MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/27 January) – Some readers had reacted to my previous piece titled “Technical foul” (MindaNews, January 26, 2012). In a nutshell, it’s about the efforts of the defense panel in the impeachment case against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona to bar the prosecution from linking the income tax returns and statements of assets, liabilities and net worth of their client to allegations of ill-gotten wealth against him.
Allow me reply to the comments – quoted below in their full unedited glory – that not only contradict my views but also resort to uncalled for name-calling. As a caveat, I can never be sure if these persons are using their real names.
Here’s from Ric Galvez:
“The technicalities and objections of Cuevas is meant to protect the constitutional rights of CJ Corona. No one should disparage these technicalities because that is where justice in this country is built upon. It is the essence of due process. My hunch is, the author of this editorial has already a conclusion in mind with no doubt a yellow handkerchief covering his eyes. Please look upon the impeachment trial with open eyes. Can we solely rely on ITRs to prove that the assets of CJ Corona are ill-gotten? No! And to think that the defense is yet to show their evidences and witnesses.”
Well, Ric, I never said that the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, has to completely do away with technicalities. The whole point of my argument is that technicalities should not be invoked to the point of sacrificing the primary purpose of an impeachment trial, which is to ferret out the truth behind the accusations.
Again, that would take us back to the explanation on the real nature of impeachment as can be gleaned from its historical and philosophical origins and as a legal tradition in Great Britain and the US. The Philippine Constitution simply borrowed from this tradition, and to depart from this tradition is to defeat the reason for which we borrowed it in the first place.
You said it yourself: we cannot “solely rely on ITRs to prove that the assets of CJ Corona are ill.” If that’s the case, then there’s no reason for the defense to object to the presentation of those documents as evidence. Of course, former associate justice Serafin Cuevas, Corona’s lead counsel, knows revealing the income tax returns would be damaging to his client, who turned out to have acquired millions worth of properties, according to documents released by registers of deeds in Metro Manila.
By the way, Ric, my eyes aren’t covered with a “yellow handkerchief.” I’m no Aquino fan, and will never be a fan of any politician. May I advise you to read, for example, “Is PNoy out on a vengeance?” (https://www.mindanews.com/mindaviews/someone-elses-windows/2011/12/17/someone-else%E2%80%99s-windows-is-pnoy-out-on-a-vengeance/), and “CJ Corona lashes at PNoy, other ‘brains’ behind impeach raps” (https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2012/01/16/cj-corona-lash-at-pnoy-other-%E2%80%98brains%E2%80%99-behind-impeach-raps/).
Just recently, I wrote an unflattering report on the Aquino administration’s human rights record, “Report: extrajudicial killings, impunity continue under Aquino. (https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2012/01/25/report-extrajudicial-killings-impunity-continue-under-aquino/) If you’d care to search the MindaNews website, you’re sure to find other articles of mine that would disprove the “yellow” label you put on me. Now, would you call me “Red” for this?
Let’s hear from Clach76:
“The technicalities are there to protect both parties, whether the accused or the accuser. We can not entirely believe the story of an accuser if he or she did not respect the rules to the detriment of the rights of the accused and fair play. To do otherwise is to make tyranny the rule.”
Clach76’s argument is similar to Ric’s except that it doesn’t resort to name-calling. Thanks for that.
“George” meanwhile said: “The writer is an idiot.”
Maybe I am, but at least, I never hide under the cloak of anonymity in airing opinions that may hurt the interests of other groups and people. I wish “George” would be man enough to reveal himself and disagree with me in an agreeable way. If you can write an interesting (not necessarily smart) piece on why you call me an idiot, I’d gladly give space to your thoughts. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno can be reached at email@example.com.)