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Archive for March, 2012

SWS Poll – is corona testifying in the trial the swing vote to an innocent verdict?

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment

consistent with the Pulse Asia poll, this SWS poll says corona is guilty. the rating is much higher than pulse asia. at 73% versus 47% at pulse asia, but the direction is the same and a very clear statment of opinion by the repondents.

the SWS poll gives us much more information on the attitudes of the respondents with a few additional questions one of which is the question should corona testify in the trial. a huge 73% of the respondents are saying it is important that corona testify in the trial.  it is the exact number as the number of people who find corona guilty but this is just a coincidence.

we think these two questions are related. we think the respondents are saying for them to change their minds on the guilt of corona, they want to hear corona testify in the trial. his testimony in open court may very well be the silver bullet that will change the minds of the respondents on the guilt of corona.

to say the least, many, in fact too many questions have been raised on the character of corona, not to mention the assets and proprieties of corona, the mysterious bank transactions where many of these have been explained by corona’s lawyers in some way but none properly squared off in the minds of the respondents.

people probably want to hear it straight from corona’s mouth on what happened in these transactions and charges, corona’s lawyers may think his testimony in court is not necessary to win their case in court, but the people probably think it is important in the court of public opinion.

SWS Poll On Corona Impeachment Trial : corona is “damaged goods”

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Should CJ Corona resign? The respondents were asked to choose one of the following: (a) CJ Corona should resign as soon as possible; (b) CJ Corona should wait for the Senate decision and, if acquitted, then resign; (c) CJ Corona should leave office only if found guilty; or (d) they didn’t know enough about the case to have an opinion. To this item, a plurality of 49% say he should wait for acquittal first, followed by 30% saying he should resign as soon as possible, 18% saying he should leave only if found guilty, and 3.5% without an opinion. The only demographic deviations from this are pluralities in NCR (45%) and class ABC (45%) saying that he should resign as soon as possible

source : http://www.sws.org.ph/

first a disclaimer: we think this question in the SWS poll on the chief justice corona impeachment trial is a slightly unfair question. the question forces the respondents to make a choice on only one side – resignation of corona. it does not provide the respondents an opt out answer of corona not resigning and staying in his position.  this question forces the respondent to just choose degrees which are all on one side.

however, we think this question reveals something about what the people think of corona and that is corona is damaged goods.  in here,, 49% of the respondents think corona should resign even after he is found innocent of the charges and acquitted. this answer got the highest rating from the other 2 questions.

chief justice corona’s approval rating suffers a catastrophic meltdown – Pulse Asia Poll

March 23, 2012 Leave a comment

source Pulse Asia : http://pulseasia.com.ph/pulseasia/story.asp?ID=748

  • chief justice corona’s approval rating plunges to 14% from previous 38% and his disapproval rating took an upward sizzle from 24% to 58%. those can only be described as a catastrophic meltdown all due to the impeachment case t oust him being held at the senate. there is no other way to describe in approval rating  by more than  half  and a more than doubling of number of responding disapproving of corona.’s performance.
  • results on corona in this poll is highly consistent with the other Pulse Asia that showed a high 47% of the respondent found corona guilty versus only a 5% of the respondents found him innocent of the charges filed at the impeachment court.
  • this is the court of public opinion, not the impeachment court so many things can come into play on this resulting approval/disapproval rating of corona by the respondents.
  • over at twitter, we had said corona should form his own professional Crisis Management Team very early during the impeachment case. we had called out for this need almost on the first day the case was filed at the house of representatives. we figured the prosecution team obviously had their own team operating prior to day 1 of the whole process. the actions and messages of the prosecution team was so well crafted and well planned that there was a strategy in play and that can only come from a professional team of PR practitioners or media managers.
  •  the need for corona to have his own Crisis Management Team was not only necessary because of their adversary, but also this was obviously a very major development in the chief justice’s career. something as major as an impeachment case needed major efforts to protect his interests. the impeachment case was something very public, live tv coverage has been announced and that meant corona needed professionals to manage the media aspect of it.
  • the need for a professional Crisis Management Team to handle corona’s affairs was highlighted when he decided to deliver a speech in front of the Supreme Court premises attacking President Noynoy Aquino. corona with that speech decided to be a politician and effectively declared a media war and opened the court of public opinion.  moves like that should not be done without careful thinking and professional handling.

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more on this next….

