He should have seen it coming. He was a midnight appointee. He was not the most senior of the justices, so it was not a case of making sure the most senior got the job. Many people believe he was appointed by Arroyo to protect her. He was after all her former chief of staff and her former spokesman, to name a few posts he held under the Arroyo administration. And he was not the only one “indebted” to the former president: his wife was given a post in a government-owned and controlled corporation.
The presidential campaign of Noynoy Aquino has four legs: Food, Jobs, Education and Anti-Corruption. And now that he is president, he is damn well serious about delivering these promises. But with a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court perceived to be a hindrance, and not an ally in fighting corruption and/or persecuting those who committed corrupt practices, it was just a matter of time before an impeachment process is put in motion. Chief Justice Renato Corona should have seen it coming when this administration marshalled its forces Congress to make sure that Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez is impeached.
Or perhaps, he may have known about it way before his public announcement of such a plot in the morning of the day he is impeached. After all, we lesser mortals have heard about the move from the grapevine more than a month ago.
I am sure Chief Justice Corona has prepared for this eventuality. He may dig in, but that will be a costly move for him. The more he digs in, the more people will believe he is doing it to make sure he is in still with the Supreme Court when anyone of the cases against Gloria Arroyo will reach the highest court of the land.
Moreover, when the impeachment trial will start at the Senate level, the prosecutors will present a lot of evidence to prove their case against the Chief Justice. That will bring out a lot of dirty linens. Are Renato Corona and his family ready for that?
A few opinion makers have branded the current acts of the president as bullying – but the fact remains – an overwhelming majority of Filipinos is behind the president in his actions against the Chief Justice. Chief Justice Corona is widely perceived to be as a GMA boy even before the formal announcement of his appointment. It would be hard put for him to shed that image. Not even his personal guestings in various radio and cable since his appointment as Chief Justice helped.
Doing what Merceditas Gutierrez did before her impeachment was heard by the Senate might be something Chief Justice Renato Corona should consider.
- Philippine Supreme Court chief justice impeached (sfgate.com)
- Philippine High Court Justice Impeached (time.com)
- Philippines top judge impeached (bbc.co.uk)
- Can the SC survive the political fallout of their TRO? (mang1pinoy.wordpress.com)