I wrote a lengthy blog on the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Corona, but sent it off into the cosmos, bits and bytes strewn across the great ionic wasteland. I was only saying what everyone else was saying.
If I step back, I would cite the following observations, those of an outsider, easily dismissed:
- Democracy remains healthy when checks and balances keep it steady. Impeachment is a legal process, a check, a balance, against an officeholder who may have placed his well-being, or the well-being of his friends, above that of the people. If the accused did no wrong, the process will bear that out. The process ought to be respected. It is the law. It is healthy.
- Judges must at all costs retain an aura of impartiality. Attorneys are advocates. They need not retain an aura of impartiality. Judges who accept midnight appointments ought to know full well how that appointment will register with those who want judges who are better than the rest of us at maintaining balance, objectivity, perspective, and calm. The former chief of staff of the appointing president was made Chief Justice. The APPEARANCE of favor is gross and unsightly. An apolitical appointment would be a professor of law or a well-respected working judge, or any number of people not tainted by appearances.
- President Aquino did not make this ill-appearing appointment. President Aquino did not hold a midnight raid on the Constitution or hand out bags of cash to legislators. President Aquino did not try to run from the country on the apparent pretext of medical need. President Aquino is charged with the heavy responsibility of stopping these kinds of shenanigans. Doing nothing would be absolutely irresponsible. Why would anyone argue that he should do nothing?
- The Philippine judiciary is fundamentally a poorly run mess of inefficient, ponderous, political, corrupt incompetency that does not even give most people access to its services. It is a disgusting institution masked as righteous by old farts and fartresses of little humility. It is an institution that has no idea about accepting accountability for its condition. It also has some good people within its ranks, but they are overwhelmed by the weight of the sludge that is the system of favoritism and self-dealing.
- Many, many Filipinos are inherently defensive and see ill motive in any criticism. They fail to find respect for any person making any criticism. Court workers who march against the legal process of impeachment show themselves to be Filipino in character; they would undermine the very legal process they are charged with protecting and advancing to try diminish the legitimate critics who have hurt their feelings. They should refer back to item one, checks and balances, and acquire the dignity of someone who respects legal processes, which are contentious by design.