Corona suffers self-inflicted wounds


Why would anyone take a battle contained on one front and spread it to another? Without knowing the enemy’s weapons?

That was the first thing that came to mind as the defense counsels of Chief Justice Renato Corona tried to stop Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales from presenting a Powerpoint report on the alleged the dollar accounts of the Chief Magistrate.

As the defense lawyers in the Corona impeachment trial have repeatedly told us, this was their turn to present witnesses. It was supposedly their day. They were going to skewer the Chief Justice’s detractors.

Corona’s counsels are not greenhorns. They’re among the country’s highest paid lawyers. A couple of them are grudgingly admired by colleagues (even on the prosecution side) for being “sharks” – which makes you wonder about their admirers.

So why did they call in the Ombudsman?

Did they bite the bait? Did the case filed by activists with the Ombudsman provoke the Batangeno’s macho pride? Or did the initial bumbling by prosecution lawyers in the impeachment trial make the defense overconfident?

Perhaps a combination of both is at the root of the defense’s current troubles. And then there’s hubris. Impunity will do that, see. Getting away once, twice, thrice… can lull one into believing it can be forever.

Blame game

The funny thing is, there is no way you can blame this on the administration. The defense’s effort to play the conspiracy game fell flat this time.

“A member of Chief Justice Renato Corona’s defense team on Monday said he was surprised that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) had already issued a report onCorona’s dollar accounts to the Office of the Ombudsman.

‘Yun ang nakakagulat. Meron na pala yung dokumento na yan. Dapat inilabas na yung dokumento bago pinasagot si Chief Justice sapagkat parang gusto talagang igisa sa sariling mantika. Bakit hindi ordinaryo yung proseso,’ defense lawyer Rico Quicho said.

Quicho said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ‘went the extra mile’ in trying to ferret out the truth aboutCorona’s alleged dollar deposits.”

So addled was the defense that Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile had to read them the constitutional provision that allows the Office of the Ombudsman to seek help from any government agency in the pursuit of its functions. Carpio-Morales sought help from the AMLC and the Commission on Audit (CoA).

What the AMLC can’t do is to leak the results of its investigation. That was the reason, I guess, for the legend of the little lady and for the limited data presented to the Senate.

Waiting for CJ

BUT the defense’s move to have Carpio-Morales as a hostile witness gave the perfect excuse for a legitimate means of baring the results of the AMLC’s probe.

  • $12 million in fresh accounts that haven’t moved.
  • $10 million that flowed in and out of various shelters much like the way those circus guys shuffle shells.

And that’s for starters.  I’m not even going to comment on the Ombudsman’s speculation that the moves coincided with key elections under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

I’m not saying everything is correct and true. I’m saying, the numbers are just too much to shrug off. I’m saying, this is something the Chief Justice will have a hard time living down even if, as I write this, he is calling the Ombdusman’s numbers bloated. Even if he says her Powerpoint is “a lantern of lies.”

Notice, he doesn’t dispute the bank accounts. Only the numbers.

There are always battles to lose. But as they say in basketball, the loudest jeers are reserved for those who dunk into the opponent’s goal.

One should still give the Chief Justice the benefit of the doubt. But he must really stop with the press conferences and hustle off to face the music. He must appear to explain all those transactions. He can either deny and show proof (and sue everyone to hell and back) or explain. IF he can.

28 thoughts on “Corona suffers self-inflicted wounds

    • malalim ang nahukay nang pinaka-magagaling sa lahat na defense lawyers (liars), para ilibing si corona ng buhay. congratulations!!!

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  1. Pingback: Corona suffers self-inflicted wounds - Dateline Philippines

  2. so what? if there is one or two accounts, bakit wala sa SALN? kahit anong talino mahuli ka rin, if you’re lying…

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  3. my very suspicious mind tells me that the defense has other things planned like declaring a mistrial? why allow all these to happen? they can very well declare that the senator-judges cannot put any weight on the $10mn or so accounts bc it is not part of the original charges vs the cj.

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    • It’s rather hard to call for a mis-trial in an impeachment court🙂 i think…. i’m sure people will twist technicalities this way and that, but the pertinent question remains… what was not disclosed in the SALN. A few millions covered by problematic real estate transactions may be overlooked… but $10 million…. besides we get back to the point: who dragged in the ombudsman? it was corona, not the procesution

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  4. Seriously, “give him the benefit of the doubt”. After all your analysis that’s it? Are you a Senator Judge who procedurally has to withold judgement? Tell me if your jewelry is gone and all your maids have vanished with their belongings you would give them that benefit. Is this judgement best left to Senator Judges who each have their own agenda, as in “Bahala na si Batman”, or in the case of your maids “bahala na si pulis”. That sort of logical leap then think like Corona’s lawyer is what created the 2nd generation of marcoses trying to re-write history. You would really want to see the 2nd generation of Arroyos doing the same?

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    • No, but no matter my suspicions, or growing horror, I will always give the person the benefit of the doubt — until he chokes on his own rope. He may have now taken that rope and tied it around his neck… he has yet to actually jump (or kick the chair from under him)

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      • The fact that a majority of voters believe they have to follow a legal fiction (i.e. innocent until proven guilty or “give him the benefit of the doubt”) extrapolated into the public world is the main reason why we almost had Erap as the current President. Save fpr PNoy and Grace (God not Lee). We can choose to be simpletons when it comes to our own property(e.g. jewelry and our madis example) but the logic of the argument is that the reality will bite all of us if people who should know better or think better do not care or are apathetic. If we all thought that way spending time to share our thoughts on this blog would be illogical and meaningless actually.

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      • That’s right, that is why Corona’s testimony is vital. If he does not testify, that mean is is hiding a mystery.

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  5. corona will not testify. stupid as he is, he, at least, is presumed to know the law on perjury. he knows that there is a great likelihood that he will be prosecuted for graft and corruption later, acquitted or not in the impeachment trial. the last thing he wants to do is subject himself to cross examination twice for the same subject matter, under oath.

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  6. A mere probable cause that establishes grounds violating the rules on transparency and accountability is tantamount to betrayal of public trust.

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  7. BTW only Rappler (on-line) took Cj to task for his obvious use of his position to steal his wife’s relatives property. I wonder why other media organs did not. If you had an employee who enriched himself in such underhanded and calous manner would you still agree to employ him? The public thinks this is enough in a Telenovela to hate someone why is it not a big enough issue to impeach a CJ?

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    • i believe that case is in court. i don’t think the court ruled in favor of the relatives. you could debate the fairness of the court, of course… but i do not really like second-guessing courts except for exceptional circumstances and am wondering why the relatives did NOT approach the prosecution early enough to be included in the impeachment complaint. my take is, you have a complaint be ready to present it in a forum where you can be challenged… not just to the media🙂 but people are welcome to take others to task, of course🙂 Thanks for dropping by anyway🙂

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  8. Simple lang ang sagot kung bakit maraming dollars si CJ — ipinatago lang sa kanya ng bossing nya na si _ _ — gets mo ang name?

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  9. If it’s too good to be true, it usually is. 82 bank accounts? He knew the AMLC would look at them. Corona has a surprise waiting for us. Let’s wait until he testifies before we pass judgment.

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  10. IF IT IS A STRATEGY BY THE DEFENSE, I STILL HAVE TO SEE HOW THEY WOULD CONNECT. MEANTIME, I AGREE THAT THEY HAVE INFLICTED SERIOUS WOUNDS ON CORONA.

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  11. Pingback: Corona his own worst enemy - Dateline Philippines

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