Musings on Corona’s appearance in court: ICU, Mistrials and Waivers

Chief Justice Renato Corona’s much-anticipated appearance in the Senate for his impeachment trial was met with, unsurprisingly, negative reactions and remarks. It was clear that the Filipino people are not interested in the very least to hear what the respondent had to say; they just wanted him to show up so they can ridicule him all the more. Despite what Filipinos everywhere said about demanding the truth from Corona’s mouth, they are not really after the truth; they are only after someone whom they can verbally beat up like a lingual punching bag. We are not a truth-based society; instead, we are a ridicule-based society, especially when people are convinced that, in repeatedly demeaning the respondent’s image, the truth is on their side.

To add insult to injury, Corona’s health just had to be compromised at the end of his testimony, and was subsequently given medical attention, later transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of The Medical City hospital. Many Filipinos, mindful of the infamous ex-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s medical struggle, denounced Corona’s ordeal as a “drama” of some sort. I find this reasoning a bit suspect however, for the straightforward reason that as Chief Justice, Corona should know how his little “act” would turn out; horribly.

First, Arroyo, whom many Filipinos passionately detest, was condemned especially when she appeared to be sick, her condition quickly judged as a “drama.” One would seriously think that if Corona intends to get away from everything through acting, he would be more creative than to act “sick” and instantly earn the ire of the Filipinos who simply can’t move on from the Arroyo incident. And yet he went sick.

Second, as Chief Justice, Corona would know very well the consequences of disrespecting the Senate, intentionally or not, by casually walking out without permission. Remember that Corona’s fate practically rests on the judgment of the senator-judges. As someone who wants to get acquitted, shouldn’t he be more prudent before getting on the wrong side of the judges, directly affecting his verdict?

And yet the chain of events took place all the same, and Corona clearly got the bad side of the Senate President, Juan Ponce Enrile, with the defense panel taking much of the blow. If the respondent intends to get away from all of this scot-free as many Filipinos allege, seriously one should consider that this is one ridiculous ploy, putting Corona in a more dangerous position despite his vast legal knowledge as Chief Justice?

Of course, these points are raised just in case Filipinos are not convinced of the fact that the doctors tending to Corona has already issued their statements regarding his condition.

Meanwhile, as Corona fights a new battle, lead defense lawyer Serafin Cuevas is keen on turning things around.

Chief Justice Renato Corona’s defense team is prepared to seek a mistrial should the verdict of the Senate impeachment court show “grave abuse of discretion.”

(Source: Link)

Determined to uphold the rule of law, Cuevas stated the following:

Asked if the Senate has already shown abuse of discretion, Cuevas said they would still review the case.

“Siyempre babasahin namin uli ‘yung [Of course we will still read the] transcript so … hindi naman lahat ng error ng court ay [not all the court’s errors are] grave abuse of discretion sufficient to raise the issue of mistrial,” he added.

“Grave abuse of discretion” is defined as follows:

The exercise of power in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility. Such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must be patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or hostility.

(Source: Link)

A GR Post article in the past has explained the legitimacy of declaring a mistrial in the Chief Justice’s impeachment trial; namely, the grave misconduct of the prosecutors, but still the trial pressed on to satisfy the Filipinos’ insatiable vindictiveness. And now, we have another prospect of mistrial based on “grave abuse of discretion.” Whether this will be given due attention is yet to be known, but I can hazard a theory that can legitimize this assertion; this concerns the esteemed senator-judge Franklin Drilon.

Asked about Corona’s controversial challenge to him and the congressmen in the prosecution panel, Drilon made the following remarks:

“I will not fall into his trap. I will not go down to his level. He is pathetic! That is all part of his game-plan. It only shows that the Chief Justice has no intention to be cross-examined by the impeachment court, that he, after all, is insincere when he said he is willing to divulge all his bank accounts, including his dollar accounts. We are not the ones on trial. We are not the ones being tried at the impeachment court.”

(Source: Link)

Feisty words by Drilon we have here, considering the fact that he is one of the people who are supposed to give Corona a well-thought, unbiased verdict. And as far as the definition of “grave abuse of discretion is concerned,” his actions are well within the book. The second sentence speaks quite well of him, given his utter… recklessness, wouldn’t you say?

Reasons for mistrial have been given throughout the course of the impeachment trial. Hopefully, people, especially the Senate, are prudent enough to give this a thought.

As to Corona’s controversial challenge, this concerns, of course, his “waiver.”

“Chief Justice Renato Corona on Tuesday sprang a surprise on the Senate impeachment court by waiving the confidentiality of his local and dollar accounts in an emotional testimony, but on certain conditions.

