WHEN PRESIDING OFFICER Juan Ponce Enrile adjourned the impeachment trial last Thursday, there was a collective sigh of relief (on Twitter) among journalists and even radio/TV hosts covering the historic event. Finally, rest.
Monitoring the trial on TV as well as the press conferences and radio/TV interviews of both the prosecution and defense teams is actually draining. Maybe it would be less exhausting if the presiding officer was Kris Aquino. Hmmm, let’s see.
Today, we begin to perform a solemn task that the sovereign people, through the Constitution they ordained, have reposed upon us, the Senators of the Republic. We convene as a body of jurors to try and render judgment on the… Gosh this is too serious. Can we just shorten this opening statement? Masyadong mahaba eh, sayang ang oras! May shoot pa ko later tonight. Basta pangako ko, I’ll be fair kahit brother ko ang presidente. Kung ayaw n’yong maniwala, care bears! Aha-ha-ha. ‘Yon na ‘yon! Care Bears! Introduce na lang yourselves. Sige na. Wait, para maka-relate ang viewers, ‘yong prosecution, Team Edward sila. ‘Yong defense, Team Jacob naman, ok? Let’s have Team Edward first. Go!
Cong. Niel Tupas Jr.: Madam Senate President, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate, good afternoon. Respectfully appearing for the House of Representatives’ prosecution panel, my name iz uh, Niel Tupas Jr. of Iloilo.
PO Kris: Teka lang. Niel Tupas Jr? So dad mo si Niel Tupas Sr? ‘Yong may graft case sa Ombudsman?
Cong. Niel Tupas Jr.: Yes, Madam Senate President. But the case is pending and my father has never been convicted.
PO Kris: Oo nga. I said case. Wala naman akong sinabing convicted ‘di ba? Kaloka. Defensive much? Aha-ha-ha. Next!
Cong. Raul Daza: For the prosecution, Raul Daza, deputy speaker, first district Northern Samar.
PO Kris: Oh my God, Congressman Raul Daza?! The defense lawyer of Erap during his impeachment trial? Hindi ko kayo kinakaya! Until now congressman ka pa rin? Overrrr! Next!
Congw. Marlyn Primicias Agabas: Conditionally, Marlyn Primicias-Aggabas, sixth district, Province of Pangasinan.
Congw. Arlene Bag-ao: Good afternoon Your Honor, respectfully appearing for the prosecution, my name is Arlene Bag-ao from the party-list Akbayan.
PO Kris: Sandali, what’s your name again?
Congw. Bag-ao: Ako po, Your Honor?
PO Kris: No, ‘yong unang girl.
Congw. Agabas: Marlyn Aggabas, Madam Senate President.
PO Kris: I like your terno. Promise. Bagay sa skin tone mo. Rajo Laurel ba ‘yan?
Congw. Agabas: Patis Tesoro, Your Honor.
PO Kris: Sosyaaal! Can afford. O, ikaw naman Congresswoman Bag-ao, sinong tumahi n’yan?
Congw. Bag-ao: SM lang po ‘to Madam Senate President.
PO Kris: Bongga! I like you! Walang pretensions. SM kung SM! Why not ‘di ba? Feeling ko Megamall ‘yan? Kultura?
Congw. Bag-ao: Tama po, Your Honor.
PO Kris: Winnnnner! Anyway, kahit identified ako sa mga taong nagsusulong ng ouster ng Chief Justice, uulitin ko lang, i will try to be fair. Pero, i admit, kapag nakikita ko ang mukha ng mga congressmen, naaalala ko ang dati kong show, ‘yong ‘The Price is Right.’ I don’t know why. Basta. Sandali, session suspended for 5 minutes muna! Retouch lang ako. Bambbi, ‘yong blush-on ko please.
Day 1, Moment No. 2:
Presiding Officer Kris Aquino (PO Kris): I am baaaaack. Sorry everyone. Continue na natin. Team Jacob naman. Go!
Retired Justice Serafin Cuevas: Kagalang-galang na Pangulo ng Senado,mahal naming miyembro ng Senado, magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat. This is retired Justice Serafin Cuevas, appearing for the respondent, Renato Corona, your honor. And for that purpose, may we be allowed to state for the record that the Honorable Justice Corona is here pursuant to the invitation of this honorable body.
PO Kris: Ang dami mo nang sinabi. Sandali lang Justice. How old ka na?
Justice Cuevas: For the record your honor, I am turning 84 years old in July.
