Category: impeachment

spinning the walkout & the waiver #cj trial

wikipedia: In labor disputes, a walkout is a labor strike, the act of employees collectively leaving the workplace as an act of protest.

free dictionary: walk out 1. To go on strike. 2. To leave suddenly, often as a signal of disapproval.

merriam-webster: WALK OUT  1: to leave suddenly often as an expression of disapproval 2: to go on strike

was just listening to atty tranquil salvador on dzmm.  he gets A for eyffort, but i don’t buy the illness excuse, that corona was feeling so sick he didn’t know what he was doing, and that he may have thought nakapagpaalam na siya nang maayos.

what happened, what we saw, was a walkout, consistent, of a piece, with the belligerent barako tenor of his 3-hour performance statement.

if it were true that he was feeling ill, he couldn’t have stood up so easily, stepped down from the witness stand without a pause, or walked out so quickly and steadily without help.  if he were truly feeling hypoglycaemic, it would have made more sense to remain seated, ask for a coke, then ask to be excused and helped out of the place rather than risk the indignity of a collapse while walking out.

if he were truly feeling ill, but he was sure he could manage to walk out with dignity, then the first thing he or his wife or daughter should have sent for was a coke, whatever, instead of heading straight toward an exit where his car was waiting, motor running (o baka naman may coke doon), to take him away who knows where, possibly the supreme court, for the next phase of the battle.

i daresay that the illness set in only when he realized that his ploy had failed and so nag-regroup, asked for a coke and then a wheelchair.

i daresay that if the chief justice had gotten away before the lockdown, it would be an entirely different story unfolding.

and so the spin that it wasn’t a walkout but force majeure, coming from some senator-judges, only betrays how their trapo minds work and, of course, how they’re going to vote.  why else would they be making excuses for him.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III said there was no walkout because Corona sought the court’s permission before leaving. His only fault, he said, was that he did not wait for Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, the presiding judge, to discharge him.

“You cannot call it walkout, although it was not the proper procedure,” Sotto said.

Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. also believed there was no walkout because the Chief Justice returned to the session hall later in a wheelchair.

as for the conditional waiver: the spin is that it’s merely a diversionary tactic.  hmm.  read Corona’s challenge by rene azurin:

Regardless of how one feels about Mr. Corona and his alleged crimes, the words with which he ended his statement at the Senate last Tuesday accurately reflect what many Filipinos feel at this point: “…I beg you, ladies and gentlemen of the prosecution, not to engage me in argumentation about who is on trial here. We — you and me — are on trial here. Let’s stop all this posturing and show the Filipino nation what we’re made of…This is an invitation, a challenge for public accountability made only with the hope that we can all together give our nation one shining moment in public service.” Very well said.

The Filipino people have not hitherto been able to do any wholesale cleaning up of our messed-up government, mainly because the political and economic elite who run this country have been careful not to provide us (the powerless masses) with the means or the opportunity. Mr. Corona’s challenge opens the door a crack. If we are serious about wanting reform in this country, we should all add our collective voice to his and loudly insist on implementing what he has proposed.

senator judge drilon finds corona’s challenge ‘funny’ (as in, more fun-ny in the philippines?) while also warning that opening all government officials’ foreign currency deposits for scrutiny would be “disastrous to the banking system.”  the fear, i hear, is that government officials with unexplained wealth would be constrained to move their funds to “more hospitable jurisdictions” (as an fb friend puts it), which would be bad for the banks, baka magka-bank run pag na-tense rin ang ordinary depositors.

hmm.  but our banks are awash with cash: Philippine banks very liquid–BSP.  and if what my fb friend says is true, that “there are more prosperous business men and professionals than public officials in the banking system,” then it would seem that the banking system should be able to withstand the disaster drilon warns of.  a proper information campaign addressed to, and assuring, ordinary if rich depositors that they would not be affected would go a long way towards preventing bank runs.  it’s time the banking system took a stand against corruption, and for the legitimately private-citizen rich to stand by their banks.

the hitch, correct me if i’m wrong, is that under the bank secrecy law, we have no way of knowing who these crooked government officials are who would move unexplained wealth out of the country.  and even if we demanded a law that makes it mandatory for all government officials, appointive and elective, to waive privacy rights to their bank accounts upon assuming office, again, there would be nothing to prevent them from bankng unexplained wealth abroad.  hayyy.  paano na nga ba.

but first things first.  the latest from anc is that corona will attend the trial tomorrow and that he will submit an unconditional waiver, his way of proving that it is not he, but drilon & the reps, who have something to hide.

if true, then maybe he still has a chance of being acquitted.  although according to ellen tordesillas, the palace already had enough votes (16 of 23) to convict even before may 22.  we will know soon enough.

the walkout #cj trial

ang saya na sana.  it was good, in fairness, to hear his version of the stories that the yellow media had long been spinning, and his own powerpoint claiming just a handful of dollar accounts.  and when he signed that waiver, napa-wow ako, when he challenged drilon and the 188 reps who impeached him to waive theirs too, napahalakhak at palakpak ako, way to go!  but then he stood up and walked out, WTF, and all hell broke loose!

