Why declaring the Corona impeachment trial a mistrial makes perfect political sense


If we recall, it was really just Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III who kicked up the whole frenzy that had since turned into the circus now known as the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. Because of one man’s vanity and one-dimensional “vision” (if you could even call it that), the whole country was plunged into a dark bipolar obsession that can only be described as monumental in its pointlessness. In the process, the once proud House of Representatives was turned into a little boys club of lackeys, and the once mighty Senate reduced to a chamber of performers enslaved by the Philippine media.

To be fair, a few sectors had already benefited from this circus. Most notable beneficiary is the Philippine Senate which had, to a certain degree, endeared itself to the public as an institution for its immense contribution to providing structure and coherence to what could have been a hopelessly convoluted and confusing showdown. Furthermore, each of the Senator Judges have had above average media exposure this year thanks to the format of the proceedings which allows each of them the chance in every session to take the podium to make their “manifestation” speeches or direct “clarificatory” questions to any participant in the trial. Considering how many Filipinos had been found to be avidly following the trial on television, that’s a lot of media mileage. Having myself followed the televised proceedings of most sessions, I have gotten to know a lot of the Senators more, at least as far as what I had seen on the tube. I can’t really say the same of the Lower House representatives, in my opinion, because none of those who had participated in the trial contributed to uplifting the image of their chamber in any way.

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So if, as many impeachment trial apologists keep insisting, all this is really more a political exercise than it is a real bon a fide effort to uncover the truth, then here is what I think the political reality of this circus has come to at this point:

(1) The Senate is looking good and the House of Representatives is looking bad.

Time has proven that the image of 188 congressmen blindly signing a sloppily-written impeachment of complaint has stuck. The Senate, on the other hand has handily exhibited to all the sort of character, smarts, and savvy that separates members from the Upper House from their more plebian colleagues in the Lower House.

(2) The trial is progressively becoming a monument to the vanity and vacuousness of Noynoy.

The emergence of the Noynoying movement is the culmination of a months-long observation of how little Noynoy had so far achieved and how much of a chump he’s made of the nation’s people and institutions. In short, the yellow covers that once blanketed the Big Pinoy Con of the Century were given a final yank by this trial as Filipinos awaken to the vast waste of state resources that it really is.

(3) Everybody will benefit from declaring this circus a mistrial — except Noynoy.

Noynoy’s fatal error was giving himself only one path to victory in this spectacle: removal of Corona from the Supreme Court. Unfortunately for Noynoy, that path is becoming bumpier by the day. Pretty soon it will be impassable. For everyone else, however, it is a win-win. Convicted or acquitted, Corona would already have had the benefit of airing his side over national television via the brilliant manifestations of his top-notch legal team. His wealth will remain largely intact, and his dollar accounts still secret. The Senate, as I had explained earlier, will already have gotten much needed Media mileage to boost their political capital. The House of Representatives can simply rely on the renowned short memories of their constituents as the true implications of the shameful way its members had behaved simply fly over the stunted intellectual faculties of the electorate. And the media would simply go off laughing all the way to the bank having made their advertising dollars.

* * *

Forget for a moment that even from a purely legal perspective, a mistrial is already justified. The prosecution after all had been shown to have done nothing but make a mockery of everyone’s intelligence from Day One. The more important point to note is that from the more readily-digestible political perspective, declaring a mistrial makes even more perfect sense for all the parties most involved and most impacted by this national drama — except Noynoy.

In short, the only reason this trial will continue is because Noynoy wants it to. The whole point of his sitting in Malacañang depends on it (at least because he lacks the imagination to envision an alternative path to take it). Everyone else — the Senate, the House, the Media, and the Filipino people — will simply move on either way — lives and fortunes basically unchanged. The only person here with a really compelling what’s-in-it-for-me proposition hanging on this trial is the President.

Are we going to accept then that this abomination of a political exercise proceed only because one man wishes it? Allowing this state of affairs to persist will simply make Filipinos even more deserving of the very political dysfunction that continues to impoverish the nation. Perhaps the interests of the nation are best served by putting this beast out of its misery.

And that’s as political as it gets.

6 Replies to “Why declaring the Corona impeachment trial a mistrial makes perfect political sense”

  1. just a note on the senate…it’s heartening to see that there are still a few good men who may yet bring back the former glory of this institution, in spite of drilon et al. kaya utang na loob, if tupas is really running for the senate, PLEASE do not let his royal foulness infect its hallowed halls. PLEASE!!!!

    more power to you benigno, and the rest of the getreal team! 🙂

  2. This will be remembered as an infamous episode in Philippine political history. It revealed the true intentions,lack of principles and moral scruples of select members of the bow well movement 188. Their absolute loyalty to their pork, additional compensation and “great leader” is condemned. These acts destroyed the honor of the Lower House of Congress. Mr. Aquino later admitted that he plotted the impeachment. His very acts are antithesis to freedom and democracy. When will the Lower House stand up as real men and women to defy the dictatorship? The apex political leader controls a co-equal body, orders it to railroad a palace constructed articles of impeachment and demands no questions asked. Congress members are threatened with discipline or expulsion. They are seen as slaves to the sleeping president while many of their constituents are deprived of PDAF. Awaken representatives and fight! Fight for your independence as a co-equal branch! Fight for your constituents who are the real boss! Reject the unreal nightmare boss dictator who wants you to kneel to his every political wish! You and your constituents are not slaves. The real boss is the people you represent and not the sleeping dictator!

    1. Sadly, it seems that most of our kababayans have yet to realise that they are still being conned by the aquino clan. It also seems that our “favorite” uncle f**ker vincenzo is still absent. He must be one of his tito noy’s lovers if he still insists that PNoy is “competent” (competent IS an understatement though) even after his boss had been unmasked as a lazy SOB.

  3. BenignO: Absolutely a mistrial, because no trial was ever intended to be conducted at all, but a trial that was convened at the sala of Judge PDI and ABS-CBN on charges punctuated by blatant lies passed off matter-of-factly without fear of being caught.

    Lying during the proceedings became normalized or “routinized,” and at times rationalized, even though the liars knew that any justification would turn out to be completely contrary to the common sense of the ordinary tao.

    Clearly, these fabricators were well aware that what they were peddling were bare-faced lies but were not even bothered a bit if they would be unmasked fibbing through their teeth, unrepentant and unapologetic.

    In fact, it would seem that these maniacs are, after all, driven by a perverted obsession–chronic, habitual or most likely ingrained–of deriving intense excitement and unspeakable pleasure of being exposed and ridiculed in public as downright liars.

    Perhaps, this is a rare kind of a still-unexplored compulsive form of exhibitionism along the lines of “indecent exposure” and “flashing,” distinct from the recognized class of the “inveterate liar.”

    For doubtless the lies these equivocators relayed were deliberately planned, to the extreme of having been thoroughly rehearsed, since these prevarications were all asserted confidently with a straight face, unperturbed, arrogantly flaunting the untruths and perversely enjoying the spectacle of seeing the incredulous listeners, amazed and wide-eyed, shaking their heads in disbelief at the insanity of what was being narrated or proposed.

    In short, declaring the impeachment proceedings a mistrial makes perfect psychological sense, not just political, since the proceedings had metamorphosed into the platform to display a still-unexplained compulsion exhibited in public by a seemingly sane person who deliberately prevaricates and becomes euphoric when caught and tagged a LIAR.

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