The Philippine government is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis of credibitlity and constitutional ascendancy. What the administration of President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III touted as its greatest “achievement” in its efforts to make good on its “daang matuwid” (“straight path”) rhetoric and “kung walang kurap walang mahirap” sloganeering — the “impeachment” of now former Chief Justice Renato Corona in early 2012 — may turn out to be its most fatal mistake. Allegations of wholesale big-bucks bribery have been sailing through the Philippines’ political air left and right following Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s tell-all privilege speech in the Senate a few weeks ago. If these allegations — that the administration of President BS Aquino had used mega-mega-bucks from his largely mysterious Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) to “motivate” certain “senator-judges” to deliver a guilty vote during Corona’s trial — are true, the ramifications may be immeasureable.
For one thing, according to retired chief justice Reynato Puno, the “entire process” surrounding Corona’s impeachment could be rendered “null and void”…
This would constitute a “denial of due process” and, as such, grounds for a mistrial.
[…] if the senator-judges were influenced to vote for a conviction, the entire process should be nullified.
“[If bribery is proven], talagang void yun. Wala kasing impartial tribunal,” Puno said during a roundtable with editors and reporters of The Manila Times.
The former chief justice, who was never implicated in any controversy during his term and has a sterling reputation, stressed that bribery can be used as a ground to declare the Corona impeachment proceedings as void ab initio (from the beginning) since there was no fair and impartial tribunal.
Funny that. If we recall the farcical nature of Corona’s “trial”, we had, from the very start, loudly and repeatedly called out that the whole thing was a mistrial even before these bribery allegations were a twinkle in the eye of our so-called Traditional Media “hero” “journalists”.
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.
The interesting thing we noted at the time was that it would’ve benefited everyone if the whole circus had been called off midway through — while everyone was ahead.
The senators at the time were looking good in the eyes of the media, Corona would’ve been let off with just a slap on the wrist, and politicians would’ve merrily continued enjoying pork under the radar. Everyone wins. Except, as what we had pointed out in one of our all-too-typical strokes of prescience, President BS Aquino. The Prayerful One, after all, was on a very specific mission — to save Uncle Peping’s family jewels. Corona, at the time, was seen to be the single biggest enemy of the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan in their quest to secure the future of the vast Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, which is up for subjection to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in 2014.
The unfortunate thing about hindsight is that, while it may be enlightening, it is all but useless to the badly-burned.
Much like the way every one of the world’s heads-of-state who goosestepped to former US President George W Bush’s fraudulent call for a “war on terror” in 2001 will be doomed to be judged harshly by history, many hapless Filipino senators who marched to BS Aquino’s BS in 2012 are now suffering the consequences of their blind idiocy. Aquino’s top hanging judges — Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Bong Revilla — are now all but flattened under the weight of charges of pork barrel thievery in the wake of bouhaha surrounding alleged scam ringleader Janet Lim Napoles. All the other senators and House “representatives” whose hands are stained Hershey-brown by pork are on notice as well.
Everone is suspect.
Only a bozo of the highest order like President BS Aquino can burn himself, his house, and his entire neighbourhood while playing with fire. The rabid way with which he tried to bulldoze a path to securing the future of Hacienda Luisita has all but scorched the entire Philippine political landscape — fatally burning all the fauna erstwhile happily grazing within its once opaque forests. BS Aquino’s manic bulldozing has now leveled the field and laid everything literally bare for all to gawk at.
Told ya so.
That’s what you all get for following a man that clearly cannot lead.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.