When prosecutor Aguirre ‘unfollowed’ Miriam

Netizens weigh in on Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago's outburst after prosecutor Vitaliano Aguirre covered his ears while an irate Santiago was speaking

IN CONTEMPT? Prosecutor Vitaliano Aguirre covers his ears while Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago speaks, forcing her to ask the Senate impeachment court to cite him in contempt.

MANILA, Philippines – How does a lawyer “unfollow” a senator who keeps berating his fellow prosecutors?

For prosecutor Vitaliano Aguirre, it’s by covering his ears while Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is speaking, said social media star @superstarmarian in reference to Aguirre’s act during Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment trial Wednesday, February 29.

Madam Miriam, kaya po tinakpan ni Aguirre ang kanyang tenga ay yan ang katumbas sa tunay na buhay ng ‘unfollow,’” @superstarmarian said amid a Twitter buzz that has made the prosecutor the 2nd most discussed or trending topic on Twitter as of posting time. (Madame Miriam, Aguirre covered his ears because that’s the real-life equivalent of “unfollow.”)

Other netizens expressed dismay at Santiago’s outburst after Aguirre’s act.

“My right to cover to cover my ears is EQUAL to your right to raise your voice. Respect begets respect,” said media personality Gang Badoy (@gangbadoy). “Why do we ask Aguirre why he covered his ears and NO ONE is asking Miriam to modulate her voice? (or stop when point is made) #curious.”

Panjee Tapales (@panjeetapales), for her part, said she couldn’t be made to respect an institution “if the people in it are being disrespectful themselves.”

“Covering your ears is disrespectful, yes, but Sen. Miriam has been behaving like a hysterical palengkera,” Tapales said.

On the other hand, Twitter user @NegaStarr called Aguirre a “disgrace” to the law profession. “Forty yrs of law practice and he never learned courtesy and restraint. Poor Vitaliano Aguirre,” @Negastarr said.

“‘Pag sinesermonan ng isang may authority sa ‘yo, ‘wag bastusin kahit ga’no kasakit pakinggan,” added Twitter user @docgvg. (If someone who has authority over you berates you, do not shame him or her no matter how harsh the person has been.)

Meanwhile, @itsGilAbano described the prosecutor’s act as arrogance. “Why on earth did (the) prosecution include him?” 

In a statement, Santiago surmised that Aguirre’s act “might have been part of a deliberate plot to provoke me.”

“The provocation could have been intended to raise my hypertension to an even higher level, precipitating either a stroke or a heart attack.  Or the provocation could have been intended to make me deliberately lose my temper and make a spectacle of myself,” Santiago said. – Rappler.com 

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