At the end of his three-hour opening statement,” Corona signed in open court a draft waiving the confidentiality of his four dollar accounts, but challenged Senator Franklin Drilon, who has helped the prosecutors ferret out evidence against him from witnesses, and the 188 lawmaker-complainants to do the same.”

(Source: Link)

While some agreed that it’s high time the government become more transparent, Corona’s dare was generally met with criticism from Filipinos, who are quick to argue that since he is the one on trial, he was being disrespectful for dragging the other members of the Senate court into the fray. But, wait a minute.

Filipinos assert that the impeachment of the Chief Justice is supposed to embody the sense of justice that they possess. In the course of the trial, this sense of justice consists mainly of forcing the respondent to disclose his assets, even in the presence of laws stating that certain assets may be opened with the owner’s permission. Other elements of this sense of justice also include misbehaving in the part of the prosecutors, magical fairies sending dubious evidences to people who wish to persecute the respondent, and bad accounting.

But Corona is giving the people what they want, in the spirit of liberality and justice. Corona not only signed his waiver authorizing government bodies to examine his accounts, he is also giving Filipinos the opportunity to check out the accounts of the other politicians by challenging them to sign their waivers too! But Corona was condemned, because he is allegedly doing this to maneuver his way to an acquittal, and because he is the only one on trial.

My daisies, what happened? What happened to the overly vindictive Filipinos who have no qualms with overriding the law just so they can smack a guilty verdict on Corona’s face? What happened to the Filipinos who disregard existing laws in the guise of “liberality”? What made the Filipinos suddenly recognize the rule of law?

Oh, but of course… it’s because Corona is the one making the dare. Seriously, how can you accept the fact that the one you despise is the one giving you what you want most? We certainly cannot have that now, can we? And so the Filipinos suddenly switched on their “rule of law” button to continue demeaning the respondent. Yes, some sense of justice we have.

In many aspects, Corona’s dare was pretty nifty, hitting two birds with one stone. The first bird was the reputation of his persecutors. The second one was the hypocrisy of the Filipinos, attempting to uphold the rule of law only when it suits their egotistic purposes.

And so my musings on the events that transpired in the impeachment trial end. Whatever the verdict may be, this trial successfully showed the world a vivid glimpse into the deeper dysfunctions of the Filipino society.

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About Arche

I'm just throwing ideas around. I also love coffee.

Post Author: Arche

I'm just throwing ideas around. I also love coffee.

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55 Comments on "Musings on Corona’s appearance in court: ICU, Mistrials and Waivers"

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Hector Gamboa
Member

Nice article, Arche! 🙂

Arche
Guest

Thanks very much, Mr. Hector Gamboa! 🙂

Mercury
Guest

Good thing I am not the only who thinks that majority of the Filipinos were dysfunctional jerks.

I recalled last night an online buddy commented on a lampooned photoshopped image of Corona along with GMA “Those who didn’t committed sin cast the first stone.” I have just replied “Everyone is a jerk, they will all cast stones” complementing his remark.

Arche
Guest

Yep. In the process, everyone will be “stoned.”

Good one, Mercury. 😛

Gregory Macaltao
Guest
First of all, I want to say that I am not one of those partisan folks who lives inside a “bubble”. What I mean is that I am not about to say “to hell with Corona” or “Corona is innocent” regardless of the evidence simply because of my particular leanings. At the onset, I believed that: (1) it was disturbing to see the process of impeaching the CJ railroaded in the House of Representatives; (2) the prosecution, particularly the congressmen (as opposed to private counsels), appeared to be highly incompetent; (3) the prosecution appeared to be trying to fish for… Read more »
Miauw Ming
Guest
1. It’s your interpretation as a former lawyer of the FD Act. Obviously the current Chief Justice Corona got a different interpretation. It’s open for debate who is right. From what I see, clearly, there is a need to sharpen the description to FD Act in correlation to SALN. (Violate the FD act you go to prison, violate the SALN you get impeached.) Who says his foreign deposit isn’t taxed? Got any proof on that? 2. You must mean the misleading title from Rappler article where it is titled “IBP president: Corona should quit if…” (the “if…” part is hard… Read more »
Ilda
Admin
@Gregory Macaltao I have expressed this sentiment several times already on this site. I noticed that the writers of GRP (some of them) appear to see things in black and white…that those who do not agree with them are all part of the “stupid Pinoys” or are Aquino trolls or are Noytards. Excuse me, but I do NOT recall seeing your comments before until today. Your statement “I have expressed this sentiment several times already” has no basis. I certainly would have taken note of your comment had it been this long and detailed. And please note that any comments… Read more »
Gregory Macaltao
Guest

Just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean I haven’t done. Ask Fallen Angel….and I said something to a post of Benigno around 1 month ago….but it was a short reply.

