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Here we go again

Here we go again
Ronald Roy — 2012 May 02

As far as the defense team of impeached CJ Renato C. Corona is concerned, long expected had been the April 29 PDI news about his being asked by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to explain his alleged possession of at least US$10 million in bank accounts, apart from those peso accounts and pieces of property already being litigated in his current impeachment trial.

It seems that Justice Serafin Cuevas and his team had sensed all along that several vexatious complaints would be manufactured by the administration in a double-barreled assault to first remove CJ Corona from office, then criminally prosecute him for the same offenses in addition to a new one, irrespective of the impeachment court’s final verdict.

I’ve never mentioned it, but sometime during the second week last February, a Palace official texted me a tip that: “P-Noy (would) unleash his wrath to send Corona to jail whether he is acquitted or convicted by the impeachment court. He means it, Ron!”

Barely an hour after reading the headline story of the Inquirer’s issue, I texted the defense camp for a reaction, and this was its comment:

“xxx We have somewhat expected it. The three complaints were filed more than a month ago. The decision on the MR re: Luisita came out last Tuesday and trial resumes a week from now. How can the letter (of the Ombudsman) not be suspect? What is telling is the complaints made no mention of US$10M but appear to be a mirror of accusations in the current impeachment. xxx”

“xxx It cannot be for alleged unexplained wealth for forfeiture under RA 1379. CJ is still holding his position and any action under the law will have to wait for the verdict of the impeachment court. xxx”

The Corona camp did not say so in its text message, but I doubt that it was not aware that the three complaints were actually meant to also condition the public mind before the trial’s resumption that the Chief Justice was guilty not only of old-hat charges but also of a newly concocted one.

Consistent with P-Noy’s destructive and onion-skinned nature, those complaints were designed to imprison Mr. Corona, more than just to pursue a second impeachment.

Practically all lawyers I’ve conversed with join CJ Corona’s defenders in calling this a witchhunt and a retaliatory act, and I’d like to add that I see here the manipulative hand of an obsequious Ombudsman acting under the influence of a destructive and onion-skinned President, or at least acting on her own to please her benefactor.

We all hailed P-Noy’s appointment of former Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales as Ombudsman, vice the highly controversial Merceditas Gutierrez who had resigned under threat of impeachment as the perceived protector of the allegedly corrupt Arroyo spouses and their cohorts. I’m not calling Mrs. Morales corrupt but, well, what else can she be but at least grossly partial and incompetent?

It’s unbelievable that Ombudsman Carpio-Morales did not await the conclusion of the impeachment trial. Any law school senior would have advised her that her power to investigate the Chief Justice is so controversial that she should have taken the more equitable and more prudent and logical recourse of awaiting the trial’s end, before confronting him in her home court over the same alleged offenses and that new 10 million US dollar charge.

Hmmm… perhaps we will understand better her unreasonable-ness if we see her as a cousin of Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Mr. Corona’s principal rival for the high tribunal’s top post. Her misguided overzealousness renders her unfit for the position of Ombudsman. What the s_ _ t, after Merceditas Gutierrez, here’s another one! Here we go again!

So you see, Menchu (Muniz). I’m sorry that you hurt if I am very critical of P-Noy. More and more people are getting to regard him like his mother: petty and onion-skinned.

If you’ll recall, CJ Corona disclaimed credit when the Hacienda Luisita farmers recently hailed him as the “agrarian reform champion” after the Supreme Court released its final resolution ending their ownership conflict with the family of P-Noy. Describing the 8-6 verdict as just and lawful, the Chief Justice told reporters that the President would get back at him.

And this is it Menchu, P-Noy is now unleashing his wrath—characteristically, I might add—at CJ Corona through his flunky, Ombudsman Carpio-Morales. It’s people like me who hurt, people who used to look to her as among the brightest stars in P-Noy’s declared agenda to institute a truly responsive justice system.

Actually, Menchu, P-Noy is destructive like his father Ninoy (read my article “Like Lolo, Like Father, Like Son?” on my web site) and onion-skinned like his mother. In the latter case, we cannot forget her spiteful libel case against journalist Louie Beltran who figuratively described her as having hid under her bed at the height of a Gringo Honasan-led coup d’état.

Also, we cannot forget her wrathful order to her Justice Secretary, Franklin Drilon, to sue Juan Ponce Enrile for “Rebellion complexed with murder”, a non-existent felony, which the obsequious Drilon obliged to do to satisfy her lust for the death sentence being meted out to Enrile.

Incidentally, this is the same Drilon who continues to salivate for JPE’s occupancy of the senate presidency, if his anti-Corona behavior as an impeachment judge is any indication.

Yes, texter #6116, I was a Marcos appointee to the Land Bank Board of Directors in representation of the farming sector. As such, I recall sending President Cory Aquino a personal letter suggesting that, before embarking on her ambitious Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, she first instruct the Department of Agrarian Reform (today’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and Land Bank to fine-tune Marcos’s agrarian reform program. Well, my letter fell on deaf ears.

And when she eventually announced a stock-option plan for Hacienda Luisita’s tilling families, again I wrote her a personal note warning her that the same was contrary to the agrarian spirit of making the farmers owners of the farm lots they tilled, that the same would be viewed as an act of subterfuge to perpetuate her family’s ownership and control over the estate, and that ultimately their becoming stockholders of HLI would not achieve the vision of agrarian reform: the betterment of the economic lives of the farming class of our society.

It turns out now that the stock option deal has all along been a curse rather than a solution. Over 6,000 tilling families are back to square one. They’re now landowners who face the herculean task of realizing the vision.

Land Bank and the DENR have been directed to help. I hate to say it, but I think it could be “too late the hero” for these agencies. They nearly failed decades ago. Now, their officials must be mumbling: “Here we go again!”

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