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Whichever way the axe falls no one will win in the Corona impeachment

MANILA (Agencies) : Whichever way the axe falls in the impeach-ment trial of the chief justice, Renato Corona, there will be big trouble both in the government and the Supreme Court, Bishop Broderick Pabillo predicted.
The auxiliary bishop of Manila told CBCP News prior to the handing down of the verdict on May 28 that if Corona is acquitted, the administration of the president, Noynoy Aquino, will be seen as weak for failing to unseat its opponent despite its resources and power.
“If Corona is acquitted, it will show that Aquino is lame, because he used all the forces of his administration, but still failed,” Bishop Pabillo said.
He added that it is common knowledge that since the beginning of the trial all kinds of tactics have been used by Malacañang to bring shame and dishonour on Corona, but noted that the entire exercise brings into question the separation of executive and administrative powers.
The bishop pointed out, “The approval of the impeachment complaint in the Lower House was done according to political lines, not according to truth. Not only that, the Lower House and other government agencies were used to fish evidence against Corona.”
Bishop Pabillo, who chairs the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Philippines, said that if the chief justice is convicted, it will show the independence of the judiciary in a strange light.
“If that happens, it would be a blow to the judiciary, because Malacañang wants to control the Supreme Court,” he said.
On May 29, the senate, sitting 
as an impeachment court, was expected to decide the fate of Corona principally around his failure to declare US$2.4 million ($18.7 million) in deposits and 80.7 million pesos ($14.4 million) in commingled funds in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Networth declaration. 
Some bishops, however, expressed optimism that the impeachment trial of the chief justice may teach appropriate lessons to everyone in government service.
Bishop Vicente Navarra told CBCP Online Radio that “God allowed these events to happen so that the evil done and the evil intent of men will be uncovered and truth will come out and justice is vindicated.”
The bishop of Bacolod believes that both the prosecution and defence “have their own hidden agenda which will greatly affect the common good and the country’s welfare.”
In the trial on May 22, Corona made a surprise move when he signed a waiver that would allow the opening of his and his wife’s bank deposit statements, including dollar accounts, and to reveal to the public his assets, net worth, and business interests.
However, he said that he would submit his waiver of the Bank Secretary Deposits Law according to Republic Act 1405 and Foreign Currency Deposits Law (6426) to the impeachment court once member, Franklin Drilon, and the 188 members who signed the impeachment against him would do the same. The senator and most of the congress members refused.
Bishop Pabillo said public leaders should also sign a waiver so that their peso and dollar accounts can be opened too to show they have nothing to hide.
“Those accusing him should also set the example by disclosing their own dollar accounts,” Bishop Pabillo told Radio Veritas on May 23. “That’s why the challenge of the chief justice is good so that other lawmakers can show their assets.”
He added, “There is really something wrong when they want a person to disclose their dollar accounts, but the accusers refuse to do the same or don’t want to be transparent.”
The bishop claimed that if the Aquino government really wants transparency, it should start with its allies in congress and the senate.
“If political leaders really want transparency, they should disclose all their assets. Let’s be open,” Bishop Pabillo added.
Archbishop Ramon Arguelles also believes that taking up the disclosure challenge would erase doubt on every politician’s credibility.
“The nation will benefit a lot if they will sign a waiver,” the bishop of Lipa said.
Archbishop Oscar Cruz added that Corona’s dare “is but a statement that those accusing him of dishonesty in making his (disclosure) are dishonest themselves. That’s why the basis of this is to let us know that one who has no sin should throw the first stone. That’s the message,” the retired bishop said.