When God marches through an impeachment trial
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2012-05-27

The great 19th century German Chancellor, Otto Von Bismarck, said: “The statesman’s task is to hear God’s footsteps marching through history, and to try and catch on to His coattails as He marches past.” It reflected Bismarck’s conclusion that the best laid plans of mice and men — as Scottish National Poet Robbie Burns put it — could easily be revised by the Hand of the Almighty playing an intervening role in history.

This belief of God marching through history is founded on the deduction that the Almighty reserves the right to intervene during certain periods of a nation’s history. It doesn’t mean that we’ve been deprived of our free will — rather it is a belief that when God can no longer tolerate man’s exercise of free will, then He opts to intervene and He would then revise the landscape.

Indeed, how many times in history have we read that the most unlikely to happen — just happened? In our own country, we saw that happen in 1986 when political neophyte Cory C. Aquino ousted Dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. Again, we saw that in the 2010 presidential elections when Senator Noynoy Aquino, President Cory’s son, was catapulted by a people’s crusade to the presidency. Noynoy Aquino didn’t have his eyes on the 2010 presidency but Cory’s passing — an act of God — reshaped the political landscape here.

It’s your Chair Wrecker’s belief that God is once again marching through Philippine history in this impeachment trial of Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice (CJ) Renato Corona. The signs are all there and cannot be ignored.

Despite a substandard team of Congressmen Prosecutors, a lot of crucial pieces of evidence surfaced during the trial, bolstering the Prosecution’s case. Despite their superiority over the Prosecution team, it was the Defense team that inflicted upon themselves the fatal wounds. They shot themselves on the foot at a time when their foot was stuck in their mouth.

It was the Defense team that called Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to testify and they were all stunned by what she had presented. Despite the Defense team’s reluctance to bring the CJ to testify, the Ombudsman’s revelations compelled the personal appearance of their client, CJ Renato Corona, last May 22 and CJ Corona’s almost three-hour rant, capped by a walkout, turned out to be the coup de grace.

During the 1986 Snap Presidential Election campaign, the neophyte Cory Aquino could not make a major political blunder, which was the great fear of those who were involved in her campaign. Despite his political savvy and experience, it was Dictator Ferdinand Marcos who made one major blunder after another. These were unexpected if left to human capacity and means — but these happened because of an intervening force redirecting the fate of the Filipino people.

In the 1986 Snap Presidential Election, Marcos could have imposed a less severe outcome for him and his family had he opted not to cheat. If Marcos allowed the real election results to be proclaimed, he could have negotiated — through the US — an orderly transition and not appear in the eyes of the world as a pathetic ousted dictator.

The Filipino people did not accept the cheating operation. When the right catalysts came together — Cory Aquino, Jaime Cardinal Sin, Juan Ponce-Enrile and Fidel V. Ramos — People Power emerged and Philippine history took a new course. All these were beyond the human capacity to predict, plan and implement. Thus, my firm belief that it was another moment of God marching through history.

Today, we find our nation desperately crying for justice. Today, majority of Filipinos see a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as the single biggest impediment to attaining justice. The just prosecution of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her accomplices during their climate of impunity could not be pursued because of the CJ. Laws have been redefined in order to protect the guilty. To a just God, our current situation would be an abomination.

It’s also inconceivable that having redirected the political landscape during the 2010 presidential election, God would stop now when the mission is being derailed by protectors of evil.
The big question now is this — will the Senator-Judges introspect on this and decide to be positive factors for change? Will they hear the clamor of the majority of Filipinos to make the abusers of power accountable and to remove those who protect them?

Seeing to what lengths CJ Corona is willing to go in order to protect evil and his selfish interest — to what extent will he use the Supreme Court to negate a very possible guilty verdict by the Senator-Judges? In the light of his track record, we cannot discount the extreme move, which is to cause an SC intervention. An SC intervention of an impeachment trial’s verdict would lead to a Constitutional crisis. Once again, we’ll find our nation on the brink.

The Aquino administration has factored this as the ultimate desperate move that the CJ can make and so they planned for it accordingly. Offhand, one very possible offshoot of a Constitutional crisis is the mandate of the Commander-in-Chief to take remedial emergency measures for the greater good when the situation deteriorates to need such measures.

Will President Aquino exercise this option? His track record as a president would indicate that he is never deterred by gigantic challenges. He stood up to China. The CJ would look puny when compared to China. Why won’t the president exercise his emergency rule option when the impediment to his main mission is undermining the democratic and justice system by misusing its power?

A scenario of a Philippines under emergency rule is not to be feared. Cory Aquino had those powers and used them judiciously. Her more experienced son would know how to use these powers in order to accelerate the reforms we badly need.

Our state today is a perfect stage for a situation calling for God to march through Philippine history.
Shakespeare: “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.”
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