Fair is fair.
(Courtesy of filamnation.com)
Anyone who followed the events yesterday could not have missed that with at least 6 senators, part of their reasons for convicting Corona gained much traction from a decision of the Supreme Court penned in 1997. Delsa Flores was a court interpreter, who was accused of hiding a market stall in her SALN, as well as receiving double compensation.
She was found guilty of concealing vital information in her declared statements and was immediately removed from her posiiton and perpetually barred from holding any public office.
(Read http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1997/may1997/am_p_97_1247.htm for the official Supreme Court decision.)
Delsa and Renato are now on equal footing.
Both were accused of hiding required and vital information from their sworn SALNs.
Both were adjudged guilty.
Both were removed from their posts and barred from ever having any public office.
From all the interviews I've seen of her, she seems relieved, more than anything else. She kept saying that it was good that they applied the same principle in convicting Corona, that if it was good enough to get her out of public service, Corona should be bound by those same standards.
It grates on my nerves when I hear why Corona is being subjected to a "higher" standard. Putting him through the Delsa Flores standard in not "higher", it is a basic requirement: honestly fill up your SALN. (Reminds me of people accusing those who push for gay marriage as trying to enforce "special rights".)
Honesty is one sterling quality of a sterling character.
Why imbue so much power and weight to the position of Chief Justice, if we expect him to just be like everyone else? That if he makes the "bare minimum", that qualifies him to take his now-former post?
Kung sabagay (Anyway), he didn't pass the Delsa Flores standard. Why should we subject him to a higher standard, nga naman?
This would be a good time to amend the SALN as well as the FCDA law. Even though senators believe that they could be harmonized, it would be best if amendments were introduced to both, so that future discussions are not saddled by legal language that is riddled with laxity in interpretation and abundant in ambiguity, allowing the reader to apply the law as he sees it fit to his situation, and more importantly, to escape public accountability.
The amendments should leave no doubt as to what is required of public officials. With exacting verbiage as well as a clear hierarchy of thse laws, to prevent further speculations as to which law would be considered "superior".
It looks like the former Chief Justice got his wish, after all.
Renato Corona has now been officially excused as Chief Justice of the Philippines.
And if they have the same shoe size, they can double their footwear instantly.