AS THE impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona draws near, the House of Representatives’ prosecution panel must now be very occupied in its preparation to get the Supreme Court head honcho convicted before the Senate tribunal.
The bulk of the preparation, however, falls on the shoulders of the private lawyers whom the House reportedly hired to help them prosecute Corona.
“From the way I understand matters, members of the prosecution would need the services of private lawyers who will assist us,” Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas, head of the 11-member prosecution panel, said in a report. “We will have enough legal support.”
Among these private prosecutors is Cebuano lawyer Aristotle Batuhan, who clarified that they were not hired but that the eight of them volunteered.
The media have never taken any interest in the identities of these volunteer lawyers and the very crucial roles they play for the prosecution panel. Batuhan was featured by a local daily in a news article recently but his behind-the-scenes part on the impeachment case was downplayed.
Batuhan, who is the only Cebuano lawyer tapped to assist the prosecution, revealed that they (volunteer lawyers) are actually doing most, or the bulk, of the work – like gathering documentary evidence and interviewing witnesses — in preparing a good case against Corona.
Meanwhile, Batuhan recently held the 10th annual Christmas party – dubbed “Pasko sa Distrito” – for the barangay officials in the South District at the Grand Convention Center.
Sectoral leaders from the youth, women and urban poor groups were also invited to the gathering where several gift items – including a 4-stroke motorcycle, refrigerator, and mobile phones – were raffled off to the lucky party-cipants.
During the affair, Batuhan also launched his “Abante Barangay” program which is aimed at promoting community development and provide social services among the barangays in Cebu City. Other social programs speatheaded by Batuhan include “Bag-ong Sugbu” and Gen X, a foundation created by former student leaders.
Batuhan, who recently served as Department of Transportation and Communication undersecretary for legal, administration and comptrollership, is currently a consultant with the DOTC.
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