From the very start, I never wanted to comment on the issue. But I changed my mind in the end.
Now that everything is said and done the conviction of the disgraced Supreme Court Chief Justice should make you think twice before you despair or celebrate – whichever side of the fence you chose to be. With all due respect, I do not find the Chief Justice, rather the former Chief Justice as someone who could inspire me to get off the couch and take to the streets and try to rekindle the old flame of idealism of my youth. To be honest about it, were if not for the high-handed manner he was unseated, perhaps I would be among the first to march in the streets and call for his immediate removal. Fighting his fight can be disheartening, and in fact just the mere thought of doing it depletes my enthusiasm instantly, because frankly, there was no cause worth fighting for with him at the forefront. For nothing in this man or whatever he stood for or symbolized to us could reasonably agitate my hatred for corruption and the social ills.
I couldn’t relate, much less identify with his torments because as we all should know by now, he had it coming. In fact, I am almost completely swayed by the argument, as beautifully articulated by both the suit-clad lawyers from congress and by the sidewalk vendor that I spoke to, that the disgraced Chief Justice must be understandably measured against a yardstick of moral and ethical fortitude that rises over and above the standards by which we must judge the ordinary men. At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, I should quote a line I overheard from the loud conversation of neighborhood drunks just last night that, Corona’s lying declarations on the senate floor are unforgivable as the specter of the Pope committing an act of indiscretion. While the comparison is grossly exaggerating the point, it only meant that no allowance for human frailty should be given the man who stands alone and without peer in accepting the role of the ultimate symbol of justice and faith and hope to his people. Whether we like it or not, forgiveness is not for everybody.
However, that doesn’t mean I have been converted overnight into a believer of the Senate and for that matter, of the current administration. For every single reason I have to despise Corona, I have ten more reasons to feel like, figuratively, pounding the balding head of the man in Malacanang with the Senate President’s gavel. Here is the man who has done nothing to deserve the Presidency except that he remembered to insert his parent’s bio-data in his job-application. In between speeches calling for moral reforms and a shifting of the national direction into the straight and righteous path, he would emerge from some showroom behind the wheels of a mean slick Porsche and would be dating the likes of Grace Lee, although as of this writing, they are rumored to have already broken-up.
And while 80% of our people eke out a living on a dollar a day, the President’s sister would heroically wage a courageous battle against dandruff and oily skin by endorsing the latest beauty products for which she was being paid a “measly” talent fee of a few million pesos. In fact, his nephew Baby James at such tender age, is already taking his own share of sacrificing for the country by enduring the monumental task of gulping down a glass of milk before the cruel and heartless television camera for which the boy was paid predictably, talent fee the equivalent of a “paltry sum” by his family’s standards. Now that’s public service.
I wouldn’t applaud either, the act of the senate as a demonstration of high principles as all this funfare is plain and simple politics. The impeachment trial is flawed right from the start not having emanated from the legitimate cry for help by the poor and the oppressed but rather it was made to serve the purpose of the oppressor himself. Heck I will build a life-size monument of the 23 senators who voted yes and kneel in front of them every night and say a prayer in their honor before I retire to bed had the impeachment trial been the product not of presidential manipulation but of a simple and honest to goodness complaint from an ordinary citizen who got the wrong end of a Supreme Court decision. Then and only then can I say that the intention behind the whole exercise is laudable and pure. That the end justifies the means. But the way I see it, the senators have gladly accepted their demotion to a baby-sitting role next to a power-tripping spoiled brat of a president, who had already been served everything he wanted on a silver tray for no reason other than his pedigree.
Those who keep harping about the argument that the moral standards by which to judge the Chief Justice must be of the God-like level of infalliability, let me throw these questions back to you. Wouldn't it be fair to expect that since we are dealing here with the Supreme Court's highest leader, don't you think it follows that the persons to judge him should themselves submit to the same exacting standards? If I were Chief Justice, would it be too much to ask that the person to pass judgment on me must at least be intelligent enough to know highschool-level English, or someone who did not earn his fame as a former comedian? And that the person to lead the whole process of my impeachment has no shady past?
You can say all you want. Cite every legal citation there is to be found in the books. But all the legal doctrines and all the lawyers in the whole world cannot change my opinion on this one.
It’s not about principles. It’s all about politics.
Thank God, I’m not a lawyer. I’m a liar. Ha-ha-ha…