Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘supreme court’

Balancing the Scales: CJ Under Trial (Part 2)

Caption of this poster says: Hindi ako kulay dilaw. Hindi ako kulay bughaw. Hindi ako kahel. Hindi ako kulay puti. Hindi ako kulay luntian...Filipino ako, Ito ang kulay ko.

Now, who’s really saying the truth? When you go and listen to both sides, you tend to think more (which is a healthy practice). After dwelling in the executive branch’s side, it’s high time to turn the other ear to the judiciary.

Being in both the SC and Palace made me see both sides, but it was yesterday that made me almost convinced to go on Corona’s side: thanks to the crowd who had passionately expressed their support. I don’t know what prompts them, maybe CJ was really a good man. Yet, I don’t want to judge quickly. Perhaps they’re right or perhaps they think they’re right. But only the Lord knows what’s really behind…or in their hearts. All I could remember was that it was another momentous event in history…and we were there to see it.

Statue of first CJ Cayetano Arellano covered in black cloth...

 

Even Jose Abad Santos' statue was veiled in black...the former CJs in Black!

 

Crowd cheers when CJ comes out of the SC lobby with his wife, Cristina. Both attended the send off mass before going to Senate for the impeachment trial

 

The judicial couple now faces their supporters before CJ makes another momentous speech

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Balancing the Scales: CJ Under Trial (Part 1)

Never had there been in history an ouster of a government official. So far, two big names have been impeached in the Lower House but the process was never finished in the Senate because of their abrupt leaves: the former President Joseph Estrada, who left his position because of the 2nd People Power Revolution and the former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who resigned before the Senate trial took place. Now, another big name is going to be on the Senate impeachment trial on Monday: the Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

We Filipino journalists had taken a keen interest in this case, mostly when the President himself began ranting against supposed alleges on the CJ’s actions late last year. One is his position as a “midnight appointee” of the former president, his non-disclosure of his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net-Worth or SALN, and other judicial blunders in issuing “unjustifiable” decisions in big cases.

It’s something to be anticipated for the fact that it’s the second impeachment trial that had reached the Senate grounds (Estrada’s impeachment case was the first). Another is because it involves a high-ranking official – namely the head of the judiciary. Some people view this moment as too political, as this stemmed from the President’s disappointment on the judiciary. But I see this moment as an exercise of balance in the government. There is no such thing as a “constitutional crisis” as some perceive it (because of the “word war” between members of the executive and of the judiciary). I saw that no one is above the law, not even the President himself.

If there is a constitutional crisis, then there should be no impeachment trial and CJ Corona would have just been abolished suddenly. Alright, most of the 188 congressmen who voted the CJ out last December were allies of the President. But now that it has reached the Senate grounds, I can say that this time, there is no presidential or judicial ally  issue here. The Senators are of mixed backgrounds, and I believe they will judge with fairness. The fight between the house prosecutors and the defense team will surely be listened to by the acting judges. The process was still followed. No martial law was issued. Fairness ensured.

And Monday will be no ordinary Monday for me.

While every media entity would be on watch, there are huge chances that this would be sensationalized. Sometimes, it is in the matter of delivery. Sometimes, it’s in the matter on how the public was fed by the information. The word war that happened was due because these personalities had to answer our questions. We, as media people, had to deliver their statements as accurately as they should be.

People have the tendency to react immediately without weighing it. With the public being the judge, our approval or disapproval can create a variety of reactions. This upcoming trial is now creating a flurry of thoughts to the public, how much more on the trial days?

But however the results are, may we present it as clear and as accurately as it should be. We don’t want sensationalism. We just want to present the truth. We support in keeping a record of another historical moment.

We’ll be on the watch. One day to go before the action sets in…

…And the Government Shall Be Upon His Shoulders

As a reporter in the political realm, I’ve become aware of the law and its technicalities. It used to be such a boring subject to me. But because it’s my job, I have to learn and understand it or I would not be an effective media personnel. Little by little, I was becoming used to it and soon, I was already enjoying it. But what amazes me more is how the Lord had shown that He is sovereign over any human law and that the government rightfully belongs to Him. No matter how clever a man of power can be, his wisdom is foolishness in the sight of the everlasting God, as He brings kings and leaders to rise and fall.

For the past week, I’ve monitored developments on a former president’s watchlist that turned sour. Cong. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo or CGMA had been defying the law as she tried her best to remain in power as president for 9 nine years. And yet the government today is set out in putting down into justice all those who had done the nation wrong in her administration. One of these was her involvement (or her leading) in the 2007 election fraud.

As cases were filed against her regarding the electoral fraud, the Department of Justice (DOJ) had filed a watchlist against her. It’s kinda weird that she would suddenly become sick and be in need of a bone biopsy at that point in time. I got doubts about that. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court (SC), where which a majority of its justices were her appointees, filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) against her watchlist. The Aquino administration, due to the fact that they were not given a chance to be in an oral argument before releasing the TRO, filed a motion for reconsideration (MR). What the nation watched out for was the en banc session, in which I was assigned to be last Friday.

While waiting for the result of the en banc, I was praying that the Lord would intervene and justice be served. Those charged for a big crime against the nation should not be released to another country, especially when there are doubts on the countries where she wanted to be. But imagine my great disappointment when the SC spokesperson came out and said that the MR is null and the TRO is in full effect. Majority of the justices voted for such results in the en banc session. But I was still hoping that GMA would not leave the country. It would be unfair for her not to be out of the country while a case was filed against her. Besides, I myself found it too weird for the need to get a bone biopsy in abroad while we got good doctors who can perform that here in the Philippines. Wouldn’t that be an insult to our own doctors? On the other hand, it’s unfair that she gets a good treatment for her “condition” while we got thousands of Pinoys who suffer without receiving the proper treatment for their condition because of lack of money

The developments were quick. Earlier that day, DOJ and COMELEC filed electoral sabotage charges to CGMA and other a number of former COMELEC and government officials. Right after the en banc session and before GMA was able to get to her 5:10 pm flight to Singapore, a warrant of arrest was issued against her. Such speed in the Philippine courts is very rare, especially in high-profiled cases like this. Indeed, the Lord intervened because only He can make this happen!

At that point in time, I realized that God is moving in the government. No matter how corrupt or weak it is, when His people pray, He rises and moves like a restless lion. But He needs His children to pray as we have been given authority over the earth (Genesis 1:26). And yet we have to give it back to Him as it is really His all along (Psalms 24:1). But as a gentleman, He will not intervene until we ask Him to.

The government, as one of the pillars of society, rightfully belongs to Him. For the time being, it is lent to man, and yet it is He who appoints and brings down kings (Ps. 75:6-7).

It’s time. We have to continue breaking down the walls of corruption and injustice through prayer and worship. The battle still rages on. God is really at work. He is indeed God and His reign is established – not only in heaven – but also on earth which is His footstool.

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