With the Chief Justice convicted by the Senate, President Aquino and his prosecution team have claimed victory. Concededly, despite all the defects in the articles of impeachment and the bungling of the prosecutors, they won the case. But then again, it was Corona himself in the end who "crowned" his own sorry fate by his unbecoming walkout and damaging admissions.
Indeed, how true it is in litigation practice that "no talk" is the best strategy ever for an accused or respondent. For otherwise, he would only incriminate himself as we saw in Corona. It was his own hubris, antics, and worse, lame excuses that secured the decisive verdict of the 20 senators who found him guilty as charged.
Nevertheless, we cannot lose sight of the undisputed fact as highlighted by the three dissenting senators-judges that Aquino and his allies resorted to illegal means and fishing expeditions, trampled on the rights of the respondent, engaged in political assassination and public humiliation not only of Corona but even his entire family, and brazenly used the entire forces of government to ensure his ouster. President Aquino even had no qualms publicly condemning Corona while the prosecution had yet to present evidence.
Abuse of power is equally a culpable violation of the Constitution and a treasonous betrayal of the public trust, and for Aquino, a clear violation of his Constitutional Oath of Office. It's more dangerous, in fact. Remember Martial Law. And this we cannot simply brush aside if we want our democracy to indeed mature. For no one is above the law.
Of course, with the House now totally beholden to Aquino, no impeachment of the President can ever prosper. Remember that that was the case, too, during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. For that matter, Congress as well as the Senate are composed of mostly the same people under both the past and present administrations.
Take the case of Sen. Drilon who lost no time appearing on national television before to profess loyalty to former president Macapagal-Arroyo following her "I-Am-Sorry" speech at the height of the "Hello Garci" scandal. This time around, he unabashedly acted like the lead prosecutor in the impeachment trial. Now, he is seen to be expecting to be rewarded by Aquino as the next Chief Justice!
Back to public accountability, will Aquino prosecute those of the prosecution team who violated the bank secrecy law? Lest he forgets, it is his sworn duty under the Constitution to ensure the faithful execution of the laws. To fail in that would be tantamount to a culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, too. That's even worse than an untruthful declaration in the SALN.
Verily, what our people demand is equal justice under law. Not selective justice. Not targeted prosecution of perceived enemies or non-allies.
And still, that the end does not justify the means.