LESSONS FROM THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

2 June 2012

A PHILOSOPHER once said, "We should learn from history or else we are doomed to repeat its mistakes." The verdict on the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona was handed down. But it is important that we learn its lessons so we will not be "doomed to repeat the same mistakes."

One important lesson, and serves as a warning to all, is obedience to the law, especially on public accountability. We have to admire the candidness of the impeached Chief Justice by waiving the secrecy of all his bank deposits and allowing banks to open the accounts to proper authorities. However, it was his failure to declare his $2.4 million and R80 million in his annual statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) which caused his downfall.

His lawyers claimed that it may be true but it was not an impeachable offense. The result of the voting of the senator-judges proved, however, to be the contrary.

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The case of the court interpreter from Davao, Delsa Flores, was cited as an example. She was dismissed from government service for failure to declare a market stall in her official asset statement.

Hence, the other lesson is: The law applies to all, especially those holding high positions who should give good example.

There are, however, those who can bend or twist the law for their vested interests, and even get away scot-free. Well, there is no perfect justice in this world, we say. However, authorities concerned should apply the laws without fear or favor; in short, impartially.

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That's the ideal but the reality is, there are judges and magistrates who succumb to human weaknesses and monetary considerations in handing down verdicts which result in miscarriage of justice. For instance, how many cases had been won by a litigant because he has money to pay the best lawyers, and even a corrupt judge, against a poor complainant.

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That is why my mentor in theology once said that the many unredressed crimes should prove the existence of a just God who will right all wrongs and mete out punishments to all those who got off the hook. In his letter to the Hebrews, St. Paul writes: "For we know Him who has said, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay.' 'The Lord will judge His people.' It is fearful to fall into the hands of the living God." (Heb 10:30-31).

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. A lawyer specializing in personal injury decided to branch out, so he added libel claims to his practice. He wanted to add insult to injury.

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And did you hear about the comedian who incorporated himself? He became a laughing stock.

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GOD BLESS - the latest donors to Adopt a Seminarian scholarship program: Gupit Family; Anita Sioco; Lyn Lin; Efren Villaluz; Christian Workers Mov't Coop. Mla City Hall; Eliza Boada; Charito-Lilian Gaviola; Atty. Braulio-Amelie Tansinsin; Renato Viray; Miclat Family; Arsenio dela Torre; Mardol Foods Services, Inc..

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With the opening of the new school year, we fervently request others to chip in an amount or sponsor a seminarian's schooling. For inquiry, e-mail me at: belsvd@yahoo.com.