Another senator-judge blasts UP students’ survey on Corona impeachment

March 3, 2012 1:56 am 

MANILA, March 2 – Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, sitting as judge of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, has joined his colleagues in criticizing a survey conducted by the University of the Philippines students on the impeachment trial of Corona.

”It’s a question of fairness. What are you going to use it for? If you’re going to use it to influence the court, or shape public opinion, you’re not doing the country a favor,” Cayetano said on Friday.

Cayetano said the release to the public of the survey conducted by the UP Paralegal Society was premature since the defense had yet to present its witness and evidence.

”I don’t agree that it should be released to the public unless you have big disclaimer, saying ‘please remember that only one side has presented’,” Cayetano said.

The survey, which was conducted from Feb. 24 to 28, showed that 74 percent of the UP students surveyed in the UP Diliman campus answered “none” when asked if they still trust the Chief Justice.

”It’s not the survey itself, it’s the content. What it is going to be used for? Is it scientific? That’s the question there,” Cayetano said.

”Even Adam and Eve before they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, the first question of God: Why are you hiding. What have you done? That’s what due process is about. It’s hearing before we condemn,” he said.

During last Wednesday’s impeachment trial, Senator-judge Miriam Defensor Santiago questioned the timing of the survey, saying it was an insult to the intelligence of the Filipinos.

”All those surveys which have been conducted even before the defense has not presented its evidence. These are efforts to influence the mind of the judges, any effort to influence the mind of the judges about the merits of the case is a violation of the subjudice rule,” Santiago said in an interview on Friday. Santiago graduated from UP.

Senate President and presiding judge Juan Ponce Enrile dared the UP students to study first and conduct survey later.

“If that’s true, they should study first so that they would top the bar,” Enrile said, referring to the UP’s performance in the 2011 bar examinations wherein nobody from UP made it in the top 10.

“Being an alumnus of UP, I advise them that before you utter a word, show us that you deserve to make that statement by your performance,” the veteran lawmaker said.

Three graduates from Ateneo de Manila, including topnotcher Raoul Angelo D. Atadero landed in the top 10 of the bar examinations. Corona is an alumnus of Ateneo. (PNA) RMA/jfm

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