Impeachment trial as comedy

Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor

By Ellen Tordesillas

Who says the Corona impeachment trial would be boring with all the legal gobbledygook, a classic quote by then Sen. Rodolfo Biazon during the Estrada impeachment trial in 2000, that we expect would dominate the trial?

It was the second day and the prosecution was expected to start the presentation of evidence. It was Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr (Cavite, 2nd dist) who was the lead prosecutor and he started with saying that itwas in the public interest that they start with Article 2 of the Impeachment complaint which was"culpable violation of the Constitution and/or betrayed the public trust when he failed disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities, and networth statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth as required unders Sec. 17, Art. XI of the 1987 Constitution."

The defense, as expected, opposed the re-arranging of the order of presentation of evidence. Barzaga said the prosecution was not ready with the evidence for Article 1 which was "betrayal of the public trust through his track record marked by partiality and subservience in cases involving the Arroyo administration from the time of his appointment as supreme court justice which continued to his dubious appointment as a midnight chief justice and up to the present. "

In the course of the exchanges among the prosecution, defense and the presiding judge, Barzaga said that he was just submitting computer-generated documents from the Register of Deeds.

Computer-generated? Barzaga started arguing for the genuineness of computer-generated documents.Enrile asked if he was going to present anybody to authenticate the documents. Barzaga said he had none and that's why, he said, "We are willing to postpone the hearing for today. "

" Yun lang pala ang gusto mo, magpa-postpone," Enrile remarked.

Lead defense lawyer Serafin Cuevas, former Supreme Court justice, was caught by TV cameras suppressing a chuckle.

Enrile warned Barzaga that he won't admit as evidence documents without someone testifying as to its authenticity.

Barzaga said, "Thank you, your Honor, for that ruling."

"Not a ruling.That's a warning," Enrile clarified.

There were suppressed chuckling from the gallery.

There was also a lot of chuckling on Twitter. Atty. Marvin Aceron, tweeted" Cong Barzaga, upo ka na Pards."

Professional Heckler:"Kasi naman, inubos n'yo ang ebidensya sa media. Wala tuloy ma-present sa Senado."

Vencer Crisostomo said, "Kahapon teledrama, ngayon comedy pala itong impeachment."

Mike Cohen shared a joke being passed around online: Bakit napagalitan yung ibang prosecutors ng mga asawa nila pag-uwi kanina? —- kasi mas inuna yung number 2 sa number 1."

Oh well, not bad. The prosecution, even if they admitted yesterday was a disaster, said those are just birth pains. Rep. Miro Quimbo of the prosecution team, insisted that computer-generated copies are genuine. They promised that they will have their witnesses today.

At the start of the trial, the senators denied a motion seeking to compel the Corona family to testify the chief justice.

Citing Article 3, Section 17 of the Constitution, the senators acting as jurors, ruled that Corona, his wife Cristina and their children cannot testify against themselves.

We feel uneasy about the lack of preparedness by the prosecution when the House of Representatives impeached Corona with unbelievable speed last month. Does it mean that there was no evidence at that time and they are only building up the evidence now?

That's not comedy anymore. That's scary.