IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Monday, May 28, 2012

At 2:05 p.m., the hearing was called to order with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile Presiding.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The continuation of the impeachment trial of the honourable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona of Supreme Court is hereby called to order.  (Gavel)

We shall be led in prayer by Senator Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes IV.

PRAYER BY SENATOR TRILLANES

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary will now please call the roll of senators.

THE SECRETARY.  The honorable Senator-Judges:  Angara; Arroyo; Cayetano, Allan Peter ‘Compañero’; Cayetano, Pia; Defensor-Santiago; Drilon, Ejercito-Estrada; Escudero; Guingona; Honasan; Lacson; Lapid; Legarda; Marcos; Osmeña, Pangilinan, Pimentel; Recto; Revilla; Sotto; Trillanes; Villar; the Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With 22 Senator-Judges present, the Presiding Officer declares the presence of a quorum.  (Gavel)

Majority Floor Leader

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to make the proclamation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sergeant-at-Arms is directed to make the proclamation.

THE SEARGENT-AT ARMS.  All persons are commanded to keep silent under pain of penalty while the Senate is sitting in trial on the Articles of Impeachment against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we dispense with the reading of the May 25, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an Impeachment Court and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  (Silence)  There being none, the May 25, 2012 Journal of the Senate sitting as an Impeachment Court is hereby approved.  (Gavel)

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary will please call the case, before the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.

THE SECRETARY.  Case No. 002-2011 in the matter of impeachment trial of honourable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we ask the parties or respective counsels to enter their appearances, Mr. President.

REP.  TUPAS.  President, Good afternoon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Good afternoon.

REP. TUPAS.  For the House of Representatives, prosecution panel, same appearance.  Aside from that, we would like to add appearance of the Speaker of the House, we are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As noted.  (Gavel) Defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  For the defense, Your Honor, the same appearance.  We are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  (Gavel).

Before we proceed I just want to make—I would like to clarify something from the defense, and I address this to the defense.   Chief defense counsel, I understand that there was an interview done where you were involved this morning and that you indicated your determination to arrogate the result of this proceeding to the Supreme Court.  Is this correct?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I did not have any interview, Your Honor, with anybody this morning.  In fact I woke up about nine o’clock already because of the preparation of my paper, Your Honor, in connection of the argument.

THE  PRESIDING OFFICER.  I got this information, transcript of interview of former Justice Serafin Cuevas with Gwen Salvacion of DZBB.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, most probably yesterday.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Sunday yata.  Sunday, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sunday.  I will quote what the defense counsel said:   “We have no other alternative but to resort to certiorari.  I have asked a petition for review questioning the validity of the actuations or the proceedings with  the impeachment court and necessarily with a motion to nullify the entirety of the proceedings that took place therein.  Yong pong appeal hindi po kami totohanang sumasakay doon sapagkat hindi naman nakalagay sa Constitution iyon.  Ang nakalagay lang, the moment the Senate convenes as the impeachment court shall continue the trial.  Wala po namang sinasabi ang desisyon shall be final and non-appealable.  Wala po talagang ganon na nakalagay sa Saligang Batas.”   We respect your position but I just want to remind you that reading of Article XI, there is provided there, the Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all impeachment cases.  I just want to put that into the  record.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  If the question refers to the interview, I admit, Your Honor, that last Sunday, I think it is in her program I was interviewed and I made those statements, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, a member of the court would like to raise a point of order.  May we recognize Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Lady Senator from Iloilo.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Thank you.  The Constitution provides and I quote:  “Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines thus the Senate can impose a lesser penalty like censure, reprimand, fine, suspension from office or the like.  My question is, in case of conviction, how should the penalty be determined?  I humbly present this question both to the Presiding Officer and to our colleagues not necessarily to be answered immediately but to be disposed of at the discretion of this court.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Well, perhaps, Mr. President, we can take it up after today’s session.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, with each side having rested their case, we now open the floor for the parties to present their respective arguments.  Now, under Rule 20 of the Rules of Procedure on Impeachment Trials  which I now quote “The final argument on the merits may be made by two persons on each side and the argument shall be opened and closed on the part of the House of Representatives.”  And as previously ordered by the court, each side will have a total of one hour.  The final argument on the merit shall be opened by the House of Representatives and after which the defense.  The House of Representatives shall then close the arguments for a period not exceeding the time not used in their opening statement.   With that, Mr. President, the court  is ready to hear the arguments of the parties.  I move that we recognize Representative Tupas.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The gentle Lady from Iloilo.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Point of information please.

Since it’s not provided for in the Rules of the Senate, may I please inquire whether the Senator-Judges are allowed and then expected to examine those who will present the closing arguments or not.

I don’t care really any which way.  I just want to know.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  We will submit it to the body later after the arguments, Mr. President, but the tradition is that—well, in the court is that, it may be allowed depending on the judge.  But in our case, we have not taken that up formally.  We can probably take it up also, as I said, after the arguments.

So with that, taken into consideration the point raised by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, may I move that we recognize for the presentation of the arguments, for the House of Representatives, Representative Tupas.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor, please.

REP. TUPAS.  May I just speak.  I just need to speak first.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. Senate President, earlier, the prosecution conferred with the lead defense counsel and we agreed that the prosecution will speak first, then the defense, then the second speaker for the prosecution, then the second speaker for the defense, then prosecution will close the argument to be delivered by the third speaker.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But under our Rules, the opening argument is supposed to be done by the prosecution.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Sir.  That’s why we will open it.  But the presentation will be alternate.  Meaning, we will open it, first speaker from the prosecution, then defense, then prosecution, defense, then prosecution will close the arguments.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, you have three times to speak, two times for the defense.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We admit, Your Honor, and we really have agreed on that, subject to the approval of this honourable court, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection from the Members of the Court?

SEN. SOTTO.  We have no objection, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Chair hears none; the motion is granted.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. President, permission to begin the closing arguments for the prosecution.  May we ask permission.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.

Mr. Senate President, the honourable Members of this Senate Tribunal, Mr. Speaker of the House and Majority Leader, fellow Members of the House, counsels for the defense and prosecution, my fellow Filipinos, good afternoon.

Like all defining moments in our nation’s history, we are once again called upon to make a choice between right and wrong.  The day of reckoning is here.  Everyone has said his piece, it is now time for to make sense of all the pain that this impeachment trial has caused.  Let it be clear that we meant not to destroy a man but to destroy the evils that plague our system.  We do not rejoice over the fact that in the process, deep wounds were inflicted.  But sometimes, great pain must be endured so that genuine healing may begin.

Today, we lay down before the Filipino people and this Impeachment Tribunal the truths that have come out of this proceedings.

Tungkol saan po ba talaga ang impeachment trial na ito?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Excuse me, counsel.

At this point, I would like to inform the court that if there is any Member of the court that wishes to ask clarificatory question about the statement of any speaker here in the course of their argumentation, you raise your hands, you will be recognized by the Majority Floor Leader, and you may post it, your clarificatory question, and you have two minutes, not more than two minutes.

REP. TUPAS.  Is that after the delivery of the speech, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If that is the pleasure of the House, after each speaker has delivered his speech.

Okay, so ordered.  (Gavel)

REP. TUPAS.  May I proceed now, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. TUPAS.  Tungkol saan po ba talaga ang impeachment trial na ito?  More than anything else, this impeachment trial is about our people’s aspiration to regain the greatness that was once ours.  For how can we inspire greatness in our people if it is not greatness that sits on the throwns of power.

We Filipinos come from a long line of maharlikas and heroes with rich and proud heritage.  Our history is lined with honorable men and women who suffered so much in the name of country.

Seventy years ago, this month, Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos died in the hands of the Japanese rather than betray his country.  Fifty years ago, former Chief Justice Manuel V. Moran, who was offered the chance to return to the Supreme Court, refused a midnight appointment rather than dishonour himself.  Today, we have a Chief Justice who has been impeached and now faces judgment before this honorable tribunal.

Obviously, we took a wrong turn somewhere that led us to stray from the path of greatness.  That is why on December 12, 2011, an overwhelming majority of the Members of the House of Representatives, 188 in all heeded the people’s call for truth and impeached Chief Justice Corona for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, a new ground for impeachment under the 1987 Constitution.

On January 16, 2012, the prosecution commenced the presentation of evidence that cast serious doubt on respondent Corona’s moral fitness to remain as Chief Justice.

Chief Justice Renato Corona must answer to the people for his wrongs, saw along articles of impeachment na inihain ng Kamara dito sa Senado, hindi na po namin kinailangan pang i-present ang lima dahil sa tatlong articles pa po lamang, kumbinsido na kami at alam naming kumbinsido na ang taumbayan, hindi na karapat-dapat manatili sa pwesto si Chief Justice Renato Corona bilang Mahistrado ng ating bansa.

Our quest for truth has led us to many truths about the Chief Justice.  It has led us to the truth that the Chief Justice failed to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities and networth, as required under the 1987 Constitution.  It has led us to the truth that he lied about his assets in his SALN to conceal his enormous wealth.  It has led us to the truth that he pedalled his position of power in exchange for material gain.  It has led us to the truth that his loyalty does not lie with the Filipino people.  On the whole, it has led us to the truth that he is in public service, not to serve his country but to serve his own ends.

Article XI, Section 17 of the Constitution requires all public officers and employees to submit a declaration under oath of assets, liabilities and networth, with an additional requirement for the highest officials, including the Chief Justice, that the declaration shall be disclosed to the public in the manner provided in the manner provided by law.

A prime objective of the framers of the Constitution in requiring SALN was to strengthen the accountability of all public servants and to root out the perennial problem of corruption and abuse of power in government.

To be meaningful and effective, the SALN requirement must be complied with truthfully, completely and accurately.  It must be complied with in good faith.  No amount of denial, no lame excuse whatsoever can stand against the best evidence itself.

The SALN’s of the Chief Justice from 2002 to 2010, executed by him under oath, year after year after year.  Responded Corona has repeatedly failed to truthfully and accurately disclose in his SALN numerous assets and real properties which he and his wife own, luxurious condominium units and huge parcels of prime properties in Taguig City, Makati City and Quezon City.  Instead of declaring the acquisition cost of the real property, the Chief Justice declared only the fair market value for taxation purposes which does not serve the purpose of and has nothing to do with the computation of the networth in the SALN.  The Supreme Court declared in the case of Republic versus the Sandiganbayan that it is the acquisition cost of the property that must be charged against respondent’s lawful income and funds.  And what about the Chief Justice’s treasure proof of cash deposits that as evidence has shown could put acquisced fortune to shame?

Your Honor, Mr. President, siya na po mismo ang umamin.  The Chief Justice himself admits that he owns three-peso accounts with an aggregate deposit of P80.7 million and four dollar accounts with a total of $2.4 million, none of which he declared in his SALN.  He said that the family members co-mingled the funds in the same peso bank accounts along with the funds of the Basa Guidote Enterprises Inc. to earn higher interest.  But oddly enough, the highest Magistrate, who is presumed to be chaining the law and the rules of evidence, presents no documentary proof or any evidence whatsoever to support his claim other than his self-serving statements.  There is a legal presumption, whoever possesses the rights of ownership over a thing is presumed to be the owner thereof.  His dollar deposits, he says, are the result of his foresight in dollar hedging since the late 1960’s.  Again, he shows nothing to prove this other than his testimony.

The Chief Justice has woven a fantastic tale in his desperation to explain his incredible wealth.  A legal presumption of unexplained wealth arises when a public official acquires an amount of property or cash during his incumbency that is manifestly out of proportion to his salary and his other lawful income.  In fact, Your Honor, the Chief Justice Renato Corona, as ponente, in the case of Republic versus  Sandigabayan  and Ferdinand E. Marcos, wrote that, “When an official’s assets are gross disproportionate to the income, then the excess is prima facie ill-gotten.  The burden is, therefore, placed on the official to prove that it is not.

Saan man po nanggaling ang kanyang salapi, ilan man ang kanyang magagarang condo units o lupain, gaano man karaming bank accounts at gaano man kalaki ang laman nito, hindi na po iyan ang pinag-uusapan natin ngayon.  Ang tanong, nasa SALN ba niya ang mga ito?

At the core of Article II is the question.  Did respondent Corona declare his peso and dollar deposits in his SALN as required of him by the Constitution and the law, he did not.  While the Chief Justice admits his non-declaration of all his cash assets in his SALN, he stubbornly insists that his failure to do so is justified.  According to the Chief Justice, he did not declare his dollar deposits because he believed that it is covered by the absolute confidentiality of foreign currency accounts under the Foreign Currency Deposits Act.  This interpretation of the law is very disturbing.  We beg to disagree based on the law itself and the principles of public accountability.

Your Honor, the prosecution submits that there is no conflict between the constitutional requirement of SALN and Republic Act 6426 or the law on secrecy of foreign currency deposits.  The SALN requirement is addressed to government officials and employees to implement the constitutional provision on public accountability.  It requires them to declare all their assets and networth and makes no distinction between peso and foreign currency, cash assets in the spirit of transparency and good governance.

On the other hand, the Law on Secrecy of Foreign Currency Deposits applies  to banking institutions and its prohibition is addressed to the banks, not to the depositors. It penalizes bank employees who disclose details of foreign currency deposits of their depositors but allows the depositors themselves to waive the protection.

To adopt the Chief Justice’s interpretation of the law would be to encourage dishonesty in government and would lead to absurd situation where the law itself protects ill-acquired wealth hidden in foreign currency accounts.  This is how the Chief Justice, the highest magistrate of the land, who is expected to possess superior legal wisdom, interprets the law to protect his own interest.

Your Honor, given all the things that we know now after four and a half months of trial, we go back to the question that we asked at the beginning of these proceedings: “By what standards should Chief Justice Renato Corona be judged?”  We had answered: “By the highest standards. Standards thatare fair to demand of a Chief Justice and any member of the Judiciary for that matter.” Article VIII, Sec. 7(3) of the Constitution provides: “A member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.”  A nation of heroes and honorable people demands to the Chief Justice Corona be judged by the conduct and character displayed by an Abad Santos and a Moran.

Against such standards, we then ask: “Does respondent Corona’s failure to completely, truthfully, and faithfully declare his assets, liabilities and net worth constitute an impeachable offense?”

Our answer is “yes”   because it is both betrayal of public trust and a culpable violation of the Constitution.  It is lying. It is dishonesty. It is deception of the highest order.

As explained by Constitutional Commissioner Rustico de los Reyes, “Betrayal of public trust is a catchall phrase, which includes all acts which are not punishable by statute as penal offenses, but nonetheless, render the officer unfit to continue an office. It includes betrayal of public interest, inexcusable negligence of duty, tyrannical abuse of power, breach of official duty by malfeasance or misfeasance, cronyism, favouritism, et cetera to the prejudice of public interest and which tend to bring the office into disrefute.

As shown by the evidence, Chief Justice Corona’s violation is culpable for it is wilful and intentional, judging by the habituality and sheer magnitude of the falsities, inaccuracies and omissions in his SALN. His lies in his SALN run into hundreds of millions cannot be ignored. All these belie defensive good faith.

In the case of Ombudsman versus Racho, the Supreme Court said: “Dishonesty begins when an individual intentionally makes a false statement in any material fact.  It is understood to imply the disposition to lie, cheat, deceive, or defraud; unworthiness, lack of integrity, lack of honesty, probity or integrity and principle, lack of fairness and straightforwardness, disposition to defraud, deceive or betrayed.

Indeed, an honest public servant will have no difficulty in gathering, collating and presenting evidence that will prove his credibility, but a dishonest one will only provide shallow excuses in his explanation.

Ginoong Pangulo, sa paghahahin po namin ng aming ebidensiya sa Tribunal na ito, sana po matandaan natin na si Delsa Flores, isang simpleng empleyado ng Hudikatura ay hindi nagdeklara ng malitt ng sari-sari store sa kanyang SALN, tinanggalan po siya ng trabaho.  Ang sabi ng Korte Suprema, “Although every office in government service is a public trust, no opposition exacts greater demand for moral righteousness and uprightness from an individual than in the Judiciary”.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate, we come now to the very heart of these impeachment proceedings.  Is Chief Justice Renato Corona morally fit to remain as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? The damning revelations that came out to this impeachment trial go into the very core of the man’s character.  Tulad po ng sinabi naming sa umpisa, pagkatao po ang pinaguusapan natin dito.  Can we trust a man who has repeatedly thwarted the people’s will by lying under oath in his SALN to conceal wealth that he could not explain?  Can we trust a Magistrate who was very much willing to receive discounts, favors, and other benefits from parties with cases before the Supreme Court.   And can we trust a man who took advantage of his position and abused his power to commit grave injustice and oppressed his relatives in the name of greed?

Mr. Senate President, Juan Ponce Enrile, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate, the House of Representatives, in impeaching the Chief Justice took the first step towards the fulfilment of her oath as the keepers of our people’s trust.  We have done our part as prosecutors in this impeachment trial despite the odds.  No matter what the outcome will be, we know in our hearts that we have contributed to the betterment of our nation.

This impeachment is not so much about Renato Coronado Corona, but is more about setting aright that which is wrong.  It is now up to the honourable members of the Senate, the Senator-Judges to take the final step to restore the greatness that we have lost.  The people are hopeful.  Let us end this right.  Let us decide in favor of truth and greatness. Let it be done with Chief Justice Renato Corona

Thank you very much and good afternoon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we recognize the counsel for Chief Justice Renato Corona to present the arguments for the defense.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It is the defense’s start, so, who will speak?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please,  may we ask permission for Dean Delos Angeles as the speaker for the defense, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.  Proceed.

ATTY. DELOS ANGELES.  Your Honors, my countrymen.

After 42 hearings, there are two matters I wish to discuss.  First, whether the confidentiality of foreign currency deposits under Republic Act 6426 is a justification not to disclose dollar accounts in his SALN?  Second, if it is not a justification whether its non-disclosure in the SALN amounts to an impeachable offense.

Your Honors, the under Republic Act No. 6426 justifies a public official from disclosing his dollar accounts in his SALN.  R.A. No. 6426 provides that all foreign currency deposits without any qualification as to whether they are owned by a private or a public person are absolutely confidential except upon the written waiver of the depositor.  Even if Section 8, Republic Act No. 6713 requires public officials to file a SALN under oath, this provision does not amend the confidentiality of dollar deposits under the Foreign Currency Deposit Act which is a specific law.  Besides, our Constitution provides under the Bill of Rights, a right to privacy and a right to information.  I posit that the right of access to the SALN of public officers is covered by the right to information.  However, in Republic vs. Eugenio, the Supreme Court ruled that bank accounts are not covered by the constitutional provisions regarding the right to information and full disclosure and I quote:  “Unless the Bank Secrecy Act is repealed or amended, the legal order is obliged to conserve the absolutely confidential nature of Philippine bank deposits.  Any exception to the rule of absolute confidentiality must be specifically legislative.”

When the Supreme Court issued the temporary restraining order in favour of PS Bank, Justice Arturo Brion in his concurring opinion not only cited the Eugenio case but added and I quote:  “Notably the court declared that the Bank Accounts Law are not covered by the right to information under Article III, Section 7 and the requirement of full public disclosure under Article II, Section 28 of the Constitution which is statutorily implemented through Republic Act No. 6713.

According to Justice Brion, Republic Act No. 6713 did not repeal Republic Act No. 6426 and I quote:  “The implied repeal of inconsistent laws that Republic Act No. 6713 mandates cannot be interpreted as a repeal of the express substantive right granted to confidentiality under Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6426 even if the latter was enacted earlier.  Implied repeals are not favoured.  The presumption is against inconsistency or repugnance and accordingly against implied repeals.”

In BSB Group vs. Go, the Supreme Court also ruled that in case of doubt, the confidentiality of bank deposits should be favoured.  The court said and I quote:  “Should there be doubts in upholding the absolutely confidential nature of bank deposits against affirming the authority to inquire into such accounts, then such doubts must be resolved in favour of the former.”  This attitude persists unless Congress lifts his fingers to reverse the general state policy respecting the absolutely confidential nature of bank deposits.

We cannot, therefore, hold the Chief Justice liable because he believes in all good faith in the absolute confidentiality of foreign currency deposits.

It is argued by some, however, that insistence on the rule of absolute confidentiality will provide a safe haven for grafters and corrupt public officials who will simply conceal their ill-gotten wealth as dollars, never to be reported or declared.

They say that the Chief Justice is wrong to adopt the view favouring absolute confidentiality of foreign deposits, and that therefore, he must be convicted.  Well there may exist a danger that corrupt officials may escape discovery, let us not mistake the Chief Justice’s use of this interpretation for the possibility of its abuse.

In this case, there is no showing that the non-inclusion of certain bank accounts was tainted with any malice or fault.  What we have here is a situation where the Chief Justice, consistent with his practice for the last two decades, assumed that his reliance on the letter of the law could not be wrong.  Yes, there may be what we call a lacuna in the law, a gap or a hole which may pertain to an unsettled question of law.  In this case, the gap may have to do with the confidentiality of dollar deposits vis-a-vis the duty of public officers to disclose their assets and net worth in the SALN.

Notably, even BIR Director Estrella Martinez in all her 32 years of SALN examination did not find any public officer who disclosed a dollar deposit.  Plainly, all these public officials understood RA 6426 and 6713 in the same manner as the Chief Justice.

We are all aware that the separation of powers requires us to look only to the Supreme Court decisions as definitive interpretations of the law.  To this day however, there is no ruling that squarely applied to the confidentiality provided under RA 6426 with respect to the SALN.

The alternative to filling this lacuna is through an expressed repeal by amendatory legislation.  In both cases, the results of these processes are decidedly prospective.  In other words, the Chief Justice cannot be made answerable for his interpretation of the law prior to a Supreme Court ruling or legislative amendment explicitly declaring his interpretation as erroneous.  To repeat, there is no liability for an erroneous interpretation of the law when made in good faith.

The Chief Justice, Your Honors, has acted consistently, unwavering in his conviction and belief that RA 6426 affords him full and absolute confidentiality, as held in Francisco vs. Nagmamalasakit na Manananggol.  Just because he is the Chief Justice does not imply that he gets to have less in law than anybody else.  The law is solicitous of any individual’s rights irrespective of his status in life.

Even if we assume that the Chief Justice should have disclosed his foreign currency deposits in the SALN, it is submitted that this non-disclosure in the SALN will not amount to an impeachable offense.

Section 2, Article XI of the Constitution provides, that the President, the Vice President, the members of the Supreme Court, the members of the constitutional commissions and the Ombudsman, may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes or betrayal of public trust.

This enumeration indicates that the impeachment and conviction of these high government officials should be based on nothing less than high crimes.  Treason is abominable because it is an act of disloyalty to our country.  It carries a penalty of 12 years and one day to death.  Bribery is penalized by six years and one day to 12 years.  Graft and corruption also carries a penalty of not more than 10 years.  Betrayal of public trust, which is unique to the Philippines must also be based on a serious crime with a high penalty.  For certainly, the high government officials should not be impeached and removed from office for a minor breach of the law  In this case, Chief Justice Corona is not charged with treason, bribery, graft and corruption or even ill-gotten wealth.

Article II of the Articles of Impeachment accuses the Chief Justice of not disclosing his SALN to the public.  The Chief Justice is however exempted from any liability for the disclosure of his SALN.  He is bound by the resolutions of the Supreme Court en banc, regulating the release to the public.

It is also said that the Chief Justice did not disclose all his assets in his SALN.  We have painstakingly shown however, that the real properties allegedly belonging to the Chief Justice are not actually his, and therefore, need not be disclosed in his SALN. The remaining issue is whether the non-disclosure of his other peso and dollar deposits, amounts to a culpable violation of the Constitution and/or a betrayal of the public trust.

The defense has shown that the peso holdings or deposits of the Chief Justice were disclosed in his SALN.  The other peso accounts do not belong to him but are either owned by his children or held in trust for Basa-Guidote Enterprises or as part of the common fund from his mother.  The Chief Justice relies on the basic principle that what he does not own, he should not declare as his asset.

It is therefore submitted that he cannot be held liable for culpable violation of the Constitution.  His dollar accounts were not included for reasons earlier stated.  According to Committee Report Number 1214, in the impeachment of President Elpidio Quirino, a violation of the Constitution committed unintentionally or involuntarily or in good faith or true honest mistake of judgment, is not a ground for impeachment.

Similarly, the Chief Justice cannot be held liable for betrayal of public trust.  Father Joaquin Bernas explained that betrayal of public trust implies deliberate intent and perhaps, a certain degree of perversity for it is not easy to imagine that individuals of the category of these impeachable officials would go so far as to defy knowingly what the Constitution commands.  It must be of the same gravity as the other offenses in the class, in other words, not every violation of public trust is an impeachable offense.

It is, therefore, respectfully submitted that the failure to disclose in the SALN his dollar accounts will not amount to an impeachable breach of trust.  Indeed, the penalty of violation of the SALN is only a fine not exceeding P5,000.00 or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both, which cannot compare with the severe penalties for treason, bribery and graft and corruption.

More importantly, even before we can get to the matter of penalty for non-disclosure or non-inclusion, RA 6714 itself provides a corrective measure under Section 10 thereof.  Perforce of Logic .  There is no violation of law where the law itself provides a corrective measure.  All that needs to be done is to call the attention of the public officer.”  This is the remedy of first resort.  Not to punish him, much less, to remove from office.

I further wish to point out that pursuant to the separation of powers, our Constitution rests the important role of impeachment in Congress hoping that it will act independently in hearing the impeachment of the officials of the other branches.  Regrettably, we have witnessed the unusual rubber-stamping by the majority of the House of Representatives who never even read the articles of impeachment.  The blitzkrieg endorsement of the articles of impeachment to the Senate was principally undertaken by the party-mates of the President.

The President then repeatedly declared that he wanted the Chief Justice removed.  In support the Executive Branch then lent its full and awesome powers to interfere in the impeachment proceedings to oust the Chief Justice and to intimidate the Supreme Court.  For example, the Secretary of Justice threatened other Supreme Court Justices with impeachment.  The Land Registration Authority then falsely listed 45 alleged properties of the Chief Justice.  The Bureau of Internal Revenue divulged confidential income tax returns and commenced investigation of the Chief Justice and his entire family.  The AMLC looked into the bank accounts of the Chief Justice without a predicate crime or court order.  The Ombudsman exaggerated and testified that the Chief Justice has 82 bank accounts and 10 to 12 million dollars in deposits.  The Commission on Audit disauthorized the purchase of the Basa Guidote property after 11 long years.  The cadence of their actions imply a conductor.

Such undue interference by the Executive Department in order to undermine the Judicial Department is clearly intended to weaken and then control the latter department to do away with effective checks and balances under a tripartite government system.  Under the pretext of the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court are impediments to reforms sought by him, the President aims to remove the Chief Justice and make the Supreme Court subservient to his whims.’

It is our fervent hope that the Senate will not lend its assistance to this plot.  Let not this institution allow the guillotine to fall on the judicial independence.

During the time of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a similar situation occurred.  After being repeatedly rebuked by the Supreme Court, a peeved President Roosevelt wanted to undermine and control the judiciary by seeking to create additional positions in the US Supreme Court so that he could appoint a majority of the members.  In refusing to pass the amendment, the US Senate Judiciary Committee wrote in its report, and I quote:  “Let us of the 75th Congress in words that will never be disregarded by any succeeding Congress declare that we would rather have an independent court, a fearless court, a court that will dare to announce its honest opinions in what it believes to be the defense of the liberties of the people and accord that out of fear for sense of obligation to the appointing power for factional passion, approve any measure we may enact.  We are not the judges of the judges.

Finally, the case of the Chief Justice is not complete without reference to the fundamental right to the presumption of innocence.  We have seen the absolute lack of any damning evidence presented against the Chief Justice even where it was alleged by the prosecution that his acts are  punishable violations. The defense has shown that the Chief Justice relied on sound legal basis for his position and in all instances guided by good faith and without of malice, but beyond what the prosecution failed to prove what strengthens the presumption of innocence is the credibility of the chief Justice in giving justice, in proving himself forthright, courageous and truth his innocence is buttress by the common sense truth behind his testimony affirming the experience of many Filipinos in their own families. His courage is shown by his dauntless determination to fight this impeachment and courage zestful of propaganda along the way. Most of all he has responded to the call of the Filipino people by defying all expectations and racing the bar of all public officials. Despite his reliance and confidentiality of RA 6426, the Chief Justice has upon the request of the Senate waive the confidentiality of bank accounts thereby setting the standard of transparency in public service. Indeed, the innocence of the Chief Justice arises not only from the object lack of evidence against him but from his conduct wholly consistent with the clear conscience.

Truly, Your Honors, you are called upon to judge a man who has proven why he is the Chief Justice.

After I speak, the prosecution will leisure ears with the last line or even the last paragraphs but their core ship(?)  shall be in vain. For borrowing the words of the counsel of President Clinton, theirs will not be the last voice because the voice I will leave with you is the voice of reason, the voice of the law and the voice of truth. The voice that will reign forever in your conscience. Your Honors, the other defense counsel and I respectfully request that you render a verdict of acquittal.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Majority Floor Leader.

REP. SOTTO.  The prosecution may continue.  They have 40 minutes left.

SUSPENSION OF THE TRIAL

. REP. TUPAS.  Mr. President, before the second speaker for the prosecution speaks, may we request for one-minute recess just to allow us to set up the PowerPoint.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. One minute recess.

3:04 p.m.

The session was resumed at 3:10 p.m.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is resumed.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you, yes, Mr. President.

May we know from the prosecution if they are ready for their second speaker?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are they recording the time?

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. President, may we request that Congressman Rudy Fariñas of the First District of Ilocos Norte be recognized as the second speaker for the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Good afternoon, Mr. President and the honourable members of the Senate sitting in impeachment.

Narinig po natin yong depensa, mga alegasyon nila at mismong ang mga pahayag ni Chief Justice noong sya po ay nagsalita dito noong Martes at saka Biyernes.  Medyo anti-climactic nga po ng konti dahil yong summation narinig naman po natin mula sa bibig ni Chief Justice Renato Corona mismo.  Yong depensa po ni Chief Justice Corona I can put it in one word.  Pwede ko pong sabihin po sa isang salita, palusot.

Ang alegasyon po ni Chief Justice ay ang kasong ito laban sa kanya ay dala ng matinding galit at paghihiganti sa kanya.  Tama po sya na kami ay may matinding galit subalit maling-mali po sya kung ano yong ikinakagalit namin. Hindi po kami galit sa pagkatao ni Chief Justice, galit lamang po kami sa ginagawa nyang katiwalian bilang pinuno ng Hudikatura na dapat sana ay syang maging huwaran para sa ating lahat na nasa gobyerno.

Hindi po kami nag-aksaya ng panahon, mahabang oras sa loob ng halos limang buwan,  pag-aralan lahat ang mga ebidensya namin, ihanda ang aming mga testigo, batikusin at minsan-minsan napagsasabihan dito na para kaming mga bata.  Nagsasakripisyo po kami sa aming mga pamilya para lamang maging kasangkapan diumano ng paghihiganti ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas sa personal na isyu ng Hacienda Luisita.  Tiniis po namin lahat ito gaya rin po ng malaking pagtitiis ng mga kagalang-galang na Senador dahil po sa pagpapatupad po namin sa aming sumpa na kami po ay tatalima at itataguyod namin ang Saligang Batas.  Naglakas loob po kami na panagutin at nais patalsikin ang pinaka makapangyarihan na tao sa Hudikatura dahil ito lamang ang tanging paraan para mabawi ng taumbayan ang opisinang ipinagkatiwala sa kanya.

Ang pangalawang palusot po ni Chief Justice ay yong sinabi po nya na noong P2.00 pa lamang ang palitan ng dolyar noong late 60’s, sya at ang kanyang maybahay ay namili na ng mga dolyar dahil matibay po ito kaysa  piso natin.  Noong narinig po ni Pangulong Enrile ang sinabi ni CJ Corona, hindi nya napigilan ang sarili nya para kumpirmahin kay CJ Corona kung anong taon yon.  Sagot ni CJ Corona eto po ang transcript:

“CHIEF JUSTICE.  Ang exchange rate po noong mag-umpisa kaming mag-ipon nitong mga foreign exchange na ito noong late 60’s ay nasa two to one pa lamang.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How much?

CHIEF JUSTICE.  Two to one po noong mag-umpisa po kaming mag-ipon ng mga dollars namin.  Two to one po pa lang ang exchange rate.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When was that, Mr. Chief Justice?

CHIEF JUSTICE.  Mga late 60’s po dahil ako po ay nagsimulang magtrabaho 1960.  Ngayon po ay halos 45 to 1 na ang exchange rate kung natatandaan po ninyo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you sure that late 60s or early 60s?

Sagot po ni Chief Justice, “Late 60s.”

The Presiding Officer, “That is after 1965?”

“Opo”

Alam po ni Presidente Enrile kung ano ang palitan ng dolyar noong mga panahon na yon dahil siya po ay Undersecretary of Finance noong 1966 hanggang 1968.  Naging Customs Commissioner po siya at Insurance Commissioner, at pagkatapos po ay naging Secretary of Justice.

Totoo ba yung paliwanag ni Chief Justice?

Chief Justice Corona graduated from Ateneo de Manila University in 1970 and at its law school 1974.  I know because he was one year ahead of me both in the College of Arts and Sciences and, as well as in the College of Law.  Thus, he graduated in high school in 1966 and in elementary in 1962.

Noong 1962 po, and palitan po ng dolyar sa piso ay P3.  Yan po.  Yung isang dollar ay P3.60 po.  The exchange rate, if we are to believe Chief Justice Corona that he started saving US dollars when the rate was 2 to 1, such could have only been between the years 1948 to 1959.  He wants us to believe that when he was in Grade 4 in 1959, he was such a visionary that he already started buying dollars.

The exchange rate in 1969 when Renato Corona was in fourth year college was P3.90 to the US dollar.  Maliwanag po na palusot.at pagsisinungaling sa Senado at sa buong mundo.

Pangatlong palusot, last Friday, when CJ Corona was asked by Senator Cayetano how much money he had in the bank.  He admitted of having, at the very least, $2,400,000 and P80 million.

Chief Justice wants us to believe that he did not declare this in his SALN because of Republic Act 6426, as advanced by my esteemed colleague.  But Republic Act 6426 took effect on April 4, 1972 or almost 15 years before the 1987 Constitution mandated such filing of SALNs.  It was only in the—Dito lamang po sa 1987 Constitution, wala po sa 1935, wala po sa 1973 Constitution yung kautusan ng Saligang Batas na tayo magdeklara ng ating assets and liabilities.

Kaya nga po, pursuant to Section 17, Article of the Constitution, Republic Act 6713, otherwise known as the “Call of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees” was enacted into law in February 20, 1989.  It provides all the following, ito po ang sinasabi ng batas, “Statements and Disclosure.  Two documents shall contain information on the following:  Letter c,” nakalagay po dito kung ano dapat ilahat po natin doon, “all other assets, such as investments, cash on hand or in banks, stocks, bonds and the like.”  Very clear po dito sa batas na nagpapatupad sa Constitution na ating deklarasyon po, maski pera po sa baul o bangko, kailangan ideklara po natin.

Nasabi po nung kabila na yung kanilang witness o kanilang authority na hindi naman po hinarap sa atin dito ay wala pa siyang nakitang SALN na may nakadeklara na dollar.  Hindi naman po kasi kailangang sabihin mong dollar ay pwede mo nang i-convert e.  Halimbawa po ay kung ang cash on hand mo is may $100,000 ka, e di pwede mong ilagay na 4.5 million kung yon ang palitan.  You don’t have to say it is in dollars.

Kaya lang po, si Chief Justice ay nagpapalusot po sa 6426 na sinabi ko na nga po 15 years pa po na napasa yung batas na yon.  Napakaliwanag po ng ating batas.

Tingnan po ninyo sa ating SALN form.  Ito ang pinirmahan po ni Chief Justice sa kanyang SALN form.  Kung pwede po ipakita po diyan, “I hereby certify to the best of my knowledge and information that these are the true statements of my assets, liabilities, net worth, business interest and financial connections, including those of my spouse and unmarried children below 18 years of age, as required by and in accordance with Republic Act No. 6713.  Ayan po.  Nakapirma po siya doon at nakalagay po doon o sa unang paragraph, required by and in accordance with Republic Act No. 6713.  Ang requirement nga ng 6713, maski na anong pera mo, maski na nakatago, i-decalre mo dahil hindi—kaya po, maski naman po iyong peso, may secrecy rin naman po naman iyan a.  There is also secrecy in peso deposits, but you also have to declare because ang ipinagbabawal po ng 6426 is anyone looking into the account of a depositor.  Hindi po pwedeng ibigay ng bangko iyon pero iyong nagmamay-ari po ng deposito, kailangan, ideklara po niya kung magkano ang pera niya sa bangko dahil kung hindi po, napakasamang interpretasyon po nito, lahat po ng gustong magtago ng pera ay bibili po ng dollar o foreign currency unit para hindi niya po ide-declare sa SALN, e kawawa po naman ang ating bansa.

So, very clear po, si Chief Justice po, pwede siyang—dalawang batas po ito, 6426 at saka 6713.  Iyong 6713, sabi niya, dapat ideklara mo kung ano iyong pera mo, kamay mo man o nasa bangko.  Iyong isa naman, bawal sa bangko maglahad kung ano iyong deposito.  He can—he has the option to obey the law.  What does he wish to obey?  E di i-declare niya po iyong pera niya, ano naman ang violations sa 6426 kung i-declare niya kung ano ang pera nila sa bangko, wala pong violation.  In fact, pwede nga niyang iladlad at katulad nga ng ginawa niya dito, ipinagmamalaki po niya na sila na raw po ang unang nag-waive ng kanilang deposits.  So, very clear po iyong mga sinasabi ni Chief Justice about 6426 ay “palusot”.  Hind side lang po iyan dahil nahuli po at tulad din po iyong mga $2.4 million niya na binili niya noong 2:1 po lamang iyon, maski ano pong kwenta ang gawin natin, hindi po aabot iyon.  At kung totoo naman po iyong sinabi niya na noon pa, bago siya pumasok sa gobyerno, nakaipon na siya ng ganoong kalaking pera, e di ibig sabihin noon, all these years, nandoon po iyong pera niya, pero kung tingnan po iyong SALN niya, noong unang pumasok sa gobyerno ay mayroon pa siyang car loan na P300,000, may utang pa siya na P300,000 para sa kotse.  E milyun-milyon pala iyong pera niya, bakit pa siya mangungutang ng P300,000 para sa kotse niya?

At noong sumunod na mga taon po, makikita sa SALN, may utang din po siyang P1 million sa mga bangko.  E milyun-milyon pala iyong kaban niya, bakit ka mangungutang kung ang dami mong pera?  Ganoon na rin po iyong bumale siya sa Basa-Guidote ng P11 milyon, bakit ka babale sa Basa-Guidote, e kanya rin pala iyon, sa kanya rin pala iyong pera at iyon ay tatalakayin ko po sa susunod.

Pang-apat na palusot, the Chief Justice, sa testimonya ni Ginoong Corona, inamin din niyang mayroon siyang P80 milyon na hindi niya idineklara, ang mga ito sa kanyang SALN.  Ang palusot ni Justice Corona, hindi siya obligadong ideklara ito dahil co-mingled o halo-halong pondo at hindi lang siya ang nagmamay-ari ng milyones na ito.  Kung totoo ito, bakit sa kanya lamang nakapangalan ang deposito?  Alam naman po natin, pwede namang joint account saka lahat-lahat para kung ilan po.  At saka medyo nakakalito po na siya, namimili ng dollar, mula’t mula pa noong 2:1 tapos iyong anak niya na nasa Amerika na kumikita ng dollar ay ipinapalit naman niya ng peso.  At si Czarina daw ay may P15 million o may P10 million, hindi kop o maintindihan at mayroon po siyan P80 million, e bakit hindi niya ipalit sa dollar iyon para mas okay, pero hindi ho, nahuli lang po na iyon ang hawak niya kaya iyong mga palusot po, minsan, mahirap, hindi po magtugma-tugma.  We tend to contradict ourselves if we do not tell the truth.

In the case of Fultron vs. Ironworks and China banking, a depositor is presumed to be the owner of the funds standing in this name in a bank deposit.  Natural po, siya ang nakapangalan doon at kung ako naman po kaya, iyong mga anak ko po, sa edad ko pong ito, ibinibigay ko pa nga iyong pera ko sa pondo nila para kung may mangyari, po sa akin, e di kanila na iyong pera.  Ito, baligtad po, dahil na-double heart bypass na, e kung malasin po siya, e di paano pa makukuha iyong pera na P80 million dahil nakapangalan po sa kanya iyan.  Babayad ng estate tax, katakot-takot na transaksyon po iyan  dahil hindi na malalabas sa bangko iyan kasi hindi naman po totoong co-mingled ito eh palusot lamang po iyon dahil para nga po—hindi naman po idedeklara iyan.  At saka kung totoo po iyon, nagtataka po naman kami, ang haba-haba po ng panahon, mula pa noong March 22, kanila na po iyong turn na magbigay ng mga witness, kung sino-sino po pini-prisinta dito hanggang medyo nauubusan na ng pasensya po iyong mga Kagalang-galang na Senador.  Kailan ba namin makikita iyong kliyente ninyo?  Dahil noon pa sana ay di inilabas na ni G. Corona dito iyong alleged Far East Bank account executive niya para sabihin—ah totoo po na noong ganito ay talagang ganyang kalaki na ang pera ni—at saka control po niya lahat itong records na ito, di dapat nilabas po niya.  Ipinakita niya.  Maski noong Grade VI ako, nag-iipon na ako, mayroon na akong passbook nito, mayroon akong certificate of deposit.  Iyong bank manager lamang po.  Pero wala po eh.  Maski po iyong mga anak niya na may kontribusyon doon sa pondo, nandoon po nanood sila noong nagte-testify siya, hindi po ba pinasu-subpoena naming iyan, pero hindi pinayagan dahil asawa, mga anak, eh di dapat sila po ang nag-testigo dito.  Pero siya po nagtetestigo para doon sa mga anak niya who, we cannot cross-examine.  Hindi naman po yata tama iyon.  Kaya medyo palusot din po yata iyon dahil kung makikita po natin sa ebidensya, ang laki-laki na noong pera noong Carla Corona Castillo.  Sa kanya rin po ibinenta ni Chief Justice iyong bahay at lupa nila for P19 million.  Binenta niya kay Carla.  Ang sabi ni Chief Justice, kaming mag-asawa hindi namimili ng real estate dahil pinag-aawayan iyan ng mga anak, pero ibinebenta niya iyong property niya doon sa anak niya.  Kasi po palusot na lamang po iyan.  Kasi nga, noong 2000 po, sunod-sunod ang—buying spree po si Chief Justice eh.  Bumili ng condominium dito, bumili ng condominium dito, na hindi po idinedeklara sa kanyang SALN.  Napakita na po namin—mga Belagio, Columns and everything.  Biglang-bigla noong 2010 SALN, doon laman po lumabas, dineclare niya.  Bakit po?  Nagbago Presidente eh.  Iba na ang Presidente.  So, biglang nag-declare ng mga property na binili, pitong taon na ang nakaraan.  Iyong isa, limang taon na ang nakaraan, iyong isa tatlong taon na ang nakaraan, biglang-bigla kailangang magbenta sa anak kunyari ng 11 milyon dahil ang dami ko nang napamili ah.  Paano ko mae-explain ito.  Pero hindi naman niya kailangan i-explain.  Aba ang dami kong pera o.  Mayroon akong 2.4 million dollars, may 80 milyon pa nga kami.  Pero ito po lahat ay maliwanag na palusot.

Susunod po tayo, one last question.  Kung ganoong kadami ang pera ni Chief Justice Corona, ay dapat naman po hindi na pinag-aawayan iyong pera ng Basa Guidote.  Tingnan po ninyo ang SALN niya, taon-taon binabayaran niya ng one million kuno.  11 million, tapos bababa ng ten, bababa ng 9, bababa ng 8, 7, 6, 5 hanggang kunyari nabayaran na po, eh isang kaban lang naman po iyon.  Noong tinanong po ng isang Senador dito, paano ka bumabayad doon.  Ibinibigay ko kay Mrs.  Ano, cash o tseke.  Bahala siya pero idedeposit din doon sa account niya, ‘di po ba?  Bakit ka pa babayad kung sa iyo rin pala iyong pera.  E ‘di ba kalokohan na po iyon.  Ibibigay mo iyong pera sa misis mo para ideposit din niya sa sarili mong account.

Nakakahilo po pero iyon po ang paliwanag ni Chief Justice.

Your Honors, our nation does not deserve to have a Chief Justice who intentionally and consistently hides the great bulk of his cash assets, reporting in his SALN only a measly 1.97 percent.  Wala pa hong 2 percent of his total admitted cash assets.  In short, Renato Corona, throughout his tenure in the Supreme Court, concealed from the public 98 percent of his total admitted cash assets amounting to P180 million.

Tatalakayin ko po ng kaunti iyong mga nasabi noong professor ko na si Dean Angeles.  Eto po ang sinabi ng Supreme Court doon sa Francisco case at sino po ang sumulat nito? Ito po ang concurring opinion ni Justice Renato Corona.  Sabi po niya, “Impeachment under the Philippine Constitution as a remedy for serious political offenses against the people runs parallel to that of the U.S. Constitution whose framers regarded it as a political weapon against Executive tyranny.” It was meant “march to fend against incapacity, negligence or perfidy the chief magistrate.” “Even if an impeachable official enjoys immunity, he can be removed in extreme cases to protect the public.”  Si Justice Corona po ang nagsasabi po nito. “Because of its peculiar structure and purpose, impeachment proceedings are neither civil nor criminal. James Wilson described impeachment as confined to political characters, to political crimes and misdemeanour to political punishment.”

“According to Justice Joseph Story.” Eto pa rin po iyong ponente ni Justice Corona quoting all these American authorities.  “In his commentaries and the Constitution in 1833: Impeachment applied to offenses of a political character not but that crimes of strictly legal character fall within the scope of that power, but that it has a more enlarge operations and reaches what are aptly termed “political offenses”, drawing out of personal misconduct or gross neglect or usurpation or habitual disregard of the public interest various in character and so much indefinable in their actual in volitions that it is almost impossible to provide systematically for them by positive law. They must be examined upon very broad and comprehensive principles of public policy and duty.”  Eto po ang definition ni Justice Corona tungkol po sa impeacheable offense.

Ayan po, Your Honors, ‘wag po ninyong palusutin si Chief Justice Corona. Nasabi ko na po minsan dito na ito ay ginintuang pagkakataon po natin. Sinasabi po natin dahil ang impeachment po ay two-step process iyan. Kailangan po magkatugma ang House at saka Senate, kung hindi, wala pong mangyayari. Maski gaano po ka-corrupt o may ginagawang masama iyong impeacheable officer at gusto ng Senado tanggalin, kung hindi po namin isasampa iyong kaso, wala pong kaso. Kasi po nasa sa House of Representatives ang tanging kapangyarihan na magsampa ng impeachment. Ginawa na po nmain ang trabaho namin. Sinampa po namin dito iyong complaint at sa tingin po naman namin napatunayan po namin ang kasalanan ni Ginoong Corona.

Kung iyong ordinaryong kawan ng Korte ay tinanggal ng Korte Suprema na pinamumunuan ni Chief Justice Corona dahil sa hindi niya pagdeklara sa kanyang SALN na mayroon siyang maliit na pwesto sa palengke. Opo, inalis po iyong interpreter dahil hindi na nalagay sa SALN niya na may stall siya sa palengke. At dito po sa atin sa Senado, ay palalampasin natin o palulusutin natin na si Renato Corona, eh, good faith naman na hindi niya idineklara iyong kanyang $2.4 million at P80 million, masisira po ang bayan natin. Ang dali naman pong palusutin siya, eh, kung mahulihan po ako ng P50 million, sasabihin ko “Ambag-ambag kami nina Senator Cayetano, sina Senator Marcos, these two, lahat-lahat. Hindi naman po yata pwede, nagkontri-contribution kami sa pondo niya, maski ako  lang po ang nakapangalan sa nanay ko po iyan, ang nanay ko eh, condo po niya iyan. Hindi pupwede iyon dahil ang presumption po kung sobra-sobra iyong perang nasa sa iyo, eh, iyan ay galing sa hindi magandang paraan.

Mga Kagalang-galang na Senador, huwag po tayong padadala sa mga palusot at maladramang pahayag ni Chief Justice Corona. Mas maliwanag po kaysa sikat ng araw na inaabuso at binabaluktot po niya ang mga batas para itago po niya ang kanyang mga pera na kung saan nanggaling ay kaduda-duda.

To keep a Chief Justice in office whose gross misconduct and dishonesty are well-established fact will weaken the authority of the Judiciary and undermine the rule of law. For lying under oath before the Senate and the Filipino Renato Corona should not only be given his wish to be excused as the Chief Justice of the Republic of the Philippines.  He should be removed as the Chief Justice of the Republic of the Philippines.  It would the greatest service to our nation and people to allow him to stay any minute longer as the head of the Judicial department of our government, the ball wark of truth and justice.  The House of Representatives has done its constitutional duty of impeaching Renato Corona and proving his guilt, not only by clear and convincing evidence, but conclusive evidence brought about his admission before the honourable Senate of the charge against him under Article II of the Articles on Impeachment.

Dios ta Ginoo nay Apo, Presidente Juan Ponce Enrile, maraming salamat po mga kagalang-galang na Senador sa inyong pagtanggap ng mainit po sa amin dito sa loob ng halos limang buwan.  At sa sambayanang Pilipino, maraming salamat po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Dios ta gina, baling kaunay.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we are ready to listen to the second part of the defense panel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please, ten minutes  of my time is being granted by me to a member of the defense panel, Your Honor, may we ask permission that he be given 10 minutes to be deducted from my time, Your Honor.  That is making–  I understand I have only 37 minutes pa, 40 pa?  Charge to my time, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  You have 35 minutes left, unless there is any objection from the court, because the rule is two speakers.

REP. TUPAS.  No objection from the prosecution, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, what is the proposal now?

SEN. SOTTO.  A second speaker be recognized to take the 10 minutes of the portion of Justice Cuevas, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Good afternoon to the Senators and to the Filipino peole.

Malaki po ang paggalang ko kay Congressman Rudy Fariñas.  Isa po siyang bar topnotcher at galing din po siya sa parehong eskwelahan kung saan po ako gumradwyet.  Marami po siyang tinanong.  Why did the Chief Justice declared 2:1?  Why did the Chief Justice put the real properties under the names of his children?  But the question is not why, the question is why not.  Why not did they choose to cross-examine him and pose these questions when he was here.   The man presented himself to this court, he could have responded to all these questions, but they chose to waive.  What is the effect of the waiver?  Our rules are very clear that when cross-examination is waived, the testimony of the witness is unimpeached.  it remains on record.   The issue now here is his credibility.

Let me bring this situation in its proper context.  Every person is presume innocent unless proven otherwise.  That is very clear.  I need not cite my basis for that because that is inherently natural in any system of government.  The burden of proof in this case, it is also very clear, it is upon the prosecution.   And if it fails to thoroughly show the facts upon which they based their claim, the defendant is under no obligation to prove his defense.  And it the prosecution fails to establish any of the elements necessary to constitute a crime, Chief Justice Corona is entitled to an acquittal.

Let me go briefly to what they tried to prove.  They tried to prove that the Chief Justice did not declare his assets in his SALN.  They have presented witnesses, documents, but everything has been explained.  It has been shown that the real properties which they wanted to prove were not really 45, it was only five.  And it was also shown that all five have been reported in the 2010 SALN.  Are we going to trivialize this by saying that parking lots have to be included when in fact we know that the accessory follows the principal?  We don’t have to go to this anymore.  Are we going to even go into the timing of when the Chief should have reported this?  Should it have been in 2008 or 2009 or 2010 when in fact witnesses here have testified under oath that the Chief Justice had issues about the unit?  The Chief Justice was at the very least in good faith.  That to me is very clear.

Again, they have pounded the Chief Justice on his dollar accounts.  They have said, inamin na nya.  He already said that he has $2.4 million.  What else is there to prove?  As if the Foreign Currency Deposit Law does not exist.  First of all, how were they able to prove this?  This was proven through the testimony of the Ombudsman which, with all due respect, in my opinion as a lawyer, is hearsay.  The AMLC officer who prepared that report was never presented in court.  That AMLC officer was never made to explain the entries that he made there.  The AMLC officer was never presented to show the supporting documents that he relied upon.  What did the Ombudsman say?  Hindi ko naintindihan yong AMLC report so what did I do.  I called the COA to explain to me the AMLC report.  Of all the people to call the COA.  Why did not she call the AMLC?  They were the ones who prepared the report.  Bakit hindi sila ang pinagpaliwanag?  And I proposed an answer to these questions.  The answer is very simple.  The AMLC refused to testify because there was no court order allowing that inspection.  That is very clear under the law,  Authority to Inquire into Bank Deposits, Section 11.  The A-M-L-C or the AMLC may inquire into or examine any particular deposit or investment with any banking institution or non-bank financial institution upon order of a competent court.  Did the Ombudsman ask the AMLC, where is your court order?  She did not.  She said she never investigated the AMLC.

When it has been established that there is  probable cause that the deposits or investments are related to unlawful activities, what are these unlawful activities?  Kidnapping, drug cases, high jacking, that is definitely not within the exception, those are definitely not within the case.  And so what did the Chief Justice do?  Confronted with this situation, what did he do?  He told everybody, I interpreted the law in accordance with the Foreign Currency Deposit Act.  And he dared everybody.  Hindi po ba pare-pareho ang interpretation natin nyan?  Isn’t it?  That’s what he said.  We all look at it the same way.  And he said, I will sign my waiver now and I will prove to you that we all have the same interpretation.  Let’s open our accounts, let’s open our SALNs,  let’s show it to the Filipino people that we have the same interpretation.  Did anybody take up that challenge before the honourable court?  Nobody, nobody, nobody because the Chief was able to show that his interpretation has been followed by most of the honest, hardworking public officials of our bureaucracy.  There is no one witness here who testified that the Chief Justice accepted a bribe.  There is not one witness here who said, ako po ang nag-deposito nyan kasi po may kapalit po na desisyon yan.  Not one.  We are all surmising.  They are saying, kaduda-duda yong movement ng pera.  Napakalaki noong araw na ito,  napakalaki noong ganon.  E bakit hindi mo pinatunayan? Why did you not present the witness?  We never decide cases based on doubt.  We decide cases based on facts.  That is how our system works.

Now, let me go to my last point.  The prosecution says that the Foreign Currency Deposit Law is repugnant to the Constitution.  My question is, can the Senate impeachment court declare the Foreign Currency Deposit Law unconstitutional?

The Constitution is clear.  Cases involving the constitutionality of any treaty, international, executive agreement or law shall be heard by the Supreme Court en banc.  That is very clear.  And isn’t it the greatest height of contradiction If it is the Senate who will declare the product of its own work, the law that came from it, as contradictory to the Constitution?  Galing po sa inyo yung batas.  Umasa po ang mga kababayan tapos sasabihin nyo hindi nyo pwedeng gamitin ‘pag kayo ay nalitis.

And even assuming that there is—that there is a tinge of unconstitutionality, the rule is decisions of this nature have prospective application and let me read, “The principal of prospectivity has also been applied to judicial decisions which although in themselves not laws are neverthe less evidence of what the laws mean.  The reason why under Article VIII of the new Civil Code judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form part of the legal system.  A compelling rationalization of the prospectivity principal of judicial decisions is the imperative necessity to take account of actual existence of the statute prior to its nullification as an operative fact negating acceptance of a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity.

If it is unconstitutional, you cannot apply it retroactively.  That is a medication that the Chief has already took.  You cannot tell the medicine, do not take effect.  The person has already drank it.  It has already taken its effect.  If it is against the Constitution, it should only be applied prospectively.

In closing, let me just respond to Congressman Tupas’ statement that the Chief Justice peddled his position for material gain.  That is a lie.  That is an absolute lie.  The Supreme Court is a collegial body.  He might be referring to the FASAP case.  He might be referring to the TRO granted to former President Arroyo.   But the court acts as an entity separate and distinct from the individual personalities of its members, consistently with the intrinsic nature of a collegiate court, the individual members act not as such individuals but only as a duly constituted court.  Their distinct individualities are lost in the majesty of their office in re almasen.

Do not blame the Chief Justice, Congressman Tupas.  It was the Supreme Court who rendered that decision.  And if you’re relying on the dissenting opinion of the honorable Chief Justice Sereno,—Justice Sereno, let me just say that the dissenting opinion cannot be sustained.  A dissenting opinion is not binding as it is a mere expression of the individual view of a court who disagrees with the conclusion of the majority of the members thereof.

That will be all, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  The continuation of the defense, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I just be allowed, Your Honor, to carry on the discussion …

SEN. SOTTO.  You have 27 minutes and 36 seconds.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Nabawasan yata ng malaki.  Thank you.

There seem to be no question, Your Honor, as to the existence of Republic Act No. 6426, which deals with the confidentiality of foreign accounts deposit, but a question apparently surfaced is the challenge or the allegation to the effect that this is—these law is in violation of the Constitution.

I do not know of any case whatsoever nor any proceedings before the Supreme Court, Your Honor, questioning the legality and the constitutionality of that law, and simply because a Senator or a Justice say that the law is unconstitutional is no dictum to the effect that it is really unconstitutional, unless there is a pronouncement on the unconstitutionality of a law, it remains valid, it is effective and it is enforceable against everybody within the Republic of the Philippines.

As of date, I am not aware of any law or any case, Your Honor, that even merely challenges the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 6426, what does that imply?  It is certainly valid, effective and subsisting, and therefore, any and all depositors of foreign currency may avail thereof with no fear that they have lost the right to claim the confidentiality enshrined in the said law.  Now, may we ask if there is any proceeding that the prosecution know, whereby the constitutionality of this law is being challenged or have been challenged?  Second, if there is any proceeding, has it resulted in the declaration of the unconstitutionality of the said law.  We venture the guess, Your Honor, that the entire annals of jurisprudence may be searched in by but it will not yield any answer to the effect that this law have been declare unconstitutional.

Now, may I go a little further, Your Honor, even our Legislative Department, Your Honor, both of Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate are unanimous in abiding with the dictum of confidentiality enshrined in this law.  They have amended this particular law in some time in 19—in 2002, Your Honor, and I am referring to Republic Act No. 9194, which laid down the dictum, Your Honor, or the jurisprudence to the effect that whereas under Republic Act No. 6426, the only exception whereby that grants confidentiality to the Republic Act No. 6246, Your Honor, is the written, lack or absence of written permission on the part of depositor.

Under the AMLC Law, which amended that particular provision, there are now two exceptions.  First, it added a new exception, and that is when there is a criminal proceeding involving transactions which are illegal, violative of the AMLC Law, and which have been filed before a court, Your Honor, and there are proceedings to that effect, and the transaction involved is any of the transaction mentioned on that law, for instance, Anti-Graft Law, robbery, Your Honor, piracy, and a lot more of other enumerated.  If the investigation deals with that particular omission, Your Honor, then, it cannot, the depositor or the—cannot raise the defense that their deposits, Your Honor, are secured and therefore, confidentiality is available to them under Republic Act No. 6426.

Now, it had been argued, Your Honor, that that does not induce criminality or does it not do a favour, especially to wrongdoers in the government service, whereby in order to evade being criminally liable for their illegal acts, they convert their properties or money into foreign account deposits.  That maybe true, although I do not subscribe entirely to the correctness of such a view.  Even if it exists, the remedy is not judicial, Your Honor.  The remedy is legislation.  Let us amend the law.  Let us remove all these exceptions.  The necessity for written permission must be removed if the entirety of what is alleged is that it is conducive to the commitment of illegalities, bribery and violation of the Anti-Graft Law on the part of public officials.  But such is not the case.  The legislature or Congress never envisioned a situation where, in the process of allowing foreign currency deposits and its depositors to claim confidentiality, will be resulting in violation of the law on for instance, smuggling, kidnapping with ransom, and so on down the line.

Now, secondly, it is very clear now, under the AMLA Law as amended, that the confidentiality enshrined under Republic Act 6426 may no longer be invoked, if the prosecution, Your Honor, is a prosecution for any of the transactional offenses enumerated under the AMLA law.  In other words, it is another exception whereby the depositor may no longer avail himself of what is known as foreign currency deposit, Your Honor.

Now, I was amazed by the peroration of my learned colleague, who had spoken before us, Your Honor, to the effect that allegedly there a lot of falsities, a lot of lies permeating the declaration of the honourable Chief Justice.  I wanted immediately to agree with him.  But his behaviour before and during the presentation of evidence or declaration by the Chief Justice does not approve of such kind of a plea, Your Honor.  Why?  Because Chief Justice Corona was here, he was available for cross-examination, if they doubted the credibility of Chief Justice Corona, they should have taken advantage of the opportunity to cross-examine him.  But it is on record, Your Honor, that there was no such cross-examination.  In fact, it was categorically and positively waived by the lead counsel of the prosecution, Your Honor.  And for that, we were heavily thankful because it shortened  the stand activity of Chief Justice Corona, Your Honor.

Now, they likewise referred to a lot of fabricated lies, Your Honor.  More especially with respect to alleged buying of dollar deposits and so on, Your Honor.  There is no statement on record, Your Honor, by Chief Justice Corona that he started buying when he was still an undergraduate continuously up to the point that he accumulated the amount that he admitted before this honourable Court.  I would like to commend Chief Justice Corona because notwithstanding several advices during the conferences that we had, that it is his right not to testify because he cannot be compelled to testify, these proceedings being akin to a criminal case, he still insisted in bringing before this court an admission to the effect that he has so much, he has so much.  He should be commended for that matter, Your Honor.  But what is his explanation?  Let me go a little farther.  What is the allegation with respect to the non-entry in the SALN of the Chief Justice Corona of the various properties alluded to by the prosecution consisting of 45 pieces of properties.  Little by little, Your Honor, while the trial goes on, we were able to show, I believe to the satisfaction of this honourable court, that there were no 45 pieces of properties and that ultimately, there were only five.  That is why the other properties which do not belong to him and which are registered of persons whom he does not even know, need not be accounted for by him in the SALN that he filed for that matter.

Now, he is also being charged or blamed of fraud because allegedly there were acquisitions made by him on a particular year, but they were not registered on that year and they were registered later, or a year or two years thereafter.  We have no quarrel with that.  Even our evidence show that  there were some vacillation on the part of the family of Chief Justice Corona because there were some doubt as to the validity of the transfer of ownership to him. And therefore, his non-reporting may not be considered as intentional, fraudulent, malicious and can be the subject of an impeachment proceedings, Your Honor.

Now, there were statements made here in connection with an employee, a law employee of the [Department of] Supreme Court or Justice relative to certain acts committed by him or her but that cannot be equated. There is no parity of facts between that case and this case.  That is merely an administrative case.  This is an impeachment case, Your Honor, governed by the provisions of the Constitution and grounded on definite and specific grounds, Your Honor, namely culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, other high crimes, violation of the Anti-Graft Law and betrayal of public trust.

May we ask the prosecution, Your Honor, whether there is any jurisprudence on the point that a mere deficiency or a mere inaccuracy in the entries made by a filer in the SALN is constitutive of a ground for impeachment which they claim now. I do not think and I am not aware. I’ll be heavily thankful, Your Honor, and be fully appreciative if they can enlight(en) because this happen to be my forte in criminal law which is still my forte being a member of the faculty of the University of the Philippine College of Law.

Now, if it is not an impeachable offense, Your Honor, it if it cannot be a ground for impeachment, then, why are we building up matters after matters to the prejudice, not only of the light, the honor and the reputation of the Chief Justice but his entire family which even after years may no longer be erased or obliterated because it already sucked into the minds of the common people being the subject of what we call conferences even outside of this court, Your Honor.?

Now, let me go a little further, Your Honor, with the kind permission of this Honorable Court. There is a statement here made by the Honorable Ombudsman relative to the properties and deposits and cash deposits and accounts, which she declared while on the witness stand. Unfortunately, Your Honor, we cross-examined her, she was truthful in admitting that there are no charges at the time filed against Chief Justice Corona.  He is not a respondent nor an accused in any crimes mentioned under the AMLA law but that pursuant to his general power as Ombudsman, she conducted the investigation on the strength of the affidavit complaint presented or submitted by several persons, Your Honor.  These are the persons we introduced in evidence. We called them to testify in order to prove our contention that none of them have mentioned the existence of the $10 million account referred to in the report of the Honorable Ombudsman, Your Honor.

Now, in order to justify further her statement on a matter with respect to properties and deposits, Your Honor, she waved certain papers, Yonor Honor, allegedly they were entries or they were papers, Your Honor, furnished her by the Anti- …

(technical interruption)

… there is only an initial but we do not know whose initial they are. The question is: Is that admissible in evidence?  Our answer is: No, because if it is not property authenticated, then it is violative of Section 25 of Rule 132 on evidence.  And what does it say?  May I be permitted to read the same. “Whenever a copy of a document or record is attested or the purpose of evidence, the attestation must state in substance that the copy is a correct copy of the original or a specific part thereof as the case maybe.  The attestation must be under official seal of the attesting officer, if there be any—or if he be a clerk of court having a seal under the seal of said court.

We noticed and we gather upon the examination of those documents, Your Honor, I hope I am pardon by the Court that they are mere scrap of paper, the attestation required by law is not present and therefore they are not admissible in evidence.  If they are not inadmissible in evidence, what probative value that he says.  I hope the court pardon me by saying it is totally useless, it is totally irrelevant to the matters brought about by her.

Now, there were also statements made by her to the effect that these papers are allegedly furnished to her by the AMLA people, Your Honor.  That allegedly was furnished her by the official of the AMLA, Your Honor.  Some members or our colleague in the legal profession say:  “E, why you did not call the AMLA people to contradict that, that they never have furnish her”.  That is not the job of the defense, Your Honor.  The position here of the Chief Justice is akin to an accused in a criminal case.  The general presumption enshrined in our Constitution, that he enjoys the privilege of being an innocent, or innocent of a crime which is attributed to him holds water.  He is not under legal obligation to prove his innocence, Your Honor.  It is the burden of the prosecution in this particular case, the prosecution to prove his guilt, and that is failure to indicate or enter it to his SAL the required matters that ought to be stated in there.  I have not seen yet any document to the effect that a failure to state in a SAL, Your Honor, on the part of the filer, especially, impeachable officers could be a ground for impeachment, Your Honor.  Impeachment must be treated with caution, must be treated circumspectively, and not half hazardly or done as our government official of the opposite persuasion may claim, Your Honor.  And that brings me to the matter, although, I’m a little bit reluctant, Your Honor.   Power challenge against the validity of the impeachment complaint in this particular case.  Why?  Because when we examined the documents attached to the complaint, Your Honor, more particularly, to the signature and verification and certification, we find nothing in there, we state that the 188 members of our House of Representatives, whose signatures attached there were convened at any time prior to the certification in order to pass upon the probable aspect of the complaint, Your Honor.

I hope, and in this connection, Your Honor, we are in total conformity with the jurisprudence on the point, more especially, by the ponencia of Chief Justice Panganiban, Your Honor, wherein on the issue of observance of due process during the initiation of impeachment, Your Honor, may I be allowed to read in part, Your Honor, for purposes of having them entered into the record, Your Honor.

Brought during the oral argument.

Senator Salonga and Petitioner Francisco Chavez denounced the second impeachment complaint as violative of due process.  They argued that by virtue merely of the endorsement of more than one third of the members of House Representatives, the Chief Justice was immediately impeachment without being afforded the twin requirements of notice and hearing.  The proceedings were therefore null and void.  And Justice Panganiban then who became the chief has said, “I must agree”.  Going further with his ponencia, Your Honor, he further lay down the following dictum—the due process clause, Article III of the Constitution reads:  “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”  Enshrined in our Constitution is a condition sine qua non that cannot be ignored in any proceeding, administrative, judicial or otherwise.  Citing Mr. Bernas, a commentarist of several cases, Your Honor,  it is deemed, according to him, written into every law, rule or contract even though not expressly stated therein.  Hence, the House Rules on Impeachment insofar as they do not provide the charged official with notice and opportunity to be heard prior to being impeached are also unconstitutional.

Along this line, Your Honor, may I also bring to the attention to this honourable court the concurring opinion on the same subject, Your Honor, by retired Justice Ynares Santiago and it runs this way, Your Honor:  “The impeachment complaint suffers yet from another serious flaw.  As one of the micus curae, former Senate President Salonga pointed out, the signing of the impeachment complaint by the purported one-third of the Congressmen was done without due process.  The Chief Justice against whom the complaint was brought was not served with notice of the proceedings against him.  No rule is better established under the due process clause of the Constitution than that which requires notice and opportunity to be heard before any person can be lawfully deprived of his right.  Indeed when the Constitution says, no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, it means that every person shall be afforded the essential element of notice in any proceeding.  Any act committed in violation of this due process must be declared null and void.  With the citation, Your Honor.

Now, I brought home to the attention of this honourable court, Your Honor, this particular jurisprudence on the point because if we follow the proceedings that attended the filing of this case, Your Honor, I hope the prosecution of the government will pardon me for saying it.  It was although we may be charged as bias, Your Honor, we notice the blitzkrieg manoeuvre that accompanied or clothed the filing of this information.  True, there were allegedly a point presentation by the honourable lead counsel at the time of the meeting of the Congressmen who signed, the 188.  What we do not notice, any statement or the statement relative to verification and certification is totally bankrupt any statement to the effect that they assemble, they discussed this matter and it was only after determining that there was really notice and proper opportunity for investigation was made that they came to the filing of this case and so on.

My point is this, Your Honor—the number of the complainant whether they be more than 200 Congressmen affixing their signatures, assuming their signatures, the affixing of their signatures were voluntary and personal, that does not nullify the provision on due process because it is a time-honored principle of our Constitution that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Now, if the impeachment complaint is filed only by a member or by a private citizen with the endorsement of a Member of the House of Representatives, the procedure enshrined is it must be acted upon by the Committee on Justice, there must be deliberation and whatever the result of the deliberation, it is presented before the House in plenary session.  Those are the only things that were dispensed with if the information of the impeachment complaint is filed by more than one-third of the Members of the House, Your Honor.

With that, we rest our case, Your Honor.  We only pray, Your Honor, na sa amin pong pagdulog sa kagalang-galang na hukumang ito ay sana po ay, dumulog po kami sa Poong Maykapal, hiniling namin kung maaari, tanglawan po ninyo ang pag-iisip, ang puso at damdamin ng mga Senador na huwes na hahatol sa kasong ito.

Sana po, umiral ang buong katarungan sa ikaliligaya hindi lamang ng impeachment, hindi lamang ng nasasakdal, kundi ng buong Republika ng Pilipinas.  At sana po, ito’y maging mitsa na para magkasundo-sundo ang buong nagkakaalit at lumigaya ang buong Pilipinas.

Salamat po ng marami, Chief Justice.

SUSPENSION OF HEARING

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session suspended for a few minutes before the closing …

SEN. SOTTO.  Before the closing of the prosecution.

Mr. President, may I move that we suspend for five minutes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Five-minute suspension.

It was 4:15 p.m.

The session was resumed at 4:43 p.m.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The session is resumed.  The prosecution.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, for the closing, there are 15 minutes left  for the prosecution, 15 minutes and 30 seconds.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, we have 15 minutes, 30 seconds, Your Honor.  For the third and last speaker for the prosecution, may we request, Your Honor, that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., be recognized to close the case for the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.  Proceed.

THE SPEAKER.  Mr. Senate President, Members of the Senate, countrymen.

Thank you for allowing me the honor of addressing this august Chamber and the people of our great republic.  I stand before you as the elected Speaker of the House of Representatives and I stand as well as one of the 188 Congressmen who signed the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

Your Honors, together the Upper and Lower Houses of Congress constitute a single whole.  Together we represent the people of this country, their values, their aspirations and their sense of right and wrong.  What is at stake here is the principle that those who do wrong will be held accountable by system, by the institutions set up by the people themselves.

This impeachment trial has been a long and tedious and even divisive process.  But we have gone through it because our people deserve something better.  We want a judiciary that is independent not only of the influence of Malacañang or of Congress, but also from personal ambition and personal greed.

We want a judiciary where no one can say anything offensive about our justices because they truly live in the light of justice and integrity, and willingly injure the harsh glare of public scrutiny because they have nothing to hide.

Your Honors, this impeachment trial was conducted for the most noble of purposes.  It was conducted in search of the truth.  Our prosecution team has proven Mr. Corona’s partiality when upon a simple letter, he engineered a ruling adverse to the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines or FASAP.

