(As I write this, it is 8:30 pm Monday in London).
In Manila, at 2pm Tuesday, will be the Day 44 and hopefully the last day for the Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
I have watched almost the entire proceeding – either through replays or live streaming. I have read and followed columns of several journalists. I have monitored comments in Twitter. I have made sure I read the headlines not just from one broadsheet but also from several news websites. I tried to follow out-of-court interviews of senator-judges. And if I have a contact in Senate Secretariat, I probably would have compiled my own set of evidences.
There were tons of drama – at times very well crafted but most of the time pedestrian in nature. Sometimes, I feel insulted by the actions and actuations of few key individuals in this trial, as they seem to undermine the intelligence and common sense of Filipino people.
I must say that I have been biased since Day 1 of the trial – not so to the guilt or innocence of the Chief Justice against the articles of impeachment – but simply because he was an appointee (a midnight appointee for that matter) of Gloria Arroyo. I didn’t like him because of that. But I tried to hear and listen to him. I empathized with him during his 3 hour opening speech – only to lose my compassion when he asked to be excused (I didn’t use the word walkout even though I am convinced it was a walkout!).
So much has been written about this impeachment proceeding and I am in no way near to be an expert to give a sensible opinion about the matter. But I am writing this anyway – just so to express my anticipation for tomorrow’s verdict. Anything can happen tomorrow – while the actuations of some senators are very telling and their vote tomorrow are kind of predictable already (i.e. Santiago, Marcos, Arroyo would definitely vote for acquittal while Drilon, Pangilinan, Trillanes would vote for conviction)– I still think tomorrow will be a defining moment in Philippine History. Call it drama – call it waste of people’s money – call it a useless exercise – but in the last 43 days of trial, I would say, I have known my senators better and I will have a better idea on who to vote for next election. There were also few individuals who made me proud as Filipino – first in the list of course is no less than the presiding officer Juan Ponce Enrile and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. It was also interesting how lead defense lawyer Justice Serafin Cuevas has established himself to be a rockstar since day 1 only to find his match through Ombudsman Morales and in the last two minutes of the final day of the proceeding, found himself succumb to the wit and wisdom of JPE.
House Speaker Sonny Belmonte closed the oral arguments on behalf of the prosecution and addressed it to the senator-judges by saying, ‘May the truth be your guide, your honors. May the truth be your guide.’
Tomorrow, I am not sure if the level of interest of Filipino people (both those who are in the Philippines and those who are based overseas) will be the same level of interest they have shown during the American Idol Finals last week.
Tomorrow, there will be no Ryan Seacrest who will say, ‘Dim the light… (and then announce the winner!)’
Tomorrow, all 23 Senator-Judges will have two minutes each to state and explain their vote. Sixteen votes are needed to convict the Chief Justice. As each senator-judge state their verdict – the light of justice will either become dimmer and dimmer or brighter and brighter.
I can’t wait! May God bless the Philippines!