Willie Nep takes on Serafin Cuevas in ‘Trial & Error’
The Corona impeachment trial has resumed and the whole nation is all ears—including award-winning stand-up comic Willie Nepomuceno.
Whatever the outcome, Willie Nep has picked two standout characters in the Senate proceedings—Senator-Judge Juan Ponce-Enrile and lawyer Serafin Cuevas, lead counsel for the defense—to portray in his coming show, “Trial & Error.”
Excerpts from the comic’s exploratory “conversation” with Cuevas:
Senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad said that you and Senate President Enrile are the “rock stars” of the impeachment trial. Are you flattered?
Why should we be flattered? Kami ba ni Senate President Enrile e mga mukhang bato?
You have become so famous here in our country, somebody pointed out that no lawyer in the United States or Europe has more fans than you.
Of course! It’s more fans in the Philippines.
And your white Amerikana has become famous.
Yes, I know, famous na ito and the secret is, do’n ko pinapa-laundry sa Sta Mesa, sa Famous.
Do you think Senate President Enrile is doing a good job as presiding officer for the trial?
Of course, very serious siya in hearing the case. How serious? Para marinig niyang mabuti ang hearing, may hearing aid pa siya. At saka, I’m happy that he’s there. I’m happy to be in a court where I am not the oldest person.
Is it true na pinagwi-withdraw ka ng Malacañang sa trial?
That’s true. Pero sabi ko, no way. Hindi ako magwi-withdraw sa impeachment trial. Ano ako, sira? Sa ATM lang ako nagwi-withdraw.
Why did you become a lawyer?
Mahabang istorya—nagsimula hindi noong panahon ng Hapon, kundi bago pa dumating ang mga Hapon. Every day on my way to Las Piñas Elementary School, where I was studying,nadaraan ako sa munisipyo. Beside the munisipyo na may municipal court, may canteen. Araw-araw, may nakikita akong mga lalake na naka-barong o Amerikana, merong naka-wig, at kape lang nang kape, kwentuhan nang kwentuhan—ang lalakas ng boses. Mga abogado pala! Nangarap ako na paglaki ko, dapat gano’n ang buhay ko. Araw-araw na pakape-kape at kwentuhan. Pag nakalbo na, pwedeng mag-wig.
I took up Law at UP and passed the bar in 1952. I realized na napakahirap palang maging abogado. Nagtaka ako, bakit ’yung mga nakikita ko noon…? I learned na mga attorney no-case pala sila. Well, I did not turn out like them. Kita mo naman, kahit nakakalbo ako, hindi ako nagwi-wig.
In fact, you have a very interesting hairstyle. Did you copy that from anyone?
Of course, I copied a Hollywood star. ’Yung mga fans ni Elvis, Elvis ang buhok. Mga fans ng Beatles, hanggang ngayon, Beatles ang buhok. Fans ni Mr T., tomahawk. Fans ni Michael Jordan, nagpapakalbo. Since I was young, ang favorite ko, si Larry of The Three Stooges.
Do you believe CJ Corona is innocent?
Of course he’s innocent! Any lawyer knows that a client is considered innocent until proven bankrupt!
Is CJ Corona paying for your services?
No! Pro-bono ito. Libre. Free. Prinsipyo ang ipinaglalaban ko. But of course, I accept donations.
You have been saying that all of CJ’s properties and assets are in his SALN.
Yes—properties, bank accounts, dollar accounts, everything! You just can’t see them with your naked eyes because, for security reasons, he used invisible ink.
What’s CJ’s immediate plan?
He told me that, whether he’s convicted or acquitted, he is going to run for president in 2016. He is so determined, he will run even without a party. That is his big goal right now—to become the president of Xavierville Homeowners’ Association.
Do you still believe there’s justice in the Philippines?
Of course! One proof is—me! Retired na nga lang. Pero sa Supreme Court, marami pa sila.
Can you really say no one is above the law?
Let’s not kid ourselves. Meron diyang above the law. Do you want me to state that for the record? Ang above the low is… high! Now if you will excuse me, that question is irrelevant, impertinent and immaterial and therefore not acceptable. Good day.
(“Trial & Error” goes onstage on Saturday, May 26. For tickets and reservations, call Ticketworld, 891-9999; or Music Museum, 721-6726, 721-0635.)
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