We have proven how the highest magistrate of the land was willing to tip the scales of justice with his own hands when it comes to the former President.  When Mr. Corona handed down a TRO effectively allowing Mrs. Arroyo to leave the country, the nation uttered a collective cry of outrage because the very spirit of public accountability was coming under attack by no less than the Chief Justice, the highest embodiment of justice in the land.

And the truth, Your Honors, has been laid bare before this court.  Yes, I have heard all the arguments, the legal lease about these laws.  But Mr. Corona himself has admitted to having amassed two point million dollars.  That’s a lot of money, Your Honors, and P80 million in cash.  Although, as shown by the evidence, the amounts he has illegally amassed are much more, none of them found their way into his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.  He has given nothing but give excuses for why he did not account for them.

Your Honors, even as an ordinary individual, a man of common sense, I cannot really understand what is the value of a SALN that wherein the bulk of one’s properties and assets are not disclosed.  What’s its value?  Just a pro-formatting.

Your Honors, this impeached Chief Justice effectively wants to be exempted from the SALN Law, in effect.  He has not been declaring his true net worth through the many years that he has been in the public service.  And yet he, himself, concurred in Supreme Court decisions for lowly public servants, as talked about here, were dismissed from public office because they did not declare their true net worth.

Your Honors, he wants this court and the court of public opinion to ignore his millions of dollars and pesos undeclared in his SALN.  He cites a law on foreign deposits in the incredible comingling of funds as his excuses for holding/hiding such huge amounts from public eye.

My question is, why?  Is he prohibited from disclosing them in his SALN?  Shouldn’t he be the one to set a good example for all of us?  Isn’t it disturbing, Your Honors, that the Judiciary’s highest official, the last bastion of justice for uniform application of laws all over the land, is himself the very person hiding behind these laws, bending justice, so to speak, to hide his act?

Our people will not allow that, Your Honors.  We are one people with one rule of law, with one standard for public conduct.  Mr. Corona has spoken about a chilling effect on the judiciary, and of course, the framers of our Constitution did want impeachment to have a chilling effect on those who would wish to betray the public trust on those who had abused the powers of their office for personal gain.

Public office, as we all know is a truism, is a public trust.  Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, apt with patriotism, justice and lead modest lives.  This is the command of the Constitution.

The same Constitution additionally requires that members of the Judiciary must be of proven competence.  Again, integrity, probity and independence, this requirement, one that is unique to judges is not an empty reiteration of the exacting standards in holding public office.  In essence, it manifests the constitutional intent to make the possession of the highest moral values is sine quanon condition for membership in our judicial hierarchy.

Your Honors, I stand as the voice of an institution that together with yours, form the Legislative branch of government.  The Legislature, props and passes the laws, the Executive enforces these laws.  But of what use are our efforts to build a better future if the head of the entire Judiciary interprets the law to the crucible of partisanship or personal gain.

The impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona has come down to a vote.  The burden that Your Honors now assume does not involve a single determination of which side exhibited a mastery of deniesties(?) in a legal proceeding.

What this honorable court is called upon to decide is far more than the entitlement to the Chief Justice to his position.  In truth, what this honorable court must ultimately determine is the standard of conduct required by the Constitution of the person to whom is entrusted the leadership of the entire Judiciary.  Will we look forward to a Chief Justice who can be an independent person?  A person with nothing to hide and a person whose loyalty, ultimately rest on the people or will we allow to continue in office someone who has clearly betrayed the public trust.

Your Honors, I ask that you’ll see through the character of Renato Corona, and reflect whether this is the man that we want as our Chief Justice, the head of the entire juidicial system for the next six years.

May I ask that you vote according to conscience and the evidence, and find Chief Justice Renato Corona guilty.

May the truth be your guide, Your Honors.  May the truth be your guide.

Thank you.  Good day.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I would like to posit some questions if there is none who will ask question.

I just want to clarify certain points.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I have not received any reservation from any of the members of the court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I would like to ask the defense two questions.  What injury or prejudice may arise if a depositor who is a public officer or employee who have a foreign currency deposit would include that deposit or its the amount represented by that deposit in his statement of assets, liabilities and networth?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, I am not very sure, Your Honor, as to what and the extent thereof insofar as damages is concerned …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, the question is, what, in your opinion, would be the injury to be prevented or prejudice to be avoided warranty the depositor of a foreign currency deposit to be permitted not to include his foreign currency deposit in his statement of assets, liabilities and networth if he is a public officer or a public employee.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The probability of let jus say kidnapping, extortion and so on may come into the picture, Your Honor, because especially with the present trend of criminality in the country today, there is no assurance that one is immune from any of these offenses, Your Honor.  That may be one.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Was that contemplated, in your opinion, by the framers of Republic Act 6426 if as well as its predecessor presidential decrees?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If we go into the Declaration of Policy, Your Honor, the declaration of policy is entirely different from the disastrous consequences or unwarranted circumstances that may occur thereafter, Your Honor.  Because the policy behind it is to encourage.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Related to this first question of mine, I will ask you, will a public officer or a public employee, who maintains a foreign currency, incur the punitive penalty of Republic Act 6426 if he would reflect that deposit in his statement of assets and liabilities.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I do not see, Your Honor, that probability, but it could amount to a vitiated consent, Your Honor, as contra-distinguished from voluntary permission on the part of the depositor, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You see, I asked this question because we are forgetting that the law allows the exposure of a foreign currency desposit by expressed provision of Republic Act 6426 if the depositor himself would do it.  There is no secrecy law in this country, monetary secrecy law that prohibits or inhibits or proscribes the depositor from revealing his own deposit.  What is prohibited is for third parties to reveal it, and that is why they are penalized.  But the depositor is not.  Now, that is my next question.  Now, my next question is this.  The first sentence of Section 70, Article XI of the Constitution, do you consider that sentence as a mandatory provision that requires to be obeyed by a public officer or public employee of the Republic of the Philippines.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The way I recall, Your Honor, the provision, it is a general statement of the law.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I will state it to you.  “A public officer or employee, shall, upon assumption of office, and as often thereafter as may be provided by law, submit a declaration under oath of his assets, liabilities and networth.”  Do you consider that a command of the people or was it something that can be disregarded?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I do not think that is something to be disregarded, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It must be obeyed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Correct, Your Honor, but when there are rights that arise from a different law, Your Honor, I do not see any reason as to why it cannot be availed of in this particular instance, the depositor, Your Honor.  Why the law had granted that is beyond my comprehension, Your Honor.  That is a legislative function.  The policy behind it may only be known from the legislators themselves.  I am not privileged neither can I define or phantom the reason behind it, Your Honor. All I know…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    That will be our function.  We are just asking if you have any notion about it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Alright.  Now, my next question is, if it is a command, a sovereign command, justinian concept of command, if it is a sovereign command, will disobedience of that command constitute a culpable violation of the Constitution?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, I would not—I would not be in a position to do so, Your Honor, or to make a statement to that unless the actual true facts surrounding the circumstances are known to me because that will be a matter of conjecture or a surmise on the part of—my part.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    The Constitution speaks of culpable violation.  Now, I am sure all of us graduates of U.P. went through a study of Roman Law.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Alright. What is culpa?  From where culpable was derived?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Mere intentional, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ha?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Intentional, Your Honor, culpa.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No intent, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Culpa.  What is culpa?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Crime, Your Honor.  The way I …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    There are four kinds of culpa.  Culpa lata or magna, culpa levi, culpa levisima, culpa aquiliana. Now, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am not …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … go to elementary school boat in Roman Law.  What is culpa?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, I am not, as of this moment, Your Honor, I am not very well in a position to recall.  Maybe I was absent when it was discussed by my professor, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Well, that is your bad luck.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And besides, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And I think that this is material in the consideration of this provision of the Constitution.  What is the difference between culpa and dolus?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Culpa if I recall, dolus is intentional.  Dolus is intentional, if I recall correctly. Culpa is negligence, something like that. I am not very sure.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Deserving of blame.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Now, disobedience to the provision of Section 17 first sentence, do you consider that as the deserving of blame?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If it is intentional, Your Honor, then, definitely, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    It does not call for any  intent. Where in that provision will you find intent?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, I think, this is the provision or statement as may be required by law, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, I am asking this question for our guidance. For our guidance as base on your opinion, both sides, I would like to hear both sides of us.  What is the position of the prosecution?  Can you help us in defining what is culpa?

REP. FARIÑAS.   Well, when it comes to refer culpable violation of the Constitution, Mr. President, according to the records of the Constitutional Commission, violation of the Constitution is understood to mean wilful and intentional violation of the Constitution and not violation committed an intentionally or involuntarily or in good faith or through an honest mistake of judgment and it implies deliberate intent, perhaps, even a degree of perversity for it is not easy to imagine that individuals in the category of these officials would go so far as to defy knowingly what is the Constitution commands.  That is what the records of the Constitutional Commission define or show what culpable violation is, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Alright, thank you very much.  I have no more questions.  I do not know the other members of the court if they have any questions.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, the court is ready to retire, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Alright.

SEN. SOTTO.  So, may I ask that the Sergeant-at-arms make an announcement.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sergeant-at-arms is directed to make the announcement.

THE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS.  Please all rise.  All persons are commanded to remain in their places until the Senate President and the Senators have left the session hall.

ADJOURNMENT OF SESSION

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, there being no other business for the day, I move that we adjourn until two o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, May 29,  2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  The Chair hears none; the motion of the Majority Floor Leader is approved.  (Gavel)

It was 5:05 p.m.

IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Friday, May 25, 2012

At 2:00 p.m., the hearing was called to order with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile presiding.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The continuation of the impeachment trial of the Honorable Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Renato C. Corona is hereby called to order.  We shall be led in prayer by Senator Vicente C. Sotto III, the Majority Floor Leader.

(Senator  Sotto led the prayer.)

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary will please call the roll.

THE SECRETARY.  The Honorable Senator-Judges:  Angara, Arroyo, Cayetano Allan Peter “Companero”, Cayetano, Pia; Defensor, Santiago; Drillon; Ejercito, Estrada, Escudero; Guingona; Honasan; Lacson; Lapid; Legarda; Marcos; Osmena; Pangilinan; Pimentel; Recto; Revilla; Sotto; Trillanes; Villar; the Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With 22 Senator-Judges present, the Presiding Officer declares the presence of a quorum.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I ask the Sergeant-At-Arms to make the proclamation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sergeant-At-Arms is directed to make the proclamation.

SGT-AT-ARMS.  All persons are commanded to keep silent under pain of penalty while the Senate is sitting in trial on the Articles of Impeachment against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.    Mr. President, I move that we dispense with the reading of the May 23, 2012 Journal of the Senate sitting as an impeachment court and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any objection?  There being none, the May 23, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, is hereby approved.

The Secretary will please call the case before the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court.

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  Case No. 002-2011. In the Matter of Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we ask the parties and/or their respective counsel to enter their appearances.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Prosecution?

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Mr. Senate President.  On the part of the House of Representatives’ prosecution panel, same appearance.  We are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  Defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  For the defense, Your Honor, the same appearance.  We are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, before we proceed, we are in receipt of a motion from the prosecution dated May 23, 2012, praying for the actual marking of exhibits which they have previously asked and allowed by the court to be marked as follows:  1).  Exhibit 11-G, which is the second page of the SPA between Charina Corona, Renato Corona and Cristina Corona; 2)  Exhibit 11-G-1, which is the date of the SPA; 3)  Also, the prosecution had asked and was allowed to mark Exhibit 178 of the defense, which is the writ of execution in criminal case no. Q96068147-8 as their Exhibit 11-Q.  However, it was exhibit 177-A of the defense which was marked as exhibit 11-Q.  The prosecution prays for the correction in the markings of exhibit 11-Q.  And lastly, the prosecution is requesting that tax declaration no. D05602564 which was marked as exhibit 163 of the defense be likewise marked as evidence for the prosecution.  The prosecution submits that they have intended to mark and adopt the same as its own evidence, but inadvertently failed to do so in open court.

So, I move that the Presiding Officer rule on the matter.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It appearing from the records that the marking of exhibits 11-G, 11-G-1 and 11-Q had been previously allowed by this Court.  The Senate legal counsel and the Deputy Clerk of Court had reported to the court that the exhibits have been marked accordingly.  With respect to the request that Exhibit 163 of the defense be likewise mark as evidence for the prosecution, the same is hereby granted.  (Gavel)

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, the court is now ready for the continuation of the testimony of the Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is the defense ready to proceed?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, we are ready with him, but we may ask, Your Honor, for a one-minute recess just to fetch him from where he is now, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, one minute recess to allow the Chief Justice to come to the session hall.

Session is suspended.  It was 2:14 p.m.

Session is resumed at 2:18 p.m.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The session is resumed.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. President, for the prosecution, the prosecution, may we ask permission that our lead private lawyer, Atty. Mario Bautista, be recognized to receive the continuation of the testimony of the Chief Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the defense?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With the kind permission…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Before we proceed, may I just make a statement.

Mr. Chief Justice,  good afternoon.  Kami po ay nabasa namin sa pahayagan na kayo ay may problema sa kalusugan at nandito kayo kahit na ang inyong doctor sa ospital ay sana’y ayaw kayong payagan.  Gusto ko lang po mailagay sa ating record itong tanong na ito—kayo po ba ay handa sa iyong katawan at kaisipan sumali dito sa paglilitis na ito?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Mr….

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I am asking this, Mr. Chief Justice, given the fact that this court takes judicial notice of the fact that your doctor made a statement in the papers that you are not physically well.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE.  Yes po.  Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat.  Magandang hapon po sa ating mga sambayanan.

Ako po’y pumarito, actually, labag po sa kagustuhan ng aking mga doctor at against my better judgement to come here.  Kaya lang po, nasa puso ko po yung obligasyon ko po at yung pangako ko sa bayan na magpaliwanag na hindi nga po natapos noong Martes sapagka’t yung mga binasa ko pong mga notes as saka narration ko po noong Tuesday, as a matter of fact, may dalawang pahina pa ho akong hindi nabasa doon dealing with the FASAP at saka yung TRO.

Pero ang nangyari po sa hindi magandang pangyayari ay unti-unti ko pong naramdaman yung pagbagsak po ng aking blood sugar sapagaka’t ako po ay diabetiko since 1986.  Since 1986 po, ito siguro ay pangalawa at pangatlong beses nang nangyari na bumagsak yung aking blood suger at para naman po doon sa mga may diabetes at saka doon sa mga pamilyang—merong myembro ng pamilya na may diabetis, siguro madali namang maintindihan nila kung ano yung nangyari doon kasi po isang manifestation po ng hypoglycaemia yung biglang pagbagsak ng sugar …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Kaya nga po, gusto lang malaman nitong hukuman na ito kung kaya ninyo sumali dito sa paglilitis na ito.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Actually po, nanghihina pa po ako pero kakayanin ko po hangga’t aking makakaya.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sige. Salamat po.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Salamat po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The defense, what is your pleasure?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  We would like to ask permission, Your Honor, that the honourable Chief Justice be allowed to make a short manifestation with respect to the unholy incident that took place before and extend his apologies before this honourable court, Your Honor, and to the honourable Members thereof.  May he be allowed to discuss this within two or three minutes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Chief Justice has three minutes.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

CHIEF JUSITICE CORONA. Salamat po sa inyo.

Ako po’y nagpapakumbaba at humihingi po ng inyong paumanhin sa nangyari noong Martes.  Hindi ko po inaasahan na ganoon ang mangyayari.  Kaya lang po, alam naman po ninyo ang pinagdaanan namin, particularly pinagdaanan ko ng nakaraang halos na anim na buwan.  Hindi po madali ang pinagdaanan namin.  Mahirap pong i-describe yung sama ng loob at sakit ng loob naming pinagdaanan the past almost six months.  Kaya nga lang po ay siguro nagkasunod-sunod na po.

Ang katotohanan po ay for almost a week hindi po ako nakakatulog ng mabuti at yung the night before my testimony here on Tuesday, totally, wala po akong tulog.

Hindi po madali o masarap ang itong kinalalagyan ko ngayon.  Nakatutok sakin ang mata ng milyun-milyong mga kababayan natin at ako’y hinuhusgahan dito sa trial na ito.  Kaya po siguro hindi rin ako makakain nung lunchtime before I came here last Tuesday dahil I have to admit with all candor and honestly, nagbabaligtad po yung aking sikmura sa nerbyos.

Kayo na po ang bahalang magpatawad sa akin, kaya siguro po yon ang dahilan ng pagbagsak ng aking blood sugar.  Kaya nga po ako ay nagpapakumbaba, humihingi ng patawad sa inyo, sa buong Senado, sa ating sambayanan, maging sa prosekusyon na rin at sa aking defense team na din, na hindi rin naman nila alam ang nangyari dahil sila mismo ay nagulat, at para pumunta rin po ako rito para magbigay galang sa Senado, sa kabuuan ng Senado bilang isang institusyon ng ating pamahalaan.

Ang nangyari po noong Martes ay hindi parang welga o ano ba iyong sabi doon?  Walk-out, walk-out yata iyong sinabing term noong mga certain sectors of the media, hindi po ganoon.  Kasi po, mayroon pa ho akong dalawang pahinang hindi nababasa ay hindi ko na po nabasa.  At totally, undexpected po iyong nangyari, ngayon, dala lang po sa matinding sitwasyon, karamdaman, na ganoon po ang nangyari.

Ngayon, nakakalungkot lang po na siguro, sa iilan nating mga kababayan, para bagang kailangan pa bang ako ay mamatay para patunayan na ako ay nagsasabi ng totoo?  Pero ganunpaman din, siguro baka ganoon nga po ang dating sa ibang tao pero ipinapaliwanag ko po ngayon, nag-aapologize po ako—pero wala pong intensyon na ganoon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Salamat po, Kagalang-galang na Chief Justice.

CJ CORONA.  Nalaman naman po ninyo na—siguro kayo na po siguro ang nakasaksi, ilang beses naman po akong nabastos sa publiko ng ating Pangulo, kahit na isang masamang salita, wala naman po kayong nadinig sa akin, kasi hindi naman po ganoon ang ugali ko e.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Salamat po.  Salamat po.

CJ CORONA.  Hindi po ako bastos na tao po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Salamat po.

CJ CORONA.  Anyway po, siguro, iyong pagka-disorient ko po siguro, pagbagsak noong blood sugar, siguro iyon po ang nag-cause noon.  As a matter of fact, hindi ko nga po malaman kung ako ay kakaliwa o kakanan.  I was in a total state of confusion at saka dahil sa kahiluhan ko po, ako ay naduduwal po noon, e ayaw ko naman pong maduwal dito sa harap ng mga cameras natin.

So, iyon lang po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.

All right, defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, after examining and being informed of the resolution of the court that all that which state all that the honorable Chief Justice stated in his opening statement will be considered as part of his direct examination, Your Honor, we found it unnecessary anymore to proceed any further by going into additional direct examination question, Your Honor, and we are through with his direct examination, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Cross.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We did that, Your Honor, because in the last proceedings, prior today, Your Honor, there was on record a statement on the part of the chief prosecutor that if the only purpose of bringing in the honorable Chief Justice is for him to be cross examined, then they are waiving their right to cross examine, Your Honor.  So, we are not adding anything anymore to what had been presented by way of direct examination, Your Honor, we are closing his testimony, hoping that the commitment on record on the part of the prosecution will be honoured and given effect, Your Honor..

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I leave it to the prosecution if they have no cross.  What is the pleasure of the prosecution?

ATTY. BAUSTISTA.  Your Honor, please, at the last hearing, you will recall that the prosecution had continuing objections to the testimony of the Chief, based on irrelevance, incompetence, immateriality, hearsay and opinion.

The prosecution believes that the testimony of the Chief is essentially inadmissible in evidence, and even if the testimony is admitted, it has very little evidentiary value, if any.

In fact, we believe that the admissions made by the Chief Justice, particularly with respect to his dollar and peso accounts are helpful to our case.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Instead of making this manifestation, why don’t you indicate your position?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I was going to that, Your Honor please

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, please.  Go ahead.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.  In light of these reasons and the fragile condition of the Chief Justice, the prosecution will no longer cross-examine him.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  On behalf of the prosecution panel, Mr. Chief Justice, we wish you a speedy recovery.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you very much.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Maraming salamat po sa inyo.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, there are a number of Members of the Court that would like to ask some questions for clarification, namely:  Senator Santiago, Alan Cayetano, Jinggoy, Loren and Serge Osmena, Mr. President.  Senator Drilon also.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I remind the Members of the court that we must observe strictly our two-minute rule so that we can finish the proceedings without prejudice to an extension of not more than two minutes.  So Ordered.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Bago po tayo magsimula sa interpellation, nais ko po sanang isumite na po sa Kagalang-galang na Juan Ponce Enrile, iyong aking waiver po, hindi ko na po hihintayin iyong waiver noong 189.  I am submitting this without any conditions whatsoever.  May I ask Atty. Lichauco to submit it to the Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alam po ninyo, Kagalang-galang na Mahistrado, ang problema namin diyan, ay kahit na may waiver kayo, ay kaninong witness iyong mga pupunta rito.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Opo.  Kung mamarapatin po ninyo, siguro pwede naman pong ipatawag iyong mga manager ng bangko.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the Majority Floor Leader?

SEN. SOTTO.  May we have a one-minute suspension, Mr. President, to formalize acceptance.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is suspended for one minute.  May I request the Members of the court to repair to the Senate lounge for a short discussion of this waiver.

It was 2:32 p.m.

At 3:29 p.m., the session was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The trial is resumed.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President, before the break or the suspension of the trial, we were in receipt of the waiver executed by the Chief Justice.  May we know the pleasure of the Presiding Officer on the matter.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Actually, this court is not a producer of evidence.  It is a hearer of facts.  It receives the evidence from the prosecution and the defense, and on the basis of the evidence presented by both sides, this court will evaluate the evidence and make a decision.  And so, therefore, given the fact that the defense has already indicated that they will not anymore propound direct questions to the honorable Chief Justice, and that they will terminate the presentation of their evidence, and the prosecution indicated on record that they will not do any more cross-examination, it is the understanding of this court that, in effect, both sides of this adversarial proceeding, this impeachment proceeding, is actually submitting the case for decision.  And so, we take note of this waiver, but we cannot subpoena any other person mentioned here given the fact that we are not supposed to produce evidence for the defense nor for the prosecution. And so that is the position of this court.  And so, I hereby state for the record that we take note of this waiver of the Chief Justice, but we cannot act on it.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  With the permission of the Chamber and the Presiding Officer, may we now recognize Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   The gentle Lady from Iloilo.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Mr. Witness, just two questions.  To test your credibility over your dramatic departure last Tuesday, is it true or not that you have had two, at least two, open heart surgery proceedings?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Yes, Madam.  I had one in 1995 and another one in 2008, both done by Dr. George Garcia.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Second question, in your experience as Chief Justice and insofar as  you know of the opinion or of the sentiments of your colleagues in the Supreme Court, what is the effect of this impeachment trial on the following principles of our tripartite democracy?  Number one, the system of checks and balances.  Number two, the independence of the Judiciary.  And number three, the subjudice principle under which when a case is on trial, that case should not be discussed in public, which has been later amended to the fact that a case should not be discussed in public except that the media may only report what actually happened in the court room of a past period.  May I have your answer to these three questions please.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Yes, po.  Would you mind if I answer in the vernacular for the sake of the people hearing us outside.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Gaya po nang nasabi ko noong Martes, iyong pagpapatalsik po ng miyembro po ng Korte Suprema, let alone the Chief Justice, may chilling effect po iyan sa Korte Suprema kasi mga tao rin lang naman po kami.  At one point po, lalo na po nakita naman noong aking mga kasama sa Korte Suprema kung ano ang ginawa sa akin at iyong aking pamilya, hindi lang po ginamit iyong makinarya, buong makinarya at lakas at poder ng gobyerno laban sa amin, BIR, LRA, AMLC, Ombudsman, kung anu-ano po, sabay-sabay po kaming inimbistiga ng BIR, pati po iyong mga anak namin, pati iyong mga balae namin na wala naman pong .pakialam  dito sa impeachment na ito, wala naman pong kasalanan ay pinapuntahan ng BIR. At iyan lang po ay isang bahagi lang po iyan. Ang pangalawang bahagi po ay, probably, mas matindi po iyong araw-araw na 24/7 magbuhat umaga hanggang gabi, wala na kaming nadinig kung ‘di, panglalait, pang-iinsulto, pang-aalipusta sa aming honor, sa aming pagkatao, sa aming reputasyon.

Kung nalalaman lang po sana noong mga taong gumawa nito, iyong sakit ng loob na dinulot nila sa amin …  (crying softly)

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Chief Justice, are you okay?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Iyong pangalan ko pong pinangangalagaan ko all my life, tapos, tawag-tawagin kayong masamang tao, magnanakaw, mandurugas.  Hindi lang po ako ang nag-suffer po nito pati po iyong mga anak ko, pati po iyong mga apo ko na gusto ko lang pong maikwento sa inyo iyong isang araw iyong aking panganay na apo, anak po ng anak kong si Carla. He is nine years old and studying in Xavier School. Napakatalino po noong batang iyon. Isang araw po na naguusap-usap kami sa pamilya tungkol dito sa impeachment na ito, nakita ko si Franco, iyong aking apo po, nandoon po sa isang sulok, wala po siyang—usually po playful iyong batang iyon, pero, on that particular instance he was very quiet, alone in a corner, so, I approached him and said, “Franco, what’s wrong?” He said, “Nothing, nothing, Grand Pa, nothing. I know you, you’re(?) yourself.” “What is wrong? Tell Grand Pa.” “Nothing.” Kapipilit-kapipilit ko po, sabi ko po, “Do you know what they are talking about in the news papers about Grand Pa?  Do you know what they are saying about Grand Pa?”  And he said, “yes.” “ What do you think?”  He kept quiet for a very, very long time and I said, “Tell Grand Pa, I want to know what you think about they are saying about Grand Pa?” Noon ko lang po nakita iyong apo ako (crying) iyon ko lang nakita iyong aking apo, he clenched his fist and he said: “I am very, very angry.”  Nagulat po ako kasi para nine-year old to say that iyon po ang nararamdaman ang pinagdaanan ng aming pamilya. Pinagbintangan kami, 45 properties daw. Alam naman po ni Administrator Eulalio Diaz na hindi totoo iyong sinasabi niya and yet ili-link niya doon sa media. Tapos, mayroon namang mga miyembro ng kabilang panig na pinapangandakan na lang iyong aming 45 properties na hindi naman po totoo.

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  Mr. Witness, I am very, very sorry to interrupt. But your answer has not been responsive. My question is, what is the effect on the members of the Supreme Court led, of course, by the Chief Justice, with respect to the  following principles: number one, the principle of check and balances. How do you view this principal as impacted by the present impeachment court trial?  Number two, the principle of the independence of the Judiciary. And number three, the doctrine of sub-judice.  While we all have two minutes that is why I have to interrupt.  Thank you.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  I am sorry.  I am sorry, Your Honor. I was carried away personally.  Alright, I think this whole impeachment proceeding has had a very chilling effect on the Supreme Court, if I may say so.  Wala pong kahit na sinong miyembro ng Korte Suprema ang gustong magdaan dito sa pinagdadaanan kong ito.

Ang checks and balances po ay pagkakapantay-pantay ng Executive, Legislative, at Judiciary.  At nasabi ko po nung Martes, iyong pagwawasak po nyang checks and balances na ‘yan ay probably, ay siguro po ay ang pinakamasamang epekto nitong impeachment complaint na ito.  Kasi po  ‘yon po ang—Iyon prinsipyo po ng checks and balances, Madam, ay ang naggagarantiya po ng ating demokrasya.  Kapag sinira ninyo ‘yang checks and balances na ‘yan, yan po ay siguradong diktadura na ang susunod.  Iyong nga po ang binanggit ko nong Martes.

Ngayon iyong sa ating sub judice rule po ay alam na po nating mga abogado na hindi naman po dapat payagan ‘yang patuloy-tuloy ng komentaryo ng mga tao diyan sa labas, pagbibigay nila ng  kuro-kuro, e, ang problema po ay parang they are already crossing the boundary of propriety and impropriety.  So, ang epekto po nyan ay nalalason ng unti-unti ang pag-iisip ng ating taong-bayan.  Kung sino po ang may kwarta, na may magpapairal ng media campaing, siya ang naghahawak ng power to influence the mind and opinion of the public.   E, mabuti po tayong mga—miyembro po nitong Senado, e, kayo naman po ay mga taong may experience at sanay dito sa mga bagay na ganito at hindi kayo nasuswey.  Pero iyong mga taong-bayan po paano naman poi yon.  You have an impeachment court, iyong hindi pong maiprisintang ebidensya ditto, doon ho inilalahad sa labas.  So, nasisira po ‘yong ating tinatawag na sub judice rule na hindi po tama ang nangyari po.  Is that enough Madam?  Thank you po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.   Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we recognize the Minority Leader, Senator Allan Peter Cayetano.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO.  Magandang hapon, Mr. President.  Mr. Chief Justice, magandang hapon po.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Magandang hapon po, Senator.

SEN. CAYETANO.  Mr. Chief Justice, nasabi na rin po ng inyong defense counsel po iyon iyong sinasabi nilang well-orchestrated campaign sa inyong credibility, sa inyong pagkatao.  And medyo kami ni Senator Ping nga medyo ayaw naming making kasi nangyari sa amin ‘yan noong panahon ni Presidente Arroyo.  So, we know how it feels that sinisiraan, kinakalkal ang pamilya mo, safety mo, etc.  So, we feel for you in that respect without saying that anyone is guilty or innocent of a well-oiled campaign against you.  But, sana po maunawaan nyo rin naman po kami na regardless whether or not there is persecution, whether or not there is a well-planned campaign against you, ang issue lang sa amin whether innocent or guilty based on the accusations.  Kaya king papayagan nyo po just some short questions lang po to just help me decide kasi po ayaw ko hong mag-convict ng isang taong inosente, pero ayoko rin mag-acquit ng isang taong—to convict anyone who is innocent, but we don’t want also to acquit someone who is guilty, and alam mo namang kaming abugado napakataas ng tingin sa Supreme Court alo sa Chief Justice.  So, as difficult as this may be, Sir, allow me to just ask you these questions.  Sir, pinakinggan naming mabuti iyong tatlo mong oras na—although inenterrup po naming ‘yung pagsalaysay ng iyong depensa at lahat ng nangyari.  And in a long line of Supreme Court decisions, hindi ko na babanggitin, ay sinasabi din doon pag-testimony lang at walang kasamang either  documentary evidence or other kind of evidence, minsan kulang ito o kapos or sinabi po ng inyong chief defense counsel ay based on your credibility.  So itatanong ko lang po, will you be submitting other evidence po to bolster yong defense at yong istorya  po na sinabi nyo sa amin?  For example, sir, sabi nyo po 1960s pa nag-iipon kayo ng dollars, can you show us a 1970s or 1980s passbook or resibo sa bangko.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.   Ang mga deposits po natin ay nasa time deposit.  Alam naman po ninyo  yong time deposit pagka mature noon sinusurender po yon sa bangko.   Ang makakapag-testify po nyan ay yong account officer ko po sa BPI na nanggaling po, alam po naman ninyo yong Far East Bank hindi po ba binili yan ng BPI.

SEN. CAYETANO.  Yes, yes.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Kasi sya rin po yong account officer ko noong nasa Far East Bank sya kaya pamilyar po sya doon sa mga deposits ko noong araw pa po.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Kasi po yong mga ganoong istorya po, yong ganoong testimony will help us verify.  Pero tama po si Senate President, hearers of fact po kami hindi kami ang dapat magpatawag, pero since hindi pinapatawag ng defense, parang  we are left with your story.  Mr. President, may I have an extension.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have two minutes.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So for example po, sir,  sinabi nyo po yong ibang co-mingled peso funds nyo kasama doon yong sa anak nyo na pambiling bahay at usual po sa isang pamilya yon.  It’s a natural thing especially if you’re a closely knitted family.  But will you present to us anything, for example, kung dinaan sa bangko yong remittance or umuwi sya, may Central Bank approval kung more than—something po that will help bolster—I am not questioning your credibility, sir.  Ang sinasabi ko lang po we have to act like judges here and an ordinary judge will ask the same questions po.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Meron po akong binigay kay Justice Cuevas na sulat noong anak ko na talking about the house that she wants to build on her McKinley Hill lot.  There was a portion there which refers to the funds belonging to her which is with me.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.)..  Anyway, sir, they will be submitting a formal offer of evidence so we gave them naman until today.  Ang sinasabi ko lang po ayokong hindi paniwalaan, ayoko namang paniwalaan po yong istorya nyo po noong Wednesday except that to follow the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court a testimony, okay, and I don’t want naman po to grill or test your credibility here because I don’t think that’s the right thing to do.  Sir, the next question…

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Just one…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In this connection, Your Honor, may we be allowed to place on record that we have here presented by the Chief Justice a letter to him and to Mrs. Corona relative to this transaction, Your Honor, which we have earlier marked, asked to be marked as Exhibit  269 for the defense, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is that already marked?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We had it earlier marked, Your Honor, to save time but we are placing on record now that it was earlier marked, Your Honor, as Exhibit 269, Your Honor, which we are adopting now formally in connection with these impeachment proceedings, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Do you want it to be marked accordingly or it’s already marked?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It’s marked already, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then state it into the record.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  And also  a portion thereof which we cause to be underlined and among others which state, “My funds there should be more than  enough for the house and at least the basic pieces of furnitures per the estimate you sent me although we have been considering buying some other pieces of furniture here and shipping them to Manila”.  We requested that it be underlined, Your Honor,  and mark for identification purposes as Exhibit 269-A, Your Honor.    At the same time, we have requested for its earlier marking and we are adopting the same marking formally in these proceedings, Your Honor.  Furthermore, Your Honor, may we be  allowed …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the exhibit number of that portion that you …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  To be submarked as Exhibit 269-A, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’ve taken the liberty to having it pre-marked, just to save time and to move faster, Your Honor, expeditiously.

Furthermore, Your Honor, we request that another portion underlined at the back page thereof which states, “Actually, ito nga po ang one of the reasons why we’d like to have that house in McKinley Hill ASAP.”  And going further, “Nevertheless, we think it would be much better to raise the kids in the Philippines, not only because we want them to imbibe Filipino culture, but also because it’s been really difficult raising a family here without househelp and yayas.” which we have taken the liberty of, Your Honor, of earlier marking it as Exhibit 269-B, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … which we adopt as our own exhibits now, Your Honor, in this.  Now, …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  At this stage, Your Honor, please, for the prosecution, may we object on the grounds of hearsay and …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are not yet offering here.  We are only in the process of marking, Mr. Counsel.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Now, under the Rules of Court, when the grounds for objection arise, the objection must be raised immediately.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, ..

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, I’m putting that on record.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are not yet offering it so the objection may be …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let us avoid this discussion.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The court is intelligent enough to evaluate all …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

Now, we wanted to go further with other exhibits but we had always been guided by the fact that apparently the court is very much interested in disposing of this case earlier, that’s why we thought that with the closing of the statement of the Chief Justice, Your Honor, we would have signified our clear intention to abide by the desire of this impeachment court by way of disposing of this case as early as possible.

But if the court will be liberal enough to grant us further time, then we will likewise introduce or present other evidence.  For instance the accountant mentioned by the lawyer.  But we are afraid …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have already closed your direct examination.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, but …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The prosecution has already waived their right of cross-examination.  I think we have to conduct this proceedings in an orderly manner.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That’s correct, Your Honor.  But we will just—I will say we’re just challenge because of the query of the honourable Senator …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We cannot win or lose this case on the basis of arguments and debates.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Present evidence.  You have all done that.  In fact, we allowed the Chief Justice to testify for three hours without interruption, without any direct examination from the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We realize that, Your Honor, and for that, we are heavily indebted, Your Honor.  We are highly appreciative, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And there’s no cross-examination so it’s up to this court now to evaluate these.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay, then, Your Honor.  Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Mr. President, I don’t have enough time, Mr. Chief Justice, to ask the individual questions.  But this weekend while I evaluate and pray and the nation will be praying over us to make the right decision, I just wanted to make sure that each and every part of your story, I’ll make sure that I have, kung meron o walang ebidendsyang nandon para suportahan.

Mr. Chief Justice, yaon na rin pong pinirmahan …

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Excuse me po.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Go ahead.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Pwede po bang mag-interrupt?

Kasi po, katulad po nung pondo ng BGEI, yung naman ay na-establish na ni Mayor AtienzaTapos na binayad talaga.  Tapos, meron po namang kasama don sa pesos yung interes na kinita non for 11 years.  E yon po ay hindi—wala naman pa kaming papel na ebidensiya o nagse-certify na ito yung interes ng 11 years.

Pero, from common experience, alam naman natin na yung perang ganon ay kumikita naman po ng interes yon kaya naka-impute naman po lahat don.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Opo.  Yaon na rin pong pinirmahan nyo yung waiver, I congratulate you for that, and after the impeachment, I will ask the President to also ask his Cabinet to also sign a waiver.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Actually, nadinig ko po yung inyong pahayag about the …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Senator Ping and I have been consistent in the Arroyo administration, so what’s good for one should be good for everyone no.  But since we’re focused on this case , Sir, yaon na rin pong pinirmahan ninyo, I will just ask po, are you willing to reveal po kung magkano ang laman ng dollar accounts?

CJ CORONA.  Opo.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Magkano po ang laman?

CJ CORONA.  Sa mahigit kumulang po ay US$2.2 million pero gusto ko pong ipaliwanag iyon na hindi iyon ipinasok sa bangko ng $2.4 million, iyon po ay ibinili over so many years, at iyong exchange rate po noon ay nag-umpisa noong—noong una akong bumili ay 2:1 pa ho noong mga 60’s ay iniipon ko na po iyon, tapos iyong 2:1 po naging 3.70 or 3.80 po iyon, tapos naging 4 tapos naging floating rate po na mga 5.90 yata iyon and so on and so forth.

Iyong lahat ng panahong iyon ay nasa private sector naman po ako noon, wala ho ako sa gobyerno, at hindi naman po kasi—kung titingnan po ninyo iyong $2.4, around US$2.4 million, by present standards, siguro po, mga nasa halagang mga P90 billion, pero hindi ho talaga P90 million iyong halaga noon, kasi noong binili iyan, over the years, have different exchange rates which are much lesser than the present 45:1, kaya gusto ko lang pong ipaliwanag iyon.

At saka, in connection with that, naitanong po noong Tuesday, ni Senate President, ano ba iyong ano niyan?  Sabi ko, iyong paglalago niyan, iyong interes po ng money over the years, we are talking here of more than 35 years, kumikita po ng interes iyan na ipinaliwanag ko naman po, na simpleng-simple iyong buhay naming, hindi po kami mahilig doon sa mga sosyalan na mga ganyan kaya there was hardly ever any time na nagalaw namin iyong interes, kaya parati pong nagko-compound po lang iyan, ngayon, komo ako po ay nanggaling sa bangko, alam ko, iba’t-ibang bangko, iba’t-ibang rates ang ibinibigay, kaya iyong makikita po ninyo, iyong galaw niyan, kung tatawagin ninyo iyong mga manager, gumagalaw po iyong mga accounts, ang interpretasyon po ni Ombudsman noon, fresh funds na pumapasok, hindi po ganoon iyong nangyari doon, kasi gumagalaw lang po iyan from one account to another, kung saan po, makakakuha ng mas mataas na interes pag maturity, then, inililipat poi yon, hindi po fresh funds iyon.

Isa pa po, alam po naman ninyo, kayo naman po ay nagbabangko din, kapag magwi-withdraw kayo, magmamakaawa sa inyo ang manager, “O, wag naman, bababa iyong deposit level nitong branch ko, wag mo namang kunin lahat.”  Kaya minsan kalahati lang ang lumalabas, minsan, kalahati ang naiiwan, ganoon lang po ang nangyayari doon.  Ngayon, isa pang masasabi ko po diyan, tatanungin ninyo, bakit hindi ko naman nagagalaw iyong interes o hardly nagalaw iyong interes, sapagkat po, aside from the fact na napakasimpleng-simple iyong buhay namin, mayroon naman akong current stream of income na ginagamit panggastos namin pang-araw-araw.

For 45 years po, hindi po kami nakatikim na magbayad ng upa ng bahay or amortization on our house sapagkat po iyong tinitirhan po naming bahay na almost more than 40 years na po ay minana ko lang po sa aking mother, iyong pong mga ganoon iyong circumstances na iyon, kaya naman po lumago ng lumago iyong …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Thank you, Sir, for answering that directly.  Last question lang po, so, medyo lumilinaw po sa akin iyong depensa ninyo from the properties, peso accounts, and while we evaluate it, so, sa dollar account …

CJ CORONA.  Isa pa nga pala, nabanggit ninyo ang mga properties, kaya po kami maraming cash, nabanggit, napasadahan ko po noong Tuesday, buong buhay po namin we have been married for almost 43 years now, buong buhay po namin, wala po kaming nabiling malaking property o mamahaling property.  Lahat po ng pera namin talagang nakatali po sa cash.  Iyong bahay naming tinitirhan ngayon, iyon pa rin iyong bahay namin when we started, iyon hong unti-untin naming …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Except po for the properties admitted …

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Iyong mga condominium po, pero maunti-unti lang po iyon.  Kumbaga po iyon eh hindi po naman, I am sorry to use the term, hindi po mabonggang mga properties iyon.  Mga condominium units lang iyon.  Iyong isa nga po, 48 square meters lang, iyong isa, 62 square meters, mga ganoon lang po.  Tapos, nagkaroon po kami ng dalawang lote, pero lote wala naman pong bahay, nabili naming murang mura, pero nai-dispose na rin po namin para nga ipalit nga bayaran kung anuman iyong ipinagkukulang doon sa Belagio at saka doon sa Bonifacio Ridge.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Actually, sir, I am awkward asking you about this because, you know, asking a man to account, etc. and to tell his lifestyle, pero eto lang ho kasi talaga iyong issue.  But just to close with the last question ho, so ang depensa ninyo po doon sa dollar account, is that because of the law that guarantees secrecy, you did not declare it because your interpretation, I will just finish …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please wind up.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  … iyong interpretation, sir, of the law, and I heard some have also interpreted it the same way, pag dollar hindi kailangang i-declare, nasabi po ninyo iyon noong isinalaysay ninyo po noong Tuesday.  Ang tanong ko lang po, but wouldn’t that not give the—pag tiningnan ninyo po iyong letter and spirit noong SALN law, hindi tuloy po makikita iyong tunay na assets at iyong tunay na liability at iyong networth.  Kung ganoon ho ang magiging interpretation ng lahat, hindi po ba mangyayari pag nilagay na lang lahat ng pulitiko iyong pera nila sa dollars, hindi nila makikita ngayon kung talagang nagbabago iyong networth o hindi.  So, hindi na po sa inyo, but as public policy.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With due respect to the Gentleman, will you kindly go direct to your question.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Yes.  So, that is my question, sir.  If that is the interpretation of the honourable Chief Justice, wouldn’t that interpretation harm the main purpose of the SALN law?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Well, unang-una po, I don’t want to sound legalistic.  Ang legalistic ano po diyan eh, iyong isa general law, iyong isa special law, mayroong specific guaranty of confidentiality, iyong isa naman eh wala.  Pero, alam po ninyo, kung ngayon lang po ako nag-ipon ng mga dollars na iyan, maaaring sabihin po ninyong totoo iyan eh.  Pero matagal ko na pong iniipon iyong mga dolyares na iyan kasi doon po naming ini-invest iyong aming pera.  Maraming tao po pag nakaipon ng pera, ang tendency po, mag-invest sa bahay, lupa, bahay, kung medyo mataas-taas iyong kita mo, medyo mataas-taas ang stature mo sa lipunan, medyo sa exclusive subdivision.  Mga tipo pong ganoon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I remind you—Mr. Chief Justice, I was want to remind the Members of this court, our function is to elicit facts, not to call for an opinion in our interpretation of laws.  So we are tryers of facts.  So, proceed, Mr. Chief Justice.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  So, ganoon po iyon.  From the beginning po, iyong mga ibang tao nag-i-invest po ng lupa at bahay, nag-i-invest sa painting, nag-i-invest sa jewelries, nag-i-invest sa shares of stock.  Eh kami po, ang pinag-investan po namin foreign exchange po.  Kasi nga po, nai-explain ko po noong Tuesday iyon eh, kung bakit dollars eh.  Dahil napaka-stable noong currencying iyon, napaka-mabilis po tumaas ang halaga at hindi kami nagkamali.  Hindi kami nagkamali doon sa hedging in dollars.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Well, thank you for that, Mr. President, and thank you, Chief Justice.  I just wanted to know your interpretation of that law, not because I will agree or disagree, but I wanted to know, in evaluating the facts, if you were in good faith or not, or what was your state of mind when you formed the SALN because this sparked a debate nationwide from the barangay captains all the way to the President or the Cabinet members—kung ano dapat o hindi dapat isama sa SALN.  Thank you for those answers and your candor.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Wala pa po iyong FCDU Law, nag-iipon na po ako ng dollar.  Nag-i-invest na po kami sa dollar.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Thank you, sir.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  The President Pro-Tempore Senator Estrada, wishes to be recotnized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from San Juan.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Magandang hapon po, Mr. Chief Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Good afternoon po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Unang-una, ako po’y nakikisimpatiya po sa inyo. Alam ko po iyong nararamdaman ninyo, nararamdaman po ng pamilya ninyo sapagkat iyon po ay po naramdaman po namin 12 taon na ang nakakaraan. Halos lahat po ng batikos ay tinanggap po naming lalung-lalo na po si dating Pangulong Erap, pati iyong mga anak ko ay ininsulto sa kanilang mga eskwelahan. Ngunit, Ginoong Chief Justice, kailangan din po nating malaman ang buong katotohanan, kailangan pong malaman ng aking mga kapwa-Senador, kailangan din pong malaman ng taong-bayan ang buong katotohanan sa lahat po ng mga paratang laban po sa inyo.

Ang una ko pong katanungan, Ginoong Chief Justice, at any given point, did you have $12 million, in any or all of your foreign currency accounts?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  The answer po is never.

SEN. ESTRADA.   Never did you have?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Never at any time at $10, $11, $12 million.

SEN. ESTRADA. Magkano po iyong pinakamalaki?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Ngayon po siguro, iyong $2.4 million na iyon.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Doon po sa $2.4 million, doon po sa apat na account na sinabi ninyo, lahat na po iyong apat na account, combined, that amounts to $2.4?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  More or less po.

SEN. ESTRADA. Am I correct?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Yes.

SEN. ESTRADA. Alright.  Doon po sa peso account, you said you only have three peso accounts left since hindi na po namin ipapatawag iyong mga bank managers, I will take your words for it, Mr. Chief Justice.  I know you have an idea of how much do you have in your three peso accounts?  Can you give us a figure, Mr. Chief Justice?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Opo. Ang kwenta ko po ay mga humigit-kumulang mga 80, 8-0 million pesos. Eto po ay comingle funds, sinulat ko na nga po para hindi ko malimutan. Itong P80 million na ito, it can be broken down into the proceeds of the Basa Guidote property, the expropriation proceeds of the City of Manila, consisting of about P34.7 million.  Tapos, iyong kinita po nito ng Basa Guidote money na ito over 11 years na humigit-kumulang po ang estimate ko po ay siguro ay mga mga nasa mga P10 million.  Tapos, mayroon pong iyon nabanggit nga po iyong binasa namin exhibit dito ng anak kong si Charina Exh. 269, mayroon po siyang around P15 million broken down further into the savings that she had when—before she left for the State about 10 years ago at iyong mga pera niyang binibigay sa amin pagpunta namin doon, which is about once or twice a year at iyong pag-uwi niya rito which is usually two or three times a year binibigay niya sa amin.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Iyon pong sinasabi ninyo mga peso accounts ninyo iyon ba ho na ilagay ninyo po sa inyong SALN.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  May I just continue to explain.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Sige po.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Iyon nga po kay Charina for her house and savings mga—ang estimate ko po ngayon mga around P15 million.  Tapos, iyung kinita po ninyo itong comingled funds na ito sa BPI ay ang estimate ko po, siguro mga 6 to 8 million na po by now over the years, malaki na po. At iyong mayroon din pong nanggaling doon sa anak kong si Carla na four million.  By the way, si Carla po, ang anak kong si Carla matagal din po sa America iyan, she is a license physical therapist also in three states in the United States and she earned quite a some of money when she came home to get married to her husband Dr. Castillo, so, naglagay po siya ng P4 million from her savings at saka si Francis po meron po siyang two million from his own.  Kung tatanungin po bakit nandun iyong kay Carla at kay Francis, sapagkat po mas malaki po ‘yung deposit, mas malaki po ‘yung interest na nakukuha namin.  Ngayon, may isa pang component po ‘yan, iyong tinatawag naming Corona fund named after my mother iyong kinwento ko po sa inyo nung Tuesday about a few years before my mother actually died in 1995, nung mga 1990 po ibinigay nya sa akin ‘yung cash na nasa pangalan pa nya na inihabilin nya sa akin, sabi nya, kukunin mo na lang dyan lahat ng pagpapagamot sa akin, at ‘yung mga gamot ko,  doctor, at iyon na nga po iyong kanyang funeral expenses dahil siguradong darating doon.  And by the way, just a point of interest, nung nagka-cancer po iyong mother ko, inoperahan po siya, ang doctor po nya ay ‘yong asawa ng ating Senate Secretary, si Dr. Reyes po sa  UST, iyon po ang nag-opera sa mother ko.  Ako po ang nagbayad ng lahat ng bill na iyon pati sa UST at all the medications until she died.  At nabanggit ko din po nung Tuesday, na iyong aking kuya, si Arturo, si Toti, dati pong DOTC Secretary nong panahon ni President Cory, malubha na po ‘yung kalagayan nya ngayon, meron po siyang sakit sa puso at saka scoliosis na hindi na po siya nakakapagtrabaho.  Iyong ibinibigay ko po sa kanyang P15-20,000/month panggastos po sa doctor at saka sa gamot nya, dito ko po kinukuha at iyong pinagpa-opera naming sa kanya, iyong nagpa-stent po siya, limang stent po about two or three years ago, na nagkagasta po kami about a million, or a little over a million, dito ko po rin kinuha sa pondong ito.  Ito po ay total mga P80.7 million.

SEN. SOTTO.  Maraming salamat ho,Ginoong Chief Justice.  Doon po sa P80 million na ‘yan, sa aking pagkakaintindi, iyon ba ho ay co-mingled accounts na po ‘yon?  Kasama na po iyong pera ng misis nyo, pera ng anak nyo at pera ninyo?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Actually, not strictly pera ng misis ko, pera ng Baa-Guidote po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Okay, lahat na po iyon?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Oho, may co-mingled pa kasi po nakakakuha po kami ng malalaki at matataas na interes e pag malaki po ‘yung deposit.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Opo.  Ginoong Chief Justice, kasi nag-testify po si Ombudsman Morales dito po sa impeachment court, na halos talagang kami ay nabigla at halos napapaniwala nya kami na talagang meron po kayong—can I have a minute extension, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  You have additional.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Nagkaroon ng—meron ho kayong 82 dollar account in a total of 12 million dollars.  Sinabi nyo and you did not denied it flatly that you only have, as of now, 2.4 million dollars.  Never in a point in time na nagkaron ho kayo ng 10, 11, 12 million dollars.  Am I right?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Never po, never.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Alright.  As a member of the JBC, you are the Chairman as Chief Justice, am I right?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Chairman po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Yes.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  By law po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  According to the Ombudsman, you did not vote for her to be included in the shortlist for the Office of the Ombudsman.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Opo.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Why is that so, Mr. Chief Justice?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Kasi po ano e, I would like to be honest, siguro, although we were civil to each other, e, alam po naman ninyo, in any—siguro, may undercurrent na po nong  distrust or sabihin natin, for lack of a better word may element na po sigurong basta hindi kami magka alyado at ano po ba ang ibig sabihin noon?  Kasi po alam naman po ninyo noong kami, ng mabakante po yong posisyon ng Chief Justice noong 2010, noong nag-retire po si former Chief Justice Puno, isa po sa mga contender dyan ay yong pinsan ni Ombudsman Morales, si Justice Antonio Carpio, at siguro doon po nagsimula yon.  At saka alam ko kakampi sya sa pinsan nya siyempre hindi naman sya kakampi sa akin.

SEN. ESTRADA.    So doon ho nagsimula yong inyong animosity, noong nagpipilian ng…

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Well, hindi pa po animosity doon pero medyo yong siguro, for lack of a better term, as I said, distrust, whatever that means.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Sya po ang walang tiwala sa inyo o kayo po ang walang tiwala sa kanya?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Siguro pareho po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Pareho?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Tapos may nangyari pong incident pa after that noong—ah hindi before that noong ako na nga po ang nahirang na Chief Justice, I felt there were many times to be careful about what I say.  Medyo nagkakagirian kami although in a very subtle way ni Justice Carpio.  Siguro natural lang po sa isang collegial body yong ganon pero napupuna ko na even if I felt na tama ako, hindi ako kinakampihan ni Justice Morales, kakampi sa pinsan nya for the sake of ano, at least that’s how I felt.  Maybe she has her own version of things.  But ganon po yong nangyari noon until dumating na nga po yong kanyang retirement ay humihingi po sya ng isang napakalaking badyet for her retirement.  Sabi ko  hindi naman yan yong usual badyet ng retirement ng Justice of the Supreme Court.  Masyadong, almost, I cannot remember anymore the exact figure pero at least po malaki po talaga, malaki po ang hinihingi nyang badyet.  Sabi ko hindi pwede.  Siguro minasama nya yong ganon.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Ibig nyo pong sabihin humihingi sya ng malaking badyet sa kanyang…

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  No, not personally po ano.  I will have to hasten to say na hindi naman si Chief Morales yong pumunta sa opisina ko at sinasabing bigyan mo ako ng ganitong badyet.  In fairness to her, hindi naman po.  Actually ang nagsabi sa akin yong Clerk of Court  at siguro doon na nya dinadaan sa Clerk of Court yong hiling nya sa akin.  So ganon po, hindi ko sya napagbigyan.  Ang binigay ko lang po sa kanya yong usual level ng binibigay sa retiring Justice.  Kasi hindi ko naman po maintindihan kung bakit special budget yong sa kanya na hindi naman nae-enjoy noong ibang Justice.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Magkano po ang hinihingi, Chief Justice?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Hindi ko po maalala pero malaki po, siguro mga…

SEN. ESTRADA.  Magkano ba ho yong regular ano retirement…

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Ang regular badyet po ng retirement for a Justice po ay nasa mga P500,000 to P600, 000, mga ganoon po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  P500,000.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Oho.  Pero hindi naman yon binibigay sa kanila in cash.  Pwede kung gusto ninyong mag sabbatical leave, pwede nyong gamitin sa retirement program, pwede nyong gamitin sa retirement party, yong ganon po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  So ano ho yon, doble o triple ang hinihingi ng Clerk of Court?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Pagkatanda ko hindi naman umabot ng triple, hindi naman po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Doble lang?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  At least po, at least.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Meron po ba kayong ibang alam na rason kung bakit ho sya magte-testify laban po sa inyo bukod doon sa mga sinabi nyo po?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  I think po, I’m sorry I really apologize to this court to have to say it pero may tanong po si Senator Jinggoy Estrada.  Palagay ko po nagpagamit si Ombudsman sa Malacañang.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Pano nyo po nasabi yon, Ginoong Chief Justice.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  E kasi naman po, winagayway niya rito yung isang dokumento ng supposedly or allegedly coming from the AMLC.  Parang hindi naman po tama yon kasi ni hindi naman po authenticated yung dokumentong yon.  Wala naman po akong alam na guilty ako nung isang predicate crime.  Alam ko naman hindi naman ako iniimbistiga.  Wala namang court order.  Wala akong ganito, wala akong ganyan, and yet naglabas na po siya nung alleged AMLC report na yon at PinowerPoint presentation pa dito.

May isa pa pong bagay na kinakataka ko doon sa pangyayaring yon e.  Kasi po, pinadalhan niya ako ng sulat, pinasasagot niya ko within 72 hours.  Ngayon, nakalagay po don sa taas ng papel niya, in bold black letters, “Strictly Confidential.”

Nung natanggap po ng opisina ko yung sulat ni Ombudsman Morales, naka-seal po yung envelope e, thick brown envelope, at nasa Baguio po kami kasi nagsa-summer session kami.  Nung kami ay bumaba na sa Maynila, at saka ko pa lang po nakuha yung mga dokumentong galing kay Ombudsman Morales na nakaselyado pa po.  Sealed, sealed pa po.  Ibig sabihin, hindi pa po nabubuksan ng any member of my staff in Manila.

Ang pinagtataka ko lang po, “Strictly Confidential,” pero may kopya po yung Philippine Daily Enquirer.  Corona—I forgot how they worded the banner—banner headline po e.  Linggo pa, natatandaan ko.  It was a Sunday issue of the Philippine Daily Enquirer.  And obviously pag nagpa-publish kayo ng ganon in a newpaper like the Enquirer ay for maximum damage po yon e.  For maximum damage to reputation.  Nakalagay “Corona has 12 million or 10 million US dollars”.  Kino-quote yung sulat ni Ombudsman Morales.

Sino po nagbigay sa Enquirer nung sulat e sabi “Strictly Confidential.”  Hindi naman ho manggagaling sa akin.  Obviously, hindi naman ako magbibigay non sa Enquirer.  At yung kopya ko, naka-seal pa ho yung envelope e nung nakuha ko, nung pagbaba namin sa Maynila.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Ginoong Chief Justice, nung isiniwalat po ni Ombudsman Morales na mayron kayong di-umano’y 82 dollar accounts, at agad-agad sinabi nyo kinabukasan sa media na papatunayan ninyo na wala kayong 82 dollar accounts at wala kayong 12 million.  At sinabi nyo pa rin sa TV o sa mga pahayagan na hinahamon ninyo na magbitiw sa tungkulin si Ombudsman oras na mapatunayan ninyo na wala kayong 82 dollar accounts at wala kayong 12 million dollars.  Yan po ay hamon nyo pa rin hanggang ngayon?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Opo.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Hinahamon nyo pa rin si Ombudsman Morales …

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Na mag-resign?

SEN. ESTRADA.  … na mag-resign?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Opo.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Kayo po, hindi kayo magre-resign?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Hindi po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Salamat po.

SUSPENSION OF HEARING

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  One-minute suspension.  (Gavel)

It was 4:24 p.m.

At 4:28 p.m., the trial was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The trial is resumed.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, the witness is in the restroom.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is suspended.  Let us wait for the Chief Justice.

It was 4:29 p.m.

4:35, session resumed.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session resumed

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we are ready to resume with the continuation of clarification. May we recognize Senator Drilon, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo has the floor, Senator Drilon.

SEN. DRILON.  Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to raise a few clarificatory questions.

Mr. Chief Justice, we go back to the issue in this impeachment trial.  The issue is whether or not you reflected correctly in your Statement of Liabilities, Assets, and Networth your assets for the years in question.  And just to save time, I have prepared the PowerPoint presentation which will show to you our analysis of your accounts and amounts reported in the various accounts.  Can we start with year 2005?

In the year 2005, your SALN reflected a deposit of cash of P3,300,000.00. We checked the evidence and the evidence on record show a BPI peso account with the balance of P149,767.36 and some substantial dollar accounts as reflected there. If you go back to 2005, the total dollars reflected per records, per the evidence on record is $700,265.12 and in fact, some of these dollar accounts were reflected in what you have presented to this Court as the log-tern(?), specifically, I refer in, for example, PSBank Cainta Account No. 14100712, per your presentation, you opened this on January 14, 2005 with the deposit of 57,000 as reflected in the AMLaC report and it was closed on 6 October 2008 per your own presentation. And a credit memo for deposit of $15,242 on July 19 2005, this on page five of Exh. 11. (Bell ringing)

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Continue. You may have additional two minutes.

SEN. DRILON.  Alright. So, can we just go quickly.

2005, this is the SALN and the accounts.

2006, your report of 2.5 million, the total 2006 is  $700,265.12  and a total of 153,000.

2007, SALN 2.5 million, total peso deposits P10,087,966.44; total dollar deposits $414,611.39.

2008, SALN 2.5 million, total peso deposits, P1,525,887.00; total dollar deposits, $768,733.96.

2009, SALN 2.5 million, total peso deposits, P9.1 million; dollar, $768,733.96 and 2010 total SALN reflection of cash 3.5 million, total peso deposits P31,752,623.00 and dollar deposit of $768,733.96.

Now, you just mentioned that you have $2.4 million and P80.7 million.  Apparently, none of which has been reflected in your SALNs, Mr. Chief Justice, is that correct?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Yes, sir, but I already explained that last Tuesday. And the reason was because I believe that the dollar  deposits need not be reported in the SALN because of Republic Act 6426.

SEN. DRILON.  Okay.  So…

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Iyong pesos naman po, gaya po nung ipinaliwanag ko, hindi ko pa rin nireport ‘yun kasi co-mingled funds ‘yon ng hindi—sa pangangasiwa ko lang po iyon hindi naman po sa amin ‘yon.

SEN. DRILON.  Okay.  Iyon po ay sa pangangasiwa mo.  Ngunit hindi ba dapat iyong pera na nasa pangangasiwa mo ay dapat ireport mo rin at iyong corresponding liability ay ireport mo.  Halimbawa, 34.7 million ang inyong hawak for BGEI,  iyan po ay liability, ngunit iyan din po ay assets, hindi po ba ‘yun?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Pardon me, Senator, pero hindi po ako accountant.

SEN. DRILON.  Okay, sige.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Hindi po ako nakakaintindi nung mga asset-liability debit-credit na ‘yan.  Ang naintindihan ko lang po, iyong ordinaryong pagkakaintindi ng abogado diyan, na hindi naman akin, hindi ko naman inutang, kaya hindi ko naman po kelangang ireport.

SEN. DRILON.  Okay, sige.  So, factually there is no dispute there, you did not report it, in the same manner that you did not report your dollars because in your view the law provide you full secrecy of the dollar accounts.  Now, when did you start depositing your dollar—last question, when did you start depositing your vanishing dollars in the banks?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Siguro po mga, kung hindi po ako nagkakamali, mga 1972, 1973, mga ganun po, kasi bagamat nagpapapalit na po kami ng dollar non, nung umpisa po ay hindi naman kayo mag-open ng dollar accounts sa bangko eh.   Kasi po at that time, I think, the government was—you were required to, at least, a businessmen those who were earning dollars from their businesses had to sell under their dollars.  Iyong mga ordinaryong tao po katulad natin na magbibyahe, halimbawa, tapos may sosobra e hindi na natin ibinabalik sa bangko ‘yun, tinatago na natin ‘yun.  Kung merong kaibigan na mangangailangan ng pesos, meron siyang dollar, gusto mong bilin ‘yung dollar ko, o, sige bibilin iyong dollar mo, itinatago lang po natin ‘yun, hindi po pwede mag-deposito nun eh.  Nong mga ’72, ’73, hindi ko pa maintindihan ‘yung year na yon, parang naglabas po ang—wala pa po ‘yung FCDU Law.  Ang tawag pa yata nila don iyong parang 343 account yata ang tawag dun eh, ‘yung Central Bank Circular No. 343 allowing people who had dollars to open dollar accounts.  Pero parang nag-umpisa yata po ‘yun, kung hindi ako nagkakamali, around ’72 or ’73.  Doon lang po ako nakapagdeposito nun.

SEN. DRILON.  For the record, the FCDU account started in 1974.  Thank you very much, Mr. Chief Justice.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we recognize Sen…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is next?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If the court will allow me, Your Honor, may I just be given only one minute, Your Honor, to make a short statement.  I notice in their—I’m sorry, Your Honor, I am not yet permitted.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the Gentleman from the defense?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  Because there is a…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is your pleasure?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There is a statement there, Your Honor, that per testimony of Mr. Garcia, there was something 738,000 dollars, Your Honor.  I understand, based on the record of the proceedings, if I am correct, because I was going over them several nights, this was not pursued by Mr. Garcia because there is a restraining order, Your Honor.  And we do not know, it was not even marked, Your Honor, neither the amount.  And he was very clear before this court that in view of this restraining order, Your Honor, he cannot proceed with his testimony on this dollar accounts.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, we record your manifestation.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN.DRILON.  Can I just respond to the manifestation, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes, that is correct.  Mr. Garcia only testified on the account number.  The amount of 768,000  is reflected in the AMLA report which has the same account number ending 0373. That is the account number identified by Mr. Garcia as existing and owned by the Chief Justice in the amount of $716,733.96 is reflected in the AMLC report with the same account number.  Just to clarify.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I would not go any further, Your Honor, because I’m worried that I might incur the displeasure of the entire impeachment court.  But the AMLC report is under question, there is no authentication.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no. no, no.  You can speak but I would like to remind the defense that the Ombudsman was your witness…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … and whatever she presented here will be treated as a part of your evidence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No.  But if we go by the rules of procedure and evidence, Your Honor,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the material rule of evidence on this?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If the court allows the introduction of the testimony of a witness who is hostile, his or her testimony shall not be considered as against the party calling him to the stand, neither will it be considered as testimony as against the other party, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What section of the rules of evidence would that be?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is the—if I recall correctly, Your Honor, it’s a jurisprudence on the point, Hong Kong Bank versus, volume 53.  I have it before but…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, we will evaluate this matter and we will study the rules.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor, thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you.  Mr. President, may we recognize Senator Pangilinan.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Pangilinan.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Magandang hapon po, Ginoong Chief Justice.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE.  Magandang hapon po sa inyo.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Sabi po nyo kanina po meron po kayong $2.4 million na dollar account at nasa pangalan po ninyo at P80 million sa pangalan po ninyo na hindi pa ho kasama yong mga nakapangalan po sa inyong ari-arian ano.  Sa SALN po ninyo noong 2010, P22 milyon lang po ang nakalagay.  Hindi ho ba pagka tayo po ay nagdeklara ng ating statement of assets and liabilities and net worth ay  kinakailangan ilagay po ang lahat po ng assets.  Meron po kayong dahilan, sabi po ninyo merong absolute confidentiality.  Pero hindi ho ba  napakalayo po noong P22 million na dineklara po ninyo doon sa $2.4 million nasa pangalan po ninyo at yongP80 milyon din po na nasa pangalan po ninyo?  Para hong napakalawak po noong pagkakaiba.  Would  you care to comment?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Opo.  Yong as far as the pesos are concerned ay hindi ko po talagang nilagay yon dahil hindi naman amin yon.  Ang sinabi ko nga po yon ay co-mingled funds.  Yong dollars naman po ay nandoon sa batas po yon.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Opo, okay at nabanggit na po ninyo.  Kung susundan po natin yong inyo pong argumento  bilang Chief Justice po at kayo po ang nagsasabi po noong mga batas, ano po ang dapat sundan, ano po ang intepretasyon, hindi ho ba tayo mauuwi na lahat po ng ating mga opisyal ng pamahalaan pwede pong gawin ito, sundan po yong inyong ginagawa na ang idedeklara lang po nila ay P10 milyon pero meron pa ho silang dollar account dahil nga hindi sila nagdeklara?  Maaari pong mangyari po yon hindi po ba?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  May posibilidad po pero ipinaliwanag ko po kanina yan. When Senator Cayetano was at the rostrum, ipinaliwanag ko po kanina yan.  Sinabi ko po sa inyo na yong kung halimbawa ngayon lang ako nag-ipon nyang mga dollar na yan ngayong nasa gobyerno ako, siguro mapapag-isipan ninyo na bakit ganon na yan,  tinatago ko.  Pero hindi naman po ganon ang sitwasyon noon.  Kasi Far East Bank, noong mga Far East Bank days pa po nag-iipon ako, nandoon na po  sa bangko yan.  Nasa pribado pa po ako.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Opo.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  At saka isa pa po, kung tinatago ko pa yon, bakit ko po ilalagay sa pangalan ko kung tinatago ko yong dollar na yon.

SEN. PAN GILINAN.  Iyon din po ang tanong ko po. Kung talaga pong inipon po ng napakaraming taon at sa malinis na paraan po, …

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Opo.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  … bakit—meron ho bang masama na ideklara po ninyo kahit na po mayroong absolute confidentiality?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Hindi na nga po kailangan ideklara kasi nasa batas po mismo yon.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Oo nga po, pero yun lang po ang tanong ko, kung sa malinis na paraan po nakuha ho ito, ano hong masama na ideklara po?  Yun lang po ang aking katanungan.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Ang pagkakaintindi ko po, ang absolute confidentiality na under Republic Act 6436 ay absolute, wala pong exception yon e.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yun po ang depensa po ninyo na hindi po dapat ideklara?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Opo.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  At dahil po depensa po ninyo yon, ang tanong ko lang po, meron ho kasi tayong probisyon sa ating Saligang Batas, yun pong Section 17, Article II na nagsasabi na dapat po, under oath we declare our assets, liabilities and net worth.  Kung meron pong Saligang Batas na probisyon na nagsasabing dapat po nating ilabas yung ating SALN,—(Bell rings) May I we just have one more minute, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  Proceed.  (Gavel)

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Ano hong mangingibabaw, yung isang batas o yung Saligang Batas?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  E dun din naman po tutuloy e.  Kasi nakalagay po sa Saligang Batas, as may be provided by law.  E yun po yung law e.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Well, yun po ang magiging—Well, maaaring i-argue po yon, ang posisyon lang po natin and for the record, the Republic Act 6426 is a 1973 law, and the 1987 Constitution is a later law and it is the Constitution.  So, …

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Nabanggit po ninyo yung word na malinis, kung nanggaling sa malinis na paraan, kaya nga po kanina, nagbigay na po ako ng waiver at sinabi ko nga po that I don’t mind you calling the bank managers.  Kasi po, yung account officer ko po sa BPI, siya po ang makakapag-testify dito at makakapagsabi sa inyo na siya na rin mismo, nung FarEast Bank pa sila, inaalagaan na yung mga account kong yan.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Salamat po.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Kaya nga po vinolunteer ko na nga po yung sabing yon.  Tawagin na sila e.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Nag-rule na po ang ating Presiding Officer tungkol po ron ano.

Don po sa usapin po nung cash advance na 11 million dahil ito po ay nilagay po ninyo sa inyo SALN, hindi po sa inyo yung pera, yung Basa Guidote, pera po ng Basa Guidote, pero sa inyong pangalan po nakalagay.  Bakit po sa pangalan po ninyo kung hindi sa inyo?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Pinaliwanag ko po sa isang interview.  Tinanong po sa akin yun e.  Sinabi ko po, kasi nakalagay nga po yan at that time yung mga time deposits, nagma-mature po yan e.  At that time, my wife was president and chairman John Hay Management Corporation sa Baguio.

Kadalasan po hindi naman nagma-mature—yung pagro-roll over niyan weekday po e kasi wala naman pong banking day Sabado’t Linggo.  For convenience lang po actually yan na nasa pangalan ko.

Pero ang imprtante po diyan ay even if it was in my name, we never denied that it belong to Basa Guidote.  As in fact, paulit-ulit pa kami dito sa impeachment trial na ito na ina-acknowledge namin na yang perang yan, Basa Guidote.

At second thing po, Senator, the other important thing here is the money is intact.  Wala pong nabawas diyan.  Intact.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Opo.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  And even now, right now, here and now, sinasabi ko, ina-acknowledge po namin na hindi amin yon.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, umutang po kayo sa perang hindi po sa inyo?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Hindi po utang, bumale po.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  A, nag-cash advance.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Cash advance po.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  At binabayaran po ninyo?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Opo.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, account po ninyo, kayo po ang umutang, hindi ho sa inyong pera pero nasa pangalan po ninyo.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Actually po, yung wife ko po.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Kaya po nung pinambili po namin yan nung La Vista, yun titulo po—wala po sa pangalan naming.  Wala po ang pangalan ko sa titulo e.  Nasa pangalan po ng wife ko.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, pag binabayaran po ninyo taon-taon, binabayaran po ninyo yung tseke sa pangalan din po ninyo?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Merong minsan po tseke minsan po cash.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, dine-deposit po ninyo sa inyong account yung utang po ninyo

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Basta nakalagay po cash, binibigay ko sa wife ko, bahala na siya.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Hindi po namin alam ang actual net worth po ninyo dahil nga po base don sa SALN ho ninyo, P22 million.  Pero base po sa salaysay po ninyo, mas malaki.  Magkano po ang net worth po ninyo sa inyong palagay?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Wala po akong calculator pero binigay ko na po yung mga figure sa inyo.  As far as I’m concerned, yan po ang actual, accurate figures.  It’s a matter of adding them up po.