Pulse Asia’s Chief Justice Corona Trial Poll results – the people sees past through prosecution’s incompetence

March 21, 2012 Leave a comment

source: http://pulseasia.com.ph/pulseasia/story.asp?ID=747

  • we are surprised at the high number of 84% of the respondents following the developments of the impeachment rial of chief  justice corona. we thought it would not be this high. after all this is not the president of the country like the erap estrada impeachment, just the chief justice. the erap impeachment getting high numbers will not be a surprise but a chief justice impeachment is.
  • a high number of those who follow the developments say tv is their media choice at 80%. that means many of the people are watching the live coverage of the impeachment trial. they are getting the developments first hand, seeing the drama unfold in front of their eyes.
  • internet for some reason got a very low number – just 1%, we think this is mostly a function of low computer incidence and low internet usage among the poor who accounts for a large majority of the philippine population.
  • radio coming in only at 12% is a shock. radio is the dominant media ownership in the country, almost 100% of homes have radio. for radio to be a non factor in medium choice is very surprising. this means tv has become a most important medium in the country. (the advertising industry need to retool some of theoir thinking on this one.)

  • the defense was trying to make something out of their charge that the impeachment complaint was fast-tracked at the Hour Of Representatives. we really don’t understand why this is important and what it is for but they seem to be saying because it was railroaded at the house, the complaint is invalid, don’t ask us why because we can;t explain it.
  • also we do not think it really matters, the fact is the senate has opened an impeachment court. whether it has been fast-tracked or not no longer matters.
  • this table is a practically a split where respondents can’t decide whether it was fast-tracked or not at he HOR. the numbers are practically tied with 32% saying it was fast-tracked while 38% do not think it was fast-tracked.
  • looks like the defense team has lost his battle.

this chart to us the most important findings of the poll – how people feel about the guilt or innocence of the the chief justice on the charges brought to him bu the HOR (House Of Representatives).

it is important to take note of this from the Pulse Asia website:

The survey fieldwork was conducted from February 26 to March 9, 2012 using face-to-face interviews. The following developments preoccupied Filipinos immediately prior to and during the conduct of the interviews for this survey: (1) the ongoing impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona* ; (2) the arraignment for electoral fraud of former President and incumbent Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; (3) the death and destruction caused by a 6.9 intensity earthquake in the Visayas on 06 February 2012; (4) the commemoration of the 26th anniversary of EDSA People Power I; (5) the controversies involving a few presidential appointees; (6) the death of Negros Occidental Representative Ignacio Arroyo and the fight over his remains; and (7)  the increase in oil prices, fluctuating power rates, declining headline inflation rate, and the record-breaking performance of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

this survey was conducted while the prosecution was still presenting their witnesses and evidence to the court. the defense has not started any of their presentations yet.

  • the significant difference in those who believe corona is guilty at 47% versus those who believe he is innocent at 5% is a very significant finding. that means at that point in time when the poll was taken, when the prosecution was still making their case, the people was seeing corona as guilty.
  •  we were of the view that the prosecution team was screwing up big time.  we are not lawyers but we can tell they were doing a very bad job. the only time the prosecution did well was when neil tupas, the lead prosecutor delivered his opening speech during the trial. everything after that speech was horrible for the prosecution. he did well because he read a written speech.
  • the corona trial became a sad telenovela of “what did the prosecution do wrong this time? the prosecution delivered – they seemed to have done something new that was wrong on a daily basis. we knew that as senator miriam defensor santiago and the presiding judge himself, senator juan ponce enrile  delivered their most impassioned speeches in the trial berating the prosecution team on their latest blunders, incompetence or errors, senator santiago didn;t even bother to sugar coat her words, she just said it in plain, actually elegant and biting english. wha?!
  • over and beyond that thick muck of prosecution incompetence, the prosecution in reality was able to get past the court evidence and testimonies that to say the least corona needed to explain to the court and the country or evidence and testimony that can be used by the senator judges to convict corona.
  • for the respondents to see through that thick muck of prosecution incompetence and find corona guilty to us is just short of being a miracle or brilliance on the part of the respondents.
  • to be fair the incompetence the prosecution showed was not really on the main point of their existence in the impeachment court, but on the almost and everything  they did outside the court and before the impeachment court came into being.  the fact is they were able to get the court to accept testimony and evidence that the senator judges can use to convict corona.
  • okay,  we stand corrected, the prosecution also showed incompetence during the trial as they were constantly berated by senators santiago and enrile on their lack of knowledge and skills in presenting evidence and testimony of their witnesses. in other words, the senator judges were saying the prosecution did not know how to properly conduct a trial. that of course was a surprise considering the prosecutors are lawyers who were elected congressmen in their districts. apparently, not all lawyers are created equal and these congressmen who are also lawyers were shortchanged on that aspect when God made them lawyers.
  • does that mean the respondents were so brilliantly gifted that they were able to separate the garbage from the prosecution on their lawyering skills versus the evidence they were able to get the court accepted?
  • there is no other explanation for it. it looks like the respondents know what a corrupt official is versus one that is not. or an impeachable chief  justice versus one who is not.
  • we think the people are just so fed up with corrupt and incompetent government officials that it did not matter even if the messenger of the message is being faulted by santiago on a daily basis.

