|Fr. Jaime Bulatao|
A document is circulating in the internet about a purported psychiatric report issued by Fr. Jaime Bulatao, S.J., in 1979 analyzing the psychological and emotional imbalance of Benigno Aquino III, then 19 years old and a student at the Ateneo de Manila where “Fr. Bu” had headed the psychology department. The alleged report spoke of the instability and proneness to melancholia, depression and other psychological instabilities of Noynoy and was floated in media during the 2010 presidential campaign. Then presidential candidate Noynoy denied its veracity, and obviously a big segment of the electorate believed him as he was elected with a wide margin over his rivals.
|Chief Justice Renato Corona|
Now the so-called Bulatao report has surfaced again and was raised by no less than Chief Justice Renato Corona, who challenged P-Noy’s mental and psychological fitness to rule the country. Is the report true or not? In the mind of many people, there is no need for its certification, for the President has exhibited behavior especially toward CJ Corona that may no longer be deemed “normal.”
The way he has come down on Corona with all the forces of government---from his order to the House to impeach him, to the simultaneous investigation of CJ and his family by the BIR and as recently disclosed in the Senate trial, the investigation of his bank accounts by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (Amlac) since the last quarter of 2010---as contrasted to P-Noy's seeming inattention to his other duties and functions as President, can only be interpreted as a sign of disturbed behavior. Not even the late President Marcos was persecuted the way CJ is undergoing trial now in two separate forums.
The President has been ranting and raving against the CJ and has adjudged him guilty EVEN BEFORE THE DEFENSE IS ABLE TO PRESENT CORONA’S SIDE AND PRODUCE ITS OWN EVIDENCE. At a student forum at La Consolation College he even denigrated the Senate proceedings by saying, “Are we going to allow only a few to decide for all of us?” That remark can be interpreted as a call to mob rule in case the CJ is acquitted by the Senate, and P-Noy’s looming inability to accept such verdict. It’s also clear indication that despite recent Palace “surveys” supposedly showing that 77% of the Filipino people find Corona guilty, P-Noy is running scared and unsure that he’ll get the 16 votes in the Senate to convict CJ.
I don’t blame P-Noy if he’s running scared, for there are a number of extraneous factors that will come into play on the senators’ judgment. Consider, for instance, the six re-electionists in the Senate, namely, Alan Peter Cayetano, Koko Pimentel, Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero, Gringo Honasan and Antonio Trillanes III. They surely are aware that backing up Corona is a major religious group that has always factored into our politics, the Iglesia ni Cristo, so much so that P-Noy reportedly now refers to it as “Iglesia ni Corona,” which does not sit well with its higher ups.
On Feb. 28 the INC will hold a massive rally in Manila which will reportedly be joined by elements of El Shaddai (it will be recalled that Bro. Mike Velarde had a hand in the appointment of Corona to the top SC post) and Catholic elements.
|Bro. Mike Velarde|
There’s also the group of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy whose columns in Manila Standard, titled "Plumbline," I submit, are indication of his leanings. Recently Quiboloy scolded the two high-ranking leaders for their word-war (which P-Noy has been carrying out way way before, with just one slambang answer from CJ the other day that hit home); but in a column dated Jan. 20, 2012, Quiboloy asked Corona’s persecutors “to first prove that they have not committed the same sins they say he did.” "That to me," asserted Quiboloy, “is the important ’predicate’---to borrow a legalese in vogue these days---of this trial. The prosecutors’ fidelity to the SALN law must first be shown before they prosecute Corona for being unfaithful to it.”
The INC and Pastor Quiboloy’s group have massive command votes that reelectionist senators cannot afford to ignore. In addition, while the CBCP has not gone beyond exhorting P-Noy and CJ to lower their warfare tones, it cannot be denied that various bishops still harbor ill-feelings about the way they were shamed in the Pajero issue and are offended by P-Noy’s all-out support for the RH bill.
|Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile|
At yesterday’s hearing JPE bristled at the insistence of the prosecution to expand the coverage of Article 3 to cover matters he felt were beyond its stated scope. This included the prosecution’s accusation that CJ and wife Cristina had availed of numerous travel perks courtesy of PAL’s Platinum Card, even when the FASAP still has a case pending before the SC. Enrile bellowed to the prosecution that if they want to expand Article 3’s coverage, they would have to amend it first, which will take time and delays proceedings further.
Actually, as JPE pointed out, the difficulties the impeachment court faces stem from the very poor preparation that went into the prosecution’s impeachment complaint. As the trial crawled into its 21st day, it became more and more evident that the prosecution didn’t have enough evidence and that it was relying, as JPE said, on the senators and on court subpoenas to ferret out evidence that the prosecution should have secured for itself in the first place.
|Justice Serafin Cuevas|
|Rep. Milagros Magsaysay|
Unfortunately their presence didn’t improve the performance of the prosecution, leading to JPE’s complaint yesterday. As a wag put it, "Napakalinis na ng prosecution, kasi araw-araw sinasabon sila."