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Poor performance unworthy of a CJ

/ 11:41 PM December 21, 2011

This is in connection with the news report about Chief Justice Renato Corona’s scathing attack on President Benigno Aquino III. (“Corona declares war on Aquino,” Inquirer,12/15/11)

In view of his stature as the “primus inter pares” in the Philippines’ highest court of justice, we were expecting a wholesome, intelligent discourse where every word would be a nugget—and a performance as brilliant as the Marilyn Monroe diamonds, at least.

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We were utterly disappointed. For a product of probably the country’s best educational institution, where he “honed his skills in writing and argumentation, indispensable tools for writing decisions with clarity, persuasion and sagacity”—as the writer in the Supreme Court homepage put it—his performance was a total disappointment.

We do not fault the Chief Justice for not being gifted with a sonorous voice. But a person of his caliber should have polished himself to compensate his liability with training in speech delivery that would make him speak clearly, persuasively and sagaciously.

I never took it against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that she was created small. But she was gifted with superb intelligence. Despite her being a midget she was an intellectual giant. She could have been a great president of this country if not for the numerous humongous corruption scandals which characterized her long nine-year reign and which she either condoned, tolerated or took part in.

Corona read his speech like a grade schooler with no training in oral reading. He even faltered as he read, which made us wonder why he was assigned as captain of his school’s debating team.

His mediocre delivery was aggravated by the kind of words he used which were not even proper for a chieftain of a remote village. His language was rough, coarse and vindictive most of the time. The mention of being a Batangueño implied a brusque challenge, like a neighborhood toughie throws to someone who had offended his masculinity. Batangueños are known for their fiery temperament, but Corona’s fire has no flame to light, only smoke to suffocate.

And speaking of masculinity, Corona even went so far as to maliciously make imputations about President Aquino’s alleged lack of it as is being parroted by people who do not have the finesse of an educated and tolerant person. “Hindi ko po maintindihan kung bakit nanggigigil nang husto sa akin ang ating pangulo,” he thundered, which was followed by the guffaws of an obviously unrefined, intolerant and equally coarse audience. His words were so unbecoming a chief justice.

He went on to insult Mr. Aquino’s intelligence by repeating and emphasizing “hindi mo naiintindihan”—clearly wanting to show that he possesses a much higher educational attainment than the President, and that he is the “primus inter pares,” not only in the Supreme Court but also among the co-equal branches of the government—the Judiciary, the Executive and the Legislative.

That performance showed us that Corona really does not deserve to be this country’s chief justice.

He had better resign, or be impeached.

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—RAMON MAYUGA,

[email protected]

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TAGS: President Benigno Aquino III, SC Chief Justice Renato Corona, Supreme Court
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