my take is, corona never intended to face cross-examination, he intended to walk out, as he did, once he was done with his statement.  if enrile had not ordered the lockdown that prevented him from leaving the building, i doubt that we would have seen him again.  but enrile was quick to the draw, and so corona was forced to plead illness, and play it sick, wheelchair and all, and tila nagkatotoo tuloy.  the melodrama continues.

but even if he were feeling all right, magugulat ako kung um-appear pa siya uli after that shocking show of disrespect for the senate impeachment court, which was like giving the finger to the senator-judges.  were he to return, it would be to a hostile court, for certain.

i was looking forward pa naman to hearing where the large dollar deposits on significant dates came from.  i guess we’ll never know.  ted te may be right, that corona will take the battle to the supreme court and ask for a restraining order against a senate vote.

the senate will not be stopped, of course, and more and more it looks like a corona conviction coming up.

those dollar accounts #cj trial

MANILA, Philippines – Day 37 of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona began with a bold assertion by defense lawyers he will face squarely charges he kept $10 million in secret accounts. By day’s end, however, the defense team appeared shell-shocked, after its hostile witness, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, shared with the court highlights of the chief magistrate’s dollar stash. Her source: a report by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

Corona has $12 million in “fresh deposits” in various banks, Carpio-Morales said Monday. This is aside from the $10 million Carpio-Morales said Corona had maintained in 82 accounts in five banks and where he had made deposits and withdrawals “on very significant dates,” including the 2004 and 2010 elections, and on December 11, 2011, the day he was impeached by the House of Representatives.

i was fascinated by the huge amounts, and puzzled by the movement of funds, in and out, in and out, and i wondered “aloud” via facebook and twitter what that was all about, why move money around in different accounts that are all under his name anyway.  obviously it wasn’t to hide the money, because then he would have put it in the names of other people or aliases ala jose velarde.

no one had an answer on twitter, though one said it was indeed “very weird.”  but on facebook a friend seems to have figured it out:

he was trading his US dollars in the dollar trading market. Interest in FCDU deposits are extremely low. I wonder who was busy trading his accounts, or was he doing it himself on his spare time? … on just the transaction flows I estimate he lost about $2M over the years — which should reflect the general FC market trend of the same period. I hope some traders will be available to confirm these speculations.

now i want to know where those dollar deposits that coincided with “signfiicant events” came from.  unless the ombudsman’s testimony was indeed all a ‘lantern of lies,’ as the chief justice insists.

Morales noted that there were significant transactions made during significant dates, particularly in 2004 and 2007, which were election years, and during the week Corona was impeached. She said $418,193.32 in time deposit was withdrawn when Corona was impeached, and $417,978.80 was transferred to a regular trust fund.

“We will debunk all her bloated numbers. And once she is proven wrong, I urge her to immediately resign from her post for allowing herself to be used by this Administration and making a laughingstock of government auditing,” Corona said.

“bloated,” hmm.  so, less than bloated would be acceptable?  the lantern metaphor, though, is intriguing.  around here, lanterns are usually more decorative than illuminating.

corona to testify #cj trial

it was senator jinggoy estrada who addressed defense counsel yesterday and strongly urged that chief justice renato corona testify, the sooner the better, so we can all get to the truth and not waste time, or something to that effect.  he cited his father, president joseph estrada, who in 2001 was willing, waiting, to testify at his trial, he had nothing to hide.

we all know what happened to erap.  before he could take the witness stand, the prosecution walked out and edsa dos erupted.  even then, i was suspicious of the walk-out.  the testimonies were just beginning to get really interesting – naungkat na ang disappearance ni bubby dacer, ang kaso ni hubert webb, ang milun-milyong kinita ng isang senator-judge sa bw shares, at kung anoano pa.  what else might have been revealed had the trial continued, had the president told all, let the chips fall where they may, as in, laglagan blues.  and what if, after he had told all, we had seen that he was the least guilty pala.

so what’s in it for corona.  it would seem he’s feeling confident that he can prove the $10M accounts to be bogus.  if so, tapos na ang boksing; the president, the prosecution, and the media vultures eat crow.

but it does seem like everyone who’s anti-corona – including the president and the ombudsman – are convinced that the chief justice has hidden, unexplained wealth that must have been illegally acquired, or he would have declared it, and how else does a judge get so rich if not by accepting bribes (in exchange for favorable decisions) from, among others, gma and cohorts maybe?

again, what would be in it for corona?  at least ma-e-explain niya ang circumstances behind the hidden wealth?  he’s the least guilty?  or at best, he won’t go down alone?  at hindi lang si gma ang maaaring ilaglag?  o baka rin, he’s been offered an ex-deal he can’t refuse, as in, testify against gma and he can keep the $10M?  or maybe he’s being promised immunity from suit, like we-know-who?  i smell a rat.