Kung gusto ninyo pong isasama yung dollar despite the 64-26, at saka kung isasama din nyo yung pesos kahit na iyong hindi amin.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Bakit po doon ninyo winithdraw lahat noong Basa-Guidote accounts noong December 12, noong impeachment day?

CJ CORONA.  Sasabihin ko po sa inyo ang totoo, kasi po, marami pa rin naman po akong naiwang mga kaibigan at saka mga kumpa-kumpare doon sa Malacañang e.  Ilan po sa kanila ang tumawag sa akin, ipi-freeze iyong mga deposits naming, kung palagay ko, kung kayo po ay nasa lagay ko, palagay ko, pareho din ho ang gagawin ninyo e, pangangalagaan ninyo iyong pinaghirapan ninyo sa buong buhay ninyo at iyong mga perang hindi naman sa inyo.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Nabanggit ho sa isang interview na nawalan na po kayo ng tiwala sa PS Bank kaya po ninyo winithdraw.

CJ CORONA.  Hindi po, doon sa manager po, iyon po ang—lilinawin ko po iyon.  Na-disappoint kami doon sa manager po.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Kasi ang nakalagay po, PS Bank, nawalan na kayo ng tiwala sa bangko kaya po winithdraw po ninyo.

CJ CORONA.  Siguro pagre-report na lang po iyon.  Ang sabi ko po, iyong manager po, nawalan kami ng tiwala.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Dahil noong winithdraw po ninyo, sa PS Bank din po ninyo dineposit.

CJ CORONA.  Hindi po nag-deposit, mali po kayo, Mr. Senator.  Iyong sinasabi ninyong ni-redeposit namin sa PS Bank, iyon po ang settlement account kasi kapag nag-terminate kayo ng time deposit certificate, hindi naman iyong palitan ng cash at saka time deposit e.  Alam na alam naman po natin sa magta-transact sa bangko, iyon po, ang halaga po noon, iyong net proceeds pong iyon, ipapasok muna sa tinatawag na settlement account, at doon ninyo iwi-withdraw.  Isang transaksyon lang poi yon e.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  We will have to check the records because if I recall, sabi po ng PS Bank President na—tinanong ko po iyon e, winithdraw lahat, saan ho napunta?  At sabi po niya, doon din po sa bangko ng PS Bank …

CJ CORONA.  Ako na po ang nagsasabi sa inyo niyan, mali po ang interpretasyon niya, kasi alam ko po iyong nangyari e, ipinasok po sa settlement account iyon.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  One more question, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  It is okay, Mr. President, nasagot na po iyong iba kong tanong, salamat po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we recognize Senator Francis Escudero.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Sorsogon has the floor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Actually, I just have a few questions, first to defense counsel, Justice Cuevas, since you already rested your case, does that mean to say na hindi niyo na ipiprisinta iyong mga dokumento ng bangko base sa waiver ni Chief Justice Corona para i-dispute iyong report ng AMLC?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Hindi pa po kami—mukha pong hind ayos iyong inyong pronouncement na nag-close na kami ng evidence.  Hindi pa po.  We have not yet close our evidence.  We made a commitment on record that we will have no other witness other than the Chief Justice, but as to the closing of our evidence, we have not yet closed, we have not even made a formal offer of our documentary exhibits.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Babaguhin ko po ng kaunti, ang sasabihin ko po ay ito, dahil po wala na kayong ibang testigo, ibig sabihin po nito, hindi niyo na gagamitin, anumang dokumentong maaaring makuha mula sa waiver ni Chief Justice Corona, para patunayang hindi totoo iyong AMLC report o kung totoo iyong AMLC report.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Hindi na po kami hahantong sa ganoong pagkakataon dahil—I am sorry—dahil hindi naman po naming ebidensya iyon e.  All we did was to comply with the—shall we say, pronouncement or the order of this honorable court, in order to show our obedience, our respect for the authority of this court, Your Honor.  But as to whether we will utilize whatever document is procured to—there is no commitment on record to that effect, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Justice Cuevas.

May I address some questions to the prosecution.  May I address it to either Atty. Bautista or perhaps, the lead prosecutor.  This is more policy and tactic on the part of the prosecution really, may I address this to Congressman Tupas.  Congressman Tupas apat na buwan na nating ipinagsisigawan, pati kayo, na magpirma na ng waiver si Chief Justice Corona.  Ngayong pumirma na siya ng waiver, maaari ko po bang tanungin, papaano ninyo planong gamitin itong waiver na ito, kung gagamitin man ninyo, dahil ang tagal na ho ninyong hinahamon din, at namin hinahamon ang Punong Mahistrado na pumirma ng waiver.  Ngayong nandiyan na po iyan, ano pong balak ninyong gawin?

REP. TUPAS.  Napag-usapan namin na, on the part of the prosecution, ay tapos na, nag-rest na kami ng kaso namin at nagre-rely kami doon sa AMLC report, at sa testimony of the  Ombudsman, at wala na kaming rebuttal evidence.  So, as far as the prosecution is concerned, sarado na ang aming kaso.  And we are preparing now for the closing arguments on Monday.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Naguguluhan lamang po ako dahil nagbotohan pa kami kung gagalangin ba iyong TRO ng Supreme Court o hindi, nagdebate at nag-away-away kami kung bubuksan ba iyong mga account o hindi, ngayong bukas na, parang wala ng interesado bigla.  Hindi ko ho maintindihan iyon.

REP. TUPAS.  Kasi, kanina, mayroon na rin dito kaninang ruling ang ating Presiding Officer na hindi na rin ipi-prisenta ng defense, wala na ring additional evidence with respect doon sa waiver at nag-agree ang prosecution na nag-rest na rin kami ng aming kaso, wala kaming rebuttal evidence.  Iyon po ang napag-usapan kanina dahil nag-usap din kami ng defense counsel about this, Senator Escudero.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Sa panig po namin, maliwanag na hindi kami puwedeng mag-prisinta ng ebidensya at ipanalo ang kaso sa panig man ng depensa o ng prosekyusyon.  Subali’t sa punto rebista at sa mata namin man o ng publiko, parang malaking kawalan kung saka-sakali iyong pagkakataong ibinibigay nito para mapalakas, mapatunayan o mapahina ang posisyon ng magkabilang panig.  Ang hinihimok ko sana, magkabilang panig, para po sa amin at sa publiko, pakinabangan at gamitin ho natin itong pagkakataong ito, pero hindi po namin kayo kayang diktahan, at hindi ko ho kayo dinidiktahan kaugnay nito.

Just one more point, Mr. President.  Through the distinguished Chief Justice.

CJ, magandang hapon po.  Ang dating po sa akin ng inyong testimonya ay …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Excuse me.  Because he was already complaining to us that he is not feeling well anymore.  So, I wanted to bring that to the knowledge of the court and ask the court’s permission to kindly excuse the witness already.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Tapusin na lang po natin si Senator Escudero, kung puwede.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Kung mamarapatin po ninyo, CJ, isa na lamang po.  Paumanhin po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, the Chief Justice is excused.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Tatapusin na lang po natin si Senator Escudero.

SEN. ESCUDRO.  Inamin po ninyo na mayroon kayong dollar deposits at peso deposits na wala sa SALN ninyo.  Subali’t ang pagkakaintindi ko po. co-mingled iyong ibang peso deposits and hindi ninyo kailangang ideklara iyong dollar deposits base sa inyong paniniwala na dahil sa 6426 ay hindi ninyo po ito kailangang ideklara.  Tama po ba iyong pagkakaintindi ko?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Oho.  Because of the absolute confidentiality rule po.  Kasi sa aking pag-aaral po noong batas, talagang hindi naman po nire-require na unless, rather, let me rephrase what I am trying to say.  Iyong requirement po ng confidentiality ay guaranteed by 6426.  At nabanggit ko po noong Tuesday, sinayt ko po iyong pag-aaral ni Director Estrella Martinez na SALN expert po ng BIR for 32 years.  Sa kanya pag-aaral in her 32 years ng pagsusuri ng mga iba’t ibang SALN as a member of the BIR, SALN group, wala pa po siyang nakitang kahit na isang SALN ng public official na nagtaglay po ng dollar deposits kaya, kaya siguro po, malinaw naman po iyong batas, eh, hindi naman po nating kailangan i-belabor. Kung malinaw lang po iyong batas, siguro, wala namang choice ang lahat ng tao kung hindi ilagay po iyong dollar deposits.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  So, ibig sabihin po, Chief Justice, inilalagay ninyo na po sa kamay ng Hukumang ito ang pagdesisyon ang mangyayari po sa inyo at depende kung sumasang-ayon po kami sa interpretasyong iyan na binigay ninyo o hindi. Dahil …

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Ang sinasabi ko po, Senator, there seems to be a conflict between the SALN Law and the FCDU Law. Hindi naman po ngayon lang ako nagipon ng dollars na iyan noong araw po noong nasa pribado pa ako. Ngayon, kung biglang sasabihin sa akin ninuman, “O, mali ka, dapat nilagay mo.”  Sabi ko, ang sasabihin ko naman po, “Ano iyong pagbabasihan ko po naman noon, eh, I relied on the law.” Ayun po ang sabi ng batas. Iyon din po ang sabi ng Constitution “as may be provided by law.” Eh, iyong law pong iyon, eh, iyong nga iyong FCDU Law na iyan. So, tiningnan ko din po kung mayroong mga desisyon nitong nagumpisa ng impeachment trial na ito. Tiningnan ko po kung mayroong desisyon ang Korte Suprema interpreting which prevails whether it is the SALN or the FCDU Law, eh, wala naman pong desisyon din ang Korte Suprema tungkol diyan, so, I relied on it in good faith.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Maraming salamat po CJ at isa na lamang po, binabati ko po kayo sa pagpirma noong waiver ng Secrecy of Bank Deposits gaya ng FCDU, mayroon na ho kaming panukalang batas tungkol diyan na naglalayong lahat ng opisyal na required mag-file ng SALN ay magpirma po ng waiver ng secrecy of bank deposits. Sana po ito’y mapagtibay sa lalong madaling panahon.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  It’s the least I can do po for our people for transparency para sa ang taong-bayan ko po ginawa iyon.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Salamat po, CJ. Salamat po.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Salamat din po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Majority Floor Leader.  Mr. Chief Justice …

SEN. SOTTO.   Because of—yes …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you …

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … requesting to …

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  I am very, very tired already.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Alright. The witness is discharged.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, before the Chief Justice actually leave the witness stand, Your Honor, may we just place on record the medical bulletin which we took liberty, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Actually, counsel, the Chief Justice is discharged, you can make your manifestation, so that he will not suffer on the witness stand.

SEN. SOTTO. Yes.  He may step down while Justice Cuevas is manifesting, Mr. President, or giving his manifestation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.     The defense counsel can make a manifestation on the podium of the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you. Thank you, Your Honor. What we are trying to request, Your Honor, this Honorable Court is for us to permit to put into evidence, Your Honor, this medical bulletin, Your Honor, as part of the testimony of the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.     You submit it and I will accept it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor. As Exh. 268, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.     Granted.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, may I have a one-minute suspension.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   One-long minute suspension.

5:09 session suspended.

5:09 session resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Session resumed. Now, what is the pleasure of the defense?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, since we have closed the testimony of the respondent, the Honorable Chief Justice, Your Honor, we are asking permission that we be allowed to make a formal offer of all our documentary exhibits.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.  Right now. (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We just filed it today, Your Honor, and we will furnish…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you kindly submit—you filed it today, you filed  with whom?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With the Secretariat, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary, will you kindly find out where the formal offer of evidence of the defense is.

SUSPENSION OF TRIAL

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, may we have another suspension while they are securing all the necessary documents from their holding rooms, Mr. President.  I move to suspend for a few minutes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial suspended for…how many minutes?  Five minutes?

SEN. SOTTO.  Five minutes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Five minutes.

It was 5:11

 

RESUMPTION OF HEARING

At 5:22 p.m., the hearing was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session resumed.  (Gavel)

Defense counsel, are you ready to present your—to formally offer your evidence?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, we are making of record that the 39 copies of our list of exhibits, written offer, Your Honor, are now with the—We are making a formal offer of all these documentary exhibits to a written offer, Your Honor.

As soon as they are stamped received we will bring the copies there and furnish the other party with their respective copies, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel for the prosecution, have you gone over the testimonial and documentary evidence of the defense?  And do you have any objection to any of those evidence presented by the defense …

REP. TUPAS.  We have no objection, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … to the admission of all those testimonial and documentary evidence of the defense?  All right.  Then submit to us your written offer.

REP. TUPAS.  And, Your Honor, we are also filing our supplemental offer of documentary evidence for the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

REP. TUPAS.  Now.  We’re also submitting it now.  We’re just waiting for the staff from the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And after both sides have completed their formal offer on their evidence in chief in the case of the defense, and supplemental evidence in the case of the prosecution, the case is deemed and treated as a submitted for decision by this court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Submitted, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s understood ha.  Is that understood by both parties?

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And the defense?

SEN. SOTTO.  Defense.  Defense, is it understood, the question of the Presiding Officer?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, do you understand that once the formal offer is accepted …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I will repeat my question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We are now requesting you to submit formally, in writing, your testimonial and document—the defense for admission by this court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We have complied with that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have complied.  And also, the prosecution will likewise submit for admission by this court, their supplemental documentary evidence and testimonial evidence, if any.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

REP. TUPAS.  We have here a 19-page …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no, I am just asking you.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  After the ruling is formally issued by this court, then, this impeachment case is deemed submitted for decision.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, I thought the honorable court had scheduled the oral argument on Monday.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Subject to the arguments …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  This coming Monday.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  That is our understanding, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct.  I am coming to that.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And then, after the oral argument, this court will decide whether to make the decision on the same day or postpone it for another day.  Okay?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Clear, Your Honor, to us, for the defense.

REP. TUPAS.  Clear to us, Your Honor, but we just like to manifest, Your Honor, that we have already submitted the supplemental formal offer of documentary evidence, and received by the Senate secretariat at 4:05 in the afternoon, today.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, you are making that offer.  How about the—one after the other, let us start first with the defense.

We understand, Mr. Defense Counsel, that your written formal offer of all your evidence, your documentary evidence had been received by this court.  So, may I now ask the Majority Floor Leader to read the formal action of this court, with respect to your documentary evidence.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  The defense has presented evidence on the allegations of the answer of respondent, Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, in relation to articles 2, 3 and 7 of the Articles of Impeachment, under the verified complaint for impeachment.  They have also filed a formal offer of documentary evidence identifying several documents previously marked as Exhibits 1-269.

and their sub-markings, and the prosecution’s Exhibits 10Os to 11Cs and 11Es to 12Cs and their sub-markings, subject to the appreciation of the individual Senator-Judges as to their weight and sufficiency for the purposes for which they have been offered.

Further, the foregoing documentary exhibits are admitted as part of the testimonies of the witnesses who testified thereon.

The defense is deemed to have rested its case.

Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, in connection with the supplemental offer, Your Honor, may we request even up to Monday morning to file our objection, Your Honor.  Because there are so many things here that we have been objecting to.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  O, sige.  Granted.  Until Monday morning, you can submit your objection.

REP. TUPAS.  We will ask one-minute recess, Your Honor.  Just one minute.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

Session suspended at 5:31 p.m.

At 5:32 p.m., the hearing was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is resumed.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, before the suspension, the Presiding Officer granted the request of the defense.  But may we appeal the ruling and ask the defense to withdraw the objection so that we will no longer prolong the problem and the agony.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the prosecution?

SEN. SOTTO.  The defense, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your please, with that admonition, Your Honor, we  just go on record  as not objecting to the offer, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

SEN. SOTTO.  Both sides, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The motion of the Majority Floor Leader is granted.  So, you have withdrawn your objection to the supplemental offer of evidence by the prosecution.  So Ordered.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, so, therefore, to clarify, this case is now submitted for final resolution by this impeachment court subject to the oral arguments of the two sides to be held next Monday at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon.  Is that understood?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Agreed, Your Honor.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, it is clear, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have an equal time of one hour each side.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Per your instruction, Your Honor, it is up for us to divide.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President.  May we ask the Sgt-At-Arms to make an announcement.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sgt-At-Arms is directed to make the announcement.

THE SGT-AT-ARMS.  Please all rise.  All persons are commanded to remain in their places until the Senate President and the Senators have left the session hall.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, there being no other business for the day, I move that we adjourn until 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon of Monday, May 28, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

It was 5:34 p.m.

 

IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

At 2:09 p.m., the hearing was called to order.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The continuation of the impeachment trial of the Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona is hereby called to order.  We shall be led in prayer by Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla.

(Senator Revilla led the prayer.)

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary will now please call the roll of Senators.

THE SECRETARY.  The Honorable Senators:  Angara, Arroyo, Cayetano Allan Peter “Companero”, Cayetano, Pia; Defensor, Santiago; Drillon; Ejercito, Estrada, Escudero; Guingona; Honasan; Lacson; Lapid; Legarda; Marcos; Osmena; Pangilinan; Pimentel; Recto; Revilla; Sotto; Trillanes; Villar; the Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With 22 Senators present in the Chamber, the Presiding Officer declares the presence of a quorum.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

REP. SOTTO.  May I ask the Sergeant-At-Arms to make a proclamation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sergeant-At-Arms is directed to make the proclamation.

SGT-AT-ARMS.  All presents are commanded to keep silent under pain of penalty while the Senate is sitting In trial on the Articles of Impeachment against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.    Mr. President.  I move that we dispense with the reading of the May 22nd  2012 Journal of the Senate sitting as an impeachment court and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any objection?  There being none, the May 22nd 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, is hereby approved.

Majority Floor Leader.  The Secretary will please call the case before the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court.

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  Case No. 002-2011..In the Matter of Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we ask the parties and/or their respective counsel to enter their appearances.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Prosecution?

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Mr. Senate President.  On the part of the House of Representatives’ prosecution panel, same appearance.  We are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  Defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  For the defense, Your Honor, same appearance.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, the Court is now ready for the continuation of the testimony of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the defense?

JUSTICE CUEVAS. Your Honor please, in conjunction with the commitment of this Representation to the entire Senate yesterday, I went to the hospital where the Chief Justice is now confined in order to bring him before this Court and testify, continue with the direct examination and cross-examination that may be allowed in connection with his defense. Unluckily enough, when we reached the hospital, Your Honor, we did not have the opportunity to talk with the Chief Justice. He is insulation and we were prohibited by the physician in charged from having a conference with him. Nevertheless, we were able to talk to Mrs. Corona, her daughter Carla and son Francis Corona, Your Honor, and from then, more especially from Mrs. Corona, I got the assurance that Justice Corona, Chief Justice Corona, Your Honor, he is willing to be back in order to continue with his direct and cross-examination question, Your Honor. But the stumbling block against that desire of Justice Corona, Your Honor, is his mental and physical condition, Your Honor.  He is still in the hospital, Your Honor. We will have no objection if a physician that will be designated by this Court see him at the hospital, conduct an examination of his person and mind, Your Honor and submit a report to this Court because we are fully convinced that he is really not in a position to testify considering his physical and mental condition.  In fact, he cannot stand up, Your Honor.  He is gasping for breath and I do not think that his condition will warrant an intelligible examination whether direct or cross-examination, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Alright. What is the pleasure of the prosecution?  Do you need to cross-examine the Chief Justice?

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, we intend to cross-examine the Chief Justice as soon as he is back, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  Is the defense finished?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, we tried our level best to procure a copy of the medical bulletin of Chief Justice Corona and we have it with us. We are willing—we are leaving—we are submitting it to the discretion of the Court, Your Honor, in order to prove our contention to the effect that he really is not in a position to testify mentally and physically, Your Honor.

We acknowledged the magnanimity and liberality—I would say over liberality of this Court in accommodating the defense, Your Honor, but our impediment now is not only personal, Your Honor. It is really medical. We have to apologize to the Court for all these. We never anticipated all these things.

Now, in connection with the alleged walk out, Your Honor, I wanted to adhere to the rule that investigate first before condemning or hear first.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel, please confine yourself to the matter at hand. Don’t digress.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor. Your Honor please. If we may …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I ask when your client will come?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Pardon, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You tell us when your client can come here in this Court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, according to the physician in charged, Your Honor, it may take him to Monday but I wonder, I said I’ll submit it to the court and I have no assurance …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  You cannot assure us, then, we will make a ruling and this ruling will be—cannot be reconsidered by anyone.

Yes. What is the pleasure of the Gentleman?

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, we manifested that we intend to do the cross-examination even yesterday.  But, we just have some clarification or clarificatory question is one to the defense addressed to the Presiding Officer.  We just want to know, Your Honor, if they bringing back Chief Justice Corona, will they still continue with the direct examination or it would purely be already on the cross-examination?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yesterday—Your Honor, pelase, with the kind permission of the honourable court.  Yesterday, I was making a manifestation when all this hoolabaloo take place, Your Honor, I started with the statement that – seeking the permission of the court to be able to conduct my direct examination before the cross-examination.  And we were not able to proceed anymore because of the unhappy incident that took place yesterday, Your Honor.  So, we will continue with our direct examination and after we are through, then, he will be ready for cross-examination, Your Honor.

REP. TUPAS.  The reason we asked that, Your Honor, is that—because if the Chief Justice is coming back only for cross-examination, then, the prosecution is willing to waive our right to cross examine.  We are not anymore cross examine.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Very good.

REP. TUPAS.  Only for cross.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   What else?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, I’ll have to finish my direct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This Chair—are you through counsel?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you through?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, this court will give you until Friday to close your evidence.  After that we will consider the case submitted on the record.  On Monday, we schedule an oral argument. It will depend upon the court, whether after the oral argument, we render the judgment or we postpone it for another day.

So ordered.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS. Thank you, Your Honor, for the accommodation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO.  Good afternoon, Mr. President.  I just have one clarificatory question to the defense.  Good afternoon, Justice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Good afternoon

SEN. CAYETANO.  Yesterday, the Chief Justice gave us a narrative, his testimony.  Will the defense be submitting any evidence, documentary or otherwise to back up the narrative, yesterday?  For example, he told us about his collecting or his accumulating or saving dollars since 1960s.  Will you show us any bank accounts that will show us, or anything that will back up his story, so to speak.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I do not think, if, Your Honor, please, that we will have to go to that extent.  In other words, the testimony he had made yesterday will lie entirely on his credibility and the validity of his assertions, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, anyway, Mr. President, I will not argue with that, the good defense counsel stated it very eloquently, we will rely on his credibility, so we will decide on that, because if he will be able to submit or the defense was able to submit, then, we can tie up the testimony, narrative, with some other form of evidence and that would have been better for the court.  But, anyway, I will not argue and I  accept the explanation of the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, thank you.

SEN. CAYETANO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Mr. Senator.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Friday, at two o’clock, we will grant you to finish your evidence, Friday, at two o’clock in the afternoon.  After that, if you do not submit your evidence, we will consider the matter submitted on the record, we will consider the statement of the Chief Justice yesterday as a part of his testimony and defensing chief, and we will consider the case submitted on the basis of the evidence presented in this court.   On Monday, you prepare for the oral argument and we will render a decision thereafter or maybe at the very least, on Tuesday.

So ordered.  (Gavel)

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you.  Just to clarify also if we will push through, as scheduled, the oral arguments or closing arguments on Monday, will the Presiding Officer give a definite hour for each side.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   One hour for each side.  You can allocate this time of one hour for each side among yourselves.  That includes the opening and closing argument of the prosecution and one hour for the defense to argue the case in favour of the respondent.

SEN. SOTTO.  Will that be a maximum of two speakers per side, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Two or three, it depends upon them.  But in the case of the prosecution, the rule says opening and closing argument.  So two-two.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No rebuttal, Your Honor, on the part of the defense.  We were merely pleading, Your Honor, that the main argument be allowed to ask, even let’s say, 40 minutes or 45.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It’s up to you.  We give an even time to both sides to be fair.

SEN. SOTTO.  But…

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But the sequence, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We seek enlightenment, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We follow the rule of this House.

SEN. SOTTO.  May I clarify for them, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You better study the rules of the House.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I clarify for them.  One hour for the prosecution.  You may use it as you wish like 30 minutes for the first speaker, 25 minutes for the second speaker and five minutes after the defense for your closing.  And as far as the defense is concerned, one hour for their two speakers.

REP. TUPAS.  That’s very clear, Your Honor, the prosecution will deliver the closing argument.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, that is the rules of this House.

SEN. SOTTO.  That is the rules.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you so much, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  So with that, Mr. President, may I—may we recognize Senator Pimentel, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Misamis Oriental.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Just a reminder, Mr. President, to the defense panel to be ready with their formal offer of documentary exhibits on Friday.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We will, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Thank you.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

REP. TUPAS.  With respect to that,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Apropos to this, the members of this court will follow the rules provided for impeachment cases.  Each one will be asked of his judgment that he will render on this case personally and he will have two minutes to explain his vote subject to the discretion of the Presiding Officer to extend it, if there’s a need for it.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Pangilinan, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Pampanga.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Mr. President, just on another matter and I would like the lawyers for the Chief Justice to respond.  In view of his appearance yesterday before this impeachment court and having gone through direct examination, may we know what is the status of the petitions that he filed before the Supreme Court.  Do we take it to mean na dahil humarap na sya po rito ay inaatras na nya ang mga petisyon sa Korte Suprema?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, that cannot be done just like that, if Your Honor please.  If the petitions are pending, they are valid and effective, there must be a motion for withdrawal or a motion, and there must be a resolution of the Supreme Court on that matter.  But there had been no motion to with—in  fact we were about to file  a motion for an early resolution and first to set the cases for oral argument.  No action as yet had been rendered on our motion, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So his appearance here yesterday is not an indication of his, well, his withdrawal of the petition before the Supreme Court.  Because the petition questions the jurisdiction of the impeachment court, questions, well, another issue is I think the violation of his  constitutional rights.  So that has not been withdrawn.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That has not been withdrawn, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Despite his appearance here yesterday.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Because we have no other alternative.  He must be here, otherwise the case against him may be decided without any appearance in here.  That is our predicament, Your Honor please.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Well, we thank the counsel for the defense.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Francis Escudero wishes to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Sorsogon.

SEN. ESCUDERO.   Thank you, Mr. President.   Just a few questions to the defense counsel.  Justice Cuevas, Chief Justice Corona yesterday said he was going to sign a waiver, and he signed a waiver in front of all of us, but that it was conditional.

If all 188—if all the prosecutors and all the 188 complainants, plus one of our colleagues, would sign it as well,—I actually am envious of Congressman Fariñas because he did not sign, he’s not part of the 188 and he does not have to sign the waiver but may I ask, first, where is that waiver right now?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I think it is still with him, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  It’s with him?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But copies were circulated yesterday.  I am not aware—We have copies, Your Honor, but it was not circulated as expected, Your Honor, because of the condition that was mentioned by the Chief Justice in his opening statement.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  I take it that all, without exception, should sign.  That’s his condition.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is my understanding, if Your Honor, please.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  May I ask the prosecutors if anyone has already signed it, out of curiosity?

REP. TUPAS.  None.  None, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  But the forms are still with you?

REP. TUPAS.  I haven’t seen the form, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  It was returned?  So, I take it it is still with the Chief Justice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It must be with him, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  I also remember, Mr. President, Your Honor,—I raise this issue because I read the transcript of the Chief Justice’s testimony and he said that if nobody or if not all of them will sign, that he will instruct his counsels to rest their case.  May I ask if that instruction has been given already or if he is still too ill to—Or how much time is given to gather the 188?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I have not talked to him.  I attempted for almost two hours this morning.  In fact, we were a little bit late in coming here because of the traffic.  But I cannot communicate with him in connection with matters dealing with this impeachment case, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Kindly convey that we wish him well and I hope he recovers fast from …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  The President Pro Tempore, Mr. President, Senator Jinggoy Estrada.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman has the floor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. Lead Counsel of the Prosecution, just to satisfy my curiosity, are you willing to sign the waiver?

JUSTICE TUPAS.  Hindi po siguro—Ako, personally, it is not the issue po dito sa impeachment.  It is not the issue here.  The issue here is the waiver promised by the Chief Justice.  And we do not want to divert the issue.  To us, it is a non-issue for the prosecution.

SEN. ESTRADA.  So you are not willing to sign the waiver?

JUSTICE TUPAS.  We will not sign.

SEN. ESTRADA.  All right.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Drilon, Mr. President, wishes to sign—(Laughter)—I mean wishes to be recognized.

SEN. DRILON.  Obviously, I will not sign …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  (Gavel)  Will you kindly refrain from disrupting the proceedings, please.

SEN. DRILON.  I report all my assets in my SALN.  There is no requirement that we waive our—that we open up our bank deposits because if that is the case, that would be disastrous to our banking system.  Now,—But having said that, on record, I will not sign any wiaver.

But let me read the portion of the Chief Justice’s statement:  “Isusumite ko po ang aking waiver sa kinauukulan kapag kumpleto na ang pirmadong 189 waivers.  Kung hindi sila papayag sa hamong ito, bibigyan ko po ng direktiba ang aking defense panel na i-rest na po ang aking depensa.  Tutal wala naman silang napatunayang paratang laban sa akin.  Maraming salamat po.”

Obviously, there is already an automotive directive to the defense panel that the cace of the respondent will be rested if any of the 189 will not sign the waiver.  None of the 189 will sign the waive.  It is therefore clear that the instructions is automatic.  The defense panel is being instructed by no less than the respondent to rest its case.

May we know now the position of the defense panel?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I have not received any instruction up to now.

SEN. DRILON.  The instructions, Mr. President, were done in open hearing.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct.

SEN. DRILON.  And found in the Journal.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct, but that is futuristic, Your Honor.  “I will”, I will ask or instruct my defense panel to close the evidence, so it is future, Your Honor.  It is not I instruct them.  It is not a mandated instruction, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  So, it is entirely possible that the Chief Justice will change his mind.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am not the Chief Justice, how can I answer for that?

SEN. DRILON.  You said, it is futuristic.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, sapagkat kung kanilang matutugunan itong aking binanggit dito, aatasan ko ang aking defense counsel na mag-submit na ng ebidensya—to close the evidence.

SEN. DRILON.  Salamat po Ginoong Pangulo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Salamat po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I ask the Sgt.-at-Arms to make the proclamation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sgt.-at-Arms is directed to make the proclamation.

THE SGT-AT-ARMS.  Please all rise.  All persons are commanded to remain in their places until the Senate President and the Senators have left the session hall.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, there being no other business for the day, I move that we adjourn until two o’clock in the afternoon of Friday, May 25, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  (Silence)  There being none, this trial is hereby adjourned until two o’clock in the afternoon of Friday, May 25th 2012.

It was. 2:31 p.m.

IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Monday, May 22, 2012

At 2:01 p.m., the hearing was called to order with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile Presiding.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The continuation of the impeachment trial of the honourable Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Renato C. Corona is hereby called to order.

We shall be led in prayer by the distinguished Senator from Batangas,  Senator Ralph G. Recto.

PRAYER BY SENATOR PIMENTEL

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary will now please call the roll.

THE SECRETARY.  The honorable Senators Angara; Arroyo; Cayetano, Allan Peter ‘Compañero’; Cayetano, Pia; Defensor-Santiago; Drilon, Ejercito-Estrada; Escudero; Guingona; Honasan; Lacson; Lapid; Legarda; Marcos; Osmeña, Pangilinan, Pimentel; Recto; Revilla; Sotto; Trillanes; Villar; the Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With all the Senators, 23 of them, Senator-Judges present, the Presiding Officer declares the presence of a quorum. 

Majority Floor Leader

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to make the proclamation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sergeant-at-Arms is directed to make the proclamation.

THE SEARGENT-AT ARMS.  All persons are commanded to keep silent under pain of penalty while the Senate is sitting in trial on the Articles of Impeachment against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we dispense with the reading of the May 16, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an Impeachment Court and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  (Silence)  The Chair hears none.  The May 16, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an Impeachment Court is hereby approved.  Majority Floor Leader.

The Secretary will now please call the case before the Senate, as an impeachment court.

THE SECRETARY.  Case No. 002-2011, In the Matter of Impeachment of Honorable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we ask the parties and/or their respective counsel to enter their appearances for the prosecution, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For the prosecution.

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Mr. Senate President.  And honorable Members of the Senate.  On the part of the House of Representatives prosecution panel, same appearance, we are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  The defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  For the defense, Your Honor, we have the same appearance, and we are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. Pesident, before we proceed to the Business of the Day, last week, in connection with the testimony of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales,  some Members of the court had requested to subpoena the managers of the banks concerned as well as certain bank or fund documents mentioned by the Ombudsman in the course of her testimony.  I move that the Presiding Officer rule on the request, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  The Chair is well aware of the validity and importance of the motions made in that connection.  However, I would like to remind all of us, Members of the Senate, sitting here, to perform a function to judge the respondent that we are not conducting this inquiry, in aid of legislation.  We are here as hearers of facts.  And in the course of our trial and judgment, we will interpret the law according to our best plights. We are receivers of the evidence from the prosecution and the defense.  We are not an inquisitorial court.  And, so therefore, with that in mind, this court cannot issue the subpoena suggested to make the appearance here of certain persons to act as witnesses..  The Rules of Procedure suggests that this is an adversarial proceeding …  by the representatives of the people, and so, therefore, we must define who, for whom will the witnesses that will appear here will stand as witnesses.  Are they going to stand as witnesses for the prosecution?  Are they going to stand as witnesses for the defense?  Are we authorized, as hearers of fact and as hearers of evidence, to call anyone we want to testify here to enlighten us on certain factual issues?.  Having this in mind, this Chair has decided to resolve to respectfully deny the motions to call, for this Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, to call witnesses motu propio to testify in this proceeding.  So ordered.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, pursuant to the May 16, 2012 order of the court for Mr. Harvey Keh to submit a written explanation within 48 hours why he should not be cited for contempt, Mr. Keh filed with the court his compliance on May 18, 2012 expressing his apology and praying that he not be cited in contempt. I move that the Presiding Officer rule on the matter.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, during our trial of this case, last week, Mr. Harvey Keh appeared here as a witness for the defense.  And this Chair because of certain previous incident asked him to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt. A member of this court had spoken calling the concern witness that he committed certain improper conduct as far as this Court was concerned. Given that, and in view of the apologies given by the gentleman cited to show cause and in the spirit of liberality, the Court simply admonishes the person concerned never to try to slag again as he did.

SO ORDERED.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, the Court is now ready for the continuation of the presentation of evidence by the defense.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is the defense ready to present its next witness?

SUSPENSION OF THE HEARING

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we request for a one-minute recess, Your Honor.  We are fetching the Chief Justice, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Session is suspended for one minute.

It was 2:11 p.m.

RESUMPTION OF THE HEARING

At 2:11 the trial resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Session resumed.

While the Chief Justice is awaited to this Court, I would like to make some statements before we administer the oath to him as a witness for the defense. As agreed during our caucus yesterday, the members of the court have respectfully requested by this Chair to observe the two-minute rule as provided under the Rules of this Court to limit their inquiries to questions of facts to avoid any manifestations or discussions of purely legal issues and to help in an orderly proceedings in this trial. Should any member of this court require more time to propound questions later on, an extension of not more two minutes will be allowed to him or to her. However, for an orderly proceeding so that there will be no interruption in the testimony of the distinguished respondent who will appear before us, I would suggest that we finish the direct examination by the defense, with the cross-examination of the prosecution and then, if there is any redirect, let the redirect be done and if there is any recross, let the recross be completed before any members of this Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, will propound questions to the distinguished respondent. Unless I am—is authorized by this Court, I will try to adopt that as the system for an orderly proceeding in this trial today and thereafter.

SO ORDERED.

Is the respondent ready?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We send somebody, Your Honor, to have him fetched.

SUSPENSION OF THE HEARING

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.  We suspend the session for a few moment to wait for him.

It was 2:14 p.m.

Session resumed at 2:15 p.m.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I would like to add before the Chief Justice is sworn in as a witness, to request the gallery to observe strict decorum in this trial.  Avoid any expression of your approval or disapproval about anything that is happening in this court, no clapping, no shouting, no unnecessary commotions, otherwise, this court, and I’ll be frank with you, will exercise its powers to maintain order in this trial.   This is a trial authorized by the Constitution, authorized by the Filipino people, you authorized this trial, and it must be conducted in an orderly manner without any disruption befitting the nature of this case, and the person involved in this proceeding.

So ordered.   Is the defense ready?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  He is coming, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Chief Justice, welcome to this court.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Good afternoon, po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May we request you to take your oath so we can proceed with the trial.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. President, the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from the prosecution.

REP. TUPAS.  The prosecution would like to ask permission from this honourable court to allow one of our private lawyers, Atty. Mario Bautista, to receive the testimony of the Chief Justice and to conduct cross examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you, thank you, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, before we proceed with the taking of the testimony of the Honorable Chief Justice, Your Honor, may I be permitted to place on record some pertinent matters in connection with his previous actuations in connection with his appearance before this court, your honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, there never was a time when it was the intention of the Chief Justice not to appear before this court, Your Honor.  But an examination of the constitutional provision on the matter, together with the Rules of Evidence, Your Honor, have, in one way or another, strengthen his resolve, in the first place, not to appear before this court, Your Honor,  not in order to defy the majesty and the authority of this court, Your Honor, but rather to enable him to exercise his right as a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to Article III, Section 17, Your Honor, which provides, “No person may be compelled to testify against himself”.  It is his humble opinion during our discussion that this provision applies to all kinds of proceedings, whether criminal, civil, quasi-judicial or administrative, Your Honor.  And that is govern by the jurisprudence on the  point.

Secondly, it is his contention, it is his belief that insofar as his cross-examination is concerned, Your Honor, the rules of evidence say being likened to that of an accused, he may only be cross-examined on any matter taken up on the direct.

Thirdly, Your Honor, he had monitored all the proceedings day-by-day before this court, Your Honor, and he was a little bit frightened or shall we say  confused, Your Honor, because there were several occasions that there were statements to the effect that these proceedings will be judged not only by this impeachment court but likewise by the people in general.  I have told him that there were many instances, Your Honor, where this impeachment court, Your Honor, through the honourable Presiding Judge or Senator stated that the decision in this case shall be based on the evidence on record and there is no power nor any person can dictate upon this court in order to render an impartial and correct decision.  Now, that was to encourage him in his favour and I told him that even the rules of the impeachment court appear to warrant this impartiality, for instance, under Rule 3, paragraph (3).  It says, “Senators shall observe political neutrality during the course of the impeachment trial.  Political neutrality shall be defined as exercise of public official duty without unfair discrimination and regardless of party affiliation or preference.”  This is rather assuring, Your Honor, in consoling the Chief Justice because he believes that with the observance of this rule, there will certainly be an impartial decision that will come up after the trial of this case.

Now, secondly, Your Honor, we have examined the oath of office of the Senator-Judges which states, “I solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment now pending before this court, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and to the law of the Philippines.”  That practically negates, Your Honor, whatever misapprehension he has that is why he has chosen to appear brought about by the respect  of this impeachment court, Your Honor, and to render himself submissive to the power and authority and jurisdiction of the honourable impeachment court.

Thank you, Your Honor, for the opportunity.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you for reminding the members of this impeachment court about these principles and  I would like as Chair of this court to assure you that we are conscious from the very start of this proceeding that we are performing a solemn and sacred duty not for ourselves but for the Filipino people and for this country and for the world to see that this country through its elected Senators can render impartial justice to anyone who will  appear here to answer any charge made against him or her.

Now, we are all lawyers, the Chief Justice is the highest magistrate of the land, the highest  lawyer in the country.   He is aware of the Constitution and well-grounded on the Constitution.  He knows when to answer a question and when not to answer a question in order to protect his own personal interest and his rights under the Constitution.  So we can assure you that we will observe this.

Now, insofar as judging this case is concerned, as I have said at the start of this proceeding, in my opening statement, we will judge this case on the basis of the evidence presented to us by the prosecution as well as by the defense and that no one of us here, including this Chair, will attempt to influence the mind of any of these 23 souls acting as in this impeachment trial, not only because we want to comply with our oath as judges in this case, but because of our notion that we respect each other’s judgement, each one of us is entity unto himself in this case and he alone will be responsible for his judgement in this case and no one else so that each one of us will respect each other by not trying to influence the judgement of each one or any one of us.

So, I can assure you, Mr. Counsel, that we are well aware of the things that you are concerned about.  And so, with that, let’s proceed with the trial.

So ordered.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor, for that very assuring pronouncement, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Mr. President, from the prosecution, please, may I be allowed to say something.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, proceed.  Granted.  (Gavel)

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Good afternoon, Mr. President.  Good afternoon, senator-justices.  Chief Justice, good afternoon, Sir.

I would just like to make several points on what was mentioned by Justice Cuevas.

There has been never any compulsion for the Chief Justice to testify.  So your mention of the constitutional right against being compelled to testify is irrelevant.  In fact, if you will recall, the prosecution subpoenaed the Chief Justice and the honourable court denied the subpoena.

Secondly, with due respect, Justice Cuevas, I disagree with the reading of the Rules of Evidence regarding cross-examination of the accused.  Under Rule 115, Section 1b, an accused can testify voluntarily on his behalf as the Chief Justice is doing today, but he is subject to cross-examination.  Under the case of People vs. Ayson, GR 85212, July 7, 1989, and that Ladiana vs. People, GR No. 144293, December 4, 2002, an accused who testifies will be treated as an ordinary witness.  He can invoke his self-incrimination right only regarding questions that tend to incriminate him for some crime other than that he is charged of.

And with respect to the rights of the Chief Justice on self-incrimination, we will raise our objections at the appropriate time.

Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Are you ready to proceed with the train?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  Only one minute, Your Honor.  Only one minute.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor, please, I never stated in my manifestation that the Chief Justice is being compelled to testify against his will.  What I mentioned, Your Honor, and place on record is the constitutional provision on the matter.  Under Article III, Section 17, which provides, no person may be compelled to testify against himself.

I stated that to show to the honorable court his vacillation during the early stage of the proceedings, Your Honor.  That was the only purpose.

Now in connection with the coverage of the cross-examination, I dare to dispute the manifestation on the matter by the learned counsel.  Insofar as cross-examination of an accused in a criminal case to which respondent, honorable Chief Justice is concerned, his cross-examination shall be limited only to matters taken up in the direct.  That is amendments …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I suggest that we proceed with the trial and we will deal with this problems along the way.  That’s why you have a Presiding Officer in this proceeding.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  I’m through with—I only placed on—my reply, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Are we ready with the trial?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are, Your Honor.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  May I request, Mr. Presiding Officer, to make a statement, not only to this honourable tribunal but to the Filipino people.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.  Proceed Mr. Chief Justice.

Mga minamahal kong kababayan, ako po ay nandito sa impeachment court na ito upang tumupad sa aking pangako sa sambayanan na ako ay magpapaliwanag ng lahat.

Kailangan po sigurong tanungin ng ating sambayanan kung bakit ba tayo nagkaka-impeachment trial na ito.  Hindi naman po kaila sa ating lahat na ginamit na po ng gobyerno ng administrasyon ang buong makinarya ng gobyerno laban sa akin.  Ibinuhos na po ang buong pwersa ng pamahalaan para lamang sa pagtanggal ng isang tao.

Bakit po ba nangyayari ito?  Huwag tayong maniwala na ito, itong impeachment trial na ito ay laban sa katiwalian, dahil kung ganoon rin lamang, mayroon ba silang katiwalian na ibinintang sa akin?  Sa kabila ng lahat na pagkakalkal, paghahanap ng mga huwad na ebidensya at kung ano-ano pang ginawa sa akin at sa aking pamilya, wala naman pong ibinibintang sa akin ng katiwalian.

Ako po ba ay hadlang?  Ako po ba ay sagabal sa kung ano at kung kanino o dili kaya ay tinik sa lalamunan o ng ninuman?  So far po, lahat ng nakita ko rito magbuhat ng umpisa itong impeachment trial na ito ay hatred, galit sa isang tao, benggansa sa isang tao.

Kailan po ba tayo matuto sa lahat—sa kabuuan ng kasaysayan ng Pilipinas, parati na lang pong ganito ang nangyayari.  Hindi po ba tamang sabihin ko na ngayon, tama na ang pagkawatak-watak n gating bayan.  Hindi po ba ito ang dahilan, itong mga hidwaan, itong mga galit na ito ang dahilan kung bakit hindi na tila hirap na hirap na umusad ang ating pamahalaan.

Ibig ko pong sabihin, sa ating kasalukuyang administrasyon, hindi po lahat ng hindi kaalyado ay kalaban.  Hindi po lahat ng hindi kasama ay hindi pwedeng maging katuwang para sa ikabubuti ng sambayanan.  Hindi dapat—hindi porket hindi magkapareho ng kulay ay hindi na Pilipino.

Bakit po ba ganito na lang ang galit sa akin nitong kasalukuyang administrasyon ni Pangulong Aquino.  Ano ba ang kasalanan ko sa kanya?  Ano ba ang kasalanan ko sa bayan?  Wala akong pagkakasalang alam ko at iyan ang dahilan kung bakit ako ay buong loob na tumitindig dito sa harap ninyo at sa harap ng sambayanang Pilipino na walang takot, walang nerbiyos, sapagkat sigurado po ako, siguradong sigurado po ako, wala akong kasalanan, wala akong ginawang katiwalian at ako ay hindi nagnakaw sa gobyerno.

Hindi ko po isasama, I will not drag my family dito sa impeachment na ito kung sa kaloob-looban ko, may katiting na dahilan na ako ay nagduda sa kanila, na ako ay may ginawang mali or masama.  Hindi ko po itataya ang buong pamilya ko, ang napakabait kong maybahay, ang aking tatlong anak, ang aking anim na apo at idamay lahat ng mahal sa aking buhay.  Kung ako ay naniniwalang ako ay may kasalanan, hindi na po ako makikipaglaban.  Siguro po ay nagbitaw na ako sa tungkulin sapul sa simula.  Malinis po ang aking konsyensya.  At ito po ay sinasabi ko sa sambayanang Pilipino.  Uulitin ko po.  Malinis po ang aking konsyensya.  Malinis po ang konsyensya ng aking pamilya.  Wala kaming ginawang masama, wala kaming ginawang kawalanghiyaan tulad ng pinalalabas sa ibang sektor ng medya.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mawalang galang, Mr. Chief Justice.  Kami po ay nag-aantay na sabihin ninyo sa amin ang inyong pakay at sana kung maaari ay i-address na lang ninyo iyong issues dito para sa ganoon ay tapusin na natin itong kasong ito.  Pero, you can proceed, Mr. Chief Justice.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Maraming salamat po.  Dahil ito pong aking sinsabi ngayon ay pinatutungkol ko, gaya nga ng nasabi ko, hindi lamang dito sa impeachment court, sa kagalang-galang na impeachment court na ito, kundi sa buong sambayanang Pilipino na pinangakuan ko na ako ay magpapaliwanag.  Kaya nandito po ako at nagpapaliwanag.  Siguro naman, kahit sino sa atin, hindi papayagang masaktan ang ating pamiliya at ang ating mga mahal sa buhay.  Kung tayo ay may masamang budhi o maitim na budhi, o may mga nagawang kasalanan na dapat nating ipagsisi at hindi na siguro natin gagawin ito at harapin ang kalbaryong hinaharap namin sapagka’t iyan po ang pinagdadaanan namin ngayon—kalbaryo po.  Hindi po madali ang pinagdaanan namin nitong limang buwan na ito.  Nakita naman ninyo ang paninira sa pagkatao namin, sa reputasyon namin.  Lahat na yata ng kasinungalingan ay sinabi, lahat ng putik ay itinapon laban sa amin.  Sa kabila ng pagbabanta ng kahihiyan at kapahamakan, lumaban po ako.  Malakas po ang loob ko na lumaban sapagka’t malinis po ang aking konsiyensya.  Iisa lang po ang paliwanag diyan.  Walang katotohanan at pawang kasinungalingan ang pinaparatang sa amin.  Mayroon pa hong isang nagsabi, isang Senador na nagsabi na huhubaran daw niya ako sa publiko.  Tingnan po natin.  Napakadali sanang takasan nitong problema at kalbayrong ito.  Marami na nga rin ang nagsabi sa akin, Bakit ka ba lumalaban?  You cannot fight Malacanang, magbitaw ka na lang sa tungkulin, magiging tahimik na ang buhay mo, wala nang maghahabol sa iyo, ang pamilya mo hindi na masasaktan, titigl na ang panggigipit, titigil na ang black propaganda laban sa iyo at titigil na ang kasinungalingan.  Pero, ano naman po ang kahulugan nito?  Kung ako ay nagbitaw sa tungkulin.  Ang mangangahulugan po noon, ay parang umatras ako sa laban at parang nanalo na lang iyong kabila na without having to prove anything.  Kawawa naman po ako at ang aking pamilya.  At hindi po ito ang aking kinasanayan at hind ito ang itinuro sa amin ng aming magulang—na ipaglaban pag ikaw ay nasa tama at nasa lugar. Maraming beses na pong pinag-uusapan sa media na umano’y tungkol sa hindi—alleged hindi maipaliwanag naming yaman at maraming beses na rin po kaming hinusgahan. Ang tanong ko po’y, bakit po ba? Pondo po ba ito ng bayan? Ito po ba ay ninakaw sa kaban ng bayan? Ito po ba ay kinurakot ng Punong Mahistrado?  Iisa ho ang sagot diyan, hindi po. At uulitin ko, hindi po.

Lahat po ng aming ari-arian ay pinaghirapan sa malinis na paraan at wala naman pong naisiwalat o naibintang sa akin na ginawa kong katiwalian, walang-wala po. Lahat po ng aming naipundar ay nanggaling sa pagsisikap, paghihirap ng maraming taon, maraming dekadang pagtatrabaho ng malinis.

Bago po ako nagsilbi sa gobyerno, ako po ay isang matagumpay na abugado na ng maraming taon. Hindi naman po katulad ng pinalalabas ng prosecution na ako’y kung sino lamang patabi-tabi diyan na biglang yumaman noong ako ay pumasok sa gobyerno at ito po’y sinasabi ko sa inyo. Nagkakamali po kayo.

Simple po ang aming naging pamumuhay. Hindi po kailanman kami namuhay ng maluho. Lahat po ng nakakakilala sa amin, taong malalapit sa amin, taong mga lumaki kasabay ng aking mga anak ang makakapagsabi na nakita nila kung anong kasimple ang aming pamumuhay magbuhat noong araw hanggang ngayon.

Nilabag na lahat. Tila nilabag na ho ang lahat ng batas para hanapan ako ng kasalanan. Bakit nga ba? Pumunta sila sa hukumang ito ng walang ebidensiya, walang maiakusang katiwalian laban sa akin. Kaya sa pamamagitan ng paglilitis na ito, naghanap sila, binaluktot ang mga batas na dapat ay nagbibigay ng protection at seguridad sa mamamayan para lang ako ay madiin. They broke all laws to fish evidence against me. They attempted to pin me down by a means that undermine our laws and our Constitution.

Bilang Punong Mahistrado ng bayan, bilang tagapagtanggol ng batas, hindi po ako makapapayag dito at ito ay hindi katanggap-tanggap sa akin. Binaboy nila ang proseso ng Saligang Batas para yurakan ang aking mga karapatan, mga batas ng foreign currency deposit, AMLA and due process sa ilalim ng Constitution at iba pa. Nakababahala po ito, bayan. Hindi lamang dahil sa aking sarili, kung ‘di na rin sa ating demokrasya at sa ating mamamayan. Kung kaya ninyong gawing ito sa Pinakamataas na Mahistrado ng ating gobyerno, di ba nila ito magawa sa ordinaryong mamamayan?  Hindi ba nila magawa sa inyo mga ginoong Senador at ginang Senador?  Hindi ba nila magawa ito kahit na kaninong opisyal ng gobyerno?  Ang mga akusasyon nila sa akin ay pawang kathang-isip lamang, mga ebidensya na minaniobra, pineke…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mawalang galang na Mr. Chief Justice, how much more time do you need?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Sandali na lang po kasi po kung mamarapatin po nyo, mawalang-galang na po sa inyo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed, proceed.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  At higit sa lahat, ginamit po ang pwersa at makinarya ng gobyerno laban sa isang taong walang kalaban-laban sa kanila.  Bilang Punong Mahistrado ng Korte Suprema at pinuno ng Hudikatura, labis kong dinaramdam at kinokondena ang pagyurak sa aking karapatan, sa ating mga batas, at ang masamang epekto nito sa ating demokrasya.  Kaisa ako na panagutin ang may kasalanan, kaisa ako sa hangarin na pairalin ang batas, ngunit ako ang unang-unang lalaban kapag ito ay ginawa ng walang basehan at hindi naaayon sa ating mga batas.  Lalaban sa anumang paglalapastangan sa ating Saligang Batas, sa karapatan ng ating mamamayan.  Ito lang po ang tanong ko sa bayan, at ito rin po ang tanong ko sa prosekusyon, ladies and gentlemen of the prosecution, ito lang po ang tanong ko sa inyo – kung talagang malakas ang inyong kaso na isinampa sa akin, bakit kayo kailangang magimbento ng ebidensya?  Sagutin po ninyo iyan sa taong bayan.  Bakit kailangang mag-black propaganda?  Mag-imbento, magsinungaling, at maghukay ng walang hanggan.  Bakit kailangang humantong sa madumi, sa masama at sa mapanakit na paraan?  Nawa’y ‘wag na po sanang maulit ang nangyari, ang malungkot na kabanatang ito sa ating kasaysayan.  At sanay ‘wag na muling mangyari sa kaninuman ang pang-aapi ng metodikal na pagwasak sa mga institusyon, sa simbahan, sa military, sa bureaucracy.

Sa aking pananaw po, tatlo pong dahilan kung bakit ako ay sinampahan nitong impeachment complaint na ito.  Ang una po, ang matinding galit ng hacienderong Pangulo sa pagkakatalo nya tungkol sa hacienda luisita.  Ano po ba ang karapatan ng Pangulong Aquino na ikagalit sa pamamahagi ng hacienda luisita sa magsasaka?  Ang lupaing ito ay ipinahiram lamang sa kanila, inagaw lamang ang lupaing ito sa mga ninuno ng mga kasalukuyang magsasaka.  Halos 60 taon na pinakinabangan at pinagkakitaan nila ang hacienda luisita, at pagkatapos ngayon, ayaw na nilang isoli…

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Mr. President, for the prosecution, please.  May I say something.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the prosecution?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  This is highly irregular.  The Chief Justice is taking advantage of his platform, and is being allowed to speak without the benefit of direct examination.  What he has mentioned are irrelevant here.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, counsel, my understanding is that, the Chief Justice is making an opening statement that will be a part of his testimony.  You can exercise your right of cross examination at the proper time.  So let us allow the Chief Justice to finish.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Just for the record, Mr. President, just for the record.

There are parties here who are being accused, maligned…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I said let the Chief Justice proceed.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Ginoong Prosecutor, kausap ko po ang taumbayan.  Hayaan naman po ninyo akong kausapin ang taumbayan.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Sige po.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.   Halos 60 taon pinakinabangan at pinagkakitaan ang Hacienda Luisita pagkatapos ngayon ay gusto pa silang bayaran ng bilyong-bilyong piso.  Pangalawang dahilan, ang kagustuhan ng Pangulong Aquino na kontrolin  ang tatlong sangay ng gobyerno at siraan ang pagkapantay-pantay ng Executive, ng Legislative at ng Judiciary, paggamit ng lakas at kapangyarihan para makuha lamang itong layuning ito.  Pangatlong dahilang, ang unti-unting pagmamaniobra at pagsakop ng kaliwa sa pamamahala ng gobyerno at ang kanilang napipintong takeover n gating bansa.  Tila kaya’y hawak na hawak ni Ronald Llamas at ng kanyang mga kakosa sa leeg ang Pangulong Aquino.  Gusto ko pong sabihin ngayon, andito na po ako sa punto, sino po ba si Renato Corona?  Si Renato Corona po ay isang tao, simpleng tao  nanggaling sa mahusay na pamilya, simpleng pamilya lamang.  Kami po ay naturuan ng family values, disiplina, maging madasalin, tahimik na pamumuhay, pagmamahal sa bayan, mahusay na pagkatao…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Chief Justice.  Under the rules of evidence, good characters that are visible…

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Preliminary lang po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In the interest of liberality, we will allow it to finish your speech.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Ako ay naturuan ng magandang pagkatao ng aking mga magulang makapag-aral sa Ateneo, sa Harvard Law School, sa UST.  Hindi naman po kami nanggaling ng aking maybahay sa  maralitang pamilya at hindii naman po ako maralit noong ako ay pumasok sa gobyerno.  Ang akin pong asawa at ang aking pamilya, tatlong anak at anim na apo ay nanggaling naman pos a mahusay na pamilya din.  Iyong kanyang great grandfather po, si Jose Ma. Basa Sr. ay naging pangalawang president ng Katipunan, ang una po ay si Deodato Arellano at si Jose Ma. Basa Sr. Ang pangalawang presidente at ang pangatlo ay pinalitan na nila ng pangalan, si Andres Bonifacio.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Chief Justice, may I plead with you to wind up so that we can proceed with the trial.  I will give you the—how many minutes more do you need?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Sandali na lang po.  Ang importante po kasing makita ito ng sambayanan natin sapagkat limang buwan na po akong araw-araw 24/7 na siniraan ng siniraan doon sa medya sa labas.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Chief Justice, you have the floor unless authorize by this court, you may proceed to finish.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Kailangan pong malaman ng sambayanan natin kung sino ako kasi dahil doon sa medya campaign na naganap ng prosecution doon sa labas ng impeachment court na ito, napakasama po ang tingin sa aking bilang tao ng maraming tao at siguro ito na lang po ang kahuli-hulihang pagkakataon na mai-correct ko ang impression ng tao tungkol sa akin.  Ano po ba ang lifestyle naming pamilya?  Ang lifestyle po namin ay napakasimple po namin, napakatipid at hindi mapag-aksaya.  Hindi po kami mahilig sa sosyalan, nakatutok sa pamilya.  For 40 years po, kami ay nakatira sa parenong bahay na minana ko sa aking magulang.  Kailang man, the past 40 years, hindi kami nakapagbayad ng upa or amortization sa housing loan.  Simpleng buhay at tahanan lamang.

Hindi man kami gumagamit ng aircon sapagka’t napakadali po namin magkasakit sa lamig.  Simpleng pagkain lamang ang kinakain naming sa bahay at sa maniwala po kayo at sa hindi, kami po ay walang katulong sa bahay.  At yan ang sinasabi kong katotohanan sa inyo.  Ganon kasimple ho ang aming pamumuhay na paminsan-minsan lamang na may dumadating na naglilinis ng aming bahay o nagpaplantsa ng aming damit.

Halos dalawa lang po ang pinagkakagastahan namin ng aking maybahay.  Iyong aming pagkain po at iyong ginagastos namin para ipagpaaral dahil marami po kaming pinag-aaral na mga kabataan.  Maswerte po ako—Maayos naman po ang lagay ng aming mga anak kaya hindi rin nakakabigat sa amin.

Maswerte po ako na ang napang-asawa ko 42 years ago ay isang babae na napakasimple at napakatipid din.

This past—more than 40 years na kami mag-asawa.  Wala po kaming nabiling mamahaling property sa buhay naming tulad ng magagarang bahay sa eksklusibong sabdibisyon o di kaya’y mamahaling kotse o painting.  At hindi ito hindi ho exaggeration.

Sa aking tanda po, the past 45 years since I started working, walang pong lumipas na kahit na isang buwan na hindi po ako nakapag-save ng bahagi ng aking kinita noong buwan na iyon.

Kaya hindi naman po nakapagtataka na marami po kaming naipon.  Kaya nakakasakit po ng kalooban, totoong nakakainsulto na matapos kami magtipid at mag-ipon for almost 45 years, kami po ay tatanungin ngayon at sasabihin sa amin, “Bakit ka maraming cash, siguro magnanakaw ka?”

(Long pause)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The witness, Your Honor, is appearing to be very emotional.  He is on the verge of tears.  I wonder whether the court will be magnanimous enough to grant us even a five-minute—two-minute recess only, Your Honor, in order to enable him to gain his composure, Your Honor.  And we will wind up within that period.  We assure the court.

SUSPENSION OF HEARING

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session suspended for two minutes.  (Gavel)

The witness may rest if he wishes.

At 2:59 p.m., the hearing was suspended.

RESUMPTION OF SESSION

At 3:10, the session resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session resumed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, may we ask permission that the Chief  Justice proceed with his …

THE PRESIDING JUSTICE.  Yes. The Chief Justice may proceed and may we respectfully request the Chief Justice to wind up so that we can proceed with the direct examination. We will allow you, Mr. Chief Justice, to finish your statement.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Marami pong salamat.

Papasok na po ako doon sa mga bagay at mga issue na alam kong hinihintay nitong impeachment court na ito. But just a few preliminary statements before that, but I’ll be going to that shortly.

Bago po tayo nag-break, gusto ko po sanang itanong, ihayag sa publiko kung bakit kami ay hindi namili ng magagarang property this five 45 years at bakit nasa cash ang aming mga investments?  Mahirap pong intindihin ito kung hindi ko ibabagahi sa inyo at ikukwento sa inyo ang masaklap na nangyari sa pamilya ng aking asawa.

During the—several sessions ago, several trial dates ago, mayroon pong mga testigong nag—tumestify dito at nagsiwalat ng mga bagay-bagay na tungkol, halimbawa, doon sa Basa Guidote Enterprises. At ito nga pong eksperiyensya nitong pamilya ng Misis ko ang dahilan kung bakit wala kaming masyadong hilig mag-invest sa property at in-invest namin instead iyong aming resources sa foreign exchange.

May isang hearing date po tayo na kung anu-ano na yatang masamang adjective ang naipukol sa aking may-bahay tungkol doon sa auction shares ng Basa Guidote. Hindi po ninyo maiintindihan iyan kung hindi ko ibibigay sa inyo ang background ng problema at ng hidwaan sa loob ng pamilya nila. Malungkot nga ho at kailangan kong ikwento dito sa harap ng publiko, pero, siguro oras na nga rin siguro na malaman ng ating taong-bayan kung ano nga ba ang nangyari sa loob nitong pamilyang ito kung bakit ganoong katindi at ganoong kalalim ang hidwaan at alitan doon sa pamilyang iyon.

Marami pong dahilan, pero isa po sa pinakamalaking dahilan sa hidwaan doon sa pamilyang iyan ay iyong two-hectare Basa Compound doon sa Libis malapit doon sa  Eastwood, malapit doon sa property ni nasirang Col. Rolando Abadilla, at kung ano-ano pa iyong ibang property.  Nung araw po iyong titulo ng property na yan, ng Libis property, 2 hectares po yan na sa kasalukuyan mga presyo ay conservatively P2.5 billion worth, bilyon po hindi po milyon.  Nung araw po ang titulo po nyang 2-hectare Basa property na yan, Basa compound sa Libis, ay nasa pangalan ni Jose Basa III at nung aking mother-in-law, Asuncion Basa-Rocco.  Hindi po namin malaman at walang makapagsabi kung papaano nakapagpa-issue si Mr. Jose Basa ng titulo doon sa Basa compound na ‘yon na ngayon ay naghahalagang P2.5 billion conservatively; at nakapagpa-issue siya ng titulo at nawala iyong pangalan ng aking mother-in-law, at nakapagpa-isyu siya ng titulo sa pangalan lamang nya.

Iyan po ang isang napakalaking dahilan diyan sa hidwaan ng pamilyang ‘yan.  Kaya kung makikita po ‘nyo, bakit may mga kasong mahigit na 30 years na pong pending dyan sa RTC ng Manila, dahil nga po dyan sa matinding samaan ng loob, dahil dyan sa Basa compound na yan sa Libis.  Nawala na lang po ang kalahating share ng mother-in-law ko.  At hindi lang po ‘yan, ang problema po kasi sa pamilya nila ay napakayamang pamilya pero iyong kanilang mga ari-arian ay nakatali sa property.  Alam naman po nating mga abugado from our experience, ‘pag kayo ay nagpamana ng property, sigurado maraming beses away kasi sasabihin nung isa, “o, bakit iyon ang napunta sa kanya, e, iyon ang gusto ko, bakit ito ang ibinigay sa akin e ayaw ko nito”.  Sasabihin nung isa, “e kasi naman e marami ka ng nakuha kesa sa akin”, kung ano-anong dahilan.  At madalas po, sa ating ekspiryensa mga abugado, ‘yan ay pinagsisimulan ng mga kaso-kaso.  At iyon din po ang istorya ng Basa-Guidoteng ito.  Sino po ba, saan na po ba, five months na po kaming ininsulto ng ininsulto ng walang tigil sa isang pahayagan kung bakit ganun kasuwapang daw iyong aking maybahay, tuso daw, walanghiya, at kung ano-anong adjectives ang ginamit sa kanya.  Hindi po, hindi po, wala pong katotohanan ‘yan.  Hindi po si Mr. Jose Basa ang inapi, siya po ang nang-api sa aking mother-in-law at sa pamilya ng aking mother-in-law.

Ayaw ko na po sana, limang buwan na po kaming binabatikos ng walang katigil-tigil diyan.  Kami po ay tumahimik lamang, wala po kaming sinasabi, at bakit po kami walang imik?  Sapagkat iyong tao ay patay na, kaya ayaw na naming sabihin sana kung ano iyong mga nagawa nya.  Pero ngayon po mapipilitan po akong isiwalat sa buong bayan.   Ang katotohanan po hindi lang po iyong side nila ang nadidinig na parang kami ang napakawalanghiya at kami ang napakasalbaheng tao.  Maliban po sa pagkawala ng pangalan nung pagkaka-isyu ng bagong titulo ng Basa compound na nawala  iyong pangalan, iyong kalahating share ng aking mother-in-law, si Mr. Basa po, I am sorry to say this, again, I’m sorry and I really apologize to have to say it now Pero kailangan po sigurong malaman ng bayan.  Wala naman po syang trabaho e.  Buong buhay naman nya spoiled brat po e, anak mayaman.  Tuwing may kailangan po takbo kay Mama, kay Lola Charing, hingi ng pera.  Pag walang pera iyong matanda, sige benta, benta  kaliwa’t kanan.  Ilan po bang anak nya ang pinaaral, siyam po ang anak ni Mr. Jose Basa, wala naman po syang trabaho.  At iyong kaisa-isang property na pong natira doon sa matanda iyon na nga po iyong Basa Guidote property doon sa Sampaloc na kinuha at binili ng city of Manila.  Pati iyon po gusto pong ibenta ni Mr. Basa.   Ang sabi ng mother-in-law ko enough is enough.  Tama na naman.  Nakuha mo na yong share ko sa Libis, nawala na yong pangalan ko tumahimik ako.  Ang dami mo ng kinuhang property sa Mama hindi ako umimik.  Pati ba naman itong kaisa-isang ito kukunin mo pa at gusto mo na namang  ibenta.   Nadinig ko po kayo, Mr. Senate President, noong dini-discuss po yong auction ng shares ng Basa Guidote.  Nadinig ko po ang, mawalang galang na po…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Go ahead, Mr. Chief Justice. I remember what I said.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Mawalang galang na po.  Parang ang mga tanong po ninyo ay parang bakit parang napakatuso at napaka walanghiya noong aking asawa.  Na binid po for P28,000 yong shares ni Mr. Basa na meron namang 34.7 milyon nandoon sa ilalim.  Ito nga po ang nangyari dito,  dahil nga kinuha na niya ang kalahati noong Libis na hindi umimik yong mother-in-law ko, kakapiranggot lang po ito doon sa nakuha nya roon sa Libis na binura yong pangalan ng aking mother-in-law at napa-isyu nya ng titulo na pangalan na lamang nya ang natira.   Ngayon po tinanong po, nadinig ko po noong dini-discuss itong Basa, Guidote ito, parang nadinig ko sa inyo na gusto ninyong malaman ano ba ang nangyari dito sa mga shares na ito, bakit ganoon ang nangyari.  Hindi ko po alam kung ano ang nangyari sapagakat  wala po ako roon at ang misis ko po ay may sariling abogado nya.  Kaya ang ginawa ko po  ay ipinasalaysay ko sa aking anak na si Carla po kung ano ang nangyari.  Ang sabi ko ilagay mo in writing yong recollection  mo ng nangyari at ito ay babasahin ko sa impeachment court dahil I think this is relevant to the discussion of the issue at hand.  Kaya ito po babasahin ko po yong sulat sa akin noong aking anak na dinedetalya kung ano ang nangyari doon sa auction ng shares. “Mommy,” and I am now quoting  from the report of my daughter to me.  The auction sale complied with the process and requirements of the law, Mommy went to the Quezon City RTC in the morning of September 30, 2003 with her lawyer to get paid for the damages brought on by the libel suit against the Basas.  Ano po ba itong libel suit na ito?  Ito po yong nagpa-publish po sa dyaryo si Mr. Basa, almost one page yong advertisement on a Saturday and a Sunday of Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Enquirer, obviously for maximum damage to the reputation of my wife at linagay na kung ano-anong masasama ang nilagay don.

Siya ay dinemanda ng libel ng aking maybahay at nanalo naman sa lahat ng libel cases—so ipagpapatuloy ko po—to get paid for the damages brought on by the libel suit against the Basas.

She mentioned, my wife mentioned, this auction to me—to my daughter—impassing a few days prior and told me it had been published for several weeks—yung notice po of auction pinablish for several weeks.  I have been looking for something to invest my savings in so I entertained the possibility.  I had serious reservations about it though because I didn’t really want to get involved in that family squabble.  The greed and coming of those people were enough to make anyone sick.

After selling away the properties of my mom’s grandmother and not giving my grandmother her share of the proceeds repeatedly, they still wanted all the remaining properties for themselves, always in the end in view of selling them, kasi wala po naman siyang trabaho, and not giving my grandmother her share.  Their rational, they are the Basas and my grandmother—yung mother-in-law ko po—has become a Roco and is well provided for by my grandfather’s income as a respected lawyer and business executive.

The risks of buying—ito po importante—The risks of buying shares of Basa Guidote Enterprises were explained to me.  The festering family feud was obviously a big risk.  Cases are pending to this day.  More than 30 years na po.sa RTC of Manila.  One in the court of appeals for reconveyance of title for a property that belongs to Basa Guidote, but got registered fraudulently under the name of Jose Ma. Basa III.  This case was resolved by the RTC of Manila in 2001 after a 16-year litigation period in favour of the corporation, Jose Ma. Basa III appealed to the Court of Appeals.

Another case is pending in the RTC of Manila for the probate of the will of Lola Charing, yung ina po ng aking mother-in-law.  Two other cases are pending in the RTC of Manila for determination of ownership of shares.  When these cases are decided with finality, only then can the corporation be liquidated and dissolved.  Shareholders can thereafter sell one other remaining property and yet their portions of the proceeds of the sales of corporate property.  My wife ho, I’m referring to my wife, has to observe due process and wait for these cases to be resolved in accordance with the law.

These cases started in 1989, more than 30 years na po.  When my father—ako pa raw ho was still a private citizen and had no influence on the courts.  Now that he is in the Judicial system, my mother has been very careful—meaning my wife has been very careful not to be perceived as using my dad’s influence over the magistrate’s.  She has left it to her lawyers to file the proper motions and is careful to the extent of not attending the hearings.

If what my dad’s accusers—yung mga accusers ko pa daw po—are saying is true about using his influence—yung influence ko daw po—would these cases still be pending in 2012 after more than 30 years?  At yan po ang katotohanan talaga. Kung ginamit ko po ang aking impluwensya, tapos na po itong mga kasong ito at nanalo po kaming lahat.

Ipagpatuloy ko lang po.  It is the Basas who are prolonging the cases.  For instance, after litigating their claim over a title for 16 years, after the judge decided the case in favour of Basa-Guidote Enterprises, based on the evidence on the law, they still appealed it to the Court of Appeals.  We also have the libel cases which started in 1996, for four cases, one, per publication, Jose Maria Basa III, and his wife, Raymunda Basa, iyong pinalalabas po sa mga diyaryo at sa mga media na naaapi daw, were convicted in all four cases of libel against my wife in various years.  In the RTC of Quezon City, they were convicted and and sentenced in 2001.  They opposed the writ of execution to further delay the payment of damages.

Finally, partial damages were paid on September 30, 2003, through the auction of their BGEI shares.  Two other sentences in RTC of Manila were appealed to the Court of Appeals, thus prolonging further the payment of damages.

