[This article is in need of condensation.]
The following news news item is catching the attention of political bloggers:
This is based on an investigative report of Ms. Malou Mangahas of the (PCIJ) Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.
In one of the eight articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, the 188 members of the House of Representatives who signed the complaint censured him for refusing to disclose his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth or SALN. The Mangahas report asserted that Ombudsman, and most members of the Lower House (representatives) did not also disclose their SALNS, ie. keep them secret.
Some bloggers have taken a moral tone and quotes Jesus christ
He who has no sin should cast the first stone! and have strongly complained that the other Justices should have been impeached too! While we agree with this sentiment, the reality is that it is Corona currently being impeached. The others who did not divulge their SALNs may someday have their time in court.
Transparency applies to all. Let us start with the Chief Justice who's mistake was to attract attention to his obvious glaring partiality to his former patron, the previous president of the Republic Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Corona was a former Chief of Staff of the madame president! The biggest in stature should set a good example of impartial justice.
The Supreme Court has, by virtue of a memo (which may be unconstitutional!, has made this non-disclosure standard. They Justices are paying for this behavior bordering on being 'untouchables'. If this memo is to be believed, then the Congressmen do NOT have the right to impeach Corona! This make us remember a past corrupt official who said the infamous words: What are WE in power for?"
Still people claims that Equal protection of the law implies it is not only CJ Corona who should not be impeached but also all the other justices including the Aquino appointees.
Reality however bites again that it is beyond the legal and political systems capacity to try ALL for impeachment.
That is impractical, and if we charge everyone in the Supreme Court, it will only paralyze the entire judicial system.
In an ongoing legal trial, the accused cannot give that reply "others are doing it." He has to take account only of his/her actions.
That is UNFORTUNATE, but a fact of life. Life is so UNFAIR!
The House of representatives may be sinful as anyone else, and they casted the first stone already, very quickly, for the past history taught them that SC can issue an SQA (Merciditas Gutierrez ombudsman case) Such opportunity is now out of reach of the SC hands which is a good thing.
So let us wait for the Jan. 16 start of the impeachment proceedings!
SQA- statu quo Ante order.
Click for a timeline of the trial.