The recent impeachment trial was not just about legal terms and evidence, about objections and powerpoint presentations.
It was also about personalities – from legal luminaries and fiery senators, to clueless witnesses and one defiant ear-covering prosecution lawyer.
And so with post-trial assessment comes a shortlist of those who emerged as the impeachment rock stars, those who took spotlight during the gruelling five-month trial and made the real-life drama in the Senate impeachment court more intense, heated, and even funny with their intelligence, expertise, lawyering skills, leadership, as well as antics and totally unexpected behavior.
We asked students and young professionals on who they thought emerged as the ultimate Impeachment Rock Star. Here’s what they have to say…
"Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. For someone who is 88 years old and has a sharp mind like his is just incredible. He exhibited utmost impartiality, intelligence, poise and leadership — attributes that all the judges in this country should have.’’ — Mabi Calalang, Ateneo Law School student.
"Justice Serafin Cuevas. He proved that inspite of his age, he is sharp enough to fight for his client as well as correct some senators and prosecutors when it came to legality and other technicalities. He showed composure, courage and bravery all at the same time.’’ — Atty. Ryan Magundayao, Ateneo Law School student
"Definitely Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. A load of intellect and a dab of lunacy make quite a show as she sand to rock the ‘ears’ out of the audience (pun intended). Her assertive and well- crafted questions and arguments made her highly deserving of an encore performance.’’ — Atty. Bryan Ocampo, Ateneo Law School graduate
"Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile lent credence and stability to an otherwise highly politicized proceedings. He is the epitome of impartiality.’’ — Atty. Herbert D.G Matienzo, 27, Gana Atienza Avisado Law Offices.
"Senator Lito Lapid, because he was honest and his speech was one of those that really made sense. He was a wallflower throughout the hearings and he admitted that most of the time he did not understand what was happening." — Ann Mylacette A. Merjudio, BS Secondary Education, University of Sto. Tomas
"Chief Justice Renato Corona. The verdict does not make him any less of a person. It just proves how dirty politics is. The greatest tragedy is not losing, it’s when you almost won! And he won a lot of people’s hearts. His courage to stand for himself, for the truth, in front of enemies makes him a Superman.’’— Charisse Ann Mendoza, Faculty of Civil Law, UST
"It would be Senator Chiz Escudero. I loved how he pointed out the faults of the trial itself then proceeded to look past that and analyzed the case at hand, regardless if he was pro or anti. For being fair and seeing the two sides of the coin, Senator Escudero was the star." — Cyril Fallarme, BS Psychology, UST
"Senator Bongbong Marcos stood out for me because he stood by his opinion. Kasi aminin man nila or hindi, pinulitika na nila ‘yung voting. Si Marcos bumoto for acquittal kahit na may balak pa siyang tumakbo for the next national election and weighed the evidence without malice." — Beanne Therese Pico, Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration, University of the Philippines
"Renato Corona. His reputation and position may have been compromised or even sacrificed because of the trial. But his bravery paved the way to better accountability and transparency in government as members of the judiciary, executive and legislative departments are now being challenged to divulge their SALNs and bank accounts just as he did.’’ — Marjorie Martin, Ateneo Law School student.
"Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. Inspite of his age, he showed his knowledge of the law. He showed the reason why he truly belongs in the Senate. He showed the power of the legislative body throughout the proceedings, unbiased and in accordance to the rule of law, especially when he prevented the exit of Chief Justice Corona." — Maria Katrina Nadine G. Juanengo, Faculty of Civil Law, UST
"Rep. Rudy Fariñas. An Ateneo grad and a bar topnotcher but he has the swagger of a ‘kanto boy.’ Unlike other lawyers who took the intellectual and elitist path, he brought the law to the masses and accomplished what every lawyer ideally should do, that is make the law work for the people and make the people feel that justice is within reach.’’ — Takahiro Kenjie Aman, Ateneo Law School student.
"Ang rock star ay isang uri ng rebelde eh. For me, si Niel Tupas ang impeachment rock star.’’ — Robin Padilla, UST, AB Journalism student
"Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, because he showed an excellent grasp of both substantive and procedural law, showed marked impartiality, and treated everyone with respect. He is a leader among leaders.’’ — Starr Jularbal, Ateneo College of Law student.
"Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago because she did not care about popularity. She studied everything, she raised the most valid points.’’ — Vincent Cifra, UST-Graduate School, MA Philosophy student
"Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. First, she knows how Philippine politics works. Second, she destroyed all the evidences and arguments given by the prosecution. If not for the statement of Corona where he admitted that he did not include his R80 million and US$2.4 million in his SALN in compliance with the FCDA law, the senator-judges voting for conviction would not have any concrete argument to convict Corona. Also, one thing that distinguished her from her colleagues is that she did not care if people would hate her because of her vote to acquit. — Anjelo Saturnino, AB Philosophy, UP-Diliman
"Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago was a rock star in the sense that people listened whenever she began to voice out her trademark tactless tone. Moreover, she placed her vote on the unpopular side but still managed to elicit a convincing argument.’’ — Alexis Ailex Villamor, UST-Faculty of Civil Law
"Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. At 88, he did not allow age to get the best of him and proved that wisdom really does come with age. His thorough knowledge of the Constitution and resilience as he presided over the impeachment trial was indispensable in the bringing forth of truth and justice,’’ — Andrew Gahol, 22, AB Journalism, Bicol University
"I’d say it’s Renato Corona. He managed to use his ‘creativity’ to appeal to public pity. He even ended up on a wheelchair, same with former President GMA. The next time, when an event like this pops again, I hope I won’t see anyone on a wheelchair. Playing dead will be more entertaining and dramatic."— Amira Manginsay, 20, incoming 1st year Bachelor of Laws student, San Beda College of Law
"Former Justice Serafin Cuevas. He exhibited before the impeachment court the first-rate legal mind of a God of Padre Faura. He advanced the most logical and reasonable legal arguments to defend CJ. Also, he endeavored to win the case by exhausting LEGAL remedies and not by out-of-court propaganda. Thus, he upheld the rule of law which ought to govern the courts of justice." — Edrian Apaya, 22, incoming 3rd year Bachelor of Laws student, San Beda College of Law
"I’d have to say Miriam Defensor Santiago. She rocks the whole country every time she goes berserk." — Jose Belarmino, 24, incoming 2nd year Bachelor of Laws student, San Beda College of Law
By Forum by JASON SY, JESSICA CAÑABERAL, TRIXIA CRUZ, LUISA MAMARADLO, and JEFF GEVA