Impeachment complaint against Duterte an exercise in futility

 

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano showing his file of impeachment charges against Pres. Duterte.

The writing on the wall clearly points to Sen. Antonio Trillanes as the master mind in Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano’s impeachment complaint filed against Presdent Rodrigo Duterte.

Not only have the duo been together in the infamous Oakwood mutiny in 2003 that was intended to topple down the Arroyo presidency, but the three main charges in the complaint just sounds too familiar that it is simply irrational not to mention Trillanes as the one behind it.

The fact alone that the House has the exclusive power to initiate the impeachment process only shows that Trillanes has used a loyal yes-person in Alejano to file the following charges against Duterte accusing him of:

  • betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution, and other high crimes for his war on drugs which, according to the complaint, the President has used to “induce” policemen into killing alleged drug dealers and users without regard for the law, and making this as basis for their promotion in the police.
  • betrayal of public trust, bribery, graft and corruption, and culpable violation of the Constitution for allegedly creating the Davao Death Squad (DDS) when he was mayor of Davao, citing the testimonies of self-confessed DDS members retired policeman Arturo Lascañas and Edgar Matobato.
  • of graft and corruption and other high crimes for his alleged unexplained wealth and his hiring of contractual employees as mayor. Among the annexes in the complaint are the alleged bank accounts of Duterte and his family.

If these Madalo pair of lawmakers is not grandstanding and ego tripping for their own selfish agenda, I do not know how else to describe it since they know very well that the 1987 Philippine Constitution sets specific grounds for impeachment of the president which are treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes or betrayal of public trust.

What I am saying and asking is: Do this pair of former renegade soldiers have enough solid evidences that would substantiate their allegations/charges so that they could nail Duterte to the cross?

Or are these former comrades in arms solely dependent on what is more commonly used phrase now – the alternative facts – which in reality are false facts or what is bluntly called as lies, especially coming from questionable, if not unreliable, witnesses against Duterte?

I am not even asking if both Trillanes and Alejano have enough followers in the House to muster enough votes to make the case against Duterte prosper.

No wonder Sen. Panfilo Lacson wished them good luck!

But what we should be asking really are:

  • Was there treason, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, and high crime committed by Duterte while still the mayor of Davao City?
  • How does Davao City now compare with other major cities in the country?
  • What does the Commission on Human Rights have to legally uphold Duterte’s human right violation?
  • Wasn’t the reason Duterte won overwhelmingly the presidential race is because the people want the country to be transformed the way he changed Davao city into a safe and livable place?

Thus, I would say that the impeachment complaint against Duterte is nothing but noise and an exercise in futility.

 

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Corona declared guilty

Ex-Chief Justice Renato Corona

With an overwhelming vote of 20-3, the senator-judges decided with finality to convict Renato Corona and remove him as Chief Justice for betrayal of public trust by failing to disclose all his assets.  He was found  guilty of the charge under Article 2 of the Articles of Impeachment.

It will be noted that the impeachment court did not have to vote anymore on the two remaining Articles of Impeachment, which accused Corona of bias for former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and of tinkering with a Supreme Court ruling on a case filed by employees of Philippine Airlines against the flag carrier, simply because a conviction has already been secured on Article 2.

It leaves no doubt in the minds of the public and, thankfully, of the senator-judges, therefore, that of the three Articles of Impeachment, the most significant, meaningful and compelling to be resolved, as it had the greatest impact on the Filipino people, was Article 2.

It is for this reason that the course of thought of the twenty, out of the 23 senators, including Senate President and impeachment court presiding officer Juan Ponce Enrile, in deciding to convict Corona for his failure to fully disclose his wealth in his statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN), ran parallel.

What they all meant by there collective decisions can be summed up to one important trait of a public servant, especially if he is the highest magistrate of the land, that of having an unquestioned INTEGRITY.

Sadly, by his own admission and interpretation of the law, revolving around Article 2, he miserably failed the ‘Caesar’s wife test’ and in the process lost the senator-judges’ votes.

It did not do any good that the defense opted to have Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales take the stand as hostile witness, because it only made Corona admit that he had these outrageous peso and dollar deposits, which he disproportionately declared, in the case of his peso account, and with the dollar account not being declared at all. This, after Carpio-Morales presented a report she received from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) detailing the transactions made by Corona.

Carpio-Morales’ testimony and Corona’s failure to declare TRUTHFULLY his assets were facts that sealed Corona’s fate.

The decisions made by the 20 senators who convicted Corona are all reflected in Enrile’s summation of the trial: “With all due respect, I believe that the respondent Chief Justice’s reliance on the absolute confidentiality accorded to foreign currency deposits under Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6426 is grossly misplaced. The non-disclosure of these deposits, in both local and foreign currency, would naturally result in a corresponding distortion of the Chief Justice’s real net worth. And so, with full trust that the Almighty will see us through the aftermath of this chapter in our nation’s history, I vote to hold the Chief Justice, Renato C. Corona, guilty as charged under Article 2, Par. 2.3, and that his deliberate act of excluding substantial assets from his sworn statement of assets, liabilities and net worth constitutes a culpable violation of the Constitution.”

So, what can one say about the acquittal votes rendered by Senators Joker Arroyo, Miriam Defensor Santiago and Ferdinand Marcos Jr.?

They were simply expressions of their own opinionated views, which were impertinent, at best, and self-serving, at worst.

Arroyo, once a firebrand, does not have the fire in his belly anymore. His usefulness is now past him. He is ready for the pasture.

Miriam did nothing but grandstand  – again, flaunting her superiority and acting narcissist as ever. She was more talking about herself and her future job as judge of the International Criminal Court. It would be a relief not to have her around and hope she finds Zeus, the god of lightning, in the Hague.

As to Bongbong Marcos, the son and namesake of the dictator, he was simply idiotically reflecting and insinuating the unjust treatment his family were subjected in the past and, therefore, identified himself with Corona’s predicament. It was sort of telling the court that Corona is innocent, as the Marcos family was, when they were booted out of the country. He does not know or pretends not to know that they are of the same feathers.

Like the 20 senators who found Corona guilty, the trend of thinking of the 3 senators, who wanted Corona acquitted, also ran parallel, but unfortunately for the two other meaningless Articles of Impeachment and not Article 2, which was the meat and bone of this impeachment trial.

What more evidence were they looking for when Corona himself was the most telling and believable evidence the defense presented for his own conviction?