Conclusion: The misuse of impeachment

While the impeachment complaints against Sereno are vastly different from her predecessor (the possible impeachment of Comelec Chair Bautista is more similar to the charges against Corona as it involved allegations of corruption), they are similar in that they involve the intervention of a president's intent to impose his will on the political process. Let there be no doubt that the only way the Sereno impeachment can move forward is if it is willed by President Duterte, in the same way that President Aquino used all means, including alleged funds from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), to secure conviction.

In the Corona impeachment, while initially I was sympathetic to the late Justice, I ended up supporting his conviction because of his own admissions regarding his SALN omissions and his unsatisfactory explanations for the huge sums of money in his bank accounts. Nevertheless, if I knew then that President Aquino had used DAP funds to convince reluctant senators to convict Corona, I might now have been swayed to go against the latter. The end can never justify corrupt means.

When the Corona impeachment began, my first article was entitled Pandora’ s Box. I recalled then how Zeus was furious when Prometheus, the titan, stole fire from the heavens and gave it to the mortals. The god’s fury for this sacrilege was implacable such that he gifted Epimetheus, the brother of Prometheus, with the beautiful and gifted Pandora, known in Greek mythology as the first woman on earth. 

But there is a catch: together with Pandora was an earthen jar (for some reason, most of us call it Pandora’s Box) which she was not to open under any circumstances. Piqued by curiosity, Pandora nevertheless opened the jar – and lo and behold – all evil it contained escaped and spread throughout the earth. Fortunately, Pandora, after realizing the gravity of what she had done, hastened to close the lid of the jar. But it was too late because the jar was emptied of its contents except one that remained at the bottom which is Hope. 

That is where we are with this awesome power of impeachment. We have opened Pandora’s box. One can only hope that we will be able to correct ourselves and restore impeachment to its rightful use as a means of accountability and not use it as a political weapon that will only destroy this country. –