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more on this next….

prosecution in corona trial needs a superman to do the closing to win the case

March 5, 2012 Leave a comment

the corona impeachment trial has become a telenovela played out on national tv like an afternoon soap but unlike the telenovelas, this one has stopped taking twists and turns, it has in fact been on a single track – a daily watch of what new blunder the prosecution has been up to this time and who among the senator jurors will be giving the prosecution a lecture on their errors and shortcomings. the usual suspects are senator juan pnce enrile and senator miriam defensor santiago and on occasion the defense lead counsel, serafin cuevas.

this took a bizarre, almost  cataclysmic proportion when senator jinggoy estrada  calls out private prosecutor vitaliano aguirre for covering his ears the whole time senator santiago was giving a first class lecture on the prosecuti0n’s latest blunder of the day.

this could have been just another day for the prosecution but senator santiago was particularly volcanic on this day that we were glued to our seat, with cell phone on hand ready to dial emergency 911 to call for an ambulance to go to the senate  just in case senator santiago had a heart attack.

the irony of it all was on this day the prosecution has rested it’s case. in other words senator santiago’s near heart attack volcanic anger and attorney aguirre’s comic or is it cosmic cover-the-ears antic will be the last image, audio and memory the prosecution will be leaving not only in  the minds of the  public but more importantly in the senator jurors’.

for the record, we had called for the replacement of the prosecution team in this trial almost from the very start. although we began  calling for the replacement of congressman neil tupas as lead prosecutor, it became clear to us that most of the members of the prosecution team were also showing incompetence. this incident with aguirre is just an exclamation point to the many that we have seen in the course of the trial.

the prosecution has closed their presentation. unfortunately, they were not able to close on a high note but on a  note of infamy with the image of attorney aguirre’s hands covering his ears.

is it all lost for the prosecution? well, legally speaking, no not yet. the defense still has to present their evidence and counter evidence. even before that step, the prosecution still has to make a formal offer on the evidence that will be accepted by the court. so far what has been done was the evidence has been marked only. there will of course be a legal battle royal when the prosecution does this. it is expected that the defense will obeject to each and every evidence that has been marked.

we do not how this will go and equally important how the defense will do when it is their thing on the court. for all we know it could be as horrible or wosrt for the defense.

while these questions are still to be answered, it is prudent for the prosecution to assume the worst for themselves. based on current trends in the court, the prosecution need to assume they will be at a great disadvantage by closing time.

we think the prosecution’s closing will be most crucial for them., the closing argument is in essence the summary of their case against corona. not only is it the summary but the closing is supposed to be the most persuasive for them. the idea is that this closing will be the last push to get senator jurors to see the guilt of corona and for them to vote to impeach corona.

for this closing, we think the prosecution need to do the following:

  • they don;t just need a lawyer who will do the closing, they need superman to do it for them.. not even clark kent will do, they need superman himself, in his tights, a letter “S” on his chest and a red cape doing the closing.
  • they need attorney superman in his most persuasive and in his clearest and sharpest because the prosecution attorneys on their own have muddled the issues in the case.
  • the prosecution attorneys have drawn so much attention to everything and anything not related to the case or the evidence needed to convict corona that attorney superman will need to blind the senator jurors to these and get them to just focus on the real evidence that they have presented and just convict corona.
  • attorney superman must deliver superhuman logic, superhuman persuasiveness and superhuman clarity.
  • we do not know how the tights and cape will do but this attorney superman need to be well respected by the senator jurors, someone the senator jurors see as at least equal to them in stature if not greater. if they can get john f kennedy or ronald reagan to wear a superman costume, that will do it for sure.
  • the closing speech of the prosecution SHOULD NOT mention the word and the thought “technicality”. mentioning this will just be whining and will not sit well with the senator jurors. sure, the defense has used technicalities every half step of the way, but it is what defense lawyers do, complaining about technicalities will only insult the intelligence fo the senator jurors.
  • the prosecution closing  should completely ignore their stupidity and errors and not mention any of it.  they should all be in denial and hope the senator juroirs do not remember any of it.
  • the closing speech should overcome and actually exploit and turn the  lead defense attorney serafin cuevas’ obsession with lectures to their advantage and a negative for the defense. for sure, attorney cuevas will deliver a lecture in his closing. a lecture is in his DNA, it is unavoidable for him. knowing cuevas will go into a lecture should be turned into an advantage by the prosecution.
  • as peg, the prosecution team should frame the quality of the closing speech and the attorney superman as convincing senator miriam defensor santiago. the speech writer should  write the speech thinking that this is his goal – to write a speech that will convince santiago. discovering the magic formula on that will make them win the case.

is it impossible? no, we do not think so. we have defined here very specific goals and needs. all that the prosecution need to do is deliver on these. they have a lot of time to get it right, around 4 to 5 weeks. but they should start preparing for the close now.

what the prosecution team needs to do is to be more creative and be very goal obsessed. here is a suggestion on the creativity part – they can stay closer to home and just get ninoy aquino or ferdinand marcos to deliver the closing speech, they are two of the country’s top orators and communicators. that is easy-peasy.

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