Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why pick on the Chief Justice Renato Corona?

Will he bring down the Judiciary  
with him?
Where will all these things lead?

As presidential sister Kris Aquino yearns for love this Christmas, her brother wants nothing more than impeach his arch enemy, the Chief Justice of the Philippines. Yesterday, Noynoy unleashed once more a debilitating verbal punch that reeks more of an ideological rather than a personal attack. Noynoy's speech was a painful reminder of the sad truth of the existing prostitution of the Court. 

Noynoy asked the Chief Justice to "face the people"--the source of his power through the impeachment trial. The Chief Justice's spokesperson, SC administrator Midas Marquez, says that his principal will not resign but will squarely face the accusations against him. What a damned way to start the new year by listening to juicy tidbits of a Chief Justice's life.


Marquez tries to marshall the rest of the judiciary by Corona's side, but calls fell on deaf ears. Lawyers are divided. Judges are divided, showing how  incredulous they are and how they least regard Marquez's call:


“I offer to you, to all of you judges, this brotherly warning—that the forces and the issues at play here are aimed at our very offices, our sworn duties, and our important roles in our constitutional structure and administration of justice,” he said, adding:
“To be sure, the perpetrators of this dastardly assault hope to intimidate and inspire fear amongst us with the loud clamoring of their ill-advised leadership. If they can toy with the public’s mind, to put the Chief Justice at the precipice of disaster, how much easier can it be to pressure any other member of the judiciary or anyone of us?”


The people are equally divided. In the latest Pulse Asia survey, the trust ratings of the Cief Justice fell by an additional six percentage points, bringing to 38percent the people's assessment of Corona's performance. 


Fact is, 24 percent of those surveyed are most critical of Corona's performance, and this probably includes members of the Court who disagreed with the logic applied by Corona in his decisions. 


How then can Corona marshall his forces and "protect the Court from his enemies", when his very constituency thinks that he is the enemy of the Court?


IN all three branches, the Supreme Court draws its power from the trust and confidence of the people. Congress enslaves the people through its laws. It directly transacts with the people, and tries to know what they want and translate these to laws.


The Executive has all the forces of the State in its disposal. It enjoys police power. It is the most political of all the branches, yet, also beholden to the pressures exerted by the Legislature.


Why is it important to cleanse the Judiciary?


First, we are a society built not just by men, but by the laws created by men. When people lose trust on the very laws which serves as pillars of our democracy, anarchy results. When people see that injustice rules, and the rules of the elite are most dominant, dissent rages and dysfunctionalism ensues. Foreign investors will also be deathly afraid of dealing with us, solely because of the impression that the Court's integrity has been compromised.


Ironically, both the Executive and the Legislature enjoys high positive ratings, while the Judiciary lags behind. During the time of Marcos, the Supreme Court was perceived to be a refuge of reason and sometimes, a savior of persecuted people. Now, the Court enjoys the least trust and confidence from the people.


It is time to change things.