The Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Corona: Judgment Day.

May 29, 2012 was a big day in Philippine history. Not only was it the first impeachment trial against a Chief Justice of the Philippines, it was also the first impeachment trial that reached a verdict. The other trials were either interrupted by the ousting of the accused through people power (in the case of former President Joseph Estrada) or have never even started at all due to the resignation of the official (in the case of former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez).

But don't worry. I won't make you read a heavy post-analysis of the whole political situation. Like I said, this blog is an outlet for my less serious thoughts. But being an historic event, I can't NOT write about it. So allow me to share with you a little behind-the-scenes, some trivia and a couple of photos I was able to take (thanks to my trusty iPhone 4s!) of that day.


Trivia: It's not actually accurate to say that Chief Justice Corona was impeached last May 29. Under the 1987 Philippine Constitution, an officer is already impeached when the House of Representatives transmits the "Articles of Impeachment" to the Senate. What remains is the trial in the Senate which, as an Impeachment Court, renders judgment against the said officer.

Early in the morning, there were a lot of people in the Senate grounds already.


Impeachment Trial starts at 2 in the afternoon but as early as 11, cameras were lined up in the corridor near the Session Hall where trial is usually held.


As soon as trial started, there was tension in the air. It was so quiet I could hear a pin drop. This was unusual because in previous trials, even if proper decorum should be observed at all times, you can still hear some chatter. But today was different. No one was talking or even whispering. It could also be partly because the Sergeant-At-Arms issued a warning before trial started about improper conduct and its corresponding sanctions.

Photos were not allowed to be taken during trial proper except by authorized media personnel that's why I don't have photos of the Senator-Judges casting their votes one by one. But when Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile stood up to explain his vote of GUILTY against Chief Justice Corona, I couldn't help but take a photo.

He is our King Solomon, our Albus Dumbledore. A very intelligent and sharp man who, at the age of 88, never missed a day of work since impeachment started --- both in the legislative sessions (morning til noon) and during trial proper (2pm onwards).



THE VERDICT
20 Senator-Judges voted to CONVICT (Angara, A. Cayetano, P. Cayetano, Drilon, Escudero, Estrada, Guingona, Honasan, Lacson, Lapid, Legarda, Pangilinan, Osmena, Pimentel, Recto, Revilla, Sotto, Trillanes, Villar, Enrile)
3 Senator-Judges voted to ACQUIT (Arroyo, Defensor-Santiago, Marcos)

Trivia: You need 16 GUILTY votes to remove Chief Justice Corona from office but only 8 NOT GUILTY votes to acquit. The Senator-Judges will vote per Article (based on the Articles of Impeachment). However, Corona need only be found guilty in one Article in order to be removed from office, which was what happened that day. He was found guilty of Article 2 when he failed to disclose some of his properties in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).

I took this photo of the Defense Panel moments after the verdict was read. They did not seem distraught. I guess they knew that everyone knew they fought a good fight. Even Senate President Enrile commended them at the start of his speech.


Everyone was cordial after the verdict has been read --- no fights, no arguments.. Well, not that I know of. There were a lot of picture-taking, even between members of the Prosecution and the Defense panel.


Speaking of arguments, remember the guy who did this while Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago was talking?

Image credit: Facebook
He was also there and he was sitting in my seat! I felt like people were looking, probably wanting to see how I would ask him to leave. So I let him stay there just until before trial started. To be fair to him, he was nice enough to acknowledge that it was indeed my seat and had no problems of leaving.


So when I saw him after trial, I reminded him of the "seat incident" and asked if he could do me a favor and he obliged! Other people followed suit but I'm not sure if he agreed to do the infamous pose.


Ran into my classmate from law school Bo who was with the Prosecution Panel.


People were crowding around the spokesperson for the Defense, Karen Jimeno.


I took a photo with Defense lawyer Dennis Manalo because a friend of mine has a crush on him. I won't say his (yes, HIS) name because he might kill me. But I know you're reading this ;)


Ran into Defense lawyer Judd Roy upstairs. He used to be my professor in law school.


It seemed impossible to take a photo with the head of the Defense Panel, Justice Serafin Cuevas, because everyone was around him! Was lucky I was able to take a photo with him during the early months of trial. Another sharp and intelligent man in his 80's. And very polite, too! After I thanked him for the photo, he said "No, thank YOU. It is an honor and a privilege."

And of course, this all wouldn't be complete without a photo at the most famous area during the Impeachment Trial (well, probably only second to Senate President Enrile's table which no one dares to invade)... The witness stand!


Now that this chapter has come to an end, I hope that the President can now focus on other more important things like uplifting the lives of the Filipino people. Enough of politics and more of public service. Agree?

11 comments

  1. Mother! Did you watch Karen Davila's one-on-one interview with JPE on Headstart the day after the trial? It was so entertaining! Willy Nep even had a special appearance!

    ReplyDelete
  2. wow you were there live! i find karen jimeno pretty talaga! hehe.

    ReplyDelete
  3. joei! i already joined your giveaway i think last week. :)

    anyway, nice pictures, but i was kind of expecting that there will be a photo of you and justice cuevas, i'm a fan!

    btw, i love the chanel necklace. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. KORYN. I missed the interview but followed ANC's tweets about the interview. I hope there's a replay!

    ILOVEPINKCOOKIES. Yup! Been there since Day 1 :)

    CHAY. I do have a photo of him. Didn't post it because it was taken before pa. Is he your granddad? :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. haha, no he's not related to me. i'm just a big fan. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. LOL I think I know who has a crush on Atty Dennis Manalo. Saw it on Twitter yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow! Karen Jimeno is pretty ;)

    whyyyjen.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I admire Justice Serafin Cuevas. Long live, Justice Cuevas! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fabulous post! To witness history like that doesn't happen in everyone's lifetime...

    ReplyDelete
  10. glad that it had come to an end! wow i cant believe that you used to study law, you must be very smart! interesting story and photos (: xx



    Letters To Juliet

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow! that's amazing that you were able to attend the CJ Impeachment Judgment day sis!

    Atty. Salvador was my crush, hehehe! I like the way he talks :D

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for the love!

I enjoy meeting fellow bloggers and readers from all over so feel free to comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can :)

♥ joei