Things are looking more like a dull peachy orange rather than a bright Yellow mango for the camp of erstwhile Son-of-Heroes Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. A shell of its former self is what is so far left of the once mighty juggernaut that railroaded through the hollow heads of 188 House “representatives” and triumphantly marched into the Senate impeachment court with illegally-obtained evidence heralded by a choir of conscripted media conglomerates.
And what a poignant shell it is — a prosecution panel resting on a case that they believe is of sufficient substance to convict Corona, the looming threat of a Plan B Malacanang is dangling upon the whole impeachment trial in case it does not yield the President’s preferred outcome, and the increasing scarcity of time left for Noynoy to secure his in-laws’ family jewels, the sprawling Hacienda Luisita estate in Tarlac.
One can almost feel the heat radiating from a fuming Uncle Peping as the train wreck that is the pet project of his cousin-in-law starts coming off the rails.
Despite all efforts of lead prosecutor Niel Tupas Jr to assure the fans that the decision to rest their case upon the shaky foundation of evidence presented around Articles 2, 3, and 7 of their impeachment complaint and drop any further effort to present cases for Articles 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8 was a shrewd and calculated one, the writings on the wall were already clearly evident even on the first week of the trial. Not a single week went by without one Senator-Judge or another (including the Senate President and Presiding Judge himself) berating the prosecution team for their bad form, unethical practices, underhanded tactics, and overall mediocre lawyering. Most laughable of all, one of the prosecution’s own key team members, Congressman Rodolfo FariÃ±as even explicitly confirmed what everyone already knew — that the Articles of Impeachment itself was a badly written document. FariÃ±as went as far as bragging about how he was not among the 188 chumps who signed it.
Senator-Judge Miriam Defensor-Santiago in one of her privilege speeches encapsulated the nature of the dud that is the prosecution team in a single biting phrase:
…an INSULT to the intelligence of educated Filipinos
For his part, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile had long made it clear that he sees no affront to his court in the Supreme Court’s actions to uphold certain principles — bank secrecy laws, discretion over the release of information surrounding their internal dynamics, among others. Yet the prosecution, seemingly unable to get that, continued for days up until yesterday to appeal to Enrile to consider re-evaluating his continued respect for the Supreme Court rulings that (as they would like the public to believe) hinder their efforts to prosecute Corona.
One bright spot in the dark cloud of the impeachment trial that hangs over our wretched Republic is the advent of the beginning of the defense panel’s presentation of their case — the much-anticipated Serafin Cuevas Show. From Day One, the defense team had already distinguished themselves as one of the few (and increasingly scarce) jewels of Philippine human “resource” — a group of men and women who actually think (and exhibit wit, charm, and good looks while doing so). Indeed, the resting of the prosecution marks the close of a monumental waste of time lobbed upon the Filipino people by Noynoy, Tupas, and their mob of Hacienda Luisita stakeholders and the opening of what is expected to be an excellent exhibition of Filipino legal minds in their element.
It is ironic that the two celebrated superstars of the impeachment trial Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Serafin Cuevas were once closely associated to the much reviled regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos — the earlier serving as Marcos’s trusted right-hand-man and the latter involved in the last-ditch swearing-in of Marcos’s running mate Arturo Tolentino in 1986 after Marcos fled to the United States. Noted “investigative journalist” Raissa Robles, always one to be in with the times, takes a quaint crack at pointing out the latter factoid in an already all-too-familiar failure of the So What? test. Unfortunately for Ms Raissa Robles, she already proves to be too small a “lady” for anyone to consider thinking of her opinion as one that could measure up to the stature of the two new and very senior heroes of Philippine democratic institutional governance.
Philippine democratic institutional governance.
If there was anything that would describe a long-overdue escape of our society from the clutches of 26 years of nebulous Yellow, “people power” “edsa revolution” and “laban” rhetoric, it would be the above phrase — the antithesis of everything that Noynoy and his extended feudal clan stands for.
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