No People Power seen whatever Senate verdict on Corona

The Inbox

By Ellen Tordesillas

There will not be a repeat of EDSA DOS, the "civil society"-induced activity in 2001 that led to the ouster of elected president Joseph Estrada and the installation of Gloria Arroyo in Malacañang, whatever would be the decision of the senator-judges in the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

It is worthy to note that many of the people that helped Arroyo assume the presidency without election in 2001 are now with the Aquino administration, which is pursuing the impeachment of Corona, Arroyo's midnight appointee as chief justice.

The expectation of public acceptance of the senator-judges' verdict on Corona is once again affirmed in a survey, this time by Pulse Asia.

Conducted from Feb. 26 to March 9, 2012, the Pulse Asia Ulat ng Bayan survey covered 1,200 respondents nationwide. The period of the survey covered the wrapping up by  the prosecution of their presentation of evidence after they decided to drop five of the eight items in the Articles of Impeachment. The Defense team started their presentation of witnesses March 12.

In the survey, Pulse Asia asked respondents their opinion on possible actions of the people on whatever decision the Senate would make in the Corona impeachment.

Majority (58 percent) said "their countrymen will accept and respect the Senate's decision whether most of the people like it or not."

Thirty-four said majority of the Filipinos will respect or accept only the decision that they like. It didn't say, however, what they would do.

Eight percent said they "don't know" what the people would do.

Pulse Asia's findings jibe with the survey conducted by the group of Pedro "Junie" Laylo, Jr. conducted Jan. 28 through Feb. 6, 2012 which showed that an overwhelming majority of Filipinos (86 percent) will respect whatever decision the Senate, as an impeachment court, will make on Corona's case.

Eight percent, the Laylo report said will join rallies if the Chief Justice is absolved, while four percent will join rallies if he is impeached. Two percent were undecided.

Several factors contribute to the expected easy acceptance by the public of whatever the impeachment court's decision would be.

One, it's not the president who is on the dock.

Two, life is difficult these days and the poor, who compose majority of the Filipino people, will not spend time and money to go out to question the senator-judges' decision.

Three, the middle-class, who formed most of the EDSA Dos crowd, would rather do their protest on Facebook and Twitter.

Also, it's easy for the public to accept the senators' verdict because as the Pulse Asia's survey showed, most Filipinos (69 percent) expect the senators to be fair and impartial. A lot less, 22 percent, say the, senator-judges will not be fair while nine percent are undecided.