RP back in business after melodrama that is, Corona Impeachment

June 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last Tuesday became another watershed in Philippine history, when Renato Corona became the very first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to get a very strong impeached verdict from the Senate. The impeachment had all the elements for a successful telenovela, yet, after all the drama, the Senate had to cut short the emotional show and rendered a very strong judgment–20 senators in favor of impeachment while only 3 said otherwise.

Corona became the first person impeached with finality. However, President Aquino said the drama about Corona is not yet over. He should be hauled to court and should face the music. The Office of the Ombudsman will now be the next stage in Corona’s life. He should very well answer charges of amassing ill gotten wealth during his term as a government official.

The next episode is now dependent on President Aquino’s choice as Corona’s replacement. Several suggestions indicate a choice outside the judiciary, something which is probably the final nail in cleansing and revolutionizing this centuries-old institution. An outsider appointed as Chief Justice is not violative of the Constitution–it is, however, a departure from tradition. If Aquino breaks tradition and appoints an outsider, it would be a welcome news for the people. It is advised that the President do so to finally put an end to a possible power struggle among current Associate Justices.

Obviously, the current acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio enjoys a very small modicum of support from society, seeing that several groups see him as another remnant of the previous dispensation. Initial fears and speculations all centered on Aquino’s alleged favorite to replace Corona which puts a bad taste in the fight against corruption. Carpio, like Corona, enjoys a big doubt in the minds of people, since Carpio once played the role of big bad wolf behind the Gloria Arroyo administration. Carpio, as permanent Chief Justice, will surely create a destabilizing situation, because many allies of this administration and even outside of it, would surely break into a tumultuous protest mob once Aquino proclaims Carpio as Chief Justice. There is no turning back–Carpio should also be out of the picture.

There is now, a clamor for more reforms as the country faces a bright future ahead of it. The economy is slowly recovering and the economic prospects are brighter than before. Poverty remains an issue. Peace and order is also another problematic area. Graft and corruption has been minimized, yet remains a very real threat towards full recovery. The country must be given the time to recover fully from the real threats it faced during the previous dispensations. The country must put this impeachment trial behind and focus on the real issues that bedevils this country for centuries. It needs a strong government to finally put a nail on the coffin of traditionalism and corruption.

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