Not a boxing match
THE first week of the Senate impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona showed how the prosecution and defense teams tried to outwit each other as they invoked all legal technicalities and terminologies that would send someone’s nose to bleed.
Even news organizations camped at the Senate’s corridors and parking lot tried to outsmart each other for a better view of the proceedings so that they can give blow-by-blow accounts of what has been happening inside the Senate session hall.
But what is annoying is how the mainstream media kept a tally of who between the prosecution team led by Rep. Neil Tupas, Jr. and the defense team led by former Supreme Court Justice Serafin Cuevas is winning or losing as the Senate impeachment trial went day by day.
On the first day of the trial, the Tupas team scored an initial victory as the Senate denied the defense team’s petition for a preliminary hearing and subsequently, to stop the impeachment trial from proceeding.
The defense team however scored on the second day after the Senate ruled, by a vote of 14-6, against the prosecution team’s petition to issue subpoena orders to Corona and members of his family to appear and testify before the impeachment court.
On the third day, it was again a victory for the prosecution team after it finally obtained a copy of Corona’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth from its first witness in the person of the Supreme Court clerk of court, lawyer Enriqueta Esguerra Vidal.
The prosecution also knocked out the defense team on the fourth day after it succeeded in putting on the witness stand two officials of the Registry of Deeds bringing with them several documents to ascertain Corona’s and his families’ properties in the cities of Quezon and Taguig.
It is grossly wrong to keep a score card of the Senate impeachment trial as it trivializes the whole proceeding that is as important as our democracy. The impeachment trial is not a boxing match that we should be keeping score round by round.
At the end of the day, it is not about who gets more scores but rather on how testimonial and documentary evidences are evaluated and would become the basis to convict or acquit the third highest official of the land, the Chief Justice.