It seems President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III can no longer restrain himself from breathing down the neck of the Philippines’ judicial branch of government. Perhaps the President is newly-emboldened by his personal victory over the judiciary when he and his minions in Congress succeeded at unseating former Chief Justice Renato Corona on trumped-up charges this year.
Last Wednesday, Pasay Judge Jesus Mupas allowed former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) who is currently being charged for “electoral sabotage” (a non-bailable offense supposedly) to be released on bail on grounds that the prosecution had provided weak evidence to support their case against her. But then…
Aquino on Thursday said he found the requirements of Judge Jesus Mupas for the disapproval of the bail petition “too high.”
“Based on my understanding, Judge Mupas said there was no corroborative testimony in his decision to grant the bail petition. But if we can recall the accusation, there were only three persons talking – Mrs. Arroyo, (former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Sr.) Ampatuan, and (former Maguindanao administrator Norie) Unas who was listening,” the President said.
“Are we to think that they (Arroyo and Ampatuan) will give damaging testimonies against each other? So there can really be only one witness (Unas). How can we have corroborative testimony?”
And here is the punchline…
“The test (being used by Mupas) is a bit too high which makes it almost impossible to attain because no one else heard the conversation on the issue of electoral fraud,” Aquino added.
And that, President BS Aquino, is why the Judge Mupas ruled that the case is weak. If no one but a suspected genocidal maniac can corroborate the accusation against GMA — a former head of state of this wretched republic — then the prosecution’s case stands on the testimony of said maniac. The Judge merely ruled on the basis of that fact.
[Photo courtesy Reuters.]
It is quite possible that Malacañang is currently gearing up for another war versus the Philippine judiciary. Anything is possible after all — even the impeachment of no less than the Chief Justice of the Philippine court on grounds of what, on second look, are really non-impeachable offenses. Indeed, Lawyer Katrina Legarda in her interview with the Judicial Bar Council as candidate for the post of Chief Justice recounts…
“What they brought up against Corona was not really an impeachable offense. The courts became scared that when they displease a higher authority, they will have problems in the future..”
According to Legarda, morale in the ranks of the Philippine judiciary has “plunged” since the start of President BS Aquino’s vendetta versus Corona late last year. Since then have staff have been feeling “like lost sheep”.
Should Judge Jesus Mupas be worried?
Perhaps. Some netizens are speculating that he may currently be in President BS Aquino’s Most Wanted list. The Inquirer.net was earlier speaking for “the rest of the country” when it stated how everyone was “taken aback” by Mupas’s ruling in its “report” on the granting of GMA’s petition for bail. That a major Philippine broadsheet would presume to speak on behalf of “the rest of the country” is an ominous sign that Malacañang may already be marshaling all available resources at its disposal to crush GMA.
Indeed, the President is undeterred. His henchmen are already in the process of carrying out their Plan B with Aquino’s personal Ombudsman filing a request with the Sandiganbayan to issue an arrest warrant versus GMA, this time for the crime of “plunder”. The charge of “plunder” is “non-bailable” and this one is on grounds of GMA’s “alleged misuse of multimillion-peso intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)”.
The charge sheet alleged that the respondents “conspired…in withdrawing, amassing, accumulating public funds worth P391.9 million from July 2007 to January 2010…[and] by circumventing and/or violating the subject COA circulars relative…to the liquidation of complainant PCSO’s intelligence/confidential funds,” the information for plunder stated.
Sound like a plot from Game of Thrones? That’s because the Philippines remains mired in the results of 12th-Century thinking.
Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.