Prosecution’s lack of teamwork is obvious in Corona’s impeachment trial

Aside from their obvious incompetence, there are reports that seem to indicate that members of the prosecution team in the trial of the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona do not practice good teamwork. This became most evident when Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas walked out in the middle of the proceedings on the second week of the trial. Fariñas reportedly walked out because he became frustrated at being on the sidelines even after repeatedly expressing his desire to take over the floor:

After his walkout, Fariñas told reporters he wanted to take the floor when Sen Miriam Defensor-Santiago was grilling private prosecutor Arthur Lim, but he was supposedly blocked by fellow prosecutors.

“Sanay ako na I take charge eh,” he said. “Ano ako dun, dekorasyon… Maraming nagte-text sa akin bakit daw hindi ako nagsasalita,” he added.

[Above translated: “I am used to taking charge. What am I there? Decoration? I’ve been receiving a lot of text messages asking why I am not speaking up”.]

This is not the first time that Fariñas was blocked from taking the floor. He also wanted to take the floor on Tuesday when the trial resumed this week and when the lead prosecutor was being grilled. He was likewise blocked.

A lot of people have been wondering why the prosecution team seems to be headed by lawyers who appear to be inexperienced and consistently ill-prepared for the tasks at hand. Even pro-Corona supporters want some of the lead prosecutors replaced so the trial won’t be further delayed. The prosecutors are indeed very frustrating and the way they present their case only adds to the confusion during the proceedings. Congressman and lead prosecutor Niel Tupas Jr looks like he is only good at grandstanding with his balagtasan style of speaking when he is on the floor. This was obvious from the beginning particularly when he, quoting Oliver Cromwell, compared Chief Justice Corona to characters from the Bible in his opening speech. Private prosecutor Arthur Lim even caused Senator-Judge Miriam Santiago’s blood pressure to shoot up on the seventh day because he refused to answer Santiago’s questions properly and appeared to be dismissive.

Tupas may be unimpeachable in his role as leader of the prosecution

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Representative Fariñas’s dramatic walk out was not in vain though. The bar topnotcher who ranked 8th in the 1978 Bar was finally named deputy chief prosecutor of the House panel by Tupas. It is a shame that such temper tantrums had to be displayed in full view of the public. Economist and television commentator Solita “Winnie” Monsod was very spot-on when she said “they act like a pack of wolves”…

The pictures that come forcibly to mind when I observe the behavior of the Executive and the Lower House in the matter of the impeachment of CJ Renato Corona are of a pack of wolves circling their prey, or of a couple of bullies ganging up on someone half their size. And my natural instinct — or rather my sense of fair play — leads me to take the side of the underdog (pardon the horribly mixed metaphors). What is more, I have a feeling the Filipino people are getting just as uncomfortable as I am.

Some of the delays in the proceedings so far have been due to either the evidence not being properly marked or the lengthy discussions regarding the rules of the court for the benefit mainly of the prosecutors who seem to be either unfamiliar with these or inclined towards disregarding them. Those are things that could have been done with or discussed had there been a pre-trial; something which the defense team requested to have on Day One and which the court unfortunately did not allow.

Despite the clarity of the rules, the prosecution team seems to be hell-bent on violating them. Evidence that has not been presented or authenticated in court continue to make its way around media networks that are said to be owned and operated by people close to President Noynoy Aquino. Columnists and journalists make their own damning conclusions about the impeachment case against Corona everyday. A report on Day 7 published by described the sloppy way that evidence surrounding the case was being handled…

– Senator-judge Joker Arroyo expressed alarm that documents marked the previous days that have not yet been admitted as evidence in the case, such as the income tax returns (ITRs) of Corona, have already been released to media. He said ITRs are not public documents and should be held “sacrosanct” and “very, very confidential.”

– Senator-judge Pia Cayetano asked the prosecution panel or defense team if they had released the documents to the public, noting that Corona’s ITRs have been repeatedly shown on television and the Internet.


– Cayetano said the public had to distinguish between the marking, the presentation, and the offer of evidence before releasing documents to the public or the media. She said documents merely marked as evidence should not be paraded around in media to mislead the public into thinking the documents have already been offered as evidence.