PO Kris: Gosh, you’re that old na pala. In fairness, hindi halata Justice. Parang 80 ka lang. Aha-ha-ha Seriously, I’m impressed. I hope you don’t mind, sino po ang mas matanda: kayo o ‘yong Revised Penal Code of the Philippines?
Justice Cuevas: Your Honor, I object to this entire line of questioning. It’s leading… leading to the grave. That is totally irrelevant to the case.
PO Kris: Ay ganun? Fine! As you were saying, the respondent is here? Where is he seated?
Justice Cuevas: They’re at the second row of the gallery your honor. Tumayo po kayo Mr Chief Justice.
PO Kris: Oh, he. Is that Mrs. Corona beside him? In fairness huh, pretty s’ya. May taste ka Mr. Chief Justice. At sino ‘yong katabi ni Mrs. Corona? Si Atty. Midas Marquez ba ‘yon?
Justice Cuevas: Yes, your honor.
PO Kris: Mas pretty s’ya. Aha-ha-ha.
PO Kris: Oh, wait I have a call. One minute suspension.
Day 1, Moment No. 3:
Presiding Officer Kris: Sorry, ladies and gentlemen. That’s my son, Bimby. He’s watching the trial right now on TV. So if you would please, can you say “Hi Bimby!” Sige naaaa… matutuwa ‘yon. At the count of three, ok? 1, 2, 3…
Senators: “Hi Bimby!”
PO Kris: Yey! I love youuuu! Ok, proceed na sa opening statements. Team Edward mauna na kayo…
Cong. Niel Tupas: Today we lay down before this honorable impeachment tribunal the product of the collective voice of the people…
PO Kris: Teka lang. Maraming nanonood na ‘di nakapag-aral. Pakilinaw please ang ‘collective.’ Baka isipin nila, may na-collect kayo kaya inimpeach n’yo s’ya. Bad sa image ”yon. Please continue…
Cong. Niel Tupas: Ang ibig sabihin namin your honor, ang kasong ilalatag namin ay mula sa iisang tinig ng taong-bayan. And if I may proceed, before God and country we say this: you, Mr Corona, are an enemy to good government. Like Judas Iscariot, you betrayed your God for a few pieces of gold. In the name of God, go!
PO Kris: Excuse me Mr. Congressman! Unang-una, it’s not gold. Helloooo! It’s silver. Day 1 pa lang mali na ang research mo. Kainis kayo! Pinapahiya n’yo si Noy! And pleeeeeeease, avoid using the name of God. Kasi, hindi rin fair kung ‘di mo kukunin ang side ni God. Actually, God talked to me late last night. Dini-deny n’yang nag-usap kayo. Pa’no ba ‘yan? Careful ka. Perjury ‘yang ginagawa mo. To the impeachment court, ignore that portion about God okay. Mabuti nang safe. Team Jacob, your turn.
Justice Cuevas: Your Honor, Chief Justice Renato Corona is entitled to an acquittal of the charges against him. In addition to this representation your honor, may we also put on record, that he is entering a plea of not guilty to all the charges embodied in the complaint.
PO Kris: Day 1 pa lang ng trial, not guilty na agad? ‘Di ba pwedeng pakilala muna ang defense panel? Yes, what is the concern of the gentleman from Iloilo, Tito Frank, I mean, Senator Frank Drilon…
Senator Drilon: Just a point of order Kris, I mean, Madam Senate President. Anong ‘not guilty’ ang pinagsasasabi ng defense? That manifestation is premature! Defense panel is only supposed to enter their appearance.
PO Kris: ‘Yon nga ang sabi ko. Ayyyyy, not listening. Kainis. Masyado kang obvious Tito Frank. Premature assistance to the prosecution aha-ha-ha. Sorry. If you’re watching Noy, sorry.
PO Kris: ‘Sensya na, sagutin ko lang. 10 seconds…
PO Kris: Oh? Really? Shocks, matutuwa sila. Ok,ok.. sige. Thanks Boy. Bye.
PO Kris: Ladies and gentlemen of the impeachment court, I have good news. We are trending worldwiiiiiide! Yey! In fairness! Tinalo pa raw natin ang Golden Globe Awards. Winnnnner! Dahil d’yan, I’ll let you rest muna. Tomorrow na lang ulit, 2PM okay? Trial adjourned.
“Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished.”
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Have a happy long weekend! Stay safe.
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