Sheila Coronel has already filed first-rate reports (here, here, and here) on the impeachment session; the essential Manolo Quezon live-blogged it too. I did take a few notes when I was there, from the start till past 5 am; I thought I’d write them up, in bits and pieces.
When the session started, at 4:06 pm (the Batasan’s session hall has three large two-tiered digital clocks, one on each side of the dais, and one directly in front of the podium; the upper tier tells time as we know it, the lower time as measured in Congress), the immediate result was bedlam. As soon as presiding officer Emilio Espinosa banged the gavel, various speakers tried to get his attention. At the lectern at the back of the central aisle, Rep. Gilbert Remulla started hollering: "Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker." But Espinosa recognized Senior Deputy Majority Leader Art Defensor, the man at the controlling lectern (at the front of the central aisle, reserved for the majority leader or his deputies).
Defensor raised some preliminary business, which was immediately attended to. And then, four minutes later, he asked for a "one-minute suspension." It was the first of dozens that would mark, like grotesquely irregular clockwork, what would turn out to be the longest session in Congress’s postwar history.
While congressmen milled about, I overheard a woman, sitting on the first row of the gallery immediately behind the media section, pointing out one of them to her companion. "Kawawa yung mga anti-impeachment [congressmen] na ‘yan. Tatandaan ‘yan ng, tatandaan ko ‘yan. ‘Yan si Abante? Talagang hindi na ‘yan makakaabante." I am quite certain she knew she was within earshot of various journalists. "Animal na ‘yan," she added for good measure.