Vitallano Aguirre’s mind will forever be stuck in February 29 2012

Quite a shame that the prosecution team in the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, already beleaguered over the course of the proceedings by a litany of gaffes, episodes of mediocre performance, and instances of unethical behaviour laid bare by one Senator-Judge after another, has to suffer the humiliation of one of its hired private lawyers getting caught disrespecting the court. Private attorney Vitallano Aguirre was recorded on video covering his ears as Senator-Judge Miriam Defensor-Santiago delivered her privilege speech.

Perhaps after all, as most prosecution apologists would point out, Santiago was out of line when she used the word “gago” (presumably in unsurprising reference to the prosecution team). But then it can be argued that the rudeness of the word gago is really a matter of individual perception and its categorisation as “rude” more a subjective call. The word gago, as I pointed out ealier, has a very specific meaning in Tagalog. It means “idiot”. When a Filipino calls you gago it means he or she is telling you that you are an idiot. And what can be more evidence of idiocy in the prosecution as a collective than the idiotic behaviour and thinking that Santiago pointed out from the podium yesterday…

Senator-Judge Miriam Defensor Santiago took to the podium and said that the prosecution’s dropping of more than half the Articles of Impeachment was unprecedented. “You are prejudging the case. What are you doing, conducting trial by publicity?” She accused the prosecution of misleading the court. “Ang yayabang ng nagsasalita ng ganyan, gago naman.” This is where I noticed that most of the members of the prosecution belonging to the House of Representatives were not seated at the Prosecutions table but at the VIP Section of the hall. Most of those who sat at the prosecution table were the private prosecutors and Prosecutor Representative Colmenares who led them on Article 7.

Santiago then turns her anger from the prosecution to a recent University of the Philippines survey. Addressing the University, she said, “Please do not try these little dirty tricks on us. We are old people here.” She added, “People who machinate the press releases on the UP survey should be kicked out! Shame on the university.”

This, in fact, is just the most recent of a series of past justifiably vitriolic call-outs coming from Santiago that were directed squarely at the prosecution team. In fact, I’d consider the statement she made previous to the above a lot more in-your-face when she said that the prosecution team was “an INSULT to the intelligence of educated Filipinos”. Ouch! Suffice to say, “idiot” is putting it mildly in the context of that one.

Bottomline is that while other instances of inappropriate behaviour over the course of the impeachment trial whether it came from the defense team or the Senator-Judges are all debatable this quaint childishness (at best) and downright rudeness (at worst) of a lawyer covering his ears while a judge spoke cannot be disputed.

This quaint episode is, in fact, a microcosm of the sort of politics that imprisoned the Filipino mind over the last 26 years resulting in damage to the Filipino collective psyche that we are only now beginning to understand — an entire generation of Filipinos conditioned to think that an adolescent tantrum mounted on a Manila highway by a lynch mob can always trump the ruling of a duly-constituted institution. It is this sort of moronic thinking that breeds street “ocho-ocho” rallyists at its most benign and dangerous military adventurists at its deadliest. It is the mother of all viral memes and it continues to infect the Filipino mind like a cancer.

Either way, Santiago’s “gago” has already been stricken out of court records upon the request of Congressman (and member of the prosecution team) Rodolfo Fariñas — a request to which Santiago herself did not object to. In short, the incident has been buried. Santiago will move on, the trial will move on, and we will move on. But it is quite possible that Aguirre will forever be stuck in this moment, replaying it in his head over and over while wondering: Was it worth it?

A lucky therapist will be laughing all the way to the bank.

[Photo courtesy]


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96 Comments on "Vitallano Aguirre’s mind will forever be stuck in February 29 2012"

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frederick agbayani

it was obviously plan and planted to provoke the good senator and get the desired reaction. good that it was cut short by the Presiding Officer… another ploy from the yellow zombies.. they are good at that… and that lawyer is an ABS-CBN lawyer as well as Meralco…


the members of the prosecution – tupas, farinas, quimbo, colmenares, angara are all seeking to be on the senate slate for 2013.
there are enough passengers and incompetents in the senate. if we perpetuate this level of mediocrity how on earth will the country progress.
the trial has exposed the lack of, the lack of integrity and outright hypocricy. enough.
surely there are some honest and principled people, or maybe not.

it doesnt augur well for the country.


I’m not sure if this is the right venue for this, but I don’t know how to contact either Benign0 or Ilda, so I’m calling their attention to this piece

Der Fuhrer

While we were distracted by the impeachment the silent, sleeping president continues to sleep with the enemy. The continuing communist connection and the clear and present danger it represents…


the media attacks will now move on to cuevas and enrile and the independent minded senators.

they know they have lost the legal battle so more dirty tricks and propaganda all they have left, and no doubt a pulse asia survey!

they will not meet the march 23 deadline – tupas was almost crying yesterday when his pleading and whining was ignored.

the race puts a decision on hacienda luisita now possible before the impeachment trial decision.
that would put the cat amongst the pidgeons.


Expect to have this Impeachment trial get settled on the streets. When the defense presents evidences contrary to the porksecutors’ lies, the trial will reach the streets with 2,000 supporters that will be reported by PDI and ABS-CBN to be 2 million.


BTW, I have read the article about the UP survey on the feb 29 issue of PDI and today, they issued an erratum about a certain part of the piece. What’s funny is that the erratum itself is erroneous. It seems that the PDI got everything wrong these days. Too much yellow maybe?

joshua r

“dignity” as defined in the merriam-webster dictionary is “the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed”…what dignity was aguirre talking about? if they did their job right, sesermonan kaya sila? what a laugh…and to quote the good senator…saan ang mga utak ninyo, wah? halatang di nag-isip ng mabuti…senator-judge ang kinalaban at babae pa..wawang-wawa naman talaga…let’s all say WAH!

