MIND DA NEWS
GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/24 May) – Chief Justice Renato Corona committed big boners at his impeachment trial last Tuesday. The bigger these became because he is a lawyer – and much, much more because he is chief justice.
First, he asked for time to give a “preliminary statement”. He knew he was there as a witness, not as a resource person or a guest speaker. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, the presiding judge, granted the request. Corona abused the favor by delivering an almost three-hour speech – no excuse for him not knowing that his speech was not a preliminary statement by any norm.
Second, big portions of his speech were tirades against his enemies – his accusers and perceived persecutors, first among them President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III – all irrelevant to the charges he was supposed to refute. Had those been said during the direct examination of his counsel they would have been stricken out from the records.
Third, he ended his speech with “Now the Chief Justice of the Republic wishes to be excused.” He knew that was not the language and the way to ask to be excused. If Corona had really wished to be excused, he should have signaled his counsel to ask the Court in his behalf. He knows that in court the witness never speaks to the judge unless asked by the judge some questions; he only speaks through his counsel.
That was imperious. Some, in justifying Corona, said it was a request; he used “wishes”. No! That’s the very word kings and emperors used for what they wanted. The king’s wish is an order. So, the saying, “Never oppose the wish of the king”. (Ang utos ng hari hindi nababali. )
To compound the insult to the Impeachment Court, he left the witness stand without waiting for the consent of the Court and went straight to the exit. He knew that was improper, in fact contemptuous.
That Corona returned to the court room after Presiding Judge Enrile had ordered all court exits closed and Corona brought back did not mitigate his boners. That only showed the gravity of his boners. By his demeanor in the wheelchair on his return, Corona must have been chastised by Enrile’s admonition or dressing down.
How demeaning it was for the “Chief Justice of the Republic” to be dressed down by his co-equal, the “President of the Senate of the Republic” even if the admonition was not directly addressed to him but to his counsel! How shameful it was to abuse the highest courtesies accorded to him as chief justice!
Was the alleged sudden lowering of his blood sugar a valid justification for Corona’s contemptuous conduct? According to his apologists he was about to throw up or vomit and collapse. But, as reported, he walked briskly toward the exit and when overtaken by the Senate sergeant at arms by the elevator’s door was on his feet with no one supporting him. A review of the Senate’s closed circuit television will reveal the truth.
If he was really feeling nauseated and dizzy why did he rush to the elevator? He could have just sat down and called for his doctor-son-in-law.
Was his act – just call it a “walk away” if not a “walkout” – planned or premeditated? His wife was waiting by; so were his security men. His convoys’ cars had their engines all running. It appeared all happened at a signal – evidently by that imperious “wish” ending his speech.
His chief counsel, retired SC Justice Serafin Cuevas said he did not notice Corona leave. He was manifesting to the Court to start his direct examination. When he looked at the witness stand, Corona was no longer there. According to his other counsel, Atty. Jose Roy III, no one could dictate on Chief Justice; what he wants, he gets.
Corona looked down so low on the senators-judges including the senator-presiding judge. This was the comment of one Manila columnist. Is that the ultimate meaning of his abuse of their favors and his contemptuous walk away or walkout?
As this piece is being written, the Manila media, citing Cuevas as their source, say Corona intends to attend the closing session “tomorrow”, May 25, against the strong objection of his doctors for direct and cross examinations.
Is Corona mentally ready to be grilled? Or, will he attend just to dramatize his sickness to win sympathy?
Whatever happens in the afternoon of Friday, the 25th, Corona’s boners big have been done. On Monday, the prosecution and defense will have their closing arguments. After that or on Tuesday, the latest, the senators-judges will cast their votes.
Will Corona’s big boners help convict or acquit him? – (Patricio P. Diaz/MindaNews)