Watching the Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona seems to have all the elements of a Court Drama from Hollywood. Yet the more one views it and the surrounding chatter across Twitter, Facebook and the blogs the more one is reminded that it resembles more closely a film, not from Hollywood but from Japan. a black and white classic film done by Akira Kurosawa , which us based on two short stories by Ry?nosuke Akutagawa – Rashomon and In the Grove. Rashomon adapted to provide the atmosphere and frame story for the story In the Grove.
Rashomon was required reading at High School and tells the tale of man recently a ronin taking shelter in one of the two former gates of Kyoto, now in a state of decay and corruption becoming a den of thieves; a place where the dead were left to rot; and where unwanted babies were left. This was the setting were the Ronin found himself in and confronted by a moral dilema that was about to be tested.
Of course in the film Rashomon, things are changed a bit and becomes a story from which another Akutagawa’s story comes in In the Grove, where the reader sees a murder through the eyes of someone, possibly a magistrate, listening to all the characters in story. A murder has occurred, who is the guilty one? Who is telling the truth?
Dear friend you should read these stories and the film it was crafted into.
Today, I re-read the stories again and I will probably watch the film again. It would seem better than watching the Impeachment. The chronicles and analysis of the Impeachment, including my own, have suffered from something similar to a Rashomon effect each of us have our own recollection and interpretation of the Impeachment. Even with the thinning down of the impeachment articles we are divided into those who would acquit and those would convict.
After a long wait we are down to the question – Is Corona guilty of not including his dollar and co-mingled accounts in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) ?
Guilty or not?
It would seem all of us – from the President, the Senators; the Supreme Court; the Media; and us whether online or not – have made up their minds. Some of us have made up our minds on day one, Some of us have made up our minds as the events at the Senate happened. And all pronouncements and analysis are used to promote our opinion. It is what it is.
In the end it is a political vote – vote along political affiliations and political considerations with legal and moral argument strengthening the case.
In Kurosawa’s Rashomon the story ended in a happy note. In this Impeachment Case I am not quite sure.
Nevertheless, one hopes that this costly exercise will bring to light the need for a Freedom of Information bill and to use it. A few days ago I felt this would be the only good thing that will come out of the Impeachment. Today, I am not sure with a Congress that is slow-paced and what seemed to be Media’s disinterest. This is the real tragedy.