Yesterday, May 22, was arguably the most watched day in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. The embattled CJ himself took the witness stand and addressed all the accusations hurled against him for the past five months.
In his opening statement, he defended his family’s honor, “debunked” the notion that he had more than 80 bank accounts, and hit the Aquino administration for supposedly “ganging up” on him. He gave in to the Prosecution’s demand of signing a waiver to disclose his dollar accounts, but dared the 188 impeachment complaint signatories and Sen. Franklin Drilon to do the same, in the name of “fighting corruption” and “upholding the truth”.
But then, after his three-hour-long speech, he suddenly got up from the witness stand and walked out of the Senate session hall. It would later be learned that his blood sugar levels went down.
One drama after another unraveled at the Senate. What could have been Corona’s chance for “redemption” might have been gone with the wind by now. He’s like a wrestler making a face (good guy) turn, then said “To hell with this!” and became a heel (bad guy) again the next minute. (I guess CJ Corona sought advice from Vince Russo for his performance.)
Now, he’s quite possibly at the mercy of Senate Presiding Officer Juan Ponce Enrile and the rest of the 22 Senator-judges.
Not only were the events of Day 40 dramatic, they were also head-scratching. First off, I’m ticked off at how CJ Corona answered accusations against him with accusations of his own against the Aquino administration. It doesn’t make sense. Calling Pres. Aquino and his men unfair is one thing. Calling them unfair and then airing their supposed dirt (without evidence, too) to get back at them is another. By fighting this way, CJ Corona is no different from his accusers. It doesn’t solve anything. It adds fuel to the rumor machine.
And second, can’t the highest lawyer and judge in the land excuse himself properly? Would saying “I’m afraid I’m not feeling well now. May I be excused?” after his long speech take too long? Heck, a soldier won’t do anything in front of his superior until he gets permission to leave and acknowledgment to be dismissed.
Respect begets respect, Chief Justice Corona. You’re in the Senate. It’s their rules you should follow, not your own.
In any court trial, evidence matters. It’s unfortunate (for Corona, at least) if the evidences presented by the Chief Justice would be stricken off by the impeachment court because of what he did. He faced his accusers and attempted to clear his name, but unfortunately his efforts might be rendered useless.
But hey, it’s his fault, and him alone. He brought this into himself. It’s his own doing. He called the shots. Don’t he dare use the nation’s name in this, after this “walk-out” of his.