Truth, justice, and business as usual

It will take me some time to absorb the many political, moral and personal lessons one can derive from the Corona impeachment trial. But before the precious moment blinks off the radar screen, may I ask a few questions about the last few days of the trial:

1. Why didn’t prosecution pursue Corona’s waiver by insisting to use it to cross-examine him further? Producing all his bank, property and tax records would have clearly shown exactly where he failed to tell the truth — or, as another possibility, where his accusers failed to tell the truth.

2. Why did Enrile decide not to call on the AMLC people to testify, with his excuse that “this court is not a producer of evidence”, when there were previous points in the trial when the senator-judges directed the issuance of subpoena? Was he afraid that the pinpoint laser directed at Corona would start pointing its incriminating beams at other big dollar transactions involving other high officials?

3. Why was the voting done the way it was? I had expected a different procedure, which would have elicited a more comprehensive judgment of the case: the senators should have cast their vote simultaneously, on all three articles, in secret ballot. After the results were announced, they should have given themselves enough time to explain their votes, and not rush the conclusion as if they were making sure the decision reached the evening prime-time TV news on time. The public has the right to know why and how they judged Corona on all three counts.

As an observer so aptly noted: Why the rush to finish the impeachment trial and render judgment before June 7, when a much more stomach-churning multiple crime like the Ampatuan massacre is already taking nearly three years to try before the courts and yet no high official has even pushed and pulled at strings to create a special super-court to finish the proceedings?

I will let these questions brew in my mind for a while. But reading up on the many explanations already offered, a thought that insinuates itself is that the august senators, having suddenly “seen the light at the end of the tunnel,” suddenly realized that it was time to conclude the proceedings and move on. “Finished or not finished, pass your papers,” as my fourth-grade teacher would have told the class.

It was as if the process was no longer to find the truth and seek justice for everyone, but merely to remove Corona in a legal and credible way, so that everybody can move on to their next agenda, whatever that might be.

Why do I have this nasty and persistent feeling that the august senators did not really have truth and justice at the top of their minds, but merely to sign off a particularly nasty episode and then, smugly satisfied with their historic accomplishment, to proceed with business as usual? #

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