IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Wednesday, January 18, 2012

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

 

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

We shall be lead in prayer by Sen. Allan Peter ‘Compañero’ Cayetano.

PRAYER

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord.  And on his law, he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by a stream of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither whatever he does prospers.

Lord, Father, God, You have said, Lord, in the bible that when the wicked rule, people mourn.  But when the righteous rule, people rejoice.

We pray for a long season and time of rejoicing in our country.  Only You, Lord, know who the wicked are and who the righteous are, Lord, Father, God.

We pray that you will use the Senate, that You will use, Lord, Father, God, the impeachment trial to show us the truth, that we will favour only the truth, and will impart impartial justice.

We pray, Lord, that while this is being done, we may also, Lord, Father, God, continue to do our legislative duties and the Judiciary, the Legislative Department and Executive will be fully working, Lord, for the welfare of our people.

Bless each and every person involved in this endeavour to honor You, and to honor our democracy.

We lift these all up to You in the name of our Lord and God Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  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; Senate President Enrile.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With 19 Senators present in the Chamber, the Chair 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 may proceed.

THE SEARGENT-AT ARMS.  All presents are commanded to keep silent under pain of penalty while the Senate is seating 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 January 17, 2012 Journal of the Senate, seating as an Impeachment Court and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  (Silence)  There being none, the January 17, 2012 Journal of the court is hereby approved.  (Gavel)

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we ask the Secretary, Mr. President, to call the case.

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  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 parties and/or their respective counsel to enter their appearances.

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Your Honors.

For the House Prosecution panel, same appearances, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER..  For the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Magandang hapon po sa inyo, Kagalanggalang na Pangulo at sa Miyembro ng Senado bilang juror sa paglilitis na ito.  Magandang hapon  po sa inyong lahat.

We are entering on record, Your Honor, that we are representing the accused in this case and we make the same representation that we are counsel for the defense, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  We are now ready for the presentation of evidence by the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Secretary.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, please, Your Honors.

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

REP. TUPAS.  Yes.  Before we present our evidence, Your Honor, may we be given just a few minutes, Your Honor, for a very, very short manifestation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How many minutes do you want?

REP. TUPAS.  Two minutes or three minutes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have three minutes.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. Senate President.  We were directed yesterday to this honourable Tribunal the order or sequence of the Articles of Impeachment by which the prosecution will present its evidence during trial.  We just want to put on records, Your Honors, that the position here of  the prosecution is that, even in ordinary cases, the party presenting is given the flexibility, the discretion and wide latitude on the manner and order of presenting the evidence.  In fact, in a Supreme Case, it stated that the prosecution has discretion as to how to present its case and the right to choose whom it wishes to present as witnesses.  It is the position, Your Honors, of the prosecution that it is quite restrictive to predetermine the sequence.  This is an impeachment trial and with more reason, Your Honors, that we should be given latitude and flexibility.

Nevertheless, in good faith, to comply with the directive of this honourable Tribunal, that at least we give the sequence, we manifest that the prosecution will present Article 2 first, Article 1.  Article 2 is the statement of assets, liabilities and networth.  Then Article1.  Article 1 is the closeness to GMA and the voting record.  And then Article 7, Your Honors, which is the issuance of the temporary restraining order to enable GMA and her husband to escape.

So, right now, Mr. Senate President, we are manifesting that the first three Articles, we are ready, we commit that, and before we finish on Article 7 which is the third, we will inform this honourable Tribunal and the respondent.  They will be given time.  So, the objective here, Mr. President, is to search for the truth and we appeal to the Members of this honourable Body to give us that latitude, the flexibility. But, of course, alsol affording the respondent  the opportunity to defend himself.  With that manifestation, Your Honor, we submit, and now we are ready to call the first witness for Article 2.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you through?  Thank you very much.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you very much.  I would like to put into the record that this Court has no intention to —————.  The prosecution as well as the defense as to how they will present their case.  The only reason why we had some draw back yesterday it was because it was the thinking of the Court, of the Senate, sitting as a court, and I assume that that was also the thinking of people who have had extensive practice in the law courts of this country