Ilda
Admin

That doesn’t equate to having “expressed this sentiment several times already”. Your statement was inaccurate. We do have regular trolls here who say the same things over and over. I would believe them if they say that they have expressed their sentiments several times already.

Besides, what you are saying now is something related to the recent developments so obviously you cannot say that you have “expressed this sentiment several times already”.

Anyways, I just hope you can stick to the issues next time and refrain from making side comments that distract all of us from the more important things.

Ilda
Admin
@Gregory Macaltao This will boil down to whether the senators believe that $ accounts need not be declared as part of one’s SALN. Well, Corona does have a solution to this dilemna. He invited the Cogressmen+Drilon to sign a waiver similar to what he signed authorizing the disclosure of his dollar accounts. According to Corona, if they do not sign the waiver allowing the disclosure of their own dollar accounts, then his interpretation of the dollar secrecy law will be proven correct – that they are not required by law to include their dollar accounts in their own SALN. As… Read more »
sirius
Guest

Ilda i happened to see Sen Koko Pimentel at ANC Tv with Karen Davila Headstart program. Their topic was CJ Corona last testimony. The senator was asked by Karen about Bank Secrecy Law and SALN disclosures. To my understanding senator koko was amazed how CJ Corona interprets the Bank Secrecy Law, it should however “harmonize” with the SALN its because its all about Assets. Sen koko mentioned if CJ Corona was his student as being a professor he will definitely fail CJ Corona for that interpretation. Whats your opinion on this?

Ilda
Admin

First, Koko should not be talking about the merits of the case to the media because he is a judge of the impeachment trial. He’s obviously trying to influence the public. Second, the best way to know how the majority interpret the law is to look at how the rest of the 188 congressmen will treat the waiver.

BTW, we are talking about Corona’s savings, right? He is free to put his savings wherever he wants to. If his interpretation is wrong, my question is, is that an impeachable crime? Was it even intentional?

Gregory Macaltao
Guest
CJ gave a completely perverted interpretation. US$ is an asset. If he argues it is completely confidential, he should still report it in his SALN (and provide a peso equivalent). I am speaking from Canadian perspective here (I know—we’re talking of the Philippines)….but here, for all your income made outside of Canada, you still need to report it but one must report the Canadian equivalent (this is for tax purposes). I’ve spoken to 5 classmates in law school (yes, they’re lawyers back home) who didn’t agree with this impeachment case against Corona. Surprisingly, 4 of them now believe Corona should… Read more »
roi
Guest
Clearly, out of CJ’s own mouth came the admission that he did not declare in his SALN some assets under his name, four USD accounts included. As such, it can be considered violation of ethical standards for public officials. Unfortunately however, this violation is not included among impeachable offenses under the Constitution. In fact there is even a law that provides remedy for those who made honest misdeclaration in their SALN. It’s sad because I feel that CJ will be convicted by the Senate. I was one of those who were very much disappointed when he walked out (I believe… Read more »
Arche
Guest
Well, it seems Miauw Ming and Ilda sufficiently addressed most of your concerns. Allow me to state the following, however. “First of all, I want to say that I am not one of those partisan folks who lives inside a “bubble”. What I mean is that I am not about to say “to hell with Corona” or “Corona is innocent” regardless of the evidence simply because of my particular leanings.” Well, I’m pleased to inform you that we’re the same. None of my articles impart the notion that I want Corona acquitted, and that I’ll stand by his side no… Read more »
FilipinoChamp
Guest
“I think it is highly unfair for you to lump all those who have legitimate views and who came to their own honest conclusion of the CJ’s testimony as part of a bunch of people who have made up their minds against Corona regardless of the evidence.” Okay, I don’t think I did this. D: ————– I think you just did. You do realize that us “Filipinos” are not just the people on facebook, tv and forums. And yet you sound like you judge every single Filipino has already passed judgement on the accused. It is very offensive that this… Read more »
Arche
Guest
I respecfully object. 🙂 Okay, let’s try to settle this issue as soon as possible. Oh, and my previous statements still stand. ^^ The tricky part is the existence of default quantifiers. When I say “the sum of the angles in a triangle is equal to 180 degrees,” do I really have to put up the following? “…except in cases where spherical geometry is applied, where the sum of the angles of a “spherical” triangle with a positive curve can be greater than 180 degrees (less than 180 degrees if the triangle has a negative curve)” I don’t. Now, before… Read more »
Arche
Guest

So for those people who have a legitimate, rational reason to suspect Corona’s actions, or to simply challenge what we at GRP believe in, then please feel free to make yourselves known, and I will recognize you. I pay attention to dissenters.

