What seemed to be an ordinary or much lazy (since prosecution already rested their case) day in the senate impeachment court became much more exciting that can be compared to a most awaited boxing match.
Senator- Judge Miriam Defensor – Santiago erupted again caused by her disgust following yesterday’s move by the prosecution panel to terminate their presentation of evidence and dropping of 5 out of the original 8 articles of impeachment against the Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. In her speech, she lecture the prosecution on the right manner of presenting a case in court. She lashed and lamented the way the prosecution panel handled its case against the Chief Justice. For several occasions Miriam acted the same demeanor, fiesty and sour, but this day became a different story when she uttered a curse word ‘GAGO’ directed to the prosecution counsels.
Deputy lead prosecutor Rep. Rudy Farinas thereafter stood and humbly asked the good senator if that word GAGO can be stricken out of the record as it seemed in appropriate to have it in their journal to which Santiago did not object and then Sen. Enrile asked the senate secretariat to remove that word from the record.
But the aggravating circumstance came when Sen. Jinggoy Estrada stood up and asked private prosecutor Vitaliano Aguirre about his gesture of covering his ears while Santiago is speaking. When formally asked by Enrile to explain, Aguirre said he did it purposely because he cannot anymore contain the tongue lashing of the senator and he felt disrespected for the part of the prosecution lawyers. He said respect should be given to anyone and that if she wants to be respected she should have shown respect also to the prosecutors. That again caught the ire of Santiago and asked the court to cite him in contempt. She even went on to the place of Aguirre and lamented him for what he did, but the other senators and prosecutors immediately proceeded on the scene to appease the two.
Afterwards, Farinas stood up and spoke on behalf of the whole prosecution team asking apology for the mis demeanor of one of its members. Enrile accepted the apology but said they will have to enforce respect to the institution and its members thus citing Aguirre in contempt with penalty that will be discussed during their caucus on Tuesday.
Aguirre may be wrong in acting that way but we cannot also say that Miriam is right all the time. Yes she is a senator-judge and she ought to be respected not only for her person but for her position, but sometimes she really get over board. We know her for her feisty and strong personality but there are good ways at lecturing people (whom you think are stupid) that will not somehow degrade their dignity as a person.
“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” – Albert Einstein
- Atty Vitaliano Aguirre vs Sen Miriam Defensor Santiago (arkhilario.com)
- Last Straw (1rgcruz.wordpress.com)
- Lawyer cited for contempt for playing deaf to senator’s tirades(inquirer.net)
- #CoronaTrial Day 26 with video highlights (rappler.com)