Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre Drew Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s Ire, Cited for Contempt Over ‘Hear No Evil’ ActCategory: News
In the current impeachment trial for Philippine Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona, you have to expect a verbal lashing every time Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago speaks.
Apparently, one lawyer could not take it any longer.
While Sen. Santiago was speaking about the prosecution’s withdrawal of five of the eight articles it cited for Corona’s impeachment, private prosecutor Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre was covering his ears.
Santiago was scolding the prosecution saying they were “anyayabang, anggagago (conceited, stupid).”
Senator-judge Jinggoy Estrada then took the floor to inform the court about Aguirre’s action saying that Senator-judge Alan Cayetano was able to take a picture of him in his ‘hear no evil (or Miriam) act.’
Sen. Santiago immediately asked the impeachment court to cite Atty. Aguirre for contempt of court.
In his defense, Aguirre said said he could not take her “shrill” voice anymore,
Atty. Aguirre: “Totoo po ‘yon sapagkat nasasaktan ang tenga ko. This is the first time I’ve experienced in my 40 years of practice that judge lectures lawyers. Hindi po tama yung ganun.”
Sen. Santiago: “Kung ayaw mo pakinggan, umalis ka sa korte!”
Atty. Aguirre: “Aalis na nga po ako eh.”
Sen. Santiago: “Go ahead!”
Atty. Aguirre: “Kung nagdedemand ka ng respeto, dapat respetuhin mo rin yung mga abogado. Ang human dignity, wala pong patulan diyan.”
Sen. Santiago: “Now you’re lecturing me? Naghahamon ka talaga eh!”
This prompted Senate Juan Ponce Enrile to suspend the trial and with the impeachment court, decided to hold Aguirre for contempt. They will still discuss Aguirre’s penalty in a caucus.
“I cannot tolerate disrespect of this court and to any member of this court. If you do not believe in the dignity of this court or jurisdiction over you, if you think you’re better than us, you are entitled to your opinion but we’ll enforce rules of procedure,” Enrile said.