Corona Trial analysis week 6

Rappler.com
Enrile's turn-around on the standard of proof is an "epiphany" and de Lima's testimony is "breaking open" a "secretive institution".

MANILA, Philippines – Rappler Editor-at-large Marites Vitug says the start of the upcoming week 7 promises to be a cliffhanger, with the possibility that Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno may heed calls for her to testify despite a Supreme Court en banc resolution last February 14. The resolution maintains that justices and employees are bound by the rules of confidentiality.

Vitug also calls Presiding Officer Juan Ponce Enrile’s turn-around on the standard of proof an “epiphany”. Enrile categorically stated today that the impeachment is not exactly a criminal trial and clear and convincing evidence will suffice.

Vitug also notes another significant milestone with the testimony of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima: the sessions are “breaking open” a “close and secretive institution” that is the High Tribunal.

Vitug is also quite intrigued by de Lima’s answer when she was asked whether she had sources of information other than Justice Sereno’s dissenting opinion.  De Lima declined to answer citing “executive privilege”.

Vitug says this implies there is communication between Malacanang and the Supreme Court.

The en banc sessions are close-door meetings strictly limited to the 15 members of the High Court. Not even stenographers or notetakers are present. It is the Chief Justice who takes down notes which becomes the basis of the minutes of the meeting.

Thus, by deduction, aside from the dissenting opinion, de Lima’s “other source” could only be a member of the High Court. She says a “cozy relationship” between the executive and the judiciary is frowned upon because it may impact on the Court’s independence.

Vitug also says another development to look forward to next week is whether the prosecution will wrap up its case after Article 2. Vitug observes Article 2 has so far been the prosecution’s strongest case. – Rappler.com

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