Had INC ‘show of force’ worked for Corona’s retention in SC. . .
“(T)HE COUNCIL agreed to organize the event when (then Chief Justice Renato) Corona sought the INC’s assistance.” This was revealed for the first time when an Iglesia Ni Cristo snitch tattled about the attempt of the INC’s advisory council to put pressure on the senator-judges of the impeachment tribunal and to dissuade them from removing former Chief Justice Renato Corona (“Show of force went pfft,” News, 7/26/15). As everyone knows already, that didn’t work. Despite the large turnout of INC warm bodies, Corona was found guilty and was ousted for being unfit to sit in the Supreme Court.
Not many people knew Corona had gone down to the gutter-level of actually groveling for the help and “assistance” of the INC to save his neck. All along it was thought the INC rally was “Godly” and conscience-driven. All along it was thought that Corona got the late former Supreme Court justice Serafin Cuevas as his lead defense counsel because the latter was simply brilliant as a trial practitioner. No one begrudged him for that; his honor and his very life were at stake. As it turned out, the hidden agenda was to make sure the entire INC got his back! Cuevas was in fact also a top gun in the INC hierarchy.
There is talk that the INC does no political favors for free. There’s always payback time. The same report quoted an INC official saying: “(W)e had to increase our clout in the political arena… if we had to remain politically relevant… we needed to flex our muscles…”
Had the INC succeeded in shielding Corona then, the scenario the Filipino people would have had to deal with is too creepy to even imagine! A Supreme Court under Corona beholden, and therefore subservient, to the INC (which, needless to say, has numerous cases pending in various court venues) would have turned the country’s entire judicial system on its head!
We saw how Corona brazenly showed his “utang na loob” to former president Gloria Arroyo for her “midnight appointment” of him as chief justice. Remember how he manipulated the Supreme Court into making a “conditional temporary restraining order” (against Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s directive to stop Arroyo from leaving the country) into something “immediately executory”? (So similar to one of the examples we used to have in Logic 101 class: I will let you go if you post bail. That’s conditional. Which should come first, the letting go or the bail? None of us got that wrong—until Corona’s Supreme Court showed us otherwise!)
But be that as it may, the mere fact alone that Corona even thought of hiding under the skirt of the INC spoke much louder about the really sleazy stuff he was made of. Was that his idea of being “beyond reproach”? He had acted no better than a two-bit despicable politician lusting after power. Thank God, decency and good sense prevailed in the midst of all the mess he got the whole Supreme Court embroiled at that time.
—JAN VINCENT L. MARTINEZ,
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