Impeachment Trial Impressions: Defense Wins Round 1 But Renato Corona is Badly Bruised

Round 1 Goes to the Defense, but CJ Corona is Badly Bruised

 

Fourteen days have passed and the prosecution team is about to wrap up the presentation for Article 2. Thus far, these are my impressions of the first 14 days of the impeachment proceedings:

  1.  I thought that Chief Justice Renato Corona would do a Merci; i.e. resign from his post and  spare himself from the embarrassment of whatever things the prosecution will throw at him during the trial. Renato Corona however has chosen to fight. In an interview  aired over TV Patrol last January 16, 2011, he declared that he will not resign as Chief Justice and only death can remove him from the Supreme Court. Such a bold statement can be interpreted either way: He is either “kapit tuko” or he is convinced he will be acquitted. Whatever it is, his statement over television suggests a long drawn trial.

 

  1. Except for one member of the court who never fails to perform headline grabbing antics when  attending the proceedings, I thought there is a conscious effort on the majority of the senator jurors  not to let the process be hampered by technicalities attendant to judicial proceedings.  I hope this will continue well into the rest of the impeachment trials.  The worst thing that can happen is for technicalities to prevent the truth to come out.  I believe that a decision that is reflective of the truth will surely get the support of the people. But a decision that bars the exposition of the truth using legal technicalities will be rejected by the people and my even result to some form of direct action. (Remember the second envelop and Edsa 2?)

 

The Impeachment Trial on the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, January 16, 2012
  1. This is a trial to show that Renato Corona is not fit to become Chief Justice.  Specifically it is not about the commission of high crimes” but about “betrayal of the public trust” and “culpable violation of the Constitution.”   For the first fourteen days, the trial was progressing  like a criminal proceeding. This could be a mistake by the prosecution resulting in the arguments being focused on evidence akin to a criminal proceeding, not about fitness in office of the Chief Justice.  Result: the Defense is having a field day in Court.

 

  1. The impeachment trial is a showcase of the best lawyers this country has.  I wonder how expensive these lawyers are.  And if indeed they are offering their services for free, are there strings attached to these free services?

 

  1. The defense team may have won this round on technicalities but their client has been badly cruised and his reputation badly tarnished.   No matter how brilliant and experienced the defense counsels are, the prosecution team was able to paint a Chief Justice who has not been that honest with his SALNs, who has bought penthouses at a great discount and who has tried to avoid paying the correct taxes on his real estate transactions and other incomes.

 

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