Now, who is oppressing whom?  My mother, iyong wife ko daw po, was the victim of a very grievous crime against her honor and reputation, Jose and Raymunda Basa fled the country, tumakbo po sila e nang sila ay masintensyahan, tumakas po sila.  They fled the country and refused to pay damages and serve their prison term.  Jose Maria Basa III and Raymunda had their day in court.  They were arraigned.   They were allowed by the court to defend themselves on the witness stand.  They were convicted and sentenced in 2001.  Jose Maria Basa III was very much alive when he committed the crime, when he was arraigned, and while the proceedings were going on, he was found guilty.  He must pay the damages that he is being ordered to pay by the court.  His death did not extinguish his debts.

I know about these cases, meaning my daughter, I know about these cases involving the shares of stock, and they could go whichever way.  Ito po ang importante, the risk of buying into a very messy corporation like this was so great that I was willing to bid only as high as P15,000.  Yes, there are proceeds from the sale of corporate property, but the ownership of the shares is being disputed and is still under litigation per the BGEI articles of incorporation, Jose Basa III owned only 110 shares and his wife Raymunda, owned another 110 shares.  Since these shares were valued at P100 per share, the total value therefore of their combined shares was only P22,000, Jose Basa III was claiming that he owned 4,860 shares because he claimed to have bought and paid for the shares of the other stockholders, namely, Maria Basa, Sister Concepcion, the late Sister Concepcion Basa and Sister Flor Basa, who is always appearing on TV.

After weighing the pros and cons, I, meaning my daughter, decided to invest my savings in the said shares.  I remember telling mommy, iyong wife ko po, that I, my daughter, was willing to go as high as 50,000, but if there were others who were willing to bid higher than I would, then I would forego participating in the auction.  It was better for her to get paid for the damages.  But there was nobody else who showed up at the auction, so I paid the P28,000.00 in cash.  And that was it.  I cannot stress enough that there was a great risk in acquiring them, so I don’t see how anyone can say I did not pay enough.  No one else wanted to sink in their money in such an uncertain corporation with so much in-fighting among the heirs.  I was also told, my daughter po, I was also told that the lower—ito po importante po ito sa understanding po ng mga Senador at ng ating taumbayan—I was also told that the lower my bid, the easier it would have been for Jose III and Raymunda Bada to redeem the shares.  Jose III and Raymunda could redeem their shares within one year.  They would only have to pay me back my bid price of P28,000.00.  Thereafter, they could regain ownership of the shares.  But they did not.  Jose III and Raymunda Basa were convicted of Libel against Mommy, my wife po, and since they fled to the US to evade arrest, Mommy had no choice but to garnish their shares.  They were very unfair to Mommy.  Instead of paying for the damages, they fled to escape accountability and serving out their prison term.  ..It was only fair that Mommy would be paid damages.  The court of law convicted Jose III and Raymunda Basa, issued multiple warrants of arrest and ordered them to pay damages.  They were guilty of destroying Mommy’s reputation and making her suffer the pain, the anguish, the sleepless nights, the emotional turmoil, the damaged reputation and endless adverse effects of such crimes.  No compensation, in fact, is sufficient to pay for their crime.”

Iyan po ang nangyari at sana naman po ay huwag ninyong tawagan ng kung anu-anong masamang adjective iyong aking asawa, knowing what happened dito sa pamilyang ito, kung bakit napakalalim po ng hidwaan at alitan nito.  At mabalik naman po ako …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By the way, Mr. Chief Justice, just to clarify.  What adjective was used.

THE CHIEF OF JUSTICE.  Parang nadinig ko pa yatang—if my memory serves me right—parang me nadinig akong nakaisa, nakagulang, nakapangtuso.  Iyon po ang nadidinig ko.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I was not …

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Hindi po kayo.  Hindi po kayo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Hindi po ako.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Hindi po kayo.  Hindi po kayo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Tinanong ko lang po doon sa sheriff kung umobject si Mrs. Corona doon sa bid price ofP28,000.00 because of the fact that at that point, the corporation had a cash asset of P34.7 million, and the judgment to be satisfied was P500,000.00.  And I was wondering, as a lawyer, and I am sure if you were in my place you will probably wonder, since the judgment is 500, half a million, then at least the bid price ought to have been pegged at not less than half a million considering the asset of the corporation.  But I understand from the—and I am sorry to clarify this, in order to be fair to everybody—the sheriff said that the valuation of the shares that he exposed to bidding, was provided by Mrs. Corona.  I just want to put this on the record.  What I said was, did Mrs. Corona raise any objection or a whimper?  Remember I used the word “whimper” to object to the sale at auction of the shares of stock controlling almost 91% of Basa Guidote Corporation and the sheriff said, “No, only the two of them, the mother and the daughter, talked to each other.”  I just want to put that into the record because I do not remember having used any adjective that will extend or in any way imply any unwelcome or unpleasant conduct of Mrs. Corona.

So, you may proceed, Mr. Chief Justice.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Iyon nga po ipinaliwanag ko po iyong dahilan noong hidwaan nila at alitan, napakalalim na hidwaan na ako po mismo ay nahihirapan na rin noon kasi gusto nga sanang magkaayus-ayos na nga sila pero hindi ko po nakayang pagkasunduin sila.

Ngayon po, mabalik po ng kaunti lang kung bakit nga po iyong pasya namin ng aking may-bahay na hindi kami namimili ng mamahalin at magagarang property magbuhat noong araw pa po. Kasi nga po nakita namin itong problema sa pamilya nila, kaya po ang pasya namin ay in-invest nalang namin sa cash  or  in exchange po, para hindi po mawala iyong halaga at para madali po ang paghati-hatian kung saka-sakaling may mangyayari sa amin, idi-divide lang po by three, madali, walang problema at walang inggitan, kung ano ang makukuha ng sino.

May isa pong dahilan before I go into other more substantial things. May isa pong dahilan pa kung bakit nagpasya na kami na i-invest po sa cash, manatili sa cash iyong mga savings. Ako po ay isang dayabetiko. Matagal na po itong sakit kong ito, 1986 pa po.

THE PRESIDING JUSTICE.  Mr. Chief Justice, we would like to caution you. At the behest and motion of your lawyers, when we were considering the evidence being presented by the prosecution, we did not authorize the introduction of evidence to establish ill-gotten wealth and there is no allegation as of today that will support the presentation of evidence regarding ill-gotten wealth. If at all, the re-entrant of this issue of ill-gotten wealth was not provided by the prosecution, to be fair to them, it was provided by your own lawyers who presented a witness here to testify on the totality of the income of your family to justify the purchases of certain concrete assets, condominium and land and so forth and so on. And so, I am saying this, there is no issue of ill-gotten wealth here.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Correct, malinaw po iyon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct. The simple issue is simply inclusion and exclusion of property in your SALN. That is covered by paragraph 2.2 and 2.3 of Article of Impeachment No. II.  So, for the introduction of evidence regarding wealth that it is honestly done or dishonestly acquired, will bring back into the picture paragraph 2.4 of Article II of the articles of impeachment which we already granted to be suppressed as far as introduction of evidence is concerned.  So, if you are going to revive this with your testimony…

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.   Hindi po…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  …then it will become open to a cross-examination by the prosecution and maybe by the members of this court.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Hindi ko po nire-revive ito, binabanggit ko lang po ‘to sapagkat malinaw po na nalason po ang pagiisip ng publiko sa mga atake sa amin sa labas.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I will allow you to proceed, Mr. Chief Justice, kaya lang po, I am cautioning you because this is, you know, an adversarial trial that you will be opening yourself to cross-examination in this area.  But, anyway, it is your responsibility and I will allow you to continue with your statement.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Opo.  Ngayon, ako po ay magpapatuloy na doon sa ating properties.

Ako po ay pinaratangan na may 45 ari-arian daw at ito ay, sa pagsisimula, ay sinabi kong malaking kasinungalingan.  Alam po ni Eulalio Diaz III, Administrador ng LRA, at pamangking ni Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales at ni Justice Antonio Carpio, at matalik na kaibigan ni Pangulong Aquino, na wala naman akong 45 properties e.  Alam naman nya ‘yon e.  At iyong listahan na taglay-taglay nya dito sa hearing na ito ay exaggerated, huwad, at hindi totoo, ngunit inilabas pa rin nya sa media po.  Ang tingin po tuloy ng mga tao doon sa labas, kung anong—sino ba ‘tong taong to may 45 properties.  Pati po ako nagulat, pamilya ko nagulat, 45 properties.  Wala pa akong nakilala pong tao dito sa Pilipinas na may 45 properties.

Ang sinasabi ko po sa bayan ngayon, at ako ay nagbubukas ng kalooban sa inyo at sa ating bayan, wala po akong 45 properties, lilima lang po ang akin dyan at ‘yan ay pinatunayan na namin at lahat ay nakadeklara po sa aking    SALN.  Wala po akong tinago na ari-arian na hindi ko inilagay sa aking SALN.  Kahit na ang ibinabatikos dito sa akin sa impeachment court na ito na bakit ko raw hindi inilagay ang acquisition cost, ang sagot ko po, ay nakadeklara naman po iyong asset sa aking SALN, at iyong mga assets na iyan ay nakarehistro sa register of deeds na kung saan nakarehistro din ‘yong mga public documents covering that assets.  It is something that I am not hiding because it’s a public document that can be checked anytime.  Ngayon, narinig ko po dito sa impeachment court na ‘to, bakit ginamit mo ‘yong fair market value ng tax declaration at hindi mo nilagay ‘yung fair market value ng kasalukuyan?  Unang-una po, hindi ko naman po alam ‘yong fair market value ng kasalukuyan dahil kung ganoon po ang ating pagbabatayan, di lahat po ng nanunungkulan sa gobyerno na may ari-arian every year kailangan pong tumawag ng appraiser para ma-revise yong fair market value ng kanyang ari-arian.  Hindi naman siguro yon ang intension ng SALN Law.  Ngunit nakalagay po at nakasaad doon sa tax declaration ng fair market value ay peryodikaling ina-adjust po ng assessor in accordance with present realities.  Maaaring hindi tumugma sa actual selling price na gusto ninyo pero still it is being updated periodically by the assessor.  Between the assessor’s fair market value determination and the actual selling price if you were to sell it at present day prices ay mas nakaka, as far as the SALN is concerned, mas reliable ito, ang values na nakalagay sa tax declaration because primarily yon po ay ginamit ko in a very consistent basis.  Magbuhat noong araw hangga ngayon iyon na lang po ang aking nilalagay doon.  Kung gagamitin naman natin ay acquisition cost, yong properting halimbawa binili ko noong 1992 for P3 milyon, kung yon ang gagamitin kong value sa aking SALN ngayong 2012 na naghahalaga ng P10 milyon halimbawa, eksampol lang po, ay P3 milyon pa rin ang ilalagay ko kaya hindi rin po updated at hindi rin po accurate.  Kaya incomplete po inilagay ko yong fair market value na nakalagay sa tax declaration dahil yon ay mas reliable kaysa sa yong actual selling price na hindi ko naman alam kung magkano ko maibebenta dahil hindi ko naman binebenta.  The only way na malalaman ko po yon ay tatawag ako ng appraiser every year at paa-appraise ko yong property.  Pinatunayan din po namin na yong acquisition cost, at ito pa po siguro yong sinasabi ninyo kani-kanina ay nakapasok naman doon sa abot kaya naman noong aking kinita at kung may kulang naman ay may pondong pribado naman pong pinagkunan na wala naman po sa pananaw ko, mawalang galang na po, walang koneksyon po dito sa impeachment trial na ito.

May inilabas din po sa medya na marami raw kaming ari-arian sa Amerika.  Kahit na isa wala naman pong napatunayan kasi wala naman po kaming ari-arian sa Amerika.  Yong sinabi nilang ari-arian namin sa Amerika yong listahan po kasing peke ng LRA list noong 45 properties.  Nanggaling po sa isang pekeng manunulat, isang nagpapanggap  journalist daw  sya.  Malinaw na malinaw po na yon ay inilabas lamang para makasira ng reputasyon.  Eto na po.  Siguro ito po ang inyong pinakahihintay na topic, yong aming tax.  Noong ipinatawag po namin si Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, hati po yong mga nagmamagandang loob sa amin.  Meron pong nagsabi tila nagkamali yata kayo sa pagpatawag sa amin.  Meron namang nagsasabi na hindi tama na ipatawag ninyo si Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

Ako po, sa ikabuturan ng aking puso, naniniwala po ako na tama ang pagpapatawag namin at pagsu-subpoena kay Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

Sabi ni Ombudsman Carpio-Morales, ako raw po ay may 10 million hanggang 12 million US dollars po sa 82 bank accounts.  Wala po akong kilalang taong may 82 bank accounts.  Ewan ko lang po kay Ombudsman Morales, baka siya meron kaya nakatanim sa isip niya yung 82 bank accounts.  And katotohanan po, ako’y nagulat sa sinabi ni Ombudsman Morales lalong-lalo na nung siya ay nag-PowerPoint presentation na kinleym po niya na ako daw ay may 82 dollar accounts.

She misleading the alleged that such information was based on the report provided her by AMLC.  Ito pong AMLC report na ginamit ni Ombudsman Morales dito sa impeachment court na ito, ginamit dito sa impeachment court na ito ay hindi po authenticated, walang predicate crime, walang imbestigasyon, walang court order, walang notice sa depositor.  Clearly it came from a polluted source.

Ang ginawa ko po ay tumawag po ako ng isang team ng accountants.  Napag-aralan yung listahan na winagayway dito ni Ombudsman Morales at malinaw na malinaw po na kanyang testimony was one of deception, exaggeration and misrepresentation.

Gusto ko po sanang humingi ng pahintulot sa honourable impeachment court kung pwede rin po ako gumamit ng PowerPoint presentation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You’re granted, Mr. Chief Justice.  (Gavel)

SUSPENSION OF HEARING

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session suspended for one minute for the Chief Justice to prepare his PowerPoint presentation.

It was 3:58 p.m.

Session resumed at 4:17 p.m.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is resumed.  Mr. Chief Justice, are you ready with your PowerPoint presentation?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Yes, Mr. Senate President, I am ready.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we request, Your Honor, that, Atty. Sta. Ana, who have prepared this PowerPoint presentation, be allowed to assist the Chief Justice, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  Will you repeat your request.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we request, Your Honor, that Atty. Sta. Ana, who principally prepared this representation, Your Honor…

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  What is the nature of the assistance that will be extended.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Computer-technical matters, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then place the one assisting the Chief Justice under oath because he is going to be, in effect, participating in the…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We agree, Your Honor, we will comply very religiously.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President, I think the lawyer will only operate the machine, if I got it correctly.  He will not testify.  So, with all—maybe we do not need to have him place under oath because he will not testify, he will just operate the machine.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will he not assisting and explaining the information that will be shown to the court?  Are you going to…

ATTY. STA. ANA.  Mr. President, I will just be assisting in the operation of the laptop computer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. STA. ANA.  And I will not testify.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then, you do not have to take the oath.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

MR. ASSISTANT.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.  So ordered.  (Gavel)

Proceed.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.   With the permission of the Honorable Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed, Mr. Chief Justice.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Gaya po ng nasabi ko kanina bago tayo nag-break, narito ako para pabulaanan ang sinabi ni Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales na ako raw ay may US$10 to $12 million sa 82 bank accounts.  Wala pong katotohanan yong sinasabi ni Ombudsman Morales.  Noong sya ay mag-testify po dito, nag-assemble po ako ng team of accountants to analyze her presentation at gagamitin ko po ang sariling diagram ni Ombudsman Morales para i-expose ang napakatinding pagsisinungaling nya para siraan at sirain ang aking reputasyon.  Ito po ang report noong aking mga accountants, yong kanilang analysis noong explanation ni Ombudsman Morales.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   The prosecution, since the honourable Chief Justice is actually testifying now under oath and he has been doing this,  if there is any objectionable portion of the testimony of the Chief Justice,  you may raise your objection and the court will consider the objection because…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, in consonance with the pronouncement made by the honourable Presiding Justice, Your Honor, may we now move that all the statements of the witness, Your Honor, in his opening statement be considered as a part of his testimony on direct examination, Your Honor.  Anyway, that is under oath, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  Actually the Chief Justice was placed on the witness stand, took his oath to testify and he testified in a narrative way.  And that is why earlier I said, with the objection of the opposition being raised, that the statements of the Chief Justice, his opening statements, is a part of his testimony already and that it’s open to cross-examination.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you then, Your Honor, very clearly.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  You may make your motions so that it will be officially recorded.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, that is why I was making my motion, Your Honor, that the statements, all the statements or testimony made by the Chief Justice in connection with the opening statement be considered as part of his direct examination subject of course to the cross-examination required or prescribed by law on the matter, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the position of the prosecution because there were hearsay portions of the narration of the Chief Justice.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor will recall, I earlier tried to raise objections to the manner by which the “testimony” of the Chief Justice is being presented.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So you will agree that we will consider the testimony of the Chief Justice, his actual evidence-in-chief.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, but we would like to raise our objections, Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You will object…

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Continuing objection to the testimony of the Chief Justice and if I may discuss.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.  First of all, as the Chair has noted, the testimony of the Chief Justice constitutes hearsay and likewise constitutes irrelevant testimony and he is incompetent to testify on some of the subject matter.  What I would like to stress here, Your Honor please, is that the Chief Justice has been hurling accusations, charges against individuals who are not even parties to this complaint and who are not here to defend themselves.  And I think that’s a gross violation of their rights.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But, anyway, …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I would just like to put that on record because it might be said that we just sat down and did nothing.  I would also like to put on record in the strongest, most vehement terms, the charges of the Chief that the prosecutors have resorted to trickery, shenanigans or presenting evidence that’s fake, under the guidance and stewardship over of our very competent, firm and wise Presiding Judge, with the support of the other Senator-Judges, how can we possibly do that?  In fact, when we filed our formal offer, our formal offer was admitted in evidence by the Senator-Judges.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we know the …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Excuse me.  I am not yet done.

It is not fair …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the prosecution finish.  (Gavel)

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Mr. Chief, we are lawyers here.  We are under oath to push our cases as hard as we can as your defense counsel have admirably done.  But to just cast aspersions on my team without any basis is unfair and I object to it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Are you through?  May we …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  We take note of your objection.  But anyway, we are going to focus—this court will focus on the testimony of the Chief Justice, and will consider what is relevant and what is irrelevant, what’s material and what’s immaterial.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel for the defense.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we now request permission for the Chief Justice to continue with his presentation, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, the Chief Justice may now continue.  (Gavel)

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  As I was saying earlier, Ombudsman Morales accused me of having 10 to 12 million US dollars in 82 bank accounts.  That is a malicious lie.  And I will be using the Ombudsman’s own diagram which you’ll see on on the screen to expose the malicious lies she unleashed which was intended for no other reason but to destroy my reputation.

A careful analysis of the AMLC report would show that many of these accounts were already closed and the funds thereof transferred to settlement accounts.  These bank accounts represent time deposits or investments.  Each time a time deposit would mature and be rolled over, a new account would be created or consolidated to make a new placement to earn higher interest.  These funds would then be transferred from one account to another in order to earn more interest.

I repeat, ladies and gentleman of this honourable tribunal, inuulit ko po sa taong bayan, wala po akong 82 bank accounts, dollar accounts.  I do not have 82 dollar accounts as charged by the Ombudsman.

The alleged AMLC report itself, contrary to the Ombudsman’s misleading representations will show that there are only four dollar accounts by December 2012.  Four, not 82, four.

For example, in BPI Acropolis Branch which only had seven and not eight bank accounts, all these banks in BPI Acropolis were closed as early as 2004 to 2005 and transferred to BPI Tandang Sora and PS Bank Cainta.  Thus, these were no longer—there were no longer any bank accounts in BPI Acropolis.  For BPI Tandang Sora Branch, the Ombudsman said, that I allegedly had 18 accounts in said branch, but the alleged AMLC report will also show that all these accounts were closed, during the period 2004 to 2007 and transferred to BPI San Francisco Del Monte and PS Bank Cainta.  Makikita po ninyo doon sa screen, paliit ng paliit iyong pie na sinabi ni Ombudsman Morales na mayroon daw ako.  The same goes for the 34 accounts in BPI San Francisco Del Monte.  The accounts in this branch were closed beginning 2007 to December 2011, iyon po, makikita ninyo, kakapiranggot na lang po ang natitira, the last account to be closed was the main account, account number 3244108104.  BPI-MIC, the BPI investment management incorporated account was sourced from the BPI San Francisco Del Monte main account number 3244108104.  This was closed on December 19, 2011, and the funds thereof or therein, transferred to main account number 3244108104.  For Allied Bank, these placements include the Citibank and two Deustche Bank accounts, the main account for Allied Bank is account number 1582002676.  The alleged AMLC reports show that most of the Allied Bank accounts, including those accounts representing the placements made by Allied Bank in Citibank and Deustche Bank were closed and the funds thereof transferred to the main account, and this main account was closed in December of 2011.

For PS Bank, all the bank accounts in PS BankCainta were closed between August and October of 2008, and the funds in these accounts were transferred to PS Bank Katipunan.  In PS Bank Katipunan, the alleged AMLC report shows only the last two PS Bank Katipunan accounts were account numbers 0141024292 and 0131002826—ayan po, payat na payat na po ang natitira, hence, contrary to the Ombudsman’s testimony, the alleged AMLC report shows that there were only four dollar accounts as of December of 2011, namely, BPI San Francisco Del Monte account number 3244108104, Allied Bank account number 1582002676, PS Bank account numbers 0141024292 and 0131002826.  Iyan po ang natira sa sinasabi niya hong one big pie ni Ombudsman Morales.

Mayroon po akong tanong kay Ombudsman Carpio-Morales.  Ginang Ombudsman, kayo po ba ay pinapatulog pa ng konsyensya ninyo kung mayroon po kayo noon?  Alam mo namang wala akong ten to twelve million US dollar deposits, at wala akong 82 bank accounts, bakit mo naman pinapangandakan sa publiko ang kasinulangang ito?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor please, may I move to strike out those statements.  They have no place in trial.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, may I know the legal basis, Your Honor, because that is a conclusion on the part of counsel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the objection?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Your Honor, these are personal aspersions on the character of people who are not here to defend themselves.  Why don’t you just testify on the facts than lead any conclusions as to the motive of the person to adjudge.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, the Chief Justice is the highest magistrate of the land, and he knows the law, he knows the Rules of Evidence and I will give him the leeway to answer the questions, or to state his position.  You can exhaust all your skills to cross-examine him after he finishes his narration.  I think it is about to end anyway.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I will do that, your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  So ordered.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Ombudsman Morales, noong ikaw ay tumestigo, tinanong ka kung magkano ang balanse ng mga accounts ko.  Ang sabi mo hindi mo alam.  Alam kong alam mo, ayaw mo lamang sabihin sapagka’t mapapabulaanan ang sinabi mong mayroon akong ten to twelve million US dollars.  Base na rin sa mga dokumento na sinabi ni Ombudsman Carpio-Morales, na galing daw sa AMLC, ang suma-total ng aking deposits ay malayong-malayo sa sinasabi niyang ten to twelve million dollars na nasa apat na accounts lamang, hindi 82.  Ang exchange rate po noong mag-umpisa kaming mag-ipon nitong mga foreign exchange na ito noong late 60’s ay nasa 2 to 1 pa lamang.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How much?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  2 to 1 po, noong mag-umpisa po kaming mag-ipon ng mga dollars namin, 2 to 1 pa lang po ang exchange rate.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When was that, Mr. Chief Justice.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Mga late 60’s po.  Dahil ako po ay nagsimulang magtrabaho 1968.  Ngayon po ay halos 45 to 1 na ang exchange rate.  Kung natatandaan po ninyo …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you sure that late 60’s or early 60’s?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Late 60’s.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is after 1965.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Kung natatandaan po ninyo, noong matapos ang 1969 presidential elections, I mean, hanggang noong December or November of 1969, noong naganap iyong 1969 presidential elections, ang exchange rate po ay 2 to 1 at nag-devalue tayo sa floating rate noong January of 1970.  From 2 to 1 naging 6 to 1.  Maayos at maalwan naman po ang kita ko noong mga panahong iyon, lalo na noong ako ay naging abogado na.  Lahat po ng savings namin pinalitan namin nang pinalitan sa US dollars.  Ang tanong naman po ay bakit naman sa US dollar.  Sapagka’t wala po kayong lugi sa U.S. dollars dahil ito po ay napaka-stable kung ikukumpara ninyo sa Philippine pesos. Ikaw ay liquid at ito ay madaling palitan kung kailangan at mabilis umakyat ang halaga at hindi naman po kami nagkamali sa pagkaka-invest namin po sa foreign currency sapagkat ang exchange po ay tumalon na to almost seven times, ang Balor doon sa pagkabili namin halos 40 years ago. At dahil halos hindi namin nagagalaw ang interest dahil mayroon naman akong kita sa aking trabaho sa practice. Lumago po ng lumago ang halaga ng mga investment namin sa foreign exchange.

Isa pa po, mahaba po ang history nitong mga pondong ito. Nag-umpisa po ito na matagal na matagal na dekada na po ang binibilang noong ako ay mga mga account pa po sa sa Far East Bank at isa o dalawa pang bangko. Inuulit ko po sa iyo, mga Ginoong-Hukom, wala po akong  US $10 to 12 million katulad ng sinabi ni Ombudsman Carpio-Morales. Wala din po akong 82 bank accounts. Ang lahat ng nasa amin ay nanggaling sa mabuting paraan, sa sariling sikap at wala po akong ninakaw sa gobyerno kahit na isang kusing. Wala po akong ninakaw sa gobyerno kahit na isang pera.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Are you through, Mr. Chief Justice?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Malapit na po.

Kinita po ng malinis ang lahat ng aming pinag-ipunan noong ako ay nasa pribadong sector pa. Nagbayad po ng tamang buwis at mahaba ang fund history ng mga pondong ito.

At bakit naman wala sa SALN ko? Sapagkat may batas po Republic Act 6426 na naggagarantiya ng confidentialitiy ng dollar deposits. Ang pagkakaintindi po sa pagbasa ng batas ay hindi kailangan ideklara ang US dollar deposits sa SALN dahil sa confidentiality provision ng batas. This is an absolute rule.

Mismong si dating Director Estrella Martinez ang nagsabi na sa loob ng 32 taon niya sa pagsusuri ng mga SALN noong siya ay naninilbihan pa sa Bureau of Internal Revenue wala pa siyang nakitang nagdeklara ng dollar deposits sa SALN.

Ako po ba ay may tinatago? Sinasabi ko po sa inyo at tumitingin ako ng diretso sa mga mata ninyo. Wala po akong tinago. Sapagkat kung ako’y may tinago, hindi ko po ilalagay sa pangalan ko ang kwarta kong ito. Kung ako ay may itinago hindi ko ilalagay sa pangalan ko ang mga perang ito.  Dekada na po ang binibilang buhat nung kami ay nag-invest sa foreign exchange.

Ako naman po ba ay may peso deposit?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Mr. Chief Justice, with your—I just want to clarify,  I hope you don’t mind.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Iyong dollar deposits were only earning interests or are you engaged in buying and selling foreign currencies?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Compounded po, compounded annually, interest po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Interest lang?

THE CHIEF JUSTICE.  Opo.

May mga peso deposits ba na nasa pangalan ko?  Opo.  Pero taliwas sa mga sinabi ni Ombudsman Carpio-Morales na may 31 peso deposit accounts daw ako, ito po ay hindi po totoo sapagkat tatatlo lang po ang aking peso deposits accounts.  Nakakapagtaka nga po, LRA list – 45 properties daw iyon pala ay lilima lang, dollar accounts, 82 daw po dollar accounts, iyon pala ay apat lamang, at ngayon naman, 31 peso accounts daw po, iyon pala ay tatatlo lamang.  Ang hilig naman po magimbento.

At bakit ko naman hindi idineklara ang pesos ko na ito sa SALN ko?  Sapagkat ito ay co-mingle funds na hindi naman namin pag-aari.  Sino po ang nagmamay-ari ng mga pondong ito?  Ito po ay binubuo ng expropriation proceeds, ng pagbenta ng Basa-Guidote property sa City of Manila noong 2001, at sa nakaraang 11 years po, ito naman ay kumita ng interest, nandiyan din po ‘yan.  Noong mga taong 1990, ang aking ina po ay na-diagnosed na may colon cancer, inihabilin po nya kung ano man iyong natitirang pera nya sa bangko sa akin, sabi nya, ikaw na ang mangasiwa ng pondong ‘yan, ikaw na ang bahala sa pagbayad ng mga doctor ko, pag-oospital ko, at lahat ng—sorry to say it, iyong funeral expenses ko.  Nandiyan din po ang utos ng aking ina na kung may matitira pagkatapos mabayaran ang kanyang mga doctor, hospital bills, funeral expenses, ang natitira pong pera ay pangangasiwaan ko para kung sino man po sa pamilya ang mangailangan for any emergency.  At ito na nga po ay nagkatotoo sapagkat iyong aking nakakatandang kapatid, si Toti po, aking Kuya Toti, si Arturo, mga two years ago po ay malubhang nagkasakit sa puso at nangailangan ng malagyan ng stent, lima pong stent.  Matagal na po syang hindi nakakapagtrabaho dahil sya ay masakitin.   Maliban sa kanyang sakit sa puso, sya rin po ay may scoliosis of the spine, he is in constant pain and almost perpetually confined to bed.  Dito ko po kinukuha, dahil hindi na po sya nakakapagtrabaho, dito po kinukuha ang binibigay ko sa kanya tuwing buwan, mga gamot nya at noong sya ay na-confine sa Medical City para mangailangan ng stent na halos isang milyon po ang nagastos namin, dito po kinuha.  Nandyan din po ang interest  na kinita nitong mga account na ito sa BPI, pera po ng aking 2 anak, si Carla at si Francis na kino-mingle ko po dyan para makakuha kami ng sama-sama, makakuha ng mas malaking interest at yong peso savings po ng anak kong si Charina na iniipon namin para pagpagawa nya ng bahay doon sa McKinley Hill.  Nakalagay dito na, natalakay po dito sa impeachment court na ito yong ari-arian ng aking anak na si Charina sa Mckinley Hill na ang bintang sa akin ay akin daw, na tinatago ko sa pangalan ng aking anak na si Charina na hindi naman po totoo sapagkat sya po ay isang physical therapist  na malaki ang kinikita sa Amerika.  Matagal na po sya, almost ten years na po sya doon, napakasipag na bata.  Dalawa pong trabaho ang kanyang hinahawakan, parehong mataas ang kanyang pwesto sa 2 ospital.  Nagtatrabaho din yong kanyang asawa.  Kung hindi po natuloy, kung wala po itong impeachment trial na ito, siguro po ay abala kami ng aking maybahay sa pangangalaga at pangangasiwa ng pagpapatayo nya ng bahay na yan sa McKinely Hill.  Dahil bago pa man din sya umalis almost ten years ago sa Pilipinas at pumatungo sa Amerika, sya po ay may mga naiwan ding mga savings din dito at nandidiyan rin po yan, yong savings ni Charina, sa pesos na yon.

I have come here to disclose the information regarding these accounts, especially the dollar accounts.  I must declare, however, that as I said, there are good and valid reasons why I have no obligation or duty to execute the waiver which some people have been asking me to execute because I am guided by the letter of Republic Act No. 6426 which, as you know, upholds all depositors of foreign currency full and absolute confidentiality.  As the records will show, I have never declared these accounts in my SALN consistent with the belief that there is no legal duty to do so.  The situation po is not my doing.  It has been in place for a very long time.  It is a common view that Republic Act 6713 does not amend the secrecy of foreign currency deposits.  In fact, there is no jurisprudence or ruling on the matter.

On the contrary, Supreme Court decisions confirm that the secrecy afforded by Republic Act 6426 is absolute.  Certainly, I should not and cannot be penalized for abiding and relying on the letter of the law.

The inaccuracies in my SALN do not constitute an impeachable offense.  Not every omission, not in every inaccuracy is an impeachable offense.  In this case, the prosecution itself in fact admitted in open court, right here, that an omission or inaccurate declaration in the SALN, while it may constitute perjury, is not a high crime.

Ito po ay record ng Senate sitting as an impeachment court on Thursday, February 2, pages 18-19.  Nothing in what I have done or omitted to do it amounts to an impeachable offense.

My accusers talk about my moral fitness to remain as Chief Justice.  What moral fitness I ask?  This has never been alleged in the complaint, much less has there been evidence presented to prove it.  Moreover, this only sprang up in the discussion because of the propaganda and surveys manipulated and timely released to create a popular perception that I am no longer morally fit to remain in public office.  And who claim unfitness on my part but the very same accusers who have done everything to destroy me and my family from the very beginning.

At this point, I would like to thank those who stood by me and the cause I’m fighting for.  Win or lose, we shall continue fighting because we know right is with us and no one can take that away from us.

Be that as it may, I have here with me a waiver which I will sign right now.

(Chief Justice signing waiver)

Ito po, pirmado ko na po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ano po ba yang waiver nay an?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Babasahin ko po.  Babasahin ko po.

I, Renato C. Corona, hereby waive my right of confidentiality and secrecy of bank deposits under Republic Act No. 1405, as amended, and authorize all banking institutions to disclose to the public any and all bank documents pertaining to all peso and foreign currency accounts under my name.

I hereby authorize the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Anti Money Laundering Council, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Land Registration Authority to disclose to the public any and all information that may show my assets, liabilities, net worth, business interests and financial connection to include those of my spouse.

I am likewise authorizing the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court en banc with permission from the Supreme Court en banc to immediately release to the public my SALN for the years 2002 to 2011, wherefore, with God and the Filipino people, as my witnesses, I affix my signature this 22nd day of May, 2012 at Pasay City, Philippines, signed, Renato C. Corona, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Chief Justice, that is limited to Republic Act No. 1405?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Nakalagay po, foreign currency deposits.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The foreign currency deposit refers to Republic Act No. 6426.  So, you are also waiving that?

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  I will write it here in my handwriting.  It is just a typographical error, because the original draft had it.  Ah, nakalagay naman po dito, under Republic Act No. 6426 and Republic Act No. 1405 as amended.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is why I wanted to clarify.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Nakalagay po.  Nakalagay po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you through, Mr. Chief Justice.

CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.  Sandali na lang po.  Sandali na lang po.  It authorizes any and all banks to release information about dollar accounts in my name, and peso accounts in my name, specifically the number of the accounts, the opening and closing balance.  As I speak, my counsels are distributing blank copies of the waiver that I have signed.  I am humbly asking all 188 complainants from the House of Representatives, led by the Congressmen in the prosecution panel and Senator Franklyn Drilon, to join me in a moment of truth as a gesture of transparency and reconciliation with the Filipino people and to one another.  I am asking them to sign these blank forms and to join me, sapagkat hiling po ito ng bayan.  Let us face the people together.  The nation is at a stand still.  Our people are watching all of us.  Our people had been drawn into this intriguing web of dissention and decisiveness, or this proceeding has divided the nation.  We owe it to the people.  Let us together show them that we are first and foremost their public servants, and we surrender to their call for transparency and accountability.

Let us rise to the occasion and prove to them that we deserve their trusts, that we are willing to answer to them whatever the consequences.  I beg you Ladies and Gentlemen of the prosecution, not to engage me in arguments about who is on trial here.  We, you and me, are all on trial here.  Let us stop all the posturing and show the Filipino nation what were made of.  This is no trick or manipulation.  This is an invitation, a challenge for public accountability made only with the hope that we can all together give our nation one shining moment in public service.  You may choose to turn down this invitation, this challenge, for whatever reason, whatever, but if you decline, then, you will affirm to me and all who are watching that there is in fact no legal obligation or duty to disclose foreign currency holdings and deposits.  If any of you should choose to decline, I regret that there is no point in my waiver because it will only allow the completion of the persecution I have suffered.  I am no thief, I am no criminal, I have done no wrong.  But honorable Senators, I am also no fool.

I pray that these Gentlemen will accept my invitation, otherwise, I stand by my actions as being completely founded on the law itself..  Isusumite ko po ang aking waiver sa kinauukulan kapag kompleto na ang pirmadong 189 waivers.  Kung hindi sila papayag sa hamong ito, bibigyan ko po ng direktiba ang aking defense panel na i-rest na po ang aking depensa.  Tutal, wala naman silang napatunayang paratang laban sa akin.  Maraming salamat po.  Pagpalain po tayo ng Poong Maykapal.  And now, the Chief Justice of the Republic of the Philippines, wishes to be excused.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, the Chief Justice, as respondent in this case, has been on the witness stand, testified for more than three hours …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  He is not being discharged.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am not discharging him.  I am making a manifestation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Order.  We have not discharged the Chief Justice.  With due respect to him.  Counsel for the defense, will you kindly advise your client to return to the witness stand.  I respect him as a Chief Justice, but this court must be respected.  (Gavel)  Quiet.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.   May I request …There was a misunderstanding, Your Honor.  May I request even for one minute, Your Honor.  We will have him return back, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am very sure it is not out of disrespect to this court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is suspended for one minute.  Please let the Chief Justice come back.  Sgt-At-Arms isara ninyo iyong kuwan.  (Gavel)

It was  5:15 p.m.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, I apologize to the seeming disrespect to this honourable court.  There was no intention whatsoever.  There is a misapprehension, Your Honor.  In fact, he is taking his medicine and attending to personal necessity.

At 5:20 p.m, the session was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  (Gavel)  Session is resumed.  Ladies and Gentlemen, we have been patient.  I warn you, if you continue to be disorderly, I will ask the Sgt-At-Arms to escort all of you out of this session hall.  So, I hope you understand the decorum required by this Court. You may do it in some other place but in this Court.

SO ORDERED.

Mr. Counsel, is the Chief Justice coming back?

JUSTICE CUEVAS. I was told, Your Honor, a while ago that—I do not know how to—sorry.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Nobody can get out of the Senate. I ordered all the doors closed. And I do not want any defiance of the powers of this Impeachment Court.  If you are going to do this, disrespecting this court, this court will make a decision of this case right now.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I be permitted, Your Honor, to check his whereabouts.

SUSPENSION OF THE HEARING

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, session is suspended for one minute.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.   please, despite the fact that he is suffering from hypoglycemia, Your Honor, and the fact that—I am sorry …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You know …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Counsel, You placed the Chief Justice on the witness stand …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

THE PRESDING OFFICER.  We allowed him to narrate his defense.

If he does not want to be cross examined, you know the consequences of that, I will order the striking out of all his statement from the record, and we will decide the case on the basis of the evidence on record.

So, it’s your play.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  Now, I wanted to assure the court that there is no such plan, Your Honor.  In fact, after having started with his testimony, Your Honor, I was about to make a manifestation.  I did not realize that he was already suffering from pain, chest and difficulty in breathing, Your Honor, and dizziness, in fact, a couple of minutes before these things actually took place, Your Honor, he was already taking medicines, Your Honor.  He can be viewed now by the court, and hypoglycaemia, I am speaking from experience, because I have two brothers who died within one-year apart, Your Honor, and that is why I am a little bit apprehensive also, also, panicky, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I would like to assure the court that there is no intention to violate nor to degrade the authority of this court, and I take it upon myself, Your Honor, to commit …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, counsel, but he is the Chief Justice, he knows the decorum in the courts, and he could very well have said, I am not feeling well, may I be excused by this court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Not to me but the court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor,  I could not …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   But the fact that he said, I am the Chief Justice, I want to be excused.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Hinihingi po namin ang inyong kapatawaran at unawa, Kagalang-galang na—sapagkat po …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I think, we did not volunteer to the judges here.  We are here by virtue of the mandate of the Filipino people.  And I will tell you, Mr. Counsel, I have high respect for the Chief Justice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I have high respect for the institution that he represents, but I equally demand a respect for the institution that I represent.  And I am not going to allow any slight, any abuse of authority against this court for as long as I am the Presiding Officer.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alam po namin iyon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If you are not going to allow your client or he will not allow himself to be cross-examined, we will decide this case on the basis of the evidence on record.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Hindi po naman ganoon Chief dahil iyon pong manipestasyong kong ginagawa noong magtapos siya ay manifestation to the effect that we be allowed to start with our direct-examination questions.  And it is only after we are through with the direct-examination, Your Honor, that cross-examination may be had.  So, we have no intention …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Your client has been testifying.  What direct-examination are you going to ask him.  He has already made his case.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  But there are quite a number, for instance the AMLA report, the circumstances that brought about the filing of the—so a lot more, Your Honor, just to show to the court that we were not really intending to let him …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why did you not stop your client so that you can ask the direct questions.  We have cautioned him.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Tama po iyon.  Kaya nga po sinisisi ko rin komo nag-panic na rin po ang pamilya eh.  Hindi po malaman kung ano ang gagawin?  Ang dapat sanang ginawa nila kahit na isa man lang sa kanila nagsabi sa akin, humingi ng permiso.  And I could makel any manifestation, Your Honor.  And I think the court will be liberal enough to …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Kami naman dito ay ipinakita namin sa inyo na nirerespeto namin siya.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Tama po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Nirerespeto namin ang Korte Suprema, pinagbibigyan namin, marami sa akin pumupuna sapagka’t pinabayaan kong magsalita ng napakahaba, ay huwag naman kaming babastusin.  Huwag naman kaming babastusin.  Hindi ko papayagan na babastusin itong husgado na ito ng maski sinuman.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Dinaramdam po namin at ikinalulungkot namin na magkaroon ng ganitong pangyayari sapagka’t wala naman pong intension ang kagalang-galang Chief Justice ni ang pamilya niya.  Ang tingin ko po, ay maaaring nag-panic na rin ang pamilya, hindi makahinga, namumutla at bumaba po ang sugar, eh ni hindi po makatayo eh.  Tutal, noon pong inexamine …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Ngayon, para wala ng mahabang usapan, ano ba ang gusto ninyo?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Eh di ipagpapatuloy po naming ang pagtestigo niya.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ngayon?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Kung ngayon po ay hindi po siguro dahil tulerado po ang aming kliyente eh.  Ang ibig kong sabihin, he is not physically able and I believe not mentally suited also to carry on with the examination more particularly if there will be cross-examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is your pleasure?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Kaya nga po nakikiusap kami, kung ang kanyang kondisyon po batay sa report, maski po ng doctor ng Senado, ay puwede na siya, ay kahit po bukas.  I arrogate it unto myself, Your Honor, to take the trouble of bringing him here.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ang ibig ninyong sabihin, na depende iyan sa kanyang kalagayan, at antayan namin na pasyahan itong kaso na ito kung kalian niya gusting bumalik dito?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ah hindi po.  Hindi po kung kalian niya gusto.  Hindi po ako sasang-ayon doon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Kailan nga?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Bukas po, kung ayos na siya.  Tuloy na siya.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Eh kung hindi siya ayos.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Eh papaano … patawarin po ninyong sabihin ko.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, I am telling you, we will give him, to be considerate to him, we will give him until tomorrow to return.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay then, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then if he will not return for cross-examination, we will consider this case submitted for resolution.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We will.  We will abide by, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I would like to have the impeachment court to express their position.  Is there any objection to this position?  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we support your decision. There is no objection from the Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    We will give you until tomorrow. You must bring the Chief Justice back for cross-examination and you know the rule. What he said here is nothing unless he is cross-examined by the opposing counsel.  If he will not appear, I will be forced to order, issue an order to strike out all everything he said here from the record and we will then consider his case submitted for decision.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thy shall be done, Your Honor, as directed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    SO ORDERED.

SEN. SOTTO.  With that, Mr. President, may we ask the Sergeant-at-arms to make a manifestation.

THE SERGEATN-AT-ARMS.  Please all rise.  All persons are commanded to remain in their places until the Senate President and the Senators have left the session hall.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  I move that we adjourn until two o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Any objection?  (Silence)  Hearing none, this trial is adjourned until two o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday, May 23, 2012, without any postponement. (Gavel)

The session was adjourned at 5:39 p.m.

IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

At 2:12 p.m., the hearing was called to order with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile presiding.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The continuation of the impeachment trial of the Honorable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona of the Supreme Court is hereby called to order.  We shall be led in prayer by Senator Francis N. Pangilinan.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary will now please call the roll of Senators.

THE CLERK OF COURT.  The Honorable Senator-Judges:  Angara; Arroyo; Cayetano, Allan Peter “Companero”; Cayetano, Pia; Defensor-Santiago; Drillon; Ejercito-Estrada; Escudero; Guingona; Honasan; Lacson; Lapid; Legarda; Marcos; Osmena; Pangilinan; Pimentel; Recto; Revilla; Sotto; Trillanes; Villar; the Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With 17 Senator-Judges present, the Presiding Officer declares the presence of a quorum.  (Gavel)

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President, may I ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to make the proclamation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sergeant-at-Arms is directed to make the proclamation.

THE SEARGENT-AT ARMS.  All persons are commanded to keep silent under pain of penalty while the Senate is sitting in trial on the Articles of Impeachment against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we dispense with the reading of the May 14, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an Impeachment Court and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  (Silence)  Hearing none, the May 14, 2012 Journal of the Senate sitting as an impeachment court is hereby approved.  (Gavel)

The Secretary will please call the case before the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.

THE SECRETARY.  Case No. 002-2011 in the matter of impeachment trial of honourable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we ask the respective parties or counsel to enter their appearances.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. President, good afternoon.

For the House of Representatives prosecution panel, same appearance.  We are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  (Gavel)  The defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor, please, for the defense, the same appearance.  We are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  (Gavel)  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, before the Business for the Day, I move to allow Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago for a manifestation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Lady Senator from Iloilo has the floor.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  I have made a reservation for questioning the witness on the stand, but this is not the time.

This time is for me to make the following manifestation.  Yesterday, the Ombudsman’s PowerPoint presentation indicated that the defendant has 82 dollar accounts in the following bank branches:  BPI Acropolis Branch, 8; BPI Tandang Sora, 18; BPI Del Monte, Quezon City, 34; BPI Investment Corp., 1; PSB Caninta, 8; PSB Katipunan, 6; Allied Bank, 4; Deutsche Bank, 2; City Bank, 1.

Because of hi-tech banking practices today, any information about a bank account will depend upon the system adopted by a particular bank.

For example, the bank could follow the customer transaction system or the bank transaction system.  Hence, it could be possible that a single sum of money could be represented in a double entry.  One entry would be made in the credit column and another entry would be made in the debit column.  Although both entries could deal with one and the same amount of money.

Furthermore, a client could deposit and withdraw the same amount within a single day or within a few days of each other if he engages in dollar trading.  A client who maintains a foreign currency deposit is not required to acquire a license for this purpose.  However, to engage in dollar trading, two or three accounts are sufficient.  It would be unnecessary to maintain all of 82 accounts.

The standard practice in the banking community is to raise the bells and whistles when one client seeks to keep more than two or three accounts.  To allege that the defendant had, for example, 34 accounts in BPI Del Monte taxes the credulity of bankers.

Therefore, I humbly propose, if there is no objection from our colleagues, that the Senate President should subpoena the manager of all nine bank branches that I have just enumerated.  The most knowledgeable official about a person’s bank account is the branch manager.  The branch manager is required by law and by standard banking policy to seek and record details about the client.

Mr. President, for your consideration.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, if the other Members of the court would like to take that up, we may be able to take it up during the caucus on Monday, the motion of Senator Santiago.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let’s hold in abeyance the consideration of the motion of the Lady Senator from Iloilo and discuss it in our caucus on Monday, and then act on the motion.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the status of the hearing now?

SEN. SOTTO.  Now, we are ready for the continuation of the presentation of evidence by the defense, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, I think, the cross examination …

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … by the prosecution has not been terminated.

SEN. SOTTO.  Correct, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The witness on the stand is the honorable Ombudsman, Your Honor, she begged to be excused from continuing with the cross examination, allegedly of being tired and fatigue, Your Honor.  And the chairman of the auditing office of the Republic took her place instead.  We objected to such kind of procedure because we do not know whose witness is this commissioner of the auditing office, Your Honor, and we were sustained by the courts.

So, agenda for today should go or should proceed with the cross examination of the honorable Ombudsman.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is what I am leading to, counsel.  That is where I am going.  Precisely, I am asking the prosecution to continue with their cross examination of the Ombudsman because yesterday, the Ombudsman ended after she made a PowerPoint presentation, and then she wanted the PowerPoint presentation to be continued by the commissioner of the Commission on Audit, Ms. Heidi Mendoza.  But then, there was an objection and properly so by the defense, and so, the Chair dismissed the substitute presentor of the PowerPoint presentation because she was not presenting—continuing with the presentation of the PowerPoint presentation but rather, was testifying.  And truly, you raised the objection, “whose witness is this person on the witness stand?”  And that is why the Chair dismissed her, and so, we are at that point where the Ombudsman will have to continue her testimony and let the prosecution decide whether they will continue the cross examination.

So, may I now request the—someone to call the distinguished Ombudsman if she is in the court and bring her to the witness stand for the continuation of her cross examination by the prosecution.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. SOTTO.  While we are waiting for the witness, Senator Pimentel was earlier asking if it would be proper for us to strike out the statements made by the auditor or the commissioner because it was irregular or let it remain in the records, Mr. President.

That is the question that was asked by Senator Pimentel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please, I was about to make that motion, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Actually, when we dismissed the witness, what she stated on the record is not testimony in evidence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank your, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you also for the clarification.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, if you want to make a proper motion, then let it be stricken off the record.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Considering the fact that the honorable commissioner of the general auditing officer of the country, Your Honor, was on the stand only to continue the alleged cross examination of the honorable Ombudsman, Your Honor, and since she is not a witness, neither for the prosecution or the defense, her testimony, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Not for cross examination to continue the PowerPoint presentation.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I was of the impression, Your Honor, that the PowerPoint presentation was already closed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, not yet.  The way I understood it—that the honorable Ombudsman was tired and she wanted someone to take over and continue with the PowerPoint presentation.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Because the—what do you call that?  The tarpaulin has already been brought up.

SEN. SOTTO.  The screen.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If that is the case, Your Honor, I stand corrected, I have no objection, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But at any rate, so that the record will be clean and clear, may I request anyone here to make the proper motion to strike out the statement of the COA Commissioner.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we recognize Senator Pimentel, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Misamis Oriental.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Thank you, Mr. President.  To be fair to the defense side, I move to strike out the testimony of Mrs. Heidi Mendoza who was irregularly presented yesterday.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any objection?  (Silence)  The Chair hears none; the motion is approved.  Strike it out from the records.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, the court is now ready for the continuation of the cross-examination of the honourable Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.  She is here.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. …Madam Ombudsman, will please bear with us.  We do not want to overburden you but you are familiar with our judicial procedures, Madam, and we have to continue, if the prosecution would want to continue their cross-examination.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Prosecution.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  With your permission, Mr. Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Proceed.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Good afternoon, Madam Ombudsman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Good afternoon.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Would you want to continue with the PowerPoint presentation yesterday?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Sure, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The PowerPoint presentation yesterday.  With your permission, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  Are you asking that the PowerPoint presentation be continued.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  May I invite the attention of the parties, and of course, the Senator-Judges, to what appears on the screen which refers to summary of US inflows of covered transaction from April 14, 2003, to December 22, 2011.  The BPI Tandang Sora account number 8104 is $3,513,348.47; the BPI Tandang Sora account number 1842 is $516,130.47; the BPI also Tandang Sora account No. 5939 in the amount of $1,331,501.43.  Then the ABC or Allied Banking Corporation, Kamias account number 2676 in the amount of $2,940,850.58 and the subtotal is $8,301,830.95.  You add this to the miscellaneous accounts in the amount of $3,853,519,91 to bring a total of $12,155,350.86. on Account No. 8104 in 2007.

Let me explain that the total of $12 million plus a while ago was derived at by deducting the or totalling the inflows and totalling the outflows and it would appear that the outflows would be bigger than the inflows, which means the withdrawals would be bigger than the amount of inflows.

We used a conservative analysis where if there are double, triple or multiple entries of the same amount, we would exclude those from the dollar computation and would include only the last figure in the end of the cycle. For example, there is this mother deposit Account A, then, so much or the same amount on the same date is transferred to Account B. Then, again, on the same date, the same amount is transferred to another account, Account C. Then, finally, for the fourth entry, the same amount on the same date is transferred to Account E. So, it is only the last figure in the last account where the cycle stops that is included in the computation. And so, when we arrived at $12 million plus as transaction balance, we did not include the so many entries that appeared on the same date and as I said, we only included those figures that ended in the last end of the cycle.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    These are not—the $12 million plus mentioned for 2006 …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  For as of December 11, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Yes. Do you know?

THE OMBUDSMAN. These are transactional balances.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    The transactional balance …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    … that is not a yearly, an annual ending balance?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No, Your Honor. It comprehended the entire amount of transactions from —number of transactions from 2003 to December 2011.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    But there was no amount recorded regarding the actual balance remaining in the mother account as of the end of December 31, 2011?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  It would be difficult to compute but we tried also to determine by, let us say, in 2011, the remaining—in 2008, yes, in 2008, there was a deposit of 768,733.96, this refers to the BS Bank Katipunan Bank and it was withdrawn only December 15, 2012, 2011, rather, I am sorry. and that yielded a balance of $769,681.71.  That is only with respect to one BS Bank Katipunan Account Branch No. 0191000373.  This is just one account.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Is there any record of any balance of this mother account as of the end of November 2011?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   December, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No.  The month,  the eleventh month of the year.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   We can presume this is a balance, Your Honor, because it moved only in December…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I will put the question in another form.  What was the total amount withdrawn in the month of December from the mother account?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   December 2011, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.    Yes, 769,681.71 dollars.  So, we presume that…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  769 thousand…

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.    Yes, 681.71 dollars.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  So, we presume that your question there, Your Honor, if, what was the amount withdrawn in November 2011?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That was the amount withdrawn in the month of December.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So that the…

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  From the same account which was opened in October 31, 2008.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, proceed, you may continue, Madam.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   Yes, Your Honor. I think we are now in account no. 81042007.  On July 9, 2007, there was a withdrawal from account no. 8104 in the amount of 295,665.42 dollars.   The succeeding month or in August 9, 2007, there was a deposit of 296,728.99 dollars.  Now, on July 19, 2007, there was a withdrawal of 20,000 dollars, and on August 23, 2007, there was a deposit from account no. 2693 to the mother account 8104.  On July 27, 2007, there was a withdrawal from the mother account in the amount of 100,000 dollars which was deposited in another account 2804.  And on August 31, 2007, there was a deposit of 100,494.69 dollars. On August 23, 2007, there was a withdrawal of  20,076.44 dollars to a different account 3183193.   And on September 3, 2007, there was a deposit to the mother account in the amount of 20,682.83 dollars.  On September 3, 2007, there was a withdrawal from the mother account in the amount of 40,082.93 dollars, and deposited to a new account.  And on March 3, 2008, from this new account was withdrawn the amount of 40,973.18 and deposited to the mother account.  On August 9, 2007, there was a withdrawal from the mother account in the amount of 296,728.99 and it was deposited into a new account 2987.  And on November 8, 2007, the amount of 299,937.86 dollars was withdrawn from this new account and returned to the mother account.  On July 31, 2007, the amount of 30,443.32 was withdrawn from the mother account and deposited to a new account.  And on March 4, 2008, the amount of 133,547.67 was withdrawn from the new account and returned to the mother account.

On August 31, 2007, the amount of $100,494.69 was withdrawn from the mother account and transferred to a new account.

And on February 29, 2008, from this new account was withdrawn the amount of $102,634.97 and deposited to the mother account.

On November 9, 2007, the amount of $299,937.86 was withdrawn and deposited to a new account.

On December 21, 2007, the amount of $50,000 was withdrawn from the mother account and deposited to a new account.

And on January 25, 2008, the amount of $50,224.83 was withdrawn from the new account and returned to the mother account.  Next.

Still the same account, 8104, this is for 2008, on March 5, 2008, the amount of $30,300 was deposited to the mother account.

On April 17, 2008, the amount of $24,000 was deposited to the mother account.

And on July 31, 2008, the amount of $30,000 was deposited to the mother account.

On January 28, 2008, the amount of $50,224.83 was withdrawn from the mother account and transferred to a new account.  And from this new account was withdrawn the amount of $51,167.70  on August 5, 2008 and it remained withdrawn.

On March 3, 2008, the amount of $143,608.15 was withdrawn from the mother account and deposited to a new account and from this new account was withdrawn the amount of $144,947.79 on July 7, 2008.

On March 5, 2008, the amount $175,000 was withdrawn from the mother account and transferred to a new account and from this new account was withdrawn the amount of $176,561.40 on July 9, 2007.

On April 17, 2008, the amount of $20,000 was withdrawn from the mother account and deposited to a new account and from this new account was withdrawn the amount of $24,102.63 on June 26, 2008.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Madam Ombudsman, am I right  that the PowerPoint presentation you are reading from now, a hard copy was already sent to the Senate?  Have we furnished a copy of that report to the Senate?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  I recall that the Senate on the closing hours of yesterday’s hearings expected us to deliver a hard copy and I think we did.  That was my instruction.

 

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  That being so perhaps…

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Madam Ombudsman, that being so, perhaps it would be better if we will just mark the PowerPoint presentation in evidence and to dispense with your reading of the details because you might be overly taxed by that and I don’t think it’s necessary because the Senator-Judges can examine the contents of the report yourself.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’m not clear with the manifestation made by the honourable counsel for the prosecution, Your Honor, which is the evidence sought to be marked, the representations made on the screen, the origin of this representations or what.  We wanted to be clear, Your Honor, before we go into further questioning the witness in connection with them.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why don’t you agree.  If you want to use the document presented yesterday by the Ombudsman which is allegedly the report of AMLC as the document to be presented here as an exhibit.  But on the other hand, this PowerPoint presentation is now a part of the testimony of the Ombudsman.  And so, this court would be interested to have a copy of this document.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The source of all this PowerPoint representation, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’m just asking for a clarification.  I’m not objecting …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  These are actually culled, if I understand the Ombudsman correctly, culled from the records that she submitted yesterday and marked as an exhibit by the prosecution.  Am I correct in this, Your Honor?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I was puzzled because the documents shown to the witness yesterday, we already marked, Your Honor.  So I was trying to clarify only.  I’m not objecting, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely, the Ombudsman, my understanding of what happened was, the Ombudsman testified, and in the course of her testimony referred to a report of AMLC which became the basis of her letter, if I understood correctly, requiring the Chief Justice to reply in 72 hours.  And that was the subject of the examination in chief of the defense counsel whether the Ombudsman informed the Chief Justice about the $10 million deposit allegedly owned by him.  And at that point, the matter was resolved, and then the counsel closed his direct examination of the Ombudsman and the prosecution took over to cross-examine.  And at that point, they have marked, actually, the prosecution marked the alleged report of AMLC presented and testified to by the Ombudsman before this court.  And the honourable Ombudsman requested the permission of this court if she explain further the contents of that alleged report of AMLC by way of showing us a PowerPoint presentation of the movement of the moneys reflected in that report of AMLC.  Am I correct in this, Madam Ombudsman?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s the whole gist of the testimony of the Ombudsman.

And that’s why this Chair requested that this court be provided with a hard copy of the PowerPoint presentation and the defense also requested a hard copy of the PowerPoint presentation, and thereafter, the prosecution also requested a hard copy of the PowerPoint presentation.  So all of us requested a copy of the PowerPoint presentation.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Clarified, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor, please, the PowerPoint presentation …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  PowerPoint?  I’m sorry.  I’m not literate enough in these things, you know.  PowerPoint presentation.  Okay.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If, Your Honor, please, the PowerPoint presentation that has been made and is still being made by the honorable Ombudsman is entitled analysis of dollar account consisting of 25 slides.

I confirm with the clerk of court that the Senator judges have each been furnished with copies of this so-called analysis of dollar account, and the copy which has been handed to me by the honorable Ombudsman, each page bears the stamp certified true copy, deputy clerk of court of the impeachment proceedings and there are initials—there is one initial over each stamp of deputy clerk of court.

May we request that this be marked as Exhibit 11Y for the prosecution, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Madam Ombudsman, you testified a few minutes ago in reply to the query of the presiding judge that $769,681 were withdrawn from an account of the
Chief Justice in the month of December 2011.  Do you confirm that?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Can you advise us or tell us, how much was withdrawn from December 12 forward?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No more.  It did not go back anymore.  I mean, the data that was sourced no longer indicated—or that $769,000 plus went.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, you won’t be able to tell if it was done on December 12.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  December 15.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  15.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I see.  So, that amount of $769,681 was withdrawn on December 15.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  You testified yesterday that there were significant accounts with respect to certain significant events, do you recall that, Madam Ombudsman?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Can you clarify what you meant by that?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, what I meant was that there were significant deposits and withdrawals on significant events, when I say events, I am referring to let us say, 2004 election, 2007 election and during the period onset of the impeachment proceedings.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  For the election of 2004, Madam Ombudsman, which you consider to be a significant event, what was the corresponding significant figure?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Let me look at my codigo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Vague, Your Honor.  The question do not appear clear to us.  May we request for a reforming of the question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is vague about it?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There are various incidents mentioned in the question, Your Honor.  We would like to know what is the gist of the question, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will the good gentleman of the prosecution repeat the question so that we will understand the nature of the objection?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I ask, Mr. President, what were the significant periods pertaining to the significant events which the honorable Ombudsman mention.  What are the figures.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  She mentioned the—as events, the election of 2004.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  That is right, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And then, the impeachment filed in this court.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor, And the elections in 2007

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And then the election in 2007, yes.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, and I am just asking the witness when she said that there were significant amounts pertaining to a significant event, what are these amounts?  I think that is very clear, in fact, the witness has not said the question is vague.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Sir, in May 12, there was a …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  May 12, when?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  2014, no rather, 2004 there was a deposit of $500,000 at  the Bank of PI Acropolis.  On May 14, 2004, we are all talking of dollars, dollars spokening in other words.  On May 14, there was a deposit of $500,000.00 at the BPI …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I ask this question to clarify.  Just so, is there any showing who made the deposit into that deposit account?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  There is none, Your Honor.  Maybe it is only the banks which can determine the depositors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The records of the bank would show …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Maybe, maybe, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By the way, are these deposit accounts interest-bearing deposits?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  I suppose so, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  There must be a record of withholding of the 20% final tax.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  The bank would be able to enlighten us on the matter because we don’t have documents to back up this record of transaction.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, please go ahead.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  In 2007, on May 3, there was a deposit of $293,645.23 at the Bank of Philippine Islands in San Francisco Del Monte.  On May 3, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By the way, do we know the exchange rate at that time, Madam?  If these are in dollars, what would be their equivalent accounts in pesos?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  I don’t know, Your Honor, but I think at that time, the exchange rate was much higher than the present rate of exchange now.  All right, on May 3 there was a deposit at the BPI, again San Francisco Del Monte Branch, in the amount of $25,039.00.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Can you say that again, Madam, $25,250 …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No, no, no.  Where are we?  On May 3, 2007, there was a deposit of $27,039.80 at the Bank of Philippine Islands, San Francisco Del Monte.  On May 3 again, there was a deposit of $134,603.28 again at the BPI San Francisco del Monte.  Again on May 3, there was a deposit of $63,345.61 at the BPI SFDM; and again on May 3, there was a deposit of $53,572.71 at the same bank BPI San Francisco del Monte.  Again, on May 5, still the same.  No, no, no.  It is not May 5.  Still the same May 3, there was a deposit of $15,083.83 at the BPI San Francisco Del Monte Branch, and that is all, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  How about for the December 2011 period, you already mentioned how much, $769,681.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  All right.  This is a conservative estimate of the total funds that were moved during the impeachment week.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Madam.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  On December 12, regular trust fund, contribution, placement, investment in the amount of $417,978.80.

On December 12 to 13, there was an encashment converted to pesos, 135,359.01.

On December 13, there was purchased of manager’s check, DD, TT in the amount of 388,771.22.

On December 13, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   What is that, dollar, peso?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  We are still speaking of dollars, Your Honor.  We did not touch on the peso account …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Okay.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  … because the subpoena limited the document that to be presented with respect to dollar accounts.

On December 13, still the same December 13, subtracted from Account No.  1588021386 reflected as debit memo, credit transaction is not provided, in the amount of 12,888.67 is reflected.

On December 15, securities were sold in the amount of $465,000.

On December 14, there was a debit memo from an account and it totals 72,029.33.

On December 15, there was a withdrawal from the same account $343,192.62.

On still December 15, there was an excess of credits, still on the same account, in the amount of 4,459.76.

In December 19, there was purchased of manager’s check, DD,TT in the amount of 487,998.09.

On December 19, there was excess of deposits in a different account in the amount of $22,998.09 and on December 20, there were debit memos from a different account in the amount of  $687,648.55, So, the total remittance in December—we add this to the outward remittance of US $350,000 would give a total of $3,388,322.14.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Can you tell us, Madam Ombudsman, which branches were involved in these withdrawals?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  This is allied bank, allied banking, ABC, just one bank. BPI.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  BPI and Allied Bank?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  And PS, Philippine Savings.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  This PS Bank, Allied Bank, and BPI?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.   So, three banks?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  These withdrawals took place from December 12 to December 20?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  22.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  22.

I asked yesterday Commissioner Mendoza if they did a study of the peso accounts of the Chief Justice and you now are saying, he did not?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  That is actually a study of the peso accounts, but since the subpoena limited the production of documents bearing only dollar accounts, we just brought documents bearing on the dollar accounts.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, you do not have with you, Madam, your records regarding the peso accounts or do you have them with you?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  It is reflected in the same document that we sourced from the AMLAC.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.

Do you have any summary of the highlight of the peso accounts?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  I did not bring it with me, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you. Thank you. If Your Honor please, may we ask for leave for the Ombudsman to bring the data and the summaries of the peso accounts.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Are you going to make the Ombudsman your witness?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Just a reservation, Your Honor please. Just a reservation.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  He is now on cross, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are on cross-examination. Remember, you are on cross-examination.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Alright.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    And I think you know the rules if you want to convert the Ombudsman as your witness and require the presentation of documents, then, you have to do the necessary motions.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I withdraw that, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, withdrawn.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  May I proceed.

Madam witness, you earlier said that you received three complaints from Riza Baraquel-Hontiveros, Walden Bello, etc.  Do you confirm that?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  After you see the complaint what did you do?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  First, when I received the first complaint, I evaluated it and I thought that, again, I said that yesterday, I would refer the complaints to the AMLC in light of my impression that some of the charges were within the jurisdiction of the AMLC.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  When you refer the matter for assistance of the AMLC, did you this in writing?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.   Do you have a copy of that?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, I have.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  May I see it, please.

For the record, the Madam Ombudsman has given me a letter dated 21 February 2012 under the letterhead of the Ombudsman apparently duly signed by Ombudsman herself addressed to Amando M. Quitangco, Jr., Chairman, Anti-Money Laundering Council.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Let me explain that.  That was the first letter I sent to the AMLC.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  May we request that this be marked as—Madam, do you have a certified true copy?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we be allowed to see the document being referred to, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  It is already certified.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  May I request that this certified Xerox copy of the said February 21, 2012 be marked as  exhibit 11-z.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Aside from this letter to the AMLC, you mentioned that you brought a second letter, Madam Ombudsman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, that is right, Your Honor.  I wrote a letter on February 24, 2012.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Do you have a certified true copy of that?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.    Yes, I have.  February 24, yes.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Witness has handed to counsel a letter dated February 24, 2012, likewise under the letterhead of the Office of the Ombudsman, signed by the Ombudsman, addressed to Amando M. Quitangco, Jr., Chairman, Anti-Money Laundering Council.   And there is a stamped “certified Xerox copy” of the original on file.  May we ask that this be marked as exhibit 12-a.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Winston, can you show a copy to them (defense).

Madam Ombudsman, may I ask, why did you write these letters to the AMLC?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, first, under Section 26 of the Ombudsman Act, I am authorized to seek the assistance of other government agencies.  Secondly, the Chief Justice himself authorized the Ombudsman in his SALN to determine from other government agencies any assets, any properties, liabilities, net worth or business interests from the time he joined the government up to the present and so that was the clincher.  I thought I should write a letter to the AMLC to seek help for any assistance or for any documents that have a bearing on the charges against the Chief Justice.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  What information did you expect to obtain from the AMLC?  Why the AMLC?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Well, because if you read the complaint, there were some slanting about violation of Anti-Money Laundering Law and in light of the fact that there was also a charge of unexplained wealth, I thought that I probably could gather from the AMLC certain transactions.  You see, well, I’m sorry I will not add to that.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  As a former Justice of the Supreme Court and the present Ombudsman of the Republic of the Philippines, I presume that you’re fairly familiar with the law on AMLC?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Well, what particular aspect of the law were you asking me to be familiar with?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Could you tell us what is the basic responsibility or function of the AMLC?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Banks are supposed to report to the AMLC any transactions more than 500,000.  In other words, 500,000 plus.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Pesos?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Pesos, right.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Pesos.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, which is called a covered transaction.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Now, the banks are obligated to inform the AMLC about these covered transactions, P500,000 plus.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Aside from covered transactions of P500,000 and more, are there any other transactions under the AMLA Law which the banks are required to forward or send to the AMLC?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Well, suspicious transactions.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  What are suspicious transactions, Madam?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Well, let me read it from the law.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  “Suspicious transactions are transactions covered regardless of the amounts involve or any of the following circumstances exist:  No underlying illegal or trade obligation, the client is not properly identified, the amount involve is not commensurate the business or financial capacity to the client, etc.  Among other things  any circumstance relating to the transaction which is observed to deviate from the profile of the client and on the client’s past transactions with the covered bank.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So under the law, the covered banks are required…

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Covered transactions.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  … covered transactions and suspicious transactions to the AMLC.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So the data and the information pertaining to the accounts come from the banks but are forwarded to the AMLC.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  That is supposed to be the case.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And what would this information include, would you know?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Suspicious transactions.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Account number, the name.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, that’s right.  Check the date of the transactions, the nature of the transactions.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  After you wrote the AMLC these two letters, was there any response to your letters by the AMLC?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, there was.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  What was it, Madam?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  They forwarded to me  this 17-page document as well as the 4-page summary of the transactions.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I mentioned this yesterday, may I ask it again—there was an initial on each page…

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  … of the report of the AMLC.  Do you recall or would you know whose initial that is?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  The one who was in charge of bank analysis and records analysis.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Would you know who are the members of the AMLC Council?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is provided for by law, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I’m asking the specific identification.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But that is not the question.  May the question be clarified, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Who are the present…

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.  Who are the present…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Reform the question.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  … council members?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.   Well, I think the Chair is Chairman Tetangco, the Governor of the Central Bank and members …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The objection would be sustained, Your Honor, and the witness continues to answer.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I’m sorry.  I didn’t hear it.  I’m sorry.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I already reformed the question.  What are the names of the present members of AMLC?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No, I know.  Hindi ko alam.  The Central Bank Governor and the members are the Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Tessie Herbosa, and the Insurance Commissioner.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you very much for that.  May I ask counsel to stop saying things while the witness is testifying.

(Unidentified man not on microphone – Someone’s been coaching the witness.)

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Who is coaching the witness?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  (Gavel)  What’s the problem?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Anyway, we were hearing that, Your Honor, but we do not want to pester the witness on the stand with whatever suspicion we may have.  We just kept quiet.  But we had been hearing, Your Honor, dictation from some …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I cannot be expected to remember everything that is here.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is not the point, Madam Ombudsman.  The question is whether there were really apparent coaching, Your Honor.  And we did not bring that into the open, Your Honor.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  They were not coaching me.  They were only reminding me.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, anyway, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, you’re not being coached, you’re only being reminded?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.  These, as I said, I cannot be expected to know—remember everything, given the documents—the volume of paperwork that I …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyways, these are public officials.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They could come under the official notice of this court.  So, …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any doubt about the identities of these people?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, Your Honor.  In fact, we even made the suggestion that the law specifically name them.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct.  But the …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Does the law mention the name of Say Tetangco?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That’s not necessary for our purposes, Your Honor, …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  It is.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … because it is not an issue.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  (Gavel)  The law states the positions.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Now, but I think the counsel, the gentleman from the prosecution is asking the identities of the present persons composing the Money Laundering Commission.  And that’s a proper question.

It does not hang your case.  It’s a question of who are the members of the Money Laundering Commission.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The present members, Your Honor, by names?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We have no objection …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Ombudsman may answer the question if she knows them.  (Gavel)

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I already answered, Your Honor, but I can repeat …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  It was already answered.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  The Chairman is the governor of the Central Bank, and the members are the Securities and Exchange Commission Chair, Teresita Herbosa or Teresa, and the Insurance Commissioner.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Go ahead, please.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you.

