Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Who stands to gain from Corona Impeachment Trial?

Who really stands to gain from the Corona impeachment trial? If Corona is impeached, will real changes follow in the judiciary? What kind of changes are needed? Is this fight only about graft and corruption, and nothing else? 


Until now, Malacanang has not given us any inkling as to the kind of reforms the President wants to do with the judiciary. Reforms are actually administrative matters which only the Chief Justice is allowed by the Constitution to do. The President said, this impeachment trial is part of a "cleansing process" which will benefit the Judicial department in the long run.


However, Malacanang is still clueless as to the specific changes it wants. It only knows one thing--oust Renato Corona as Chief Justice. Will the ouster of Corona put an end to graft and corruption in the judiciary? 


I bet my Singdollar that this so-called "opening and public disclosure" of Corona's SALN will be the first and the last time a member of this institution will publicly disclose his SALN. After this trial drama, and Corona's impeached, every single thing will revert back to its original status. Money will still change hands in the judiciary. Money will still be the prime "influencer" in decisions rendered by the Courts. Why?


Any human-made institution is vulnerable to corruption. Even in modern countries, judges are also being corrupted and are corrupting the system too.  


Moreso, this impeachment trial, when it began, has already harmed democracy in this country. Instead of real changes, democracy has been put under a very dangerous state.


If Corona's impeached, and the entire Supreme Court is changed by people close to the Palace, what then will this Court be like? It will just be a rubber stamp by a strong Chief Executive. The independence of this Court has been compromised. 


The same thing will happen if Corona manages to stay---every single decision will be questioned ab infinitum by a Strong Chief Executive. Even decisions handled by law firms and lawyers who became part of Corona's defense panel will always be subject to doubt and scrutiny. 


Malacanang is courting serious political problems when it did this. What happens for example, if the Supreme Court, who is now handling the electoral protest of palace close-in Mar Roxas, decides to issue a denial of this protest case? Will the Roxas camp just keep its silence and respect the decision of the Court who earlier accused him of conspiring to oust the Chief Justice?


Or, what will happen if the SC renders a favorable decision? Certainly, the Binay camp will accuse both the Palace and the Judiciary of conspiring against Binay or even Binay accusing the Palace of forcing itself before the Judiciary, hence, the unfavorable decision?


What happens now to pending cases which are political in nature?What happens now to cases where the government is a party? Even if the Supreme Court renders a decision entirely based on law, in the minds of the public, these decisions are tainted already.


A favorable or an unfavorable outcome in this impeachment trial is immaterial now. Corona's part in this this case has now been been rendered irrelevant. Corona has now dragged the entire institution into the pits.