President Benigno Aquino III’s repeated attacks on Chief Justice Renato Corona are the equivalent of bromidic sermons from a regime that has accomplished little despite its lofty pronouncements. It is a recycled “daang matuwid” speech that has lost credibility among the people.
Even with his anti-Corona/anti-corruption rhetoric, it is clear that Aquino’s regime has done little to advance meaningful reforms in the country. It is sheer demagoguery to hail the impeachment of the Chief Justice as central to his administration’s reform plans, especially when the regime has failed to act on many other social issues and concerns. Aquino simply lacks the moral ascendancy to give a lecture on good governance and justice.
It is naïve and even deceptive to say that the impeachment of the Chief Justice will result in a government that would provide for the people, or that it would lead to a reformed Supreme Court.
Aquino is clearly overstating the impact of the impeachment vis-à-vis the many problems of the country. While it is correct that high officials should be made accountable for their misdeeds, and that the Chief Justice is no exception, Aquino is pulling our leg when he says that the mere impeachment of Corona sets the stage for major reforms.
Aquino’s “good governance” rhetoric rings hollow given his failure to prosecute Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo for her crimes such as gross human rights violations, plunder and wholesale electoral fraud. Moreover, the impeachment of Corona does not necessarily ensure the full accountability of the former president. That job still rests primarily with the Executive who is supposed to be filing the cases against GMA.
It is also ridiculous for Aquino to claim that when he speaks, he does so “for a sizeable number of our people”. While public opinion may tend to favor the impeachment of the Chief Justice, this does not necessarily mean that the public’s reasons for supporting the impeachment are the same as Aquino’s. The Aquino camp’s motives have up to now been suspect. Questions continue to arise over the supposed maneuvers of the Liberal Party for 2016 as well as Aquino’s counterstrike against the SC for the Luisita decision.
Ah, if only Aquino dissed the oil deregulation law, human rights violators, and the lack of budget for social services as much as he disses Corona, perhaps his ranting could still have some use. Unfortunately, Aquino is using the impeachment trial to compensate for his utter lack of accomplishments in governance and reforms, nearly two years into his 6-year term.
We thus urge the public to be ever vigilant with the developments in the impeachment trial. As we demand accountability for the Chief Justice and oppose moves to suppress the truth, we should also be critical of the maneuverings of the Aquino regime that is out to use the process for its own self-serving ends. We must continue to press Aquino to address issues outside the narrow confines of the impeachment trial. In particular, we must continue to demand true accountability in cases involving GMA and her cohorts. We must demand that the regime address the problems of the economy, human rights abuses and violations of our sovereignty. The SC meanwhile will also not be insulated from the peoples’ protests as struggles for land reform and other issues continue.
Whatever the results of the trial, Aquino will not be able to escape the people’s demands for social justice that go beyond rhetoric and cosmetic changes. ###
PS. Next week will be Rep. Neri Colmenares’ turn to present evidence on Article 7 of the impeachment. This involves Corona’s actions that led to the infamous TRO on GMA’s watchlist order. This is the first and maybe last time that the issue of GMA will actually be discussed in the impeachment trial. This is something worth supporting.