-Reuben James T. Barrete
In the sphere of the political arena within the parameter of the Philippine government, the three main departments namely: the executive, legislative, and the judiciary are co-equal to each other, however, provided by the 1987 Philippine Constitution, they do have the power to check and balance the functions and actions taken by each department. Personally, in terms of this principle, inherent biases can never be avoided and this overpowering authority may result into a massive clash in terms of occurring tensions or conflict between different branches.
Recently, the Chief Justice Renato Corona was allegedly considered as a midnight appointee of Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Since then, the issue of legitimacy of the CJ was already in doubt and even the trust and confidence of PNoy is already tainted with mistrust. If I am to scrutinize how these scenarios happen in motion, I would highly applaud the interest or true desire of PNoy in reforming and cleaning the government. Furthermore, as the impeachment trial is still in process to prove the allegations as stated in the Articles of Impeachment, one of the witness to stand is BIR Commissioner Kim Henares to prove the authenticity of the ITR that he has no capacity to acquire several properties in posh villages. Her appearance shows different sides of the story that may cause both positive and negative externalities to be contributed for the impeachment trial and in the political relationship in the government. Firstly, her appearance is a tangible evidence that she as an appointee of PNoy is highly compelled to take part for the suppose fast-track of the impeachment process, though not considered as an expert witness but as an ordinary witness, this may be an indicator of how alliances in the government really are strongly bonded against a political dilemma that concerns ethical behavior of public officials. Secondly, this will serve as an image of strong stance of the present administration against corruption in the government that shall take a ripple effect to the very ideological promise of every President – good governance and the ability to stand against any branch of the government to prove allegations that are with evidence to be presented in the court for total reformation. On the other hand, I see some negative potential outcomes on this matter, this continuous battle between different agencies of the government may disharmonize the co-existence of these three branches, although the mere idea of reforms should take place for the continuity of the cleaning propaganda that should end up with a clear and tangible resolution results on PNoy’s presidency may somehow bend the concept of coordination of the departments in sustaining its basic functions for the people, especially in peace and order and if this continuous alliances and hegemony within the organizational structure of the government may trim down the trust of the general public if even public officials cannot maintain the anticipated responsibility and accountability of these officials.
In addition, if we are to consider the principle of social contract theory, the concept of fulfilling the responsibility of both parties, the state and the people, this slowly dismantles the relationship of the two, because in full retrospect considering different political issues in the Philippine government, the never-ending series of finger pointing and the hard eradication of behavioral misconduct of public officials socially caters the mentality of how the government is perceived by the people as unclean. Though, granting without conceding that politics has its main characterization to be potentially polluted, still personal initiative to provide good governance from public officials should be highly considered.
This impeachment process may take time and even waste the public’s money and as well as the attention of legislators or other vital issues in the Philippines, but our public official’s behavior is a very serious issue that should be corrected by the state because obviously self-actualization within them is way too impossible.