So, under the AMLC, banks are mandated to forward data information regarding covered and suspicious transactions to the AMLC.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Admitted, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is by law.  That’s a matter of …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  It’s a preliminary question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  That’s a matter of law.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I was just—Now, last night and up to this morning, Madam Ombudsman, the Chief Justice has been telling the media that the data information that was given to you by AMLC is a hoax, it’s a lantern of lies, it’s phoney.  What can you say about that?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No basis, Your Honor.  There is no evidence on record showing that kind of statement from the part of the Chief Justice.  If there is, then he who alleges that there was should take the stand be cross-examined, Your Honor, to determine the accuracy and the veracity of the statement, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the Ombudsman answer if she knows.  (Gavel)

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

What can you say about those charges by the Chief Justice?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  If indeed he made those charges, what I can say is that they are just other lanterns of lies.  He says these are lantern of lies, these are lantern of lies as far as his statements are concerned because these documents were delivered to me by the Executive Director of the AMLC.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Who is the Executive Director of the AMLC.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  It was answered yesterday.  It’s Vic Aquino.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Vic Aquino.  If your allegations regarding the accuracy and authenticity of these AMLC documents are being questioned, what would be the best evidence of the data and information regarding Chief Justice Corona’s accounts in the banks?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, this is …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Improper.  Improper, Your Honor.  Immaterial.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you asking the opinion of the Ombudsman?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, that is why we objected on that ground, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the purpose of that question, counsel?

ATTY. BAUSTISTA.  I want to establish, Your Honor, that the best evidence would be the Chief Justice’ accounts.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is your opinion but …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And he refuses to open his accounts.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are objecting, Your Honor.  May we be heard in connection therewith, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sustained.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Your Honor.  The defense has questioned Madam Ombudsman, the validity and authority of the Office of the Ombudsman with respect to your actions on this investigation.  What can you say about that?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  You know, I think, I have already made myself clear.  I am mandated by the Constitution to investigate public officials, to determine whether their actions are inefficient, irregular, improper, and the like.

Second, there is the Ombudsman Law which echoes the constitutional provision to investigate and the Ombudsman Law, in fact, adds that the Ombudsman can prosecute.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Madam Witness.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  And on toop of that, of course, as I said earlier, the Chief Justice, in his statement of assets and liabilities had authorized me to seek the help of agencies including the BIR to determine whether there are properties, assets, liabilities, networth, business interests and like, from the time he joined the government as well as the interests of his family.  To me, that is a blanket authority for me to conduct investigation.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you.  You earlier mentioned that you created a panel …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That is right.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  … to investigate the complaints.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That is right.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Did you give any written order or resolution to empanel this investigation group?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Do you have a copy of that?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I issued an order, yes.  Can I have the copy of the order.  Yes, yes, this is the copy of the order, it is Office Order No. 100 and it was issued by me on February 22, 2012.  I constituted a panel of investigators consisting of one Chair and five members.  I directed them to conduct fact-finding investigation on the complaint filed by Rissa Hontiveros, Roberto Alerosa, Gibby Gorres, Harvey Keh and Albert Concepcion against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona for alleged numerous violations of the provisions of R.A. No. 3019, R.A. No. 1379, R.A. No. 9194, etcetera, and docketed as CPL no. so and so, and to submit its report.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The witness has handed to counsel an Office Order No. 100, series of 2012.  The letterhead of the Office of the Ombudsman, duly signed by the Ombudsman, and this is a certified true copy, the contents of which, which was read by the witness, may we ask that this be marked as Exhibit 12B.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Would you know if the panel did conduct and investigation?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Can you briefly tell us how they went about conducting the investigation?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, they subpoenaed certain officials of the government for documents that would have a bearing with the financial …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Offhand, what are these government agencies who were subpoenaed by the …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  The Supreme Court was subpoenaed.  I think, the clerk of court was subpoenaed to send a certified true copy of the statement of assets and liabilities of the Chief Justice.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And what was the response of the …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, I think, up to now, the latest that I read was that it is still pending before the banc, in other words, they calendar the request in the calendar of the and to date, there is no compliance.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, the panel subpoenaed the Supreme Court for copies of the SALN of the Chief Justice and they did not comply.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Well, that is what the record shows at this time.  It also subpoenaed the head of the accounting for certificate of yearly compensation and allowances …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Of the Supreme Court.l

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Of the Supreme Court, but the head, a certain Ms. Holgado, refused to comply with the letter.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Was his refusal written down in the Supreme Court?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, it was documented.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Aside from the Supreme Court, who else …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, because the respondent was one time member, chair of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.  And the Electoral Tribunal complied.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Aside from the, you mentioned, the Supreme Court, the BIR, the panel …

THE OMBUSDMAN.  Yes, they asked also for some data from the BIR, but the BIR had not complied up to the moment.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Which other agencies did you …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  What did you ask from the House of Representatives …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  A certificate of allowances, compensation and bonuses that CJ Corona received while he was a member and/or chair of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.   And was this subpoena followed?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, they did.  They complied.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  They complied.  Aside from the House of Representatives, who else did you subpoena?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  The Secretary of the Philippine Senate.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  For what purpose, Madam Witness?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  For the purpose of requesting the statement of assets and liabilities of CJ Corona from 2002 to 2010, record, journal of the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court dated January 25, 2012, January 26, 2012, and February 6, 2012.  Bank certifications dated February 7, 2012 from PS Bank Katipunan Branch pertaining to the balances of the peso accounts as of December 31, 2009.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, what is the purpose of this line of questioning?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I am trying to establish, Your Honor, that the Ombudsman did not act arbitrarily, whimsically with respect to the complaints against the Chief Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, actually, that is already answered.  The Ombudsman said they are conducting an inquiry about the Chief Justice so much so that they have written a letter to him to give an answer in 72 hours.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Just one last point

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the point in belabouring this issue?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Just one last point, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Madam Ombudsman, you mentioned that you asked for the assistance of the COA?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  That is right, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Did the COA render a report in writing with respect to their findings?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  They came up with this preliminary report, and after then some discussions, after some explanations, after some analysis, they came up with this analysis, and I told them to put in visual form the findings, analysis.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you very much, Madam Witness.  That is all for the cross.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you through with your cross?  Are you through?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is the defense ready to do a re-direct?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, but may we request  a one-long-minute recess, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  One long minute recess.

It was 3:28 p.m.

At 3:58 p.m., the hearing was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is resumed.  Kindly inform the honourable Ombudsman to return to the witness stand so that we can proceed.

SUSPENSION OF THE TRIAL

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The trial is suspended.

It was 4:01 p.m.

RESUMPTION OF THE TRIAL

At 4:03 the trial resumes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session resumes.  The defense may now proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Good afternoon, Madam Ombudsman.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Good afternoon, Justice Cuevas.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I be allowed to continue, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Now, in these documents that were given us, Your Honor, I notice the number of the different accounts, but it is not indicated in there the nature of the accounts. For instance, Account No. 8104, may we know the nature of that account? Is it a saving account, a current account or time deposit?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  It is not indicated, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It is not indicated.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright. You are not in a position to tell us …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … the nature of this account?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Similarly, in other account, Account No. 0933, Account No. 0364, Account No. 1867, Account No. 1476, Account No. 0704, you also will not be in a position to this Honorable Court the nature of these accounts?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But is there, from your examination of the papers and records given to you for your consideration, is there any of these accounts that is a current account? You also …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  There is no indication there, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, you will not be able to tell the Court …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, if it is a checking account, or a savings account or a time deposit.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But you will agree with me that insofar as the checking account is concerned, although as you said that you are not trained in millions, but that is a small accounts, Your Honor.  The deposit in that particular account is evidenced by a deposit slip.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  If you deposit…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Current account, yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, whether in cash or in check, correct, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, that is correct, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And in withdrawal there is also a withdrawal slip signed by the depositor.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   If you withdraw it either cash, then, it’s covered by a withdrawal slip.  If the withdrawal is by a check, then, you have the check.  That is proof that that amount was debited from the current account.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Correct.  And if it is a plain savings account or ordinary account, it is covered or the deposit is covered by a bankbook supplied by the bank.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Di na uso ngayon ang bankbook, Justice Cuevas.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but I am not asking you about the uso.  It is still practiced.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   No, not all banks issue a passbook.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, if there is a passbook the passbook must be presented for purposes of deposit and withdrawal.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   But if you have a card where you can use it as cash when you purchase something, you just pin your number and that is already debited from your account.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am not going that far, Madam Ombudsman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am only up to that extent where a withdrawal is made and the deposit from which the withdrawal is being made is an ordinary savings account or ordinary account.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   Again, I qualify my answer, Justice Cuevas.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  If you withdraw it, you want cash, you have this withdrawal slip, or if you don’t need the withdrawal slip, you go to the ATM and just pin and pin and pin and then you’ll get a receipt.  Now,–o, are you coaching him?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  He is assisting, Your Honor.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Irrespective of whether you are a witness or you are a lawyer, that should apply to all participants in his drama.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I understand that even ordinary in cases a passbook is required.  You say it is no longer practiced?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I don’t think lately that has been a practice, unless, probably, you ask for a particular passbook.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am speaking from experience because they are the same passbook issued by China Bank, passbook issued by the—and before you can withdraw and deposit, a passbook must be presented.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No, not with respect to the Bank of Philippine Islands.  If you withdraw, you just fill up a deposit slip and they keep the withdrawal slip, they keep it, they recorded it, they are all computerized now, Justice Cuevas.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, you have…

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Alright, assuming that we are still in that practice of having this passbook, what is your question, Your Honor?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Would you like me to be on the witness stand?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No.  That does not prevent me from seeking clarification from you.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But you are not clarifying, you are asking me a question.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.    No, because you preface your question about this passbook thing.

JUSTICE CUEVAS. Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  So I said I wanted clarification.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please, there is no pending question.  The honourable Ombudsman had already answered.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Actually, the Ombudsman said she does not know whether the accounts were current account, savings account or whatever kind of account.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, we have discussed that…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   The fact is that there is a bank account.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  And a transaction happened in the course of time in connection with that bank account.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I now go to another subject, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Again, in another page of this account 8104 year 2007, there are various account number.  Would you kindly go over them?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Are we looking at the same page, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, this is account–this is exhibit for the prosecution, Your Honor.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Okay, account no. 8104, 2007.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You are also in a position to inform us about the nature of this account.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  I would not be able.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  Now,…

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor please…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Answered already.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. BAUSTISTA.  Mr. Justice Cuevas, you are asking questions about Account No. 8104.  Are you admitting that these are the accounts of the Chief Justice?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Are you cross-examining me?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  No.  Because if you are not admitting that, there is no need to cross-examine…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  This is entirely out of order, Your Honor, unless you are the Presiding Judge, Your Honor, of the Senate committee.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Will you kindly address the Chair before you…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is procedural and more courteous, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel for the prosecution, allow the defense counsel to conduct the cross-examination.  If you have any objection, raise an objection but do not posit the question to him.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So ordered.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I’m sorry, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I think we better conduct this hearing in an orderly fashion.  We are all lawyers and we know the rules.  If you have any objection, raise an objection, state the reason for your objection so that this Chair can rule to allow or not to allow an answer.  All right, counsel for the defense, proceed.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Your Honor please.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I proceed, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Your Honor please, I respectfully object to the questions raised by the defense.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  On the ground of irrelevance because there has been no admission nor proof that the Chief Justice is admitting these to be his accounts.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There is no pending question anymore.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  There’s no…

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  There’s no admission, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  On the part of the Chief Justice.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But the Ombudsman was presented by the defense to testify here and the Ombudsman said that she received a report from AMLC to the effect that there is a bank deposit account bearing the name of Renato Corona and there were transactions in connection with it.  Are you denying that?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  No, Your Honor, but they are the ones denying that.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But what is the materiality of that question that you are raising?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  We submit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the materiality?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  We withdraw the objection, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are confusing the issues here.  I think we better not do any misleading effort here because we are quite alert in this court.  Proceed, counsel for the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.    With the kind permission of the honourable court, again may I be permitted, Madam Ombudsman,  to kindly direct your attention to what appears in this PowerPoint presentation of the…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What page of the PowerPoint presentation were you referring to?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It is there, Your Honor.  I am referring to that portion labelled Account 8104-2007.  I suppose that the account, that the number there mentioned is the account number and 2007 is the year.  Now, my question to you is…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is Account No. 8104-2007.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, my question to you now is, will you be kind enough to tell this honourable court the nature of the account namely, Account No. 2804, 2693, 2405, 4351, 7659, 3398, 2812, 2887, 3479 and 3193.  That is the question.  Would you be able to answer.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  No, Your Honor

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You are not familiar with these numbers as numbers of abank account.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  They are supposed to be bank accounts?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Whether they are current, savings, I wouldn’t know.  It is not indicated in the data which I gathered.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Madam.  Now, may I know from you how these documents appearing in this PowerPoint presentation has been made and who authored the same?  Their office?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  My office with the assistance of the COA.  I asked them to visualize it because it would be easier to understand.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In other words, you are not personally involved in this?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I was personally involved.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we know …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  But in the drawing of the—how do you call it?  What’s the term?—in the putting of the arrows and the what look like ballons, they were the ones who pinned it in the computer.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.  All right.  Thank you, Your Honor.

May we be informed as to the extent and nature of your participation.  Is it supervisory or actual?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Actual, supervisory and control.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In what sense was that actual, supervisory made?  Will you kindly let us know?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  They were personally present in the office.  So we went from one entry to another.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  And after that was done, they had to tell me that this is now reflected as wish in this, and that, and that.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.  And insofar as your office is concerned, where did these matters appearing in this Account No. 8104207 came from?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  They were lifted from the entries given by the AMLC.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I see.  And these entries that you mentioned awhile ago, they were not—Were they presented to you very formally by the AMLC?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  It was forwarded to me by the AMLC.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So it was not filed with your office very formally with an attachment.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Because it is strictly confidential.  It was personally delivered to me.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  By whom?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  By Mr. Vic Aquino.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I noticed yesterday that you had a hard time reading the entries therein appearing …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That’s right because they are so minute.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That’s giving me the impression that appears to be the first time you have gone over these documents.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No, Your Honor,  As you will note in the copy I had, I had my annotations.  I had my markings.  And that’s why I asked the permission of the Senate if they could photocopy the clean copy of these documents.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is the farthest you have gone insofar as supervision or in the preparation of this PowerPoint presentation?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Farthest I have gone?  By?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I have asked you a very definite question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the purpose of this line of questioning, counsel?  Are you impeaching your witness?  Impugning her competence?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor, please, the court allowed us to introduce her as a hostile witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Being allowed to do so, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You can cross-examine—I know the rules.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  Yes, Your Honor.  That is our purpose.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It’s in front of me.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  That is the purpose, Your Honor.  We are trying to determine the veracity and the accuracy …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are testing the credibility of the witness?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  By way of impeachment, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, when you went over this tabulation furnished you by the AMLC people, you did not have a talk with anyone of them?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  With any of the?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  AMLC people.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  AMLC people.  No.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  None.  In other words, that’s just given to you, there is no covering letter, …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  There was.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And you assumed that this was the document …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  There was.  There was.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There was?  I see.  May we go over the covering letter?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Sure.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Going over this letter, it states, “We are furnishing you with the attached information for intelligent purposes only in connection with the investigation of the abovementioned complaint.”  Did you notice that?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, I know that.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.  Will you kindly enlighten us to the scope of what is meant, if you know …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … of the intelligence purpose—of the mention in here of intelligence purposes only.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Let me see the letter, Chief.  When it says, strictly confidential, it says, the attached information for intelligence purposes, only in connection with the investigation of the above caption complaints, subject …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Meaning, information.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Information, yes, furnishing you the attached information for intelligence purposes, only in connection with the investigation of the attached, mentioned complaint.

The mentioned complaint was Risa Hontiveros, et. al vs. Chief Justice, Renato C. Corona.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In other words—may I continue now, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.  Go ahead.  You are doing a cross examination.  Do not keep asking permission from the Chair.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  I was thinking that the Chair may have a question, that is why.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no, no, go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.  In other words, it is definite and specific that this information being relayed to you was pursuant to this alleged complaint.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Of Risa Hontiveros.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Of Risa Hontiveros, et al against Chief Justice Corona.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Mentioned is made in here of an investigation—is this investigation merely administrative or preliminary as it is understood?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Fact finding investigation or case build up.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is strictly confidential.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And it ought not to be known by anybody else outside of those connected officially with it.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right, meaning, only by people within your office are privileged to know this investigation.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Not all members of my staff knew about it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but those who should know about this are only those working with you in connection with this complaint.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, but I qualify that because I had difficulty analyzing the data, I had to engage the assistance of other government …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but my question to you is, the extent and scope, confidentiality mentioned in here refers to the fact that it should be known only to the members of your staff …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Who were assisting me in the investigation of this case.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Okay.  Now, If I go back to your letter to the Chief Justice, asking him to answer the alleged charges in there, you mentioned about serious misconduct in office—kindly go over the copy if you have it.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I am going over it right now, Justice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the question?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am referring, Your Honor, to a portion of the letter, addressed by the honorable Ombudsman to Chief Justice Corona, Your Honor.  And may I refer to you—the honorable Ombudsman to this particular portion, “while you may only be removed from office through impeachment proceedings, this office has, as reflected earlier, the power and duty to investigate you for any serious misconduct in office for the purpose of filing a verified complaint for impeachment, if warranted.  It was on this account that this office conducted an initial evaluation of the complaint.

My question to you is, what meaning should be attached to this statement of you regarding the alleged commission of serious misconduct.?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Any conduct that is intentionally done which is not just, which is not proper, which is in violation of the law, that to me encompasses the phrase serious misconduct.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In this connection, may I read to you a portion of a decision in several cases, more particulary in the case of of Salcedo vs. Inting  ruled by the honourable Supreme Court wherein it stated, “ A misconduct must also have a direct relation to and be connected with the performance of official duties.”  In other words, it is not any misfeasance, or malfeasance but it is an act violative of the rules and the law in connection with the performance of official duty.  Now, the addressee here is Chief Justice Corona, will you be kind enough to tell this honourable court what is the scope of that serious misconduct you are referring to in this letter.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  It encompasses anything that violates the law.  In this case, he is charged to have accumulated wealth that is purportedly grossly disproportionate to his income.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I thought … I will not take issue with you there because the jurisprudence on the point placed on record, Your Honor, already.  Now, you were furnished with this report of the AMLA pursuant to your request, I hope you went over the same, and as you said many times.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, could you now affirm under oath that the contents of the said report are accurate, correct and in accordance with law, based on your examination.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Whether or not the contents of that report is accurate, correct or in accordance with law, I would not have known.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I see.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Because that was furnished to me by the AMLA.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, that is beyond your comprehension.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  What do you mean beyond my comprehension, I don’t understand it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Beyond my competence, yes, but not beyond my comprehension.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  How did you understand the figures mentioned in there?  Were they accurate, were they correct?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  The presumption is that, since I was given these documents, the presumption is that these are documents correctly reflected in the data of the AMLA.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  What verification did you undertake, if you did, in connection with the accuracy of the figures therein stated.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  I could not go directly to the bank to verify whether the data entered here are correct or not.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  How about any of your people or person under you, Madam Ombudsman, none conducted any inquiry?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  From the bank?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There were no inquiries as to whether these alleged withdrawals are covered by any withdrawal slip.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The deposit that you mentioned was not ascertained as to whether there were deposit slips covering the same.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  On the dates mentioned therein.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, apparently you give us the impression that, pardon the language, you swallowed hook, line and sinker the entire contents submitted to you in response to your letter.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Again, I say, the presumption is that they would give to me correct information.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And that presumption was never verified by you.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  I could not verify it.  I could not go to the bank.  I could not do that.  Remember, yesterday, you were talking about confidentiality of bank deposits?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  To which I retorted that are you admitting that these bank deposits exist?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, how could I make that?  I am the one propounding the question.  Are you cross-examining me?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  I am reminding you about what transpired yesterday, Mr. Justice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, I have not forgotten what transpired yesterday.  Precisely the basis of my additional direct questioning now, because you have people according to you who have assisted you in connection with the determination of the truth.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  In connection with the analysis.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Allow me to finish first.  If Your Honor please, may we request that the witness be reminded to allow me to finish.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Madam Ombudsman, let the counsel finish with his question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I withdraw the former question.  In that analysis that you made, did you ask for the assistance of any people in your office to determine the truth of what appears in this report submitted to you by the AMLC people?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No, Your Honor, we are not allowed to determine the truth of what appears there.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I thought the purpose of the request or assistance is to be able to ascertain the truth of the matter ….

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Determine the existence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS. Wait.   Allow me to finish.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Sorry.  Mea culpa.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you. Thank you.   I thought your purpose was to ask the assistance of the AMLA to enlighten you on what they have in connection with this complaint of the various complainants before you, right?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Let me read my letter to the AMLC.   My request was for the assistance of the AMLC  vis a vis the present investigation being conducted and by your office, by our office, rather, on account of the letter complaint of Rhiza Hontiveros, et al., by way of providing relevant information bearing on the financial transactions, if any, of the respondent and related transactions.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And the reply that you received, was there any statement relative to the financial transactions, you were asking assistance?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  They furnished me a copy of the 17-page document and the four-page summary of transactions.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  What transactions are your referring to, Madam Ombudsman?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Bank transactions, financial, to be more accurate.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  They are transactions involving deposits and withdrawals nothing more?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Not necessarily.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes. Were you able to ascertain whether this bank accounts reflected in the report are actually existing?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Again, I said earlier, how can I determine if they are actually existing when I cannot go to the bank?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am not asking how you can determine that fact. I am asking you, did you determine or your office …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Already answered.  She said already that she did not go to the bank. She did not go to the records. She relied on the report of AMLC. And she presumed the veracity of the report of an agency authorized by law to handle this type of problem.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but were you able to ascertain whether there is any investigation conducted by the AMLC in connection …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.    May I object.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Allow me to finish and I will give you all the opportunity.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Madam Ombudsman, will you kindly allow him to finish so that …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Mr. Presiding Justice, it was he who talked.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.    Mea culpa.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I hope he is not appointed Ombudsman. It would be a conflict of authority already.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.   I hope …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Who was talking?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.   I was the one, Your Honor. I am sorry.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    You see. The Presiding Officer is getting confused. He cannot get who is talking. By the way, will you please object if you want to object, so that I will know that you are objecting to the question?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.    I was objecting, Your Honor please.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There is no question yet.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you kindly repeat your question?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I will if there is any because I do not recall making question. Based on your examination of the report given to you by the AMLC people, were you able to ascertain which of these accounts in your Power Presentation are still existing?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Objection, Your Honor please,

JUSTICE CUEVAS. Already answered.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

THE OMBUDSMAN. No, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, as of today, based from your knowledge, the Court cannot deduce which of these—based from your testimony there could no conclusion or finding to be made by the Court which of these accounts allegedly still exist?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Objection, Your Honor, may I ..

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the basis of the objection?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The objection is based on the fact has repeatedly said that she has relied on presumptions of law specifically Rule 131 Section 2 and Section 44 of Rule 130.  Rule 130 Section 44 establishes the presumption that entries in official records made in the performance of duty by a public officer of the Philippines or by a person in the performance of a duty enjoined by law are prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.  Moreover, under Rule 131, Sec. 2, it is a conclusive presumption that official duty has been regularly performed.  And the witness has already answered that she has relied on those presumptions when she dealt with the information from the AMLC.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So that we finish this. Let the Ombudsman answers, she is a very intelligent witness.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Your question Mr. Justice is that, whether I verify if these accounts…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Whether you came to know…

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  …still exist.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  …which of these accounts still existing and whether they still contain deposits.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  You said as of today?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  At the time when you examine the record.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  You stated as of today.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am not saying that.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No, you said that, let’s go by the transcript of  stenographic notes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am withdrawing that.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES. Alright.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I will ask you another question.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  So, no, the answer is no.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is all, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Madam Ombudsman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Thank you, too.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Re-cross.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Nothing, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No more re-cross?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  No more re-cross.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  Thank you, Madam Ombudsman.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are through with our cross, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute, I just want to clarify.  Are the two panels through with the Ombudsman?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am through with the redirect, Your Honor, and there is an announcement by my colleague here that he has no re-cross.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely, I am asking you if you are through.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The defense is through, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  the defense is through with the witness.  How about the prosecution?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  We are through, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  Madam Ombudsman, thank you for bearing with us.

SEN. SOTTO.   Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Yes.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Mirriam Defensor-Santiago wishes to ask some questions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   The Gentle Lady from Iloilo…

SEN. SOTTO.  And Senators Guingona, Drilon, Legarda, Cayetano and Pangilinan.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, alright, the members of the impeachment court want to pose a questions, please go ahead.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  May I ask, Mr. President, if the Senate engineer can put on all the lights, thank you.  I will ask first a very simple question.  RA No 6770, the Ombudsman Act provides, and I read:  Section 22.  Investigatory Power—the Office of the Ombudsman shall have the power to investigate any serious misconduct in office allegedly committed by officials removable by impeachment for the purpose of filing a verified complaint for impeachment if warranted.  Question.  Under the law, Ms. Witness, as Ombudsman, you can investigate any serious misconduct allegedly committed by the Chief Justice.  Since an impeachment trial is now ongoing, the only purpose for your present investigation should be to file a verified complaint for impeachment by December this year.  Here is the question.  Do you intend if the defendant is acquitted to file a second complaint for impeachment this year?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Your Honor, it is the House which determines whether on the basis of the date it receives…

SEN. SANTIAGO.  I am not asking about who decides, I am asking about a provision in the Ombudsman Act which provides Section 22, the Office of the Ombudsman shall have power to investigate…etc. for the purpose of filing a verified complaint for impeachment if warranted, that is your job.  So is that job being undertaken now by the Ombudsman with its present investigation?  Since there is no point of investigating, an impeachment trial is already ongoing.  Therefore, under Section 22, your sole purpose could only be to file a second complaint for impeachment after the one year ban provided by law.  Therefore, I am asking you a question, do you intend, if in this first impeachment trial, the defendant is acquitted, do you intend to file a second impeachment complaint against him after the one year ban?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Madam Senator, if the charges presently being investigated by the Office of the Ombudsman are not included in the impeachment charges, then, I don’t see any reason why there should be no chance to file another impeachment complaint.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  I am sorry I don’t get the answer very correctly.  Is your answer a yes or a no?  Is that a yes?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  For the purpose of filing an impeachment complaint?

SEN. SANTIAGO.  That is right.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  If that is warranted after the investigation, conclusion of the investigation.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Yes, that is what the law says.  For the purpose of filing a verified complaint for impeachment, if warranted.  If you think it is warranted then your only purpose will be to file a second impeachment complaint.  Isn’t that so?  Is that a fair question?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  If it’s warranted, we will.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  All right, thank you.  That is the only question.

So we are placing the defendant on notice that even if this court acquits him, he can expect a second impeachment complaint by December this year for that is what the law says.  The Ombudsman cannot investigate unless it is for the sole and only purpose of filing a verified complaint for impeachment if warranted.  You are so warned.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  May I be allowed to speak, Your Honor.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  That is for the Presiding Officer to…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    You may answer.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  To qualify, nothing will prevent the Ombudsman from filing forfeiture proceedings if warranted.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  I take that as a yes,  I am a student of constitutional law.

Let me now go to certain questions of constitutional law.  This is going to be a little tedious but still it needs to be raised.  I am very intrigued by the world view of the Ombudsman on the relationship between a constitutional provision or provisions on the one hand and the provisions of laws passed by Congress on the other hand.  I have to start with the fundamental principle and I hope you will all forgive me that the Constitution is a written limitation of the powers of state.  It is not a written grant of state power for the fear always is that government might turn tyrannical against its own citizens.  In fact reflecting this fear, our Constitution specifically provides in the Declaration of Policy in Section 1, “Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.”  I draw from this background the conclusion that if there is any doubt, the doubt must be resolved in favour of the rights of the citizen and against the powers of state.  With that preface, let me now proceed.

First, I would like to recite the constitutional provisions of the powers of the Ombudsman which appear to be very plenary, infinite and wide ranging.  These are the provisions of the Constitution, Article XI and I will qualify them by saying that Congress passed a law called The Ombudsman Act of 1989 virtually copying the constitutional provision.  Under Section 13, the Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions and duties:    Request any government agency for assistance and information necessary the discharge of its responsibilities and to examine if necessary pertinent records and documents.  Section 33, Duty to render assistance to the Office of the Ombudsman.  Any officer or employee of any department, bureau or office, subdivision, agency or instrumentality of the government including government-owned or controlled corporations and local governments when required by the Ombudsman, his deputy or the special prosecutor shall render assistance to the Office of the Ombudsman.  Finally, Section 15, paragraph 8, the powers of the Ombudsman.  Administer oath, etc., including the power to examine and have access to bank accounts and records.  These are the broad language employed by the Constitution and virtually copied in the law passed by Congress, the Ombudsman Act of 1989.  But in juxtaposition to these broad constitutional powers of the Ombudsman, we also have certain laws passed by Congress which includes naturally both the House and the Senate.  One of them is the Foreign Currency Deposit Act which provides, Section 8, Secrecy of foreign currency deposits.  All foreign currency deposits etc.  are hereby declared as and considered of an absolutely confidential nature and except upon the written permission of the depositor in no instance shall such foreign currency deposits be examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau, office whether judicial or administrative or legislative or any other entity whether public or private.  That law is still existing, the Foreign Currency Deposit Act.  So we are faced with the question, how broad are the powers of the Ombudsman or should we adopt the world view or the mindset that the Ombudsman’s powers are unlimited as long as they are listed?  They are among the list that are borne in our Constitution.  I was citing the Foreign Currency Deposit Act.

Now let me cite …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I request the Lady to wrap up where we have a rule, and my attention has been called.

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  May I request for an extension of time, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  Thank you.  That would be two plus two equals four minutes.

Let me go to the AMLA Act, it says in effect, because I’ve been asked to shorten my question.  I was trying to lay the background so that it would be all be clear.

In effect, under the AMLA Act, the AMLC or the council should first find probable cause, then it should file the complaint before the Department of Justice or the Ombudsman who shall then conduct the preliminary investigation of the case.  That is what the law says.

So, in effect, therefore, I will just go immediately to the question to follow the injunction.

Question:  It appears that you take the position that the power of the Ombudsman under the Constitution to request the AMLC for assistance and information should prevail over the procedure provided in the AMLA and over the decision of the Supreme Court.  I’m referring to the Eugenio Case where the Supreme Court said, “There is disfavour towards construing these exceptions in such a manner that would authorize unlimited discretion on the part of the government or of any party seeking to enforce those exceptions and enquiring to bank deposits.  If there are doubts in upholding absolutely confidential nature of bank deposits against affirming the authority to inquire into such accounts, then such doubts must be resolved in favour of the former.

Is it your position, Madam, that the powers of the Ombudsman under the Constitution override the provisions of the AMLA as passed by Congress and the Eugenio Case which I just quoted as decided by the Supreme Court?  That is the question, and then I’ll have a second one.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I just am abided—I must just abide by what the provisions of the Ombudsman Law provides.  Until the provision is declared unconstitutional, I must abide by it, Your Honor.

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  So, can you please respond to this question?  You mean that your powers as enumerated in the Constitution override the laws passed by Congress such as AMLA Law, the Judicial Bank Secrecy Deposit Law, the Foreign Currency Deposit Law and even the case of Eugenio?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  May I invite your attention, Your Honor, to the AMLA Law, Section 3, Subsection b.

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  If you could read it to me please.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I will.  “Covered transactions is a transaction in cash or other …

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  I am familiar with that, since I’m under very limited time.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  All right.  Section 3-C …

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  … 3-C, it say, “Monetary instrument refers to coins or currency of legal tender of the Philippines or of any other country.”

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  So, what is the point of your answer?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  My point is that dollars are covered by the …

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  There is question about that.  The issue here is that under the AMLA Law, first, it is the Council must conduct a fact-finding system, and then, if it finds probable cause, refer the matter to you for preliminary investigation.  But you did not follow this procedure.

Plus, there is a provision in the same law that provides that you must first go, file a petition in court, and get a court order before AMLA can answer your question.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  That is the focus of my question.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor, but this applies only for cases involving money laundering.

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  That is your position.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  That these provisions apply only to money laundering cases.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  So let me go to the next question.  Your position would logically lead to the conclusion that the bank accounts of any public officer can be offered opened on mere request by the Ombudsman without any court order.  But, let me place that question in context.  Under the Ombudsman Act, the Ombudsman has no disciplinary authority over impeachable officials, Members of Congress and the Judiciary.

So let me repeat the question and then I will—because I’m under time constraints.

Are you of the opinion, therefore, that should somebody file a complaint against any of us Senators or Members of the House, you can just go straight to AMLA and ask for our records without going to the court or without waiting for probable cause to be found by the council itself?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That would depend on the complaint, Your Honor.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Yes, of course, it would depend on the complaint, but suppose, hypothetically, that you find that the complaint is warranted, is that your view that you can just act on your own …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  It would depend on the nature of the complaint.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  I know that but suppose that after all your own internal procedures, and you have made a decision that the complaint is worthy of further consideration, is it your considered opinion that, as in this case, you can just go direct to AMLC and not follow the procedures in the AMLC Law?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Your Honor, again, I said, it would depend on the complaint.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Well, you are pudging your answer, Madam Witness.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No, you said, it is—I said, it is …

SEN. SANTIAGO.  You are arguing with a Senator-Judge.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I am sorry, mea culpa.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  I accept the apology.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Noted.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Next.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Guingona, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Bukidnon.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Madam Ombudsman, in the SALN of the Chief Justice in 2004, he enlisted P3,300,000 cash and investments.  In the SALN of 2005, he put in the same amount, P3,300,000.  Okay, I will be using as reference, Madam Ombudsman, the document that your furnished us.  Do you have it Madam?

Okay po.  Let us go to page 2, line 12345 from the top, page 2, line 12345 from the top.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Page 2 …

SEN. GUINGONA.  Yes, Madam.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Line 12345.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Line 12345, the one that says in the account number column, 16874.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  FAO?

SEN. GUINGONA.  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  For the account of?

SEN. GUINGONA.  Yes, and then it says, 16874, account number, you see it, Madam?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, I do.

SEN. GUINGONA.  I hope you can help me here because in accordance with this—if you look at the date, it says, on May 17, 2004, the Chief Justice purchased P27,933,000 worth of a placement in the Fil-Am Dollar Bond Incorporated, and the transaction code is BYMF.  Ang ibig sabihin po ng BYMF, buy mutual fund, bumili, bumili ng mutual fund.  Kailan bumili?  Bumili noong May 17, 2004.  Magkano?  P27.9 million, account no. 16874.

And then, let me invite you to page 4, page 4, line 1234 from the bottom naman.  Page 4, line 1234 from the bottom naman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.  Yes, Sir.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Do you see it Madam?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I do.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Okay.  The same account number, 16874.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That is right, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Yes, Madam, but the date is different now.  The date now is April 6, if you take a look at the date, it says there, April 6, 2005, so that is 11 months after he purchased it, and the amount now has increased, P28 million point 377.  Again, it is from the Fil-Am Dollar Fund, but the code is different now, the code says SLMF.  The code of SLMF means sell mutual fund investment.

So, we have a situation, Madam, that he buys in 2004 May, P27 million worth of investment in the Fil-Am Dollar Fund, and 11 months later, in April, he sells, he gets back his placement plus interest, I suppose, is the amount increase, plus interest.  So, this is a placement of 28 million.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  These are pesos, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Pesos, Ma’am, because the transaction code says pesos.  If I may finish, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  One year placement, from May 2004 to April 2005, P27 million.  Don’t you think, Ma’am, that that amount should have appeared in his SALN December 31, 2004?  The P27 million?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  It should have, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Yet it does not, Ma’am.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  It does not.

SEN. GUIGONA.  Are you competent to enlighten me on that?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No.  The best evidence is the document.  It is not stated in his SALN.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Because in his SALN it is only 3.3 million.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  That is right, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Yet, the document showed that he has a placement of P27 million.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  That is right, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  And on December 31, 2004, that P27 million still existed and yet was not reported.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  In that case, Mr. President, since this is a mutual fund placement which is not a bank account, which is not covered by the Bank Secrecy Law, I respectfully move that we subpoena the documents from the Philam dollar fund, Mr. President.  I so move.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We will take that up in our caucus.

SEN. GUINGONA.   Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the Body?  Majority Floor Leader.  There is a motion.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we may take up the motion on Monday, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. SOTTO.  During the caucus.  It is best that we do so instead of debating among ourselves openly, Mr. President.  So, with that, I would like to ask that Senator Drilon be recognized for the next Senator-Judge.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo has the floor.

SEN. DRILON.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Madam Ombudsman, as Ombudsman and former Justice of the Supreme Court, based on your knowledge, should the assets contained in the accounts marked as Exhibit 11 W’s be reported in the SALN of a public official?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Now, let me walk you through some of the accounts in order that we can see what the situation is.  Can I refer you to page 4 of Exhibit 11W.  Excuse me, Mr. President.  The clock keeps on moving and I am not speaking.  The clock keeps on ticking, I am not talking, so that removes time from me, Mr. President.  So, may it please that the Clerk be requested to …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you kindly …

SEN. DRILON.  Anyway, Mr. President, I have a pending question.  Can I refer you to page 4 of Exhibit 11W.  There is an account number there, 0141007129 which indicates a dollar deposit on January 14, 2005 in the amount of $57,000.00.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Your Honor, can I have the line so that I can easily spot it.

SEN. DRILON.  The seventh line from the top.  Do you confirm that?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, sir.

SEN. DRILON.  Can you use the microphone, Ma’am, please.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Mr. Senator, I confirm that there is a $57,000.00 entered here.

SEN. DRILON.  Now, on page 5 Madam Witness, on the 11th line from the top, again, an Account No. 0141007129, there appears to be a deposit through a credit memo on July 19, 2005 in the amount of 15,242.44, would you confirm that for the record?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON. In other words, on this account alone, we added it and the two amounts deposited amount to 72,242.44 as of July 19, 2005.  Now, on page 10 of this document, the eighth line from the bottom …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Eighth line from the bottom.

SEN. DRILON.  On page 10.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  On page 9.

SEN. DRILON.  Page 10.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Page 10, I am sorry. Yes, line nine.

SEN. DRILON.  Alright. From the bottom.

I am sorry. Line 8, I am sorry, Your Honor.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Line 8.

SEN. DRILON.  From the bottom.  Yes.

THE OMBUDSMAN. Yes, I  …

SEN. DRILON. Okay.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  I relate with you.

SEN. DRILON.  This is the same account 0141007129 wherein withdrawal of 89,059.35 was made on October 6, 2008. Do you confirm that, ma’am?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  And therefore, this indicates that on December 31, 2005, there was an amount of 72,242.44 which was in this account because it was withdrawn only on October 6, 2008, is that correct?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Mr. Senator.

SEN. DRILON.  Similarly, on December 31, 2006, the same amount should be on this account, 72,242.44 considering that it was not withdrawn until October 6, 2008, is that correct?  Please, use the microphone, Madam Witness.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Mr. Senator.

SEN. DRILON.  And finally, on December 31, 2007, the same amount of 72,242.44 should be appearing as the same was only withdrawn on October 6, 2008, is that correct?

THE OMBUDSMAN.    Yes, Mr. Senator.

SEN. DRILON.  And therefore, there was—would you now agree with me that there was a violation of the law requiring reporting of assets and liabilities and net worth if these amounts are not so reported?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Mr. Senator.

SEN. DRILON.  Now, in order to save time, can we just make some manifestation, Your onor Honor, as these are all based on the document, Exh. 11-W?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. DRILON.  We want to manifest on record that Account No. 0141007129, which is a PSBank account was admitted …

THE OMBUDSMAN. Cainta.

SEN. DRILON.  Sorry.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  PSBank Account Cainta.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes.  This is an account which has established on the record upon questioning of the presiding judge on the general manager of PSBank.  So this account is on record as existing.  Now, we manifest also that on page 8 of exhibit 11-W, there is an account indicated with the following numbers: 0141, 0169, 62.  On page 8, and there was a credit memo depositing the amount of 300,000 dollars on July 10, 2007.  On page 10 of the same document, there was an indication that this amount was withdrawn on August 5, 2008; and therefore, it is clear that on December 31, 2007, this amount was in account no. that we have manifested.  We have to manifest that per statement of assets and liabilities of the respondent, this was not reported, as the cash reported in the SALN is only 2.5 million for 2007.

Similar manifestations, Your Honor, are being made for account nos. 0141, 019678 in the amount of 455,210.07 dollars which, again, was existing as of December 31, 2008, but which is not in the SALN of the respondent.  Again, account nos. 0191, 0373 which appears on page 11 of exhibit 11-w, the amount of 768,733.96 dollars was deposited on October 31, 2008, and withdrawn only on December 15, 2011 as shown on page 11 and 16 of exhibit 11-w.  Therefore, it is clear while this amount was outstanding and in the bank account on December 31, 2008, December 31, 2009 and December 31, 2010.

Finally, on page 9 of exhibit 11-w under account nos. 0141, 017, 659, the amount of 299,937.86 dollars was deposited on November 9, 2007, and was withdrawn only on August 5, 2008, and was therefore in existence as of December 31, 2007.  That is all, Your Honor, thank you very much.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Tthank you.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, may we recognize the minority leader, Senator Al Cayetano.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Cayetano, Alan Peter of Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO.  Magandang Hapon, Mr. Presiding Officer, good afternoon, Madam Ombudsman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Good afternoon, Mr. Senator.

SEN. CAYETANO.  Ma’m, when this impeachment process started, the President made a case that this is about corruption cleaning the country, cleaning the Judiciary, while the supporters of the Chief Justice was making a case that this is about judicial independence, and these are two valid issues not necessarily  in conflict with each other, and I think Ma’m, you are in the best position to help clarify some issues because you were one of the more respected justices of the Supreme Court and now, as Ombudsman, you are ask to prosecute and investigate graft cases.  So my question will be in line with what Senator Miriam, I was asking Ma’m, but before that, just some clarificatory questions regarding the AMLC submission to you Ma’m.

Ma’m you talked about fresh funds and you said that fresh fund amounted to about 10 to 12 million dollars, and then, commissioner Haydee Mendoza talked aboutk—I don’t know how she categorized those funds but she said total inflow and outflow of around, if I ‘m not mistaken, $28 million, ma’am.  But just to clarify, ma’am, for the public is listening and for the Senator-Judges, in your study did you narrow down how much—how do we put it in layman’s term, ma’am—magkano pong pera at a certain point of time na sure tayo nasa loob ng account?  So not taking into consideration yong nilabas at pinasok ulit.  So meaning if you say today or on that date, let’s say what was the largest amount, ma’am, made?  For example, ma’am, Senator Lacson  made his own computation and he said noong nag-withdraw si Chief Justice 3 million plus except that lampas na ng date na covered ng impeachment yon dahil December 2011.  We’re only talking about SALN until December 31, 2010.  Would you have a computation, ma’am, or a figure of how much in dollars he would have had at any certain point of time?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes.  Dollar influx from April 14, 2003 to December 22, 2011 amounting to $12,155,530.86.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Ma’am, when you say inflow, does this include what was taken out and then put it back in?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, that’s inflow, they come in.  Outflow would be they go out.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Yes.  What I wanted to clarify, ma’am, without having to do the computation by myself is, like Senator Lacson in his computation, he said on December 2011, he computed a total of 3 million that was withdrawn by the Chief Justice.  Meaning that he had at least $3 million  at that time.  So, ma’am, before that 2011 with regard to the report of the AMLC, was your team able to extrapolate or to analyze how much money not taking into consideration what came in or came out or not re-adding what came in again or went out at a certain point in time.  Meaning, ma’am, magkano po ang total dollars nya at one point in time?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  I think that would be difficult, Your Honor, at one point in time.  It will depend on the time, let’s say, 2003, 2004.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  No.  At any point in time, the most number of dollars, ma’am.  My point is coming from the Chief Justice is saying that mali and the report was dinagdagan or added.  I don’t want to speak for him but he’s making it appear na malayo sa $12 million ang pera nya doon.  Para bang nag-double counting.  So did your office have any findings?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  We made sure that there would be no double counting, Mr. Senator.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Yes.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Because indeed in the data, there are second or triple or quadruple entries which are of the  same amount which are transacted on the same day but let’s say, $100,000 is deposited to that side then it’s taken out it goes to that side then it goes on the same day, that same amount goes out in another account.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Ma’am, let me try to clarify.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Then it goes to this account but it ends there.  So that is the one included in the computation.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So that’s what you meant, ma’am, by fresh funds.  Meaning, it was there at that point in time.  So at any point in time, he had $12 million.  Is that a correct understanding?  Meaning, ma’am, how much did he own?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Covered transactions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Actually the question seeks to elicit a statement about the float.  You see there was a bank deposit account made and there were withdrawals, there were deposits.  At any given time, this money is put in different investment accounts.  That is what is normally called in the investment field as the float of the depositor.  So that will be the function of the people who will analyze this whole thing, how much at any given time was the float of the respondent if he had any float, of investment, and all of these are assets that ought have been included in the SALN.

So, proceed.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  I think the Senate President asked it more clearly.  So, if I may use the word, how much was the float at …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I’m sorry, Your Honor?

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Ma’am, I think the Senate President put it more clearly, magkano po yung float at one point in time or any point in time …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  You want to know how much was the …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  .. how much was the money of—in dollars?  I want to know if your office made an analysis.  I understand that ang binigay po sa inyo ay transactions.  Hindi binigay sa inyo kung magkano ang pera nya at a certain point in time.  So, was the analysis, together with the COA …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  At one time, there was a withdrawal in the amount of 1,797,722.54.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Okay.  Second question, Ma’am, the AMLC only gave this 17-page.  Did they give you the balances at the end of the year of the …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  And they cannot give that to you?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  We never asked for it, Your Honor.  And I think they have to analyze it.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  For the purposes of the impeachment court, we agreed in caucus that we will be looking at the balances on December 31 of every relevant year when he was in government.  That’s why if this can be given to us, it would make it much easier for us.

Man’am, that’s my last question regarding the actual amounts.  But just go to the issues brought up by Senator Miriam, Ma’am, let me first tell you where we’re coming from.  After the 2007 election, as Blue Ribbon Committee Chair, we had several investigations:  the ZTE, the fertilizer scam, the swine scam, the gift-giving in Malacañang, cash gift-giving, and every time we had a hearing, the AMLC, and it was the same Executive Director Aquino would tell us that he cannot give us any information, and he could not give us any information about the accounts because he needed a court order to do so.  And we told him, is there any way that you can give it?  He did not mention that simply by the Ombudsman requesting them, then the Ombudsman could have these records.

Having said that, we also had hearings where the former Ombdusman, and she was being criticized, I don’t know if it was because of her name being named Mercy, she was being criticized of being so merciful that she was being criticized of not investigating impeachable officers while advocates like Riza Hontiveros, Joel Villanueva and other Party-List groups, we’re saying, you can investigate but not file the cases.

So, one question, Ma’am.  What is the present mindset or view of the Office of the Ombudsman regarding Supreme Court Justices?  You can investigate very clearly under Section 22, if it leads to an impeachment.  That’s clear, right, Ma’am?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Now, can you investigate for a criminal case but stop at the investigation and not file the case?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I think the perissology of the law is that if an impeachable officer is being faulted for a criminal law, the law says, for a criminal offense, the law says that you have to wait for the termination of the—or the retirement or the resignation or the termination of service before you can file a criminal case.  That’s what the law says.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  And as a former Supreme Court Justice, that’s important for judicial independence because you do not want losing litigant or people who want to pressure the courts to go to the DOJ or the Ombudsman and ask them to investigate Justices while this is going on, right?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So, the question is, Ma’am, it seems like there’s a new interpretation to interpret the waiver in the—and if I may be allowed to read it, the waiver in the SALN which states that, “I hereby authorize the Ombudsman or his authorized representative to obtain and secure from all appropriate agencies including the Bureau of Internal Revenue such documents that may show my assets, liabilities, net worth, business interest and financial connections to include those of my spouse and married children below 18 of age living with me in my household covering previous years to include the year I first assumed the office in government.” In this case, it was signed by Chief Justice Renato Corona, and I assume, all government officials, pumipirma din Madam, ano.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Kaya ko po sinasabing bagong interpretation kasi dati, iyong mga previous Ombudsman, Madam, BIR lang ang tinitingnan o ibang agencies pero iyong AMLC, hindi nila kinukunan at sinasabing confidential kasi iyong bank accounts.  To prove my point, for the last 20 years, if you look at the congressional archives, napakaraming bills dito, one of them ay kay Senator Lacson to amend either the Bank Secrecy Law, to exclude public officials, or I think, Senator Escudero, myself, we are working on bills that will amend the SALN form to include waiver sa bank accounts, and if you remember, ito iyong challenge ko kay First Gentleman dati, I will sign a waiver sa bank account ko, mag-sign din kayo ng waiver ng Presidente Arroyo sa bank account niyo.  But with the present interpretation now of your leadership, don’t get me wrong, Madam, I agree with it.  I agree in progressive way of fighting graft and corruption, but I just want to assure the public that there will be balance and safeguards here.

So, Madam, can I clarify, so, the interpretation now of the Office of the Ombudsman is because of this waiver taken together with your powers under the Constitution, you can simply write to AMLC and ask them for information about their bank transactions and it will be given to you.  Is that correct, Madam?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Mr. Senator.  To me, that is a consent.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  That is a consent.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  On the part of a tax filer.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So, no need to …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That is allowing the Ombudsman to—sorry for interrupting Madam.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So, no need Madam to amend the Bank Secrecy Law or the SALN Law because all the Ombudsman has to do is write them, and all the AMLC on the other hand is be very progressive, that if a public official is depositing more money than what is in his SALN, they can consider it as suspicious transaction even if it is below P500,000, they can make a report and give it to you.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Mr. Senator, that is a debatable issue.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Okay.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I’d rather not give my opinion.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  I am sorry about that Madam.  Where I am going to is this, there has been a lot of talk, especially in the media, even among Senators about the balance here that we want an administration that goes after graft and corruption but not only against past administration or against their enemies.

So, I guess, what I am driving at is that with this interpretation, which again, I support, will the Office of the Ombudsman have a protocol, wherein, as you said awhile ago, when the nature of the complaint calls for AMLC to give you information, will it be an SOP, regardless if it is a foe or an ally of the present administration.  I asked this, Madam with—your record has been sterling in the Supreme Court, and I am talking about all future Ombudsman and the policy of the Office of the Ombudsman.  So, meaning, Madam, whether if it is the fertilizer scam, whether it is the ZTE, past administration or let us say, two weeks from now, there is suddenly a scandal with one of the departments and one of the Usecs is being alleged to deposit P50 million in his bank account as a lagay from ganyan.  Will this now be a practice of the Office of the Ombudsman to write the AMLC and ask them to give you the information.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  As long as there are leads that indeed, these charges are meritorious, then, we will certainly do that, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Madam, just as last line of question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I request the Gentleman to wrap-up.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Sir, may I be allowed one last.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, proceed.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  If you read, Madam, the AMLC Law, as you said, it is maybe—we should ask the—I should ask the executive director of AMLC because what you …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That is right.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  … simply did is to ask him for it and they give it to you.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Ask for data …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  For the data, Madam.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  … bearing the financial transactions and related transactions.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Which is within your powers, and they did give it to you, but when we asked him, maybe he did not understand or he did not think that—to suggest that we course it through the Office of the Ombudsman—the thing, Madam, is that there are prohibitions in law, including for example, the Bank Secrecy.  So, for example, Madam, I signed a waiver in my SALN, but of course, I still have my constitutional rights.  So, for example, if you ask the PNP for—or the NBI for help to do some investigation in my office, that does not mean that the police can enter my office without a warrant and they cannot say, I have a waiver that you signed in your SALN, and it was given to the Ombudsman because I still have the right against unreasonable searches and there is no probable cause, no warrant. Is that correct Ma’am?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, sir.

SEN. CAYETANO.  So, in the same way, Ma’am, where do we draw the line, what information the AMLC can give the Office of the Ombudsman?  When is it unreasonable for them?  Because in the past, they have always interpreted Supreme Court decision to say that when it is a covered transaction, they cannot look into it yet until there is a predicate crime, until there is probable cause, and until AMLC is unanimous, the three officials into investigating.  And in the past, they have interpreted giving information as an investigation report rather than just data.  I think, Ma’am, that is the uneasiness in the balance between giving you all the powers to go after grafters and after corrupt public officials.  On the other hand, making sure that the power is not abused—well not abused, Ma’am, but …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With the indulgence of the Gentleman, these issues are not cogent to the impeachment process.  This is not in aid of legislation.  We are trying a case of impeachment.  So, if we want to amend the laws in order to adopt certain policies, we will have to take that up as a legislative body.  But we must concentrate, focus our attention, to the matter at hand.  And that is the impeachment case before us.

SEN. CAYETANO.  Thank you, Mr. President, for that reminder.  Because what I was going to is that if this is a product of an illegal search, then this is not admissible.  But if it is covered by the waiver, then it is admissible.  But I would agree with you, Your Honor, that it is partially not included.  But I think it is of grave national importance because …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We have to bear in mind, with your indulgence, that the witness was subpoenaed at the behest of the defense and she was here primarily as witness for the defense.  Although they qualified her as a hostile witness.  And so the defense is bound by the revelations of the witness during the direct-examination as well as during the cross-examination.

SEN. CAYETANO.  Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer, I know the Ombudsman to be only hostile to grafters and corrupt people in government.  But I just wanted these issues ventilated so that we would know when we analyze the evidence.  But secondly, I just thought, Mr. President, in my view, that this is of grave national and political importance for our country because this is the first impeachment in how many decades.  But anyway, I will stop there, Mr. President, because my time is up, but may I solicit a view from the Ombudsman.  Ma’am, where do we draw the line between it is just data or it is—so what can the AMLC give you and what can they not give you?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  The question should be addressed to the AMLC.  Because we give them copies of complaints and if they determine that the request of the Ombudsman is in order, then they do that.  If they don’t, then they will write the Ombudsman, signing the reasons why they cannot give the data, financial data or related transactions …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Actually, the Rules of Evidence governed in these proceedings, not in the case of inquiries in aid of legislation.  And evidence is admissible if not excluded by the Rules of Evidence or by a statute, particular and expressed provision of a statute.  There is none.  In the Bank Secrecy Law that says that evidence illegally obtained in violation of those bank secrecy laws are excluded evidence in any proceeding.

SEN. CAYETANO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  I agree and thank you for the opportunity to just come up to elaborate on all of these issues.  But since we will be taking up the amendments to the AMLC Law, anyway, I will address my question to it.  Thank you, Madam.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Next.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Legarda earlier reserved but she has withdrawn because her questions had been posed already.  So, may we recognize Senator Francis Pangilinan instead.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Pampanga.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you very much, Mr. President.  Just one question and then a manifestation, Mr. President.  The question is to the Madam Ombudsman.

Just very quickly, without this waiver signed by the Chief Justice, would you have been able to request for these reports from the AMLC?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  I would have, Your Honor, just the same.  Under the Ombudsman Law, it allows me, and even under the Constitution, to request assistance from agencies in connection with the discharge of my mandate.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, even without the waiver, the documents would have been accessible to the Ombudsman?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes.  It would have been accessible, but whether or not the AMLC would have provided me is a different story.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  My question therefore is, and I don’t know if it is your office or the AMLC would be able to answer this. Was the waiver the basis of the AMLC for turning over the documents to your office?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  They did not cite any waiver, any reason for giving the documents to me because in my letter, I said, in connection with the charges that have to do with the violation of the Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Money Laundering Act, the Forfeiture proceedings, then, that was the reason why—that was the basis of our request for financial transactions and related transactions.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Whether they based it on the Ombudsman Law or on the SALN Authority given to the Ombudsman, the existence of other properties, I really don’t know.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  The reason I raised that question is that, Madam Witness, is that during your examination, direct examination, I  am not sure anymore whether  it was in the direct examination or cross-examination and the record will bear me out, you mentioned this waiver of right in explaining the answers. May we therefore be enlightened as to how valuable is this waiver with respect to your work in this respect?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  It is very valuable, Your Honor, because it authorizes me. In other words, the consent is there. There should be no doubt that he authorizes me to look into his assets and properties.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Because I would think to be able to reconcile this Republic Act 6426, the confidentiality of that consent, written consent, in fact, is necessary and I would like to think that this would suffice as written consent  but not to the banks because this is, of course, government agency in that respect. I’d like to correct that. Mr. President, thank you, Madam Witness.

The other, Mr. President, is just a manifestation. In pursuing the earlier point raised by Senator Guingona, there is another item that we noticed and therefore, we will discuss—we hope to be able to discuss this during the caucus, but just for the record, there is an account of Account No. 11505 and the amount on 2003, October 2003, there was a deposit of 12 million, again, this is a Philam Fund and then, there was a BYMF in 2004, 521,000 and then, another, BYSLMS, I believe, this is a sale, 11505 on 2005, 10 million, so, this is another account that is not a deposit, and, therefore, during our caucus on Monday, we may discuss the subpoena requested.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Okay.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO. Yes, may we recognize Senator Gregg Honasan.

SEN. HONASAN.  Madam Ombudsman, good afternoon.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Good afternoon.

SEN. HONASAN.  I am not the one to educate you about the Philippine Constitution, but let me share it with you just the same.  Art. III of the Bill of Rights Section 1, the Constitution states that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the law. Although, this is a political process, my interpretation, my understanding is that the law should be applied equally to all those who are similarly situated. And as a Senator-Judge, I would like to have a peace of mind that the Chief of Justice is not being single out here. So, let me ask if you know, Madam Ombudsman, how many cases are now pending with the Ombudsman?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Cases against officials and…

SEN. HONASAN.  Opo.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  let me just look at my record.

SEN. HONASAN.  Yes, Ma’m.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Complaints as far as 2011 is concerned…

SEN. HONASAN.  Yes, Ma’m.  Ma’m, to abbreviate, I only have two minutes, just one big crown figure, total number of cases.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Are you referring to high profile cases?

SEN. HONASAN.  Everything, mga ilan po?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  We are still preparing this for the State-of-the-Nation address of the President.

SEN. HONASAN.  Pero marami po.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Definitely, I inherited a lot, thousands, tens of thousands.

SEN. HONASAN.  I am happy with that answer.  Has the Office of the Ombudsman also requested the assistance of the AMLC in relation to other cases pending with the Office of the Ombudsman particularly those involving ill-gotten wealth related graft cases.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, as far as the case against the Chief Justice is concerned, if I recall it correctly, that is the first that has come through me during my incumbency.  I did not go over the records of pending cases if they involved  unexplained wealth, and if the assistance of the AMLC was solicited.

SEN. HONASAN.  Thank you, Madam Ombudsman.  In fact, that would be my next question.  How many times has AMLC assistance in requested even under your watch.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  How is that, I am sorry.

SEN. HONASAN.  Under your watch, Ma’m, how many times has AMLC assistance in request then?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I don’t recall if the assistance respecting the fertilizer scam case involved the assistance of the AMLC.   If I, on my incumbency, was sought, but I remember that the assistance of AMLC was sought.  Because you see the fertilizer scam cases came in trickles, they are by the hundreds and so even when I was not yet there, the cases were filed and when I am already in the office, the cases keep coming.

SEN. HONASAN.  Opo.  Maybe this last question is redundant, but, how many times has the AMLC turned over bank account data to the Ombudsman, since the creation of the AMLC in 2001?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I did not get statistics on that matter, Your Honor.

SEN. HONASAN.  Opo.  My point really, Madam Ombudsman, is, for us, since this is work in progress in terms of jurisprudence, even in terms of impeachment processes, that this should not be considered a template for future…

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Definitely not, Your Honor, it is only when there are leads, there are strong leads and after an initial evaluation, we determine that further help can be source from other agencies in order for us to determine whether we would go ahead with the conduct of a further investigation that we would seek the help of the AMLC, because I know that the AMLC is usually stingy in giving records of transactions, financial transactions.

SEN. HONASAN.  Ma’m, thank you so much for your patience, thank you, Mr. President.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  thank you.

SEN. HONASAN.  Mr. President, Senator Pia Cayetano wishes to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Lady Senator from Taguig.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we change it to Senator Lacson, Mr. President.  We have three more reservations, Senators Pia Cayetao, Escudero, and Estrada.

SEN. LACSON.  Thank you, Mr. President.

It is only because my name was mentioned by Senator Cayetano and my computation.  So, yes, indeed, I was taking note when the Ombdusman was testifying particularly on withdrawals from September 12-22, and, as per her testimony, the total amount withdrawn on those dates was 3,388,323,01 for dollars.  I google check or google search the exchange rate in December of 2011.  It was at P43.64 to a dollar so at any given time, this was the question of Senator Cayetano, at a given time, particularly or specifically as of December 22, 2011, the Chief Justice had a total amount of P147,866,400.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Floating around.

SEN. LACSON.  More or less, give or take, Mr. President.  So around P147,866,400 all in dollar accounts.  We are not talking of peso accounts here, Mr. President.  So where he put that money I do not know, the Ombudsman doesn’t know only he knows.  That’s all, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.  Next.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Pia Cayetano now, Mr. President.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Thank you, Mr. President.

I think I only have two points to raise.  My first point I address to the Body.  I think I would like to perhaps discuss this in caucus.  I’d like to raise the point as to how we treat the evidence presented by Her Honor, the Ombudsman, and in connection with the PowerPoint presentation given that the Ombudsman herself has cited Section 22 of the Ombudsman Law which  states her power to investigate for the purpose of filing a verified complaint for impeachment if warranted.  So given the huge values involved in the presentation, I think we need to discuss how this will be treated because if in fact  the investigation was done in connection with a future verified complaint, then how are we as Senator-Judges suppose to appreciate that in this impeachment court.  I will not offer a suggestion for now  but I would like the Majority Floor Leader to note that perhaps we should, well, I would like this to be discussed in caucus.  And then the second point…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, as I said, the situation is this—the Ombudsman did not come here voluntarily to testify.  She was presented as a witness by one of the sides involved in this proceeding.  And if I remember correctly my rules of procedure and rules of evidence in the principles of trial, he who produces a witness must be bound by the testimony of the witness whether favourable or adverse to him.  So that’s the situation.  Even  a legal source evidence represented by one of the parties and not objected to is admissible.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  His Honor’s position is noted and for that matter though I would like to hear the views of my other colleagues in caucus on Monday.  And then I’ll just go to my second point and I address this to the Ombudsman.  Again, Her Honor, mentioned her investigatory powers under Sections 15 and 22 of the Ombudsman Law and I would like to seek her opinion on how we reconcile this with a long line of cases by the Supreme Court interpreting Section 6 of Article VIII of the Constitution.  Section 6 states that the Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof.  And in connection with that constitutional provision, there are a line of cases and I will quickly read a few provisions of these cases.  In Judge Fuentes versus the Office of the Ombudsman, the Supreme Court said that it is the Supreme Court that is tasked to oversee the judges and court personnel and take the proper administrative actions against them if they commit any violations of the law of the land.  It further states in another case, Judge Caoitis versus Ombudsman, the Ombudsman cannot dictate to and bind the court to its findings at a case before it.  Does or does not have the administrative implication to do so is to deprive the court of the exercise of its administrative prerogatives.  Madam Ombudsman, I fully support the powers of the Ombudsman.  In fact, I was one who raised my concerns and my frustrations over the previous Ombudsman’s failure to investigate many offenses of impeachable officials.  But I would just like to seek Your Honor’s position on this because, again, we are ground-breaking, we are paving the way for—we are setting precedence for future impeachment proceedings and, has Your Honor had the opportunity to look at this so that we can, you know, this will not be an issue today or in the future with respect to investigations of Justices themselves.

Because, technically, let me just finish my statement, I’m sorry.  If I look at the cases carefully, it would appear that the Ombudsman would have to refer these cases to the Supreme Court, and for the Supreme Court to determine or give the go signal for the clearance.  So, it seems to be a circuitous way of going about the investigation.  But that seems to be the inclination of the Supreme Court including a 2011 case, if I’m not mistaken, which involve retired Supreme Court Justices.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

In the case you mentioned, Your Honor, in the cases you mentioned, those are administrative in nature.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  So, the Supreme Court said that if the complaint, even if it were clothed with the nature of a criminal case but it appears to be administrative in nature, then the Supreme Court being …

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Having administrative supervision …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  … administrative supervision and control over officials and employees of the Supreme Court, then it should properly take cognizance thereof.

Now, respecting your mention of a 2011 case—no, a recent case, rather—involving, I think you’re referring to then retired and still retired Chief Justice Davide and Alice Austria Martinez, …

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Actually, I have not read the case itself.  It was given …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  This case was filed by Oliver Lozano.  He was assailing their decision in a particular land case.  and the Supreme Court said that the ultimate intention of the complainant was to modify or set aside their decision and they cannot do that.

So, eventually, of course, the Ombudsman dismissed the case, and while the dismissal rendered the case before the Supreme Court moot and academic, the Supreme Court took time to lecture on the Ombudsman why it should not have taken jurisdiction on the case, in the first place, because it was sought to question the way the Justices rendered their decision.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  I understand.  So, in other words, Her Honor is basically confirming that in that case, what the Supreme Court laid down was the guidelines.  And basically, that was if the case is filed in connection with pending cases cannot be used to overturn those decisions.  But we make a distinction.  I assume that what Her Honor is saying, we make a distinction that if a case is an impeachment case, for example in this particular case, which Her Honor would pursue following reports on impeachable offenses, then that would not fall under the Supreme Court’s administrative function …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  It would not.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we recognize Senator Jinggoy Estrada.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from San Juan.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Magandang hapon po, Ginang Ombudsman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Magandang hapon rin, Ginoong Senador.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Alam kong pagod na pagod na kayo at apat na oras na ho kayong nandito, nguni’t iiklian ko na po ang aking pagtatanong.  Isang tanong lang naman, actually.

Unang-una, ako po’y—nais ko pong ipamahagi sa inyo na ako po ay hangang-hanga sa inyo at malaki po ang aking respeto sa inyo sapagka’t dati ho kayong Mahistrado ng Kataas-taasang Hukuman ng ating bansa.

Nguni’t paminsan-minsan ay naglalaro sa aking isipan na baka nagagamit po yung AMLC o mismong ang inyong tanggapan sa mga tao o sa mga pulitikong kritikal sa administrasyong ito.  Sana naman po, if you can give us the assurance that your office will not be used to get back at the political opponents of the administration.  Sapagkat halimbawa, mayroon pong Senador dito, mayroong Congressman na bumatikos, halimbawa, kay Pangulong Noynoy, utusan kayo ng Malacañang, “Uy, tingnan mo iyong mga records niya sa bangko, gamitin mo iyong AMLC para ipitin itong Senador o Congressman na ito, possible hong mangyari.  Sana huwag naman hong mangyari na balikan o gamitin iyong Office of the Ombudsman o iyong AMLC para balikan iyong mga kritikal o iyong mga hindi sumasang-ayon sa kasalukuyang gobyerno.  Can you assure us of that, Madam Ombudsman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Mr. President, Mr. Senator, rather, I will not jeopardize my 40 years of government service, spotless, I am immodest to say that by allowing to be a tool of anyone in order to get back at certain persons against whom that anyone who is sore at.  I will assure you that.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Kaya nga po ako hangang hanga sa inyo, Ginang Ombudsman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Marami pong salamat, Ginoo.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Isang katanungan na lang po, kasi kanina, tinanong po ni Senator Honasan kung hininga ninyo iyong assistance ng AMLC dito sa kaso ni Chief Justice Corona, tama po ba?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Yes, all right.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Tama po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Kasi mayroon akong kilalang isang high profile na kaso na respondent, alam ko, mayroon ho yatang complaint sa inyong tanggapan, tatanungin ko lang ho sana kung—if you sought the assistance of the AMLC regarding the case of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I think, on the contrary, it was they, who furnished us.  I do not know if it was on account of a previous request—he is the head of the field investigation office.  Can you please enlighten us.

SEN. ESTRADA.  No, no.  I think, he is not …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Assistant Ombudsman Famon says, there is no request neither is there a transmittal.

SEN. ESTRADA.  But there is a complaint against her.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  There is.  There are several, Your Honor.  In fact, I have dismissed one or two complaints against her.

SEN. ESTRADA.  What is the nature of the complaint?  Is it about graft and corruption?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, the bottomline always is graft and corruption.  But …

SEN. ESTRADA.  Did you not seek the assistance of the AMLC?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, first, Mr. Senator, the procedure in the office is, we evaluate the case, there is this case build-up.  If after case build-up, we believe that the President or any respondent for that matter should be subjected to preliminary investigation, then, we seek assistance of other offices in order to–otherwise, if on the face of the complaint and on the basis of the document submitted and on the basis of preliminary investigation, we—preliminary evaluation, rather, I am sorry, we find that there is no reason to go on, we dismiss it motu propio.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you very much, Madam Ombudsman.  That is all, Mr. President.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we recognize Senator Francis Escudero.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Sorsogon.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you, distinguished Majority Floor Leader.

Magandang gabi po, Madam Ombudsman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Magandang gabi po, Ginoong Senator.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Alam ko po pagod na rin po kayo.  Nabanggit po ni Senator Santiago kanina na anumang imbestigasyon ninyo ay may kinalaman dapat o kaugnay ng isang balaking impeachment complaint kung saka-sakali ng Kamara de Representantes.  Pwede ko po bang matanong, may na-submit na po ba kayo sa House of Representatives na report o ulat kaugnay sa mga bank accounts at deposits na ito ni Chief Justice Corona.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Last Friday, I sent an investigative report.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Can you kindly furnish us with a copy of the same if that would be possible.  Ang layunin ko po dito, Madam Ombudsman, baka ho mas maliwanag at mas klaro iyong paglalathala doon para mas maintindihan po namin iyong mga dokumento na inihayag ninyo.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Second, Mr. President, while we are waiting for that.  Nabanggit ninyo po kanina at natuwa ako actually sa nabanggit ninyo na hindi lamang iyong waiver ang inaasahan ninyo, pero sa pananaw at palagay ninyo, may kapangyarihan ang Office of the Ombudsman na magtanong sa mga ahensya ng pamahalaan kaugnay ..

THE OMBUDSMAN.  I am sorry I did not get the set of your …

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Yes, Ma’am, just submit us the documents, Ma’am, hindi na ho ako magtatanong.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Actually, I sent one to the Speaker.  I directed also the submission of these document to the Senate but yesterday I did not report to the office and this morning I did not have occasion to check if the Senate has been furnished a copy of this investigation report.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Kindly just furnish us, Ma’am, even after this hearing.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Sure.  We will do that.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Salamat ho.  Ma’am, kaugnay po nang nabanggit kanina ni Senator Pangilinan at iyong sagot ninyo na hindi niyo kailangan ang waiver naman talaga para magtanong sa mga ahensya ng pamahalaan, kaugnay sa transaksyon ng sinumang opisyal na iniimbestigahan ninyo, in fact, I filed even a further bill in the Senate na nagsasabing hindi lamang waiver pabor sa inyo pero waiver na po ng secrecy of bank deposits kasama ng SALN, kung ito ay mapapagtibay ng Kongreso, but my question, Ma’am is this, the waiver contained in the SALN pertains to past years including the year that the person submitting the SALN assumed office.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, sir.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Actually, nagulat lang ako sa ginawa ng AMLC.  Hindi ko po kayo pinipintasan.  Bakit po ang isinubmit ng AMLC ninyo ay umabot hanggang sa mga transaksyon tungkol sa 2011, 2010 at 2012?  Kung ang basehan po ng paghingi o pagbigay, hindi ko po kayo pipintasan, uulitin ko, kung ang basehan ng pagbigay ng AMLC ay iyong waiver, hindi po ba ang dapat basehan noon 2010 SALN tungkol sa 2009 transactions dahil hanggang December 31, 2009 po iyon.  Kaya ang tatanungin ko po, naibigay na po ba sa inyo ng Chief Justice iyong kanyang SALN para sa taong 2011?  May kopya na po ba kayo, Ma’am?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No, Senator.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  But it would be submitted to you.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  It is submitted with the Supreme Court.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Hindi po nabibigyan ang Ombudsman?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Never.  We don’t have any.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  So, ina-assume ninyo lamang po na malamang nag-submit siya or magsa-submit siya for the waiver for the subsequent years.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Your Honor please, the purposes of this investigation is not only for purposes of determining whether he reported this in his SALN but for purposes of determining whether he has unexplained wealth.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  I am nearing to that, Ma’am, also actually.  Yes, Ma’am, but in general, my query is, iyong poder ho ba ng AMLC, sa palagay ninyo at pananaw, ay sumasaklaw sa mga taong sumunod pa doon sa waiver na sinumite?  Clearly, walang waiver base sa anumang SALN na finayl kaugnay ng anumang transaksyon sa 2012 dahil iyong waiver po para doon ipa-file pa ho namin kung saka-sakali next year.  On the forfeiture case or potential forfeiture case for violation of the Anti-Graft Law or unexplained wealth, that is my next question, Ma’am, how are we to your mind, given, not only that you are the present Ombudsman, but a former Justice of the Court, how are we to evaluate this evidence aside from the usual presumption of regularity of the performance of one’s duties on the part of AMLC given that the document you presented to us was prepared and done by AMLC?  Would there be a need, which I will be bringing up in caucus as well, but can I get your thoughts on this, will there be a need for us to call AMLC to testify on these documents that you presented, that you had no part insofar as preparing, insofar as the preparation is concerned?  I am referring to the 17-page transactions submitted by AMLC, Ma’am?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  That should be the decision of the Senate whether it finds necessary to summon the AMLC and ask questions respecting the documents that it submitted to me.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  And one final query, Ma’am, insofar as similar documents that you may be obtaining from AMLC, assuming hindi po impeachment, what would be the probative value of that and how would you use that?

