The difficult right over the easy wrong

Posted at 05/12/2012 5:07 PM

The impeachment trial seems to heading towards the end round for the defense where they have exhausted their excuses and finally decided to let Chief Justice Corona testify.

"Ang pakiramdam ko, walang remedy kung hindi ito na lang.  Kasi kung hindi siya tumistigo sisintensyahan siya. So tumestigo na siya para mag paliwanag," chief defense counsel and former associate justice Serafin Cuevas said.

Throughout the course of the trial, over 70% of the people believe that CJ Corona is guilty.  If a survey was done, I am sure most of these people find that the defense is using dilatory tactics.  Aside from delaying, they have been actively blocking evidences from coming out.

Last Monday, Kaya Natin lead convenor Harvey Keh submitted information about CJ Corna’s account to the Senate.  This information provoked CJ Corona to finally testify.  All I can say is: it's about time.

CJ Corona seems to have reached his limit as his lead counsel implies.

"Emotionally involved siya eh, kada pag uusapan namin yan, medyo he is loosing his sobriety," Cuevas said in a media interview.

The defense finally succumbbed to the pressure of the senator-judges and said that CJ Corona will testify under the condition that they invite 10 people as hostile witnesses. 

Of the 10, the list was trimmed down to include Harvey Keh, former Rep. Risa Hontiveros, rep. Walden Bello, and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

At a Kaya Natin press brief, I spoke in place of Harvey where they asked me many questions. 

But they were all the same questions about the contents of the bank accounts.  I reiterated our position that Harvey cannot confirm the authenticity of the contents. 

They were all wondering why he still decided to bring it to the Senate.

During the press brief, there was an anonymous voice in the crowd that said, “Wala naman kayong ebidensya eh… wala kayo…. Forum lang shopping kayo! Naninira lang kayo!”  He said this while Hontiveros was talking.  The other people in the room "hushed" him and we were allowed to continue.

Former Gov. Grace Padaca put it well when she said, “Bakit ba ganoon, kung sino pa ang naninindigan, siya pa ang ginagawang masama, kinukuyog ng mga trolls, at pinapasinungalingan.”  As she was saying this, she transmitted the frustration she was feeling.

“Kung nasa iyo ang impormasyon, dadalhin mo ba ito sa senado o itatapon mo lang sa basura?” Padaca continued.

Since then, I have heard some people said that Kaya Natin should not have released the documents.  They said Harvey was wrong and that we were all irresponsible.  I disagree.

Harvey is a man of integrity.  He has worked passionately in the projects he engaged.  He has done well with Pathways and AHON Foundation.  He has also been instrumental in bringing Kaya Natin to where it is now.  But the real measure of integrity was the fact that he decided to submit the account information of CJ Corona, knowing full well that he will invite criticism.  He carried on in spite of the many who will make evil out of the good that he is.

For the past few days, I am sure you can imagine the conversations in Kaya Natin.  We ask ourselves if we would do the same if the papers fell on our hands.  We all agreed.  We believe Harvey did the responsible thing by sending it to the Senate President.  It was the right thing to do even if the document was unverified.

During the press forum, we were asked if we expected this kind of response, especially from the CJ Justice himself.  The answer was, “We didn’t.”  At the time Harvey made the decision, he was just thinking of the right thing to do.  Harvey decided to submit the papers because he or the organization did not have the means to verify them.

At this point in this article, you are probably putting yourself in Harvey’s shoes.  Good.

Ask yourself once again, what would you have done if you had the documents?  The easy road is to disregard the information.  The high road is to do something about it.

In our lives, we are brought to difficult situations where it is almost impossible to do the right thing.  And in struggling to do what is right, we remind others of the possibility and greatness that a human being is capable of.  It is called a heroic moment.

In the press brief, Padaca said, "Kailangan natin ng mga taong tulad ni Harvey na naninindigan kahit mahirap gawin. Kung walang mga taong tulad niya, wala nang pag-asa maiayos ang mga mali sa ating bansa.”

Take note my friends for when your heroic moment comes, you can say: “kung kaya ni Harvey, kaya ko rin.”

This is the spirit of Kaya Natin.

Comments are welcome at [email protected] or private message through Facebook. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @jesslorenzo for stories of good governance.

Jess Lorenzo is currently the program director of Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership's public health initiatives. www.kayanatin.org @kayanatin on Twitter