I will be using the hashtag #CJTrialWatch to ensure that citizens get a multiplicity of ideas and perspectives of the impeachment trial. Let me share to you some excerpts presented by Senator Pia Cayetano on “What to expect from the Impeachment”.
The Role of Every Filipino Citizen
The Constitution provides for various ways in which the citizens can participate in our democratic process, one of them is the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression. Filipinos have been very vocal about their support or disdain for anything from public personalities to political decisions made by incumbent officials. Clearly, we want to have a role in the impeachment process.
It has been said that “[O]ne of the demands of a democratic society is that the public should know what goes on in the courts by being informed by the press what is happening there, to the end that the public may judge whether our system of administration of justice is fair and right (Trial by Publicity, Arsenio Solidum. Philippine Law Journal, September 1959).
What then can our citizens do?
Support the process set out by the Constitution.
Patient but vigilant observation.
Critical but fair analysis.
In the formation of one’s opinions, Charles Black states:
“we ought to try to take the same stance of principled political neutrality that we hope to see taken by the House and the Senate as they go about their work (emphasis supplied)
Given the above, what is expected from a senator-judge? That he or she listens to every single opinion offered by friends, strangers or media? Or that we stay true to our oath and base our decisions on the evidence presented? I humbly submit, that despite the interesting theories and conclusions that will surely come out of this trial, we are required to pass judgement based on the evidence presented in the impeachment court.
On making comments and statements about the impeachment:
Like a judge in a judicial court, Section XVIII of the Senate Rules on Impeachment requires that the Members of the Senate “refrain from making any comments and disclosures in public pertaining to the merits of a pending impeachment trial.”
The same rule applies “to the prosecutors, to the person impeached, and to their respective counsel and witnesses.”
And to the public and those in media. yes, we each have own opinions. In fact, the press have their Constitutional guarantees on freedom of the press. Does that mean we can all say anything we want about the impeachment trial?
As a judge, I need to shed myself of all impartialities and take on the neutrality of a disinterested person. In addition I am barred from making any comments on the merits of the trial.
For every other citizen, the Constitution and our rules are silent. But if you expect fairness from your judges, then perhaps the same principle of political neutrality will go along way in helping each other understand the issues without being swayed by personal or political leanings. This will then elevate the discussion and would go a long way to help the Senators focus on the evidence on hand and not on public perception.
(End of Senator Pia Cayetano notes)
Here are 5 ways that I will do/or have done to understand the impeachment process and the rule of law:
2. Read the Full text of the Articles of impeachment . You can also download the document.
3. Read reply of CJ Corona to impeachment complaint
4. watch live proceedings via livestream
– Twitter hashtags : https://blogwatch.tv.s175152.gridserver.com/livestream
5. Watch this video explain that the President, the Senate and Congressmen are there for the people because they were elected but it doesn’t mean they are God and dictate the law without due process. (Take note that this is produced by those that oppose the actions of the administration)
4. Share your views based on facts using #CJtrialWatch hashtag
5. Read archives of videos, blog posts and other opinions at https://blogwatch.tv.s175152.gridserver.com/corona-impeachment-trial