that the complaint will follow or the prosecution will follow the order of proof as implied in the allegations of  the Articles of Impeachment and that is why this Chair  asked the prosecution why there was a variance of the order of the Articles of Impeachment in the presentation of proof and that was the reason because of the discussion yesterday.  Far from it we will give you all the leeways subject to the orderly conduct of the proceedings in this court.  We will be very lenient but we must see to it that there is some order in the proceedings.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you very much, Mr. Senate President.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The defense please.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Mr. President, before going into my rebuttal statement, Your Honor, kindly allow me to make a short manifestation in connection with some of our actuations during the entire proceedings, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have three minutes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There were quite a number of times, Your Honor, that when something is said or argued, we wanted to take the floor already and this is because we were accustomed in judicial proceedings.  But we notice that in the proceedings before this honourable body, Your Honor, before one could be recognized, there must be some sort of permission to be sought by the Floor Leader and this we were not mindful, Your Honor, because we consider this court as a constitutional court, Your Honor, and not merely a legislative part of the governmental machinery enacting bills for purposes of enacting laws, Your Honor.  It is precisely why there are times when we wanted to butt in, there were times we wanted to make the counter argument and this is not manifested by any desire to violate or in any way degrade the authority of this honourable court..  It was never intentional.  It is probably because of our training as a judiciary man and also before the court of justice, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is noted.  But I would like to assure you that henceforth, you may address directly both the prosecution panel as well as the defense may address directly the Chair whenever you want to say something in connection with the ongoing proceedings.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Now, there were some sort of a statement or manifestation on the part of the honourable counsel for the private prosecution, Your Honor, that apparently there was an authority granted to the prosecution to make a realignment of the different Articles of Impeachment which will be the subject of their presentation of evidence.  This I fail to apprehend, Your Honor, because we were made to understand yesterday and it was our impression that the entire proceedings will be governed by what appears in our pleadings, Your Honor.  They started with grounds number one and so on down the line.  When we were made to answer, Your Honor, we were labouring under the assumption that this order of allegation will be same or carried through in the presentation of their evidence.  If there will be any alteration, Your Honor, if there will be any deviation from this, permit me to say, Your Honor, and with due apologies to this court that there will be a violation of the constitutional right of the respondent to due process, Your Honor.  Why?  Because he had been duly informed  of the matters that will be taken up, the sequence thereof and the presentation of evidence, Your Honor.  We wanted to believe and we ask permission that they were not joking when they made this statement, when they made these allegations, Your Honor.  They were embodied in here, there were solemn assertions and declarations upon which we could rely, Your Honor.  So, there is no reason as to why the order of presentation should now be changed, Your Honor.  Now, I seem to hear yesterday, Your Honor, that the purpose is allegedly number two  which deals with SALN and the illegal wealth, Your Honor, is more paramount to them because apparently this is the demand of the public, Your Honor.

I do not subscribe with that kind of reasoning, Your Honor.  I hope you pardon me for this because we are not dealing with this impeachment proceedings in order to satisfy the public, Your Honor, in order to satisfy the common man.

In fact, it is very clear under the oath of the Members of this honourable tribunal that this impeachment complaint or this impeachment proceedings shall be done utmost impartiality and with due respect to the Constitution and the law of the land, not what to follow the dictates of the common man, to follow the dictates of the people and the state, Your Honor.

Now, may I be allowed Your Honor, to say why we are not amenable to the deviation from this rule.

First, the issue of Article II, Your Honor, which is allegedly the SALN, the illegally acquired wealth, Your Honor, is or could be found in paragraph 10 and 11 of their—In paragraph 10, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Paragarah 2.2, Your Honor, it is stated, “Respondent failed to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth as required by the Constitution.

If we go deeper into the import and denotation of this particular allegation, the essence of the imputation is the failure to disclose.  Nothing mentioned about the problem of illegally acquired wealth.

Paragraph 2.3, it states, and may I be permitted to read for the record, Your Honor, and by way of emphasis, “It is also reported,” we underscore the word reported, “that some of the properties of the respondent are not included in his declaration of assets, liabilities and net worth in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.”

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I give you an additional one minute to wind up.

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

Paragraph 2.4 say, “Respondent is likewise suspected and accused of having accumulated ill-gotten wealth, acquiring assets and so on with huge deposits.”  It has been reported.

In other words, this allegation gravitates or centers on the alleged suspicion, on the alleged report which cannot be accepted as valid allegations in cases ofpleadings required by our Rule of Procedure because our Rule of Proceeding states that the pleadings should contain a brief concise statement of the ultimate facts upon which the pleader relies.  On the part of the plaintiff or discourse of action on the part of the defendant for his defense.

It has been ruled on so many occasions that report and suspicion cannot form part of allegations of the ultimate fact because they cannot be relied upon.

Secondly, if we examine the verification that they are claiming in this case, they never stated they appealed the report and so on and so on.

So, to us, it will be a deprivation of our right to continue presenting evidence in this court by reason of the fact that they would be allowed to present evidence of this matter without any resolution before this honourable court on whether these are in accordance with the procedure laid down by our Rules of Court and Rules of Procedure, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you through, counsel?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you very much.