Kunwari po may isang opisyal na iniimbistigahan. Hiniling ninyo muli sa AMLC, “pahingi ng dokumento tungkol sa mga transactions sa bangkong ito.”  Since we cannot get the evidence directly from the bank, how would you treat this particular piece of evidence from AMLC?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Well, Senator, we sourced this for purposes of case(?inaudible) . We were only investigating

SEN. ESCUDERO.  So, not necessarily to be actually presented in the actual pending case, if at all, before the Sandiganbayan?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No, Your Honor, because a case is filed before the Sandiganbayan, a preliminary investigation is conducted and the respondent is given opportunity to answer what these documents are all about and if he will say that this is has been as stated, bloated or a hoax, then, it would be the investigating officer who may determine if the claim is meritorious or if the claim is validated are the testimony—by testimonial evidence or by documentary evidence.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  So, for investigative purposes lang?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes. That is the reason why we asked for this fact-finding and initial investigation purposes.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you very much, ma’am.  That is all, Mr. President.

SUSPENSION OF THE TRIAL

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, I move to suspend for one minute.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  One-minute suspension

It was 6:01 p.m.

Session resumed at 6;05 p.m.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is resumed.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we have two final members of the court who want to make a manifestation and a question, Senator Loren Legarda and Senator Koko Pimentel.  May we call on the witness just to wind up, Mr. President.

Mr. President, inasmuch as the witness is now back, may we recognize Senator Koko Pimentel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Misamis Oriental.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Maraming salamat po, Mr. President.  Madam Ombudsman, good evening po.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Good evening po.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Madam Ombudsman, you had a hand in the preparation of the PowerPoint presentation, tama po ba iyon?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Senator.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  That is so you were competent to testify on the presentation and the manner of presentation.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes, Senator.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  But you did not have a hand in the making of 17-page AMLC report submitted to your office, tama po, Ma’m?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  No, Mr. Senator.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  But did you observe extreme care when you were preparing the PowerPoint in the sense that did you exclude the accounts not under the name Renato Corona, Renato Coronado Corona which are included in the 17-page AMLC report?  I noticed some.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, like Allied Bank.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Yes, ma’am.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, and there is zero.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Zero and X, yes, ma’am, but there are amounts, substantial amounts.  Were these omitted from the…

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  I think they were included because the presumption is that Allied Bank was doing services for Renato Corona.  In other words, this is from the Deutsche Bank, how do you pronounce that.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Yes, ma’am.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  And then there must have been a remittance and it was handled by Allied Bank.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Yes, ma’am.  But from the face of the report, you could not get that story.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, that’s right.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  That is Allied Bank doing the service for Renato Corona.  That is not obvious on the face of the report.  But my question, ma’am, is did you exclude all of these accounts?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Those were included.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Included.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes.  And there is, Your Honor, there is the transaction code there.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Yes, ma’am, for example, page 11, the name first column, Allied Banking Corporation.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Right.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  The amount involved is $167,000.  The institution named is Deutsche Bank AG.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, Allied Bank, HUI.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Yes, but why would we now attribute this to Renato Corona?  Because on the face of the report…

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Because that’s it, Your Honor.  We thought that it  came from  Deutsche Bank and course through Allied Bank.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Yes, ma’am.  But we just made the conclusion that it must have involved Renato Corona.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, yes, yes.  But whether that’s conclusive or not is beyond my knowledge.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  But at least we know that.  It was…

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, there is another one.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  There is Bank of Philippine Islands, there is even a PS Bank and there is even on page 12, there is a zero and an X and the account number is zero and the other one has around 15 zeros.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Opo. And malalaki pong halaga ito, $471,000 plus.  Actually there is even one entry where there is a peso amount and there is a dollar amount.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Did you notice that, did you also include that, Madam Ombudsman?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  No.  What prevailed was pesos.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  That is on page 16, line number 5, PS Bank is the name and there is a peso amount and at the same time there is an FX amount.  So parang double entry na po.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  This is a peso amount.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  There’s a peso amount, P6,091,155.45.  In the FX amount there is $135,359.01.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  We did not input it in the computation because it is very clear that it is not denominated as a peso account.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  No, but that’s, Madam Ombudsman, that is the only entry which has both, it has entries in the peso column and then a dollar column so it must have been a special transaction.  You put peso value to it and a dollar value to it.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, this is sourced from Metropolitan Bank and TCO, New York.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  So, Madam Ombudsman, the important concept I think that you extracted from the 17-page AMLC report is the what you call the fresh deposits, what you would believe would be the core dollar ownership of Renato Corona.  And at what amount did you put this, Madam Ombudsman?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Approximately $12 million.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  I’ll just finish my questions.  $12 million.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Approximately.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  But given the fact that you know we may have made mistakes or its just an approximation…

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  We cannot rule that out.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  We may have included non-Renato Corona accounts, can you give us, more or less, your allowance for error.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Margin of errors.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Plus or minus how many million dollars po. Or minus how many million dollars.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  11, 10, but it could not be lower than 10.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  So the estimate of the Office of the Ombudsman is that the fresh deposits would be somewhere 10 million to 12 million dollars?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  That would be all.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  Finally, Senator Loren Legards, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentle Lady from Antique and the Republic of the Philippines.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

These are not questions and just points to summarize the two whole days of presentations of the Ombudsman.  And just to make sure that I understood things correctly, so will the distinguished Ombudsman yield to just three points of very simple clarification?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. LEGARDA.  First, it was made clear in your PowerPoint presentation that the respondent, the Chief Justice, has transactions amounting to at least $10 million between 2003 to 2011.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Transactional balance.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Yes.  In US dollars.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Based on documents furnished by the AMLC to the Office of the Ombudsman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Correct, Your Honor.

SEN. LEGARDA.  But, however, unverified by the Office of the Ombudsman because you cannot contact the banks for such clarification necessary.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Second point would be, in the same span of time from 2003 to 2011, there have been at least $12 million worth of fresh deposits in various accounts of the respondent.  Is that correct?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.  That was our observation, Your Honor.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Your observation, yes.  Then, again, in answer to Senator Pimentel, it could be more or less 11 or 12, 10, 11, but not less than $10 million of fresh deposits.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That’s our observation, Your Honor.

SEN. LEGARDA.  And when you say fresh deposits, Madam Ombudsman, that would mean not coming from other accounts of the same person but from other sources into his present account.  Is that correct?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Fresh deposits, deposits that were not returned to where they originated.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Yes.  They were not placements made and then returned to the same placements.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  They were not returned to the same account.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Yes.  So these were fresh deposits from sources other than his already existing accounts.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  How’s that again?

SEN. LEGARDA.  These were fresh deposits from other sources other than those already existing under his name.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.  In other words, they did not return to the same mother account where they probably originated and then they went around circuitous and then never returned there.  So we call that fresh deposits.  I want to clarify that.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Yes.  Okay.  I just wanted to make sure I understood what you meant by fresh deposits.

When you say therefore that it was fresh deposits, does it mean that at any one time, he could have had at least $10 million in various accounts?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Yes.  So, I make it clear that at any one time, the respondent could have had at least US$10 million in any of the 82 accounts presented in your PowerPoint presentation.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That could be a total of all the account.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Of all the accounts in a series of transactions in a span of 8 years, or at any one time he could have had US$10 million?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Up to 2011, I think the date had given.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. LEGARDA.  In transactions or at any one time, Madam Ombudsman?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Total transactions balance would be different from the account balance.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Account balance.  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. LEGARDA.  I am referring now to account balance.  I understand, as I premised earlier, the transaction accounts.  And then I asked about fresh deposits.  Now I ask, at the most conservative estimate at any one time, based on your transaction and fresh deposit balances, what could have been, at a very conservative estimate, the balance that the Chief Justice, the respondent, could have had at any one time?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  We were not able to determine that, Your Honor.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Okay.  I understand.  Yes.  Now, not relating to the first three questions and clarifications I made, I just wanted to clarify your answer to the Senator-Judges that based on the constitutional mandate of the Ombdusman and based on the Ombudsman Law which governs you and your office, the Ombudsman may seek assistance from the AMLC to open any account of any person who is being investigated without a predicate crime as stipulated in the AMLA Law.  Is my understanding correct?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Your Honor, if we believe that the charges elevated to us …

SEN. LEGARDA.  Can you kindly speak in microphone.  Thank you.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  If we believe that the charges to us call for information from the AMLC, yes.  Then, in the course of our fact finding investigation, we would probably tap the services of the AMLC.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Yes, of course, which you did in this instance.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, we did.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Even without the predicate crime, the Ombudsman, because of its constitutional mandate, asked the AMLC to present bank accounts of the respondent.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. LEGARDA.  And based on your knowledge, is this the first and only time that the Office of the Ombudsman did so or were there other instance in the past when the AMLC had furnished bank accounts to the Office of the Ombudsman without the provision of a predicate crime?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Not under my watch, Your Honor.  I don’t …

SEN. LEGARDA.  To your knowledge, you would not know.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I would not …

SEN. LEGARDA.  Thank you.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Thank you too.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we discharge the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Honorable Ombudsman is discharged.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  And thank you for bearing with us.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I have been informed by …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Next witness.

SEN. SOTTO.  I have been informed, Mr. President by the defense that they would rather call the next witness tomorrow if it is the pleasure of the court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do you still have to present the three other witnesses?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We will, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And with the kind indulgence of this honorable court, may we be permitted to present them tomorrow.  We are already tired also, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  So, you are asking for a …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  A continuance for tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … continuance until tomorrow.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President, may I ask the Sgt.-at-Arms to make an announcement.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sgt.-at-Arms is directed to make …

THE SGT-AT-ARMS.  Please all rise.  All persons are commanded to remain in their places until the Senate President and the Senators have left the session hall.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we adjourn until two o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday, May 16, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any objection?  (Silence)  Hearing none, this hearing is adjourned until two o’clock of May 16, 2012.

It was. 6:22 p.m.

 

IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Monday, May 14, 2012

At 2:14 p.m., the hearing was called to order with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile presiding.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The continuation of this impeachment trial of the Honorable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona of the Supreme Court is hereby called to order.  We shall be led in prayer by Senator Sergio R. Osmeña III.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary will now please call the roll of Senators.

THE CLERK OF COURT.  The Honorable Senator-Judges:  Angara, Arroyo, Cayetano Allan Peter “Companero”, Cayetano, Pia; Defensor-Santiago; Drillon; Ejercito-Estrada, Escudero; Guingona; Honasan; Lacson; Lapid; Legarda; Marcos; Osmena; Pangilinan; Pimentel; Recto; Revilla; Sotto; Trillanes; Villar; the Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With 23 Senator-Judges present, the Presiding Officer declares the presence of a quorum.

The Majority Floor Leader.

REP. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I ask the Sergeant-At-Arms to make a proclamation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sergeant-At-Arms will now make the proclamation.

SGT-AT-ARMS.  All persons are commanded to keep silent under pain of penalty while the Senate is sitting in trial on the Articles of Impeachment against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, I move that we dispense with the reading of the May 8, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection? (Silence) There being none, the May 8, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court is hereby approved.

The Secretary will please call the case before the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  Case No. 0022011..IN THE MATTER OF THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF HONORABLE CHIEF JUSTICE RENATO C.  CORONA.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Appearances, Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we ask the parties and/or respective counsels to enter their appearances, prosecution and the defense.

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Mr. President, for the House of Representatives prosecution panel, same appearance, we are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  For the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Good afternoon, Your Honor, for the defense, Your Honor, the same appearance, we are also ready.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we have received a letter from the Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio-Morales, requesting the she be allowed to testify ahead of all other witnesses during today’s hearing, in view of heavy volume of work and equally urgent professional work that needs her immediate attention.  So I move, Mr. President,  that this matter be submitted to the presiding officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please, we wanted to accommodate the request, Your Honor, but we assure the honourable Ombudsman that we will call her today, only that we be permitted to call ahead of her other witnesses whom we have subpoenaed for today’s hearing, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Walden Bello is not here.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We have Noli Manuel Santos, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But, whatever these witnesses will say in this court will still be dependent upon the findings of the Ombudsman if indeed she conducted an investigation of the complaint of these witnesses that were subpoenaed who were complainants before that office, so,  why not hear the Ombudsman first and if there is a need to ask the other witnesses to corroborate her, then, so be it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay, then, subject to the we yield to the discretion of the honourable court, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I would suggest that we hear the Ombudsman first because if there is no need to present these other witnesses and the Ombudsman has made a substantial presentation or no presentation at all, then even if we do not hear these witnesses, this court will already be given an opportunity to see the tendency of the evidence being presented to it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay then, Your Honor, we submit to the discretion of the court.  We’ve made known our option but if it does not meet the conformity of the court, we submit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, this Chair feels that given the fact that we are calling one of the highest functionaries of the government, she is no less than the Ombudsman with power to investigate cases in the entire government from top to bottom, then I think we should hear first if indeed there is any evidence at all that is available from her against the respondent.  So let the order of presentation start with the Ombudsman.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Yes, the Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes.  Before we proceed, earlier today also, we received a letter from Ms. Risa Hontiveros Baraquel requesting clarification as to the purpose and expected content of the testimony she is directed to provide considering that she has not made any allegation or reference to foreign denominated accounts amounting to $10 million belonging to Chief Justice Corona in her letter request to the Ombudsman or in any other form, may I move that the Presiding Officer also rule on the request.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, while we respect the position of the subpoenaed witness, Madam Baraquel, the court is not in a position to determine what the defense will be asking from her, that depends upon the defense so I don’t think it is  proper for us to control the defense in this respect.  Under the rules of evidence, a witness when called has a duty  to answer questions propounded by the producing party if she or he  takes the witness stand so the request is hereby not granted.

SEN. SOTTO.  And finally, Mr. President, one more item.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Just for the information of the court and the parties, we are in receipt of an E-mail from Representative Walden Bello informing the court that he is currently abroad on official travel to attend and lecture in conferences as authorized by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr..  Representative Bello is requesting that his presence in the impeachment trial be deferred until after his return to the country on May 18.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, I don’t think we have any control over that matter so we will wait for his return to appear before this court.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President, Senator Drilon agrees.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If there’s any need for him to testify, then we will require him to appear here when he comes back.  So ordered.

SEN. SOTTO.  So may we now call on the defense, Mr. President, for the continuation of the presentation of evidence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In compliance with the statement made by the honourable President Judge, Your Honor, may we call the Ombudsman to the stand.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The honourable Ombudsman, is she around already?  Yes?  Please bring her in and swear her.  One minute recess to wait for them also.

It was 2:24 p.m.

RESUMPTION OF HEARING

At 2:25 p.m., the hearing was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The session is resumed.  (Gavel)

THE SECRETARY.  Honorable Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, please raise your right hand.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in this impeachment proceeding?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, I do.

THE SECRETARY.  So help you God.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Counsel, proceed.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. Presiding Officer, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, what is the pleasure of the prosecution?

REP. TUPAS.  On the part of the prosecution, Mr. President, may we ask permission that our lead private lawyer be recognized—be allowed to receive the testimony of the Ombudsman, and two, conduct the cross, if necessary.  Atty. Mario Bautista, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The request of the prosecution is granted.  (Gavel)

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel referred to may now take the podium and take care of the case for the prosecution.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With the kind permission of the honourable court, will you kindly state your name and other personal circumstances, for the record, Madam Ombudsman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Conchita Carpio-Morales, 71 years old going—No, 70 years old going 72—No, I’m just kidding you.  I’m 70.  I’m going 71.  I am the present Ombudsman.  What else?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your residence, please.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Residence.  Number 9, Carpio Compound, Soldiers Hills, Muntinlupa.  Married.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we be allowed to proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have the floor.  You can proceed, counsel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

Madam Ombudsman is being presented, Your Honor, first, to prove that she has an interest against Chief Justice Corona, the respondent in this case.  To show that the honourable Ombudsman is currently conducting an investigation against Chief Justice Corona, especially with respect to his alleged foreign-dominated bank accounts in the aggregate value of $10 million.  To prove further, that there is no evidence or basis whatsoever for the imputation that CJ Corona has foreign-denominated bank accounts in the aggregate amount of $10 million.  And to prove that the honourable Ombudsman’s investigation is illegal, baseless and not in accordance with the Constitution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In other words, you are considering this witness as a hostile witness?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Right, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then comply with Section 12 of Rule 132.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, the fact that the witness, Your Honor, had made statements both in the TV and the radio castigating or commenting on the propriety of the Ombudsman—on the propriety of the Chief Justice, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, wait.  I’m not trying to hurry you up, but whatever was said outside this court is not evidence.

I will read to you the Rule.  “A witness may be considered as unwilling or hostile only if so declared by the court upon adequate showing of his/her adverse interest unjustified reluctance to testify or his/her having mislead to party into calling him/her to the witness stand.”

So, please comply with that requirement.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There are two kinds in our humble submission, Your Honor, of hostile witnesses.  First is one who is introduced right from the beginning is a hostile interest because of the interest he has in connection with the subject matter of the complaint, together with the person of the respondent.  And secondly, a witness who have been presented as an ordinary witness, but who turned hostile in the course of the proceedings.  In which case, we may ask for a ruling on the part of the court that she is a hostile witness in view of the statements made by her.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  My understanding of the Rules of Evidence are the classes of witnesses, willing witness, unwilling witness, hostile witness, adverse with a party as a witness.  So, can you cite to me the rule that you are using to justify in considering the Ombudsman immediately as a hostile witness, she is not an adverse party to this case.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, but …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The presumption is the party producing a witness is producing the witness as a friendly witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, that is our impression also, Your Honor, but a deeper analysis of the situation involved in hostile witnesses should two different occasions whereby a witness can be considered hostile.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But precisely, Section 12 requires you to lay the basis.  Qualify your witness in the way that you want that witness to be treated on the witness stand and let the court do make the ruling.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very well, Your Honor, we will proceed as directed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, you are—Madam Witness, you are familiar with the De Castro case before the Supreme Court in connection with the qualification of the honorable Chief Justice Corona.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And that involves the validity of his appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And I understand from the records of the case that you were the lone dissenter insofar as the validity of the appointment is concerned.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  It is right, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your contention then at that time, that the Supreme Court has no authority, much less, any power to rule that the former or outgoing President of the Republic of the Philippines may appoint a Chief Justice to the position after a declaration—two days after the election, Your Honor.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In a motion for reconsideration, you likewise sustained your stand as objecting to the power of the President to appoint a Chief Justice, Your Honor.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In that motion for reconsideration, you cling to the view that GMA or the Honorable ex-President Macapagal-Arroyo has no authority to make the appointment, Your Honor.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor, I always clung to my earlier decision if I thought that my decision for the first time was correct.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But knowing that the Supreme Court acts as a collegiate court, the Majority did not sustain you, am I right?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor, and that is …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And the majority opinion declares that the President, in this particular case can appoint even notwithstanding the holding of an election and the determination of a winner in that election.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And it is a time-honored practice that what governs the resolution on issues involved in the case is the majority opinion.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That is right, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.  So, there is no further question as to the validity of the appointment of the appointing power belonging to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  You are asking me?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, that is the decision of the majority of the Supreme Court, so we have to abide by the decision of the majority.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct and you will agree with me that there is no power on earth that can modify, reverse or much less, set aside the decision of the Supreme Court.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  The members who wrote the majority can always change their mind, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but that is not my question to you, Madam Ombudsman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, there is no power.  You said, on earth who can reverse or change the decision of the Supreme Court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct.

OMBUDSMAN CARIO-MORALES.  And I said, the power emanates from those who want to change their mind.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Because judicial power belongs only to the Supreme Court.

OMBUDSMAN CARIO-MORALES.  That is a fact, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, notwithstanding that pronouncement made by the Supreme Court at that time, the President do not appear to be comfortable in accepting that kind of an official action.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  Which President?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The present President.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  I am not competent to answer that, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but you must have read in the papers, together with the speeches over the radio and the television, or you are not aware of that.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  I read them, but whether or not that is true, sometimes, you know, reports get into the papers, but they are not exactly accurate.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Mr. President, may I raise an objection, please.  Counsel for the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the basis of the objection?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The defense counsel has been requested by the Chair to qualify the witness as a hostile witness so that the Chair in turn may declare the witness as such.  The mere fact that the witness was the sole dissenter in the De Castro case, does not qualify her as a hostile witness.  As the Chair correctly ruled, a hostile witness is one who is, number one, an adverse party; number two, an adverse party witness; number three, someone who is reluctant or does not want to testify; and number four, someone who is established to have an adverse interest to the accused.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am sorry, Your Honor.  Sorry.  Sorry.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  All of those situations are not present so that it is premature for the counsel of the defense to start impeaching the witness before she has been qualified as a hostile witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am just starting …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I have to sustain the objection, Counsel.  The first rule is, a party producing a witness is not allowed to impeach his own witness.  So, objection sustained.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, I am not impeaching the witness.  I am laying the basis to show hostility and attitude on the part of the witness that qualifies her to be a hostile witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then reform the question, please.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, I am not asking you about the truth of what President Aquino have stated that he does not like the honourable Justice Corona to be occupying the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  But my question to you is limited to the fact whether you are acquainted with those news spread over the TV.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, I have read those news.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.  And you also must have heard the fact that there was a statement by the honourable President Aquino now that he is not willing to take his oath of office as a President before the honourable Chief Justice.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  That is right, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And as in fact, he made mention of the fact that he would rather take his oath before a barrio captain.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORELES.  That is right, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor please, these questions are really irrelevant to the adverse interest of the witness.  They have nothing to do at all with the qualification of the witness as a hostile witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Qualifying the witness, Your Honor, is not borne out by one and only question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the Ombudsman, who is a very intelligent witness, answer the question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.  He said that early on he said he wanted to take his oath before a barangay captain.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And there was also statements m

ade by him that he will try his level best not to allow Chief Justice Corona to continue occupying the position to which he was illegally appointed.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  That I do not know.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You have not read it in the papers?

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  I could not recall reading that.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You do not recall also having heard it over the radio?

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  I seldom listen to the radio.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, may I suggest that you go direct to the point.  Find out direct questions regarding the hostility of the witness towards the respondent.  She is the Ombudsman.  She is investigating the respondent.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay then, thank you, Your Honor.  Now, in fact, he took his oath before the honourable Ombudsman now.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  That is a fact, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.  And that notwithstanding, Chief Justice Corona attended the oath-taking, is it not?

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  That is right, Your Honor.  He was there.  He was there.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, in the course of a certain event, like the Criminal Justice Summit, Your Honor, you must have read over the papers also as reported that statements made by the President against the Chief Justice.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Your Honor please, may I object again, may I raise a continuing objection to this line of questioning. I do not see the point in establishing any hostility there may be between the President and the Chief Justice. We have a witness here as the Ombudsman.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  What is the connection between the Ombudsman and the President?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, the Ombudsman—at that time, Your Honor, we wanted to show how hostile the President was in having acted that way led to the filing of this complaint for impeachment, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  That is totally irrelevant, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We submit, Your Honor.  We are only in the process of …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Let the witness answer. We will be very liberal. Let us see the defense …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  I think I was abroad at that time but eventually, I was told about it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, I notice that in your—I am aware of the fact that before your appointment as Ombudsman …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Ombudsman.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  … there is necessity that nomination be made by the Judicial and Bar Council.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  That is right, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And you are aware of the proceedings in that Body?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  I just knew about it through others …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And you came to know that one of those who did not vote for your nomination is the Chief Justice.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  I eventually came to know when they invited my intention through the internet data showing the results of the voting.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Chief Justice at not one among those who voted by your nomination?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes. That is right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  He was opposed to your nomination, is that …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Whether he is opposed …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Do I understand …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  … to my nomination, I do not know what is a fact that he did not vote for me.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I intervene, counsel. I would like to be very liberal but may I request you to go direct to the point by showing the adverse interest of the witness with respect to your client, the respondent. What is the adverse interest of the witness such that if that is established, then, she will be considered as a hostile witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’ll go to that direction, Your Honor, but I was trying to deal with it little by little.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We hope …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    I do not want to control you, but I think—why don’t you ask her if she is the one—she has investigated the case of the respondent.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.   Now, may I go to a letter dated April 20, 2012 purportedly addressed to one Renato C. Corona, Chief Justice, Supreme Court, Manila, consisting of five pages and direct your attention to a signature appearing over the typewritten name Conchita Carpio-Morales, Ombudsman.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    I would suggest that the counsel will show that letter …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    … to the witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS. … which we request, Your Honor, to be marked as exhibit. Witness examining the same, Your Honor.

THE OMBUDSMAN. This appears to be a photocopy of my letter.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I request first for purposes of identification, Your Honor, as we prayed before as Exh. 252(?), consisting of five pages.  A little earlier I was asking you to go over the signature appearing over the typewritten name Conchita Carpio-Morales, Ombudsman.  That is your signature.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, there are three complaints involved in this investigation…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, why don’t you ask the Ombudsman why she wrote that letter to the respondent?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, I  adopt the question.  Will you kindly tell us why this letter was written or addressed to the honourable Chief Justice Corona.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   Yes, Your Honor.  After we received the complaint from—it is difficult to memorize the first mentioned complainant, but, one of them is Riza Hontiveros.  I went over it because I had an advance copy, and I first sought the  information from agencies, and then, I referred the complaints to the anti-money laundering council because I thought that the charges included some matters that were within the jurisdiction of the AMLC, and then later, I constituted a panel of investigators, and eventually, I wrote the AMLC seeking assistance towards the determination of the truth of the charges, and then, I got an initial report from the special panel recommending, among other things,  that we should write the Chief Justice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, in this letter, you are asking the Chief to Justice explain in writing…

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That is right, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  ….may I read the particular portion, Your Honor.  “Accordingly, consistent with the provision of Section 15, 22, and 26, you are hereby requested within 72 hours from receipt hereof a written answer to the complaints and to the above-stated information respecting your alleged several bank accounts in several banks.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, I understand that in this kind of investigation by your office, the respondent is akin to an accused in a criminal case.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Your Honor, please, those questions are leading, and up to now the witness has not been qualified nor established declared by the court as a hostile witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.   Well, that is a direct question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, why don’t you reform your question?  Ask the Ombudsman if by that letter she was actually investigating the Chief Justice.  That would be the adverse interest.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay, then, Your Honor.  Now, when you stated in this letter that the Chief Justice being requested to submit within 72 hours from receipt, a written answer to the complaint, my understanding is that he is being already investigated by your office, am I right?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  We were doing a case build up, in other words, it was a fact-finding investigation, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All the while I thought that the complaint, per your letter, is on the basis—this letter rather, is on the basis of the three complaints.  One, by the group of Ruperto Allorosa(?) second by Walden Bello, and the third one by Emmanuel T. Santos, right?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.  Whenever we received a complaint, we determine first if it merits docketing, so, we docketed it for purposes of factual investigation or case build up.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.  When you asked him to file an answer, the answer that you wanted to be made by him is in connection with the allegation or this strictly confidential resolution.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Your Honor, may I invite your attention to the second to the last paragraph of page 4.  It says here, “Furthermore, we received information that there are several bank accounts in PSB and several other banks in your name including those denominated in US dollars, the aggregate value of which amounts to at least 10,000 US$.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In other words, Madam Ombudsman, when you wrote that letter you were already initiating an investigation of the respondent Chief Justice.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  That is right, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And that in effect, you are taking an adverse position with respect  to the subject of your investigation.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  We wanted him to enlighten us, Your Honor, because as I said early on, I had sought the help of another agency for purposes of determining whether there was indeed unexplained wealth or things to that effect which would be violative of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  I’m sorry for the intervention but the Ombudsman mentioned $10,000.  Is that what is reflected in…

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  I’m sorry, $10 million, sorry, as again as I said I’m not used to millions so I always say thousands.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In other words, the Office of the Ombudsman was already conducting an investigation of the Chief Justice so much so that you have to write the respondent Chief Justice to appear in 72 hours to explain his side.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  But your testimony here would be, if you have any finding at all in the course of that investigation, will be against or in favour of the respondent Chief Justice, we do not know that.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor please…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, counsel, please proceed along that line so that we can finish this.  This is only to lay the basis whether this party is a hostile witness or a friendly witness to you.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  We will do so, Your Honor, as directed.

Now, you mentioned in here $10 million.  Now, you must have been informed about impeachment proceedings going on before this honorable body by then.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.  My question to you, is there any mention or evidence of this $10 million of the evidence presented before this honourable court?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Objection, Your Honor.  Up to now, the witness has nothing qualified.  With due respect, the mere fact that the Ombudsman…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel for the prosecution is correct.  Just to help him, this is a preliminary matter.  Madam Ombudsman, you are conducting an investigation of this case against the respondent, am I correct?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.  Fact-finding investigation, Your Honor, case build up as oppose to preliminary investigation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Have you made any findings at all?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  About?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Against the respondent.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Well, I was able to get data showing that at least…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You obtained data material to…

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Material and relevant to the complaints filed by the complainants, yes,  at least from the first two complainants.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And of those materials adverse to the respondent.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Well, it appeared so, Your Honor, because these are the documents that I sourced…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  So that whatever testimony you will give here in this court would have the tendency to be adverse to the respondent.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  It appears so, Your Honor, and that is the reason…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Counsel, proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In which case, Your Honor,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If you want to make a motion, then make a motion.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we move, Your Honor, that the witness be declared as a hostile witness, Your Honor, because  her interest as Ombudsman investigating the case is already  adverse to that of the respondent, the honourable Chief Justice, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Your Honor, that is my mandate.  If I am mandated by law to investigate and I investigate the respondent, that does not make me an adverse person so I have to discharge my mandate.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s correct.  That’s a constitutional mandate.

In fact, the Ombudsman can investigate with or without complaint.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That’s right, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, you may proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor, please, the defense has moved for the qualification of the witness as a hostile witness.  May I object that the mere fact the Ombudsman is conducting an investigation does not render her as an adverse witness.  In fact, she has merely written the Chief Justice to explain if there’s any truth to the allegation that he has $10 million.

There has been no adverse finding by the Ombudsman.  She is merely performing her mandate and task under the Constitution and the Ombudsman’s Law.  That is not evidence of any adverse interest.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We do not question that there is an investigation, that the investigation is allegedly being conducted by the honourable Ombudsman, Your Honor, pursuant to law.

What we wanted to lay down is the fact that there is already allegedly a finding made by her adverse to that of the Chief Justice.

How can she be expected to be neutral, to be unbiased and to be impartial, Your Honor, …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If I may please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … in the dealing with the Chief Justice, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The Ombudsman has not said she has made a findings.  She merely said she has gathered or received data.  She has not made any findings.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Precisely.  The gathering of data do not appear to be in consonance with the impartial investigation of the case, Your Honor, because there are complainants in here.  This is …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I’d like to cut short this discussion.  Unless I am traversed by the impeachment court.  Given the fact that the Ombudsman, and according to the question of the counsel for the defense has shown some disagreement with the respondent, and the fact that she is the one investigating the respondent by virtue of her office, this court would consider her as a hostile witness, and so declared that she is hostile witness.  (Gavel)

You may examine her as a hostile witness.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Now, being a respondent in your case, his position may be akin to that of an accused in a criminal case.  Am I right?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I said, Your Honor, we’re still in the fact-finding investigation.  He was a mere respondent.  You become an accused only when you are indicted in court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am not saying he is an accused.  He may be likened to an accused in a criminal case.  There is no similarity whatsoever.  Is that your point?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, as I said, it’s merely fact-finding.  There is no determination yet of probable cause because he has to undergo preliminary investigation.  If we wind up our fact-finding investigation, and we believe that there ought to be preliminary investigation, then we set the case for …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But, why necessity of compelling him to submit or to file an answer?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That is the law says, Your Honor, Section 26.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But, this is practically compelling him to be a witness which is proscribed by the Constitution under Article III, Section 17, …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Are you assailing …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … that no person may be compelled to be witness again.  Because the moment he answers, necessarily he has to state his reason …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Are you assailing the constitutionality of Section 26?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’m raising it right now because …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Objection, Your Honor, please.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  It does not follow, Your Honor, that he refuses to answer then …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  (Gavel)  Counsel, please propound your question.  Do not argue with the witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There is a pending question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, precisely.  Ask your question whether leading or direct question.  You are now entitled to ask but don’t argue with the witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’m not, Your Honor.  I’m asking her, Your Honor, whether the position of the Chief Justice, as a respondent or a party being investigated in her office may be compared to that of an accused in a criminal case.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are asking an opinion.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  She is …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is a legal characterization.  We are dealing with facts here.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But she is very much in a position to answer that, Your Honor, with due respect.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Ombudsman may answer if she wishes to answer.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I have already answered, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.  And in accordance with the Constitution, the law say under Article III, Section 17, “No person may be compelled to be a witness against himself.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I did not compel him, Your Honor.  I said, I was just following the mandate of the law.  That was his lookout if he did not like to answer.  He could waive answering if he likes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but that …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  But again, as I am saying, Your Honor, you are assailing the constitutionality of Section 26?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am showing that that practice is not in accordance with the Constitution.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  It is not a practice, Your Honor, it is a provision of law, Section 26 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but—that nullifies—I am sorry, I am sorry, Your Honor, and I apologize—now, furthermore, may I direct your attention to this portion of letter …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Sorry, let me correct my answer, it is Section 26 of the Ombudsman Act not the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, may I remind you that the time to raise the non-incrimination clause of the Bill of Rights is when a question is addressed to the respondent.  She was only asked to appear for …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  To answer, Your Honor.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  To answer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To answer within 72 hours.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  72 hours, that is the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  He can answer but he does not want to give an answer because it might tend to incriminate him, that is the prerogative of the party.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, with the kind indulgence of the court, Your Honor, what we are invoking is a right which is fundamental and enshrined under our Constitution, Your Honor, and it is the right of a person not to be compelled to testify against himself.

Here, it is our humble submission, if Your Honor, please, that the moment he is compelled to answer, he will state all his defences and everything, and that is practically compelling him to answer.  It is a definite violation of that particular law, not merely from being saved from the trouble of incriminating himself but the right not to be compelled by a witness against himself, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If I may make a counter submission, Your Honor, please …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  All right.  Again, I sound like a broken record, Justice Cuevas, Section 26 of the Ombudsman Act requires the Ombudsman to direct the respondent in the event there is reason or ground to investigate further to answer within 72 hours.  So, I sent that letter requesting him, I want to emphasize the word, “requesting him”, and so the meager reaction was, “oh, the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over this, that is a phony data and all that”.  Now, you are invoking the Bill of Rights?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am just stating for the record, Your Honor, the right, the constitutional right of the Chief Justice, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Already answered.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, I have examined the various affidavits of the different complainants in this case, and I have not find any statement to the effect that they are levelling an accusation against Chief Justice Corona for the amassing of this $10 million.  Do you agree with me?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Objection, Your Honor, the question is misleading.  The witness has never stated that the basis for the $10 million accusation charge is the three complaints.  She has never said that.  In fact, I do agree with you that if you examine the three complaints, there is no mention of the $10 million.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank youl.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  What she said is that the $10 million was gathered from information and evidence she got from AMLC.  So, the question is misleading, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Objection sustained.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, may I go back to the different complaints, will you kindly tell the honorable court whether you have examined any of the complainants in connection with the contents of their complaints?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No, I have not.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Not even any one of them.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There were statements by this complainant that they have nothing to do with the alleged $10 thousand …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  $10 million.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am sorry, I am not accustomed to million also.  Good lang ako sa ten pesos.  And they mentioned that they have nothing to do with that.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Do you contradict that or you are not in conformity with that.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  That is correct, they did not mention anything about ten million dollars.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And insofar as their complaint is concerned, nothing touched on the ten million dollars.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  Ten million dollars, no, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, this AMLC that you mentioned awhile ago, would you like us to believe that there was already a court proceeding involving the AMLC?

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  No, Your Honor.  I just asked for assistance if they have any document that have a bearing to the financial transactions and related transactions of the Chief Justice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But that will require an investigation, isn’t it?

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  Investigation by …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  By the AMLC, otherwise their statement to you in reply to your query may not be accurate and true.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  No.  I think the AMLC law requires that if a deposit of P500,000.00 plus is received by the bank, they are mandated to report to the AMLC these transactions.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But there is no statement here with respect to the AMLC coming in and that the transaction is one covered by the AMLC, am I right?

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  No.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Misleading, Your Honor.  The witness already stated that she requested the AMLC for assistance.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  This is a different question now.  She is talking about the assistance.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sustained.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, I am sorry.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Reform the question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  My question to you is, there is nothing on record nor in the complaints of the complainant here dealing with that AMLC intervention.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  No, Your Honor.  There is none.  Precisely, I asked the assistance of the AMLC because I wanted to know if there are documents in the possession of the AMLC that have a bearing on the complaints.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Would you like us to understand then that the AMLC can just come in upon the request of any …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, may I read to you the Constitution.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Powers of the Ombudsman.  Paragraph 5.  “Request any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities and to examine if necessary pertinent records and documents.”  So, it is a constitutional law.  The Supreme Law of the land directs, gives that power to the Ombudsman and we are wasting our time on this particular point.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  My point, Your Honor, is, not withstanding the grant of the powers, that power must be exercised in accordance with the procedure laid down by law.  I am conversant, Your Honor.  I hope the Court pardons me.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.  No, I am not asking you to articulate your position but I am just reminding you of the constitutional mandate given to the Ombudsman.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I proceed now, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But insofar as the AMLC is concerned, and in the exercise of its powers, there must a procedure to be adopted.  And that there must be an application before the court and the court must have granted the application, and that is the exercise of the power.  The grant of the power is constitutional but the procedure …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Ombudsman, being an intelligent witness, may answer.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  You must be referring to the freezing of assets.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am referring to the general exercise of the power of the AMLC, Your Honor.  My point is this, the AMLC cannot just, in response to any query, conduct an investigation, submit a report and on the basis … that is my point.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor please, the point made by defense counsel is irrelevant.  He earlier stated in the proffer of testimony, and if you examine the request for subpoena, which they themselves submitted, they only offered two purposes for the subpoena of the Ombudsman.  Number one, in order to prove that Chief Justice Corona does not have foreign denominated accounts amounting to ten million dollars.  That is the first purpose. The second purpose is, and for them to explain why an investigation is being conducted on matters already within the jurisdiction of this honourable impeachment court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We have no quarrel …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The validity or invalidity of the actions of the Ombudsman with respect to the investigation being conducted over the Chief Justice, that is irrelevant here, Your Honor.  In fact, those are legal conclusions which have no room in a trial.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We do not question the validity of the exercise of the power.  We made that clear, Your Honor, but our point is that power although constitutional in character must be exercised in accordance with the procedure laid down by jurisprudence and the law. That is our point. If the court …

ATTY. BAUTISTA. What do you want to establish is that …

JUSTICE CUEVAS. … if the court sustains …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Wait a minute.  All that the Ombudsman had already stated that she sought the assistance of the AMLAC. How the AMLAC performed its function, I do not know if the Ombudsman is competent to testify on that and she already answered the question she sought the assistance of the AMLAC. How the AMLAC got records that if there are records that she got—he got and delivered to the Ombudsman, I do not know whether we can—you can ask her. The witness is competent to testify on that if she knows how the AMLAC performed its function.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, I was just asking her whether the report …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We presumed the regularity of the official conduct …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Right, Your Honor. I fully agree with that, but as I have articulated, Your Honor, I have a point and that the validity of this alleged assistance made by the AMLAC without complying with the provisions of the law on the matter, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then, that will be the function of appreciation of the evidence by this court. If there is any violation by the AMLAC, that is another issue altogether he will answer … So, please, proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Now, going back to the complaints filed with your office more particularly one by the Honorable Noli or Emmanuel Tiu Santos. Did you notice that, practically, the entirety of the allegations therein mentioned are merely based on newspaper accounts?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Asking for opinion and conclusion, Your Honor, and it is irrelevant.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Why—I am asking her.

ATTY. BAUTISTA. If Your Honor please, I do not …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    May answer.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Based on newspaper accounts?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

THE OMBUDSMAN. Is that your conclusion?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No. Did you notice that what you stated what you stated there is based on …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Under the assumption that I always read all newspaper accounts?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No. No. I have a definite question. I have gone over the affidavit …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … of Noli Tiu-Santos.

THE OMBUDSMAN. Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And I notice that all when you stated in there are practically coming from newspaper or newspaper account.  My question to you  …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  You noticed it. You noticed it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes and my question to you is, did you notice that?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Well, he attached to his complaint newspaper clippings.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And you will agree with me that newspaper clippings have no probative value whatsoever especially so in this particular case where the subject to be investigated is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Irrelevant, Your Honor. I cannot understand the line of questioning because it was the defense panel who, themselves, asked to subpoena the Ombudsman and produce documents relating to the 10 million dollar account.  That is all and we have already stipulated that the complaints do not mention the 10 million dollar account.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Let the witness answer.  She is a very intelligent witness.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Well, as I said, Your Honor, he attached to the complaint newspaper clippings, but let me—let me emphasize that before I invoke the assistance of the AMLAC, I first asked the AMLAC—I first furnished copies of the complaints to the AMLAC thinking that the charges might have to do with matters within its jurisdiction and then, when I ask—I wrote the AMLAC again, I only received yet the first complaint. In other words, the first and second complaints including that of Mr. Santos have not yet been with the Ombudsman.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Madam Ombudsman. I propounded that question, Your Honor, Madam Ombudsman, in the light of what appears in this request that you sent to the Chief Justice.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I read for the record, “While you may only be removed from office through impeachment proceedings, this office, as reflected  earlier has the power and duty to investigate you for any serious misconduct in the office for purposes of filing a verified complaint for impeachment if warranted.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It was on this account that this office conducted an initial evaluation of the complaints.  I’m lead by that statement of yours that it was on the account made by the complainant-affiants that you conducted the initial investigation of the complaints.  Am I right?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.   On account of the complaints.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But there is nothing in the complaint relative to what you wanted to be investigated and that is the ten million dollar account.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Precisely, Your Honor, again, I sound like a broken record.  I said, furthermore, we received a report that the Chief Justice has ten million dollars.  And that report was based on the report that was given to me by the AMLC, and these are the documents given to me by the AMLC.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, you totally disregarded the affidavit-complaint of Noli Santos.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Not disregarded, not disregarded.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In what sense or what value did you give to that complaint?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, there were three complaints…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, I am referring to—I am sorry, Your Honor.  I am merely referring to Noli Santos.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  But why should you drop the other complainants?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Because they have essentially almost the same complaints.  They were complaining against acquisition of unexplained wealth.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, I am just asking a question.  May we request most respectfully that the witness be admonished not to argue with this Representation.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I am not arguing, I was just explaining.  Your Honor, I was just explaining.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The witness is explaining to the counsel that she did not—the ten million was obtained from a report to her by the AMLC.  She initially referred the complaint submitted to her by private parties, if I recollect her former statement, to the AMLC, and there was a report returned by the AMLC to her, and in that report was a statement about a ten-million dollar account supposedly of the respondent.  Am I correct on this, Madam witness?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, so, that is the situation.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.  The way we understood you…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.  The way we understood you, you received that report from the AMLC.  Was it prior or after your letter of April 20 to the Chief Justice?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Prior, Your Honor, because I could not have told the Chief Justice that we received report about ten million dollars if I had not gathered it from the AMLC data that was…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, will you be kind enough to tell us why you did not incorporate that as a statement, so that at least the Chief Justice will be able to answer intelligently and correctly.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  What statement, Your Honor?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That according to you, based from the papers coming from the AMLC, there was this alleged then million dollars deposit.  That was not stated in your ….

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, but I said report, we received report.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but even that does not appear in your letter request of April 20, 2012.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I thought it was not necessary.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, why you did not consider that necessary when you are practically accusing a person of illegally acquired wealth, Your Honor.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I thought it was not necessary to mention the source.   After all he said that the account did not exist, so why should you know.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But that was—when he said that that account did not exist, it was only after your letter of April 20.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, but it was not necessary, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is your evaluation…

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   Yes, to mention that it came from AMLC.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but in order the witness or the Chief Justice Corona maybe allowed to explain well his position, why was it not necessary, what made you think that that was not necessary, ten million dollars is not necessary.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That was data gathered by the AMLC…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but my point is this, Madam Witness, you wrote the Chief Justice Renato Corona a letter dated April 20,2012…

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  …it is said “strictly confidential”.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   Yes, that is right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Why all the statement that you made in here is in connection with the ten million dollar account?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Strictly confidential, meaning, the contents of the letter were strictly confidential.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Precisely.  Why was there no mention in order that he made defend himself.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   I thought it was not necessary, Your Honor

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … why did you not mention it.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  I thought it was not necessary.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I be allowed to finish the question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness has already answered.  She felt it was not necessary so that’s her position.  Am I correct in this, Madam…

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  She already answered.  We are arguing on a,  on this point, the witness said that she found it not necessary to give that information in her letter.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But my point is this, Your Honor—if that was so stated, any request to answer is made then the party to whom it is addressed may be able to intelligently reply to the request.  That’s my point.  I’m not questioning the opinion of the witness, Your Honor, I’m just bringing out facts, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Your Honor,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you kindly direct your question to the witness so that you will understand each other.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Your Honor, you were saying so that the respondent would probably have been able to answer intelligibly to the…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And correctly, Your Honor.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  You could have asked for a bill of particulars.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  You could have asked where did you get this information.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But this is not a prosecution in court.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Well, in any event, even if it were not a bill of particulars, he could have said that, can I be enlightened where you got the information?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is precisely why we came to this court, open up this matter because we feel that there is no truth or any legal basis for this assertion.  That is the point of the defendant, your Honor.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  There is no truth to my assertion that I received report that he has US$10 million in transactional accounts?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There is no statement to that effect.  What I’m limiting myself is your statement, furthermore, we received information that there are several bank accounts in PS Bank and several other banks in your name including those denominated in US dollars the aggregate  value of which amounts to at least $10 million.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, you knew if this is in dollar, this is highly confidential, protected by the Foreign Currency Deposit, Republic Act No. 6426.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  I did not source it from the bank, Your Honor.  I sourced it from the AMLC.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but wherever it is sourced, you mean to say if the source is different it can be or in currency deposit may now be inquired?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  You are saying, Your Honor, that these accounts exist because you are saying these are confidential?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, I ‘m not saying, I’m not saying that it is your answer that there are reports to this effect.  My question is, why was this not incorporated in the report?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  It was incorporated, I just didn’t mention the source, $10 million.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but source.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, AMLC.  Here, 17-page document.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Where in your report?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  No, I did not mention—we  sound like a broken record, both you and I.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  I said I thought it was unnecessary.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, the witness has already answered.  That the basis of the $10 million is a report.  She did not include it in her letter.  That’s her answer.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  We wanted to emphasize, Your Honor,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have already overly emphasized it to this court.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Mr. President, if I may.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from San Juan.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Salamat po, Ginoong Pangulo.  Pasensya na ho kayo at bigla po akong tumayo.  Kanina po merong hawak-hawak si Ombudsman na mga papeles, report yata ng AMLC yon.  Sana ho ay makakuha kaming mga kopya, kopya  para sa mga Senador para ho mabasa din po namin.  Kung pupwede lang po.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And can the prosecution panel likewise be given a copy of that.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  If directed by the Presiding Senate President.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Can we get hold of the copies, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To be fair to the respondent, let the process be done.  The prosecution knows what to do and it’s their turn to ask questions from this witness because she will be subject to cross-examination.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, counsel for the defense, proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.   Now, this report that you were telling us is a report that came into your possession after the filing of the impeachment complaint in this case, am I right?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  That’s right, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And I suppose you must have read the entirety of the impeachment complaint in this case, is it not?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And there is nothing in this impeachment complaint that deals with this $10 million account.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Objection, Your Honor.  At the last hearing, the defense expressly assured the entire nation, this Senate, that they were going to face the $10 million issue squarely.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  What is the basis of …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  That is what they said.  And on that basis of that assurance, there were given a recess of 48 hours.  They were given the right to subpoena the Ombudsman and five other witnesses.  And now you’re going to question it?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we know …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.  (Gavel)  What was your question counsel?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  This is not one of those covered by the impeachment complaint in this impeachment proceedings, Your Honor.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  You are referring to the $10 million dollars?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I don’t know if the alleged $700,000 in PSBank is included in this $10 million.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So you are not sure about that?  What you are telling us is merely your opinion about the matter.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Opinion on the basis of how I analyzed the 17-page data coming from the AMLC.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But that is not my question to you.  My question to you is this, this letter is dated April 20, 2012.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  At that time, there was already an impeachment proceedings before this court.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  That’s right.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Already answered.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There is nothing in that impeachment complaint which deals with this $10 million account that you mentioned.  Am I right?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I am not supposed to remember all those Articles of Impeachment.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am not asking you to remember.  All I’m asking you is since you are familiar with the impeachment proceedings, …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … I am asking you for a fact, not whether you are familiar or what.  Did you notice that it is not included in any of the impeachment articles?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  I did not nit-pick the impeachment articles, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So if I tell you now that it is not one of those charges embodied in any articles of impeachment, you’re not in a position to deny or contradict this representation.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  If it is not, with more reason I should conduct further investigation.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I see.  And the idea is for impeachment also?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Possibly for impeachment in December.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  On the basis of your investigation?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.  If it’s not covered.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So if it’s—But you do not fully agree with me that it’s not embodied in this impeachment complaint.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No, I don’t recall.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, we have read this articles of impeachment.  There’s no mention of $10 million.  So we know that.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  There’s no point in belabouring that issue.  We deal with the allegations of the complaint.  That is a detail that is required by the counsel.  But there’s no mention of an amount.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And we are guided by the fact, Your Honor, that elementary rule of procedure in evidence debar any evidence being presented to a matter that is not proved alleged in the complaint.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If that is so, Your Honor, then why did you subpoena the witness and to bring with her documents regarding the $10 million if you are saying it is irrelevant?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Is he entitled to question me, Your Honor?  I will yield if he is entitled, but he has no authority.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Counter manifestation, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  (Gavel)  Propound your question to the witness and let’s finish this.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay.  Now, I understand that your investigation …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  There’s no question that there is no mention of $10 million in the articles of impeachment, but the issue is inclusion and non-inclusion of assets, liabilities and net worth.  That is the main issue in Article II.

Whether the amount included this one billion, one peso, the issue is inclusion and non-inclusion.  The amount is immaterial.

So, reform your question.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I have no pending question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The proceed to ask another question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Now, this $10 million, is this an amount embodied already in the other amounts discussed in this impeachment court which is the subject of evidence by the prosecution?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President, I think, we have been going around in circles on this issue.  Let me just read the Journal of May 8, 2012, the manifestation of one of the counsels for the defense, Mr. Roy, and let me quote that, Mr. President.  The Journal reads, “I was referring to, Your Honor, the mention of $10 million from Senator Estrada.  I believe, it is on page 52, paragraph 1, is it there?  At any rate, Your Honor, I draw your attention to the $10 million that was mentioned by Senator Estrada, and as he put it, gentle recommendation to the Chief Justice to testify in this connection.  Now, I wish to draw attention to the fact that this is not a matter within the complaint.  Be that as it may, Your Honor, the defense is not going to skirt from this issue, if the honorable court is inclined that we should address this issue.  If this honorable court is inclined to consider this matter in its deliberation, if the honorable court is inclined to make this form part of the basis of any verdict rendered here, we will willingly confront the issue.”

This was already settled as early as May 8, 2012.  I believe, Mr. President, that enough time has been debated to this debate.  Can we go now to this point?”  This has already settled before by counsel of the defense.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We want to be liberal in this court, but the time that we have is limited.  So, may I request the indulgence of both sides to—we do not want to control you in the way you ask your question, in the way you will handle your cases, but all of us are lawyers, and I think that you understand my position, direct the question to the witness and let the witness answer so that we can move on.  Because if you are going to argue a certain point back and forth with the witness, we will never finish this case.  So, Mr. Counsel for the defense, proceed to ask your question from the witness so that we could finish.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In view of the admissions made on record by the witness, Your Honor, in connection with my previous questions, I have no further direct examination question, Your Honor.  I am through with my direct examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are through with the witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, cross.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Madam Ombudsman, you earlier mentioned that the AMLC gave you a report.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Do you have a copy of the report with you?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, I have my copy.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  For the record, counsel is being given a copy of the AMLC report.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  17 pages and there are also 4 pages separate from the …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  For the record, Your Honor, the document consists of—the first page is entitled transaction codes legend but it is not paginated.  There are 17 pages which indicate at the top page of each one, the name of the account holder, the account number, the transaction date, the transaction code, the peso amounts, the currency denomination, whether it is US dollar or peso, the foreign exchange amount and the name of the financial institution, in other words, the bank.

On its phase, there appears to be 705 accounts entered here.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  705 accounts?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  705 …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Entries, transactions

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Entries or transactions Sorry.  In addition to this report, Madam Ombudsman, was there any other report submitted by any party with respect to the AMLC report?

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  This one, have you already invited the attention of the court respecting this four-paged document?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Where did you get this, Madam Ombudsman?

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  It came with this same 17-paged document.  I think this reflects the summary of the peso and dollar accounts.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you.  For the record, may we request that the transaction list be marked as Exhibit 11W for the prosecution and …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the marking?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  11W.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And the attachment which is simply entitled Strictly Confidential subject Renato Coronado Corona which appears to be a summation or a summary of the transaction list consisting of 1, 2, 3, 4 pages, be marked as Exhibit 11X.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  What is the pleasure?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Before any question is propounded on this alleged report, may we be allowed to examine the same so that we will know the contents thereof.  We have not been furnished a copy.  It just surfaced today, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel for the prosecution, will you kindly show the, to be fair, documents to the defense counsel.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If I may respectfully suggest, Your Honor, can we have a 20-minute recess so that we can photocopy the documents for the Senator-Judges and for us to examine the documents because this is the first time.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How long?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Half an hour.  Thirty minutes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, motion granted.  The session is recessed for 20 minutes.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  Your Honor, excuse me.  Puwede ba ito ang kopyahin ninyo?  I am sorry, may I beg the indulgence of the Presiding Justice.  That is my personal copy, Your Honor.  I made some annotations.  So, can I request that the other copy which bears the initial of the one who prepared, be the one to be photocopied.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  If the documents are the same in all lrespects except the notes of the Ombudsman.  So ordered.

Hearing was suspended at 3:37 p.m.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is resumed.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, the copies have already been distributed, but the members of the court do not have a copy yet.  We are told that they will instead come up with a PowerPoint presentation so that it will facilitate the distribution of papers or the documents to the members of the court while it is being processed.  So, we may continue, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness, the honourable Ombudsman, will please take the witness stand.

We are in the stage of cross-examination.  The prosecution may proceed.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Honorable Ombudsman, did you advice the Senate that you are prepared with the PowerPoint presentation?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, you earlier testified that on the basis of the information you received from AMLC, you concluded that there are several bank accounts, and I’m quoting from your letter to the Chief Justice, “There are several bank accounts in PSBank and several other banks in your name, including those denominated in US dollars to adjudicate value of which amounts to at least ten million dollars. Do you confirm that?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, sir.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Can you please explain to us, honourable Ombudsman, how you arrive at the figure of $10 million.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, sir.  First, I listed all the different accounts.   I  classified them under one column and then after grouping different accounts under one column, I got  the dates, the transactions occured then I got the amounts, the transaction occurred but since I noticed that there were some accounts which were deposited in let us say, A account, but let us say, $100,000, example only, but on the same day the $100,000 were withdrawn in three tranches and transferred to three different accounts— X, Y, Z.   I had a bit having difficulty trying to analyze so I came up with some significant observations and I put them into writing.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Can you please show to us these significant observations you’ve made in writing.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, sir.  That the Chief Justice has at least $10 million in transactional balances.  He has 82 US dollar accounts in five banks.  There were significant  deposits and withdrawals on very significant dates including the 2004 and 2007 elections as well as the week he was impeached, specifically for December 12, 13, 15, 19, 20 and 22, 2011.  The significant transactions are as follows:  On December 12, 2011 the date Corona was impeached, the following bank  transactions were made—there was a time deposit for  termination of  $418,193.32.  This amount was added to a BPI San Francisco Del Monte Account No. ____ and then from this, $417,978.80 was deducted from this account and placed in a regular trust fund contribution placement.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the defesne?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  At this juncture, Your Honor, we noticed that the testimony of the witness is being in narrative form.  May we request, Your Honor, that questions be directed to her so that we can properly object when the time so demands, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The question calls for an explanation, Your Honor please.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but irrespective of what you want to tell…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is an answer I think to a question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, and we noticed that the answer is being made in narrative form.  It’s practically a story we can no longer object, Your Honor.  That’s why I am requesting that the testimony from the witness be adduced by question and answer, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  In order to be fair, will you kindly slice your question in segments, Mr. Counsel for the prosecution.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  We will try to do that, Your Honor, but the difficulty is I just got this a few seconds ago but I will try.

Honorable Ombudsman, you were already testifying on how much were the withdrawals made by the Chief Justice from the date of his impeachment on December 12, 2011 forward.   Do you have the total amount of dollars the Chief Justice withdrew after the date of his impeachment from his bank accounts?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We object, Your Honor, because the witness may be cross-examined only on matters directly taken up in the direct examination.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Your Honor please, the witness has been subpoenaed by the defense specifically for the purpose of addressing the $10 million and now they are trying to limit her testimony.   I think we should put it on record, Your Honor, that the defense has repeatedly misrepresented the supposed intent of the Chief Justice to open his dollar accounts.  As early as February 12, 2011, this honourable court already ruled that the PS Bank accounts should have been opened But it relented to the TRO in particular because of the representation of the Chief Justice that he will open his account.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor, please.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Up to now he has not done that.  And now they are trying to block the testimony of the Ombudsman regarding transactions and documents which they specifically subpoenaed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  (Gavel)  The Rule says, and I’ll read to you the Rule of Evidence involved, Section 12, Rule 132, “The unwilling or hostile witness so declared, or a witness who is an adverse party may be impeached by the party presenting him in all respects as if he had been called by the adverse party except by evidence of his bad character.”

Now the rule now involved in this discussion is this, “He may also be impeached and cross-examined by the adverse party,” which is the prosecution.  Now, “But such cross-examination must only be on the subject of his examination in chief.”

So, I’ll have to sustain the motion.  (Gavel)

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor, please.  May I ask for a reconsideration.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The defense has already waived its right for the prosecution to cross-examine on the $10 million accounts.  They expressly waived that, Your Honor, by making the representations they made last Tuesday, and on the basis of the subpoena request they made.  They already waived that, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If I may be allowed to answer, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There could be no waiver , Your Honor, because our objection now is predicated on the Rule of Evidence.  We are not preventing my learned colleague from cross-examining her.  But the cross-examination being a hostile witness, Your Honor, must be only on matters taken up on the direct.

Did we touch on the withdrawals?  The answer is no.  Did we ask her to testify?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, motion to reconsider is denied.  (Gavel)  Next question.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Honorable Ombudsman, who gave you this report from the AMLC?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  You are referring to a particular person?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.  The executive director.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Who is he?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Vicente Aquino.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I notice, honourable Ombudsman, that there are initials.  There is one initial on every page of both exhibits pertaining to the reports of the AMLC.  Do you know whose initial this is?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  One of the officials of AMLC or Central Bank who is a bank analyst.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  You earlier mentioned that you arrived at the conclusion that there were $10 million.  Did you ask—did you request anyone to assist you in evaluating …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  After my initial evaluation, I had to seek the assistance of the COA.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Who in particular, ma’am, in the COA?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  The Chair, Grace Tan.  And then, eventually, I later requested Heidi Mendoza.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  What was the response to your request for assistance?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, they came up with their analysis of dollar accounts.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Did they come up with a report on their analysis of the dollar accounts?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, before the honourable Ombudsman answers.  May we go on record, Your Honor, as again objecting to this—These matters had not been taken up in the direct examination, Your Honor.  And if we have to be …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Which one?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The alleged report, the examination by the COA and so on.  And nothing had been mentioned about that in the direct examination.

So following the previous …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Actually, counsel, the documents have been waived by the witness during her examination in chief, ‘di ba?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, but the question now …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Pinakita niya e.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, but …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And it was solicited by virtue of a question from the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So the witness is now explain who helped her because that was the question of the cross-examining counsel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, the witness may answer.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I request for the reconsideration, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The matters being sought to be elicited on cross-examination, Your Honor, are matters not taken up in the direct examination.  And the witness does not cease to be a hostile witness.  The rules under Rule 132, Section 13, if I recall correctly, allows cross examination and we are not denying them the right to cross examine, but my point is, the cross examination must be limited only to matters taken up in the direct examination.

Now, the question now centers on the alleged examination by the COA on the report and on the examination, our point is, this had never been touched in our direct examination and I appeal to the records to buttress our argument on the point.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If, Your Honor, please …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But don’t you think the question to the Ombudsman is because of the document that was presented to this court by virtue of the examination in chief.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, what the documents …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  She is explaining what happened, how that document was prepared, evaluated by her, and she said, she sought the assistance of other people.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But anyway, okay, just to give you all the leeway to defend your client, counsel for the prosecution, reform your questions.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.  May I just point out that in the request for subpoena of the defense, I quote, that the Honorable Ombudsman bring with her the original and certified true copies of documents of the complaint against Chief Justice before the Office of the Ombudsman as well as original and certified true copies of the documents on which they based their accusations, that Chief Justice Corona has foreign denominated accounts in an aggregate value of $10 million.

These are the words of the defense when they asked for the subpoena, and now, they are trying to prevent the witness from testifying on the very documents they subpoenaed just because they now know that the contents are adverse to them.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are afraid, Your Honor, that we had been misunderstood.  We never have referred to any subpoena, much less, to any subpoena duces tecum that had not been part of the direct examination on the witness.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Therefore, he directly examined her on the basis of matters that were not subject of the subpoena.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  What we are objecting is the question propounded to the witness which covers subject matter that had not been taken up in direct examination, and that is very clear.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, counsel for the prosecution, please reform your questions so that we will not go into this lengthy discussion.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.  You earlier said, Madam Ombudsman, that you are prepared to present a PowerPoint …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Can you do that?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Sir, if the Impeachment Court will allow me, Your Honors.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Unless, I am reversed by—yes, what is the pleasure of …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It is not part of our direct examination.  And secondly, Your Honor …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If, Your Honor, please.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Allow me to continue.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I vehemently disagree with the statement that it was not part of the direct examination.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The Journal will bear me out.  They asked questions regarding the basis of the $10 million.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Right.  Where is the PowerPoint?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Now that the evidence is adverse to them, they are trying to suppress it.  May I point out the presumption in the Rules of Court, that when evidence is suppressed, it is presumed to be adverse to the party suppressing such evidence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You are misquoting a wrong law.  That does not apply in this particular case.  Do we have a right to object?  Our answer is yes.  It is addressed to the honorable court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Did you not ask a question about the basis of the charge that the Chief Justice has $10 million?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We did not discuss on that on the direct examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Did you asked that question?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I do not recall, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let us go to the record.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  My question is what is …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let us not discuss this.  I want to see the record, if indeed, the defense counsel did not ask anything about the basis of the $10 million that was the subject matter of the examination in chief.

What is the pleasure of the Gentleman from Taguig?

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Mr. President, just to save time and to support the earlier ruling of the Chair, during the direct examination, tinanong po ng counsel, bakit hindi mo inilagay  sa sulat iyong basehan?  At ano iyong basehan?  At sagot po ng honourable Ombudsman, ang basehan niya iyong dokumento sa AMLC.  Natandaan ko po ito kasi apat na beses na po niyang winagayway, anyway, she held it up and waved it and we were teasing Senator Jinggoy na kumuha na tayo ng kopya baka mawala.  And paulit-ulit po iyong Ombudsman in saying na para tayong sirang plaka.  Hindi ko isinama ito sa letter sapagka’t she did not think it was needed na ilagay sa letter.  Therefore, Mr. Chair, to support the Presiding Officer, winagayway na niya iyong ano, kanina pa niya wine-wave iyon and secondly, Your Honor, not to debate with you, kasi kung bubuksan pa natin iyong record hahaba pa, or kung iyong pronunciation ko sa Tagalog aayusin ko, hahaba pa, so excuse me for that mistake. . But the defense was the one who brought up the AMLC records.  Ang ginagawa lang ng prosecution ngayon, nag-e-elaborate or hinihimay and the PowerPoint is para tulungan na ihimay.  So, I’ll stop there but I am supporting the ruling of the Chair that it is proper in cross because it was brought up in fact by the defense.  Except, hindi ninyo hinimay o hindi ninyo na tinanong iyong Ombudsman kung ano iyong laman.  But the fact na mayroon pong papeles na galing po sa AMLC, nanggaling po iyon sa tanong ng defense.  And I am afraid na hahaba po at tatagal po tayo today kung babalik pa tayo sa records and every single question kasi po, pagkatapos ninyo po, magtatanong din kaming Senator-Judges at hawak na po namin ang  kopya namin, magtatanong din kami.  So, without interfering with the way you will defend your client, and I understand you have to do this, these questions will come out, Sir, and I just like to put on record that I am supporting the Senate President’s stand that this was brought up.  And I hope maging smooth iyong pagtatanong natin dito.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Mr. Senator.  What we are objecting to is the utilization of PowerPoint, Your Honor.  True, there was a statement to the effect that this came from the AMLA.  I recall having questioned the cross-examined witness, Your Honor, on several matters regarding the AMLA, and the net effect is that she is not in a position to testify on matters properly within the confines or jurisdiction of the AMLA, that is why I stopped in there.  I did not insist that Your Honor, that she should be examined in connection with how the matter was brought to the AMLA.  What investigation was conducted by the AMLA.  Why it is confidential.  Why there is no predicate crime and yet there was an information supplied to.  I totally withdrew all my statements relative to …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the gentle Lady from Antique.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Isang maliit na kahilingan lang po.  Na sana po ay bigyan natin ng pagkakataon na si Ombudsman Morales ay makapagsalita na dahil tatlong oras na po tayong nakaupo rito, gusto po nating marinig ang kanyang pahayag dahil mayroon na po tayong kopya ng 17 na pahina dito.  Pero mahirap intindihin dahil puro numero po at mga codes.  Iyon lang po ang hinihiling ko.  Pakinggan natin siya with minimum interruption at iyong mga abogado dito at saka doon po, with all due respect, mamaya po magtanong.  Puwede pong mag re-direct siguro namn po ang defense, puwedeng magtanong siguro sa tamang pamamaraan ang prosecution, kasi kami bibigyan po ng pagkakataon kung kailangan pa.  Pero paano po tayo magkakaintindihan?  Bigyan po natin ng pagkakataon para maipaliwanag iyong mga numerong napakaraming hindi naming maintindihan.  Salamat, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS. With due respect, Your Honor.  I think with the least fear of contradiction, we are agreed that this alleged report came from the AMLA.  As to who prepared the same in particular, whether he is under oath, whether we can cross-examine him on the veracity of the entries herein appearing, whether  they are authentic or not, we are already helpless, Your Honor.  And what …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Your Honor, the document was testified to by the Ombudsman.  It is a part of the testimony.  You know that that is a rule in evidence.  And the document presented to witness and used by her in the course of her testimony in this case is a part of the testimony of that witness which could be the subject matter of a cross-examination.  Now, you are objecting and you say that you did not touch upon that matter in your examination in chief. I agree with you that the COA was never mentioned by the Ombudsman but, precisely, she was asked—the way I understood the question of the prosecution is that the prosecution asked the Ombudsman whether that document was prepared by her and my recollection of her answer was that she—we asked the help of some other people including the COA if I understood her correctly. So, that is in answer to the question of the prosecution but …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    … just to satisfy the objection and to be sure that we are not guessing here, I am, as Presiding Officer, I want to check the record because my recollection of the record is that you, the defense, really touched this matter in their examination in chief.

JUSTICE CUEVAS. My point of objecting—if I may be allowed to continue, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Yes, please, go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  My point of objection is not only whether it was not touched in the direct or not, but whether the witness will be incompetent insofar as AMLAC figures are concerned.

ATTY. BAUTISTA. We will establish that, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  What is being presented now is an AMLA  report usigned …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That will be a proper subject of a recross or a redirect …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, maybe, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   … a redirect because you—in your redirect, you can actually cross-examine the witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, but …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    We have already declared her to be a hostile witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are very appreciative of that, Your Honor, but our point is, apparently, there is no competency on the part of the witness to discuss this report …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Inspect …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … she is never a party, then, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    … then, show that in the course of your recross …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, but …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   … or redirect.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  My objection—our observation …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Are you objecting on the ground that the Ombudsman is incompetent to testify on this matter?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  On the AMLA report in addition to our previous objection, Your Honor, …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Your Honor please, we have not yet …

JUSTICE CUEVAS. … because it is not shown yet whether she is a party to the preparation thereof, whether she is privy to the entries therein appearing and whether he had talked to the person who made the entries, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And so …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  This will be a paper presentation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Correct, but she is simply reading from the report.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Precisely.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  PowerPoint presentation, this will include interpretation, Your Honor, of figures stated in there.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Well, if you do not want a PowerPoint presentation, then, I will submit this to the Body for a decision if you are objecting.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is my point, Your Honor, and I made clear our position our position on the matter, Your Honor.  We are heavily thankful to the Court for allowing us to say our piece on this particular and specific matter.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor please, just for the record. I have not seen these documents and the mention of the PowerPoint presentation, I heard it for the first time from the Honorable Senator Sotto. And I thought it was a wonderful idea to expedite the presentation of the evidence. It did not come from the prosecution. It came from the Senator.  And if the Ombudsman is ready to come up with the PowerPoint presentation, I think it is within the discretion of this Honorable Court to say “yes” or “no”, but definitely, it is not barred by any rule.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    It may be tedious, but if you want to—you object to the Power presentation, then, I will direct the prosecution to ask the specific questions, so that you can object.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Alright.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we recognize Senator Marcos.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    The Gentleman from Ilocos Norte.

SEN. MARCOS.  Thank you, Mr. President. Just three questions to Madam Ombudsman.

We thought we would be able to figure out these figures, but as you can see, there are very many items under which these transactions are categorized.

Madam Ombudsman, you used the term earlier “transactional balance?”

THE OMBUDSMAN.  That is right.

SEN. MARCOS. What does that mean exactly because it is so hard for us to determine?

THE OMBUDSMAN.  The transactions that went into funds, the transactions that—including the flow and outflow of funds. That is not the balance of the account.

SEN. MARCOS. I see.

THE OMBUDSMAN.  Those are the balance of …

SEN. MARCOS.  That is the total—in other words …

THE OMBUDSMAN.  That went through the system of his …

SEN. MARCOS.  So, in other words, all the dollar transactions when added together, a total $10 million Was that the determination that you made?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  It’s even more, I think.

SEN. MARCOS.  It’s even more.  So, it is not the balance, it is…

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Balance of transaction.

SEN. MARCOS.  So, even if, let us say, 10 thousand dollars was deposited and subsequently 10 thousand dollars was withdrawn, that will be a transactional balance of 20 thousand, is that correct, Madam Ombudsman?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Let us put it this way, Senator.  I think our computation, my computation which was arrived at with the assistance of CPA lawyers, is that, it’s fresh deposits which means, fresh deposits, they never moved, they remained in that particular account amounted to more than 12 million dollars.

SEN. MARCOS.   Yes, but…

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Fresh deposits.  But the transaction, were saying the inflow and the outflow, that’s it.

SEN. MARCOS.  I heard you specifically say that the transactional balance to your determination was ten million dollars.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Even more.