– Arroyo stressed that the impeachment court has to admit the marked documents as evidence before these would become public documents.

Consider too how Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares did more than what was asked of her while on the Witness Stand. Aside from presenting information about the income taxes and value of real estate purchases of Chief Justice Corona and his wife, Henares also presented data on income taxes and real estate purchased by Corona’s children even when they were not the ones on trial and even when the tribunal supposedly forbade the evidence. It was said that Henares’s overzealous presentation was upon the direction of PNoy.

Also notable was how Henares tended to readily give her opinion about the financial capacity of Corona’s children to buy properties beyond their declared income. This despite the fact that Henares is not privy to the other sources of income of the other members of Corona’s extended family. Upon cross examination by the leader of the defense team, Serafin Cuevas, Henares appeared too defensive and frustrated by questions that only warranted a simple “yes” or “no” answer. It may have been hard for Henares to respond to the questions if she were aware of the case regarding Corona but it was easy for her to form an opinion about Corona’s financial capacity.

More disturbing, and something Senator-Judge Joker Arroyo himself noticed, is how the BIR commissioner seemed overly excited to announce that she had directed a separate initiative to investigate tax records pertaining to Corona’s two daughters, Ma. Carla Corona-Castillo and Ma. Czarina Corona, registered owners of some prime real estate properties.

This caused Senator Arroyo to feel compelled to tell that BIR commissioner that her move might be over the top:

“Remember the question here is one of policy. We don’t want the public to think that the forces of government are being used (in) the impeachment initiated by the House of Representatives and now tossed to the Senate for trial, then another one before the BIR for some tax malfeaseance or whatever. Im not questioning any, but (I’m raising) my concern,” Arroyo said.

BIR commissioner Henares might have inadvertedly admitted that her department does not do their job properly. If they did, they would have been routinely on top of what she says are inconsistencies between the income tax and the cost of the real estate properties owned by the Coronas way before the impeachment complaint was even conceived.

Pending the presentation of all the evidence and the witnesses especially from the defense team, the inconsistencies seem to all be coming from the prosecution team. The lack of coordination among themselves and their witnesses says a lot about the fact that they may not be acting solely of their own will. A good team usually consists of people who are aware of both the collective accountability of the team and their own individual accountability to their assigned tasks. They may have different responsibilities but work towards a common goal. From the way the prosecutors are acting, they might have a common goal of getting rid of Chief Justice, Corona but they do not appear to know how they go about achieving this together.

[Photo of Kim Henares courtesy Yahoo Philippines News.]

44 Replies to “Prosecution’s lack of teamwork is obvious in Corona’s impeachment trial”

  1. Oh dear, this is very disturbing news.

    The BIR knows how to catch celebrities’ tax evasion cases but ignores the bigger crooks unless they are enemies of the imperial Aquino govt…shame!!!

    Eager beaver talaga ito si Henares in pleasing her Boss.

        1. @Vicenzo
          Don’t be lured by the Sith. He is cunning and deceptive . He will lead you to destruction. His clones are all over this site… so rise Yellow Jedi…Defend the republic. May the force be with you….

        2. @HaraKiri:

          Sorry, but Vincenzo is already belonging to the Sith since the Yellow propaganda he’s spouting is very deceptive.

          Yellow is the color of FEAR.

    1. A lot of the public servants acquire bigger houses once voted into office. Most of them invest in real estate too. It’s mind-boggling why they are singling out Corona when they handle more funds than members of the SC. They should treat the accused with more respect because they might find themselves in the hot seat one day too.

    2. …so ironic that the BIR Chief is quick to single out Corona and his family, while completely ignoring the more blatant display of unexplained wealth by the very people in her bureau.

  2. I would like to put on record that the prosecution is not only incompetent but they’re full of hot air. They know what the rules but are not intent on following any of them. So sad for us.

    1. I just wish they’d replace Tupas already. If they can’t, the camera should not be focused on him too much. He’s just too annoying.

