When I lived in the U.S., I would tune into C-Span, the television network that airs broadcasts of the Senate and House in action. It is a patriotic place of contention and argument, bias and posturing, facts and reason. Some days civil, most days down and dirty.
The Supreme Court impeachment trial showed me something similar. Patriotic people, contentious and argumentative, biased and posturing, wrestling with facts and reason. Most days were down and dirty.
But you know, the Philippines has moved FORWARD and HIGHER, both with the outcome of the trial, and the democratic maturity demonstrated in the proceeding. It has moved FOR transparency and accuracy of public reporting by government employees. It has moved FOR integrity in the Supreme Court, a fundamental requirement for independence and respect.
No revision to the bank secrecy law is required, I think, as the Senate has declared clearly that SALN's must include dollar-denominated deposits. Case law is as good as written law and anyone who purposely withholds dollar deposits does so at considerable peril.
I'm guessing that one outcome of the trial will be much more attention and documentation put behind the SALN's. That's good.
The one law I would suggest OUGHT to be added is an act that creates a regulatory agency that oversees broadcast and print media. Today these media are self-regulated and pretty much out of control. If there is an ethical foundation for news reporting, it is not very strict. Rumor and borderline slander make up much of the sensationalist reporting. Media form a loose and irresponsible mob, in the main, more interested in titillating and attracting audience than integrity of reporting. This is not in the public interest.
I'm not that familiar with the political parties or persuasions of the senators. I found most of the arguments thoughtful and, frankly, uplifting. The exceptions were the dark political accusations of Senator Arroyo, the lunatic ranting of Senator Santiago, and the odd argument of Senator Marcos that puts the Bill of (personal) Rights above the Constitution. All three gave great arguments for continuing the ways of the non-transparent and corrupt.
I trust that Get Real Post will emote and rationalize away the proceeding as the opposite of what it was. They will claim it confirms the vacuity of the Filipino, and their vindictiveness.
No, no. You won't find much respect for democratic process at Get Real Post. The real vacuity rests with the values of GRP editors and its loyal thugs.
I hope President Aquino has a happy visit with President Obama in the U.S. next week. President Obama will be thoroughly briefed on the outcome of the trial, you may be assured.
Then President Aquino ought to return to the Philippines and go to work on constructive acts. Get out of political name-calling, and do some work. He's got less than four years left.
He was grossly out-of-line during the trial as he or his spokesmen meddled in Senate affairs.
It is good that he is enthusiastic about fighting corruption. It is bad that he lacks a certain discipline. He displays the same kind of loose discipline that got Chief Justice Corona in trouble.
He also tends to shade his appointments toward friends rather than competence. He needs to go with competence. His selection of the Supreme Court Chief Justice will be under a huge microscope.