12 of 23 senators are not lawyers

Carmela Fonbuena
In the end, senators -- whether lawyer or not -- will exercise personal discretion when they vote

What proof is necessary to convict Chief Justice Renato Corona?

Sen Miriam Defensor-Santiago suggested “overwhelming preponderance of evidence.” Lead prosecutor Niel Tupas Jr said “substantial evidence.” Lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas insisted  “proof beyond reasonable doubt.”

The question is: Do all senator jurors–the ones who will decide Corona’s fate—understand all these legal gobbledygook? And will they take all these in consideration if and when they vote to convict or absolve the Chief Justice?

Not really, said non-lawyer Sen Antonio Trillanes IV. “Discretion ng bawa’t senador kung ano ang burden of proof or quantum of evidence required,” he said.



Rappler’s count shows that majority of the senators–12 out of 23–are not lawyers. (The 24th slot in the Senate was the one vacated by President Aquino.)

Non-lawyers
1. Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, former actor and TV host
2. Gregorio Honasan, former soldier
3. Panfilo Lacson, former PNP chief
4. Manuel Lapid, former stuntman and movie actor
5. Loren Legarda, former broadcaster
6. Sergio Osmeña III, business background
7. Ralph Recto, business and public administration background
8. Ramon Revilla Jr, actor
9. Antonio Trillanes IV, former soldier
10. Manuel Villar, businessman
11. Ferdinand Marcos Jr
12. President pro-tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, former actor; studied law for 4 years at the Lyceum University

Lawyers
1. Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile
2. Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano
3. Edgardo Angara
4. Joker Arroyo
5. Pia Cayetano
6. Miriam Defensor-Santiago
7. Franklin Drilon
8. Francis Escudero
9. Teofisto Guingona III
10. Francis Pangilinan
11. Aquilino Pimentel III

-Rappler.com