A man who could be PH’s next president
The eximious triumvirate of Senators Koko Pimentel, Sonny Trillanes and Alan Cayetano of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee should be commended for doing a herculean job for the country. Their tireless efforts to ferret out the truth about persistent charges of graft and corruption swirling around that well-guarded fortress known as the City Hall of Makati have given us an emerging picture of what to expect if Vice President Jejomar Binay succeeds in capturing Malacañang come 2016.
While, as lawyers, we agree that probably 80 percent of the “evidence” elicited by that panel can never pass the persnickety test of “admissibility” in a court of law, still we are fortunate the Senate is not hamstrung by such strictures which, in the hands of the best defense lawyers money can buy, can be easily deployed in any polemical exercise to keep skeletons from being pulled out of the closet. That certainly seems to be the reason why the Binay camp is deathly scared of letting the Vice President appear before the Senate to give his side of the story. There is just too much explaining for him to do about his family’s enormous wealth.
His mouthpieces insist that “the only proper forum is the court”—confident that nothing gets resolved there until after, perhaps, 30 years of legal limbo! We just recently got a taste of it: On its way to bringing all the charges to “the proper forum,” the Office of the Ombudsman was at once besieged by all sorts of obstacles. The injunction issued by the Court of Appeals to put all such prosecutorial processes on hold obscures an arduous and tortuous path ahead.
True, in the “proper forum,” all “evidence” gathered by the Senate panel will most likely get buried in a welter of technical objections and eventually lost in the glacier-paced progress of the case. But never mind, the public is already resigned to such irrefragable reality. Its main consolation lies in the fact that in the more relevant “court of public opinion,” enough truth has already been revealed by which the one so eagerly aspiring to become the next president of the republic can be judged. Under the present dispensation, that is the best the public can hope for. That should be enough; everything else would just be bonus. So, we salute the Three Musketeers!
—STEPHEN L. MONSANTO, Monsanto Law Office, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, [email protected]
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