Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Real Game of Thrones Part 2



Part 2: Taking Down the Walls

The House of Representatives. The delegation tasked of collecting enough reasons for certain officials' impeachment. Once, in my younger years, that same house previously led by Manny Villar impeached former president Joseph Estrada. Hearing went on in the Impeachment Court: The Senate. This was the former game of thrones. It shaped our future, and it brought us to where we are today. It never ended, as it was disrupted by a walk-out, a dancing scene, a crying scene, and to cap it all off, an EDSA DOS who's celebratory person was Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, crowned owner of the Iron Throne. That same person whom millions have proclaimed as the next Cory Aquino adopted graft and corruption in her plate. The public despised her.

Slowly, the new administration made efforts to bring down her walls. The Truth Commission was established, but later on abolished by the Supreme Court, CJ Renato Corona at the helm. Any corruption charges were blocked by her other minion, Merceditas Gutierrez, Ombudsman of the country.

GMA made several futile attempts to avoid justice. As she was being held captive in one hospital, travel ban from DOJ enforced by Sec. Leila De Lima forbade her to seek medical treatment abroad. CJ Corona, in capping an SC Decision, released TRO for this ban which sent GMA to the the airport, on wheelchair and with other spine-correcting tools, prepped to go abroad for treatment (and for others, it was escape). Leila De Lima fought for the ban, and GMA was stopped from leaving.

GMA was a mere participant in the Congress, and with the Congress running side by side with the current administration, impeachment complaints were the clear solutions. One was made for the Ombudsman, who, later on, resigned and did not undergo proceedings. She was replaced by one key person who once stood her ground on a moral rule called delicadeza – Conchita Carpio Morales. The other was for the Chief Justice, and it did push through under lead prosecutor Niel Tupas and the Congress led by Sonny Belmonte.

It was this House of Representatives that brought the Impeachment to the deciding court, the Senate, led by Juan Ponce Enrile and is, opposite the Congress, a delegation filled with 23 minds that altogether answer to no one, admin or opposition alike.

Only 5 were solid administration supporters – Drilon, Pangilinan, Guingona, Recto, and Osmeña. Staunch opposition were Marcos and Arroyo. Defensor Santiago, an ICC Judge, stood for nothing other than the rule of law. Villar and Legarda were former election opponents of PNOY. With them are siblings Pia Cayetano and Alan Cayatano, the latter ending his term in 2013 and might possibly run again. Lacson was MIA until he met with PNOY and participated once again in the Senate. Escudero was aligned with the PNOY's plans on defeating corruption. Angara had his son in the prosecution panel. Estrada, Sotto, Revilla, and Lapid were former actors, but also were part of the Senate for a long time. Honasan and Trillanes both came from the military and both had histories of coup attempts. Enrile, once called Bastard Son of Malabon (just like Ned Stark's bastards), most senior of all, leads the pack.

As the battle in court began, we see two faces of opposing sides: One was filled with people from the administration, congressmen acting as prosecutors, Niel Tupas at the lead. The other face was a face of expertise – the defense, composed of elite lawyers with former Associate Justice Serafin Cuevas as the head.

Clearly, the battle was one-sided. The prosecution team did not stand any chance on winning, most especially because of two things: first, the articles of impeachment were flawed, and second, their evidences were proven wrong. It was a battle to be won by the defense, whose ride throughout most of the forty days of trial were smooth and loved by many. Of the 8 articles of impeachment, only 3 were valid for decision: 

ARTICLE II, Non-disclosure of correct SALN
ARTICLE III, Wife Accepting a Government Post
ARTICLE VII, Release of TRO on GMA's Travel BAN

We know what happened in the court proceedings. Prosecution loses, Defense wins. But nothing is ever final if the verdict has not been handed over. The 23 judges would still have to decide. In a mere twist of fate, unexpected and simply bludgeoning enough to shake all things, Chief Justice Renato Corona made a crucial mistake. Add to that a prior witness, brought in by the defense as hostile witness, placed the country's attention to Corona's dollar accounts and undisclosed wealth. It was Ombudsman Carpio Morales, the same lady whose delicadeza brought her to stand her ground and do not accept the nomination for GMA's midnight appointment.

The game has changed.

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