Your Say: Public opinion on the Corona verdict
Through their television sets and the Internet, Filipinos all over the world witnessed a historic event on Tuesday when the highest magistrate of the country was convicted by the Senate for omitting substantial amounts of his wealth in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
Based on reader comments on GMA News Online, it seems that most Pinoys are celebrating the ouster as the beginning of a new journey towards a corruption-free Philippines. But of course, there are always two sides to a coin: some observers believe that Corona did not deserve to be convicted, that politics prevailed over law.
As of this writing, the top three most commented stories on GMA News Online regarding the Senate decision are:
Corona convicted (415 comments)
Here is a handpicked selection of our readers' thoughts on Corona's removal from office:
From bonri44, who thinks there should now be a demand for compliance from the lowest government employees up to the president himself to sign the waiver for disclosure of SALN's.
Let's all put the Corona Trial behind and move on.In moving forward, let's start by calling on the current administration to begin without delay the implementation of the new standard of transparency that the CJ had put forth and echoed by both senators A. Cayetano and Escudero - that is, the signing of a waiver similar to what the CJ had signed.Let us demand compliance, with no exceptions, by the President down to the lowest level employee of the government, and extending this farther to all parties that have business contracts and/or other dealings with the government.
From pinoyako 888, who thinks the ouster of Corona showed the essence of people power.
..this day shows the triumph of the ordinary and conscientious Filipinos against the mighty and powerful...a manifestation of what "people power" really means without going to the streets as these senator-judges gives in on what the masses desires...still believes that majority of these senator-judges are a bunch of self-serving politicians, but are afraid of a possible reprisal in the coming elections if they voted otherwise...as such, ordinary "Juans" must be mindful and observant of every event and development in our country as we move forward to a newer Philippines.
From dave, who thinks certain laws must be updated and made more clear to leave no room for vagueness in their interpretation.
The sword of justice has been sharpened once more, making it mightier and more important. The question remains that who shall wield that sword and for what purpose.If we replace the CJ with another crony, supporting a different president then we have merely wasted time and money and the trust of the people.If we have set the bar higher, morally, ethically for the politicians and gov't officials that rule our land, then the sword of justice must be used not just for those that stand against what one person deems is incorrect but must be used on all, to each and every, in the same manner.If we don't update our laws and make them clear, removing the vagueness left for those who wish to hide in the shadows of the law to hide their short comings and their lies, then we again have failed.I have watched with an eager eye on the proceedings over the course of the year, neither side was perfect, both sides used tactics that were questionable, but I respect the decision. Hopefully now, the changes that were promised, the changes that we need, will be given, and that we can find honesty in all gov't officials. (a far fetched hope, i must admit)
From hermionedumbledore, who thinks the cycle of corruption will repeat itself come election period.
Yes, there are too many lessons learned. From the ouster of Marcos, coup from Aquino gov't, PEA Amari land scam of Ramos admin, impeachment of Erap, election fraud and corruption of Arroyo, People Power 1,2,&3, natural disasters, and the latest "The Corona Impeachment." Natuto ba ang mg Pilipino? Natuto ba ang mga pulitiko? Nandun pa din ang kanilang pansariling interes. Ang sambayanang Pilipino, natuto ba? Hindi. Bakit? Nalalapit na naman ang halalan. Mag-aabang na naman sila ng pag-ulan ng salapi. Magiging bayaran na naman ang nakararaming mga Pilipino. Paulit-ulit, walang pagbabago. Ito ang dapat na baguhin. Ngunit paano? Saan magsisimula? Sino ang magsisimula?
From nilphil, who thinks the fight for corruption is a long-term goal for the country and must not end with the conviction of the chief justice:
Tandaan natin na lahat ng mauunlad na bansa ay nangailangan ng mahabang panahon upang maiayos ang lahat. Ang ating bansa ay bata pa at mangangailangan ng mas mahaba pang panahon bago natin makamit ang ating inaasam. Maari nga na hindi sa panahon natin ito mangyayari. Pero mahalaga na tayo ay kumilos ngayon para sa kinabukasan ng ating mga anak. Natanong mo kung paano, simple, kailangan paulit ulit nating panagutin ang lahat ng mapapatunayang corrupt hanggang maintindihan ng lahat na hindi tama ang maling gawain at hindi ito dapat mag patuloy. Kung titigil tayo at panghihinaan ng loob lahat ng naganap ngayon ay mawawalan ng saysay. Hindi dapat matapos sa conviction ni Renato Corona ang lahat. Kailangan ituloy ang laban sa katiwalian hanggang makamit ang layuning umunlad ang ating bayan.
