Caesar’s wife test for SC
Impeachment is, indeed, a tool of democracy although the process of impeachment can also be used to divide a nation. The impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona, who is said to be a midnight appointee of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, beleaguers our nation and has divided our people. Hence, if I were the Chief Justice, I would ask the other associate justices, who owe their appointments to an allegedly illegitimate president, to resign as well, out of delicadeza. By resigning from their present positions, they will not be regarded by the public as “kapit-tuko” which is an “honor” reserved only for lowlifes.
For, like Caesar’s wife, justices of the Supreme Court must be above suspicion. Established is the norm that judges should not only be impartial but should also appear impartial. Judges must not only render just, correct and impartial decisions, they must do so in a manner free from any suspicion as to their fairness, impartiality and integrity.
They should not wait to be impeached, considering that an official who resigns after he has been impeached may, nevertheless, be tried by the Senate as the punishment for a convicted impeached official includes disqualification from any public office. Resignation has the effect of removal, whereas, disqualification to hold any public office in the future may still be subjected to judgment. Moreover, conviction by the Senate is not curable by pardon.
—EMMANUEL LJ. MAPILI,
House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal,
Commonwealth Avenue, QC
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