Friday, January 27, 2012

Justice and Fair Play

This Thursday, the counsel for defense in the continuing telenovela that is the Corona Impeachment Trial (or as I like to call it "The Greatest Show on Earth"), called for the inhibition of Senator-Judge Franklin Drilon. Drilon's actions in the impeachment court raises questions of his impartiality, after many observers noted that drilon's lines of questioning were somewhat prosecutorial in nature, rather than clarificatory. True to his nature, however, he has stubbornly refused to inhibit himself, declaring himself a fair senator-judge. Drilon is affiliated with the Liberal Party, the very party that Penoy Aquino admitted initiated the impeachment of Chief Justice Corona. So much for fairness.

Whether Drilon admits it or not, his bias towards the proseuction team sticks out like a sore thumb. Even the average Juan is beginning to see Drilon for his true color: Yellow (in all aspects). Just last night, while I was chatting with the driver of the taxi cab I rode in from work, he asked me about the impeachment trial, and I was surprised when he said "Dapat mag inhibit na si Drilon. halatang siya naman ay pumapanig sa prosecution". This statement coming from Mamang Taxi Driver got me thinking that maybe all is not lost in the crusade for the observance of the rule of law. There may be many more like Mamang Taxi Driver who is not fooled by the cheap tricks and gimickry adapted by the prosecution and their Senator-Judge ally Drilon.


Out of delicadeza, Drilon should inhibit. Regardless of whether he is biased or not, the mere fact that there is already a perception among many that he is actually lawyering for the prosecution is grounds enough for him to inhibit, in the interest of justice and fair play. Corona is already on trial. This administration has managed to get their plans implemented thus far. if he is guilty, then by all means convict him, but subject him to a fair trial. There is a legal maxim: Let justice be done though the heavens fall. If in fact this administration has solid proof to convict corona, as they like to claim, then they should present these evidences in court, not to media. The house prosecutors had all the time to prepare, but what did they do? they presumed that Corona would resign, saving them the trouble of actually building a good case. This is what happens when arrogance gets in the way of levelheadedness and fair play.


We have a long way to go before true justice and fair play comes to play in this impeachment trial. Just recently, I heard that Administration ally Neri Colmenares was quoted as saying: "Hearsay can be used as basis for removing a public official like the Chief Justice because perception is important." Whatever Colmenares is smoking, he'd better stop now, before all his brain cells wither and vanish into the ether. Is Colmenares actually suggsting that we throw away the rules on evidence and just allow hearsay to be admitted as prima facie evidence? Somehow I think our representatives in the House are not actually there to represent us but rather to represent their own vested interests.

The scary part is how these so-called Honorable gentlemen allied with the administration make things up as they go along. They seem to be laboring under the delusion that the impeachment court is their oyster, and that they can bend or interpret existing rules and procedures to tailor-fit their ill-prepared case.


While waiting for the elevator yesterday morning, one of the office employees in our building was hotly discussing the Llamas DVD issue with her officemates. She was adamant in her conviction that Llamas should be sacked for buying two thousand pesos (P2,000.00) worth of pirated DVDs at a mall in Quezon City. "Tayong mga ordinaryong tao, laging sinasabihan na huwag i-patronize ang pirated DVDs tapos si Llamas, hindi man lang pagsabihan! Anong kalse namang pamamalakad 'yan!" Anong kalsng pamamalakad nga naman `yan, Penoy?


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