Corrupt Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Impeached - Yes YOU can effect change

juandelacruz's picture

Hi folks, it is a historic time in the Philippines. The Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona was impeached yesterday due to his failure to completely declare his assets in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities. This charge is not the main reason though why impeachment proceedings were mounted against him. The real reason for his impeachment is that he is seen as the protector of our widely acknowledged corrupt former president, Gloria Arroyo. Arroyo is now in jail facing corruption charges. The fairness of her trial and sentencing would have been in jeopardy though had the current chief justice remained in office as he has repeatedly been partial in all decisions with regards to Arroyo. Arroyo appointed him as Chief Justice and it was during her term that Corona accumulated unexplained and undeclared wealth.

Now this news may sound inconsequential to most in other countries, but believe me, it is very big progress for a country like the Philippines where the common man feels helpless against the elite. So what changed the tide. Believe it or not, the presidential elections was the tool by which ordinary citizens were able to effect a change in the system. Gloria Arroyo was widely seen to be corrupt as a president, but no charges against her could flourish due to the Supreme Court always siding with her. When election time came, the population decided very favorably for current president Aquino who ran on an anti corruption platform. Among Arroyo's offenses to the public are election cheating. I think that if it weren't for the very big lead that the public voted for Aquino, the presidential election could have been swayed by cheating in favor of an Arroyo ally.

It may seem far fetched that elections will solve the problems of the US, but just a few years ago common Filipinos also felt utterly helpless as Arroyo and her allies ran corrupt schemes. With the Supreme Court backing her up, she could get away with anything and do so even after she had stepped down. Now the tables are turned, I expect Arroyo will be convicted for corruption.

With enough information, the public can decide wisely. With collective action, change even the seemingly impossible can be effected. Do not lose hope, the turning point can be just around the corner.