Defense counsel for CJ Justice Corona presented Congressman Tobias Tiangco on March 12, 2012 to prove that the articles of impeachment filed by the house against the jurist was flawed because it was impossible for the 188 congressmen to have read the complaint before affixing their signatures thereat and if ever they signed the impeachment, it was probably on account of Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF).
It was the turn of the defense to present a “dissenting” opinion in the House to censure the majority in its decision to impeach the jurist. This was the same spectacle when 3 weeks ago, the prosecution presented Secretary of Justice, Lila De Lima to narrate the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno about the effort of Chief Justice Corona to overreach some members of the Court and prevent the dissenting opinions of Justice Sereno and Justice Carpio to be released together with the majority opinion nullifying Justice Dept. Circular N0. 41 and thus paving the way to the much anticipated travel of Mrs. Arroyo and her husband Mike, abroad, had not the feisty Secretary tarried for a while to obey the Order of the Court.
The defense would then label the testimony of Sec. De Lima as hearsay, but it was alright for it to present Congressman Tiangco who went to the caucus on December 12, stayed for about 2 hours and 40 minutes and left his colleagues the momentous task of processing the impeachment he would later impugn as irregular.
He would narrate that the impeachment was politically motivated and it was to destabilize the Supreme Court. Luckily, the presiding officer, Juan Ponce Enrile, stopped his narrative as being pure “opinion”, though in the case of De Lima, speaking on the basis of the records of the court (dissenting opinions of Justice Sereno and Justice Carpio) the defense would call her testimony “hearsay.”
But in both situations the purpose was the same — to make a minority view overrides the majority view. The majority in the Court would want GMA and her husband to travel, the minority said no. The majority members of the House of Representatives impeached Corona, but the minority (which includes Tiangco), said no. Because the minority in the house said no, they would want the majority to abide by their decision not to impeach Corona and if impeached derogate the articles of impeachment as flawed.
Congressman Tobias is wrong about his political geography. He is a member of a political institution, the House of Representatives, and he is a politician and not a member of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. The language in the house is politics and politics is about horse-trading to arrive at a consensus. If the majority party does not want to trade-horse with the minority, the minority gets the horse’s shits instead. The minority is allowed to speak, but this small group cannot dictate the course of action of the majority. Congressman Tiangco and his friends whom you can count your fingers can cry their hearts out, but that’s the most they can do.
PDAF is a politics of accommodation. There is no immorality about it. If the release of funds is conditioned to their signing the impeachment, and the signatures of the majority were bartered for PDAF, then you have politics in all its splendor carrying the business for the day. This is the very essence of a democratic process.
I’ll give you money if you impeach Corona who is a stumbling block to government’s effort to make GMA and her band of criminals accountable to the people. They did not even have to be cajoled to sign the impeachment complaint with a promise of money – because it was their duty to put to task a person who appears to be coddling another crook instead of making her accountable for her misdeeds.
The house already made a political determination that as a body it should impeach CJ Corona. This decision binds the minority.
But why rebuke Congress for undertaking a position on account of money that the members badly needed for their infrastructure and social welfare projects in their districts? Have anyone gone to the provincial districts of these Congressmen to see a long queue of people early morning waiting for a turn to speak to their congressmen to ask money for medicine, burial cost of their relatives, hospitalization of the sick, and matriculation fee for their children, food and other menial needs?
Every day, Courts render decisions on high profile cases on promise of monetary return from litigants too. And unlike the money for congressmen, the money for jurists are never funneled back to the people who need the money most but instead they are safely tucked in bank accounts which they can convert easily from peso to dollar to completely hide them from the public.
Anyway, Congressman Tiangco does not want the Court to be destabilized by bringing a case against CJ Corona even in the light of initial evidence that the impeached jurist have so much money the origin of which he may not be able to credibly explain to the impeachment court and thus, the defense ask him to sing the old tune that the Senate has no jurisdiction to proceed with the impeachment case because it was flawed for lack of verification or the majority bartered its signature for money.
It was self-righteous for Congressman Tobias to say that he would be voting for the impeachment of CJ Corona based on law and on impeachable offenses and not for political reasons and money. He did not read the complaint and bother to ask for more clarifications from his colleagues as he was in a hurry to go to bed that day.
He equates his disagreement with his colleagues as a position of moral uprightness and theirs’ a devious scheme to destabilize the Supreme Court. Never in his mind did it occur that he could be wrong and his colleagues could be right. Apparently he is totally unaware that his colleagues have already shown to the Senate that CJ Corona have amassed lots of money and real properties worth millions and another P34.7 million from Basa-Guidote Enterprises, Inc., of which he has no authority to keep. Tuck in them his dollar deposits which he would not disclose and the public get the picture how lucrative the business of dispensing justice is!