SEN. MARCOS.  And even more.  But again—so this does not denote the balance.  It merely denotes the total amount of money…

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

SEN. MARCOS.  …that went through the system.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.   Yes. It does not denote the balance of the account.  But as I said, Mr. Senator, it is fresh deposits amounted to more than 12 million dollars.

SEN. MARCOS.  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  When I say fresh deposits, they were never moved from one bank to another, they stayed on those accounts.

SEN. MARCOS.  Very well, we’ll have to plow through all these informations.  Thank you very much, Madam Ombudsman.  Thank you, Mr. President.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we…

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  If you allow me, if you allow me, it will abbreviate the proceedings if you allow me to come up with the PowerPoint presentation.  It will be easier to be understood if you will…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Madam Ombudsman, there is an objection from the defense.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Alright, okay.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Santiago, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentle Lady from Iloilo.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Mr. President, the primary rule in the Rules of Evidence is relevancy.  In fact, it is one of the first few articles that open the section of the Rules of Court concerning evidence.  As long as the evidence is relevant, it is admissible in court.  There is no prohibition in the Rules of Evidence of a PowerPoint presentation. There is no categorical prohibition of such means of introducing evidence.  The only question facing us, is, is this relevant?   I hold as a judge, that this is relevant, therefore, it should be admitted, and beside it will help us considerably to reduce the hours that we might spend going over these items one by one.  If there is a need for voting, I vote therefore for the PowerPoint presentation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Order!  Order!  May I request the public to refrain from showing your approval or disapproval with things that are happening in the court room.

So ordered.  (Gavel)

The Gentleman from Cavite.

SEN. LACSON.  If there is a need for a motion to be submitted to the Chair to allow the Ombudswoman to present through a PowerPoint presentation, I so move, Mr. Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, there is a motion to allow the Ombudsman to present a PowerPoint presentation of the report prepared by the AMLC to her.  May I request the–those who are in favour, please raise your right hand.  (The Secretary General counting) Alright.  Those who are against, please raise your right hand likewise.  Against ha, against, those who are against.  No one is against?   Alright.  The PowerPoint presentation is authorized by the impeachment court.  (Gavel).  Proceed.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Alright.  If, Your Honor, please, if you allow one of those who assisted me in charting this visual aid in coming up with a presentation to herself present.  I am referring to Commissioner  of the COA, Heidi Mendoza, if you will allow her to do the presentation or you will prefer that it is going to be me.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Well, if you are technically capable, Madam Ombudsman, then…

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  I’ll try, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, please do so.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  As you can see, this refers  to analysis of dollar account.  Basic information.  Tabulation of transaction accounts submitted by AMLC.  The amounts appearing in the tabulation are not account balances but rather they are transaction balances.  The same is considered complete as to movement of funds about 500,000 from 14 April 2003 to 22 December 2011.

Methodology

Recording of reported transactions into specific bank accounts; posting of individual amounts under specific debit and credit column using the transaction codes as guide; summarizing all the debits and credits which are basically the inflows and outflows of funds followed by the computation of net inflow/outflow; marking of abnormal balances such as withdrawals where there are no apparent entries under the debit column; preparing individual schedules, summary of transaction per account, summary of account movements, inter and interbank schedule of net flows, supporting schedules for significant observations.

Significant observations

Multiple accounts created for similar purpose; multiple accounts spread over five banks in various branches, places; circuitous fund movements; deposit and withdrawal made on the same day; significant movement on significant dates.

Significant observation

In 2003, he had one dollar account.  In 2004, he had 13 so one plus 13 would be 14 in 2005.  In 2005, he had an additional nine dollar accounts so from 2003 to 2005, his dollar accounts totalled 23—it’s not too visible from my end—plus  he had an additional 12 dollar accounts.  In 2007—excuse me, may I just look at my record because it’s hardly visible from here—in  2007, he had 35 dollar accounts and he added 14 accounts.  So in 2008, he had 49 dollar accounts and he added 14 accounts.  In 2009, he had 63 dollar accounts and he had added 12 dollar accounts.  In 2010, he had 75 dollar accounts and he added six accounts.  In 2011, he had 81 dollar accounts and he added one account.  That gives a total of 82 dollar accounts.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How many dollar accounts?

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  82, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  82.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  The PowerPoint machine, I think, came in late so I said I was not able to see.  All right.    First, we had this BPI Acropolis Branch, he had eight accounts.  Then BPI Tandang Sora, he had 18 accounts.  BPI San Francisco Del Monte, 34 accounts.  BPI Management Investment Corporation, he had one account.  PS Bank Cainta, he had eight accounts; PSBank Katipunan he has six accounts; then ABC, Allied Bank Corporation, Kamias, he had four accounts; and, Deutsche Bank, I don’t know how to pronounce this, AG2 Deutsche Bank, he has two accounts;  City Bank NA, he has one account.

Now, circuitous movement of funds for the four main accounts.  All right.

An account in BPI Acropolis Account 4005939, deposit in the amount of $48,589.72.  This was deposited on April 14, 2003.  On even date, on April 14, 2003, he withdrew $52,202.38.

On April 23, he deposited to the same account the amount of $78,400.66.

Two days after, he withdrew—how is this possible—he withdrew $80,000.  Maybe the—Well, the amount would show that it’s bigger than what he deposited but the presumption is that he had seed deposit there.

Okay.  Now, on April 1, 2004, he deposited $162 million—No, no, rather, I’m sorry, this time I’m now used to millions.  It is $162,982.97.  He deposited to the same account.  This came from Account No. 9771.

Okay.  Now, on April 1, 2004, he withdrew $390,000 from still the same account and deposited it to Account No. 1822.

On May 6, 2004, he deposited $390,526.09.  And on April 2, 2004, he withdraw from the main account the amount of $100,000 and deposited it in Account No. 1865.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When you say account, you’re talking within the same bank?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor, the same bank.  In other words, he had several accounts in the same bank.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In the same bank?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes.

All right.  In May 6—No, I’m done with that.

On April 2, 2004, as I said, he withdrew $100,000 and placed it in Account 1865.

On May 7, 2004, he deposited $100,134.89.

Excuse me, Your Honor, may I just talk to Ms. Mendoza?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Your Honor, may I be allowed to use my magnifying lens?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead, Madam Ombudsman.  I’m also using a magnifying glass.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  On May 5—No, rather, on May 11, 2004, he deposited to the still the same account, mother account, $9,000,340—no, I am sorry, again, as I said, I am sorry, I am now used to million—so, it should be $9,340.

On May 12, 2004, he withdrew $500,000.  That is May 12.

On May 14, 2004, he returned $500,000 to the mother account.

On August 4, 2004, he deposited to the mother account, $15,000.

On May 14, 2004, withdrew $500,000 from the mother account.

On August 4, 2004, he withdrew again, $30,000.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Madam Ombudsman.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are these—the withdrawal, deposits and withdrawals covered by documentary evidence like checks or debit memos or whatever?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Based on the AMLC document, Your Honor, there are codes there which says, debit, credit, debit, but the credit memo, in other words from where these funds came from, who deposited them or how it came about is not recorded there.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is this actually being operated by the account holder himself directly or was there …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … a fund manager doing this for the account holder—the deposit holder?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Except for maybe two or three accounts which I suspect, it must have been on the move of a manager, all the rest of the accounts reflected in the data, document were—appear to have been made by Renato Corona, Renato C. Corona or Renato Coronado Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Signed on the documents withdrawing and depositing.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No, Your Honor, this document is sourced from the database of the AMLC, so, they did not submit supporting documents.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, it is actually electronically generated.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Now, on September 8, 2004, he withdrew $30,000 and placed it in account number 3345 on—I am sorry, I am referring to the blue—On September 8, 2004, he deposited to the mother account $30,040.47.

On August 18, 2004, he withdrew from the mother account $30,000 and placed in account number 3507.

On September 22, 2004, he deposited $30,040.47 to the mother account.

On August 18, 2004, he deposited $10,000 to the mother account.

On August 18, 2004, he deposited $15,000 to the mother account.

On September 8, 2004, he withdrew $30,000 and placed it to account number 1840.

On September 23, 2004, he withdrew $30,040.47 and deposited it to 3949 account.

On October 21, 2004, he withdrew $100,000.

On October 29, 2004, he deposited $39,000. On January 1, 03, January 3, 2005, rather,  he deposited 15,000 US dollars.  Now, on the same date, he withdrew 15,000, the same amount.  On January 14, 2005, he deposited 10,000 US dollars.  On the same date, January 14, 2005, he withdrew $15,000.00.  On January 20, 2005, he withdrew 10,000 US dollars.  I think we are done, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, my impression of this, and correct me if I am wrong, there is one deposit account in this bank by the depositor and he sliced it into several placement accounts.  So, the accounts were coming in and out of the same deposit account in the same bank.

JUSTICE CARPIO-MORALES.  Coming out of one particular deposit account and going to another account.  In fact, there are several different accounts here.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Before you do that, may I request for a one long minute recess.

Hearing was suspended at 5:36 p.m.

The session was resumed at 5:53 p.m.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is resumed.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we recall the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Madam Ombudsman.

JUSTICE CARPIO MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Analyzing this particular bank account number, there are actually 14 withdrawals and 17 deposits.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  This is over a period of time.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It started at a given date and ended on a given date.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Does the Ombudsman know if there is—what was the balance of the end of this period involved?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No, Your Honor, we cannot determine.  It’s difficult to determine.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are not in a position to state?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  No.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Unless they are fresh deposits which means there were no withdrawals from the account.  It would be difficult to determine the balance.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But this account exists and it’s being operated with deposits and withdrawals by the depositor?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Well, the data we determined was up to 2005, I think.  Yes, January 2005.

So, that is what is reflected in the document that the movement—the circuitous movement of the deposits ended on January 2005.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  What is the pleasure of the Gentleman?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Before we go into another subject, may we request that the defense be furnished with the PowerPoint …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  The honourable Ombudsman is requested to provide a hard copy of this …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So that we can go over the same.  Prepare for a re-direct and determine the facts stated therein, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In fact, if we may also request the Ombudsman to provide the court a hard copy of this PowerPoint presentation.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.  We will do that.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  May the prosecution likewise be give a copy, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  This PowerPoint presentation was prepared by whom?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  It was prepared by me with the assistance of the COA.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The COA?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Yes, Your Honor.  They were the ones who …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why was the COA brought into the picture?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Your Honor, because I had to ask their assistance because the COA—there are CPAs in the COA and for a mere lawyer without background in accounting, I found it difficult to analyze.

I did it manually and all that with all those columns and all that, so I wanted them to see if my observations were correct.  So I had to engage their help.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Counsel for the prosecution.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Mr. President, may we also be given a copy …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May we continue with the PowerPoint presentation.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  There’s another major account, Your Honor.  This is Account No. 1842, Bank of Philippine Islands Tandang Sora.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  1842?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  1842.  On August 11, 2004, he withdrew—No, I won’t say he withdrew.  There is a withdrawal of $10,000 which went to Account No. 4676.  More than a month later, or on September 15, 2004, the amount of $10,011.24 was deposited to the same account.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This is separate from the first …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Separate, Your Honor.  This is BPI.  The other one was BPI Acropolis.  This is BPI Tandang Sora, TS.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Another bank deposit account?

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Another bank deposit account, Bank of Philippine Islands.  The first one …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The same bank.  The Bank of the Philippine …

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  The same bank but different branch, Your Honor.  The first one was Acropolis Branch.  This time, it is Tandang Sora Branch.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

OMBUDSMAN CARPIO-MORALES.  Now, on September 12, 2004, he withdrew $10,000.  But on October 16—And placed it in another bank account.

On September 16, 2004, he deposited to the mother account $10,011.24.

In 2005, Your Honor, this is still the same, BPI Tandang Sora branch, the same mother account, but this time again, he withdrew $11,000 on April 14, 2005 to another account, account number 5427.  This is different from the previous accounts that we mentioned.

On January 12, 2006, he deposited to the mother account, $11,215.97.

On October—I will be referring to the account on the left side.  On October 25, 2005, he withdrew $12,000 and placed it in the account number BPI no. 5974.

And on January 24, 2006, he deposited $12, 091.19.

On December 8, 2005, he withdrew from the mother account $15,000.

And on March 9, 2006, he returned $15,113.99 to the mother account.

On December 8, 2005, he withdrew $21,000.

And on March 23, 2006, he returned $21,159.98.  This came from another bank account.

So, there are four bank accounts involved in this page.

Still in the same BPI Tandang Sora branch and still in the same mother account, on January 12, 2006, he withdrew $16,000 and placed it in another new account, account number 6261.

And on January 11, 2007, he deposited $16,566.07 to the mother account.

On March 10, 2006, he withdrew $26,000 and placed it in a different account, account number 6474.

And on September 8, 2006, he withdrew—he deposited rather, $26,455.95.

On March 23, 2006, he withdrew $21,159.58 from the mother account and placed it in a different account, account number 6539.

And on September 21, 2006, he deposited $21,538.04.

Finally, on this page, on January 24, 2006, he withdrew $12,091.19 from the mother account.

And onJanuary 23, 2007, he deposited $12,526.15.

Please segue to the next page.  This is an account from BPI San Francisco Del Monte.  The account number is 8104, this is BPI.  From the account number, you will recall that the previous mother account was—on September 14, 2006 rather, August.  August 14, 2006, September 8, 2006, September 21, 2006, January 16, 2007, January 23, 2007, he made five deposits.  The first was $48,391.09, $26,455.95, $21,534.04, $16,566.07, $12,526.15.  This came from an Account No. 1842.  Again on August 16, 2006, he deposited to the mother account the amount of 13,700.00.  Then on  September 27, 2006, he deposited 110, 109.19 and on January 24, 2007, he deposited 21,234.05.  The account where this came from is not indicated.  On May 3, 2007, he deposited to the mother account 134,603.25..  This came from an account numbered 9366.  On September 27, okay, the withdrawal first should have been mentioned first because it is a year before that.  So, anyway, he withdrew 131,643.32 from his mother account and deposited it to account number 9366.  On May 3, 2007, he deposited to the mother account 27,039.80 and on September 8, 2006, he withdrew 26,455.95, and placed it to Account No. 9188.  Finally, on August 16, 2006, he withdrew from the mother account $62,000.00 and placed it in Account No. 8955.  And on February 14, 2007, he deposited $232.23 .  Still another account, still in the same account in San Francisco Del Monte, on February 15, 2007, he transferred 63,232.23 to Account No. 0933 and on May 3, 2007, he deposited 63,345.61 to the mother account.  On January 24, 2007, he withdrew 53,326.85 and placed it to Account No. 0704.   And on May 3, 2007, from the same account, he deposited to the mother account 53,572.71.  Let me start with, on July 19, 2007, there was a deposit of $12,700.00, where the deposit came from, it is not indicated, fresh deposit.  On July 27, 07, he deposited 100,000.   On May 29, 07, he deposited 129,498.98 and on September 3, 2007, he deposited $20,000.00 while on December 21, 2007, he deposited $50,000.00.00  These are fresh deposits that were infused into the mother account.  Still on the same account, BPI,  San Francisco Del Monte. On July 19, 2007, he withdrew from the BPI Account, mother account, the amount of 20,000 and placed it in a different account 2693.

On August 23, 2007, he deposited to the mother account 20,076.44. On August 31, 2007—let me start with the withdrawal first.

On July 27, 2007, he withdraw the amount of 100,000 and placed it still in another accounts but on August 31, 2007, he deposited to the mother account 101,404.69.

On August 23, 2007, he transferred 20,007.44 on the mother account and deposited it into a different account 3193.

On September 3 of 2007, he deposited to the mother account from this new account the amount of 20,082.83.

On September 3, 2007, he transferred 40,082.93 from the mother account and transferred it to a new account 3479.

On March 3, 2008, he deposited 40,973.18.

On August 9, 2007, still from the same account, he withdrew 296,728.99 and placed it in a new account 2987 and on November 8, 2007, he deposited 299,937.86 to the mother account.

On July 31, 2007, he withdrew 130,443.32 to a new account 2812 and on March 4, 2007, he deposited to the mother account the amount of US $133,547.67.

On August 31, 2007, he transferred from the mother account $100,404.69 to a new account 3398 and on February 29, 2008, he returned to the mother account the amount of 102,634.27.

On November 9, 2007, he withdrew the amount of 299,937.86 and transferred it to a new account 7659.

On December 21, 2007, he withdrew from the mother account, the amount of $50,000 and transferred it to a new account 4351 and on January 25, 2008, he deposited to the mother account 50,224.83.

Still in BPI San Francisco Del Monte Account, Account No. 8104.

On March 5, 2008, he deposited the amount of $30,300 to the mother account.

On April 17, 2008, he deposited 24,000 to the mother account. On July 31, 2008, he deposited $30,000 to the mother account.

On January 28, 2008, he transferred from the mother account to a new account the amount of $50,224.83.  From this new account, he withdrew on August 15, 2008, the amount of $51,167.17.  On January 28, 2008, he withdrew the amount from the mother account $50,224.33.  On March 3, 2008, he withdrew the amount of $143,608.15 from the mother account, and transferred it to a new account, 4874.  And on July 7, 2008, he referred back to the mother account the amount of $144,947.79.  On March 5, 2008, he withdrew the amount from the mother account US$175,000 and transferred it into new account 4912.   And on July 9, 2008, he deposited $176,561.40 to the mother account.  On April 17, 2008, he withdrew from the mother account $24,000, and transferred it to a new account 52277.  And on June 26, 2008, he deposited to the mother account $24,102.63.  On July 9, 2008, he withdrew the amount of $345,611.82 to a new account, the following day he returned what he withdrew the day before in the amount of $345,640.68.  On July 10, 2008, he withdrew the amount of $345,640 and created a new account.  And on October 20, 2008, he deposited to the mother account the amount of $348,334.93.  On August 6, 2008, he withdrew from the mother account the amount of $130,443, and also withdrew on October 20, 2008 the amount of $356,372.34.  On December 15, 2008, he withdrew from the mother account the amount of US$20,000, and created a new account 7393.  And on January 19, 2009, he deposited to the mother account in the amount of $20,022.49.  Finally, on July 3, 2008, he deposited the amount of $100, 630.83.   I think I’m done.

Maybe there are still so many things, but I would like to believe that—yes, there are withdrawals on a particular date and returning back to the same account on the same date, deposit and withdrawal on the same date.  There are still many here, but if you will allow Ms. Mendoza to take over, I’m a bit enervated.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If there is no objection we can—anyway, this is just a continuation of the PowerPoint presentation, the request of the Ombudsman is granted.  (Gavel)

Put her under oath and…

THE SENATE SECRETARY.   Please rise, Madam Witness.  Raise your right hand.  Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in this impeachment proceeding?

MS. MENDOZA.  I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, Your Honor.

THE SENATE SECRETARY.  So help you God.

MS. MENDOZA.  So help me God.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please kindly state your name and other personal circumstances, especially your position if at all with the Office of the Ombudsman.

MS. MENDOZA.  I am Heidi Llosa Mendoza, married and working with the Commission on Audit, Your Honors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are with the Commission on Audit.

MS. MENDOZA.  Yes, Your Honor.  I am with the Commission on Audit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is your position in the Commission on Audit?

MS. MENDOZA.  Your Honor, I was appointed by the President as the Commissioner of the Commission on Audit but I am not yet confirmed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  You are one of the commissioners.  Please proceed.

MS. MENDOZA.  Your Honors, may I just emphasize that these accounts, four main accounts and the rest are baby accounts and we are trying to show the circuitous movement of funds.  Meaning from the four main accounts, there are many accounts created and all of them are in the name of the respondent.   And may I also emphasize that the total inflow, meaning to say, the deposits, the credit memo, the fund transfer, the internal remittances totalled to $28,740,497.93.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How much?

MS. MENDOZA.  $ 28,740,497.93.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is the…

MS. MENDOZA.  Total inflow, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Of deposits.

MS. MENDOZA.  Yes, Your Honor, deposits, credit memos, internal remittances.  Meaning, Your Honor, anything that went in.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That entered the account.

MS. MENDOZA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  US dollars?

MS. MENDOZA.  US dollars, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And how about the withdrawals?

MS. MENDOZA.  The total outflow consisting of withdrawals, credit memo, purchases, electronic payments, outward remittances amounted to $30,758,878.71.  As you can observe, the withdrawal is bigger than the inflow simply because we have to emphasize these are transactions captured by the AMLC and it only shows that there are heavy balances on the top of each account.  It could either be the beginning balance.  This proves that the withdrawal is either equal or less than the deposit.  So if I may again repeat, a total inflow of $28 million and a total outflow of $30 million.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  How about in pesos, Madam Witness?

MS. MENDOZA.  Sorry, Your Honor, I did not compute in pesos.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  That’s just the dollars.

MS. MENDOZA.  This is just the dollar, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  These are  transactions starting from a period and ending in another period.

MS. MENDOZA.  Your Honor, from April of 2003 to December of 2011, we analyzed a total of 423 transactions over 82 accounts all in the name of the respondent.  The peso account, I was told, reached around P242 million so this is a different, well, meaning P242 million in peso account and this one is $30 million outflow for dollar account and total inflow of at least $28 million, Your Honors.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  How much if I may, Your Honor please…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.   How much, do you have the totals of the dollars withdrawn by the Chief Justice, December 12, 2011 up to end of the month, just the total.

MS. MENDOZA.  The total withdrawals for 2012.  Can I just look at my…

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  December 12.

MS. MENDOZA.  Just December?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The second half of December when he was impeached.

MS. MENDOZA.  Sorry, Your Honor, we don’t have that …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  It’s in the data.

MS. MENDOZA.  It’s in the data.  Yes, but, I mean, our classification is based on the analysis, on the findings, …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  December.  Do you have the number for the entire month of December 2011?

MS. MENDOZA.  Yes, but we did it on a per account per year, Your Honors.  I’m sorry.  I didn’t do it on a per month basis.  I did it on a per account per year basis because we are looking at the inflow and the outflow.  We wanted to come up with general analysis so did it on a yearly per account basis per bank.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor, please, with the kind permission of the court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So what is your pleasure of the defense counsel?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  At this juncture, Your Honor, we are rather brought to a confused situation because whom we presented is the honourable Ombudsman, Your Honor.  And we presented her being allowed as a hostile witness, Your Honor.

Testifying on the stand now is Mrs. Heidi Mendoza, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is correct.  So what is your pleasure?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We do not know whether she is testifying for whom and what her testimony will be and how could it be credited, Your Honor, because we cannot raise the objection that the question being propounded was not covered in our direct examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Objection sustained.  (Gavel)

Miss Mendoza, you are not continuing with the PowerPoint presentation of the Ombudsman.  So, to be fair to the defense, I think …

MS. MENDOZA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You’re not presented here as a witness for the defense nor for the prosecution.  So, …

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Well, I am getting a consensus from the members of the court that perhaps we may continue tomorrow with the Ombudsman herself instead of another witness that has not been duly accepted by …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We have to discharge first the witness.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, we discharge Miss Mendoza.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you very much, Mrs. Mendoza, for coming over.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We have to discharge the witness because she is not submitting a PowerPoint presentation, rather she’s testifying on the nature of the transactions involved.  (Gavel)

SEN. SOTTO.  And so, Mr. President, inasmuch as we have been informed that the Ombudsman has been very tired because of the trial since two o’clock this afternoon, may we just ask that she be present tomorrow for the continuation of the cross-examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The honourable Ombudsman is requested to come back to the court to tomorrow’s proceedings so that we can continue, and hopefully finish with her testimony.  So ordered.  (Gavel)

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

One more.  May we ask a copy of the PowerPoint that was being presented by the Ombudsman.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We make the same request, Your Honor, in order to enable us to conduct an intelligible cross-examination, Your Honor, material to the points discussed.

SEN. SOTTO.  Re-direct.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ha?

SEN. SOTTO.  Re-direct.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, for our re-direct.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, you re-direct.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The request is reasonable.  The Chair would like to request the Ombudsman to provide the defense and this court hard copies of the PowerPoint presentation done by her this afternoon.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And the prosecution as well, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And as well as the prosecution.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor, please, may we know from the defense if the Chief Justice is going to testify tomorrow.  Is he going to testify tomorrow?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Bakit naman ganyan?  (Laughter)

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I am just …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Para bang wala na kaming alternative.  We are dealing with a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and former Secretary of Justice.  If you wanted …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  Just a minute.

I think the prosecution should not ask the defense when they present their witnesses.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.  I’m sorry, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Walang bastusan.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  So, Mr. President, may we ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to make an announcement.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sergeant-at-Arms may now make the announcement.

THE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS.  Please all rise.

All persons are commanded to remain in their places until the Senate President and the Senators have left the session hall.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we adjourn until two o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, May 15, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any objection?  (Silence)  Hearing none, the trial is adjourned until two o’clock, May 15, circa 2012.

It was. 6:30 p.m.

 

 

IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Tuesday, May 8, 2012

At 2:10 p.m., the hearing was called to order with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile presiding.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The continuation of this impeachment trial of the Honorable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona of the Supreme Court is hereby called to order.  We shall be led in prayer by Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary will now please call the roll of Senators.

THE CLERK OF COURT.  The Honorable Senator-Judges:  Angara, Arroyo, Cayetano Allan Peter “Companero”, Cayetano, Pia; Defensor-Santiago; Drillon; Ejercito-Estrada, Escudero; Guingona; Honasan; Lacson; Lapid; Legarda; Marcos; Osmena; Pangilinan; Pimentel; Recto; Revilla; Sotto; Trillanes; Villar; the Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With 17 Senator-Judges present, the Presiding Officer declares the presence of a quorum.

The Majority Floor Leader.

REP. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I ask the Sergeant-At-Arms to make a proclamation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sergeant-At-Arms will now make the proclamation.

SGT-AT-ARMS.  All persons are commanded to keep silent under pain of penalty while the Senate is sitting on trial on the Articles of Impeachment against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, I move that we dispense with the reading of the May 7, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection? (Silence) There being none, the May 7, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court is hereby approved.

The Secretary will please call the case before the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  Case No. 0022011..IN THE MATTER OF THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF HONORABLE CHIEF JUSTICE RENATO C.  CORONA.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we ask the parties and/or respective counsels to enter their appearances, prosecution and the defense.

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Mr. President, for the House of Representatives prosecution panel, same appearance, we are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  For the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  For the defense, Your Honor, the same appearance, we are also ready.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Before the Business for the Day, may we recognize Senator Edgardo Angara.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Aurora has the floor.

SEN. ANGARA.  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

Mr. President, late yesterday afternoon, when we have a break in the session, I was handed a copy of a motion seeking my inhibition and I read it very carefully, Mr. President, and I wanted to stand up even then to reply point by point to the false allegations contained in that motion.  But, unfortunately, we didn’t go through with the session because the defense was unprepared.

But now, Mr. President, at the first occasion, I woke up this morning seeing the motion almost bannered by every newspaper and listen to the radio also bannering the story.  It eclipse, Mr. President, the family thrill at seeing my grandson, Edgardo Angara, seven years old, winning a tennis tournament at the Rizal Coliseum.  So, I would like you to read the Philippine Star, Sports, “Angara Pull Through in First Gen Opener”.  Well, Mr. President,  I am not an akin, but to me this is a source of thrill because my grandson, the son of Congressman Sonny Angara, is only seven years old, and yet, he joined a ten year and under competition, and so that is for the athletic skills of the Angaras.

Mr. President, when we were convened as an impeachment court, we did not expect, we did not seek this role, it was mandated by the Constitution that we shall sit as Senator-Judges, and therefore, it is a constitutional task assigned to us, Mr. President, and I consider it as a constitutional duty on my part to act as a judge and no argument, no persuasion can convince me that I should inhibit because this is a duty I will not abdicate.

Mr. President, I will not have a hand in choosing Sonny Angara, my son, to be a spokesperson for the House of Representatives, the two Houses are quite separate and distinct, co-equal, we honor their own respective processes.  So, I have no hand at all in telling anyone please choose Sonny Angara to be one of the spokesperson.  But the worst thing about this motion, President, is the insinuation or the suspicion that I will be unbiased and unprejudiced because of that relationship; and this, Mr. President, the malicious insinuation that political favors have been extended to my province of Aurora, in effect, insinuating that my vote has already been bought as a result, Mr. President.  They mentioned, Mr. President, three major projects that was just recently approved by the NEDA.  And of the three, Mr. President, only one really concerns and was for Aurora, and that is the Baler Kasiguran concreting project. Mr. President, that project is not going to be funded by Philippine money, not by savings and taxes of Filipinos.  It will be funded wholly by the Korean government, Mr. President.  I got that, Mr. President, three years ago during the past administration, not under this administration.  The only thing that happened during this administration is that it was approved by NEDA which is required for all foreign-funded projects.

The other two, Mr. President, is a project I think of a circumferential road in Samar.  I am very thankful and I am full of admiration for those  who were able to secure that because Samar is such an undeveloped province and putting a circumferential road like in Bohol would really make Samar a destination of investments and tourism.

The third project, Mr. President, is the bridge over Umiray River.  Umiray River,  Mr. President, for those who don’t know it is the river in Aurora located in Dingalan which supplies all the water for Metro Manila to Angat Dam and that project I thought I was the one who initiated but I did not, Mr. President.  It was the project of  Governor Suarez and Congressman Suarez funded again by the Japanese government not by our own government.  And yet, Mr. President, the petitioners have the gall and  the audacity to suggest that these are political favors for me.  So I reject that, Mr. President, and I reject it as an unthinking and illogical conclusion that serves no purpose at all except to malign and make, I do not want to say it, a diversionary tactic on their part because we just scolded them, Mr. President, yesterday for their unpreparedness but I won’t say that.

Mr. President, they also cited the application of the judicial rule, the Code of Judicial Conduct.  Mr. President, even a first year law student who knows how to read will immediately conclude that the Code of Judicial Conduct is not applicable to the Senate much less to the impeachment court.  We have our own set of rules and the only code or rules we adopted as suppletory are the rules of court, Mr. President.  So that is completely irrelevant and immaterial, Mr. President.

Then they say my son is a party litigant.  You see, even a first year student will know that a party litigant is one who will suffer or benefit from a decision made.  My son will not benefit from any decision either way.  The only one who will benefit or suffer is our Chief Justice and here are his lawyers who seem to devise a strategy of almost antagonizing half of this court, Mr. President.  First they want Senator Drilon to be inhibited then Senator Guingona, they are pointing to Senators Pangilinan and Recto because  they simply happen to be partymates of the President.  Mr. President, many of us are party members.  We are affiliated in one way or the other with one party or another and all of us except possibly one or two parties are all supportive of government reform, government program.  Does that mean that the entire impeachment court is biased and partial?  There is no other interpretation I can read into these actuations of the defense, Mr. President, except to destroy the credibility of this impeachment court.  I think that is the least that they ought to do because this would be the saving grace in our democracy.

If you destroy the one pillar of justice, the Senate, who can stand up even to the Supreme Court or the President, then you are really knocking down the very pillar that one day you may have to seek help and support from because you can stand up to any person or institution.

And to see how malicious this insinuation is, Mr. President, in their concluding paragraph they said, the only way Senator Angara can redeem himself is to vote for acquittal.

Mr. President, you know, I’ve been president of the UP, I’ve been president of the Integrated Bar, I’ve been president of the Asian Law Association, I’ve been honoured by all of these organizations in various ways, I’ve never seen legal logic like this.

And therefore, Mr. President, I take umbrage at this malicious paper.  My good friend, Joker, when I showed him the petition yesterday, he said, “Ed, don’t answer it.  It’s not worth it because you are doing a constitutional duty.  They don’t seem to appreciate that.”  And yet Joker is very sympathetic and I can share his feelings towards the cause of the defense.

So, you see, the — As of now.  But after this, maybe not anymore.  (Laughter)

So, Mr. President, I don’t know, one outstanding alumnus of the UP College of Law, very able, very skilful, very eloquent and can stand up an argument head to head with anyone, but he has one outstanding trait.  He seem he has a penchant for antagonizing the judge.  So, no client will ever—will now retain him because, what’s the use.  You may have a good cause, but if you antagonize the judge, your cause is lost.  No, I’m not comparing the defense panel to that one friend of mine who’s brilliant, knowledgeable, eloquent, but has a penchant for antagonizing the judge.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you, Senator Angara.

The Chair would like to state for the record that we respect the opinion of others regarding each one of us or all of us collectively.  But I assure you that none of you can sway us one way or the other.  And if you have any reason to believe that we are dishonest, say so candidly and openly, and we are ready, willing, able to defend ourselves.

So, let us forget about this sad incident.  Let’s proceed with the case.

Defense, present your evidence.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, with the kind permission of the court, Your Honor.  May I be allowed even one or more minutes, Your Honor, to make a little manifestation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Now, there have been some insinuation yesterday that the defense have been trying to delay the proceedings in this case as evidenced by the fact that we have introduced quite a number of witnesses with no purpose and accomplishment whatsoever, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who was making the insinuation?  Was it from this court or from the—Let us be specific.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, that seem to be our impression, Your Honor, that apparently …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It was the court?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … the defense was trying to delay proceedings, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you suggesting that it was the court that created that impression?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, it came from the prosecution, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, that’s the prosecution.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And we wanted to be heard in connection therewith.  Otherwise, we may be said to have a quist to that kind of a manifestation, Your Honor.

If the records will be read, Your Honor, we have introduced quite a number of witnesses in connection with our defense, Your Honor.  Some of them, they consist of three Register of Deeds, Your Honor, three City Assessors and Provincial Assessors, Your Honor.  Insofar as the register of deeds is concerned, we introduced them for the purpose of showing that there are no properties, aside from those mentioned in the SALN, Your Honor, of the honorable Chief Justice that belongs or were registered in his name.

We cannot lump up only one testimony or only one register of deeds because the properties are located in different places.  So, if we presented the register of deeds of Makati, of Manila and Quezon City, it was never our purpose, Your Honor, to gain time in order to delay the proceedings, Your Honor, not even the thought of it, Your Honor, but because we cannot do so.  The register of deeds of Makati will be highly incompetent, Your Honor, to testify in connection with the records of the office pertaining to Quezon City and Manila and vice versa.

That was our purpose, Your Honor.

And we also introduced the testimony of the administrator of the Land Registration office, from these statements obtained from them, Your Honor, on record, we were able to show convincingly, Your Honor, that the 45 real estate properties, allegedly referred to be registered and owned by Chief Justice Corona, Your Honor, does not all belong to him but only five of them.  Hence, it cannot be said that our purpose was merely to delay because apparently, we could read from the records that even the court was convinced that actually, there were only five or six properties that really belong to Chief Justice Corona.

Now, how about the testimony of the various representatives of the assessment office, Your Honor?  We introduced—we admit, Your Honor, we introduced three assessors, Your Honor, the city assessor of Makati, the city assessor of Manila and the city assessor of Quezon City, on the same ground, Your Honor, because we cannot make one of them testify for the entirety of the properties not located in the respective places.

So, if we presented three assessors, Your Honor, I hope, we will not be misunderstood as trying to delay the proceedings, but it because of our recognition that one is not competent to testify as to the other and vice versa, Your Honor.

Now, thereafter, we went further, Your Honor, we introduced in evidence the testimony of Ms. Arceli Bayuga, Your Honor, the finance officer of the Supreme Court, Your Honor, in order to belie and contradict the statement of on record that there was no statement of returns of income tax—income tax return, Your Honor, made by the honorable Chief Justice Corona, Your Honor, because from the testimony of the honorable Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Henares, Your Honor, for the years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010, Your Honor.  We were able to introduced the returns, Your Honor, identified by our witness, they were duly marked, we took note of the trouble of marking the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, we know all of that.  It is all in the record.  We are not accusing you of delaying.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.  That was our impression, Your Honor, that we introduced these witnesses, simply because to gain time, Your Honor, that is why we are placing on record …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I must admit that yesterday, I said, you are wasting the time of the court by introducing someone to testify whether market fees are being collected from that market.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are not in conformity with that, Your Honor, but the plan of the other lawyers came up and we allowed him to take the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, then you better advice your other panel that those things are irrelevant.  We know what is an irrelevant evidence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We did, Your Honor.  In fact, I gave him a tongue lashing yesterday for the correction of all these matters that gave rise to the impression of the court.  That is our only purpose, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, to contradict that and so on.  Now, insofar as the land registration commissioner is concerned, Your Honor, we called him to the stand in order to testify on the various alleged properties belonging—which he ascribes to be belonging to the Chief Justice, and we were able to elicit admissions, Your Honor, to the effect that they were not properties registered in the name, specifically in the name …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is already given counsel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In fact, yesterday when Congressman Colmenares of the prosecution made a manifestation, the tendency of which was to reconsider the ruling of this Chair, on the claim that it will only prolong the proceedings, I denied it.  So, you can see that we are giving you all the time to defend the Chief Justice.  We know that you are entitled to defend the Chief Justice.  The impression or statement of the prosecution is their position.  But that is not the position of this court that you are delaying.  That is why we are asking you to wind up your manifestation so that we can proceed with the hearing.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you very much, Your Honor, for the opportunity for being allowed to bring all these matters into the record in order to straighten, at least, the impression that may have been created both public and upon the other parties involved in this case that we are trying to delay.  That was never our intention.  In connection, Your Honor, with the motion for inhibition, Your Honor, the motion was filed because of the feeling of the Chief Justice that at least he may not be able to obtain the called neutrality of a judge insofar as the subject of the motion is concerned.  Now, what we did was to file.  It is up for ..  We never stated that everything stated thereon are indubitably true, Your Honor.  What we wanted to express to give importance to the feeling of the Chief Justice, in order that if a decision is made one way or the other, there is no doubt as to the impartiality and lack of bias on the part of the deciding Members of the Senate, Your Honor.  Thank you very much, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, thank you for your manifestation.  We now proceed with the trial.  Do you have any witness?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, we have.  Your Honor please, may we ask for authority for Atty. Roy to conduct the direct examination of the witness on behalf of the defense panel, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

ATTY. ROY.  Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honors.  May it please the Court.  During my presentation, I will present two witnesses who will testify, Your Honor on the decision pertaining to the ownership of the Basa Guidote Corporation.  I wish to state the relevance before we proceed because consistent with the mood of the court, I wish to request for admissions.  So, if you will allow me some leeway, I wish to point out that …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, thank you, Your Honor.  The relevance of the ownership, of the actual ownership of the Basa Guidote pertains directly to matters stated in the SALN of the Chief Justice.  It involves the P11 million that was borrowed and repaid, and it may involve other acquisitions which may or may not have been drawn from the Basa Guidote funds.  That is why we need to present this witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.  May we call to the stand the Clerk of Court of Branch 216 of the RTC of Quezon City, Rosita Cristy, Your Honor.

(The witness was sworn to an oath by the Secretary)

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, on the part of the prosecution, may we ask permission that Atty. Cynthia Corazon Roxas be recognized to receive the testimony and later on to conduct cross-examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.

ATTY. ROY.  Before I proceed, Your Honor, I would like to invite the prosecution for an admission of the substance of the testimony of the witness, which incidentally, Your Honor, also constitutes the purpose for which the testimony is offered.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, you better propound the questions first.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If I were the lawyer from the other side, how can I …

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    … agree with you before you open your mouth to ask the question?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor, precisely, so, if this witness will proceed with her testimony, first, she will testify that Criminal Cases No. Q96-68147 and Q96-68148 were heard before the RTC of Quezon City and these two cases are cases for libellous publication, entitled: People of the Philippines against Jose Maria Basa, et al., the uncle of Mrs. Cristina Corona. Second,  …

ATTY. ROXAS.  Just for the record, Your Honor, may I be excused, we will stipulate on that matter.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you.

Second, her testimony is offered to establish that a decision of conviction was arrived at in these two cases dated September 5, 2001.  May I have an admission.

ATTY. ROXAS.  We will stipulate on that.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Those are matters of record. We can even take judicial notice of those things. Just present them.

ATTY. ROY.  If you will allow me, Your Honor, it is—will expedite because it appears that the opposing counsel is willing to stipulate anyway.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Precisely.

ATTY. ROY.  We would be very happy if you would allow us to put this on record.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Okay.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Third, that a motion for reconsideration was resolved dated September 2 and that the same became final on October 12, both in the year of 2002 in both cases.

ATTY. ROXAS.  We will stipulate on that matter, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Fourth,  that a writ of execution for the said judgment was issued on April 23, 2003.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Again, we will stipulate on the matter, the matter being a matter of record.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, inasmuch as all the matters, all the important points to be testified to by this witness have been admitted by the prosecution, we ask that the witness be excused.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Your Honor please, may we be allowed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. ROXAS.  By way of counter stipulation, will the defense be willing to admit that insofar as the accused Jose Maria Basa is concerned, he died on August 29, 2002?

ATTY. ROY.  We have no knowledge, I am sorry.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Therefore, would the defense would be also willing to stipulate that during the pendency of the motion for reconsideration which was stated by the good counsel of the defense, there was a pending motion for reconsideration on the conviction as well as on the civil award in favor of the private complainant?

ATTY. ROY.  I am confused.  There was a motion for reconsideration …

ATTY. ROXAS.  You said that the motion for reconsideration was …

ATTY. ROY.  Resolved.

ATTY. ROXAS. … ruled upon.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Resolved.

ATTY. ROY.  And then, went final on 12 October 2002.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Yes, but it is during this period and we are going to prove that that on August 29, 2002, the accused Jose Maria Basa died.

ATTY. ROY.  I am not aware of the …

ATTY. ROXAS.  If the accused is not willing to stipulate on this matter, Mr. President, I am afraid that we should allow the defense to present this witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What …

ATTY. ROY.  Let me just verify.  Am I aware of Mr. Basa’s death, personally, I do not …

ATTY. ROXAS.  But this is borne of the records.

ATTY. ROY.  Is it on the record?

ATTY. ROXAS.  It is part of cross-examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. ROY. We stipulate that he passed on August 29, did you say?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I thought you have no knowledge.

ATTY. ROY.  No, personal, she said it is on the record, I’ll take her word from it. Anyway, the records are here, Clerk of Court is here.

ATTY. ROXAS. Madam Witness, will be willing to make it of record that indeed this notice of death was given to and submitted as part of the record of the case?

ATTY. ROY. May I—if you will allow me, I am on direct still, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROXAS.  No, but we are trying to expedite the proceedings.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes. I’ll ask first the question. I’ll ask her the question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, respect this court.

ATTY. ROY.  With the permission of the Honorable Court. I want to establish the veracity of the proposition made by the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. ROY.  Madam Witness, can you please tell us whether or not there is anything in the records that attest to the death or establishes the date of death of the defendant Jose M. Basa?

MS. CRISTY.  Wala po.

ATTY. ROY.  And so, I cannot stipulate  on …

MS. CRISTY.  Wala pong notice of death.

ATTY. ROXAS.  In which case if there are no further questions on direct, may we be allowed to go directly to cross?

ATTY. ROY.  On what, Your Honor?

ATTY. ROXAS.  Because the witness is supposed to be here to testify on pertinent records pertaining to this case and while we did admit the existence of several documents which were—which transpired during the proceedings in this case, there are also several details which are indirect matters which have an importance in the proceedings.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Perhaps…

ATTY. ROY.  You can—If I may, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Perhaps the counsel would be kind enough to request for a stipulation likewise.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Okay.  May we request…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The court has ordered.  You cannot stipulate, proceed to direct the questions to the witness.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Would you like to stipulate…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are directed to proceed with your direct examination.

ATTY. ROY.  Very well, Your Honor.  Thank you, Your Honor.  With the permission of the Honorable Court.

Madam witness, can you please state for the record your personal circumstances, name and personal circumstances.

MS. WITNESS.  I am Lucita Masangcay Cristi, of legal age, Filipino, married, and a resident of Valenzuela City.  I am the Branch Clerk of Court of Branch 216, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City.

ATTY. ROY.  How long have you been the Clerk of Court of Branch 216, Madam witness?

MS. CRISTI.  Since October 1999, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Alright, now, during your time as the clerk of court, are you still the current clerk of court?

MS. CRISTI.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  As clerk of court, Madam witness, can you tell us whether or not you are familiar with Criminal Case Nos. Q-9668147 and Q-9668148?

MS. CRISTI.  I am familiar, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Can you please tell us, what is the title of these cases?

MS. CRISTI.  This is People of the Philippines—actually, there are two cases.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.

MS. CRISTI.  People of the Philippines vs. Jose Maria Basa, Raymond Basa, Felix Carlos Besintillo, Virgilio Macabenta, Cecilia Basa, Bessie Basa, and… can I look at my record?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, may we request that the witness be allowed to refer to the record.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

MS. CRISTI.  And Flor Maria Guidote-Basa.

ATTY. ROY.  Now, Madam witness, can you please tell the honourable court what was the charge or the nature of the criminal cases, if I recall correctly this should appear on the face of the pleading.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Your Honor, please, we already admitted that this is a libel case, so there is no need for that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, may I proceed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  Please, go ahead.

MS. CRISTI.  The case says, wherefore, libel.

ATTY. ROY.  Can you please tell us whether or not, and when, if any, a decision was rendered in these cases.

MS. CRISTI.  A decision was rendered on September 5, 2001, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  How many decisions were rendered because you told me earlier that there were two cases.

MS. CRISTI.  Only one decision, Sir, because the two cases were consolidated.

ATTY. ROY.  Does that mean that they were heard jointly?

MS. CRISTI.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Alright.  Now, what was the decision of the—do you have a copy of that decision with you?

MS. CRISTI.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, the decision has been previously marked.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Your Honor, please, we would like to manifest that the defense has already caused the marking of the same exhibit and this is exhibit 176 for the defense.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, noted.

ATTY. ROY.  Can you tell us, Madam witness, what is the dispositive portion of the decision stated, can you please attest to the outcome of the decision.

ATTY. ROXAS.  We have already admitted, Your Honor, on the same that there was a conviction.

ATTY ROY.  Your Honor, I am little perplexed. I thought that there had been no admission, precisely why I have been directed to proceed.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Your Honor, we have made several stipulations already on the matters, perhaps, counsel here would be able to propound questions on those matters which we have not stipulated on the past.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I said disregard the stipulation, let it be…

ATTY. ROXAS.  We will submit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  …let it be–direct the questions and subject to the objections of the prosecution.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.  May I just therefore request that the clerk of court who is here to certify the decision and to attest to its authenticity, anyway, read the dispositive portion for the benefit of the record and all concerned.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.  The witness may read of the decision.

MS. CRISTI.  “Wherefore, in Criminal Case No. Q-9668147, the court finds accused, Jose Ma. Basa III, Raymunda Gorospe Basa and Virgilio Macabenta guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged in the information for libel and the court sentences them to suffer the penalty of four months and 21 days as minimum to one year, eight months and 21 days as maximum, ordering them to pay jointly and solidarily, Cristina Basa Roco Corona the sum of P200,000 moral damages and P50,000 for attorney’s fees.  Accused Cecilia Henson Basa, Betsy Basa del Chaves and Flor Maria Guidote Basa are hereby acquitted.

In criminal case No. Q-96-68148 the court finds accused, Jose Ma. Basa III, Raymunda Gorospe Basa and Virgilio Macabenta guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged in the information for libel and the court sentences them to suffer the penalty of four months and 21 days as minimum to one year, eight months and 21 days as maximum, ordering them to pay jointly and solidarily Cristina Basa Roco Corona the sum of P200,000 for moral damages and P50,000 for attorney’s fees.  Accused Cecilia  Henson Basa, Betsy Basa del Chaves and Flor Maria Guidote Basa are hereby acquitted.  Let warrant of arrest issue for the apprehension of accused Felix Carlos Vicentillo(?).  So ordered.  Quezon City, Metro Manila, September 5, 2001.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Madam Witness.  Your Honor, I would like to manifest that the decisions in both cases, I mean the dispositive portions for both dockets are virtually identical and that the total civil indemnity of P500,000 was part of the judgment.  Now, you mentioned a…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I only heard P200,000 plus P20,000 and P200,000 plus P50,000.  Why P500?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, may we ask the witness to clarify.

MS. CRISTY.  Your Honor, in the first case P200,000 as moral damages plus P50,000 as attorney’s fees.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I thought you said P20,000.

MS. CRISTY.  P200,000, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, the attorney’s fees, P50,000.

MS. CRISTY.  P50,000, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In the first case.

MS. CRISTY.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And that’s also in the second case.

MS. CRISTY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, I stand corrected.  So that’s half a million.  Proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Now, you mentioned that the decision includes an order for the issuance of a warrant of arrest, is that correct?

MS. CRISTY.  Yes, sir.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  Now, can you please tell us if anything appears on the record, what did the defendants who were convicted do after the judgment was rendered by the court, the decision was rendered by the court, what did the defendants do, the accused?

MS. CRISTY.  Actually, sir, they did not appear in the promulgation of the decision.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  What else did they do?  Was there anything else they did?

MS. CRISTY.  They filed a motion for reconsideration.

ATTY. ROY.  They filed a motion for reconsideration and if I recall correctly that was dated September 2, 2002, am I correct?

MS. CRISTY.  No, sir.

ATTY. ROY.  When was it filed?  What was the date of the motion for reconsideration?

MS. CRISTY.  October 9, 2001 but filed before our court on October 18, 2001.

ATTY. ROY.  Filed.  The date was filed on October?

MS. CRISTY.  The motion was dated October 9, 2001 but the court received said motion on October 18, 2001.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you.  Now, can you tell us what did the court do with these motions for reconsideration—one  motion for reconsideration or two?

MS. CRISTY.  One motion, sir.

ATTY. ROY.  What did the court do with this motion for reconsideration?

MS. CRISTY.  The motion for reconsideration was set for hearing.

ATTY. ROY.  What else, what was the resolution of the court in the motion for reconsideration?

MS. CRISTY.  The motion for reconsideration was denied.

ATTY. ROY.  When was this denied?

MS. CRISTY.  On September 2, 2002, sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Do you have proof of the denial?

MS. CRISTY.  The order, sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Is there an order to that effect?

MS. CRISTY.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Can you please produce the order, Madam Witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute, Counsel.  What is the relevance of this with respect to the impeachment?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, as I was pointing out earlier, this will result in the acquisition of the shares of the Basa Guidote Corporation because of the civil indemnity.  There is a levy on execution.  But before that, I have to establish the finality of the judgement, Your Honor.

Afterwards, we will show you that the shares of the corporation have been acquired by an individual.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Acquired by Mrs. Corona?

ATTY. ROY.  No, Your Honor.  By someone else.  And that has a direct bearing on the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.

So, you told me that it was resolved by order of the court on what date, Madam Witness?

MS. CRISTI.  On September 2, 2002, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  And what was the resolution of the court on the order?

MS. CRISTI.  The dispositive portion, Sir?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, I think so.

MS. CRISTI.  Wherefore, finding no cogent reason to deserve or modify the decision, dated September 5, 2001, the instant motion for reconsideration is denied.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, may we request that the order denying the motion for reconsideration dated September 2, 2002 be marked as defense Exhibit 249.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  (Gavel)

ATTY. ROXAS.  Your Honor, please, may the prosecution be allowed to likewise adopt the same as Exhibit 11-O

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Correction, 11-P, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  P?  Is that 11-P?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Granted with that correction.

ATTY. ROY.  Can you tell us, Madam Witness, what is the status of that order denying the motion for reconsideration?

MS. CRISTI.  Sir, status?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.  What is the status?

MS. CRISTI.  Of the order denying the motion for …

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, of the denial.  What happened after the denial?

MS. CRISTI.  The prosecution filed a motion for issuance of a writ of execution, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Did the accuse file anything?

MS. CRISTI.  No, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Did the accuse oppose?

MS. CRISTI.  No, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Did the accuse file another—an appeal or anything of the sort?

MS. CRISTI.  There was no appeal, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  In other words, what is the status now of the denial of the motion for reconsideration?

MS. CRISTI.  It is already final.

ATTY. ROY.  Final.  As of when?

MS. CRISTI.  As of—Fifteen days from receipt.

ATTY. ROY.  And according to your records, what date is that, Madam Witness?  What is the date of the receipt by the accused, Madam Witness?

MS. CRISTI.  Actually, the counsel received the order of denial, Sir, on September 26, 2002.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, may we make of record that the witness is showing me what appear to be registry receipt return cards which indicate that they were received on September 26, 2002, and I invite opposing counsel to peruse them.

This was received by counsel, Madam Witness, am I correct?

MS. CRISTI.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  Your Honor, may we request that the cards which appear to be registry receipts, acknowledging receipt of the order denying the motion for reconsideration be marked as defense Exhibit 250.

ATTY. ROXAS.  We manifest that we join—we confirm.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But, you know, counsel, …

ATTY. ROY.  I’m sorry, Your Honor, I stand corrected.  These have been previously marked as 177-A—To be marked today as 177-A.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Mark it accordingly.

But, counsel, go direct to the point.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This decision against Jose Basa et al became final and executory.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Was it executed?

ATTY. ROY.  The next question is precisely that …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Your are too verbous. Go direct to the point.

ATTY. ROY.  Was a writ of execution issued by the court?

MS. CRISTI.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  When?

MS. CRISTI.  On April 24, 2003, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  No further questions on the direct.  We will just have to mark the writ of execution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Executed against what?

ATTY. ROY.  I am sorry, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That decision was executed for against what?

ATTY. ROY.  Against the defendants, Your Honor, who were convicted.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And what was the effect of the execution?

ATTY. ROY.  That will be testified to by the sheriff, Your Honor, who is the next witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Your Honor, please, we would like to manifest …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Cross.

ATTY. ROXAS.  No, the defense already had these document marked as Exhibit—the writ of execution as 178, may we be allowed to have the same marked for the prosecution as Exhibit 11Q.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly for the prosecution.

ATTY. ROY.  No further questions on direct, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Cross, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Any cross?

ATTY. ROXAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, proceed.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Now, Madam Witness, sinabi niyo kanina na kayo ay nag-umpisa bilang branch clerk of court noong 1999 hanggang sa ngayon, tama po ba?

MS. CRISTI.  Opo.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Therefore, alam niyo po bilang taga-ingat ng lahat ng dokumento sa hukumang ito—sa hukumang branch 216, mayroon po kayong kaalaman or nasa kustodiya niyo ito?

MS. CRISTI.  Opo.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Pagkatapos na mag-file ng motion for reconsideration, tama po ba na bago maibigay o bago maibigay ng korte ang writ of execution, nagkaroon po dito ng notice of withdrawal ang counsel ng akusado na si Jose Maria Basa, at mayroon pleading na isinabmit sa korte.  Tama po ba?

MS. CRISTI.  May nabasa po ako based on records.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Pwede niyo po bang tingnan sa inyong mga records exactly kung nasaan po ang dokumentong ito?

Your Honor, please, just to help the witness, we have a copy of the motion to withdraw filed by the counsel for the accused.  May we be allowed to show the same.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.  Who was the counsel for the accused?

ATTY. ROXAS.  In this particular case, Your Honor, the counsel for the accused was the law office of Fortun, Narvasa and Salazar.  This is dated December 20, 2002, do you confirm this, Madam Witness?

MS. CRISTI.  Yes, Ma’am.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Now, this is a certified true Xerox copy, mayroon po ditong nakalagay sa ilalim, certified true Xerox copy, Attorney Lucita D. Masangakay-Cristi.  Kilala niyo po kung sino ito?

MS. CRISTI.  Ako po iyan.

ATTY. ROXAS.  So, pinatotohanan niyo poi tong motion to withdraw.

MS. CRISTI.  Yes, Ma’am.

ATTY. ROXAS.  May we ask, Your Honor, please, that this document be marked as Exhibit 11R for the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  Was that withdrawal prior to the judgment?

ATTY. ROXAS.  This was prior to the submission of a motion for issuance of the writ of execution, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Now, Madam Witness, maari niyo po bang tingnan ang lahat ng mga dokumentong kalakip dito sa motion to withdraw na ito.  Tama po ba na sa kahuli-hulihang pahina ng motion nito ay mayroon isang sulat na may petsa ng November 26, 2002, at ang pumirma dito ay isang Anna Basa.  Kinukumpirma niyo po ba ito?

MS. CRISTI.  Opo.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Now, ito po, dito po sa dokumentong ito, sinabi po ni Atty. Fortun na siya po ay hindi na ang magiging abogado ng akusado.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, with all due respect …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the lawyer finish first.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Can you read Madam Witness, maaari po bang basahin ninyo ang unang talata ng sulat na in-attached para kay Atty. Raymund Fortun.

MS. CRISTI.  One of the things that we had to go through after Dad’s passing, aside from the emotional vacuum that he left, was to make decisions on matters and concerns that he left unfinished.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Sa inyo pong pagkakaintindi, Madam Witness, ano po ang ibig sabihin ng Dad’s passing?

ATTY. ROY.  Objection, Your Honor.  Speculative.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Your Honor, this is …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Denied.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Ano po ang pagkakaintindi ninyo po dito sa talatang ito na lalo na na sinabi niya na Dad’s passing?  Ano po ang iyong pagkakaintindi doon?

MS. CRISTY.  Na ang kanya pong ama ay namatay na.

ATTY. ROXAS.  So, therefore, noong November 26, 2002, as of that date, namatay na po si Jose Maria Basa.

MS. CRISTY.  Opo.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Ayon kay Ana Basa na anak ng akusadong si Jose Maria Basa.

MS. CRISTY.  Yes, Ma’am.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Your Honor please, may we ask that this particular paragraph be marked as Exhibit 11-R-1.  Sabi ninyo, Madam Witness, na ito po ay, alam ninyo na ito ay isang libel case.  Alam ninyo po ba kung sino-sino ang mga partido sa kasong ito?

MS. CRISTY.  Alam ko po.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Alam ninyo po kung ano ang kanilang relasyon sa isa’t isa?

MS. CRISTY.  Nabasa ko po sa pleadings.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Ang private complainant po sa kasong ito ay si Cristina Corona.  Alam ninyo po ba kung ano ang kanyang relasyon sa namatay na Jose Maria Basa?

MS. CRISTY.  Nabasa ko po na uncle.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Uncle niya.  Okay.  Dito po, nakita natin na si Atty. Fortun dinikit ang letter ni Ana Basa kung saan sinabi niya na namatay.  Ang private complainant po ba rito na si Mrs. Cristina Corona sinabi po ba niya na ang kanyang uncle o tiyo ay namatay?

MS. CRISTY.  Wala po akong nabasang ganoon.

ATTY. ROXAS.   Sapagka’t sa ibang kaso, marami po kasing kaso ang mga Basa.  At sa isang kaso, mayroon pong sinubmit si Mrs. Cristina Corona na kung saan sinabi niya na si Jose Maria Basa ay namatay noong August 2002.

ATTY. ROY.  Objection, Your Honor.  This is not part of the records that the witness …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Allow the witness to answer.  Counsel, I warn you once more.  Do not interrupt the counsel while asking the question.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It is improper.

ATTY. ROY.  I apologize, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROXAS.  I would apologize.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Unethical.

ATTY. ROY.  I apologize, Your Honor.

MS. CRISTY.  ..I am showing to you, Madam Witness, isang manifestation na kung saan ang petitioners ay si Asuncion Basa Roco at si Cristina Roco Corona.  At ito ay ibinigay sa ibang korte.  At dito sa paragraph 1 dito, maaari po bang basahin ninyo?

MS. CRISTY.  It has come to the knowledge of petitioners that oppositor, Jose Maria Basa III passed away in Carson City, Nevada, United States of America in August, 2002.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Kasama po diyan kasi sa mga dokumentong iyan ay isang death certificate ni Jose Maria Basa sa Carson City.  By the way, ang dokumento pong iyan ay may petsang 11 October 2002.  Now, Your Honor please, may we request that this manifestation and motion be provisionally marked for the prosecution as Exhibit 11-S and the first paragraph as Exhibit 11-S-1.  It consists of 5 pages.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, may we request that the document be similarly marked for the defense as Exhibit 250, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Now, Madam Witness, klaro dito na hindi lang sinabi ng abogado ng akusado na siya ay nag-withdraw.  Sinabi niya rito na base sa impormasyon ng kanyang anak, namatay ang kanyang ama.  Pagkatapos noon, just a few days after that, si Mrs. Corona mismo, nag-notify sa ibang kaso na ang kanyang tiyo ay namatay sometime in August 2002, tama po?

MS. CRISTY.  Tama po.

ATTY. ROY.  Objection, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the ground of the objection?

ATTY. ROY.  The objection, Your Honor, is, it is immaterial.  It has nothing to do with the competency of the witness.  She is the Branch Clerk of Quezon City.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Already answered Your Honor please, that there was actual notice given not only by the accused and counsel, but also by the private complainant herself, Mrs. Cristina Roco-Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    The actual death.

ATTY. ROXAS.    The actual death of the accused, Jose Maria Basa.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Happeed when?

ATTY. ROXAS.  On August 29, 2002, Your Honor, in Carson City, Nevada.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Okay.

ATTY. ROXAS.    Now, Mr. Witness—Madam Witness, I am sorry, sinabi ninyo na nagkaroon ng writ of execution.

MS. CRISTY.  Yes, ma’am.

ATTY. ROXAS.    Nagtataka lang po ako kasi kung may notice na po ang korte  at mismong ang private complainant dito na si Mrs. Cristina Corona ay alam na ang akusado mismo ay patay na, papaano ho magkakaroon ng iba pang proseso laban sa akusadong is Jose Maria Basa?

ATTY. ROY.  Objection, Your Honor, the question is misleading because …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

MS. CRISTY.  Pwede pong pakiulit ang tanong?

ATTY. ROXAS.  Ibalik lang natin, Madam Witness, para mas klaro. Iyong motion for reconsideration natin, ang petsa ay—ang motion for reconsideration natin …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Ang motion for reconsideration …

ATTY. ROXAS.   … ay October 9, 2001. Okay. Ang order granting the writ of execution based on the motion for issuance of writ is April 24, 2003. In the middle of all these things, sa gitna ng mga pangyayaring ito, bago nagkaroon ng issuance ng writ of execution, nagkaroon ng notice of death—ang akusado dito ay patay na and under the Revised Penal Code, once there is—once the death of the accused happens, then, both the criminal as well as civil liability is extinguished, tama po ba?

MS. CRISTY.  Tama po.

ATTY. ROXAS.   Then, kung ang notice of death ay ibinigay na sa korte, papaano po nangyari na nagkaroon pa ng writ of execution?  Hindi po ba dapat under the Rules of Court, ang dapat pong mangyari, ang private prosecution, for example, dapat na mag-submit ng separate action para sa civil indemnity na P500,000, nangyari po ba iyon sa kasong ito? Nagkaroon ba ng filing ng separate case dahil sa pagkamatay ni Jose Maria Basa?

MS. CRISTY.  Wala po.

ATTY. ROXAS.    Wala at actually ang nangyari na-issue ang writ of execution na noong April under the order dated April 24, 2003.  At, actually, namatay si Jose Maria Basa during the pendency of the Motion for Reconsideration because he died actually on August 29, 2002. Iyon lang po ang material dito, August 29, 2002 namatay si Jose Basa at alam iyon ni Cristina Corona, pero, nag-file pa rin po sila ng motion for issuance of writ of execution against the accused Jose Maria Basa and his wife Randy Basa kaya nagkaroon ng writ of execution dated April 28, 2003, tama po ba?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, with the kind permission of the court.

MS. CRISTY.  Tama po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The question, Your Honor, should have been addressed to the judge of record and she is merely a clerk of court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Well, she is

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  She is merely implementing … Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  She is under cross-examination, if she knows, the answer.

ATTY. ROXAS.    She already answered, Justice Cuevas, and also I just like to point out that the witness in this case is not an ordinary witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct.

ATTY. ROXAS.    She is a lawyer, she is a branch clerk of court of Branch 216, Quezon City, therefore, not only does she have custody of the records of this case, she would also know the basic rules not only of the Penal Code …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

ATTY. ROXAS. … but also of the Rules of Court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we reply, Your Honor, with the kind permission of the court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That may be correct, Your Honor, but being merely a clerk of court, she has no power nor any authority to prevent the judge from acting one way or another either denying or granting it. There is a decision in this case, there was a motion for reconsideration. It was denied and therefore, it became—the decision became final

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    You are questioning the competence of the witness?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Insofar as the issue of why the execution continued, Your Honor, because that is not within her control, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROXAS.  But she is your own witness, Mr. Justice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The question is only asking for facts.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is why…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Whether there was a writ of execution issued after death.  That is a factual issue.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is not the question, Your Honor, with due respect, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What was the question?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The question was, why was there a writ of execution issued even after the death of the accused, Your Honor, because apparently, they are of the theory that the moment the accused died…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer if she knows.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Already answered.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ano answer?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What was the answer?

ATTY. ROXAS.  She answered, yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes?  Yes, what?

MS. CRISTI.  Tama po na inisyu ang writ of execution.

ATTY. ROXAS.  After the death.

Now, one final point, just to make things very clear.

Madam Witness, you said awhile ago that the motion for reconsideration was denied and this is in the order of the court dated September 2, 2002, tama po?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Admitted, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Admitted.  Now, kanina, sinabi nyo rin na—nagbigay ako sa inyo ng mga dokumento na nagsabi si Anna Basa sinabi ang tatay niya namatay, at sinabi rin mismo ito ni Cristina Corona na ang uncle nya ay namatay.  These dates, this date is on August 29, 2002, I think the last question I will pose on you is very, very simple.  Does the date of August 29, 2002 come before the date of September 2, 2002 which is the date when the order of the motion for reconsideration was issued.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It is a matter of judicial notice, Your Honor, please, that is a matter of judicial notice.

ATTY. ROXAS.  This is a very simple question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

MS. CRISTI.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Then, we have no further questions for this witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Re-cross.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, redirect, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ah, redirect, okay.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No more questions?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No redirect, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, the witness is discharged.

ATTY. ROXAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Next witness.

ATTY. ROY.  We call our next witness to stand, Your Honor, Mr. Joseph Bisnar, Sheriff of Branch 216 of the RTC of Quezon City.

Mr. President, may I request for a one-minute suspension to fetch the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you.

It was 3:17 p.m.

Resumption of Trial

3:19 p.m.

THE SECRETARY.  Mr. Witness, please raise your right hand.  Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in this impeachment proceeding?

MR. WITNESS.  I do.

THE SECRETARY.  So, help you God.

ATTY. TUPAS.  Your Honor, on the part of the prosecution, may we be allowed to call on Atty. Ginez to receive the testimony.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, again, I would like to present Mr. Bisnar in order to establish the execution of the decision testified to by the previous witness.  And again, I would like to in the course of stating the purpose for which we are offering his testimony, invite the prosecution to admit the same if they are so inclined.  The testimony of this witness is being offered for the purpose of establishing that a writ of execution was issued in criminal cases Q-9668147 and Q-9668148 by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 216.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the prosecution?

ATTY. GINEZ.  We admit, Your Honor, but subject to cross-examination on the implementation of the writ of execution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. ROY.  Secondly, his testimony is offered to establish that he was the one who executed the writ of execution in these said cases.

ATTY. GINEZ.  We admit, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Third, that the execution did in fact take place on September 30, 2003.

ATTY. GINEZ.  We admit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. ROY.  And that in fact in the course of the execution, a total of 4,729 shares of the Basa, Guidote Enterprises…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How much?

ATTY. ROY.  4,729, Your Honor, shares of the Basa, Guidote Enteprises Inc. were sold for the amount of P25,000.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sold for the price of P25,000.

ATTY. ROY.  At public auction, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  What is the total capitalization recorded?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, if I’m not mistaken the authorized capital stock is 10,000 shares with…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All issued and outstanding?

ATTY. ROY.  No, Your Honor.  Only about 5,325 were issued.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who were the stockholders of the corporation?

ATTY. ROY.  They are all members of the Basa, Guidote Enteprises Inc.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you kindly—if you  know—state them into the record.

ATTY. ROY.  I do not have the list with me right now, Your Honor, but may I be allowed to submit them through a manifestation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Your Honor, the second…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who were the registered owners of these 4,729 shares against which the writ of execution was…

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, the 4,729  shares belong to the defendant, Jose Basa.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All of it?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.  And in addition, another 110 shares were also executed against the co-accused or co-defendant, Raymundo Basa.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So out of 5,325, the balance is…

ATTY. ROY.  4,839, Your Honor.  110 shares to Raymundo Basa.  So 4,839 shares were auction off for a total amount of P28,000.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If you subtract 4,729 shares from 5,325, what is the balance?

ATTY. ROY.  486, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  486.  And who are the owners of this 486.

ATTY. ROY.  I think Sister Flory Basa would be one of them though I am not certain as to the remainder.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  And that these 4,729 shares and the 110 shares that were auctioned off by Sheriff Bisnar…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  4,729 plus…

ATTY. ROY.  And 110 belonging to Raymundo Basa, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Was he a respondent in the case?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, he was convicted as well, Mr. President, and that total, that sum of shares was sold at public auction for P28,000 to one Carla Corona Castillo, the daughter of the Chief Justice.

ATTY. GINEZ.  We admit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. ROY.  In that case, Your Honor, I can dispense with the direct.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And this is the owner of the property that was sold to—?

ATTY. ROY.  To the City of Manila, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To the City of Manila?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For P34.7 million?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That was the asset of the corporation?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.  And the purpose for establishing these facts is to demonstrate to the court that whatever it is was done with the so-called Basa Guidote funds will in effect be capable of ratification by the purchaser of these shares as the virtually the sole stockholder.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And when was the sale to the City of Manila?

ATTY. ROY.  That was in 2001, if I’m not mistaken, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2001.  And the acquisition of the shares by Carla Corona?

ATTY. ROY.  2003, Your Honor, September 30.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And the shares were only sold for P25,000?

ATTY. ROY.  P28,000 in all, Your Honor.  In public auction, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For a corporation that has an asset of P34 point …

ATTY. ROY.  That is right, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Go ahead.

ATTY. ROY.  So, I want to know if the opposing counsel is willing to stipulate.

ATTY. GINEZ.  We stipulated already on the fact of the sale, Your Honor.  On the fact of the issuance of the certificate of sale in favour of Carla Castillo, Your Honor.  Subject to cross, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  We also—Your Honor, then …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By the way, …

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. … for the information of this court, this is a peripheral issue, but nonetheless, since you connect it with the impeachment case, what was the percentage of this 4,839 to the totality of the shares of stock of the corporation?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, mathematically, that amounts to 90.87%

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  90.87%.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  3% was the minority.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Did the minority got paid for their shares?

ATTY. ROY.  Not yet, Your Honor.  The remaining shares of 485 or 486 have not been acquired by either the Chief Justice or his daughter.  They remain in the hands of the, if I’m not mistaken, some of the siblings of Mrs.  …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is the corporation liquidated?

ATTY. ROY.  No, Your Honor, it has not been liquidated.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is the board of directors constituted?

ATTY. ROY.  No, Your Honor.  It is not an operational corporation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When the property of the corporation was sold to the City of Manila, was there a stockholders’ meeting to authorize the sale of all or substantially all of the …

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.  There was a valid and legitimate board authorization issued by the board of directors by the stockholders previously.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Was there an actual transfer of the shares of stock to the buyer?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, there appears to be a problem with respect to the certificate of sale is construed as the transfer of shares of stock.  The registration of the sale, Your Honor, has not been completed because up to this time, the stock and transfer book has neither been located nor reconstituted.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then who voted—Who are the stockholders who voted to authorize the sale of all or substantially all of the shares of the corporation?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, the sale of the shares was by virtue of public auction.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no.  I’m talking about the sale of the land.

ATTY. ROY.  O, the property?  The property, Your Honor, had been previously authorized, even before the corporation seized operations.  A power of attorney was issued in favour of Christina Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By whom?

ATTY. ROY.  By the stockholders and the persons in control of the corporation, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Just for the record, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes.  I think we can refer to the records.  The authority of Christina Corona was issued by the board of directors, not by the stockholders.  It is the board of directors.  A 14-year-old authorization by the board of directors, not the stockholders, Mr. President.  Just for the record.

ATTY. ROY.  That is right, Your  Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  So it is not the stockholders per se?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, you are all great corporation lawyers.  You better study this angle ha.

ATTY. ROY.  Well, Your Honor, that is correct.  The board of directors who issued that authorization were also the stockholders of the corporation.  At any rate, it was not a stockholders meeting.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Even then, even then.

ATTY. ROY.  Anyway, that is the point of the witness, Your Honor, to establish that the bulk of the shares of the Basa-Guidote Corporation are now owned by Carla Corona Castillo, the daughter of the Chief Justice.  And if …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And so the money went to—the proceeds of the sale of the property of Basa-Guidote, P34.7 million went to Carla Corona?

ATTY. ROY.  That is not quite how it happened, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why not if she is the owner of the corporation?

ATTY. ROY.  In fact, we will establish later on, this was entrusted to its current custodians.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For what?

