POSTSCRIPT / March 15, 2012 / Thursday


Philippine STAR Columnist

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Corona witnesses clear up doubts planted by prosec

DEFENSE SCORES: After being set back by the Senate impeachment court’s refusal to review the integrity of the charges filed by the House of Representatives against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, the defense bounced back Tuesday with the 1-2-3 blows of its witnesses.

We have to give Day 28 (Tuesday) to the defense with its presentation of witnesses whose testimony struck many as generally credible. Their testimony somewhat deadened the impact of the disinformation spread by the prosecution on Corona issues.

Propaganda tending to discredit the Chief Justice had been scattered in media, including his alleged 45 high-end condos and real property (down to 24 and going down), an armory of 31 guns (some have been reportedly sold or are owned by others), and a mistress with a child (denied).

With five of the original eight Articles of Impeachment already dropped for lack of evidentiary leg to stand on, one wonders what would be left of charges when the defense panel led by former Justice Serafin Cuevas is done.

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GUILTY OR NOT: But that is moving ahead of the events unfolding in the hearing in the Senate tribunal.

Since the impeachment trial is largely political and hardly judicial or legal, nobody can say with certainty what the disposition of the 23 senator-judges may be when it is time for them to render a final verdict.

Observers, lawyers and politicians I have asked all confessed difficulty in reading the minds of the senators, except for Franklin Drilon and five others whose judicial robes look yellowish on many TV screens.

I turned yesterday to a friend, who has grown addicted to the daily TV coverage and the exchange on social media to ask if she thought Corona was guilty or innocent.

Her reply: Corona CANNOT BE MORE GUILTY than some of the congressmen prosecuting him and the senators judging him.

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LIKE AZKALS: Covering the impeachment trial last Tuesday was almost as exciting as watching our Azkals footballers rallying to grab the lead in an uncertain game.

Fielding Malabon Rep. Tobias Tiangco, SC chief judicial staff officer Araceli Bayuga and plain citizen Demetrio Vicente, the defense gave the Senate crowd and the TV audience raw facts that seemed to wash away, to some extent, the mud thrown at Carpio.

(Having mentioned the Azkals, may I interject a side comment: Let’s not debate if our players are full-blooded Filipinos or imported Euros, or if they did sexually harass Cristy Ramos. Let the Azkals win their games FIRST with us cheering them on — and let us debate the issues to death AFTER they come home, hopefully with flying colors.)

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3 WITNESSES: Tiangco confirmed what many people already knew: that the House complaint is flawed and that Malacañang used pork barrel to extract signatures from congressmen comprising more than the required minimum of one-third of the chamber.

Bayuga of the Supreme Court brought records showing that the Chief Justice earned in the past 10 years more than the salary that the prosecution had represented as his only income. The total ran up to P21,636,781, which the defense said can explain partly his capacity to buy valuable property.

For his part, Vicente talked about parcels of land in Marikina that he bought from the wife of the Chief Justice in 1990, indirectly explaining why the property was not declared in his sworn statement of assets.

His documentation of the sale was not perfect, but Vicente’s earnest responses impressed many that he, and not Corona, is indeed the owner of the land in question. He struck many as credible, his relationship with the Coronas notwithstanding.

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GLOBE SERVICE: A new service of Globe Telecom, using the “143” (I-Love-You) buzzword, is a step in the right direction for the telco which recently saw President Noynoy Aquino lead the map lighting ceremony of its $700-million modernization program beginning with Davao City.

This service, accessed by dialing *143#, allows prepaid users to know when their prepaid load has a balance of only P5, at which time they can load up to call their loved ones. The service comes at a time when the industry is hit by complaints about missing or vanishing prepaid loads.

With the network change-out in Davao, Globe customers there can finally experience an improved call quality under 3G coverage and instantaneous SMS (short message service) delivery.

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TRUST IN PHL: Guests from government and the private sector led by DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas, Globe Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, and SingTel Group CEO Chua Sock Koong, gathered at Malacañang last Feb. 15 to be part of the historic moment.

A contract was signed by Globe President and CEO Ernest L. Cu and Huawei Executive Vice President Eric Xu. Huawei was tapped by Globe as lead partner for the network modernization because of their technical expertise and successful global track record.

Globe also signed another contract with Alcatel-Lucent, represented by Rajeev Singh-Molares, president for Asia Pacific Region. Alcatel-Lucent will render program management services to ensure the project complies with governance, agreed terms, and global practices.

President Aquino said: “I am pleased that one of the most respected companies in the Philippines has chosen to work with strong, reliable, and world-renowned partners, both Huawei Technologies and Alcatel-Lucent. I met with Huawei during my state visit to the People’s Republic of China. I am glad to see them partnering with one of the largest and most successful companies in the country. This is truly another reflection of their confidence in the Philippines.”

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of March 15, 2012)

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