The decision of 20 senator-judges to convict Chief Justice Renato Corona earned varied reactions from residents of Dumaguete City and neighboring areas.
Msgr. Gamaliel Tulabing, administrator of the Diocese of Dumaguete, has called for sobriety, saying that people should remain calm and pray for peace to prevail in the nation.
Reiterating the call of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Tulabing said that the best way to peace is to accept whatever the decision of the Senate that sat as an impeachment court so that “we can continue with whatever progress this country can have”.
Ricky Soler Jr., a businessman based in Bais City, Negros Oriental, said that finding Corona guilty would have been “more glorious” if it had been unanimous. “The amount of money involved and the sneaky way he (Corona) handled them really sealed his fate,” Soler said.
Chari Amos Katigbak, a resident of San Jose, Negros Oriental, who has been a vocal critic of Corona, expressed joy over what she called a “landmark decision”.
“I and most Filipinos hope the decision will create a sea of change in our political landscape. It (was) a good day for Filipinos that finally, this chapter in our history has come to pass”, Katigbak said.
She added that she hopes that Sen. Francis Escudero made good his words that he will spearhead the legislation of a law that will make it standard for all government/public servants to state in their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, the money they have, whether in US dollars or pesos, and make the information available to the public.
Security guard Noel Dago-oc said it is just but right that Corona be convicted to prove that Philippine laws still have teeth; while Reynaldo Tepace, a cameraman of a local cable television company, pointed out that majority of the people have lost their trust and confidence in Corona as chief magistrate.
Arnulfo Benemerito Jr., an electrician from Dumaguete City, lauded the senator-judges for their actions, adding that the public must also choose carefully the future leaders of the country, especially with the midterm election next year.
Sulpicio Vensuelo Jr., a furniture maker, said the Corona impeachment must be a learning experience for the nation that is riddled with corruption. He also suggested that the SALNs of congressional representatives and senators be reviewed as well and should be under tight scrutiny to determine who is telling the truth.
Jace Marc Buenaventura, a member of the Youth Group at the Dumaguete Cathedral, also supported the idea that members of Congress should have their assets regularly reviewed, and that the public must not allow itself to be swayed by money during election time.*JFP/MA
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