From HJ Mirasol, who, in a reply to the comment above, says Filipinos must not lay sole blame to the government, that the drive for change must first come from the citizenry.
I say we start we ourselves. Instead of blaming our government, why not blame our pessimism, our defeatism, our apathy, our inaction, our laziness, our lack our patriotism and whatnot. Tayo din naman minsan ang may pagkukulang. And from there, let's find a way to change ourselves, our neighbors and ultimately our country.Kung hindi tayo maging responsable, and just blame our government for it's supposed failures, then we can whine all day at wala pa ring mangyayari dahil ang mga kurakot, ang mga bayaran ay di naman nanggaling sa ibang bayan o kumunidad kundi sa atin din. If we change, so will they.
From Spiritof86, who thinks it does not matter who benefitted politically from the trial, but rather it's about the Philippines working its way towards the right path.
Its so sad to know that there were senators who did not find Corona guilty. How can you trust the Supreme Court if its Chief Justice interprets the bank secrecy law in that manner. The law of the country also indicates that if a public official submits a false SALN he/she will be terminated. That law is easy to interpret or understand even for an uneducated person like me. Its very insulting for me as a Filipino to have a representative in the world court that interprets the law the same way as Senator Santiago. The law is simple its either you follow it or not, its black or white, right or wrong, guilty or not guilty. It really doesn't matter who benefited (politically) from this impeachment, the most important thing is that there was a decision made and this shows that our country is trying to go on a right path. For this we should all be thankful to God that we have leaders who still believe in His 10 Commandments.
From benpmalabuyoc, who thinks the verdict was reached without meticulously following due process.
Where in the world can you find a case where due process was not followed but still the case prospered? Fabricated and illegaly acquired evidences accepted. It makes me sick. Anyway, the true judgement will be rendered by the people come 2013 midterm election. I know that those who voted for conviction (especially JPE) want to be in the history books. In my opinion, what doomed the CJ was his walkout from the Senate floor last May 22. Planned or real, that action was his biggest blunder that doomed his cause. But still as I said earlier, this case should have not prospered at all. Good Luck Philippines.
From RubenC, who thinks Corona's defense team was brilliant throughout the trial —until they brought in the defendant himself to testify.
It's true the defense, specially Cuevas, was brilliant. Like the grandmasters of chess, their opening and middle game was excellent. However, they became amateurs in the endgame and blundered by bringing their King into the center of the board where he was checkmated. If Corona did not deliver his monologue where he admitted his peso and bank deposits and insulted the court by his abrupt walk out, who knows the defense would now be celebrating instead of sourgraping. Now, Corona should stop blaming others for his downfall, he was solely responsible for his own implosion.
From Jack808, who agrees with the guilty verdict, believing that the wisdom of common sense prevails over intelligence.
Let us not be burdened with so much technicalities. This is the very reason why the corrupt and the grafters manage to escape prosecution because they have the capacity to hire the best lawyers who can find for them a way out, with the money they stole from the people or from other immoral sources. An honest and forthright wisdom of the common sense often defeats the caprices of too much intelligence.
From isangjuandelacruz, who thinks Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago's argument was based on the personalities surrounding the case rather than its real merit.
For someone who is to be a judge in the international court, I can not fathom the argument given by Miriam that we should acquit Corona because he is not the only one commiting the same crime.. and that since the rest of the people accusing him and judging him are also corrupt therefore Corona should be found not guilty.. what kind of judgement is that.. her biggest argument is not on the merit of the case but on the personalities surrounding the case... then why did we create the law in the first place... I agree there are a lot more politicians in high positions that are corrupt, their time will come... in the meantime we deal with Corona since he got caught... after this let the rest of the bad guys follow the gallows of justice and rid this government of corrupt officials... in the meantime let Corona suffer the consequences of his greed.
From Gordo Viejo, who hopes that government officials learn from the chief justice's fate.
Of course there is room for minority and even unpopular opinions in a working democracy. I would like to respectfully submit, however, that the former Chief Justice was convicted despite of shady maneuverings by the prosecution panel and the Executive branch, not because of them. I find it hard to believe that he spent decades in corporate law, years as an Associate Justice, and two years as Chief, but declared only 2% of his true net worth. He had the best defense team any one could hope for, and was given due courtesy and even leniency by the Senate. His own admissions and his incredible behavior last Tuesday convicted him. I do not delight in his fall, nor feast at his misfortune. I do hope officials of government in all branches learn from this experience.
What's your say?
— TJD, GMA News
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