Dean Tony La Viña’s call for Corona to resign misses the real point

According to Dean Tony La Viña in his piece “Everything but the truth” published on ‘social news network’ site, “The truth demands stringent rigor, a burden enough to break lesser men. The Supreme Court carries a heavy responsibility as the adjudicator of the truth in the cases it hears. What we saw [in Chief Justice Renato Corona in his testimony to the Senate court] on Tuesday, May 22, fails to live up to the demands of that rigor and responsibility.”

Trouble is, Dean, there is also this rather often-quoted principle: The burden of proof lies upon the accuser. The question therefore is this: Did the accusers — the 188 Lower House “representatives” of this great land — articulate clearly and in precise terms the nature of their accusations?

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Get Real Post writer Hector Gamboa cited the fundamental flaw in the prosecution case way back in the earliest days of the impeachment trial

The fact remains that the prosecution’s basis for the charge of amassing ill-gotten wealth through his stature and close connection to GMA is merely a suspicion. Defense counsel Serafin Cuevas was correct to point out to the prosecutor:

“[By your logic], you and I can be sentenced to death by mere suspicion? We’re dealing here with the fate and future of the Chief Justice. [We are not basing case] on what is suspect,”

I am also bewildered, as Justice Cuevas is, why the prosecution’s plea is based on mere suspicions and not ultimate facts as the Rules of Pleading state that:

“A pleading is verified by an affidavit that the affiant has read the pleading and that the allegations therein are true and correct of his knowledge and belief.”

If the prosecution charges the CJ of illegally amassing wealth as proven by the comparison of his SALns from before he was appointed to the Supreme Court up to during his tenure at the High Tribunal, then doesn’t this imply that they really had no basis to verify their allegation because prior to the Senate impeachment trial, they never had any access to the CJ’s SALn? How can the complainants have attested to the veracity of the prosecution’s pleading if they could not have any correct knowledge of the allegations?

Indeed, no less than a key member of the prosecution panel, Representative Rodolfo Fariñas admitted he had declined to join his 188 colleagues in the Lower House in signing the Articles of Impeachment because the document was “badly done”…

“Mabagal kasi akong bumasa eh, kaya nung prinisenta sa’min ‘yan … nung nakapirma na ‘yung panghuli — maraming speed reader kasi diyan eh — dahil sobra-sobra ang pumirma na, 188, ‘di na kailangan ang pirma ko at masama pagkagawa ng complaint (I read slowly and when the complaint was presented to us … when the last one had signed — there are many speed readers there — because so many had already signed, 188, my signature was no longer needed and the complaint was badly done),” Fariñas said.

So I wonder then, Dean, whether it is really the beleaguered Corona who you should be lecturing about “the demands of that rigor and responsibility”.

It is interesting to note that La Viña is Harvey Keh’s “mentor” at that venerable institute of learning, the Ateneo de Manila University. Recall that Keh was caught lying under oath on the witness stand in the 16th May session of Corona’s impeachment trial. Furthermore, that instance of lying under oath was just one of two counts of less-than-ethical behaviour, the first being Keh’s rather self-important transmittal of unverified information to the office of no less than the presiding officer of said court, Senator-Judge Juan Ponce Enrile.

Having learned nothing from what could otherwise have been a character-building experience, Keh had only this to say: “I can now proudly say that I survived the berating and admonishment of Sen. Miriam!”


If the good Dean wasn’t too busy being a guest “thought leader” in that self-described “social media network” that pretends to be a bastion of modern thought leadership, perhaps he would have grasped the irony in the way his pompous apprentice grandstanded about what he implies is a monumental feat of survival after only a few minutes of “admonishment” by the honourable Senator-Judge Miriam Santiago while Chief Justice Corona took months of concerted demonisation engineered by some of the most powerful men in the land in the chin and still got up the nerve and energy to deliver three hours of testimony on the stand.

To recap so far, Dean, just as you lecture no less than the Chief Justice on the merits of stepping up to the demands of “rigor and responsibility”, wouldn’t you find it a bit quaintly amusing that you so conveniently gloss over (1) the far bigger outrage in the way the prosecution team so many times over the last months attempted to insult the intelligence of the Senate impeachment court with their borderline criminal stunts and (2) the fact of some bozo under your supposed tutelage mounting such an astoundingly embarrassing spectacle as to bring to question the quality and character of the faculty of that proud Jesuit institution that employs you?

