The greatest show in court
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Today the Philippines will witness the start of a landmark trial, the likes of which the country had never seen before in its entire history. The highest official of the Supreme Court, also the highest court, or the court of last recourse in the land, will come before another one, this time composed of selected members of the Senate, the so-called Upper House of Congress, who will judge him on whether he deserves to hold the office.
The whole country knows the circumstances behind the ascent of Renato Corona to the Supreme Court. Even before his appointment was finalized by the outgoing president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, outrage had already been expressed, not only by the country’s solons and members of the Bar, but by ordinary citizens, all of whom knew the limits for extending such appointment.
Macapagal-Arroyo, however, was deadset on putting her former executive secretary spokesman, and co-worker in the office where she obviously needed him to be, and he, too, had no qualms about accepting it. President Benigno Aquino III, who succeeded Arroyo, made no secret of his displeasure with the arrangement, to the point that, going against tradition, he refused to have Corona administer his oath when he assumed the presidency.
To the members of the House of Representatives, however, who were monitoring the actuations and decisions of Corona since he took over, there was cause to question him, particularly after studying the paper trail on decisions by the High Court that they claim all favored his appointer and her causes.
So late last year, 188 of its members voted to impeach Corona. The next step is the hearing that begins today, when the senators will hear, and decide on the fate of Chief Justice Renato Corona. For sure, the entire world will be watching this trial and its conclusion. We who will be watching, must pray for the grant of discernment and sense of fairness and commitment to their oaths of office of those who will conduct it when judgment Day for the case comes.*