ATTY. ROY.  It is a matter between family members, Your Honor, and we will show that she entrusted the management of the funds.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, anyway, we will come to that but I tell you, my understanding of Corporation Law is all the proceeds of the corporation property, if sold will go to the stockholders.

ATTY. ROY.  That is right.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Not to anyone else.

ATTY. ROY.  That is right, Mr. President.

ATTY. GINEZ.  We will proceed with our cross, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, just a few questions with the Sheriff, if you do not mind.

Mr. Witness, good afternoon.  Please speak into the microphone.  Now, you were the one who executed the writ of execution, am I correct?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. ROY.  Can you please—pwede niyo bang sabihin sa amin, ano po ang ginagawa niyo kapag ipinapatupad niyo po—noong ipinatupad niyo po itong writ of execution na pinag-uusapan po rito.

MR. BISNAR.  Noong una po ay nagpa-receive po ako ng kopya ng writ of execution, sa case po na ito, isinabay ko na po ang pag-serve ng writ of execution saka notice of garnishment po.

ATTY. ROY.  Mayroon pa po ba kayong ibang ginagawa sa pagpapatupad po nitong mga writ of execution?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.  Kapag natanggap na po iyong writ of execution saka notice of garnishment at mayroon pong makukuha—mayroon po silang ibinigay na—in this case po, may stocks sila na ibinibigay na pwedeng i-garnish, sinet ko po for auction sale iyong shares of stocks.

ATTY. ROY.  Paano niyo po ipinapaalam itong pag-set for auction sale na sinasabi niyo?  Paano niyo po inaanunsyo itong auction sale?

MR. BISNAR.  On the day of the auction sale po.

ATTY. ROY.  Pakisalaysay lahat noong paraan kung paano niyo po ina-anunsyo iyong auction sale, although alam naman natin iyan e.  Paano niyo ba ginagawa iyon?

MR. BISNAR.  Kapag na-receive na po iyong notice of Sheriff sale, ise-set po ang sale for auction, in this case po, sinet po ng September 30 …

ATTY. ROY.  Oo nga ho.  Paano niyo ho inannunsyo sa publiko?

MR. BISNAR.  Sa publiko, sa takdang oras po ay tinatanong ko kung mayroong interesado.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Hindi ba—sandali lang, hindi ba mayroong publication iyan sa peryodiko?

MR. BISNAR.  In this case po wala po dahil …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Bakit?

MR. BISNAR.  Posting lang po ito.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ha?

MR. BISNAR.  Ang publication po yata ay sa real property.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  O sige.  Kung shares of stock, walang publication?

MR. BISNAR.  Sa pagkakaalam ko po, wala na po, posting lang po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  O sige.

ATTY. ROY.  Ito po ba ay ginawa niyo?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. ROY.  Saan niyo po ipinost itong sinasabi niyong paalala?

MR. BISNAR.  Sa bulletin board po ng court room ng branch 216.

ATTY. ROY.  Ito po ba ay pangkaraniwang gawain?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. ROY.  Sa madaling salita, ipinost niyo doon sa bulletin board at ang petsang nakatakda para sa auction ay ano po?

MR. BISNAR.  September 30 po, 2003.

ATTY. ROY.  September 30, 2003.

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. ROY.  Ngayon, noong araw na iyon, ano po ang ginawa niyo para ipatupad ito pong writ of execution matapos niyo pong i-post iyong notice doon sa bulletin board?

MR. BISAR.  Noong September 30 nga po, noong bandang bago mag ika-sampu pa ng umaga, bumaba ho ako sa lobby ng hall of justice at doon po ay itinanong ko kung mayroong mga interesadong magbid doon sa shares of stock.

ATTY. ROY.  Mayroon po bang sumagot?

MR. BISNAR.  Ang sumagot po ay isang tao lamang.

ATTY. ROY.  Sino po, kung natatandaan ninyo?

MR. BISNAR.  Si Carla Castillo po.

ATTY. ROY.  Mayroon pa po bang ibang tao na dumalo doon sa auction?

MR. BISNAR.  Wala po maliban po kay Mrs. Corona.

ATTY. ROY.  Mayroon pa po bang iba?

MR. BISNAR.  Wala na po.  Iyong abogado po nila.

ATTY. ROY.  Iyong mga abogado.  So, samakatuwid po, iyong naroroon, noong ipatupad ninyo itong auction, ay si Carla Castillo, Mrs. Corona at …

MR. BISNAR.  Iyong lawyer ho nila.

ATTY. ROY.  At siyempre kayo.

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. ROY.  Ano ho ngayon ang nangyari noong nandoon na sila lahat, sino ho ang nagsabing interesado siya doon sa binebenta ninyong mga shares of stock?

MR. BISNAR.  Si Carla Castillo po.

ATTY. ROY.  Carla Castillo.  Ano po ang ginawa ninyo noong nagsabi siya na siya ay interesado?

MR. BISNAR.  Isinigaw ko nga po na kung may interested na bidders ay wala pong ibang sumasagot, ay sinimulan ko na po iyong auction sale.  Pagkatapos po noon, nagbid na nga po si Carla Castillo.

ATTY. ROY.  Ano po ang bid niya, kung inyong natatandaan?

MR. BISNAR.  Ang bid po niya sa total shares ay P28,000.00 po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Magkano, magkano?

MR. BISNAR.  P28,000.00 po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ano ang par value ng shares?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko alam po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Does counsel know the par value of the shares?

ATTY. ROY.  I am sorry.  Your Honor, actually I have the articles of incorporation here but I am not sure whether it is stated, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ten pesos, one hundred pesos.

ATTY. ROY.  One hundred pesos each, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. You are talking here of 4,839 shares, that means you have P483,900.00 worth of shares at par value.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And given the value of the property at the time of the sale, this was sold at P34,700,000.00, the fair value of the share is a lot, lot, lot, more than the par value.

ATTY. ROY.  That appears to be the case, Your Honor.  Although may I point out that …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, we are just trying to establish that as a fact.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.  Well, Your Honor, I am sorry, while that is the par value, the shares were merely subscribed I think at that time.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But nevertheless, the value, the kind, those shares are at least P34.7 million.

ATTY. ROY.  Insofar as the property is concerned, Your Honor, yes.  So, if I may proceed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  So, Mr. Witness, sabi ninyo po na nag bid nga po ng P28,000.00.  Ano po ang ginawa ninyo?

MR. BISNAR.  Nong nag bid po ng P28,000.00, wala naman pong ibang bidders na, in-award na ho sa kanya iyong shares of stock.

ATTY. ROY.  Kanino po?  Sino po siya?

MR. BISNAR.  Carla Castillo.

ATTY. ROY.  In-award ninyo iyong shares of stock na in-auction.

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Si Mrs. Corona ba hindi nag bid?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Pero siya ang inatasan na magbenta noong lupa, hindi ba?

ATTY. ROY.  He would not know, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I am asking, kung alam niya.

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko po alam, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Hindi mo alam.

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko po alam ho.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay, go ahead.

ATTY. ROY.  Pagkatapos pong na-award sa kanya, ano po ang ginawa ninyo?

MR. BISNAR.  Nag-issue po ako ng receipt on behalf of Mrs. Corona, iyon nga po, ginawa ko ang resibo tapos pinirmahan ni Mrs. Corona.

ATTY. ROY.  Maaari ninyo bang ipaliwanag sa amin, ano ho ba ang ibig sabihin noong receipt na in-issue ninyo?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Look, look.  May I just  ang bumili ng shares of stock anak ni Mrs. Corona?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo, Carla Castillo po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ang tumanggap noong pera doon sa anak na bumili noong shares of stocks ang nanay si Mrs. Corona, ‘di ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Sang-ayon sa mga dokumento na nandito na sa impeachment court, Mrs. Corona ay ahente noong korporasyon upang ipagbili ang lupa. Samakatuwid alam niya ang presyo noong lupa na pinagbibili niya?

MR. BISNAR.  (answer inaudible)

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright. Proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.  So, nag-issue po kayo ng receipt mula kay Mrs. Corona katibayan ng pagbayad po noong shares, tama po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. ROY. Tapos, mayroon pa po ba kayong ginawa? Ano pang dokumento ang in-issue ninyo sa kanila?

MR. BISNAR.  Pagkatapos po noon, makukuha ko na iyong certificate of sale.

ATTY. ROY.  Nag nagsasabing—ano po ang laman ng iyong certificate of sale, kung naaalala ninyo?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Submit the certificate of sale, that will be the best evidence.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, actually, it has been marked but may I request that the receipt that was mentioned earlier by the Sheriff be adopted as defense Exhibit No. 251.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    I don’t think there is any question about the payment of that consideration for the …

ATTY. ROY.  Just for the record, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Is there any?  Are you questioning that Carla Corona paid that X amount for the 4,839 shares with the par value of P100 each?

ATTY. GINEZ.  No, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No question.

ATTY. ROY.  Very well, Your Honor. In which case, I am done with my direct examination.

Your Honor, may I request, anyway, that the receipt, nonetheless, be marked, anyway, there appears to be no objection from the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.  With that, Your Honor, I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Cross.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Yes, Your Honor. Magandang hapo po, Mr. Sheriff Bisnar.

MR. BISNAR.  Magandang hapon po.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Sabi ninyo kayo ay Sheriff ng Regional Trial Court of Quezon City Branch 216?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ilang taon na po kayong Sheriff ng nasabing Korte?

MR. BISNAR.  Mula po ng 1994.

ATTY. GINEZ.  1994. So, masasabi po natin na kayo ay nasa mga 16 years nang sheriff sa korteng ito, hindi po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Pwede na po.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Salamat po. Maaari rin natin pong sabihin at kayo ay sasang-ayon sa akin na sa loob ng 16 years ng pagiging sheriff po ninyo, kayo ay bihasa at alam na alam na ninyo ang mga alituntunin at patakaran ng pagpapa-implement ng writ of execution, hindi po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi naman pong bihasang-bihasa, pero, marunong na po siguro.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ito pong pinag-uusapan natin ay ang Rule 39 ng Rules of Court, ‘di po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ito pong writ of execution, mayroon po bang kopya ng writ of execution marked as Exh.  178 of the defendant—of the respondent?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Eto pong writ of execution na pinirmahan noong judge ng korteng ito ay kayo ay inaatasan na ito ay i-implement particularly ang award of civil damages sa dalawang kasong ito na ang total ay P500,000, hindi po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Now, Sheriff, tama rin po bang sabihin na bago ninyo i-implement ang writ of execution ay kailangan ninyong i-familiarize at alamin ang mga nangyarin bago ma-issue iyong writ of execution sa records ng korte, hindi po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Sa akin po kung ano po iyong inaatas sa akin ng writ of execution n iyon, iyon lang po ang importante.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Kanina po sa isang testigo ay inilabas ng prosekusyon ang isang motion to withdraw na ipinayl ng dating abugado ni Jose Maria Basa III at iyong kalakip doon sa motion to withdraw ay ang sulat ni Ana Basa sa abugado na—ng Fortun, Narvasa and Salazar. Ipapakita ko po sa inyo, sir.

ATTY. ROY.  We admit the existence of the document, Your Honor.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Tama po bang sabihin Sheriff na nalaman ninyo at…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sandali lang, ano ang answer ng witness?

MR. BISNAR.  Wala pa hong…

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ipinapakita ko pa lang, I will ask the question now, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay, go ahead.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Tama po bang sabihin Sheriff na nalaman ninyo na ang pagkaka-file nitong motion to withdraw at ang kalakip na sulat ni Anna Basa sa korte na nagsasabi na ang kanyang tatay, isa sa mga akusado, na ang ipinagbabayad dito sa korteng ito ng P500,000.00 ay patay na, hindi po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Ngayon ko pa lang po nalaman.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Sheriff, kayo, sabi nyo kanina kayo ay pamilyar sa alituntunin natin sa pag-iimplement ng writ of execution.  Alam po ba ninyo ang Section 7, Rule XXXIX ng Rules of Court regarding execution in case of death of party?  Eto po, babasahin ko sa inyo particularly po iyong Section paragraph d- – “In case of death of the judgment obligor against his executor or administrator or success or in interest, if the judgement be for the recovery of real or personal property or for the enforcement of a lien thereon”.  Ala po ba ninyo ito?

MR. BISNAR.  Nabasa ko na ho minsan.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ibig sabihin Sheriff na ‘pag meron na kayong writ of execution at napagalaman ninyo na ang akusado sa kasong ito ay namatay na, depende ang gagawin ninyo o kung ang inuutos ng korte ay recovery of real property or personal property or for pinagbabayad siya ng sum of money, hindi po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Hindi po ba Sheriff alam din ninyo na ‘pag ang utos ng korte sa writ of execution ay pinagbabayad siya ng pera kagaya sa korteng ito, P500,000.00, hindi po ba pag patay na ang akusado hindi na pupuwedeng i-implement and writ of execution?

MR. BISNAR.  In this case po hindi ko alam na patay na.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Pero alam po ba ninyo na ang ipinag-uutos ng batas, ng Rule XXXIX, at ng Section 5, Rule 86 ng Rules of Court na ‘pag ang utos, sabi ko nga sa inyo, pinagbabayad ng sum of money, ang writ of execution sa isang patay na ay hindi na dapat ginagawa, hindi po ba, alam po ninyo iyan.

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ho ako masyadong pamilyar doon.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Akala ko po kanina Sheriff sabi ninyo hindi kayo bihasa pero sabi ninyo marunong at nabasa ninyo naman na ang Rules of Court.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, I think counsel is arguing with the witness.  The Sheriff answered he did not know.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko nga ho alam iyong tungkol ho sa rule na iyon.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Hindi ho ninyo alam.  Wala po bang pagkakataon na kayo ay naisyuhan ng writ of execution na ang isang party ay patay na?

MR. BISNAR.  Pagkakatanda ko po wala po.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ito ang unang pagkakataon ngayon nalaman nyo na na si Jose Maria Basa III ay patay na bago ma-isyu iyong writ of execution.  Ito ang unang pagkakataon?

MR. BISNAR.  Ngayon ko pa lang po nalaman.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ngayon, itong Rules of Court po natin ay mayron ding specific na Section kung paano natin i-implement ang isang tinatawag na judgment for money at ito ay nakalagay sa Section 9, di po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Bago po tayo pumunta diyan, hindi po ba Sheriff kayo po ay nag-isyu ng Sheriff’s Report sa mga ginawa po ninyo?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  At ito po ay dated March 16, 2012.

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Kailan po ba ninyo ginawa iyong auction sale dito?

MR. BISNAR.  2003 po.

ATTY. GINEZ.  2003 at kayo ay nagbigay ng Sheriff’s Report 2012.  Ilang taon po ang nakaraan bago kayo nakagawa ng Sheriff’s Report?

MR. BISNAR.  Siyam po.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ipapakita ko po sa inyo ang Sheriff’s Report, certified true xerox copy ni Atty. Lucita D. Masangcay Cristi.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, we admit the Sheriff’s Report, we admit the date as well.

ATTY. GINEZ.  We request that it be marked as our exhibit 11-T, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  May we likewise adopt the exhibit as defense Exhibit 252, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Sheriff, hindi po ba nakalagay dito sa ating rules of court, ito po kasi ang ating kung baga tawagin nating bibliya nating mga abogado at mga sheriff, hindi po ba nakalagay po dito sa rules of court natin at babasahin ko po para sa inyong benefit, “Section 14, Return of Writ of Execution. The writ of execution shall be returnable to the court issuing it immediately after the judgment has been satisfied in part or in full.”  Hindi po ba ang itinatakda at ang iniuutos sa inyo ng rules of court natin sa binasa ko ay immediately whether partial or full ang satisfaction?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ang siyam na taon po ba ay immediate, sheriff?

MR. BISNAR. Kung pwede po akong magpaliwanag, may…

ATTY. GINEZ.  Katungkulan po yan ng abogado ng depensa para kayo ay magpaliwanag.  Salamat po, sheriff.

MR. BISNAR.  Yes, sir.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Now, sheriff, hindi po ba dito sa ating rules of court pag meron kayong mga hindi ginawa na hindi ayon sa ating rules of court, kayo ay pwedeng makasuhan o mapagbayad?  Ito po ay babasahin ko, tatanungin ko lang po sa inyo kung alam nyo ito.  Ito po ay ang “Section 17, Penalty for Selling Without Notice or Removing or Debasing Notice.  An officer selling without the notice prescribed by Section 15 of this rule shall be liable to pay punitive damages in the amount of P5,000 to any person injured thereby in addition to his actual damages both to be recovered by motion in the same action.”  Ngayon, sheriff, in connection dito sa binasa ko, sabi ninyo sa pamamagitan at sa pagsagot sa tanong ng abogado ng depensa kayo ay nag-posting.

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Sheriff, hindi po ba tama na sabihin natin na ang lahat ng ating mga ginawa sa execution di po dapat iyan ay nakalagay sa ating sheriff’s report?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Dapat lahat anumang detalye dahil ito ay itinatakda ng ating revised rules of court at ito ay napakaimportante dahil ang sinasabi ng mga desisyon ay dapat mandatorily  complied all requirements of execution in order that the said execution and substitute sale shall be valid.  Hindi po ba dapat nandyan lahat sa inyong sheriff’s report, hindi po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Dapat po.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Pakibasa nga po ninyo, dalawang pahina ninyo na sheriff’s report, pakibasa po ninyo, tignan po ninyo ang sheriff’s report.  Nandyan po ibinigay ko po sa inyo iyong certified true copy.

MR. BISNAR.  Meron po ako.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Hindi po ba, sheriff, basahin po ninyong maigi, line by line, wala kayong sinasabi dyan sa sheriff’s report na kayo ay nag-posting ng notice of sheriff’s sale ng mga nasabing shares of stocks?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko nga ho inilagay.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Salamat po.  Pinapaalalahanan ko pa po kayo na kayo ay pwedeng maging liable ng punitive damages ng P5,000, an actual damages sa ginawa po ninyong pagbebenta na walang notice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  At this juncture, Your Honor, with the kind permission of the honourable court, may we be referred most specifically with the section involved.  We are trying to locate that any and all things that took place must be recorded in the sheriff’s report.  Incidentally enough we had been teaching the subject.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel may do so.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ano ho bang seksyon yon?

ATTY. GINEZ.  Section 17, we cited Section 17 insofar as the punitive and actual damages, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Rule 39?

ATTY. GINEZ.  Rule 39, Your Honor, insofar as all matters taken up in the execution should be stated in the sheriff’s report and that is…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With the permission of the court, where is that particular statement that the sheriff…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel said Rule 39, Section 17 JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  We were trying to inform ourselves again of this Section 17.  We see nothing to that effect.  That’s the basis of our observation.  That the Sherriff must include any and all acts performed by him.  For instance, the posting of the notice, and everything which must be made immediately.

We do not see that—May we be allowed to read Section 17, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  “Penalty for selling without notice, or removing or defacing notice.”  They are entirely a different subject matter, Your Honor.

“SEC. 17. Penalty for selling without notice, or removing or defacing notice.—An officer selling without the notice prescribed by section 15 of this Rule shall be liable to pay punitive damages in the amount of five thousand (P5,000.00) pesos to any person injured thereby, in addition to his actual damages, both to be recovered by motion in the same action; and a person willfully removing or defacing the notice posted, if done before the sale, or before the satisfaction of the judgment if it be satisfied before the sale, shall be liable to pay five thousand (P5,000.00) pesos to any person injured by reason thereof, in addition to his actual damages, to be recovered x x x”

So, there is nothing mentioned in here that the Sherriff is under legal obligation to place it in the Sherriff return all the proceeding and the action taken by him.  And that is our point of observation, Your Honor.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.  He is under cross.  (Gavel)

ATTY. GINEZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.  I’ll go to another point actually, Your Honor.

Sherriff, hindi ba tinanong ko kayo kanina na ang utos sa inyo ng korte, ng Branch 216, ay pagbayarin si Jose Maria Basa at yung mga kasama niyang mga akusado ng Limang daang piso?

And you will agree with me na ito po ay isang judgement for money.  Hindi po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  At ito po ay covered ng Section 9, Rule 39 ng Rules of Court.  Hindi po ba, Sherriff?  Natatandaan nyo po bay an?

MR. BISNAR.  Section 9 po, hindi ko na po matandaan.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ang paragraph A po nyan ay nakalagay dito immediate payment on demand.  Babasahin ko po para sa inyong kapakinabangan.

“The officer shall enforce an execution of a judgment for money by demanding from the judgment obligor the immediate payment of the lawful amount stated in the writ of execution and all lawful fees.”

Sherriff, hindi po ba sinabi nyo kanina sa pagtatanong ng abogado ng depensa na ang ginawa po ninyo ay isinerve po ninyo yung writ of execution noong—At tama po bang sabihin na noong araw ding yon ay isinerve nyo ang notice of garnishment?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  So, hindi po ninyo—Magsasang-ayon po ba kayo sa akin na hindi nyo po tinupad ang sinasabi nung paragraph A ng Section 9 na kailangan muna na kayo ay mag-demand na bayaran nung kung sinomang akusado ang nakalagay sa writ of execution?  Wala po kayong ginawa na ganoon?  Hindi po ba, Sherriff?

MR. BISNAR.  Wala po kasi wala ho yung akusado e.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Wala nga po dahil patay na siya, di ba?

MR. BISNAR.  At that time hindi ko alam.  Ang kwan don ay yung caretaker nila.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Okay.  Now, in fact, Sherriff, sa korte, nakalagay naman doon kung ano ang mga address ng akusado, sila Raymunda at sila Mario Basa, hindi ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  At ang kanilang address po Libis, Quezon City, hindi po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Opo.  E yung writ of execution po ninyo at ang notice of garnishment ay sinerve po ninyo sa 901 Lepanto Street, Sampaloc, Manila.  Tama ho ba iyon?

MR. BISNAR.  Tama po.  Kasi po sa mga returns po ng mga order ng court saka mga notices and returns po don ay unknown na yung mga akusado sa lugar na yon.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Maitanong ko po, Sherriff, sino po ba ang nagsabi sa inyo na ang Basa Guidote Enterprises na ito ay nasa 901 Lepanto Street, Sampaloc, Manila?  Ang private complainant po ba dito si Christina Corona?

MR. BISNAR.  Ang sabi ho yata yung lawyers nila.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ah, ang lawyers ni Cristina Corona.  Natatandaan niyo po, ito, tandang tanda n’yo.  At ito po, Sheriff, ay tinanggap n’yo na ha hookline and sinker kumbaga, iyon nga ba ang—iyon ba ang ibig niyong sabihin?

MR. BISNAR.  Ang alin po?

ATTY. GINEZ.  Na ang Basa-Guidote Enterprises ay nasa 901 Lepanto St. Sampaloc, Manila.

MR. BISNAR.  Dahil iyon po ang ibinigay noong information nila.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Hindi na po kayo nagsiyasat sa ating Securities and Exchange Commission kung saan nga ba talaga itong sinasabi nilang Basa-Guidote Enterprises Inc.

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi na po.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Hindi niyo po nalaman na ang Basa-Guidote Enterprises Inc. ay nasa 903 Lepanto St. Sampaloc, Manila.  Hindi niyo nalaman na iyan.

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko na ho …

ATTY. GINEZ.  Dahil hindi na kayo nagsiyasat sa SEC, hindi po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi po.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Kayo ay naniwala na sa mga abogado ni Cristina Corona.

MR. BISNAR.  Opo at saka po nagbigay naman po ng kwan e—sumagot po doon sa notice of garnishment ko iyong Assistant Corporate Secretary noong Basa-Guidote.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ito po ay si Cristina Corona.

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Sinabi niya sa inyo na siya ay Assistant Corporate Secretary.

MR. BISNAR.  Ang sabi po …

ATTY. GINEZ.  Sabi niya.

MR. BISNAR.  Sa records po.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Hindi niyo na rin ito inalam sa SEC na totoo nga ba kaya siya ay Assistant Corporate Secretary.

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko na po inalam.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Again, you accepted it hookline and sinker kung ano ang sinabi sa inyo ni Ginang Corona.

MR. BISNAR.  Dahil …

ATTY. GINEZ.  Opo, ano ang sagot po niyo, Sir?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo dahil iyon ang isinabmit niya pong records sa office.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ngayon, nang nagpunta po kayo dito sa sinasabing Basa-Guidote Enterprises Inc., 901 Lepanto St. Sampaloc, Manila, sasang-ayon po kayo sa akin na ito po ay hindi opisina, ‘di ho ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi—matagal na po iyon, pero iyon nga ho, parang lumang bahay siya.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Lumang bahay.  Hindi niyo po ba napag-alam o sinabi man lang sa inyo ni Ginang Corona na iyong 901 Lepanto St. Sampaloc, Manila ay iyon ang bahay, lumang bahay o ancestral house noong kanyang mga magulang.  Hindi po ba niya sinabi sa inyo iyon?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi niya po sinabi.

ATTY. GINEZ.  So, pagdating niyo po doon sa lumang bahay, sa 901 Lepanto St., wala kayong nakita doon na karatula na Basa-Guidote Enterprises.

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko na ho matandaan kung mayroon o wala.

ATTY. GINEZ.  So, wala rin kayong mga nakitang mga empleyado doon o mga office workers doon, ‘di ho ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Ang lumabas lang po nga ho, iyong caretaker po.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Caretaker.  Ito po ba ay si Celebrada C. Pardines?

MR. BISNAR.  Iyon ho ang pakilala niya sa akin.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Pakilala niya.  At hindi niya kilala kung sino man—kung sino si Jose Maria Basa III, ‘di ho ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Sa pagkatanda ko po, ang sabi ho niya ay bihira ng pumunta doon, parang ganoon.

ATTY. GINEZ.  At hindi taga-doon si Jose Maria Basa, sinabi niya sa inyo.

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi niya ho sinabi iyon.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Sheriff, hindi po ba, kapag ang sinasabi ng ating revised rules of court na kapag shares of stocks ang ating ii-implement or ang ating iga-garnish ay dapat susundin natin ang Rule 57, Section 7, paragraph C, basahin ko po sa inyo dahil baka hindi po niyo naaalala.

Stocks or shares or an interest—basahin ko po muna ito—Section 7.  Attachment of Real and Personal Property Recording thereof.  Real and personal property shall be attached by the sheriff executing the writ in the following manner, letter C, stocks or shares or an interest in stocks or shares or any corporation or company by leaving with the president or managing agent thereof, a copy of the writ and a notice stating that the stock or interest of the party against whom the attachment is issued is attached in pursuant of such writ.

Ang tanong ko muna, preliminary, Sheriff, hindi po ito ang unang pagkakataon na kayo po ay nag-ga-garnish ng isang shares of stocks o nagle-levy ng isang shares of stocks, ‘di po ba?

ATTY. ROY.  Objection, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the basis?

ATTY. ROY.  Misleading, Your Honor, the rule pertains to attachment.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the misleading?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, the rule cited by counsel is the rule on attachment.  The Sheriff is testifying on execution.  These are two entirely different rules.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Your Honor, the revised rules of court provides that if the property to be levied is a personal property or a share of stock, Your Honor, it specifically says that it will be attached in accordance with the same rule that provides for the preliminary attachment.  I can cite a rule.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Objection overruled.

ATTY. GINEZ.  So, may tanong po ako, Sheriff.  Hindi ito ang unang pagkakataon na kayo po ay nag-levy ng shares of stocks ng isang kompanya sa loob ng inyong 16 years bilang isang sheriff.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The question is vague.  Levy under what, levy under execution or levy under attachment.

ATTY. GINEZ.  I will clarify again.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Kindly clarify.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I request the counsel to let the question to be finished.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. GINEZ.  I will clarify.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Hindi po ito ang unang pagkakataon, Sheriff, na kayo ay nay-levy by execution ng shares of stock ng isang kompanya, hindi po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Sa pagkakatanda ko ho, ito ho ang first time na shares of stock.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Sa loob po ng 16 na taon, ito po ang unang pagkakataon, Sheriff?

MR. BISNAR.  Sa pagkakatanda ko po, ganoon nga po.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Sa pagkakatanda ninyo.  Maaaring may nangyari na in the past pero hindi ninyo na natatandaan, tama po ba iyon?

MR. BISNAR.  Wala ho akong matandaan.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Wala kayong matandaan.  Now, ang sinasabi po dito sa binasa ko kanina, paragraph C of Section 7 Rule 57, na ang levying ng shares of stock ay dapat iniiwan po ninyo sa presidente or managing agent ng kompanya.  Dito ba sa inyong notice of garnishment, kanino po ba ninyo iniwan ang notice of garnishment?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Again, with the kind indulgence of this honourable court, Your Honor.  We have objected to this question because the provision of law cited is levy under attachment.  This is not an attachment.  This is levy under execution, Your Honor.  And, therefore, it is governed by Rule 39, Your Honor.  There is entirely a lot of difference, Your Honor.  In attachment, it is preventive.  In levy under execution …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the prosecution answer that observation.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Yes, Your Honor, I will cite the rule, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  To buttress, if Your Honor please, may we go a little further, with the kind permission of the court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, may we invite the attention of the honourable court, Your Honor, that Rule 57 is strictly applicable only in cases of preliminary attachment.  The formalities therein referred to refer to attachment.  And what we have in question now is not an attachment but a levy under execution.  So the formalities required under Rule 57 do not apply in cases of execution, Your Honor.  That is our point, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is why I am asking the counsel to answer you.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

ATTY. GINEZ.  It is found, Your Honor, in Section 9.  Execution of Judgments for Money, How Enforced.  And this is under paragraph B, Satisfaction by Levy, Your Honor.  And I direct, Your Honor, the attention of the esteemed counsel of the defendant on subparagraph 4, Your Honor, at this stage I am reading for the record.  “Real property, stocks, shares, debts, credits and other personal property or any interest in either real or personal property may be levied upon in like manner and with like effect as under a writ of attachment.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. GINEZ. So, maybe, Justice Cuevas forgotten his rules, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I have been teaching the subject for no less than three decades, Your Honor, and the law  is very—together with the jurisprudence on the point is very specific.  You do not apply the rule on attachment. What the law simply means by the levy could be effected similar to that of attachment is merely an analogy of the process that will have to be undertaken but definitely, the rules on attachment does not apply in execution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    At any rate, this will be evaluated by the Court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but we …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    What is material here is he is testing the credibility of this witness because even the court is interested to find out whether indeed there was machination in the—to be frank about it, whether there was machination in the sale of the shares.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, we are very appreciative for the court going that far.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   That is the understanding of this Chair with the tendency of the questions.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But if the court will notice, Your Honor, and with the kind indulgence of the Court, the question before was predicated on Rule 57 not on this particular rule that he is now citing, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Anyway, let us not wrangle on this. We are all intelligent people. We will take that into account, let the witness answer.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  What is the question now?

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ang tanong ko po sa inyo, Sheriff, ay iyong notice of garnishment po ninyo na naka-address po doon sa Basa Guidote Enterprises ay hindi po nai-serve sa presidente o sa managing agent nito, hindi po ba? And so, at ang totoo, ay sa isang, ang sabi ninyo, care taker lamang ng bahay na iyon?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo, pero,

ATTY. GINEZ.    Salamat po.

MR. BISNAR.  May sumagot po na taga—officer ng Basa Guidote.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Iyon, pupunta po tayo doon. Pupunta po tayo doon, Sheriff.  So, pagkatapos po ninyong mai-serve ang notice of garnishment, ang sabi po ninyo ay may sumagot na “officer “ ng Basa Guidote?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ito po ay si Cristina Roco-Corona, Assistant Corporate Secretary sa pamamagitan ng isang sulat na ibinigay sa inyo and this was marked by the defense, Your Honor, as Exh. 179?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Salamat po.  At hindi po ba, Sheriff, na si—at alam ninyo na si Cristina Roco-Corona ay siya rin ang private complainant sa kasong ito?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ. Siya rin ang inuutos ng korte, ng Branch 216, na babayaran kung sakaling mare-recover ninyo iyong P500,000, hindi po ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ngayon, Sheriff, dito sa reply ni Ginang Corona ang sinasabi sa inyo and I would like to quote it for the record, Your Honor, if I will be allowed. “In reply to the notice of garnishment dated May 14, 2003, please be informed that based on records submitted by the accused in Court, the stockholdings claim by Jose Basa III and Raymundo G. Basa in Basa Guidote Enterprises, Inc. are as follows: stockholder, Raymunda Basa; number of shares, 110; amount P11,000; Jose Maria Basa III; number of shares, 4,729; amount, P472,900 or a total of 4,839 shares in the amount of P483,900.  Ang tanong ko po sa inyo, Sheriff, noong ibinigay po ito ni Ginang Corona, ito po ay tinanggap ninyo na as gospel truth?

MR. BISNAR.  Dahil wala naman—sila hong title noong, title niya doon sa corporation, eh, wala namang dahilan para hindi paniwalaan ho.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Hindi po kayo nagpunta sa Securities and Exchange Commission?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi po.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Sheriff, hindi po ba sinabi sa inyo ni Ginang Cristina Corona na siya ay nag-file ng isang petition sa korte, sa probate court, na ang sinasabi niya sa korte na iyon ang nagmamay-ari ng shares of stocks or about 87% ng shares of stocks ng Basa Guidote Enterprises ay ang kanyang lola, si Asuncion Roco, hindi po ba sinabi sa inyo ito?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we be allowed—before the witness answer, may he be see(?) a copy of the alleged pleading, Your Honor, the alleged statement of fact appearing in a pleading, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If the…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Its premise.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If the prosecution has, you show the pleading.

ATTY. GINEZ.  We reserve, Your Honor, that the voluminous records that we have, unfortunately, we did not bring the petition for probate that it is a fact, Your Honor, that there was a probate.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With the kind permission of the court, therefore, we will move to strike out the question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let it stay in the record.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, may we recognize Senator Lacson.

SEN. LACSON.  I am sorry to interject, Mr. President, interesado lang po ako, ito po bang mga kapanahunan na pinaguusapan natin kung alam ng counsel ng prosecution o ng defense, may katungkulan po bas a gobyerno si Chief Justice Corona?  Siya po ba ay private citizen or kung may katungkulan man, ano po ba ang katungkulan nya?  Itong mga panahon na ating dini-discuss sa ngayon.

ATTY. ROY.  Mayroon na pong katungkulan.

SEN. LACSON.  Ano po iyon?

ATTY. ROY.  Noon pong 2001 ay naging Assistant Presidential Legal Counsel po kung hindi ako nagkakamali.

SEN. LACSON.  Ito pong panahon na mayroong writ of execution, ano po ang katungkulan nya?

ATTY. ROY.  A, ang katungkulan po nya, siya po ay isa ng Associate Justice ng Supreme Court po.

SEN. LACSON.  Maraming salamat po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You know, Sheriff…

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noon bang nalaman ninyo na iyong nangangatawan ng korporasyong Basa-Guidote ay isang babaeng nangangalang Cristina Corona.  Alam ba ninyo kung ano ang kanyang relasyon sa Justice Renato Corona ng Korte Suprema?

MR. BISNAR.  Iyong panahon na po iyon hindi ko po alam, nung panahon na yon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  A, hindi mo alam nung panahon na yon.

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi pa po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  O, sige.

ATTY. GINEZ.  The defense, Your Honor, is asking for a copy of the Petition in the matter of the probate of the will of Rosario Guidote Vda. De Basa, petitioners Asuncion Basa-Rocco, and Cristina Rocco-Corona, especial proceeding no. 95-76331 and raffled to and assign to Regional Trial Court, Branch 12 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Hindi po ako—with, Your Honor, please, with the kind indulgence of the honourable court.  I am not asking for a copy.  Since the cross-examination question is predicated on an alleged pleading, it is our stand, Your Honor, that in accordance with the Rules of Evidence, the document must first be shown to the witness allowing him to read before he answers, Your Honor.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Thank you, Your Honor, we will now allow the witness to—So, Ginoong Sheriff…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The prosecution…

ATTY. GINEZ.  …ipinapakita ko po sa inyo itong petition…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  …is instructed to show the document to the witness.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Ang tanong ko po sa inyo kanina hindi po ba sinabi ni Ginang Corona na siya ay nag-file ng petition na ito sa regional trial court of Manila, and in that petition, she claimed that Rosario Guidote Vda. De Basa is the owner, and I would like to quote, Your Honor, paragraph 3 of the petition—“The estate of that testatrix consist of personal properties in the form of 4,665 shares of stocks in the corporation registered as Basa-Guidote Enterprises, Inc. of which only 70 shares were disposed of as legacies in her will and the household furniture in her residence.”

The date of the petition is November 29, 1995.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  At this juncture, Your Honor, we will most humbly request that the question be simplified, it is loaded with several subjects.  Hindi ho ba sinabi sa inyo ni Mrs. Corona, then, several other subjects, it cannot be answered by plain yes or no, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Reform your questions, counsel, so that there will be no further objection.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Hindi po ba sinabi sa inyo ni Cristina Corona na sya ay nag-file ng petisyon sa Regional Trial Court, Branch 12?

MR. BISNAR.  Wala po syang nabanggit sa akin.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Hindi po ba nya sinabi sa inyo, Ginoong Sheriff, na sa petisyon po na iyon ay sinabi nya sa korte at pinanumpaan nya bilang petitioner na ang nagmamay-ari ng 4,665 shares noong Basa, Guidote Enteprises Inc. ay ang kanyang lola na si Rosario Guidote Vda. De Basa?  Hindi ba nya sinabi sa inyo iyon?

MR. BISNAR.  Wala po syang nabanggit.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Sheriff, mayroon akong ipapakita sa inyo sa page 3 hanggang page 8 ng certified true copy ng petisyon na ito at pakitingnan nyo nga po, sheriff, pakibasa nga po ninyo, sheriff, kung ano po ang nakalagay diyan?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I know what the document is all about?

ATTY. GINEZ.  Petition.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  For?

ATTY. GINEZ.  A petition for the probate.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And what is the question now?  Your Honor please, what is the question now?

ATTY. GINEZ.  If he knows what is written on the peitition, Your Honor, if he can read.

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ho mabasa dito.  Hindi ko mabasa.  Hindi ho maliwanag.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Hindi mo mabasa?

MR. BISNAR.  Medyo malabo po.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Yes, Your Honor.  We would like, Your Honor, to manifest that on pages 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of this page, of the top page, Your Honor, it appears to me that this is a facsimile copy, Your Honor, but it is certified true copy by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 12 and it came from the office of Secretary R. C. Corona, Your Honor.  We would like to mark, Your Honor,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What does it say?

ATTY. GINEZ.  It is a fax document, Your Honor, a copy of the petition and it came from the office of Sec. R. C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So if the defense if they will…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But what is it, Your Honor, and what is the question now?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the document be shown to you first and then…

ATTY. GINEZ.  Your Honor, may we request for…

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes?

SEN. SOTTO.  While they are looking over the documents, I move that we suspend the trial for 15 minutets.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Session is suspended for 15 minutes.

It was 4:23 p.m.

 RESUMPTION OF HEARING

At 4:55 p.m., the hearing was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is resumed.  (Gavel)

Majority Floor Leader, what is the status of the case?

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we have the continuation on the document that was being shown by the prosecution to the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The defense.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, the counsel for prosecution was asking us to admit that the document he was holding or presented contain certain words appearing to be the sender of a facsimile.

We have no quarrel over the letter of those words.  We are curious, however, what is the point, well, why, first place, this is a mere photocopy.  It is not the facsimile itself.  But we’re also curious why he wants us to introduce this into the case at this point.  The pleading has no relevance to the SALN or to the issues conveyed to us by the court yesterday.

Secondly, it is not clear where this document came from and to whom it was sent.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The prosecution may reply.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.

First, Your Honor, this is—Where it came from, this is a certified true copy, Your Honor, by the regional trial court, and this is signed by the clerk of court of the said branch, Your Honor, dated March 21, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It’s a part of a court record?

ATTY. GINEZ.  Yes, Your Honor, part of a court record, Your Honor.  And as for the purpose, Your Honor, we are presenting them and marking—We will make the formal offer when the time comes, Your Honor.

So, may we request, Your Honor, that this petition, Your Honor, be marked as our Exhibit 11-U, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, before the court grants the request, may we know from which RTC branch the counsel is referring to?  And may we know if this is exactly a reproduction of the document that appears on the file of the RTC or a mere certification that this a copy of the contents of the pleading.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Same copy, Your Honor.  This is a certified true copy.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, why don’t you examine the document.

ATTY. ROY.  I have, Your Honor.  The document appears to be a photocopy of a facsimile.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct, but did you check the, first of all, the title of the document in the case.

ATTY. ROY.  My point, Your Honor,—Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And then the court where it is pending.

ATTY. ROY.  That is right, Your Honor.  But, I would like …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, you know all of that?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.  But what I would like to know is if he is telling us that the certification pertains to the alleged address of the facsimile sender.  Because he is saying that this is a certified document, but he is asking me to admit that it was faxed from a certain fax machine.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Since you know the court where the case is pending, my God, this is simple for you to examine the records there and then determine whether that the original of that document exists.

ATTY. ROY.  Precisely, Your Honor.  I just want to know what it is he claims being certified by the court of origin, the facsimile address that you asked us to attest to or to agree to.

ATTY. GINEZ.  This is a certified true copy, Your Honor, by the clerk of court, an ex officio Sherriff of the Regional Trial Court of Manila.  This case is pending before …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What branch?

ATTY. GINEZ.  The Regional Trial Court Branch 12, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  O, see.

ATTY. GINEZ.  They have to verify if they …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Sherriff, nabanggit nyo po kanina at nung tanong ng abogado ng depensa na pagkatapos po ninyong maibenta ang shares of stocks from Rosario Guidote Basa to other shares and eventually when it ended to Mr. Jose Ma. Basa.  And yet, Your Honor, in this execution sale, she reported allegedly as the assistant corporate secretary that it belongs to Jose Ma. Basa.  What we would like to point out on record, Your Honor, is that Cristina Corona is assuming inconsistent statements whenever it suits her favour, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor please, it was Mr. Basa who claimed to be the owner of the shares that’s why they were levied on.  If we did not claim them, they would not be levied on.  Correct, she challenged them.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Yes, but compañero,…

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … you are a lawyer, I don’t have to teach you that assets of a real estate belong to the estate until they are vested by order of the court to the heirs.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And the claim of the heir will not matter.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, Mr. Basa did not claim them as inheritance but he claim them ownership by acquisition, not inheritance, Your Honor.  That was the dispute.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Then it was a disputed claim.

ATTY. ROY.  That is right, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.  So that could have been settled in the estate but anyway, proceed.  The court will take all of these things in consideration.

SEN. DRILON.  Ginoong Testigo, uulitin ko, magkano exactly ang binayad po dito sa 4,839 shares?  Sarado bang P28,000?

MR. BISNAR.  P28,000.

SEN. DRILON.  Okay.  Now, ordinarily, hindi po ba sa auction sale iyong proceeds ng auction ay binabayad sa sheriff?

MR. BISNAR.  Ordinary po, oo.

SEN. DRILON.  Ordinarily ganoon po ang nangyayari.  Hindi ba?  Hindi ganoon?  Ganoon iyon hindi ba?

MR. BISNAR.  Ganoon po pero sa case po na ito kasi…

SEN. DRILON.  Okay.  Pagkatapos na magbayad makukuha mo iyong proceeds ng share ito po ay dini-deliver mo doon sa whoever is entitled to.  Hindi po ba tama iyon?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

SEN. DRILON.  Ngayon, hindi ba may sheriff’s fee iyan?

MR. BISNAR.  Posible meron po.

SEN. DRILON.  Opo.  Supposedly magkano ang sheriff’s fee ordinarily in terms of percentage?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko kabisado iyong…

SEN. DRILON.  O ikaw naman o.  Eh sheriff ka hindi mo kabisado kung magkano ang sheriff’s fee.  Ikaw naman.

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi po, honestly po, hindi ko po iyon alam.

SEN. DRILON.  17 taon ka ng sheriff hindi mo alam kung magkano ang sheriff’s fee?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi naman po iyon sa practice po namin…

SEN. DRILON.  O sige.  Hindi ko sinasabi iyong hindi legal, iyong legal.

MR. BISNAR.  Oo nga po.

SEN. DRILON.  Ha?  Hindi mo alam?

MR. BISNAR.  Iyong 4% po.

SEN. DRILON.  Ah 4%.  So 4% ng proceeds ay sheriff’s fee.

MR. BISNAR.  Supposedly, Your Honor, oo.

SEN. DRILON.  Is that correct?

MR. BISNAR.  Usually po ganoon po.

SEN. DRILON.  All right.  Dito sa  transaksyon na ito, iyong P28,000 ay in cash ibinayad ng Carla Corona Castillo sa nanay niya, Cristina Corona.  Tama po ba iyon?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

SEN. DRILON.  At sabi mo kanina silang dalawa na ang nag-usap at ibinigay ng Carla Corona Castillo ang cash kay Cristina Corona.

MR. BISNAR.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Now, hindi ka ba kumuha ng fee mo roon?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi po, your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Bakit?

MR. BISNAR.  Eh usually naman po…

SEN. DRILON.  Binigyan ka na lang, hindi?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi po.

SEN. DRILON.  Ah hindi ka rin binigyan.  Hindi ka rin binigyan ng fee?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi po.

SEN. DRILON.  Bakit?

MR. BISNAR.  Wala po.  Hindi ko na naisip …

SEN. DRILON.  Huh?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko na naisip na ganoon po.

SEN. DRILON.  Doon sa ibang transaksyon naiisip mo ba iyan?

MR. BISNAR.  Voluntary na lang po.

SEN. DRILON.  Ah voluntary na lang kung sakali.

MR. BISNAR.  Iyong expenses lang po.

SEN. DRILON.  Mga ano?

MR. BISNAR.  Actual expenses.

SEN. DRILON.  E iyong komisyon na 4% hindi mo na kinukuha?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi na ho.

SEN. DRILON.  Sa ibang transaksyon na hawak mo?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi rin ho.

SEN. DRILON.  Hindi ka talaga kumukuha ng komisyon.

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi po.

SEN. DRILON.  Alam mo irekomenda kita sa Civil Service bigyan ka ng dangal ng—very  good employee.  Ngayon, hindi ba under the Judiciary ka?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

SEN. DRILON.  At hindi mo alam—Kilala mo ba yung panahon na yon si Associate Justice Renato Corona?

MR. BISNAR.  At that time po, hindi ko ho sigurado kung Justice na po siya noon e.

SEN. DRILON.  Hindi ka sigurado.  Pero naririnig mo?

MR. BISNAR.  Naririnig ko ho.

SEN. DRILON.  Ano ang narinig mo?  Na siya po ay Justice na?

MR. BISNAR.  Naalam ko ho na Justice after the auction sale po.  Don ko lang na—

SEN. DRILON.  After the auction sale?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

SEN. DRILON.  Bago mag-auction sale, hindi mo narinig?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko ho sigurado e.

SEN. DRILON.  A ganon.  Alam mo po ba na si Renato Corona ay Associate Justice mula pa nung Abril 2002, hindi mo alam?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko po alam.  Hindi ko sigurado ho.

SEN. DRILON.  Ibig mong sabihin, nung nangyari ang auction sale nung September 30, 2003, mahigit nang isang taon at kalahati na Associate Justice si Renato Corona, hindi mo pa rin alam na siya ay Associate Justice?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko po sigurado.

SEN. DRILON.  Ano’ng ibig sabihing hindi ka sigurado?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi ko ho—Hindi ko talagang—kung Justice na nga siya non.

SEN. DRILON.  Pero ikaw ay nasa ilalim ng Judiciary?

MR. BISNAR.  Opo.

SEN. DRILON.  Hindi mo alam kung sino yung mga Justices?

MR. BISNAR.  Hindi naman po mame-memorize na po.

SEN. DRILON.  Sige.  Ganon na lang at mahirap—Marami kang hindi alam.

Salamat po, Ginoong Pangulo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any further questions?

The Gentleman from Pampanga.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

Just a clarification of the facts, both counsels of both parties may care to comment.

The sale of the property, the Basa Guidote property, was done in June of 2001.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Okay.  The writ—Jose Basa died in August of 2002.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  The writ of execution was in April of 2003.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  To include the auction sale.  April of 2003.

ATTY. GINEZ.  The auction sale is September 30, 2003.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Sorry.  The writ was issued in April of 2003.  In September of 2003, the sale of 90.7% of the Basa Guidote shares happened no.  So, that’s September 2003 in a public auction, Carla Castillo pays P28,000, and this is received by Christina Corona.

ATTY. GINEZY.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  And then sometime between September to December of 2003, Justice Corona receives a P11 million cash advance from Basa Guidote.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.  No, no.  I’m sorry, Your Honor.  The cash advance occurred between September 5 and September 30, 2003.  Because at the time the cash advance was drawn, the shares had not been sold to Carla Corona.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Okay.  So that’s the …

ATTY. ROY.  That is the connection …

SEN. PANGILINAN.  For the entry.

ATTY. ROY.  That is the reason why the P11,000 is reported in the SALN.  After September 30, the facts of the case of change because the shares are now owned by a different person.  The corporation is now controlled by a different person, Carla Castillo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By the way, Mr. Sherriff, how did you transfer the shares of stock of Basa Guidote to the buyer?

MR. BISNAR.  Through the certificate of sale lang po, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Certificate of sale?

MR. BISNAR.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Signed by you?

MR. BISNAR.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The shares of stock were not around when you sold the shares?

MR. BISNAR.  Wala po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Hindi nakalagay don ang number of certificate representing those shares?

MR. BISNAR.  Pakiulit lang po, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Hindi nakalagay don ang certificate number don sa Deed of Sale?

MR. BISNAR.  Wala po, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Basta nakalagay lang number of shares?

MR. BISNAR.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Hindi mo alam kung totoo yon o hindi?  Basta sinabi sayo ganon ang share ni Jose Basa?

MR. BISNAR.  Oho.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  O yon.  Sige.

ATTY. ROY.  May I proceed, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, in light of the many questions asked to the Sheriff, and the fact that it appears he has clarified the key issues that the defense has sought to adduce answers to the key issues that the defense has sought to address, I have no redirect.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, you are now discharging him.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor, if you have no further need for him, we request that he be discharged.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness is discharged.

ATTY. ROY.  Maraming salamat po, Sheriff.

ATTY. GINEZ.  Thank you, Sheriff.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are there other witness?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, before we proceed, may I be given a minute, there is an important matter that I would like to address to the honorable court and its members.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is that?

ATTY. ROY.  Well, the matter appears on page 57 of the Journal—52, I am sorry.  Anyway, Your Honor, on page 52, I was referring to, Your Honor, the mention of the $10 million, and from Senator Estrada, I believe, is on page 52 or paragraph 1, is it there?  I am sorry, my copy has mysteriously disappeared.

At any rate, Your Honor, I draw your attention to the $10 million that was mentioned by Senator Estrada, and as he put it, gentle recommendation, for the Chief Justice to testify in this connection.

Now, I wish to draw attention to the fact that this document is not a matter within the complaint.  Be that as it may, Your Honor, the defense is not going to skirt from this issue, if the honorable court is inclined that we should address this issue, if the honorable court is inclined to consider this matter in its deliberation, if the honorable court is inclined to make this form part of the basis of any verdict rendered here, we will willingly confront the issue.  For this reason, Mr. President, we have prepared a request for subpoena duces tecum ad testificandum against—I mean, we request that this be issued to …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Against whom?

ATTY. ROY.  … a certain Mr. Harvey Keh, a certain Ruperto Allerosa, a certain Gibby Gorres, a certain Rissa Hontiveros, former Representative Rissa Hontiveros, a certain Albert Concepcion, Congressman Walden Bello, a certain Ernest Calayag, a certain Moses Albiento, a certain Tristan Zinampan, and a certain Emmanuel Tiu-Santos.

In addition, Mr. President, we also request that a subpoena for similar purposes be issued to the Honorable Conchita Carpio Morales.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Put that down in writing.

ATTY. ROY.  We are filing the motion as we speak, Your Honor.  Now, the purpose, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What did you say?

ATTY. ROY.  We are filing the request now as long as the court will assure me that it is interested in this matter, we will make the request for the subpoena.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, we will.

ATTY. ROY.  But if the court should declare now that this is not part of this impeachment, then we will not bother, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, it is—we are not categorizing any asset as a illegally acquired asset, but it is still an asset that must be included in the SALN if it exist.

ATTY. ROY.  Precisely, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Now, the issue of whether it is legal or illegal is of the moment, the question is, does this asset exists, and if it does exists, was it included in the SALN.

ATTY. ROY.  Precisely, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And if it was not included in the SALN then ergo, it will be a violation of Article XVII, first sentence.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, if I may …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  ‘Di ba?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, if I may …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, I am asking you as a lawyer.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.  If the omission if malicious and fraudulent …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, there is no qualification in that sentence.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor, very well.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are interpreting it … I am using it as literally as I could.

ATTY. ROY.  Very well, Your Honor.  We do not argue over what the law says.  I just wish to point out that the matter of the $10 million has never been raised in the proceedings.  And this is an extraneous matter.  That is why …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct.

ATTY. ROY.  … I would like to be guided whether or not …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  Please respect this court.

ATTY. ROY.  Of course, Your Honor.  Always.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, you are not doing it because while this Chair is speaking, your voice is very high.

ATTY. ROY.  My apologies, Your Honor.  I was just trying to make sure that I could be heard audibly.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I can hear you very well.  I am not (?)

ATTY. ROY.  I apologize, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You understand?  I know your grandfather was Ilocano.

ATTY. ROY.  I apologize, Mr. President.  I did not mean to raise my voice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I would like to tell you frankly that any asset not included regardless of its characterization, whether it was legally obtained or illegally obtained is a function of the SALN.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And it must be included.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, if there is ten million and it is proven to be there or one dollar and not included, then it is a function of this court to interpret whether it constitutes a violation of Section 17’s first sentence of Article XI.

ATTY. ROY.  I concur, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you very much. With that, I take it that the court will entertain our request and act on it in due course.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. ROY.  Very well, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Submit the request and we will issue the subpoena.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, further, I would like to put on record now, that once these witnesses have put on record what they have to state under oath, we will present evidence to contradict, deny and rebut them through the testimony of the Chief Justice.  Now, we request that the subpoena be issued forthwith and that all the witnesses be heard first in order to avoid the staggered appearance on the part of the Chief Magistrate.  I am not certain, Your Honor, how quickly the honourable court can respond, but in light of this development, and by the way, Your Honor, I am also in receipt of a motion and request on the part of the prosecution asking that you be allowed to receive or certain documents be delivered to you.  I believe they are with respect to this matter.  I raised this up only to show the honourable court that we are ready to meet this issue head-on.  So, I would ask, Your Honor, if we could be given a continuance.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How about the …

ATTY. ROY.  We could be given a continuance.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How about the matters presented here earlier about PS Bank.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, when the Chief Justice testifies, I believe these questions can be propounded at that time.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. ROY.  I do not think there is any purpose of evasion on his part.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I am just asking a question.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, yes.  I wish to assure you of the forthright intention of the Chief Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I know that.  I know that.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We are happy that you are now cooperating with us.

ATTY. ROY.  It has always been our intention, Mr. President.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  Let him finish.  Are you through?

ATTY. ROY.  Well, Your Honor, in view of that …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Make the proper motion and I assure you, I will issue the subpoena tomorrow.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.  But we move for a continuance in order to prepare also because it is a fairly sudden development.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have no more witness for today.

ATTY. ROY.  None, none for today.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  What is the pleasure of the Gentleman from San Juan?

ATTY. ROY.  A forty-eight hour continuance, Mr. President.  There is not enough time, this is a considerable list of witnesses.  As soon as the subpoenas have been issued, we will proceed quickly, Mr. President.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Mr. President, if I may have the floor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, please.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Mr. Counsel, is my impression correct, is the Chief Justice going to appear—is willing to appear before this Court if and when this Court grants your request to subpoena this certain persons that you mentioned?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, while his statement is not to testify, is not conditional. I wish to make that clear, but he, himself, has also assessed the evidence against him and unless this particular matter is not raised formally under oath, he feels there will be really no need to testify to address the other issues, but if this particular matter is raised, then, he will be compelled to confront it directly also under oath.

SEN. ESTRADA.  My name was mentioned a while ago when I was inside the lounge that I mentioned regarding the alleged $10 million deposit.  Yes, it is true that I mentioned this alleged $10 million deposit when I appealed to the prosecution panel to let the respondent appear before this impeachment court.

Iyong $10 million na nailathala sa dyaryo, nasabi sa mga radio, na-T.V., kaya ko sinabi iyon if the Chief Justice can voluntarily answer the alleged—the allegations against this $10 million deposit. Ngayon, kung, if he is willing to answer this allegation regarding this deposit, then, if he can clear the issue, he can clear the air regarding this particular $10 million deposit, but I am not telling him to clarify it right away. Kung voluntary niyang sasabihin, ‘di mas madadali ang magiging desisyon nitong korteng ito.

ATTY. ROY. Iyon nga po ang mga instruction sa akin na ipaabot sa akin, na iyong ginagawa po sa kanyang pambabatikos sa labas, ay gusto niya pong harapin under oath.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Para po …

ATTY. ROY.  Haharap po sa inyo kung total iyong hong pagkabanggit ko sa inyo was in the best light possible at nanonood naman po siya noong time na iyon.

SEN. ESTRADA.  We can assure the Chief Justice if and when he appears before this impeachment court, we can assure you that he will be treated properly and deputing(?) his position as the Chief Justice of this country.

ATTY. ROY.  We do not doubt, but thank you very much , Mr. Senator.

SEN. ESTRADA.  And I know the Senate President will not allow him to be disrespected in this Court.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you very much, Mr. Senator, Mr. President.

May I also manifest, Your Honor, that the Chief Justice has issues regarding the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman over him but not jurisdiction of this Court that is why he is willing to testify here rather than engage in a World War or submit to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Alright. Let me clarify ha, you are going to ask this named persons by you to be subpoenad to be your witnesses.

ATTY. ROY.  As hostile witnesses.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As hostile witnesses. Okay. Including the Ombudsman.

ATTY. ROY.   Including the Honorable Ombudsman.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Alright.

ATTY. ROY.   Who appears to have knowledge of the $10 million.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Alright . Alright.  Ten million and other accounts.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Alright.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor, whatever allegation…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Other accounts, peso or dollar accounts pertaining to the respondent.

ATTY. ROY.  That is right.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Now, why do you include a member of the House like Mr. Walden Bello?

ATTY. ROY.  We understand, Your Honor, that he is the complainant before the Office of the Ombudsman and so, we suppose or we presume he has knowledge about this dollar accounts or whatever allegations he is making, so we would like to know.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    He is the only member of the House …

ATTY. ROY.  To my knowledge, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … that—complainant.

ATTY. ROY.  That is right.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    While we have been respecting the inter-parliamentary relation between the House and this House, between the House of Representatives and the Senate, I am willing to sign a subpoena to include him to appear here if he wants to appear as your witness …

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … in connection with this dollar account. Now, after the testimony of these persons as your witnesses, then, you will present the Chief Justice?

ATTY. ROY.  He will be one of the other witnesses.  We may present other witnesses.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes,

ATTY. ROY. But we will present the Chief Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. You will present the Chief Justice.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. ROY.  Definitely.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Continuance is granted.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the prosecution?

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. TUPAS.  With respect to—we just want to state three things for the prosecution.  First, is the request for—the request that will be filed by the defense as manifested this afternoon that some of the complainants or all the complainants in that Ombudsman case filed with the Ombudsman be subpoenaed and including the honourable Ombudsman herself which we reserve our right to follow  our comment on that.  But we are happy with that manifestation made by the defense today.

Second, the defense has mentioned about the motion requests filed by the prosecution today, and according to the defense it is a motion for us to allow the presiding officer to receive some documents—we just want to correct that, Your Honor, that as of this afternoon, we filed this motion and request, it is actually a motion that we are praying that we be furnished a copy of the letter of Mr. Harvey Kent(?) and attached documents as submitted to the presiding officer.  We just want to clarify that that is the motion filed by the prosecution, and it is not a motion asking the Senate President to receive the documents.

And lastly,

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I will respond.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Since the documents that were submitted to me were handed in a sealed envelope in my office, and I am not sure of the source of these documents, if you know the people who submitted them to me then you require them to furnish you with copies of the documents because I do not want to be a party to an  illegal act.  Alright.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

REP. TUPAS.  Actually, Mr. President, it is in our motion that it is based on the report, the media report that came from Mr. Harvey Kent.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If there is an illegality, a violation of the foreign currency deposit law, then, this Chair is not willing to be a participant to that.

REP. TUPAS.  We submit to the honourable presiding officer.

And lastly…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Now, since you know who are the people who brought that envelope to my office, then, they are being subpoenaed, I am going to issue the subpoena and we will compel them to submit a copy of the documents that they submitted to my office.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you very much, Your Honor.

Lastly, if I heard it correctly, counsel for the defense has pointed out or has moved for a continuance for 48 hours, is that correct?

ATTY. ROY.  This has been granted, Mr. President.

REP. TUPAS.  No, no, we haven’t heard it was granted.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I granted it.  Are you asking for a reconsideration?

REP. TUPAS.  We are asking for a reconsideration.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is your reason?

REP. TUPAS.  If it is within 48 hours, meaning there will be no hearing tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, there are pending witnesses who were already issued subpoena by this honourable court, and this matter that was brought off by the defense is different matter consisting of different witnesses, a set of witnesses who were already issued subpoena, and we can count, Your Honor, that there are at least three or four witnesses who were already issued subpoena by this honourable court and we would like to continue tomorrow…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who are those.

REP. TUPAS.  Well, Secretary of Justice Leila De Lima…

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why don’t we hear…

REP. TUPAS.  COA, from the Commission on Audit; La Vila, a certain La Vila…

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor…

REP. TUPAS.  From Ateneo, seller of Cubao property, certain Encina; and Atty. Pineda, the Clerk of Court, RTC, Makati.  They were all subpoenaed already, Your Honor, we would like to for the prosecution to continue tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, wait a minute.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, the relative importance of these witnesses failed in comparison to the urgency…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, but you still have to present them.

ATTY. ROY.  We may not even bother to…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute, let me finish.

REP. TUPAS.  If a…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let me finish first.  You have a panel of defense.  There are several lawyers in your panel.  My God!  Cannot one-half of you attend to the preparation of the subpoena that you are asking and interview all the witnesses that you want to present so that we can use up the—I agree with the proposal of the prosecution.

ATTY. ROY.  May I respond, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. ROY.  Mr. President, we may not even need to present the other witnesses.  We feel that we can dispense with them if given a chance to assess our position again.  In view of the sentiments expressed yesterday…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When are you going to present the—are you going to present the Secretary of Justice?

ATTY. ROY.  Actually we may not even…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then why not make a decision so that we can forego that.

ATTY. ROY.  We need to have a little time, Mr. President.  Yesterday’s events rushed us into a need to bring this matter forward regarding the $10 million, the issue of the $10 million so we are just requesting for the kind indulgence of the court.  After all, we are very willing to confront all the issues.  Now, if it’s just a matter of the remaining witnesses, Your Honor, I believe that this is more important.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Forty-eight- hour of continuance is granted and we will lengthen the period of the trial next week.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, before I move to adjourn, may we recognize Senator Franklin Drilon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Well, the counsel for the prosecution is trying to raise his hand.  We are willing to yield the floor.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you very much, Senator Drilon.  We just want to clarify that ruling, Mr. Presiding Officer—48 hours, meaning do we resume on Thursday or Monday?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We will resume on Monday.

REP. TUPAS.  So that’s next week, Monday next week.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Because we are supposed to have sessions tomorrow and  Thursday so we are foregoing two session days.  We will have our session on Monday.

REP. TUPAS. Thank you, Mr. Presiding Officer.  Thank you, Senator Drilon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s understood by the defense?

ATTY. ROY.  Very clearly, Mr. President.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

SEN. DRILON.  Just a few clarificatory questions, Mr. President, on Atty. Roy.

This is in relation to the PS Bank dollar account.  In the Journal of February 13, 2012, you confirmed that this bank account will be opened by the Chief Justice.

ATTY. ROY.  I believe, if I recall correctly, Senator, what I confirmed was that the Chief Justice  instructed us to make the statement that he would “speak up or open up”.

SEN. DRILON.  That is correct.  So, yes, you confirmed that the Chief Justice instructed you to open this bank account.

ATTY. ROY.  That is right, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  There are five dollar accounts in the PS Bank.  That is admitted and established on the record.

ATTY. ROY.  I am unaware that it is admitted, Mr. Senator.

SEN. DRILON.  In fact that was presented here in this court by the president of PS Bank except that the amounts were covered.

ATTY. ROY.  I believe, Mr. Senator, to be precise, that was his testimony.  I do not believe that the defense admitted the fact.  The court admitted the evidence if that is what you mean or received his testimony before the TRO was issued.

SEN. DRILON.  It’s on record that these accounts exist?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.

SEN. DRILON.  This on record that these accounts exist.

ATTY. ROY.  It is on record that that was the testimony of the president, Senator.

I’m sorry, Senator, I really do not know if they exist or not.  But I do agree with you that that was what the witness say.

SEN. DRILON.  Now, these dollar accounts were not opened.  And therefore, because of the TRO of the Supreme Court, we do not know the amounts there.  At least it is not on record.  Is that correct?

ATTY. ROY.  I suppose, Mr. Senator, yes.

SEN. DRILON.  Is it your position that since the amounts appearing in these accounts cannot, as of this time, be pried open, there is no obligation on the part of the Chief Justice to report this asset?

ATTY. ROY.  It is my position, Mr. Senator, …

SEN. DRILON.  No, can you answer me?  Is it your position that the Chief Justice does not have to report this asset in his SALN?

ATTY. ROY.  It is my position that Republic Act 6426 provides for the confidentiality.  It is also my position, Mr. Senator, not to be evasive, that if you ask this question to the Chief Justice, and he favors you with an answer, then that will be that.

SEN. DRILON.  Can you state categorically whether or not there is a dollar account in PSBank?

ATTY. ROY.  I cannot, Senator.  To tell you honestly, I do not know the truth of the matter.  To tell you honestly.

SEN. DRILON.  All right.  Assuming that there is that account, without you admitting it, assuming that there is that dollar account, and since it is covered by the confidentiality of the Bank Secrecy Deposit Law, is it your position that the Chief Justice is exempted from reporting this asset?

ATTY. ROY.  Based on my understanding of the law, Mr. Senator, anybody would be exempted from disclosing the dollar accounts.  That is my reading of the law.

Now, if, that it appears plain in the letter of the law that there is no qualification, anyone—That is my position.

SEN. DRILON.  That’s correct.  Yes.  It is your position and you equate confidentiality with non-disclosure.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.  In order for the protection of the law to be complete—by the owner, by the owner.

SEN. DRILON.  By the owner.  And, can you cite to me which particular provision of the Constitution or the law requiring the filing of the statement of assets and liabilities and net worth, which would justify this position that because of this confidentiality, you need not report an asset in the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Senator.  I would cite you Republic Act 6426.

SEN. DRILON.  Which is?

ATTY. ROY.  The law regarding the secrecy of foreign currency deposits.

SEN. DRILON.  The law on the secrecy of foreign deposits would exempt …

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.

SEN. DRILON.  … a government employee …

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.

SEN. DRILON.  … from revealing …

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  … the dollar account?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.

SEN. DRILON.  In the SALN?

ATTY. ROY.  In the SALN as well.

SEN. DRILON.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Pampanga.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Mr. President, this is just an administrative matter.

If I’m not mistaken, yesterday or the other day, the Senate President had publicly stated his desire to extend the hours of our proceedings so that we can, hopefully, terminate the proceedings before we go on sine die adjournment.  In fact, there was a proposal to have …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Not later than the 31st of this month.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes.  In fact, there was a proposal to have marathon hearings up to 10 in the evening.

Yesterday, Mr. President, we went through hearings until around before five o’clock.  And today, we will be ending in a few minutes, before six/six-thirty, and tomorrow we won’t be convening, and Thursday we won’t be convening.

So, my concerned, Mr. President, is perhaps this should be discussed in caucus in view of the development, and that we are now losing rather than gaining in terms of trial hours, that we adjust for next week and come up with a timetable that will make up for lost time, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We will have a caucus on Monday.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, the Gentleman from Misamis Oriental.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Thank you, Mr. President.

On February 13, if I am not mistaken, this court issued a resolution to respect the TRO of the Supreme Court dated February 9, 2012, in connection with the petition filed by PS Bank against the Senate sitting as impeachment court.  And the majority vote to respect was 13, 13 versus 10, and in light of this development, that you know, the dollar account of the Chief Justice are being discussed in the media, defense counsel has raised the possibility of the Chief Justice himself confronting the issue head on, so, I believe, Mr. President, and my colleagues, that it is time for us also now to really confront this issue of the dollar accounts, and since I premised my vote in that resolution on the reasoning that I want to give the Supreme Court time to correct itself, I said, I exercised Senatorial statesmanship, hoping that the Supreme Court will exercise Judicial statesmanship by withdrawing the TRO, but I think, a long period of time has passed and the Supreme Court has not acted on the TRO or lifted the TRO on the petition of the PS Bank.  Is that correct?

ATTY. ROY.  Mr. Senator, may I respond.  If I comprehend the tenor of what you are saying, you are going to ask the honorable court to reconsider its position on the TRO.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Right.

ATTY. ROY.  May I request that if there are any complications regarding the TRO, and any information is going to fall within the ambit of the TRO, let it be by waiver rather than by rejection.  Perhaps, that might be a more palatable turn of events, Mr. Senator.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Yes, but you know, it is my personal opinion, so, I also premised my vote on that ground, it is a temporary vote to—as far as I am concerned, to respect the TRO issued by Supreme Court.  Hence, I am informing the Senate President and my colleagues that I am reconsidering my vote, and it is from 13-10, it should now be counted as 12-11.  I am now voting in favour of enforcing our order for PS Bank and the other banks to now divulge to the impeachment court all data and information regarding the foreign currency accounts of the respondent, but it is still a minority decision.  And then, Your Honor, if possible, if we could revisit the resolution dated February 13 in a caucus on Monday.

I so move.

ATTY. ROY.  Mr. President, may I just …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.

ATTY. ROY.  Just a short statement, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, there is a promise here that the Chief Justice is coming to this court to testify.  And at that point, I assume, given his stature and the necessity, the importance of his credence as a magistrate to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God, and he hears this statement ever so often, when he presides over the proceedings of the Supreme Court, then, we may ask him at that point to motu propio tell, instruct the bank to release his bank accounts—the foreign currency bank accounts.  So, we will wait until that time.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we recognize Senator Lacson, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Cavite.

SEN. LACSON.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Since the defense panel team is here, I would like to ask you if the Chief Justice would be willing to, in effect, sign a waiver.

ATTY. ROY.  We did not go that far, Mr. Senator.

SEN. LACSON.  If he takes the witness stand and he will just invoke RA 6426, then we will go back to zero.

ATTY. ROY.  If I may, Mr. Senator, let us give him an opportunity to …

SEN. LACSON.  I am just asking the counsel.  Is there a possibility for you to convince the Chief Justice that when he takes the witness stand, he will, in effect, sign a waiver of his rights under RA 6426.?

ATTY. ROY.  There is a very strong possibility that he will disclose everything, Your Honor.

SEN. LACSON.  That is good enough for me, Mr. Counsel.  Thank you.

SEN. SOTTON.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  We take note of the motion filed by Senator Pimentel and the manifestation although we do not have a voting called, but nevertheless, we can take it up on Monday during the caucus.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Before we adjourn, I just want to find out if your purpose is really to make a full disclosure, and this is my understanding, correct me if I am wrong, of the bank accounts of the Chief Justice, why don’t you select just a few of those you mentioned to be subpoenaed to be presented as witnesses, who can substantiate the contents of the documents that they submitted to my office, so that we will shorten the hours of examining witnesses.

ATTY. ROY.  Precisely, Mr. President.  We intend to put to very good use the time you have granted us.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  Evaluate the witnesses.  You may not need the 11 people.

ATTY. ROY.  We request anyway that the subpoena be issued and we will make the according evaluation.  If they are merely corroborative, then obviously there will be no need.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, with that understanding.

SEN. SOTTO.  So, with that, Mr. President, may we ask the Sergeant-At-Arms to make an announcement.

THE SGT-AT-ARMS.  Please all rise.  All persons are commanded to remain in their places until the Senate President and the Senators have left the session hall.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we adjourn until 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon of May 14, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The motion to adjourn at the time and hour and date stated by the motion of the Majority Floor Leader is hereby approved.

HEARING ADJOURNED AT 6:08 p.m.