MANILA, Philippines – No apologies from Senator-judge Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
The “gentle lady” from Iloilo showed no remorse for berating and lecturing the prosecution.
She said that the criticisms received by the prosecutors of Chief Justice Renato Corona is “part of the risk you take by appearing in court.”
Santiago likened her behavior to a chief surgeon during surgery. A chief surgeon, she said, berates others in the room because he or she is “frightened to death” that their patient will suffer at their hands and as chief, would have to assume responsibility for it.
“In our case, we know the public are judging us. We are not really the supreme judges…but the public,” she said. “We want the public to see that we insist on the rules, a fast-paced trial, and that the presentation will be coherent for the public.”
Advice to the prosecution
Santiago offered some tips to the prosecutors.
She recommended better preparation and reminded them that they can file motions for reconsideration to senators sympathetic to their cause.
“Maghanda kayo. Sa kalagitnaan palang ng presentasyon ninyo, binabalaan kayo kasi kung baga sa kabayo, mauuna na ang defense kaya pagbutihan ninyo ang paggawa ninyo,” she said.
(Prepare yourselves. In the middle of your presentation, I’m already warning you because if this were a horserace, the defense would be ahead of you so do your job better.)
On February 22, Wednesday, the prosecution spokespersons told the media in a press conference after the session that they are hurt by the constant scolding they receive from the impeachment court.
“Sometimes it’s difficult for us getting castigated yet we’re the one defending the process,” said spokesperson Rep Miro Quimbo.
They said they find the treatment unfair especially because unlike the defense, they do not run to the Supreme Court, bash senator-judges on Twitter, or complain that some members of the court — like Senator-judge Santiago — are biased.
But Santiago insisted otherwise.
“They cannot be babied in the courtroom. In fact, that will be unethical for a judge,” she said. “But once in a while I, myself, will ask questions for the prosecution just to help them because I myself can see they’re handicapped in a way.”
When asked if she would lecture them again, Santiago laughed.
“Malamang. This is an entire series. Then it will be published into a book.” – Rappler.com