PART 2 – WRITING ON THE WALL: IN RETROSPECT

Post-conflict scenarios through current challenges

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In no uncertain terms, Secretary Deles declared, “We try to foresee and prepare for implementation stresses by already discussing post-conflict scenarios even as we craft plans and strategies to address today’s challenges.”

This interplay of events that are meant to come about from the peace negotiations on Mindanao and events that are currently taking place creates a picture of a machination whereby the latter are being made to influence the development of the former, and this should be alarming. This could only mean that the intransigence of President Benigno Aquino 3rd in his passion to deal former PGMA “political accountability” and Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona perpetual damnation is a crafting of a condition for bringing about what is being desired from the Mindanao peace process – whatever that is.

In other words, GMA and Chief Justice Corona are being pilloried for purported acts of graft and corruption and other evil doings in government less because they committed those acts than because pillorying them thus is the condition for achieving the aimed result of the Mindanao peace negotiations

In the presidential peace adviser’s speech, GMA is treated as a far greater threat to political stability than the armed insurgencies of the CPP/NPA/NDF, RPM-P/RPA/ABB, and MNLF combined. While the insurgents are to be forgiven in the name of peace, GMA cannot in the same name.


Exactly what “political accountability” for GMA means, one can only conjecture, but it surely evokes imageries of lynch crowd and gallows and at any rate must connote an inflexible, unforgiving attitude.

Chronology for chaos

In the case of CJ Corona, his clash with President Aquino could lead to the likes of the Estrada impeachment in 2001 – the mob rule that ousted him from the Presidency. How can such a situation augur for good prospects of peacekeeping and peacebuilding as Secretary Deles declared in her speech?

Unless, yes, indeed, the obtaining prospects of chaos and anarchy are conditions for ultimate peace in Mindanao.

The ongoing negotiations by the MILF and the government over Mindanao are just the continuation of the revived peace talks that resulted from a meeting between MILF Chief Al Hadj Murad and US Ambassador Kristie Kenney in 2008. Citing the chronology of events in the run up to the Malaysia seminar is in order if that will help determine where CJ Corona fits into the scheme of things.

Afternoon of November 15, the Supreme Court en banc issues Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Watch List Order which bans RGMA travel abroad. The TRO effectively lifts the travel ban, but Secretary Leila de Lima of the Department of Justice (DOJ) under which the BI falls stands pat on the watch list order, defying the TRO. RGMA, looking weak in a wheelchair, retreats to the St. Luke’s in Global City, Taguig.

That Presidential defiance of the Supreme Court ruling made a travesty of the rule of law and, with CJ Corona’s steadfast stand in upholding constitutional processes, effected a serious crack in the country’s system of government, i.e., the democratic system of checks and balances among the three co-equal braches, the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary.

November 17, charges of electoral sabotage are filed at Pasay City RTC against GMA. Reports say she will try again to leave Friday. Supreme Court announces TRO remains in force.

November 18, RGMA is held in police custody, under hospital arrest.

November 22, Supreme Court rules distribution of Hacienda Luisita to tenant farmers.

November 24, that Supreme Court ruling is announced. Hacienda Luisita farmers are jubilant.

December 5, PNoy berates Corona at the Criminal Justice Summit.

December 12, articles of impeachment signed; in Supreme Court flag-raising ceremony Corona resolves to fight it out.

December 13. Articles of impeachment filed with Senate. The crack between the Executive and the Judiciary is bound to be irreparable.

December 14, judiciary personnel across the nation spill out into the streets in what media describe as a Court Holiday; Senate is constituted as an impeachment court, sets trial to begin January 16, 2012 when it resumes session after the holidays

January 16, 2012, impeachment trial begins: the fireworks.

End of the chronology.

Views about the impeachment were as varied as the social sectors expressing them. The most pragmatic assessment came from former Senator Ernesto Maceda, who himself had once served as Senate President and a member of the defense panel in the impeachment trial of former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada.

In the ANC commentary program, Tamano Perspective, hosted by Atty. Adel Tamano, the former Senate President cited what he called seven factors that were at play in the Corona impeachment trial: 1) Merits, concerned with the merits of the impeachment charges; 2) Public Opinion, with what the public perceives the case to be; 3) Political Factor, dealing with the composition of the Senate which permeates widely varied political parties, making it difficult to muster the number of 16 to get a conviction while making it relatively easy for CJ Corona to get just 8 and win an acquittal, with 3 of these 8 having already expressed their commitment in his favor; 4 ) Joker Arroyo Factor, which raises the prospect of the Senate being the next object of PNoy’s demolition job should he succeed in discrediting the Supreme Court; 5) Carpio Factor, delving on the perception of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio as the lesser evil for the seat of Chief Justice; 6) Binay Factor, citing the possibility that a Corona ouster from the Supreme Court could encourage the impeachment of three more SC members, in which event the fulcrum in the electoral protest filed by Mar Roxas against Binay could shift to the former’s favor thereby causing the latter to lose his Vice Presidential post; and 7) Lobby Factor, or what former Senate President Maceda called the “Gapang Factor.”

(End of Part 2. Part 3 will be published tomorrow)

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