Mudslinging is commonplace with politicians, not Chief Justices. The Court he leads is considered the “weakest branch,” holding neither the power of the purse nor the might of the sword but armed only with the wisdom of its words and the moral sway of its conscience.
For this reason, a justice is required to be of “proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.” Probity, that quality of having strong moral principles, honesty and decency, is fundamentally incompatible with slinging mud; on the other hand, probity is fundamentally compatible with slinging truth—even if, as it often does, the truth hurts.
Section 2 of RA 1379 explicitly states that “whenever any public officer or employee has acquired during his incumbency an amount of property which is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property, said property shall be presumed prima facie to have been unlawfully acquired. x x x”
The elements which must concur for this prima facie presumption to apply are:
(1) the offender is a public officer or employee;
(2)he must have acquired a considerable amount of money or property during his incumbency; and
(3)said amount is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property.
- Chief Justice Renato Corona in
HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN (SPECIAL FIRST DIVISION), FERDINAND E. MARCOS (REPRESENTED BY HIS ESTATE/HEIRS: IMELDA R. MARCOS, MARIA IMELDA [IMEE] MARCOS-MANOTOC, FERDINAND R. MARCOS, JR. AND IRENE MARCOS-ARANETA) AND IMELDA ROMUALDEZ MARCOS, respondents.
eh sinabi mo eh
[hat tip, raissa robles]
More than anything, the impeachment court is an attempt at accountability, to take account of men who are invincible for the sake of those who are not. The court’s power emanates not from the people, but from the court itself, from the faith of the public who live in fear and awe of gavels and robes. Once that faith is shaken, even the most formidable of justices cannot hand down decisions and expect to be believed. Bang the drums, start up the band, send in the clowns.
The impeachment court is meant to restore that awe. It is public, it is open to scrutiny, it is to be a display not so much of the national circus, but a demonstration of the grandest of democratic principles: the public will. The people elected the senator-judges, the rules make no exceptions, and the logic is that no man is too powerful to refuse a just accounting.
This is what the prosecutors forget every time they discredit Corona. They are not there to destroy a man by simply calling him a criminal, a liar and a thief, they are there to prove it in the clearest and most irreproachable way possible that this man by virtue of his sins has no right to run the nation’s highest court. The whole grandstanding lot of spokespersons and lawyers may win the 2013 elections by virtue of their prettily knotted ties, but they do nothing for the country by their sniping and retracting. So what, they ask, if they arranged the articles of impeachment wrong? So what if they declared the wrong totals, so what if the language is vague and the statements of assets and liabilities do not include their legendary 45 properties? The truths they claim depend on how they legitimize these truths in the face of an 82-year-old courtroom veteran who plays the media with the slickness of a Casanova.
Christ what a clusterfuck.
Enough with the grandstanding and blunders already. It should be a damn slam dunk!
The prosecution is playing like a bunch of green rookies without a fucking coach. SMH.
It has to do with achievements in defiling institutions upon which our democracy stands. Of our tripartite system, because the judiciary is not periodically answerable to an electorate and is thus insulated from such self-cleansing mechanisms as elections, it enjoys a relative degree of perpetuity. Defile the judiciary and you perpetually defile democracy.
Fortunately, the Constitution affords us a singular remedy—impeachment.