Saturday, 02 June 2012 11:04
The business sector is expecting the Philippines’ credit rating to improve a notch higher due to the successful handling of the recently-concluded impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona by the Philippine Senate, according to Senator Edgardo Angara on Thursday.
In a Senate media forum, Angara revealed that business communities and organizations such as chambers and employers groups have expressed optimism as a result of the 20-3 guilty verdict on Corona.
”I think it’s quite positive to the extent that they’re saying that our credit rating may even be officially upgraded by rating agencies. Our credibility may have gotten up as a result from what happened in this hall,” Angara said.
For him, Angara said the significant message sent to the Filipino people by the Senate was that it is capable of dispensing justice though the impeachment trial has been described as quasi-judicial and quasi-political exercise.
”The significant message was first, we are capable of dispensing justice to the mighty as well as to the less powerful that we are willing to wield that gavel evenly, fairly and quickly,” Angara explained.
Angara believed that most of the Filipino people who monitored the nationally-televised impeachment trial for 44 days looked forward that justice be dispensed fairly and quickly.
”That is the message that I think we delivered to the people and as you can see I think even the stature of the Senate and the leadership are at a record high,” Angara said.
Most of the senator-judges cited in their explanation of votes that justice should be dispensed fairly as seven of them mentioned a court interpreter, Delsa Flores, from Davao who was removed from government 15 years ago for failure to declare her stall in a market in her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth or SALN.
The 20 senator-judges who rendered guilty verdict said Corona also committed culpable violation of the Constitution when he never declared his US$ 2.4 million dollar accounts and P80 million in commingled funds with relatives in his SALN.
”I think that is good to strengthen our institutions because there had been continuous erosions of the credibility of institutions of government, pillars of justice and such in our society that overall we are almost looked at as an outcast and a laggard,” Angara said.
With the conviction of the country’s highest magistrate, Angara said the public has now improved awareness about the importance of SALN, especially for the government officials and employees.
”I think this is a turning point because the media impact of that is that even the Supreme Court has opened their SALN to the public and I think that is a good example of the practical effect of this decision. We’ve seen that even lesser officials will be asked of their SALN,” Angara said.
As a result of Corona’s conviction, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who presided the impeachment trial, received commendations both from his colleagues and outside the Senate.
Last Wednesday, Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada delivered a privilege speech, commending the 88-year-old Enrile for a job well done despite his age.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III later moved to translate Estrada’s privilege speech into a resolution to be signed by all the senators, including the three who voted to acquit Corona -- Joker Arroyo, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Miriam Defensor Santiago.
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