Impeachment sends Web on hyperdrive
Philippine Daily Inquirer
This “Game of Thrones”—one that pits the “Crown” on Padre Faura Street against the “King” in Malacañang—has fired up the townspeople in cyberspace, with both camps drawing supporters, critics, and not a few jesters.
The Web has gone abuzz over Monday’s blitz-like, Palace-backed impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona at the House of Representatives and his scathing counterattack Wednesday in a speech directed at President Benigno Aquino III.
On Facebook, at least two fan pages have been put up to rally support for the embattled magistrate, titled “Support for Chief Justice Renato Corona” (1,196 likes as of 4 p.m. Wednesday) and “I support Chief Justice Renato Corona” (136 likes).
On the other hand, at least four fan pages have been created to push Corona’s removal: “Chief Justice Renato Corona is not the Supreme Court” (29 likes); “Impeach Justice Renato Corona” (63 likes); “Impeach CoronArroyo” (nine likes); and “Ask Renato Corona to Resign as Chief Justice of the Philippines” (63 likes).
On INQUIRER.net, the Chief Justice found a believer in the reader “Kamote Q,” who assured him: “Corona, the silent majority, those who don’t really post in online blogs and vote in TV Patrol surveys, and those who are educated are behind you. We may not like you as an appointee (of then President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) but we believe that judicial independence must be protected.”
“We know that this fight is not about P-Noy (Aquino) versus Gloria. This is a fight to protect the independence of the judiciary,” Kamote Q added.
Reader boywoodbridge warned: “Don’t be blinded by your emotion and blindly follow the so-called matuwid na daan (or straight path, Mr. Aquino’s antigraft buzzword). It is not matuwid na daan, my countrymen. It is hatred and vengeance, the only (reasons) why this President is getting back at his enemies.”
With still a long way to go before the impeachment process comes to a conclusion, user daldahlyta was already asking: “After Corona, who’s next? Will P-Noy go after all GMA (Arroyo) appointees? Will he make an all-P-noy Supreme Court?”
But on the other side, an Inquirer reader named “for-official-use-also” snapped back at Supreme Court spokesperson Midas Marquez for saying that the impeachment was not only an assault on Corona but on the entire judiciary.
“The Supreme Court is not one, or some, or even all of its Justices. It is idiocy on (Marquez’s) part to equate the impeachment of Mr. Corona to an attack on the high court and our judicial system itself,” the reader said.
For user Ako, one thing was clear: “All of these are remnants of the destruction that GMA did to our institutions.”
Just a prelude
On Twitter, some saw the impeachment of Corona as a prelude to something better.
“P-Noy is asking us to trust him in leading us,” user @TheRealMacRoxas said. “CJ Corona’s impeachment might not be the answer to the problems of the country, but it’s a start,” the user added.
For user @jeffcrisostomo, Corona’s impeachment “is not an affront to the judiciary” for “it seeks to cleanse the SC of a midnight Chief Justice who is beholden to CGMA (Arroyo).”
Other tweets bewailed Corona’s impeachment, saying it bodes ill for the country.
“It is an act of arrogance,” user @ichor26 said. “(A) new form of dictatorship.”
User @lesliebocobo wondered: “So you want CJ Corona out, to be replaced by an ‘Aquino Chief Justice.’ Is this the change you want to bring about? Foolish, isn’t it?”
“I will be supporting CJ Corona all the way! This is not a popularity contest. P-Noy is dragging our country into a constitutional crisis!” user @itsmejoros posted.
‘Walk in the pork’
“It was a walk in the pork,” the multiawarded blogger known as The Professional Heckler said of the quick move by 188 congressmen to impeach Corona on Monday.
User @jacque888 thought that “Corona and P-Noy are acting like kids fighting over candy! For God’s sake, the country has other problems!”
User @iAmLoui3 apparently couldn’t let an obvious pun pass: “Corona, ipasa mo na ang korona (Corona, pass the crown.)”
“Why call the President ‘hari’, eh ikaw itong may Corona? (Why call the President ‘king’ when you’re the one holding the ‘crown’?)” @supsup010 said, referring to the statements a combative Corona made before cheering crowds at the lobby of the Supreme Court building on Faura Street, Manila.
“Corona obviously thinks that Filipinos are too stupid to see the obvious and will ignore all facts and simply agree with him,” said user @gomedina.
Other Twitter users compared the Chief Justice’s speech to a counter-punch in a boxing fight and an episode straight from a popular TV series. User @regie_oquendo posted: “Just listened to the Corona. Looks like this would all boil down to a fight better than Pacquiao vs. Mayweather!”
User @shamontilla also remarked: “Saw CJ Corona on TV. Then realized that even HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ will not beat the drama of Philippine politics.”
Other users, however, were not that impressed with what they saw. “What a poor actor CJ Corona is. There’s no show biz career for this guy once he gets impeached,” said @A_Gei_Cee.
Viewers like @helt1skelt1 thought that “Corona’s tone could put a baby to sleep—and he’s supposed to be rallying support?”
But a sympathetic user called @ChuchayMD declared: “I am with the CJ in this fight! His speech was a wake-up call to what seems to be a creeping autocracy by the Aquino government.”
User @hersh_clueless agreed, noting that “what Corona said about laying the predicate for a dictatorship is so spot-on.”
So did @imchristian: “I think P-Noy is bullying the judicial branch of the government and he has a hidden agenda. This only happens in dictatorships.”
And since it involved a 51-year-old bachelor President, @monstermon23 observed: “P-Noy ushering in a dictatorship? The guy can’t even make a relationship work.” Lawrence de Guzman, Almi Ilagan and Kate Pedroso, Inquirer Research
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