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Friday, June 1, 2012

The Mighty Twenty and the Lousy Three

I did not intend to watch verdict day of the Corona impeachment trial, but when I came in at the GHQ, a TV set was placed atop the executive assistant's cabinet, through the wishes of the CEO. I could easily read my boss's mind. Staff would pretend to be working, but secretly would be watching live streaming of the trial. From 2 to 6 PM, work stopped its grind, the world stood still.We renewed appreciation of our boss.

I came in at the middle of Angara's speech. When he gave his "guilty" verdict, the office roared in delight. Never mind  it was only the first vote out of twenty-three. When the Joker pulled out his vote for acquittal, one quipped, "Akala ko ba, pag bad ka, lagot ka?!" Well, some people grow old to shine. Others just wither away.

When Allan Peter Cayetano gave the "guilty" vote, we were all sure his sister Senator Pia would take the same route. And it was 3 to 1. We were keeping scores like watching a ballgame in an arena.

Then came Franklin Drilon, Francis Escudero, Jinggoy Estrada, TG Guingona, Gringo Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Lito Lapid, and Loren Legarda. Guilty votes came in torrents, broken only by Marcos Junior. No one in the room was surprised. But the Junior's attempt to glory was just that, an attempt. For halfway into his speech, everyone was still talking about Lito Lapid's "pizza pie." Why is Bongbong even a Senator in our midst?

Then we had Sergio Osmena III, Kiko Pangilinan, Koko Pimentel, Ralph Recto, and Bong Revilla. All voted to oust Corona from the Supreme Court. The score: 16 to 1. Bong had the honor to seal the deal.

And we all had been better off to skip the next judge: Miriam Santiago. It was the first time I saw Santiago do her theatrics in this trial. I thought the news was just exaggerating about her feistiness. She was INDEED a first-rate virago and termagant. I had to leave the room after she talked back at the presiding officer Juan Ponce Enrile who reminded her of the time, to which she retorted, "I thought I was unlimited." She could say that, but my endurance and patience had limits. I stepped out of the room, out of the office and went to 7-11 to get some Magnum (the chocolate bar, not the gun. But I could have used one on the TV set.), canned juice, and a bag of chips. If Miriam thought everyone would cling to her every word, she was mistaken. I'd rather endure the rancid, dog-pee smell along Eastwood sidewalks than let her finish the speech which would only conclude to her acquitting Corona.

When I re-entered the room, Antonio Trillanes was just wrapping up his "guilty" vote. The score was now 18 to 3, Tito Sotto having voted against Corona, too. Then Manny Villar came in: 19 to 3. But Villar could have stayed away from grandstanding. This trial was not about him. Sheesh! And by the the way, Mr. Villar, I didn't vote for you.

Then finally, Dumbledore. Excuse me. What I meant was, Juan Ponce Enrile, the captain of the impeachment trial. After a long, circuitous speech, he voted "guilty." What can I say about the man? At 88, he redeemed himself from his gory past. Martial Law, anyone? He had been heroically smart against the lackluster job of the prosecution (Let me just say this. This trial was won not by the "brilliance" of the prosecution, but by the _________ of the defense.) and heroically strong against the "nerve" of the defense and the accused. 

And it all came to pass. Twenty (20) voted guilty. Three (3) voted not guilty. No one dared to play safe and abstain.

I pity the three who let political partisan ruled over common sense. Never mind their lack of regard for the common tao. That was a given. Those who brag about education and diplomas, of Harvard, and the Ivy League, are the biggest letdown when the rule of the game shifts down to common sense. Whereas, whereas, my ass!


  1. JPE's speech was not long and circuitous, well ok, if you are judging it for aesthetics as a literature buff. He was stating the facts of the case for the record. From start to finish. Every important detail. If an appeal is possible at all, that judgment would be scrutinized -- every comma, every period. JPE's speech was "sealing the deal" -- no Justice Cuevas can break that seal. Balik muna siya sa elementary books and learn the meaning of "culpa"! Btw, I texted my sister (a lawyer) that I got "culpa" right, and Mr. Burns (of the Simpsons) couldn't! lol.

  2. Yes, it was a "sealant." It wasn't circuitous thinking about it now. Just (necessarily) long. I just don't like listening to things I already know. What's with "culpa"? I only know "mea culpa." I went to a Catholic High School and we used to always say that in prayer, and eventually used it in regular speech, and our Moral Guidance teacher would always reprimand us. :)

  3. Yes, I also got the meaning of "culpa" from "mea culpa" -- "my fault".

    Miriam, for all her hysterics when she tries to insult the prosecution wasn't really insulting the prosecution but giving credence to the insult that she is indeed Brenda. Foaming at the mouth is not a valid legal argument.

    On the other hand, that pop-quiz on the eve before decision day by JPE was really him handing the great lawyer Cuevas his legal mind, measured and tagged. I loved it when JPE asked him to recite the law on SALN. He couldn't. And JPE recited it from on top of his head emphasizing every comma and period. Then came the "culpa" -- the root word of "culpable". I saw lawyers from the defense handing Cuevas pieces of paper, which I believe would be a codigo. But JPE wouldn't give him the time to read it, instead told him that in law, there are four kinds of culpa, dolus, lata, etc. Then JPE asked him to comment whether breaking the SALN law was a "culpable violation of the Constitution". Of course, by then Cuevas wasn't in a position to convince anyone, since he does not even know the meaning of culpa. "Balik ka muna sa elementary law books", if I caught it right was the final insult by JPE.

    Dun pa lang, alam ko na ang boto ng Enrile bloc.