MANILA, Philippines - It could have been the one word that further hurt private prosecutor Vitaliano Aguirre’s ears: Senator-judge Miriam Defensor Santiago calling the prosecution “gago (stupid)."
On the 26th day of trial, Santiago again gave the prosecutors a dressing down after they decided to withdraw five of the eight articles against Chief Justice Renato Corona.
She said the prosecutors were “anyayabang, anggagago naman (conceited, stupid)” for saying that they already have a strong case against Corona.
“When I heard the news yesterday, I felt like creeping back to bed and adopting a fetal position, which is the normal reaction of any sane person when he’s faced with a world that is crumbling around him. I no longer know what universe I’m in because I’ve spent 5 years of my miserable adult life in trial court day after day after day hearing civil, criminal cases and special proceedings but I’ve never seen this done to a judge before,” she said.
Her lecture irritated prosecutor Aguirre, who then covered his ears while Santiago was speaking.
Santiago later moved that Aguirre be cited for contempt of court, which the impeachment court adopted. A caucus next week will determine his penalty.
Santiago also went on a diatribe against those who participated in a supposed University of the Philippines (UP) survey showing that Corona no longer has the trust of many students in the university.
She said if they [survey respondents] are “real people”, they should be kicked out of UP or stricken off the alumni list. Santiago is an alumnae of the state university.
She said she will also find out who was the “PR [public relations]” outfit behind the supposed survey.
“If I were the [UP] Oblation, I would throw away my fig leaf…Wag na tayo magtatago-tago pa,” she said.
The survey was supposedly done by the UP Paralegal Society.
Santiago criticized the survey, saying no UP student with a high IQ will be answering such a survey when the trial is not yet over and only one side has been presented.
Prosecutor Rodolfo Fariñas later asked that Santiago’s “angyayabang, anggago naman” statement be stricken off the record.
Santiago eagerly agreed and the impeachment court adopted the move.