The day has come for yet another first in our history as today marked the first day of the Impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. Early this morning, CJ’s supporters gathered in-front of the Supreme Court to show support for their boss where a fierce and in fighting mood Corona addressed them. In his speech before his supporters he enumerated 3 people who wants him out of the supreme court and again denied every allegations stated on the articles of impeachment which are Betrayal of Public Trust, Culpable Violation of the Constitution and Graft and Corruption.
During the afternoon at about 2pm, the trial started with a prayer by Sen. Edgardo Angara and the opening statement of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile who is acting as the presiding judge. Present in the Senate Impeachment hall are almost all the Senator-Judges except Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago who is suffering from hypertension and Sen. Loren Legarda who was said to be in the United States. And as earlier speculated, the Chief Justice attended the first day of his trial in the senate together with his wife Cristina and other supporters like SC Spokesman Midas Marquez.
In his opening statement Sen. Pres. Enrile assured that the trial will be bounded by rules and not by public opinion or emotions. After that was the presentation of both the prosecution and defense panels led by Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. and former Justice Serapin Cuevas respectively. Thereafter was their opening statements successively (Tupas for the presecution and Eduardo delos Angeles for the defense).
During today’s session also, the prosecution seemingly scored against the defense as their motion for preliminary investigation was denied by the presiding judge. It may be a setback for the side of the defense but they’re confident it will not hamper the course of their strategy.
Today is indeed another landmark in our nation’s history. This is the first time that we are experiencing an impeachment trial of the highest justice of the land. Although we are not virgin to impeachment trials as we already experienced it during the time of Erap, this time was different because it will show how matured we became in regards to this democratic process. This will also be a test to our Senators, who are sitting as judges, to be impartial and act as neutral as they can and try the case without undue biases to their political affiliations and linings. And lastly this is a test for all of us, because in any way, it will still affect us because we are all part of this process.
This is democracy in action so we ought to be discerning and objective in all the news and information that will be fed to our minds. Examine the facts and statements and not just rely on the popular opinions. Failure of the trial will be our failure also and its success will be success of our democracy and all our democratic institutions.
“Impeachment is not a remedy for private wrongs; it’s a method of removing someone whose continued presence in office would cause grave danger to the nation.” – Charles Ruff