I think the good lady senator also violated Rule 3.04 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, I suppose the Senate must be fair to everybody not because you are the judge means you can get away with something you had done, to my belief, is unbecoming of your status. If penalty is to be imposed on Atty Vitaliano Aguirre (Mabuhay ka!) so is to the lady senator. RULE 3.04 – A judge should be patient, attentive, and courteous to lawyers, especially the inexperienced, to litigants, witnesses, and others appearing before the court. A judge should avoid unconsciously falling into the… Read more »
Domingo Arong
BenignO Urban dictionary offers another meaning for the term “gago”–“An ancient, obsolete term for the head of the … [deleted]” Ex. “Kinagat ng babaylan ang gago ng datu.” So, what was Miriam implying when she shouted that Aguirre was “gago”–or was it Aguirre’s “gago”? Anyway, one question that seems to have been sidetracked is this: Why is PNoy selectively obsessed with Corona? It’s the Hacienda decision, we are told, or even Corona’s association with GMA. But I don’t think the severity of PNoy’s obsessive reaction justifies either premise. For I suppose the only plausible reason for PNoy’s vengeful hatred… Read more »

How about the way they vilify Corona? What they have are all allegations that have to be proven in the impeachment hearing.

All scoldings that Miriam has done to the prosecution lawyers pale to what they have done in maligning Corona. The funny thing is that the prosecution is so thin skinned.

The truth, ang kakapal nila!

It’s moral superiority vs moral clarity.


It disheartens me that the yellow mob only sees Miriam’s bullying against the prosecution team, without asking, Why did she have to lambast them with reprimands?

The prosecution team were the ones who erred. Pinapagalitan lang sila. Napuno na si Miriam sa kanila mga incompetencies. They’re in the impeachment court for God’s sake! And they were like grade schoolers!

I am greatly ashamed at how moronic the ‘public’ opinion has become. Indeed a disgrace to the ‘thinking’ Filipinos.

Joe America
I think Senator Santiago lowered herself into the mud, and find each successive and more volatile outburst strange. I have no idea about the attorney but will accept the reading here that is not flattering. It is consistent with other readouts on prosecutor incompetence and lack of preparation. But I am always inclined to ask, in this culture of favors and cheating, exactly why is Senator Santiago so volatile? Is her hypertension acting up again? Does she have something to hide? What is her history with Mr. Corona? Does she figure she is a “star” among the judges, and therefore… Read more »
Der Fuhrer
The prosecutor looking and acting like a monkey covering his ears minus the other two monkeys who cover their ears and mouth was a major blunder. He definitely stepped over the line of proper decorum. Some observers say the stunt was planned to raise the temper of Senator Santiago. If it was then he went were no man has gone before. It is public knowledge that the good Senator is hypertensive. This makes the act a grave offense. Deliberately baiting a Senator to raise her blood pressure is also a breach of legal ethics and conduct. The collective arrogance, impertinence… Read more »
Lord Chimera

Considering that the prosecution has been more or less acting incompetent, under-handed and childish do we even have to wonder why the senator lost her temper? The prosecution’s actions can test even the most patient of people.

By the way has anyone wondered as to whether the King in Yellow’s childishness affect his minions? Aguirre’s pose is very childish and the sort of thing any child who doesn’t want to listen to corrective lecture will do.


She demands respect yet she can’t give respect.

cool ass
the first, and the last time i ever participated in the Philippine election was in 1998…and i voted for a losing candidate…but despite that i voted against ERAP, i supported his presidency until he was ousted in 2001 thru EDSA 2… after that, i never participated again in the following elections…it doesn’t make sense to me that we spend millions, probably billions of pesos for electioneering…and then when the other candidate wins the election, we go out in the streets and just oust him… DEMOCRACY, for me, is not the right system for the Filipinos…People must be SMART for democracy… Read more »
Hyden Toro

We are wasting our time and resources by these Impeachments. Noynoy Aquino is using these Witch Hunts, to subject his political enemies to Political Inquisitions. Not far from the Dark Ages Religious Inquisitions. Not a single person yet is burned on Stake. However, they are “burned” by the YellowTard Media thru Trial By Publicity.
Inspite of all of his proclamations of fighting corruption. He contradicts himself, by protecting his corrupt friends and party loyalists…
The earlier we stop this madness of Political Inquisitions. And to Focus on our deteriorating economic conditions…the better..


May I share these two surveys with the readers herein,

An Inquirer poll says 73.26% agree with the contempt ruling against Aguirre while 26.74% don’t in a survey of 1,836.

Another survey on ABS-CBN on punto por punto showed 33% agree while 67% do not agree, in a survey the number of respondents in it was not mentioned.

These are two obviously contrasting surveys, which to believe?

I guess it really doesn’t need pointing out, but gee these surveys are misleading. Just like the UP survey. And our poor public will be left to believe everything dished their way.

I’m not going to defend Aguirre’s actions because I too believe that what he did was unprofessional but how can you not see Santiago’s abuse of authority? She maybe the smartest Filipino woman I know but that does not make her a professor in court. She is paid there to be a senator judge. So stick to judging. If it’s more professional for Aguirre to just get out of the court room then, I guess it would be more professional for Santiago to lecture the prosecution out of ear shot. But maybe she just wants people to think she knows… Read more »