impeachment

Adam Schiff

Adam Schiff,

Lead House Impeachment Manager,

puts out one Daniel-Webster of a presentation.

 

Impeach12a.mp4

(OOOPS! Sorry about the slack

When you gotta go

you gotta go!)

Impeach12b.mp4

Impeach13.mp4

Betrayal of Public Trust

 

Betrayal of Public Trust

 The internet will show some write ups regarding the subject, write ups which are both scholarly and expertly laid out. All these, however appeal to mostly the minds of the barristers and the learned. To the ordinary laymen, the write ups are vague. In fact, even the writers on the subject consider the subject itself as vague. Under such a situation, I stopped reading these essays, not only because they imply that there has been no definition nor an explanation  of the phrase “betrayal of public trust”, but also because my head starts to ache on those times when I have to deal with ambiguities. This is one such ambiguity.

When the phrase “betrayal of public trust” was included in the Constitution (Articles of Impeachment), it was a stupid thing to do. And if one of the framers of the Constitution, the one who still lives, would disagree with me and subsequently call me as unlearned, this act would be the most he can do as we shall soon see.

Let me paraphrase it this way—-

 

Betrayal of trust

The first thing that comes to mind for an ordinary person is that somebody, presumably a woman, betrays a man for the love of another man; a ménage a trois situation wherein a conflict would arise which will end presumably in a homicide case.

Betrayals, for the females who love to keep secrets which the other females would like to learn, is in the uncovering of secrets between friends.

In the military, betrayals usually mean that their secret operation has been compromised, a word which implies that somebody has forewarned the enemy.

In all these cases and in all walks of life, betrayal means expectations which are blown, or confidence which has been shattered, and disappointment in a relationship.

But everybody would agree to what I have said so far, because it is the plain and simple definition of the phrase “betrayal of trust”. But then the phrase is modified to “betrayal of public trust”. And the whole thing becomes as puzzling as the Gordian Knot. Moreover, the addition of the word “public” is where the act becomes stupid.

Betrayal of Public Trust

Why is it stupid? Public refers to the generality of the people, a bulk, a multitude of people with varied likes, dislikes, preferences, morals, priorities and idiosyncrasies and political affiliations. A group may say the impeached has done well. Still another group may say he must go. Therefore there can be no standard to determine the guilt of an impeached person. If there be any, this standard would consist of multiple standards depending upon the whims of the people judging the impeached.

To some barristers and students of the law, this phrase was added to the Constitution as a catchall provision, meaning that the impeached will be liable for each and everything that he has done which is bad. If he attended a state dinner in a drunken state, or if in that state dinner he exploded into a fart, these are stinking reasons for him to have betrayed the public trust. If he so much as preferred boys to girls, this is another betrayal of public trust. If he so much as miss regularly the Sunday mass, a portion of the public would be disappointed and thus he has betrayed the public trust.

Betrayal of public trust would therefore imply that no matter how meaningless the act that the impeached has made, he would be found guilty. In truth, all the articles of impeachment could be replaced by this one phrase. It is all-encompassing. This phrase was added in those times when Marcos was a phobia and not-to-let-him-get-away was the mania. It was added so that those impeached would not have a chance to be proven innocent and thus get away with it.

Stupid!

But it would not have been stupid had the framers enumerated the offenses that would have been considered an outright betrayal of public trust. A list such as this would have been a onerous thing to produce because it should involve the consensual opinion of the public. What might then represent a serious facsimile of this consensual opinion of the public? The oath of office? Nah! I wouldn’t say so. The oath of office, for me, reeks with promises, and  promises might not be that binding to impeach. Besides, the oath of office is somewhat thought of as a generalized what-to-do.

With a  list of specific impeachable offenses that could be raised against an impeachable official, the ordinary layman, more particularly, the employed middle income group of people would instantly consider a list that determines whether an employee can be fired or be retained by the employer. And that is mainly, that job description which is laid out to the employee at the time he is hired.

Now, job descriptions are not laid out to the impeachable official. He is instead provided with a guide of what he is to do, the guide of which may be lodged in the constitution,or  a list of jobs to perform as inherited from his predecessor, or even a bunch of promises he made before he got up to the position. Breaking this list may constitute the impeachable offense, but still this list may not a public expectation make. It must be the trust of the public that is betrayed. And as I said, the public trust is based on its expectations, and will be as varied as the many groups in a multitude of people.

A consensual job description for the impeachable officials in the government, alas, is non-existent.

Make one, and thereafter an impeachment court may not be required if any item in the job description is not kept.

Obsessive Assumptions

 

Sad it is to see the start of the decay of the Philippine democratic society.

Obsessed with the assumption that his mandate to govern is solely to punish the corruptors and rid the government of corruption, Noynoy Aquino, scion of the erstwhile cornerstones of democracy, has caused to have the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to be impeached.

He has presumed that Renato Corona, the impeached Chief Justice, have favored the side of  former President Gloria Arroyo in the rulings that have come down regarding the cases of the latter.

The Articles of impeachment conveyed to the Senate for the final decision have contained mostly, if not all, assumptions.

And, if I might add, the reason why Noynoy’s mania to castigate Gloria Arroyo has reached blank walls is that his legal panel to prosecute is in reality inept. The panel appears to be new to this prosecution game, especially when the principal target, CGMA, did not actually receive any  illegitimate money to prove corruption. All she has to say is she did not know about those things.

The next recourse to convict CGMA is, of course, to bring down any barrier or hindrance to the prosecution, which actually is the justice system as personified by the Chief Justice, Renato Corona, who finally got piqued and finally says in public what a lot of people think—–that Noynoy is aiming to create a dictatorship. Coming from the Chief Justice, what a lot of people presume may now be true, that Noynoy is getting rid of the chief barrier to his dictator motives, which is in the person of the Chief Interpreter of the Constitution, Renato Corona.

This man, Renato Corona, together with the associate justices, is that one person that keeps the situation at its legal level. He shields the country from the onslaughts of anarchy.

I am not now constrained to ask that when finally the yellow shirts are shed, will they be wearing brown shirts? And ultimately after the brown shirts, will they be wearing black uniforms?

If the Bastille falls, can the guillotine be far bahind?

.the obssessed will incessantly try to have his way, ken leon ken tigre