Monday, May 28, 2012

Corona Trial 6: Miscellaneous Opinions on the Trial

Later today or tomorrow, the Senators will vote whether to convict or acquit the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. I am posting some comments below from some of my friends (all from UP), posted in their facebook walls. Entertaining and educational at the same time.  Here they go.

(1) From my engineer-economist friend, Ms. C.

This is not meant to be my definitive comment on the Impeachment Case, cause I think we, as a nation should abide with what the Senate decides. Follow the rule of law, and the consitution. If you don't agree with the verdict, don't vote for the senators who voted against your interest.

But this is an illustration of how NOT to be a text spammer, and how SMS is not the best means to spread propaganda, as the result may be the opposite of what you intended.

An Unknown number (UNK) sends me the following SMS:

UNK: Walang humpay na pagyurak sa dangal at pagwasak sa pagkatao ni CJ Corona ay gawain ng isang taong may sakit sa UTAK. Diktador PNOY dapat ang kalusin!! Pls pass.

ME: Sino ito? I happen to think that Corona should be impeached! Kaya tumigil kayo sa spam texting.

UNK (at dito uminit ang ulo ko): Wag kna kase magtext.

ME (simula ito ng mahabang diatribe kasi para akong si Hulk kapag nagalit, but instead of turning green, eh writing skills ko ang nati-trigger): Hoy! wala kang karapatang magsabi niyan, ikaw kaya nauna. Tapos kung may text back sa iyo na kumokontra, galit ka?! The CJ should be above reproach at hindi ninyo dapat defense na lahat ng nasa public service defective ang SALN. Cleaning the government needs to start somewhere.

ME (hindi pa din nasiyahan): Ang lakas ng loob ninyong mag text campaign tapos if the person does not comply with your "pls pass" at bagkus, kumokontra sa inyo, galit kayo? Punyeta kayong lahat. Eh kung ipa-trace ko kung kaninong number ito? Sino ba ang pumopondo sa inyo? Kung madami silang ninakaw na pera isoli na lang nila kamo!!!

Ang point ko lang, is if you want to get PR points, you should have a ready reply, something diplomatic along the lines of "I'm sorry that you don't have the same opinion, but thanks for your feedback" would have been much better.

Sasabihin nila Diktador si PNOY pero bawal mag-express ng dissenting opinion? Pag hindi ka agree sa kanila "Wag kna kase magtext."?! Sana makaabot ito sa PR machinery ng defense.

(2) From Atty. Ted.

FROM WHERE I SIT: The prosecution has its task cut out for them; in its closing argument, it should convince enough of the undecided Senators to vote for conviction and not simply abstain because an abstention is equivalent to a vote to acquit if one or enough abstentions result in a failure to get 16 votes. All the respondent needs is 8 votes and he retains the office.

The path of least resistance for a Senator, who is unconvinced of guilt but may not want to antagonize the administration, is to abstain; so too for a Senator, who is unconvinced of innocence but may not want to antagonize the Chief Justice or the Vice President, who is perceived to be sympathetic to the Chief Justice.

The number, for historical purposes, is 16 and 8. If the Chief Justice gets a total of 8 votes, whether to acquit or to abstain, he wins. If he gets less than 8 votes to acquit but gets enough abstentions to prevent 16 votes for conviction, he also wins.

(3) From a famous professional PR manager Malou:

For those wanting to follow the numbers. Here they are:

1. Re-elect
Legarda, Escudero, Honasan, Pimentel, Trillanes, A. Cayetano

2. End of term
Arroyo, Angara, Villar, Lacson, Pangilinan, Santiago

3. LP
Drilon, Guingona, Recto, Osmena, Pangilinan

4. Leadership positions
JPE, Estrada, Sotto

5. Non-lawyers -12
Estrada, Sotto, Legarda, Honasan, Trillanes, Revilla, Lapid, Recto, Osmena, Villar, Lacson, Marcos

6. Lawyers -11
JPE, Santiago, Arroyo, Angara, Drilon, Pangilinan, Guingona, Pimentel, A Cayetano, P. Cayetano, Pimentel....

Manner of voting on Tuesday, May 29, is alphabetical in the ff order: Angara, Arroyo, AP Cayetano, P. Cayetano, Defensor-Santiago, Drilon, Estrada, Escudero, Guingona III, Honasan II, Lacson, Lapid, Legarda, Marcos Jr., OsmeƱa III, Pangilinan, Pimentel III, Recto, Revilla Jr., Sotto III, Antonio Trillanes IV and Villar. JPE, presiding officer votes last.

Why is this impt: the 15th vote to convict once achieved will tilt the scale. So do your analysis from this order....

After 41 days, my sense is there are 3 hard votes for acquittal: Santiago, Arroyo and Marcos. There are 5 hard votes for conviction, and they are all LP: Drilon, Guingona, Recto, Pangilinan and Osmena. There is a swing bloc composed of the leadership positions: JPE, Estrada, Sotto, Honasan, I see Revilla voting in this bloc bec of JPE. Then you have to make 2 columns: leaning towards A and leaning towards C. Watch their body language today during the closing and the kind of questions they will ask.

(4) From Atty. Marvic. (posted yesterday)

Not evidence per se but triggers a presumption, i.e. if a public officer's income is not commensurate with his emoluments, he has the burden to explain...

Public officials: Avoid scrutiny anti graft law, "comingle" peso accounts w/ relatives, convert most to dollar accounts: sound legal advice?

(5) From Atty. Harry (posted last Friday)

With Corona's admission of $2.4Million undeclared in his SALN, he has has assured himself of a conviction. Who will be next CJ? Hope P Noy considers a genuine intellectual this time around. Probaly from the academe?

(6) From Atty. Jojo (posted last Wednesday)

After the senate adjourned and as Corona was wheeled out slowly out of the session hall, notice that not one senator even attempted to touch the Chief Justice of the country with a ten foot pole, and instead was avoided like a leper. At that point, Renato C. Corona was no longer the Chief Justice insofar as the senators were concerned. The midnight appointee was never Chief Justice insofar as I am concerned.

Am not in the mood to make any commentary now on this issue. Will do it tomorrow. I have posted my earlier comments on this subject though:

Corona Trial 3: Impeachment, the Senate and the Supreme Court, May 20, 2012
Corona Trial 4: Walkout at the Senate, May 22, 2012
Corona Trial 5: Walk out from the Senate, Walk in to the Hospital, May 23, 2012
Fat-Free Econ 10: Impeachment, the Senate and Rule of Law, May 27, 2012

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