by Wilfred Avila
Photo credits : @JusticeLeaksPh
When the Impeachment Trial started we were faced with 8 articles against the Chief Justice that had no legal leg to stand on. That 188 Congressmen from the House of Representative forwarded the complaint to the Senate in record time was appalling. As the hearings progressed, it became obvious that the basic evidence was culled from spurious sources that even now is shouting loud to be addressed so as to keep the confidentiality of everyone’s records sacrosanct.
As it went on, we were lambasted with a giant fishing expedition that equaled the whaling scandal of the Japanese whalers themselves. Like piranhas, the entire prosecution team converged around the table of witness Tiongson to see the catch that they felt would give them the light of day. Not content with just looking, the Prosecutor-Representatives even took pictures of it acting like little children on a holiday in some exotic place.
Witness after witness and document after document, all 147 of them, were presented to prove that a series of untruths could make something out of nothing. It sure seemed that way when the basis of all these proofs was claimed to have come from a “small lady” and an envelope left out in someone’s garage. Yes, these were from Congressmen themselves. One was a member of the Prosecution panel and another the Administrative coordinator of the Prosecution. How can we believe that a Congressman could not remember or even know someone who gives you an envelope? This boggles the mind.
As the trial progressed, we were regaled by the appearance of prosecutors who were either unprepared and or just didn’t know what the hell they got themselves into. Being taught on a daily basis by Senator-Judges on the way to handle court cases and to present their witnesses and evidence did have some use to an otherwise unlearned viewer. I am sure that there will be many more students who will aspire to be lawyers and not because of the prosecution either or maybe because they felt that they could even do better with their ignorance of the law.
Probably realizing that their inutile efforts were not being gobbled up by the court whole, stock and barrel, they created a new front ….. the took to the Fourth Estate with a passion. The media was used to not only present their case but to even question the validity and propriety of the the Court’s rulings. Two to three press conferences were held on a daily basis not even counting the presidential spokesman’s (Lacierda) daily broadcast pronouncement all favoring the Prosecution. The newspapers were also used with paid columnists (not all) who mouthed the very same lines dished out by the Administration and the prosecution.
In all of these, there is a gleam of hope. The social networks took up the battle for the embattled Defense and deflected the blows being belted out by the prosecution. This was volunteerism at its finest! From graphic arts to actual contrary evidence were being in the various social networking sites. These certainly hit its mark. facebook, twitter and blogs were all filled with statements that begged to be listened to because of the truths they blared out.
That this hit its mark cannot be denied. A case in point is Lead Prosecutor Representative Tupaz’ and PSBank Tiongson’s denial that they never knew each other. Pictures were viraled that disproved their claim. Tupaz could no longer deny it claiming conveniently that he forgot all about it.
The dividing line was created. The battle fronts were made clearer. Truth versus the untruths. In the order of business, the prosecution had its field day. The defense will now have its turn to controvert the evidence presented so far. In the meantime, more demolition programs by the administration is expected against Chief Justice Corona. It is not enough to have presented the case against him. He must be totally obliterated and ridiculed to shame. This is the objective.
Now, we were faced by a lawyer that was never formally presented by the Prosecution who was caught insulting the court by closing his ears while a Senator-Judge was hyperventilating against the tyranny of the prosecution. Adding insult to injury, he (Atty. Aguirre) insisted that he meant to do what he did because he was sick and tired of being scolded by a learned jurist, Senator-Judge Miriam Defensor Santiago and the other Senator-Judges.
I will not dare say what Aguirre could have possibly done to alleviate his hurting eardrums. The fact is he insulted the Senator-Judges and the Impeachment Court! We learned later that he is a lawyer attached to Meralco, a Lopez owned (partially now) company as ABS-CBN is.
After 26 days and six weeks of continuous hearings, this whole exercise does take its toll on the mind and health of anyone who is forced by law to attend the hearings and listen to these inanities. Senator-Judge Miriam Defensor Santiago is no exception. The “covering of the ears” incident was the last straw.
That she is human and gets affected by all these cannot be denied. That she has earned the respect of both the pro/con Corona and all the legal students cannot be denied. Yes, we even felt like students too and were very glad for the free lessons in law. At the very least, we now know our rights as defendants in any future case we may face.
Now, can we possibly blame her for calling the Prosecution panel as “GAGO! just a question.