Did the President commit an impeachable offense?

It is asinine to compare the impeachment trial of Renato Corona to a case pending before a court of law.

An impeachment is a political process exclusive to the legislative branch of government while a court trial is a judicial process exclusive to the judicial branch of government.

Second, guilt beyond reasonable doubt is the bar in a court of law, while Aye and Nay votes that may or may not have anything to do with the guilt of the accused and do not even require an explanation from the senator/judges determine the outcome of an impeachment.

Third, the penalty for conviction in an impeachment trial is removal from office. There is no imprisonment or fine that go with it whereas conviction in a court of law can carry a sentence of imprisonment plus fines.

Fourth, what is absolutely forbidden is to try to influence a proceeding in a court of law. It is a crime. But it is okay for anybody from the president on down to try to influence the outcome of an impeachment because it is a political process and the entire body politic has a stake in its outcome.

And so those who say that Pres Aquino committed an impeachable offense because he tried to sway senator/judges into voting to convict Corona are confusing a political process with a judicial proceeding, it is akin to mistaking a hole in the ground for one’s ass.

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Uniffors.com. Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.

  • UPnnGrd

    IF deLima were to initiate the investigation and if PersiNoy were to be found guilty, ibang kuwento iyon.

    The case is not yet closed (… because the case is not being pursued) about millions-of-pesos incentive money given out of President Office budget to…. ahem… influence the voting to get this justice who affirmed the Arroyo government decision acgainst Hacienda Luisita.

  • baycas

    http://www.pinoyechannel.net/sen-bong-rivilla-privilege-speech-full-transcript-and-video/

    Mr. President, Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus – false in one, false in all. Sinungaling sa isa, sinungaling sa lahat!

    Mga kababayan, itanong ninyo sa inyong mga sarili, bakit po dapat paniwalaan ang sinungaling na political wrecking crew na ito ng mga nagkukunwari at pekeng whistleblower?

    The rule should only be applied when a witness “willfully and knowingly gives false testimony.”

    —–
    Note: Wasn’t able to view Revilla’s speech in the senatedotgovdotph site…is it not worth posting?

    • baycas

      “It is only natural for an accused to say anything just to get out of his problem. In fact, everybody would understand that a person in his situation would sacrifice others to save his skin. Kahit ano sasabihin niyan at kahit sino ituturo, basta may pangako na malululusutan niya yung kaso niya. Hindi ba’t ‘yan ang istorya ng mga makapili?”

      http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/330485/news/nation/bong-revilla-to-file-plunder-countercharge-vs-luy-other-whistleblowers-in-pork-scam

      Bong Revilla’s lawyer was quoted in October last year. It’s as if lawyer Bodegon just did what he preached. Can we now apply the Latin maxim Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus to Revilla’s speech?

      • cocoy

        Hi Baycas,

        I wanted to spare folks from losing IQs. hehe. It was really so bad. It was worst than watching an gossip talk show.

  • andrew lim

    Manuel,

    Read Atty Mel Sta Maria’s column on Revilla’s speech.

    Excerpts:

    “As I watched the senator’s speech on Monday, I could only say, “WOW” – but not because the invocation of this Latin rule was brilliant, and rather precisely because it was as dumb as it could get.”

    “Senator Revilla needs to do more than mouth high-sounding, unfamiliar, and foreign words to impress and convince. Every statement must be substantial. Every word must be meaningful, well thought out, and relevant. Every defense against an accusation must be credibly supported by reasonable evidence. Nothing less is expected of a Senator of the Republic.”

    “Falsus in ano kanyo? “.

    “Senator Revilla, do you really know what that combination of words really means? Do you know their acceptability and their relevance? I really doubt it. To which, therefore, we must remind: to say things and not know is mala in se (bad in itself).”

    • Manuel Buencamino

      Andrew,

      I read it. My post is a rebuttal of the argument that the president did something impeachable when he “meddled” in the Corona impeachment.

      From Sen Miriam Santiago’s column in the same portal

      “It is not a crime for the President to try to influence the outcome because an impeachment trial is both legal and political in nature. It is illegal for the President to try and influence the courts, because of the principle of independence of the judiciary. But it is legal for the President to try and influence the senator-judges, because he is the nominal head of his political party, and within bounds, he has the right to assure his political survival.”

      We have the same argument basically