      1. You really can’t blame Tupas, he does need to generate pogi-points for the next election. Though he is making a fool of himself that much is certain.

  3. Normally teamwork occurs even when a team has a sinister purpose. Unfortunately for this team each of its members seem to think of their own personal gain should they succeed.

    Selfishness is a factor that must purged if they are to have teamwork, but then again they are nothing more than crass opportunistic fools.

    1. It’s a good thing for the defense team if the yellow chicken team are not using teamwork.
      This impeachment trial would end quicker if this keeps up.

    2. They work better outside the courtroom where they don’t have to deal with rules. They get caught out once inside because they are forced to abide by the rules.

      1. That alone should dispel any doubt about their lawless nature and not to mention their commitment to injustice and against the master’s opponents.

  4. Like hotshot JCC (Juris Complicated but Clueless), the lawyer-lawmakers did not stick to the basics.

    I admit hindsight is always vision 20-20, but these abogado de kampanilyas should have been more discerning.

    What are impeachable offenses under the Constitution?
    1. culpable violation of the Constitution
    2. treason
    3. bribery
    4. graft and corruption
    5. other high crimes, and
    6. betrayal of public trust.

    Nowhere is non-declaration of SALN listed as an impeachable offense. Now, the prosecutors are scrambling to push the SALN issue to graft and corruption.

    KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

    1. if i remember correctly, the prosecution doesn’t even have an idea on how to proceed with Section 2 of the articles of impeachment until a question by Sen Escudero gave them a hint.

  5. “Can P8000 buy you property worth P18 million?”

    Why are they using her only one year (2009) taxable income as the only way of determining whether CJ Corona’s daughter can afford a property worth P18mill? Maybe she had enough money in the bank to afford it because of her work abroad, or maybe it was a joint purchase between her and her husband, who happens to be a doctor, and they chose to keep it under her name alone. It’s also likely that she bought a property valued at P18mill at a discount. And who would use their whole yearly income to purchase a house. Plus i read somewhere that their daughter works in California, so the philippine income tax returns do not include her income in the U.S.

    1. It’s bad enough that she made her opinions known in court, it was made worse when some media networks printed it as one of their headlines.

      Cuevas did hint on Corona’s daughter being abroad for a while but did not expound on it. The defense seem pretty confident they can explain everything. The people will just have to wait before drawing their own conclusion.

      1. We will see how much she earned…. I am also confident that there is something fishy Corona is a bad daddy. He dragged his daughter into this.

        1. Are you only saying that because you’re a yellow nazi zombie believing your precious president’s lies and bias? And you don’t deserve to have that name if you ever want to commit suicide because you don’t have honor.

  6. BIR commish hindi makasagot sa tanong ni enrile about the issue ng sale ng stock kung ano provision sa tax code requiring a CAR…why, unprepared din kaya siya o hindi na practice ang tanong na ito? maybe it’s just me but ang dating ni henares sa akin while watching her was so mayabang just like any of pnoy’s other henchmen…oo o hindi lang ang sagot pinapahaba pa…with matching facial expression pa…”nagulat kami ng makita ung ITR ng anak ni corona related to the sale ng la vista” ows maniwala naman ako dyan…maximum media mileage talaga..give out as much unrelated information para ung gullible people na nakikinig nag formulate kaagad ng conclusion based on the the incomplete and partial info provided by the witness…

    1. The witness came across as too defensive and evasive. The judges should have reminded her to just answer “yes” or “no”.

      1. @ilda

        exactly. she is a laywer and she should know better. at times she would also come accross as very condescending…just like the lawyer who did the direct..ung napagalitan ni miriam


    kung hindi matanggal sa impeachment, ung movement 188, if hindi pa rin successful, ung imbestigasyon ng BIR and if hindi pa rin maalis sa pwesto, mag-people power na..and since hindi pinayagan ang 2.4, mag file na lang ng kaso re. ill-gotten wealth..pag hindi pa naman mag resign ang CJ, ewan ko na lang…

    1. The bow well movement 188 is just one of the tools of the dictator. Kim Henares is just following her boss. When and if Plan B is executed and people power yellow mixes with red communist that will be the beginning of the end of democracy in the Republic of the Philippines.

