PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS AS CJ CORONA IMPEACHMENT TRIAL RESUMES
4 May 2012
During the break in the Impeachment Trial at the Senate of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, the Supreme Court issued with finality on April 24 its decision on the distribution to land tenants of the more than 4,000 hectares of Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac.
This decision created an impact on the minds of those who are following the Impeachment Trial as shown in a survey conducted by the Makati-based StratPOLLS taken between April 28 to May 3 from among 1,000 adult respondents in five thickly populated cities of the National Capital Region (NCR), namely Quezon City, Makati , Manila, Pasig , Caloocan and Pasay.
The Hacienda Luisita is owned by the relatives of President Benigno Aquino III of which his mother, the former Pres. Corazon Conjuangco-Aquino was co-owner.
Slim majority says Aquino exacting revenge on Corona
Forty seven percent of those asked said that the Impeachment Trial of Corona is President Aquino’s way of exacting revenge on the chief justice for the Supreme Court’s initial decision last year favoring the distribution of the Hacienda Luisita to the tenants under the Agrarian Reform Program.
Conversely, 45% said Aquino was not exacting a revenge on Corona while 8% did not express any opinion at all.
In reply to a follow-up question, 24% think that if Corona is impeached and when an Aquino-appointed chief justice takes over, the decision of the Corona-led Supreme Court on the Hacienda Luisita could still be reversed with 42% saying “No” and 34% saying “Maybe.”
Eighty percent of those polled are aware that the Hacienda Luisita belongs to the family of President Aquino.
Ninety four percent said that the final decision of the Supreme Court is right.
96% will respect Senate’s verdict of “Not Guilty”
It will be recalled that during a poll conducted in NCR last March 22 by StratPOLLS before the Senate Impeachment Court took a break, 48% opined that Corona is “guilty” as charged with 10% saying he is “ not guilty” and 42% were still undecided.
However, 96% of the 48% who opined that Corona is “guilty” said that they would respect the Impeachment Court’s verdict of “not guilty.”
This means that the 96% of the 48% are unlikely to join any mass actions should the Senate declare Corona as not guilty.
In that same tracking poll, 48% said that they were keeping regular track of the trials through various media but most of the time on television, this means 5 out of 10.
Out of the 48% keeping track, 10% said that Corona is “not guilty” while 42% are “undecided.”
The “undecided” is a fairly large number which could tilt in either way depending on the testimonies of the defense witnesses and the rebuttals by the prosecution during the homestretch of the trial at the Senate.
The trial took a break starting last March 23 and is set to resume on Monday, May 7 with the defense set to present more witnesses, including possibly the chief justice himself.
Absence of a critical mass
Most importantly, the so-called critical mass for a people power type of demonstration---should the Senate clear Corona of the charges---is not there, as yet, as shown by the March 22 and the April-May surveys by StratPOLLS.
It will be recalled that StratPOLLS predicted with fair accuracy the outcome of the May 2010 presidential elections.
The polling firm is a sister media company of the Business Mirror, Pilipino Mirror, Philippines Graphic Magazine, DWIZ and Home Radio FM.