FVR: Too early to judge prosecutors in Corona trial

Posted at 01/24/12 9:43 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former President Fidel Ramos reminded critics that it’s too early to judge the competence of the congressmen who are acting as prosecutors in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“We are just beginning (and) we are only with the first four witnesses. You cannot make a judgment (that early). Let’s see,” Ramos told The STAR yesterday in a chance interview at a hotel in Muntinlupa City.

The House prosecution team, led by Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., has been criticized for apparent lack of preparation since the Senate impeachment trial started last Tuesday.

In one instance, the hearing had to be suspended because the prosecution was not prepared to tackle the first of the eight Articles of Impeachment filed against Corona.

Corona is being tried at the Senate impeachment court for alleged betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.

President Aquino had been very vocal against Corona, whom the President has hit as a hindrance to the administration’s campaign for good governance.

Ramos also reminded Aquino that there are other social issues affecting the country, aside from the impeachment trial of the Chief Justice, that need to be addressed.

Ramos said Aquino should practice multiple tasking or work “25/8” instead of 24/7, because these problems are like “ticking bombs, which may explode anytime” if not attended to.

“The impeachment may be completed expeditiously, according to the rule of law and the Constitution, but even if the outcome is acceptable to the people, you do not solve the problems over the Spratlys, Mindanao, massacre, impunity, corruption, the economy, security, defense, and international issues,” Ramos said.

“As president of the Philippines, you are like a juggler balancing 10 balls and hot potatoes. There are new ones coming from the outside and new ones from the inside. But as president responsible for 95 million people your feet are not on the ground. You’re a juggler on a tightrope 100 meters up and you better not lose any ball due to time out, holiday, date. No. You must be focused on the job because the country will crush with you. It happened to Erap (former President Joseph Estrada), it’s happening to Gloria (former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo),” he added.