In any trial, only accurate and verified documents or statements can withstand the test of truth. A witness, adverse or favorable, can either be praised or be stripped of his or her dignity, credibility, reliability, and most importantly of his or her respect or integrity when testifying before the court. However, in the case of the former Supreme Court associate justice, now, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, I believe, she was being stripped of respect and integrity that spelled her worth to step down from her office.
A Brief Overview of the Ombudsman
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales is undeniably an appointee of President Aquino. Rumors before her assumption to the Office of the Ombudsman recalled her alleged ambition to become the chief justice of the Supreme Court, the position occupied by the impeached Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.
Conchita Carpio-Morales earned her pre-law degree in Economics at the University of the Philippines and finished her law at the same school, that’s it. However, she graduated valedictorian both in elementary and high school.
Nowadays, sterling academic and professional credentials can not guarantee anyone else to land a sterling, respectable career in the government, especially during this time of Aquino administration unless otherwise you are exceptional (with machinery and political spine). This is evident when some times Aquino administration has constantly bombarded of issues criticizing the administration’s incompetence and being a failure. Well, can we afford to look at the Republic of the Philippines’ ombudsman that way-incompetent and a failure? Categorically, I will leave this bold question to the few.
What made the Ombudsman appear before the impeachment court?
Two things: firstly, Ombudsman Morales wrote Chief Justice Renato Corona for the latter to answer the alleged million dollars accounts. This form of writing exercise done by the Ombudsman can be construed as a complaint in the form of initial inquiry. Secondly, the impeachment court subpoenaed the Ombudsman upon the motion of the Defense.
Analyses drawn out from media, legal luminaries, and the Prosecution on the possible Ombudsman’s appearance before the court were evidently pinning the Chief Justice down. However, their confidence may reach the brim of overestimation overlooking the substance of the testimonies, especially on the aspects of accuracy, veracity, and conformity to the prevailing and encompassing laws.
Then, what was the turn-out?
One thing: Ombudsman Carpio-Morales’ statements before the Senate were bland (having gray areas monotony), structured (unprincipled and full of decayed diarrhea of playing safe defenses), and are tantamount to blabbering (talking without sufficient basis or spreading plain, studied rumors) thus, DO NOT HOLD WATER, unless otherwise verified by the Anti-Money Laundering Council or AMLC. However, verification of AMLC, though substantial to the Ombudsman’s statement, still the Ombudsman’s move, as it seems, to pin down, at least, the Chief Justice is subject to the rules and procedures of the law.
Others may ask at their being bias: Why did the defense so persistent in suppressing statements or evidence on the ground of technicalities? I may answer you briefly with this: Substantially, laws are set of rules and procedures deemed to be strictly followed to serve what is right, just, and equitable with fairness. Thus, laws are lantern of technicalities; these beauty of laws can not be appreciated by just breaking these to serve the truth. For the truth is at its best when tested by technicalities and justice will be served; it may not be the way you like it, but certainly the law may appreciate it.
Now, did the Ombudsman abuse her authority?
Procedurally, yes, with reservation: if and only if the AMLC has found a probable cause to file a complaint before the Ombudsman or the DOJ. Ergo, the Ombudsman or the DOJ must have a complaint from the AMLC before conducting a preliminary investigation, in this case, with the alleged million dollars accounts of Chief Justice Renato Corona. In other words, preliminary investigation of Ombudsman shall be in the manner prescribed in the Rules of Court, Rule 112, Section 3 provisions.
Did the Ombudsman perform her duty religiously?
For Aquino administration, she must have to do it at whatever cost. In the context of law vis-a-vis to the manner of requesting information from the AMLC singling out the Chief Justice for investigation, she has stretched it as far as she could. If this is so, then the Ombudsman must have been taught a lesson by the Senator-judge Miriam Defensor-Santiago in public so the public should know the cost of the Ombudsman’s initiative-an initiative worthy of the Ombudsman’s resignation from her post, immediately!
Then what’s the point of the Ombudsman’s statements?
It was multifaceted : firstly, vindictive politics can not be set aside as the cause of the Ombudsman initiative (it seems though evident) knowing that the Ombudsman was President Aquino appointee and the latter’s supervision to the Chief Justice impeachment was popular and transparent (Read this related post, an opinion based on the prevailing and transparent political tides on: 2 why the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was impeached?).
Secondly, it was pointless as to the weight of the Ombudsman’s statements purposive to pin down the Chief Justice. You may ask why? When the Ombudsman was asked by the Defense and by the Senator-judges on the accuracy, on the veracity, and on the conformity of her statements to the prevailing laws, the Ombudsman simply washed her hands asserting that her knowledge was based only on the AMLC forwarded reports. How incompetent answer that was! With that, Ombudsman Morales did only confess that she can not stand by her own statements made under oath! Then her statements were only decayed wastes.
Thirdly, the Ombudsman’s statement maybe utilized as propaganda campaign by the prosecution side. But the public should know that banks’ certification for all dollars accounts allegedly owned by the Chief Justice is the only one bold stroke to make Ombudsman’s statements substantial and credible. However, the impeachment court must focus to the Articles of Impeachment, and their verdict shall concentrate solely, strictly on this matter.
The impeachment court, at the end of the day, should lean on the side where the technicalities of the law are well appreciated. In that way, as the high court of any impeachment proceeding, solely created by the Constitution, its sole purpose of formation, that is, to reveal the truth and serve justice can be viewed as dignified, substantial, and at the highest degree of serving justice out of the strictest obedience of the technicalities of the law where the law is deemed to be at that. For, what things untouchable both judges and politicians have that can not simply obey what the law has prescribed and just obey the dictum of their pseudo conscience shadowed by a political brand? In other words, if senator-judges are indeed not guilty of amassing wealth clandestinely, hallelujah, this impeachment court is the holiest, cleanest court both in heaven and on Earth!
The Chief Justice impeachment is evidently a vindictive politics of the Aquino administration. Common sense tells us so. Ergo, to weed out vindictive politics and prevent it from flourishing, as it has always been the highest policy of the state, must the Senate ACQUIT the case so Aquino shall know that NOT at all times in his administration Philippine politics plays dirty? This may not be an ideal but the least antidote to regain respect and independence.
Uphold the judiciary independence! Resist Aquino administration political bullies!
- Office of the Ombudsman
- Supreme Court of the Philippines
- R.A. 9160 or Rules and Regulations Implementing the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 by chanrobles.com
- Rules of Court by chanrobles.com
- R.A. 6770 or An Act Providing for the Functional and Structural Organization of the Office of the Ombudsman and for Other Purrposes by chanrobles.com