He was tired– really tired. I saw that he is tired the moment he came out from his main office to greet us bloggers that night of Wednesday. “I have nothing to gain but everything to lose,” says he and though his voice was drained, he was firm that we won’t give up the fight. Right there and then, I realized there was a dissonance between what we hear in the media and what I was seeing that particular moment. Could that be the same person allegedly guilty of graft and corruption and betrayal of public trust?
The problem with us Filipinos is that we are so much in to telenovelas that we have a clear definition between the extremes. It is either black or white and there is never a shade of gray. We also perceive people us either good or bad but we almost never scrutinize the motivations for the actions. And now that we are in the middle of this Impeachment Trial and on the brink of a constitutional crisis, we are being fed by a media so predatory to sensationalism that our daily dose of news is a good deal of character misportrayals. The ultimate victim of this is the Chief Justice.
I am not in any position to vouch for him saying he’s clean and all, but during our interview with him last Wednesday, I definitely heard sincerity in his words. He relays to us how the Impeachment Trial made his faith stronger than ever and his family closer. Although he won’t comment on the merits of the case, he detailed the background behind the Basa family feud in order for us to understand what was happening. Do I believe him? I cannot say. I would want the evidence to speak for themselves, but after hearing both sides of the story now , at the very least, I could feel for him.
He was not, is not and will never be a man of politics, he says. He just wants to defend the independence of the judiciary– the grievance department of the sovereign Filipino people. He wants to have a credible judiciary that believes in due process and respects the rights of every Filipino. He wants a justice system where in people can run in to anytime without being intimidated by anyone. He simply wants a justice system that every Filipino has confidence in. When I ask what he is afraid of, he says that he is really afraid of the communists, and the silence resonated after that statement hits me with his pride and nationalism. I can never vouch for him as a person but I can say definitely that he is sincere in serving the public.
It is really hard to view this situation. I am no lawyer. The nearest law education I have is from reading John Grisham and watching Drop Dead Diva and I can barely understand half of the legal terms the prosecutor and the defense hurl at each other. But one thing is apparent to me at this point, there is a destabilization movement against the Chief Justice and the one responsible for this is really on to get Corona gone for good. I think this is unfair, but it is good enough for me to hear his side of the story before the Senate Impeachment Court arrives at a decision.
(Featured image courtesy by CreatiVoices)
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