Quarters jumped at Corona’s dare that Members of Congress, and Senator Drilon sign a waiver opening their own bank accounts to the public. This Corona Waiver “dare” can easily be described as pure theatrics. The waiver meant to confuse, defuse and redirect public attention. It panders to people’s distrust of politicians and government per se. Let us for one moment set aside this argument. Let me argue, and assume it is even a “valid” dare— that such a move does not look at the bigger picture. It does not right wrongs, and it does not strengthen our institutions for future generations to build on.
Recently, the Ombudsman challenged her power. She dared to go where no Ombudsman has gone before. She petitioned the Anti-Money Laundering Council for data on Corona Transactions. The Anti-Money Laundering Council was established to monitor huge financial transactions. And banks are obligated to report all transactions that trigger it.
The Ombudsman’s challenge is that she did this without a court order. During the Impeachment Trial, the Ombudsman before a shocked Senate asked how can she do this? How can she simply obtain records when even the Senate in aid of legislation cannot do; the Anti-Money Laundering Council would always tell them to get a court order, Senators argued. The Ombudsman simply stated, I am empowered to do so. Simply put she said, that the Constitution gives me the power.
The Impeachment Court would challenge this assertion by their decision on Renato C. Corona. If Corona is convicted you now have this first hurdle surpassed. The powers of the Ombudsman are awesome. So now the burden falls on the Office of the Ombudsman. People can tell the Ombudsman, “Your powers are awesome, let us put it to a test.”
Why then do you need a waiver?
So why do you need a waiver for when the Ombudsman has all these awesome powers?
Get the Ombudsman, and file the case with them.
This does two things that the Aquino Government’s critics missed— or purposely missed. First, it challenges Choncita Carpio-Morales to perform her duty as empowered by the Constitution. Second, we actually can strengthen institutions of government. We strengthen the Ombudsman. We strengthen the Judiciary, and we strengthen Congress. We actually prove in the long term that justice can, and will work in the Philippines. Surprisingly, we build the future. We’re building a future that is less about Theatrics, less about pomp and for show.
We are assuming then that Renato C. Corona is convicted. What happens if he isn’t? What happens when Renato C. Corona is acquitted? Do we need a waiver at all? Get a copy of Members of Congress’ Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth, and file the appropriate case before the proper forum.
How else to prove to be better than Aquino’s band of men and women?