing of anyone just to make yourself feel good. No wonder why our country sucks.

Aegis-Judex
Guest

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

Anonymous
Guest

Sadly,it seems that the yellow trolls and idiots are too dumb and stupid to comprehend intelligent counter arguments to their idiotic posts here.

NUT
Guest

You are the Mother Theresa of our times with your self-proclaimed righteousness.

But no grey matter inside really.

Parallax
Guest

i beg to differ, mister nut. aegis has demonstrated far more thinking capacity than you have.

cigar?

Aegis-Judex
Guest

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta didn’t have to trumpet her righteousness. It just showed, you see.

BUT I DIGRESS.

What makes you think that I am lacking in the thinking capability department?

NUT
Guest

Any…new…words….you….learned….today….boy?

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

Your….voca….bu…lary….is….ohhh….sooooo……limited.

Parallax
Guest

substandard imitation – the signature product of da pinoy

next!!!

Anonymous
Guest

Go plough yourself NUT or better yet go jump off a cliff you yellow idiot.

Anonymous
Guest

This NUT must be some kind of deluded and pathetic FAT jobless loser that spends time trolling on this site.

Daido Katsumi
Guest

That is coming from a nutjob who wants to wreck havoc on this site since he’s an anti-intellectual.

Anonymous
Guest

Troll post detected
Fail lvl: very high

NUT, you are full of bullshit

Anonymous
Guest

Shut up NUT

The truth is… nobody really gives a flying f**k about what you think.

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