The Chair would like to plead for understanding by both parties about the proceeding.  We cannot waste our time arguing with these technicalities.

I am sure that as seasoned lawyers, we can handle the situation as it comes inside a courtroom whether the starting point of the presentation of the proponent of the case is anywhere within the allegations in the complaint, the defense, I am sure that they are prepared properly, could meet the challenge.  So, may I appeal to you that let us proceed with the merits of this case so that the people will not think that we are delaying this proceeding.  The Chair, therefore, rules that since yesterday there was a request to reorder the burden of proof to be done by the prosecution, which they have done now, let us comply with that now, and I order that it be so.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.  We will abide.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.  Proceed with the presentation of your witnesses.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you very much, Mr. Senate President.  May we request the honoroble Body to call our first witness, and we call on the Clerk of the Supreme Court. We have requested a subpoena the other day.  It was issued by this honourable Tribunal yesterday and we were informed that the Clerk of the Supreme Court is present.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you please state into the record the first witness that you want to call and let us see whether  they have answered the subpoena.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honors, the first witness of the prosecution is the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court in the Chamber?

REP. TUPAS.  The name is Ms. Enriquieta Vidal, Your Honors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will the Clerk of Court ask if the person summoned to appear here to become a witness for the prosecution is in the Court room.

REP. TUPAS.  We were informed, Mr. Senate President, that she was in the coding room a few minutes ago.  She is here.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I request the Page to bring her inside the court room and administer the oath to her.

THE SECRETARY.  I, Atty. Enriquieta Vidal, swear that the evidence you will give in the case pending between the Philippine Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  So help you God.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. Senate President, may we now request that the lead private counsel for the prosecution, Atty. Mario Bautista, be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Atty. Mario Bautista is recognized.  You may proceed to direct your questions to the witness.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you very much, Mr. Senate President.  Good afternoon, Your Honors.  With your permission.

Atty. Vidal, thank you very much for joining us this afternoon.

Q         How long have you been Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, may we remind the counsel for the prosecution of the requirements of the Rules of Court in connection with the presentation of any witness.  The purpose of the offer must be stated on record, Your Honor.  And that is not dispensed with simply because this is an impeachment Court, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  Please state the purpose for which this witness is being presented.

REP. BAUTISTA.  Thank you for the reminder, Justice Cuevas.  But I was not sure how applicable the Rules of Court would be in an impeachment case.  But thank you for the reminder.  Applies suppletorily …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The rules of evidence are applied here … no, they are applied here.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Not merely suppletorily because ..

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I am sorry, I am sorry.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We have no rules  of evidence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yeah.  We have no rules, nothing to be supplemented.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  For the record, Your Honor, the Senate rules expressly provides the Rules of Court are suppletorily applicable.  Anyway, may I proceed, Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please proceed.

ATT. BAUTISTA.  The witness is being called for the purpose or for testimony on the allegations in Article II regarding the submission of the statement of assets and liabilities and net worth of the Chief Justice and the compliance by the Chief Justice  and/or the Clerk of Court with respect to making such SALNs accessible to the public, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is the only purpose.  If Your Honor please, I just wanted to clarify.  Is that the only purpose?  So that we can properly object and utilize  our objection to prevent elicitation of further testimony not pursuant to the purpose, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I remind counsel that the purpose has been stated already and if in the course of the direct examination an objection is proper, then the objection be made.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Your Honor.  May I proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I think I asked a question earlier, Ma’am.  How long have you been a Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court?

MS. VIDAL.  I have been the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court  since September 24, 2010.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Before you became Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court, can you give us briefly a history of your employment and professional background please.

MS. VIDAL.  I was the division Clerk of Court of the First Division before I became the Clerk of Court  of the en banc.

ATTY. BAUTISTAT.  How long were you Division Clerk of Court, Madam?

MS. VIDAL.  I was Division Clerk of Court sometime in 2004, 2205.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And prior to that, what was your position in the Supreme Court.

MS. VIDAL.  I was the Assistant Division Clerk of Court.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  For how long, Madam?

MS. VIDAL.  Since 1994.  I am not very sure about the dates.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And prior to that as Assistant Division Clerk of Court , what were you, Ma’am?

MS. VIDAL.  I held the position of Assistant Chief of the Administrative Office of the Supreme Court.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And prior to being the Assistant Chief of the Administrative Office of the Supreme Court, what position did you hold, if any?

