"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

A nation on trial

AS a physician witnessing the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Renato Corona, I cannot help but compare and discern a stark difference between medical practice and the legal process as far as the search for "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" is concerned. Also, holistically, at this impeachment, not only one person is on trial but a whole nation and its people.

In medicine, when the complaints of the patients are heard by the physician or a group of physicians, and the clinical interrogation, examination, evidence-gathering (laboratory test reports, etc), are initiated, the "advocates for truth," who are the physicians and other members of the team, have only one clear universal goal: to search for truth (the right diagnosis), supported by facts, upon which the verdict (treatment) will depend. Hence, the truth is essential, fundamental, and truly indispensable. And everyone on the case, in good faith and in accordance to their sworn Hippocratic Oath, works expeditiously, to get to the truth in the name of quality medical care or medical "justice" for everyone, Chief Justice or not.

No member of the treating team, including the Big Professor, would be objecting, or refusing to accept, vital data, reports, documents, evidences, etc. None of them would try delaying tactics and technicalities to evade the issue in order to avoid the proper treatment. Above all, no member of the healthcare team would be calling for the medical investigation to be stopped, before or after it has been initiated, with the intentional sinister purpose of keeping the truth from being revealed and setting a most probable criminal to go scot-free.

Law was my second love in college, before I decided to take up medicine. As a young impressionistic college student, I had the utmost admiration and respect for the law profession and lawyers. To me then, lawyers were synonymous with the defender of truth and justice, who keep criminals off the streets and send them to where they belong, behind bars, to protect the people and the nation.

I also thought they were simply brilliant for crafting legal tenets like "no one is above the law, public trust is inviolate, and that all public officials, especially the members of the executive, legislative and judiciary, must be ethical, transparent, accountable, and held to a higher (nay, the highest!) standard of law and justice.

As I grew older, the legal realities became more obvious: When two sides, as in two legal protagonist teams, collide in court, one prosecuting and the other defending two diametrically opposite stands (as to guilt or innocence), only one could be right and just, since there is only ONE truth. This reality in the legal process means only 50 percent of all lawyers are defenders of truth and justice, and the other 50 percent defenders of falsehood and injustice, as what would result in every trial, including the Corona Impeachment.

It is one thing for the defense team to make sure their client gets a fair trial; it is another to prevent the truth from surfacing and obstruct justice. Lawyers who advocate with blatant disregard for the truth are an insult to the legal profession and no better than criminals themselves. The same applies to the judges, to a greater degree.

Why would any lawyer on the case, prosecution or defense, not welcome legitimate and proper evidences that could help expose the truth and serve justice? Aren’t both sides searching for the truth? The defense can present evidence, if they have any, to show that Corona is a saint and not a criminal, that the Chief Justice was legally compliant in his SALN, that he earned every single penny, every home and property (5 or 45, I lost count!) that he possesses today, that he did not amass ill-gotten wealth, that the praying Corona shedding tears was not a plunderer or law-breaker, that the Chief Justice is sinless. If Corona is innocent and has nothing to hide, why does he not come clean and bare it all? What is he scared of?

So far, I personally view Chief Justice Corona and his defense clowns as enemies of honesty, truth, and justice, by the way they argue and behave in and out of court. They also are alike and truly deserve each other. My respect and admiration go the integrity, tenacity and patience of the "younger, fumbling, inexperienced" prosecutors who are struggling very hard to present the truth, while the grandstanding Cuevas tries to derail and prevent them.

I am one of those who believe that Justice Corona’s defiance and arrogance and refusal to do a "Merci," were a result of Divine Providence. God is good to the Philippines and the Filipino People. He wanted to expose the truth and bestow upon our ailing nation and our suffering people the generous blessing that will help us wage a more effective war against graft and corruption. If the Chief Justice is determined innocent, which is most unlikely with all the evidences presented so far, he deserves to be free, but the painful lessons in this Trial will serve as a serious warning to all our public officials that Juan del Cruz, inspired by P-Noy’s "Daang Matuwid," has awakened and will zoom in on them and their activities with extreme vigilance.

If, in spite of the damning evidences exposed at the Impeachment Trial, the Court of Legislators still does not impeach the Chief Justice and set him free, these members of the impeachment court will become suspect as crooks and thieves protecting the honor of a fellow plunderer and criminal. And they themselves must then face the full wrath of the Parliament of the Streets.

On trial and at stake at this impeachment is not only Chief Justice Renato Corona but Philippine justice itself, and the dignity and honor of our nation and the Filipino people.

Let us show the world that in the Philippines no one, not even a Chief Justice, is above the law, and that the Filipinos are honorable and just, and not dumb and stupid.
Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana, USA, trained at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, is Chairman of Filipino United Network (FUN-USA), Vice Chairman of Filipino American Leadership Council (FALCONadvocacy) and Vice President for Far East of Cardiovascular Hospitals of America, Wichita, Kansas. He is a columnist for five newspapers and one magazine in the United States and five newspapers and one magazine in the Philippines. Author of Lets Stop "Killing" Our Children, A simplified survival guide for parents and society to save our children.

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