Militant groups back Corona’s disclosure challenge to legislators
MANILA, Philippines – After slamming the alleged “creeping takeover” of the Aquino administration by leftist elements, Chief Justice Renato Corona won the support of the militant groups in his challenge to his accusers to bare also their bank deposits by signing a waiver.
The Kilusang Mayo Uno and Anakbayan joined calls on the 188 congressmen who signed the impeachment complaint against Corona and on Sen. Franklin Drilon to sign a waiver authorizing the disclosure of their bank deposits.
The two groups fall under the wing of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, an umbrella group of leftist organizations which have ideological links with the Communist Party of the Philippines and its political wing, the National Democratic Front.
“We dare Senator Drilon and the 188 legislators to sign their waivers with the same speed that they signed the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Corona. We dare them to speak with the same tone of self-righteousness that they used when they signed the complaint,” KMU chair Elmer Labog said in an interview.
Anakbayan chair Vencer Crisostomo aired a similar statement, adding, “While we believe that it would have been better if the chief justice did not bind his disclosure with such condition, it should not be difficult for the advocates of impeachment to sign the waivers as a gesture of sincerity and commitment to transparency and accountability in government. “
In his address before the Senate impeachment court on Tuesday, Corona charged that presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas held Aquino by the neck. The chief justice said Llamas’ cohorts were slowly controlling the government.
Llamas, Commission on Human Rights chair Eta Rosales, National Anti-Poverty Commission chair Joel Rocamora are among the former Akbayan leaders who have gained positions in the Aquino administration. Current Akbayan leaders occupy party-list seats in the House of Representatives.
In popular leftist parlance, Akbayan is in the “rejectionist” camp while the CPP bloc is in the “reaffirmist” camp.
Corona concluded his spiel by signing a waiver to the confidentiality of his peso and dollar bank accounts but imposing the condition that all his accusers and Drilon do likewise without a single exception. Otherwise, he said, would instruct his lawyers to rest the case.
Crisostomo said the President should “immediately order his allies to sign the waiver and use the same swiftness and determination with which they railroaded the approval of the impeachment complaint in the Lower House last year.”
“If they could do it then, it should not be a problem now,” he added.
Describing Corona’s dare as “realistic,” Labog said, “President Benigno Aquino III, who presents himself as a staunch opponent of graft and corruption, should use his immense influence over Congress to make the legislators sign the waivers. President Aquino made the country’s legislators sign the impeachment complaint against Corona with ease and aplomb. He should ask them to sign the waivers.”
The KMU head said the disclosure of the bank accounts and financial records of the country’s legislators would be of “immense educational value to the public.”
“It is not for nothing that the House has repeatedly been called ‘alligator farm’,” he added
Crisostomo said signing the waivers could be “a win-win” for the Filipino people.
“They (Aquino’s congressional allies) went on fishing expeditions and conducted propaganda campaigns just to build a case against the chief justice. Now that an opportunity to put the truth out in the open presents itself, signing a sheet of paper should not be a problem for the crusaders. They owe the public, which they misled not a few times, at least this much,” the student leader said.