I was right with 3 misses. 20 over 23. Not bad! I made a forecast yesterday after hearing the prosecution and defense's closing arguments. After the voting of the Senator Judges, a landmark decision has been made. Chief Justice Renato Corona is found GUILTY as charged. An overwhelming 20 Senator Judges voted for his conviction in Article 2 (Failed to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth as required under the Constitution.) of the Impeachment Complaint. Only 16 votes are needed to convict the respondent for his removal from office, and 8 votes to acquit him.
Below is the tally of the votes - my forecast against the ACTUAL VOTES of the Senator Judges.
Sidelights in the annals of Philippine politics.
Without a doubt, this decision will go down in Philippine history as the first successful Impeachment Trial. I am glad that I witnessed it all! I have been part of history so to speak, even just as a spectator. I cannot stop looking at the results of the votes. The votes tell so much!
First, let me tell you why I was wrong with Senator Judge Lito Lapid's vote. He did not participate much in the trial. He stood 2 or 3 times only for clarification during the whole trial if I correctly recalled. Being a known high school graduate and a "senator of the masses", it's natural to surmise that he would seek help from a co-party member to discern the case. That would be Senator Joker Arroyo of the Lakas-Kampi party. I am glad that he said he used his "conscience" to vote. I am glad I was wrong in this case.
Now, let me tell you why I was right with Senator Arroyo's vote. Senator Joker Arroyo has been very transparent from the beginning. He reiterated his "concern" in his speech giving his reason why he voted for acquittal. He already said it from the early days of the trial. I do not agree with him. It looks to me that he is afraid of a phantom that's existing only in his mind. I do not believe that "martial rule" or "dictatorship" could arise from the depose of a corrupt official even if it's through the "hurried" or "rail-roading" process that the House of Representatives has taken.
As for the other hits and misses, here they are:
Need I tell you that Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is not running for office anymore because she is prohibited by the international criminal court where she will serve as a judge? Therefore, she has no political ambitions (as of this time). In her "demeanor" during the impeachment trial, I find her inclined to vote in favor of the respondent. I was right. But if she will pursue for a political office here, will you still vote for her?
Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is a no brainer. It's Aquino vs. Marcos. Oh, forget it. I don't need to tell you how his vote is "really" influenced by the deep-seated feud between their political clans.
Senator Tito Sotto is actually hard to decipher because he was the Majority Floor Leader. He is busy dispensing his duties in the impeachment trial. I thought that he would vote for an acquittal but very glad for his vote of conviction. I guess I am still right about the ultimate gear that shifts decisions to a more popular vote.
I hardly see Senator Villar during the proceedings of the trial. I remembered he stood once in the early days of the trial. I thought he has no more political ambitions after losing the presidency to now President Noynoy Aquino. Well, after seeing the Villar Foundation ads on TV, I should have known better.
As for Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's vote, read my post about his foretelling queries to the defense after both panels (defense and prosecution) made their closing arguments. Read my blog post Culpa and Dolus. Foretelling Queries of the Presiding Officer of the Impeachment Court.
Would you like to know how I came up with my forecast? It's really simple. Remember, I followed the impeachment trial from Day 1. The answer is this. I came up with the "very close" (LOL) spot-on forecast through a simple analysis of "political ambitions".
You be the analyst. You be the judge. I rest my case.