It seems that the Philippines is in the middle of a repeat of the wholesale con of the Filipino people by the Aquino-Cojuangco clan that was the 2010 Philippine Presidential Elections. Despite overwhelming evidence that the prosecution team had misled the Filipino public with the unverified and outright false “evidence” they had submitted to the Senate court overseeing the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, the political bloc of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III merely stepped up its publicity drive to demonise Corona.
Recall what transpired in the trial session on the 21st March 2012 where…
The slow death-by-pahiya of the prosecution panel was presided over by tough-as-nails defense counsel Noel Lazaro who made the prosecution panel admit item-by-item the ruling out as “cancelled” of at least 17 of the 45 properties brandished by the prosecution team led by Niel Tupas Jr to the media at the start of the trial. Of the remaining 28 properties, only five were found to be directly under name of Corona and his wife Cristina — a far cry from the shocking outrage of 45 properties that the prosecution insinuated was acquired by Corona under suspicious circumstances.
The revelation of deceit was at such an astounding scale that it cast a pall over the entire trial. It was like a big elephant representing the prospect of mistrial suddenly appeared in the room. Suffice to say it is an elephant that everybody, for now, would pretend doesn’t exist. Nevertheless, the spectacle prompted several Senator-Judges to express their disbelief of how such an outright lie and deliberate effort to deceive could be taken so far. Senator Joker Arroyo called it “sickening”.
The obviously right thing to do is to apologise, and some Senator-Judges think so. According to Senator Loren Legarda, “You cannot go to town with unverified information, especially given the big difference between the reported number of properties and what was submitted…. If they made the correction in a press conference, the correction should also be made in a press conference.” Senator Jinggoy Estrada didn’t mince words. “May I tell you, to advise your spokesmen to rectify the error and take back what they said in the media that indeed, the properties of Chief Justice Corona are not 45, because I think the damage has already been done. It was already instilled in the minds of the public, in the minds of the people, or even in the minds of the court that Corona has 45 properties, when in fact, they are not 45.” Estrada said.
The prosecution has so far not shown any inclination towards apologising for this act of impropriety. This will be the second time since the 2010 elections that a massive insult to the intelligence of an entire people will be engineered by the political bloc of Noynoy Aquino. At its disposal are awesome resources — “cooperative” media behemoths ABS-CBN and the Inquirer.net, both of which benefited enormously from the rise to power of Noynoy’s mother, former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino. Shortly after the ascent to power of the late former President Corazon Aquino, ABS-CBN ownership reverted back to the Lopezes. ABS-CBN is also widely credited for creating the “People Power” and “Edsa Revolution” concepts, encapsulating the entire drama that saw the fall of former dictator Ferdinand Marocs and the “return” of “democracy” to the Philippines under those two catch phrases, and engineering the ingraining of these notions deep into the Filipino collective psyche through its omnipresent media channels. And in the lead up to the 1986 “people power” “revolution”, the then fledgling Philippine Daily Inquirer was lucky enough to have bet on the right horse. It was a big bet made while supposedly espousing reporting objectivity as evident in its chosen slogan “Balanced News, Fearless Views”.
Just recently, the Inquirer.net figured in what was widely-perceived to be a deliberate humiliation of defense witness Demetrio Vicente after the paper published on its front page unflattering photos of Vicente who, in his facial expressions, exhibited signs of struggling to cope with what could be permanent effects from a stroke he had previously suffered. The paper did issue an “apology” later. But it was one that…
(1) did NOT directly address Mr Vicente;
(2) did NOT acknowledge the disrespect and lack of taste it exhibited; and,
(3) did NOT express regret.
Nonetheless, the witch hunt, fishing expeditions, and inquisitions mounted by the Aquino bloc continue unabated (though not surprisingly). For her part, “investigative journalist” Raissa Robles came up with a blog post that “reported” speculative information that supposedly points to a portfolio of Corona properties that exists somewhere in the United States — something that Corona also denied recently in a press statement:
“The addresses cited by Raissa Robles were apartments rented by my two daughters (both licensed physical therapists in the US) at various times over the past 14 years.”
The Chief Magistrate pointed out that these were merely temporary mailing addresses when his daughters were still rented by his daughters Carla and Charina.
Between a self-described “investigative journalist” who once declared that she does not believe in the rule of law, and Chief Justice Corona whose assertions on how much properties he really does own had already been proven right before the Senate court, I wonder who the Filipino people are going to believe? If these are, as many of them would like others to believe, the devout Catholics they aspire to be, then maybe they should consider that their spiritual leader — Jesus Christ, himself — was sentenced to be crucified by a court of public opinion not too different from the one we are seeing today.
But that’s Philippine society for you — a society where the wrong arguments win pretty much 80 percent of the time, and where the the “National Debate” is dominated by characters whose primary skill revolves around a talent for appealing to the sentiments of the uneducated and starstruck of the lot.