Gloria Arroyo and Renato Corona

Gloria Arroyo and Renato Corona (Photo credit: Piercing Pens)

Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.

– Keri Russell

Tomorrow, May 29, 2012, will be a big day in Philippine history.  Chief Justice Renato Corona will be handed a verdict by the Senate that can result in his ouster.  Five months of dramatic debates has come to this moment.  The decision will have a lasting effect on President Benigno Aquino’s goal of altering the image of the Judiciary in particular, and Philippine politicians in general.

But the question remains: will removing the Chief Justice from power result in sustainable changes that will lead to economic development?

Let’s see by looking at the important elements of lasting C.H.A.N.G.E.

C – Commitment.  People have a strong desire to do what is right.  But they must focus on the ultimate goal.  While the removal of the Chief Justice from office may be a start, it does not end there.  There is no magic pill that acts instantly – change, like any other medical treatment, takes time.

H –  Hurdle.  It is painstaking to make changes.  Obstacles must be hurdled.  Undesirable effects will arise, but everyone needs to believe in the system.  A country must surpass the limits of its patience.  If the change would result in a stronger democracy, let us accept the minor setbacks along the way.

A – Associate.  One man is not enough to make changes.  While one can exert influence and trigger change, social support is necessary.  A divided nation with people acting on their own interests will not get the job done.  We started the concept of People Power – let us, as Filipinos, keep its spirit alive.

N – Numbers.  Democracy, like it or not, is ruled by the majority.  Its premise is that the voice of the people is the voice of God.  A limited few cannot constitute the majority that builds a snowball effect.  When people flooded the streets in great numbers in EDSA 26 years ago, the seemingly impossible change became possible.  Now, more than ever, we need to demand our leaders to be accountable for their actions.  And with great numbers, no leader worth his salt can afford to ignore the mob.

G – Genuine goodness.  Be an honest citizen.  Abide by the laws.  Never circumvent the process and hide through technicalities.  Not a single drop of dishonesty must pass through your veins.  It’s high time to get out of ourselves, and think of the welfare of all.

E – Environment.  Take care of mother nature.  Be wary of short-term gains at the expense of the long-term effect on the environment.  The world we live in is crucial, because if it is altered beyond repair, we will no longer have the resources to sustain us.

Will the Corona impeachment create sustainable change?  It’s not up to the senators.  Ultimately, it’s all up to us.




Image by Sean MacEntee via Flickr

All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
–  Sun Tzu

The Corona Trial is underway.  The prosecutors and defendants are locked in the heat of battle.  On the prosecutor side, the strategy is to highlight the Chief Justice‘s lack of moral leadership.  For the defense, having in its fold a former supreme court justice gives them the edge in terms of legal intellect.  It seems as if this is a debate between students and professors, of high energy youngsters against grizzled veterans of the courtroom.  Let’s see which side takes advantage of their strengths and pounces on the weakness of the opponent.

So why do both sides need to strategize?  The reason is obvious.  In any battle, a good strategic plan will carry you towards your desired endpoint.  Whether in sports, business, or in this game called life, beginning with the end in mind (as pointed out by Steven Covey) is already half the battle won.

What are the characteristics of a good strategy?  Let’s make its elements easy to remember.

S – A good strategy must be able to STEER us towards the right course of action.

T – A strategic plan must be TIME-BOUND so we can set a deadline for the accomplishment of essential tasks.

R – We must identify the RESOURCES available to us in carrying out the plan.

A – Realize what your ADVANTAGE is.  Focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses, and use these strengths to offset threats.

T – Pick out the key people on your side and work in synchrony.  TEAMWORK is vital.

E – EXPLOIT opportunities.  This means your strategy could change depending on the situation you face.

G – Have a clear-cut GOAL.  Avoid distractions that can lead you astray.

Y –  Finally, your strategy must be YOURS.  Never let others dictate upon it.

So who emerges on top?  Prosecution or defense?  Let the senators be the judge, while we watch on the sidelines.  But remember to be involved – this trial is crucial for our country’s democracy.