The 188 congressmen and Senator Franklin Drilon should take up the challenge of Chief Justice Corona to sign the waivers authorizing various entities to disclose to the public their bank accounts and financial records.
In his testimony in the Senate Impeachment Court, Corona signed a waiver allowing banks, government offices and institutions to release to the public his accounts, assets and financial records under the condition that the 188 congressmen who signed the fast-tracked impeachment complaint against him and administration Senator Franklin Drilon sign the waiver as well.
Moment of truth
“I am humbly asking all 188 complainants from the House of Representatives, led by the congressmen in the prosecution panel, and Senator Franklin Drilon, to join me in a moment of truth,” Corona said, easily toppling Lady Gaga’s “I am not a creature of your government”
quote as political soundbite of the week.
He said this would be a “as a gesture of transparency and reconciliation with the Filipino people and to one another.”
“This is what the country is asking for. Let us face the people together. The nation is at a standstill. Our people are watching all of us. Our people have been drawn into this intriguing web of dissension and divisiveness. This proceeding has divided the nation. We owe it to the people. Let’s together show them we are first and foremost their public servants, and we surrender to their call for transparency and accountability. Let us rise to the occasion and prove to them that we deserve their trust,”
“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 the posturing to show the Filipino nation what we’re made of. This is no trick or manipulation. 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.”
“If any of you should choose to decline, I regret that there is no point in my waiver because this will allow the completion of persecution I have suffered. I am no thief. I am no criminal. I have done no wrong. But honorable senators, I also am no fool,”
While it would have been better and bolder if the Chief Justice did not bind his disclosure with such condition, it should not be difficult for the advocates of impeachment to sign the waivers as a
gesture of sincerity, and as a pledge to transparency and accountability in government.
Heck, President Aquino himself should lead the pledge and should immediately order his allies to sign the waiver. The administration should exercise the same swiftness and determination with which they railroaded the approval of the impeachment complaint in the lower house. If they could do it then, why should it be a problem now?
Since the start of the trial, the prosecution have used public funds and consumed much public attention better spent on many other issues. They went on fishing expeditions and conducted propaganda campaigns, and not a few times even lied and misled the public, just to build a case against the Chief Justice. Now that an opportunity to put the truth out in the open presents itself, signing a sheet of paper should not be very hard for these noble crusaders. They owe the public at least this much.
Tonyo Cruz writes:
Some say Corona’s gambit should be rejected for what it is. But saying so would unduly limit the crusade for good governance and accountability. Looking at it anew and against the backdrop of our long-running complaints towards a corrupt state populated by corrupt officials, Corona’
s challenge is sensible and should open the floodgates to holding all these officials accountable to the public.
The signing of the waivers could be a “win-win” solution, so to speak. Unfortunately, Drilon, Tupas and the “matuwid” administration officials are quick to reject the waiver challenge.
Are they afraid that the ghosts they created will come back to haunt them too?