It is too bad that La Viña starts his piece in the manner that he did considering he goes at some length into what are really quite sensible personal takes on the dodgy manner with which the whole impeachment trial had been conducted and the lynch-mob-like behaviour of the people who jeered and vilified the Chief Justice while turning a blind eye to (or even endorsing) the prosecution team’s blatant falsification and misrepresentation of evidence.

However, much of that attempt at “balance” is outweighed by the lack of broader perspective La Viña applies to pinning upon Corona what are really broader fundamental issues about Philippine governance. He cites, for example, how Corona’s application of dollar bank account secrecy laws “sets a bad example and precedent to all other public officials”, when the dynamic really at work in the bigger scheme of things is more aptly embodied in the way those who persecute and judge him now nervously come to realise the full implication of where all this is headed on their own personal financial fortunes.

La Viña also jumps off from Corona’s claim that he suffered a hypoglycemia-induced episode at the end of his testimony to pontificate on the merits of “Mens sana in corpore sano: a sound mind in a sound body”. He likens the public servant Corona to a soldier whose responsibility it is to always be prepared, “mind and body,” for the rigours of the “battle” ahead. He extends that concept to question Corona’s overall fitness to continue as Chief Justice given these health challenges he now observes — never mind that there are some obviously, to put it mildly, rather overweight people who represent relevant factors in any effort to put Corona’s health issues in the proper perspective.

Indeed, we choose to see things the way we want to see them, and tend to take on the views of people within our immediate circles of friends and family. To be fair to Tony La Viña he, as he wrote, remained consistent to his call for due process and Corona’s entitlement to a competent defense “even in the face of criticism by many friends”. But his ultimate conclusion — that Corona should resign to “spare all – Corona, his defense team and supporters, the prosecution, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the Filipino people – from further pain, and keep all this from getting worse” misses the real point — that there are at least 188+1 people responsible for mounting what was originally a baseles and vindictive initiative and allowing what had become a farce to progress as far as it did. Following the same template used in those maritime tragedies the Philippines is also renowned for, La Viña only addresses the after-the-fact of a fiasco that was, in essence, a misguided and preventable national disaster.

[Photo of Dean Tony La Viña courtesy IISD Reporting Services.]

47 Replies to “Dean Tony La Viña’s call for Corona to resign misses the real point”

  1. Ateneo? kaya pa din di ummuulad ang ating bansa, karamihan nang leader natin ay mula dun. Erap, NoyNoy, Mike Arroyo to name a few…

        1. engot ka ba, si Erap Atenista yun, drop out pa nga eh dahil nag artista.

          FYI. Letran ay ang escuelahan na nagproduce nang madaming bayani. Isa lang ang naproduce nilang bayani sa bana.

        2. Last time I checked, isang dropout si Erap sa Mapua. Saan mo nalaman na taga-La Salle si Erap, Nelson?

  2. This is “blame the victim” syndrome dressed up in pseudo-academic language. I hope that describing him as a “thought leader” is just Rappler’s typical self-indulgent hyperbole, because if he really is one of this country’s “thought leaders”, this country is in big trouble.

      1. Calling Vincenzo a “thought leader” like PNoy is an extreme overstatement. Vincenzo’s too DUMB to understand anything at all.

  3. Thought leader? If he falls for the idea that “small ladies” and “papers left on my gate/desk” are reliable sources of evidence, then he can speak for his own thoughts, and screw his academic background.

    1. Since Rappler and its not-at-all subtle partisanship was born almost simultaneously with the beginning of the impeachment drama, what they publish should be taken with a grain of salt the size of a house.

    2. His “thought leadership” are as proper as barbershop talk, he just happened to be in a position to say it. But it’s still barber shop talk from the basis of his own conclusions.

  4. Dean La Vina and Rappler deserve each other and the perdition that will overwhelm them when this regime fall.

  5. Thank you Benign0 for revealing the truth! This article should be required reading for the yellow pharisees, the great leader and his bow well movement 188.

  6. Seems everyone is jumping into the bandwagon of schadenfreude. Hollow populism at its best dress.

    God bless this country.