MS. VIDAL.  I held several positions.  I worked with several justices of the Supreme Court like as a legal researcher.  I worked with then Associate Justice Hilario Davide Jr.  I also worked with Associated Justice Roberto Nocon.  I also worked with Associate Justice Leo Medialde, with then Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando and Associate Justice Ovenal Guerrero.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you.  Did you ever work with Chief Justice Renato Corona?

MS. VIDAL.  No, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  When were you appointed as Clerk of Court again?

MS. VIDAL.  September 24, 2010.  I took my oath of office on September 24, 2010

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, Ma’am’, how many years in total have you been with the Supreme Court?

MS. VIDAL.  I have been with the Supreme Court for about 36 years.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Wonderful.  You are, of course, aware that under Republic Act 6713, the SALN of the justices of the Supreme Court are submitted to you.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Do you keep a file of this SALN?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, our office keeps a file of the SALN.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Can you tell us step by step the process by which a SALN is submitted or initiated for submission to your office by a specific justice.

MS. VIDAL.  Since I became a Clerk of Court, we have a receiving section where the SALN of the respective Justices are sent and are duly filed.

Some of the Justice sometimes call me to swear to the SALN.  Others maybe swear their SALN before other court officials.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The SALNs are submitted before the end of April 30 of the year, right?

MS. VIDAL.  Before April 30.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Is it your practice that you go to the Justice and ask or remind him for the SALN’s submission or they unilaterally come over to you and submit?

MS. VIDAL.  They unilaterally file their SALN.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And how is this done, generally?  Do they have a clerk submit their SALN to your office?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes.  They send it over after being subscribed and sworn to.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The subscription and signature is either before you or before another …

MS. VIDAL.  Yes.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.  And who in your office receives the SALN?

MS. VIDAL.  Now, during my time, it is the receiving section.  But I understand, before my time, there was another person in charge of the SALN.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  But as you know, it is the Office of the Clerk of Court to whom the SALN is supposed to be filed, right?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, the receiving section is the receiving section of the Clerk of Court?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Who is the present receiving section clerk for warrant of another term?

MS. VIDAL.  Her name is Juliet Acia.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Can you please spell her last name, ma’am?

MS. VIDAL.  A-C-I-A.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  A-C-I-A.  How long has she been the receiving section clerk or administrator of your office?

MS. VIDAL.  I really do not know because I came to that office only last 2010.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And she was already there?

MS. VIDAL.  And she was already there.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And when she receives a SALN file, what does she do?

MS. VIDAL.  She gives it to me or to the Deputy Clerk of Court.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Does she sign ‘received’ …

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  … on the copy that is—another copy is left with the submitting Justice I suppose?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  How many copies do you receive?

MS. VIDAL.  We usually get one or more copy.  It depends on them.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, the receiving clerk by the name of Juliet Acia physically receives the SALN and she signs both the filed copy and the copy of the submitting Justice?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Aside from that, does she indicate the date?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Does she indicate the time?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  On both copies?

MS. VIDAL.  I suppose so.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Is there a receiving machine in the office which will indicate formal receipt of the SALN?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, all the SALNs in your file have the signature of Ms. Acia?

MS. VIDAL.  No, Your Honor, because as I said before, there is another clerk in charge of receiving the SALN before.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I’m sorry.  I missed that.  But, what I meant was, since Ms. Juliet Acia became the receiving clerk, all the copies, the copy that she receives and the copy which is kept by the submitting Justice should bear her signatures, the date and the time received, plus the stamp of the receiving machine?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And once she receives this stamped, signed, dated, timed copy of the SALN, what does she do with it?

MS. VIDAL.  She gives to it to the clerk of court or to the deputy clerk of court.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  How does she give it to you?  Physically?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, physically.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And do you receive it formally?

MS. VIDAL.  No, I don’t receive it anymore because the office has already received it.  I just ask the one in charge to keep it.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Who is the one in charge you ask to “keep it”?

MS. VIDAL.  You mean the name?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.

MS. VIDAL.  Verna Albano.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, it is possible that you are not even aware if a particular Justice has filed his SALN or not.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That asks for a conclusion, Your Honor.

MS. VIDAL.  No.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It is not a solicitation of a factual matter, Your Honor.  So, we place on record our objection, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Reform the question.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Your Honor, may I beg your pardon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Reform the question.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Can you please read back the question I asked.  That is the usual procedure in court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But the ruling is reform the question.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I am sorry.  So, it is possible, Ma’am, that the received copy of the SALN goes directly to Verna Albano without your knowledge.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We still object, Your Honor.  That asks for an opinion,  Witness is presented here not as an expert, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness may answer, if she knows.

