It’s all about Gloria
Recently, Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona’s defense lawyers at his Senate impeachment trial called on the House prosecutors not to associate Corona to former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Well, isn’t that like asking them to disregard that “chief justice” Corona was a creation of Gloria? In fact, “chief justice” Corana’s “birth” was induced during a period that the Constitution banned such births.
But like all ill-conceived creations, there is a danger of creating a “monster” that could irreparably damage the very institution he was supposed to protect. And that’s what happened to the “midnight” creation of “chief justice” Corona during the constitutional ban on “midnight appointments.” And in an act of judicial voodoo, the Supreme Court issued a ruling legalizing the “midnight appointment” of Corona — a legal precedent that would be part of the country’s jurisprudence, which makes future “‘midnight appointments” of the chief justice legal regardless of the constitutional ban. It’s like a wart that would not go away, unless surgically removed.
Tyranny of supremacy
If the Supreme Court, which is stacked with Gloria’s appointees, continues to issue rulings that are contrary to constitutional mandates and judicial wisdom, then we’re creating judicial dictatorship under the guise of rule of law. It did not then come as a surprise when the Supreme Court ruled against President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III’s executive orders. With a solid majority of at least nine of the 12 Arroyo justices, a de facto tyranny of supremacy is achieved by a few whose loyalty to the Constitution is questionable and whose predeliction to protect Gloria is predictable. There is nothing that could be done about it other than the people invoking their sovereign right as they did 26 years ago when street protests reached a critical mass, thus igniting the people power that deposed the hated Marcos dictatorship.
Although progress had been made following EDSA 1 — as the people power revolution came to be known — it was stymied by a sham people power revolution — EDSA 2 — on January 20, 2001 staged by a shadowy group that supported then Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in grabbing power from then President Joseph “Erap” Estrada whose impeachment trial came to a screeching halt. On that fateful day, House prosecutors led by then Rep. Joker Arroyo walked out of the Senate impeachment trial when majority of the senator-judges — who came to be known as the “Craven 11″ — voted not to open the “second envelope,” which supposedly contained Erap’s bank accounts. Pandemonium followed and — as if on a cue — EDSA 2 erupted!
At noon that day, then Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. sworn in Gloria as “President,” not as “Acting President” just like what was agreed upon with Erap who was coaxed and pressured into taking a “leave of absence” purportedly for medical reasons. Within days, the Supreme Court — at the prodding of Davide — ruled that Erap had “constructively” resigned! But “constructive resignation” does not apply in government, particularly to elected officials. The Constitution is very clear that the President can only be removed from office through impeachment. The high court ruling was another case of judicial voodoo.
indeed, with one clean swoop, EDSA 2 cleared the board of the gains of EDSA 1 and installed a regime that would for the next nine years turn the country into one of the most — if not the most — corrupt in Asia. Under Gloira, corruption had become the norm of governance.
At a crossroads
During the 26th anniversary celebration of EDSA 1, P-Noy rallied Filipinos against a judiciary influenced by a few, and pushed for a system that favors no one and calls those who did the country wrong to account for the wrongdoing. And In reference to the impeachment trial of Corona, P-Noy urged immediate action, saying, “martial law happened and stayed for years because Filipinos chose to remain silent until they could no longer be with the sufferings it caused.”
“Our country is now at a crossroads,” he said. “In one direction is the weedy path, where the influential holds the scales of justice and those who manipulate the law benefit. In the other is the straight path where the rules are clear, justice favors no one and those who are at fault are called to account. Let us remember: martial law happened because Filipinos kept silent for too long.”
Quo Vadis, Filipinos?
The Corona impeachment trial is clearly the most important event since EDSA 2 made a mockery of democracy and put in shambles the inroads made by EDSA 1. EDSA 2 put the country on the road to perdition where corrupt officials in partnership with greedy oligarchs held the people in bondage. This carnage must stop!
With Gloria detained and facing electoral sabotage charges and with Corona fighting to keep his job, the Filipino people have one — and only one — opportunity to exorcise the country of the evil that has possessed it.
At the end of the day, one can say that the Corona impeachment trial is all about Gloria. If Corona is acquitted, Gloria walks.