Vol. 8 No. 390
Sunday, March 4, 2012
  Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines

The Trial of Unfairness

Now that the House prosecution team has rested their impeachment case against Chief Justice Renato Corona, it will be the turn of the defense to present their witnesses and evidence to debunk allegations earlier hurled against Corona.

Instead of presenting all their witnesses and expounding the other articles of impeachment, the prosecution panel decided, as expected, to withdraw further presenting witnesses and even abandoned tackling the rest of the articles of impeachment.

The abrupt decision of the House panel has valid grounds.

First, in all appearances, the presiding judge, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, has been subtly showing biases against the prosecution team. For several times, Enrile unilaterally stopped the presentation of witnesses and documentary evidence. In fact, his decisions were unchallenged when they were supposed to be deliberated first by the rest of senator-judges.

But to save time and effort, and for the convenience of the defense team, Enrile would make his own ruling as if he is alone in the impeachment court. “So ordered,” so he said and banged the gavel.

Second, it is very obvious that some senators don’t want to evaluate the merits of the impeachment case. All their opinions, from the very start of the impeachment proceeding, have been leaning on defending Corona, believed to be the alleged defender of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Senator Joker Arroyo, for instance, has nothing to do but vigorously inject doubts on the motions of the prosecution team.

The rest of the senators are, by the way, simply spectators, not understanding anything of what’s going on inside the impeachment court. But to save their faces from the ridicule of the thinking public, some of the senators would stand and throw some irrelevant, nonsense, self-explanatory questions.

What is the business of the likes of Bong Revilla, Lito Lapid, Titto Sotto, etc sitting as senator-judges? If not because of their showbiz popularity, they should have been somewhere else other than at the impeachment court.

And finally, here’s the consistent rant of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. She has nothing but criticism against the prosecution team. Not only does she rudely criticize, she also keeps insulting these congressmen, some of whom are lawyers too like Santiago herself, implying she alone has the monopoly of legal knowledge. At one point, she uttered the word “gago”, to sum up her argument against the prosecution team.

The defense team alleged that Senator Franklin Drilon is biased against Corona. But why is no one questioning the obvious unfairness of Senator Santiago? She had made the prosecution team look incompetent, dumb, idiot, ignorant, name it. Isn’t she supposed to act as an impartial judge and evaluate the merits of the case, or is she tasked to defend the chief justice?

Granting that she is biased for Corona, the lady senator must refrain from lambasting people, treating them as if they were her pupils. The nation is watching, and our people are not happy with that.

There is no question that this impeachment trial will be decided not based on merits but based on political affiliations.

The Filipino people must decide next year whether they should still elect or re-elect unfair and arrogant senators.

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