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Impeaching the Prosecution

Eleven days into the impeachment trial of CJ Corona, all that the house prosecutors have shown is that it is they who should be “impeached.” For what we’re seeing now is nothing but a zarzuela of “haste makes waste.”

Right from the start, the articles of impeachment were one rush job by a mob of congressmen led by the LP—the “lapdogs of the palace”.

Niel Tupas and his prosecution team have been continuously scolded by the senator-judges for coming unprepared, betraying their ignorance of basic rules of evidence, and presenting irrelevant testimonies.

Presiding officer Enrile has even been forced to teach the prosecution how to ask questions. He has also been constrained to lecture the prosecution’s SEC witness on corporate law.

When they first got 188 congressmen to sign the articles of impeachment, Tupas and his fellow lapdogs were claiming to high heavens that they were representing the sovereign Filipino people. They relished the live coverage of media, even pre-empting the trial by presenting their alleged evidence to the public for “pogi points.”

That the senate gallery now has increasing empty seats day after day is clear proof that the prosecution members are only making a fool of themselves. Worse, they are wasting our time and taxpayers’ money.

Imagine, with all the problems of our country, the poverty and hunger around, it is so galling for the prosecution to even ask for “liberality” and “leniency” for all their boo-boos in court.

Three options appear now to prevent further wastage for the sake of the nation.

First, on the ground of failure to prosecute, the senator-judges can simply dismiss the articles of impeachment. Or better yet, the Impeachment Court can very well declare a mistrial in light of the fact that as senator-judge Gringo Honasan has pointed out, the trial in the court of public opinion has been moving on much faster than the trial in the senate.

Verily, Niel Tupas was caught lying through his teeth by senator-judge Jinggoy Estrada in regard to the premature disclosure of alleged 45 properties of Corona. Worse, Tupas was further made to admit by senator-judge Chiz Escudero that the prosecution would only be able to try to prove 24 properties—and not 45 as they earlier claimed before TV cameras.

Second, the prosecution can just withdraw the articles of impeachment.

Third, the all-powerful media can pull the plug on the proceedings. No coverage would surely crack the whip, as it were, on the prosecution. I doubt it if Tupas and his people would want to continue with the trial without being in the limelight, especially with the 2013 elections coming soon.

But at bottom is the constitutional right of CJ Corona to due process, for trial in the senate and not in the court of public opinion, which presiding officer Enrile has pounded on. Indeed, on this point alone, the prosecution should be “impeached” for having demonized Corona even before trial.