yup. i’m taking the side of the Chief Justice.
again, i think this is a part of me that would always root for the underdog. clearly, the Chief Justice being an ally of the former president GMA, with a highly controversial ‘midnight appointment,’ it would be easy to judge him to be guilty. i mean hindi pa ba obvious na andiyan siya sa Supreme Court to persecute the current president and protect the ex-president?
but the Supreme Court affirmed his appointment was legal. sure, this court has made some controversial decisions which i do not agree with but this is what the Supreme Court is all about — it is meant to be the final word in everything that is of the law.
some would call defense lawyer Karen Jimeno a ‘balimbing’ (one who easily switches alliances) but in an interview, she explained her position why she is now defending Corona whereas she was one of the complainants to the SC about Corona’s midnight appointment. her answer was simple: it was decided by the SC and she submits to the authority of the SC. that settled the complaint and that was that.
i, too, submit to the SC’s decisions. because i no longer trust in any institution in the government except the Supreme Court.
for the less objective reason why i think Corona is innocent: Noynoy is spoiled and Noynoy is a bully.
on the other hand, i have this great thought stuck in my head regarding accused people: “innocent until proven guilty.” which puts the burden of proof upon the prosecution to present evidence that indeed, the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. (yes, all the clichés are coming out, i know.)
in good faith. reasonable doubt.
i’m sorry but i cannot fault the Chief Justice for finding a loophole in the law. though they can indeed be harmonized as explained repeatedly in several explanations from the senator-judges, but there is no jurisprudence to disprove the loophole. the error must be corrected, that is clear. but that is a problem for the legislative branch to correct.
i also believe that a mere omission in good faith is not an impeachable offense. the defense never made their case that it was a deliberate omission to escape prosecution. a proof of the Chief Justice’s defense was that he declared his acquired properties in the subsequent SALN — he is able to make corrections to the SALN. again, though misguided, the interpretation of RA6426 should rely on the sole authority that is mandated to interpret laws: the Supreme Court. since the Chief Justice sees no irregularity and relies on jurisprudence on the absolute confidentiality of the bank accounts, then it cannot be a vote against his reliance on the SC’s interpretation of the law.
In my opinion, what prevailed in the votes was what Miriam Defensor-Santiago said. “kanya-kanyang interpretation” of the law because the issue of absolute confidentiality vs. declarations in SALN was never tackled in the SC (as far as i know) up to the present. as one friend of mine said about the now-famous Court Interpreter Delsa Flores of Davao case, the main complaint was that of her misconduct, not her owning of a stall. and absolute confidentiality was not in question.
again, i maintain that the defense was weak. they weren’t able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the omission was malicious and deliberate. while it is incorrect for the Chief Justice to not declare the accounts, it is not an impeachable offense. and finally, i still believe in the rule of law.
just like the Supreme Court decision on the plagiarism issue, i do not agree with the Impeachment Court’s decision. but i submit myself to it.
i’m not a lawyer. just an observer.