A Corona conviction will be bittersweet

Migrante International viewed Chief Justice Renato Corona’s signing of an unconditional waiver to open his dollar accounts as a positive development not only in the impeachment trial but for the bigger fight against corruption and plunder.

While Corona’s initial challenge to sign a conditional waiver may have been done for his own expediency, he had, wittingly or unwittingly, voiced out the sentiments of the Filipino public. With or without an impeachment trial, all 188 + 1 congressmen, Cabinet members and especially the President, would do well to sign their respective waivers and in effect lead the crusade for truth and accountability in government.

Indeed, the 188 + 1 congressmen, President Aquino and his allies are not the ones on trial. But if the five-month long impeachment process uncovered anything concrete and tangible, it is the stench being secreted by warring factions among the present ruling elite and their corresponding underhanded tactics to protect their own self-serving interests.

At this point, it is not only Corona who is on trial but the present political and economic system that he, the Aquinos and Arroyos all represent.

Ironically, Aquino himself promised to sign a waiver to disclose his bank accounts during his presidential bid in 2010. He himself recognized public clamor for transparency in government and capitalized on that very same clamor to advance his candidacy. Sadly, we have yet to see his administration’s sincerity and political will in enforcing the so-called “tuwid na daan”.

To this day, former Pres. Arroyo and her family have not been punished for any crime. The impeachment process which initially gained the support of the people for its promise of holding Arroyo accountable for her sins had very clearly turned into a Malacanang-directed telenovela mainly for the Aquino-Cojuangcos’ political payback. Now, as the impeachment trial comes to a close, Arroyo, with the help of Aquino’s spin doctors and allies, has conveniently concealed herself from the limelight – and with her numerous unresolved cases of plunder, human rights violations and fraud.

Migrante International asserts its position that, with or without the impeachment trial, Aquino has had many chances of prosecuting and punishing Arroyo but had failed to do so to this very day. The impeachment trial had only served to further fuel disillusionment with the Aquino administration and the present system of government.

A Corona conviction at this point would be bittersweet at best because the impeachment trial would be leaving the public with more questions than answers. No milestones have been achieved, but rather the perseverance of a status quo from which only Aquino and his allies would stand to benefit.

Migrante International calls on all overseas Filipinos and their families to remain vigilant and carry on with the fight for truth and accountability in government. Whatever the outcome of the Corona impeach trial, we stand firm in our resolve to demand immediate action from the Aquino government in holding Arroyo accountable for all her crimes against the Filipino people. Moreover, we condemn the Aquino government for using the impeachment trial as a tactic to forward his selfish interests at the expense of truth and accountability.###