Otherwise, I would just ignore all dissenting comments in the first place. But I think I have proven that that’s not exactly what I do.

Arche
Guest

Oh, by the way, append “and qualifiers” to every “quantifiers” you will see in my reply, since my explanation also touched on qualifiers, not just quantifiers. Thanks!

joseph noel
Guest

read this.. i think this person has the authority to speak about the SALN and other accounts…. maybe you will not argue with a CPA lawyer who specializes in SALN and has worked in BIR for 32 years…

FallenAngel
Member

As usual Arche,great write-up 😀

Arche
Guest

Thanks very much, FallenAngel! 🙂

jay
Guest
There are very few who come out of the impeachment process with any distinction, and the majority have shown either a lack of competence, integrity, honesty, or simply a personal agenda which overrides the principles of law and their duty to the country. A dysfunctional society is an apt description and it has been vividly on display for the world to see, and to be bemused by such insularity and backwardness. The motley crew of senators and congressmen are a laughing stock and exemplify why the country has been, and continues to be, in decline for 50+ years Clearly the… Read more »
ross well
Guest

when asked if he will sign the waiver and open his bank accounts, here is his answer…

“I report all my assets in my SALn. There is no requirement that we open up our bank deposits because, if that is the case, it will be disastruous to our banking system,” Drilon said.

enough said…

itchyBB
Guest

then the CJ was right not to disclose his dollar accounts. hmmm…or i’m confused… :p

jay
Guest

not confused.
just that drilon is the definition of a hypocrite

ross well
Guest

if it’s him, it will be disastrous to the banking system, but for months now, he has been asking CJ to open his and CANNOT understand why he won’t….drilon is not just a hypocrite….he is a hypopocrite….:D

vinsanity
Member

I was stunned when i saw that all people talked about in social websites (youtube, facebook, twitter, etc) was corona’s alleged walkout. I mean wtf??! Yun lang ba nakita nila?? Wala ba silang narinig sa tatlong oras na statement ni corona kundi ang “i wish to be excused”??? Karamihan lang naman sa kanila sumabay sa bandwagon ng anticorona at kung tatanungin mo mga walang alam sa tungkol sa trial. Sinasabing kurakot si corona eh hindi naman yung issue!!!!!! Argggghhhhh

Btw, great article arche. Two thumbs up waay up!

Arche
Guest

Exactly. They only want to mock him. They have no interest in hearing his side. Oh, and thank you, vinsanity! 🙂

Bill Steffen
Guest

Great article Arche!!!!

Arche
Guest

Thank you, Bill Steffen! 🙂

Der Fuhrer
Guest
I have a different viewpoint. I believe we are not a dysfunctional society taken as a whole. The improved society of Mr. BS Aquino consists mostly of his present day yellow pharisees, his yellow militant instant mobs, his uncivil society groupies and their anarchist followers, his socialist/communist partners in power, the gullible and the ignorant. BS Aquino and his fanatic followers and supporters should therefore be identified as comprising the unique dysfunctional anomaly of minority sectors of society. The silent majority exists in this country. These are your normal, everyday people. They have aspirations and dreams of a better Philippines.… Read more »
Arche
Guest

Can’t say I disagree. But then, taking my last statement into account, the fact that there are dysfunctions in our society does not necessitate that our society is ENTIRELY dysfunctional.

Thank you for your input. 🙂

joseph noel
Guest

arche read this article… maybe you will not argue with a CPA lawyer who worked in BIR for 32 years… http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/195381/%E2%80%98corona-can%E2%80%99t-testify-on-dollar-accounts%E2%80%99

joseph noel
Guest

sorry wrong person….

itchyBB
Guest

was it just me or the CJ was yellowish at the 3rd part of his speech? something I noticed.

on another note, we’re waiting for the Philippines’ reaction for Jessica’s loss in AI

jay
Guest

p-noy’s endorsement spelt disaster for jessica!

ross well
Guest

i think pacman’s presence made her lose…:D

jay
Guest

early reactions very predictable.
she lost because
race, fixed, not white, not american!
no wonder philippines no good at sport.
cant even lose with dignity.
p.s. she is american

K3
Guest

I hate it whenever people refer to her as Filipino.

She’s an american of Filipino heritage. There’s no such thing as an American race (cause we call them Native Americans now)

Racist or not, America loves Phillips more.
Sucks for fans but that’s life.

