Philipp(in)ics in Togas?

I’m not familiar with Philippine customs, so I don’t know if donning a toga for an impeachment proceeding is tradition or theatre … coming into the incidents in medias res isn’t helpful for interpretation either, so FWIW:

SEN. PANFILO Lacson reported for work Monday, after going AWOL (absent without leave) for more than 13 months. He kept a step ahead of a posse by boarding the luxurious Orient Express, then basking in sunny Portugal. Lisbon doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Manila.

“If you have money, even the spirits will turn the mills for you,” says a Chinese proverb. The Court of Appeals, in the event, quashed a warrant for Lacson’s arrest in connection with the murder of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.

Dacer was set to brief former President Fidel Ramos on the Best World scam. He never made it. Two Cavite farmers saw Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force agents “strangle Dacer and driver with an electrical cord… Their bodies were burned in a gasoline drenched fire in Indang,” notes University of Wisconsin’s Alfred McCoy.

Justice has been denied to Dacer’s daughters for a decade now. They will appeal the CA ruling.

Lacson, meanwhile, will get a “toga” that fits. All 23 senators will put on ceremonial 6-meter robes when Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile bangs the gavel on May 9 to start the impeachment trial of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

Magistrates of old donned togas, specially at the Circus Maximus and Forum. To “receive appropriately” senate couriers, Cincinnatus first put on a toga, the apocryphal story goes. Only then did he listen to their message that he had been named ruler.

“The apparel oft proclaims the man,” Polonius counsels in “Hamlet.”

“[We would] look more dignified in togas,” Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago opined. The senators agreed, including Sen. Jinggoy Estrada.

In a 2009 brutal exchange of privilege speeches with Lacson, Estrada charged his now toga-clad fellow juror Panfilo Lacson with gruesome crimes. Will this color the Gutierrez impeachment, toga or no toga? […]

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