  8. “Three things are hard to hide, says the Yiddish proverb: a cough, poverty and love” (the unrequited kind, particularly, “the rage of a [wo]man scorned”–ask PNoy); what’s however easier to hide is wealth. And that’s what Article II of the Articles of Impeachment against Corona is all about–how much of it is revealed in the SALn that he, after all, was able to dutifully submit and the other “incriminating” documents that were later introduced.

    BIR Henares’ eagerness along with the prosecution’s lust to uncover Corona’s hidden, undeclared wealth is laudable. But this passion to selectively single out Corona in order to expose the millions he may have stashed is laughable–unless this advocacy is made to apply to ALL public officers and employees, elective and appointive, including PNoy, the accusers and BIR Henares herself, plus, of course, their immediate family members, and to be subjected to the same public scrutiny and accessibility as fall-guy Corona’s.

    For that’s the only way, I and many of my miserable, hacienda-less friends, who have, through the years, excelled in hiding our poverty, would be consoled, in the Nixonian sense that–I may be dirt-poor, but at least, unlike ALL of you, the accuser-evaders, “I’m not a crook.”

    1. But this passion to selectively single out Corona in order to expose the millions he may have stashed is laughable–unless this advocacy is made to apply to ALL public officers and employees, elective and appointive, including PNoy, the accusers and BIR Henares herself, plus, of course, their immediate family members, and to be subjected to the same public scrutiny and accessibility as fall-guy Corona’s.


      1. The defense should call Mr. BS Aquino to the witness stand. Mr. Aquino plotted the ouster of CJ Corona. He admitted this in the Liberal Party meeting. Examination of this witness could prove his malice and his private agenda. It should also reveal his character and state of mind.

  9. It’s a Court Circus, with prosecutors/lawyers trying to outshine each other…but, they end up as clowns and incompetents…being topnotcher in any bar exam does not guarantee you to become a good trial lawyer…
    Trial lawyers are like Roman Gladiators in a Court. A simple misatake will cost him/her case…Trial lawyers must think on their feet…can sense his/her opponent, and defeat his/her opponent at the slightest blunder…it’s like playing in a chess board…only the chess board is the Court…

  10. @Ilda

    BIR commissioner Henares might have inadvertedly admitted that her department does not do their job properly. If they did, they would have been routinely on top of what she says are inconsistencies between the income tax and the cost of the real estate properties owned by the Coronas way before the impeachment complaint was even conceived.

    This is not at all true. Buying property is totally an isolated process from filing an ITR. You are saying then that I should be investigated for buying a condo unit at Rockwell area because

    1. …sorry, been at the subway, signal loss & wrong button pressed…continues below
      ..because I haven’t been filing for many years. Same is true for many OFWs because we are exempted from filing ITRs. If that was the case then, Corona’s daughter should have been investigated right upon the consumation of the property sale. It’s so clear to me that you have not experience paying your income tax and buying a property of your own at the same time or on the same year. You had Henares out of context. What she said was basically, investigation for a given property tax in question is invoked by reports coming outside the agency ( ie news, subpoena) and only then the matter will trigger an investigation . It is a form of liberty that we enjoy and this is a system which is already in place since panahon ni kupong kupong. Sort of, the givernment trusts that you buy a property out of your

    2. income and you will pay the right taxes without the government having to necessarily scrutinize your terms/mode of acquisition. (pardon for the broken comments..damn this tablet 🙁 )

  11. He he he, maybe Farinas thought the impeachment court is a bed with Vivian Velez lying down waiting for him.

    Farinas is the undisputed betamax king of the Philippines.

    1. Isn’t he also the mayor before who abused his wife that lead the latter to commit suicide? He sure wants to be in the limelight again.

      1. RH, FOI bills delisted from
        House priority list – manila times

        Today another death in the house. The demise of FoI.

        As 188 lawmakers celebrated, did farinas think it was suicide or murder as he sipped champagne.

        30 pieces of silver comes in many denominations.

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