It always strikes me how the court scene here in the Philippines is not at all like how it is on television. There are no fist poundings, no hysterical witnesses, surprise revelations or brilliant counsels delivering impassioned pleas (or maybe that's because we don't have a jury here hence the lack of closing and opening speeches). Just bored-sounding lawyers addressing the judge in deferential tones. I swear, anyone who sits in an average court room will get disillusioned. There are definitely no lawyers dressed in mini-skirts thinking of dancing babies.
During yesterday's hearing, the couple seated behind was having this tremendous row. The man was chastising the girl saying things like: Ang tanga-tanga mo! Sasampa-sampa ka ng kaso tapos di mo naman kayang ituloy! Seemingly oblivious to the scandalized looks he was eliciting from the people around him.
The girl eventually approached the fiscal and asked for an affidavit of desistance form (I know this because I'm just snoopy that way, and they were arguing right behind me) which she then filled out. A few minutes later, her case was called and the man went up to the judge to be arraigned!
Apparently, the girl was his common-law wife and she had pressed charges against him for violating the Violence Against Women and Children law (VAWC). Both of them were police officers and when the judge asked the girl why she was dropping the charges, she said that she had already forgiven him. But based on the dressing down she received just a few moments ago, I'm not sure if he has forgiven her, but I'm sure that that won't be the last time he'll berate her and call her names. At least I hope that's all he'll do to her.
You're a policewoman m'am, use your gun. That's what it's there for.
That wasn't the only case that got dismissed that day because of the private complainant's desistance. A guy got arraigned for snatching a girl's cellphone, to which he pleaded "not guilty". The girl also filed an affidavit of desistance because she said that: Gusto ko siyang bigyan ng isa pang pagkakataon. Kawawa naman siya, ang liit pa ng anak niya. At this point the judge asked the man: Bakit mo naman nagawa yun? To which he answered: Napa-barkada lang po (so much for a plea of not guilty!).
It was all very interesting to say the least, but all I could think of was getting through my own case and how nervous I was with the thought of "objecting" during the fiscal's direct examination. Because so far I only know when to use "leading", "misleading" and "not responsive to the question" as possible grounds for objecting. One day, I want to say: Objection! Counsel is badgering the witness! or Objection! Counsel is a deranged loon with no apparent direction with his line of questioning!
But I think I'll be satisfied with the first one, the second one might lead to contempt.