January 6, 2012
The rule on refraining to make public comments on the merits of the case, to my mind, applies strictly to the Senator Judges, but should be construed liberally when it comes to both the defense and prosecution lawyers.
Even in judicial proceedings wherein the sub judice rule applies, lawyers of both the accused and the prosecution are routinely interviewed by the media as a means to secure information about pending cases. Lawyers for former President Arroyo are even allowed to say they are willing to “cut their balls” on national television and are repeatedly interviewed about cases pending before the Supreme Court. If this is allowed in a judicial proceeding, all the more it should be allowed in a political proceeding.
The impeachment court should allow both defense and prosecution lawyers greater leeway in their efforts to engage the media and the public. We recognize that the rules provide that Senator Judges as well as lawyers should refrain from making public comments; but be that as it may, it is my view that the rule should not be applied strictly, but applied liberally with respect to the lawyers of both the prosecution and the defense.