|The trial, although did not come to finality because
of the walk-out of the prosecution lawyers led by then Congressman Joker
Arroyo, has caused the ouster of Erap. Ironically, Chief Justice Hilario
Davide, the presiding officer of the Erap impeachment trial, has come
through with the same ordeal. Alleged mismanagement in the spending of
the Judicial Development Fund (JDF) by the Chief Justice himself was among
the main issues in the said controversy.
Alarmed that a Constitutional crisis would ensue once the impeachment
move against Davide materializes, the civil society and other cause-oriented
groups have come to the rescue. Cory Aquino, running priest Robert Reyes
and advocates of the anti-impeachment movement and friends of Davide cried
and shouted foul. They said that the Chief Justice's integrity as a public
servant is beyond reproach. This writer agrees with the statement that
from among the public servants who might have committed hanky-panky business,
CJ Davide is the lesser evil (quoted from my editor). Anyway, who would
argue that nobody is a sinner?
However, a question cropped up from the "masa" that if Davide
did not commit a breach of his oath of the Constitution, then why is there
a need to block the impeachment against him? May dapat bang pagtakpan?
this is just a layman's query. Thanks to the unconstitutionality of the
second initiated impeachment, Davide was saved from impending trial. Nonetheless,
if the group who blocked the articles of impeachment have instead softened
their stand, and let the democratic process take due course, the Filipino
people would have been enlightened on whether or not Davide committed
wrong against the people, or be exonerated because his accusers are the
ones who have maligned a good man due to dirty politicking.
Now that the impeachment move against Davide was finally put to rest by
the Justices themselves (14-0), the phobia to impeach anybody from the
three co-equal branches of the government will linger on. If the most
powerful man in the country has been tried in an impeachment court, and
the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court can be impeached if the move has
pushed through, the next generation of leaders who will be appointed or
be elected in the same positions will now have second thoughts before
they would ever try or be tempted to trample the integrity of the offices
they would be holding.