  7. @Nutzi cjcoronsky

    Retreat hell! We don’t know the meaning of the word. I was a leader of men when you were still in your baby diapers. Try harder wannabe. Mabuhay ang demokrasya at kalayaan! Di palulupig! Di pasisiil!

    1. hoy der fuhrer anak kaba nong babae na nakita ko noon sa germany na kaakbit akbnit ng german na kagaya noong mga babae sa olonggapo baka ina mo yon ha!!!!alam ko na kung bakit ganyan ka lahi kang german hahahahahaah!!!!!!

      1. Dyan ka magaling, imbes na utak ang gamitin ginamit mo emosyon so kahit ano’ng gawin mo, you’ll never win any arguments here if you defy logic and reason.

        1. yan ba ang sabi mo kayo ang mga walang katwiran dahil mga bayaran kayo ako hindi nakikibalita lang ako mga pikon kayo galit kayo pag kontra sa inyong amo ang nagsasalita ,a no ang nalalaman ninyo sa logic and reason puro kayo ngakngak magpakita kayo ng mga article gaya ng ibang blogger palabasin ninyo ang amo ninyo sa palda ng asawa niya dajil balita ko ay underdisaya sya dahil mayaman ang asawa at tatay ni corona ay sa bir nagtatrabaho kaya pareho sila ng ugali lagay is my gay ..mayaman!! scholarship ang ginamit para magaral sa abroad matalino matalinong manloko ng tao sipsip sa mga naging amo kaya nabigyan ng mataas ng puwesto sa gobyerno..not biolenteng tao pero may kolektion ng sarisaing baril may armalite pa …..ikaw ang utak BIA sabi ng mga taga batangas na ikinahihiya namin….ala eh batangennio ito balisong ang dala namin hindi baril duwag lang ang maydala nag baril

        2. Only illogical, emo people will accuse someone being ‘bayaran’.

          Kung maglalabas ako ng article, dapat sa isang reliable source and not something from ABS-CBN, Inquirer, even Raissa Robles’ blog.

          Still the joke is on YOU because you refuse to see the bigger picture. No wonder why we are Asia’s basketcase because of retards like yourself. LOL

  8. mga tuta ni corona sabi ninyo ay walang karma hindi totoo ito eh si corona pala ay diabetic 20 yrs na at na bypass pa ng dalawaang beses ngayon ano ang masasbi ninyo …ngayon nagsakit sakitan eh di natuluyan …pero duda parin ako dahil si arroyo ganyan din ang palabas ….

    1. Translation- I’m a pagan who believes in karma and I just want these people to be put in jail because they are ‘evil.’ And I love to go back to the time of the barbarians.

    2. @Nutzi nelson ongpauco

      Thank you for validating the fact that there is an ongoing hate campaign against CJ Corona. You are even into terms like karma in the continuing black propaganda use of repeat great lies which you are trying to make appear as truth. You should wear the black uniform of the SS. Oh I forgot… you are a yellow pharisee.

      1. der fuhrer pala ang pangalan mo kamaganak ka ni hitler kaya ganyan ang katwiran mo lahi ka pala ng mamamtay tao kung matatapang kayo kaya ba ninyong sabihin na harapan kay pinoy o kailangan ninyong magtago sa palda ni arroyo kasya ba kayong lahat na chihuahua sa loob ng palda ni little barbie O yung iba ay sa palda ng asawa no corona …hahahahahah!!!!!

        1. Right and even PNoy and his family are not murderers either. Bravo for your sheer idiocy and ignorance.

          Ganun pala ang pag-iisip ng mga asal-hayop, right? It’s clear on your posts.

        2. With that moronic logic and laughing of yours, you already proven your incompetence. Now who is also corrupt?

      2. @Nutzi nelson ongpauco

        Yes Nutzi nelson my family came from Germany. Our ancestors fought the roman legions. The people of the Ber-gari moved off to France and later Spain. We have a coat of arms that is not of the commercial variety. Handed down from generation to generation. We also go back to El Cid. My Chinese blood originates from the Lin of the Han of the sea.

        I will give you the benefit of the doubt. I thought your IQ and EQ was retarded. No I am not related to your uncle Adolf Hitler. I am more related to the Spanish Count of Aragon and the hero of the battle of the Rif.