1986
Guest

I have been reading your posts for a long time now and I am with you in your views regarding the CJ, PNoy etc. I just hope that the masses would be able to read these stuff considering most of them are tambays of the internet cafe. Why not write a tagalog version of your posts for them to understand these issues and stop dragging the CJ and the former admin to the fate of this country. Thank you.

Arche
Guest

Thank you! Well, English is GRP’s mode of communication, so that we can reach out to as many people as possible.

I do have a personal blog. I shall consider putting up a Filipino version of my articles, provided that I have both time and energy. Again, thanks!

Aegis-Judex
Guest

On one hand, you have a literally sick bastard who spent five-six months on the receiving end of excoriation by the media for alleged crimes.

On the other hand, you have the entire machinery of the Imperial Government shitting on the guy’s rights just to get him to GTFO.

If the Yellow Army can do that to Corona, what’s going to stop them from doing the same to anyone who opposes them?

Arche
Guest

Good point. I believe Corona touched on that very topic in the course of his opening statement, highlighting PNoy’s apparent vindictiveness in getting him ousted from office.

Domingo Arong
Guest
Arche: If the Impeachment Court decides that CJ Corona betrayed the public trust by failing to declare his Dollar accounts; then, by all means, let CJ Corona be impeached and forthwith removed from office. But, having done that, should the Impeachment Court not also fulfill the LAST WISH of the condemned CJ Corona–the signed individual WAIVER from his accusers? If those condemned to be crucified are entitled to a “last wish,” why not CJ Corona? Why? For comparison’s sake; and, of course, to later become the model or standard, since the act of comparing–of allowing the side-by-side examination for similarities… Read more »
Arche
Guest

Well, by virtue of the law alone, the persons challenged by Corona don’t really have an obligation to accept that challenge.

However, if public trust and reputation are concerned, then their refusal would be at their own risk. Indeed, as I said, that waiver challenge is pretty damn nifty. 🙂

Thanks for your input!

Aegis-Judex
Guest

Given that the prosecution wants proof, why not accept Corona’s challenge? That way, if proof exists of his wrongdoing, the prosecutors themselves can prove that they, not him, have clear consciences–if it is proven that they have done no wrong.

Jackass
Guest

That I agree. That challenge is unacceptable in a court of law. It is childish, and accepting it reduced them to the childish and lowly ground Corona wants to play.

YCK PC Baclod
Guest

Last wish should be granted and the Filipino’s that want Crucifixion should examine their great defender of daang matuwid.

K3
Guest

Corona’s challenge is great. But I think he stopped short of embarrassing those 189.

He should have photocopied that waiver and slapped each of those 189 with a copy.

Hyden Toro
Guest

Porky Drilon and the Congressmen who refuse to sign the waiver…are very much afraid to show to the people, the money, they’d stolen and accumulated in their Bank Accounts. Even if you drag these people, kicking and screaming…they will never sign any waiver. If you refuse to sign the waiver: it just show one thing – you are hiding , maybe 82 Bank Accounts or more. How did you accumulate such amount of money, and accounts? Noynoy Aquino, and his staff, and other government officials, must also open their Bank Accounts…even their offshore, foreign Bank Accounts…

joseph noel
Guest

to those who are constantly banging CJ Corona for not disclosing his dollar accounts please read this article http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/195381/%E2%80%98corona-can%E2%80%99t-testify-on-dollar-accounts%E2%80%99… this is an interview on Mrs. Martinez… she explained why the dollar accounts could not be written in the SALN… she worked with BIR for 32 years specializing on SALN’s of our ‘honorable’ public officials… if you think you are better than her then you must be a retard and a pretentious and boastful jerk… CJ gave the correct definition of the law…

joseph noel
Guest
maybe it’s high time to admit that most if not all of us Filipinos submit to the popular notions… to the notions that appears to have more supporters rather than supporting the truth… a lot of people are shouting in the streets that they want the truth from their public officials… and now that CJ Corona allowed us to enter the things that should have been private we tried to struck the minor details about the trial and try to sensationalize them… i mean come on people… all those media blitz have been released on tv but how many of… Read more »
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[…] But then, he can’t, although he was able to show (perhaps unwittingly) how some Filipinos tend to don the “rule of law” mask when their anti-Corona sentiment is compro… […]

Jackass
Guest

My first visit. An interesting read and entertaining replies from different point of views.

Bias is my first impression. I asked myself why is this seemed to be an intelligent guy is defending a losing battle. The good guy vs the bad guy.

What are you made of? Liberal or conservative?

By the way please do be careful with the qualifiers and quantifiers. That could come back and bite your behind.

Thanks

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