        I use the handle Der Fuhrer to ridicule BS Aquino. The sarcasm and satire of Der Grobe Fuhrer in Malacanang makes for a ridiculous but dangerous character who is a known destroyer. You are his adoring follower and an enemy of the Filipino people. God is not on his side. Oh yeah I have royal blood. I like Royal Macaroni and Spaghetti.

  9. If you have a good education, knowledge and a little bit of common sense. You must not prostitute them, for just some political favors or some amount of cash. Especially, if you are in the academic field. Most of the documents presented were false: 45 properties, that dwindled to 7 or 5… 82 Bank Accounts, that reduced to 5. Witnesses caught lying in their testimonies. How did this idiot, who calls himself a “Dean”, became a “Dean”. And he thinks, we are as non-thinking YellowTards, as he is…I’m just tired of this Noynoy Aquino show. While our country is declining economically. Our people are suffering. Noynoy Aquino is obssesed to hold on the Hacienda Luisita, to the extreme point of his insanity, already…

    1. hindi mahalaga kung ilan at magkano ang mahalaga ay may peso at dollar account sya sabi niya ay walang dollar account at sasagutin niya ang mga ibedensya sa kanya pero ano ang ginawa nanira at nagbintang pag katapos nagsakit sakitan tatakas sumakay agad sa limo pero ng isinara ang mga gate ay umarte na …sabi nga ng kapatid ni enrile hindi raw best actor supporting lang ahahahahaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!tapos sabi ni cuevas ay mistrial dahil wala sya depensa kaya mistrial daw hahahahah!!!!!

      1. I’ll also laugh at you because not only you’re vindictive and malicious but also a sadomasochist. Am I right?

      2. Your pathetic post proves that you are indeed an utak squatter. Saang paaralan ka nag-aral at ganyan ang ugali mo?

    1. tama magsama nga kayong mga anak ng iasang japayuki at german noong 1986 napanood ko sa cable yung babae kinakaladkad ng hapon palabas ng kuarto na kaya ko nalaman na pinay at nagmura na tagalog yun ba ang mommy mo ha daido anak ng japayuki hahahahah!!!!hoy german kamaganak mo pala si pinoy nazi ang sabi mo right ahahahahahah!!!!!

      1. I’m very disappointed. You just shown us that you are anti-intellectual.

        Baka ako na ata ang tumatawa sa iyo. 😛

      2. Read again nelson. I already told you in my last post who I am. My line goes back to the warriors of Germany who fought the Roman legions. We have royal lineage from Spain. My Chinese blood line is traced to the Lin of the Han of the sea. I guess I was wrong to give you the benefit of the doubt. Your IQ and EQ is retarded. You are also mentally imbalanced like your yellow master.

      3. i don’t think that you fit the standards who are commenting on this blog…. i can clearly distinguish your pathetic arguments from the more educated arguments… so if your claims are all about insults and conjectures better don’t comment at all because you are highly making a fool out of your self…..

  10. ;pag nag cocomment ako sa blog ni raissa ang sabi nila ay maka arroyo daw ako pag nag cocomment ako dito ang sabi ninyo ay maka pinoy ako wala naba kayong masasabi kundi maka pinoy ..ang ipaliwanag ninyo ay bakit tatakas si corona ay nag sakit sakitan kung tunay ang sakit ito ang tinatawag na karma gaya ni arroyo ngayon untiunting pinahihirapan sa dami ng namatay sa magidanao at mga jornalis na pinadukot ..tingnan tinyo si cory etme na pinahirapan din bago bumigay kayo mga chihuahua ay unti unti din pahihirapan …

    1. @Nelson: That means you have mental retardation issues. And please, don’t even cite Raissa Robles’ blog since you’re now losing your credibility.

      Karma is only for pagans. Are you a Hindu or something? You will also get ‘karma’ if you have SCHADENFREUDE. 😛

        1. Your trolling is always made of epic fail. Obviously, you’re wasting too much time on using your pc and internet. Don’t you have other things to do? Or you’re just glutton and lazy?

        2. @Nelson the IDIOT

          You honestly have TOO MUCH time on your hands troll.

          GET A LIFE!!

        3. If this is your argument then I pity you since it reflects the level of your intelligence.

        4. Nelson, I expected more intelligent comments from you like before. I am soo disappointed. -_-

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