MS. VIDAL.  The SALN is first given to me and I am the one who gives it to Verna Albano.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I see.  Because my understanding earlier by your statement is that sometimes Ms. Asiya gives it directly to Ms. Albano.

MS. VIDAL.  No, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, now, you are saying that Ms. Asiya gives it first to you and then you give it to Ms. Albano.  Is that …

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And would you know what Ms. Albano does with the SALN?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Witness is incompetent, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Your Honor please.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I thought she was presented here only for purposes of bringing …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  To avoid argument, please lay your premise in asking the question.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Would you or would you not know what Ms. Albano does with the SALN once she receives it?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Still asking for an opinion, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I am just asking if she knows or not.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Precisely, I am objecting.  There is nothing that will prevent me from objecting, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  It is true.  It is a question of solicitation of facts.  So, if she knows, she may answer.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, she keeps it in her files, in the files of the office.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  In the files of the office.  Is this inside the vault or inside a cabinet?

MS. VIDAL.  Inside a cabinet.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Her cabinet?  Who keeps the key to this locked cabinet?

MS. VIDAL.  I keep the lock.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  You keep the lock.  You keep the key to the lock.  Do you have a registry or a logbook of all the SALNs that are filed with your office?

MS. VIDAL.  None, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  You have none.  So, it is possible that you may not be aware if a particular SALN has been filed or not?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Again, the question calls for an opinion, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is a hypothetical question.  Reform the question.  Hypothetical question.  Please reform the question.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, you have no logbook, you have no registry of the SALNs being filed in your office as you earlier stated.

MS. VIDAL.  None, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Now, you earlier testified that before Juliet Asiya, the submitted SALNs by the Justices are given to “another person”, correct?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor, for filing.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  For filing.

MS. VIDAL.  For physical filing.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  To which office does this other person belong.

MS. VIDAL.  In my office also.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Also in the office of the Clerk of Court.

MS. VIDAL.  In my office.  Office of the Clerk of Court.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Before it was Ms. Asiya, who was that other person?

MS VIDAL.  What do you mean>

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  What is the name of that other person?

MS. VIDAL.  Verna Albano.  Verna Albano is the one who receives it from me.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  No, Ms. Witness, Madam Witness, you earlier said that in your office, the receiving section, it is presently received by Ms. Asiya.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  But you said that before her, there was another person who used to receive it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we know the materiality of the question, Your Honor.  Because all the while we were of the impression …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please, please explain the materiality of your question.  What is …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The materiality of the question …

JUSTICE CUEVEAS.  Whether … I am sorry.  I am sorry, Your Honor, my apology.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  The materiality of the question, Your Honor, is that we would want to secure the security and authenticity of these SALNs because these SALNs have been requested for months and if they have not been secured, they are very susceptible to…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness  may answer.

MS. VIDAL.  I was not the Clerk of Court then but my understanding, it was filed directly with Verna Albano.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Who was not the Clerk of Court.

MS. VIDAL.  No.  I mean it was filed directly for receiving so she was the one who stamped received on the SALN.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, you have personal knowledge that even during the time of Ms. Albano, she would  likewise stamp receive, put the time and put it into the receiving machine.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Who was the Clerk of Court at that time?

MS. VIDAL.  Prior to me it was Atty. Ma. Luisa Villarama.  And then prior to Atty. Ma. Luisa Villarama, it was Atty. Luzviminda Puno.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And Ms. Albano was the receiving clerk during…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just ot clarify.  Madam Witness, are all these people under your supervision and control?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Verna Albano was the receiving clerk for which Clerk of Court, Ma’am?

MS. VIDAL.  Probably during the time of—I am not very sure but probably during the time of Atty. Villarama or may be even Atty. Puno.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And where were these SALNs kept, the ones that were filed before you became Clerk of Court.

MS. VIDAL.  These SALNs are kept in a steel filing cabinet with a lock.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And who has the key or the combination or control of this steel cabinet with a lock?

MS. VIDAL.  During my time, it is the Clerk of Court and the Deputy Clerk of Court each holds a key to the steel cabinet.  And also we just recently place them in a vault.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Have you done any recent inventory of the SALNs that you have in that vault?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I think, Your Honor, with the kind permission of the Chairman, this is going too far already, Your Honor, because apparently there is an imputation.  If we follow the logic of the questioning, Your Honor, there may be some tampering, there may be some allegation of misdoing in connection with this SALN.  But there is no evidence yet.  That is his mere assumption or suspicion.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Counsel, you better reform your questions because the tendency is you are actually impeaching this witness without establishing the fact that she is a hostile witness.  So, you cannot impeach your own witness.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.  As Clerk of Court, Madam, to whom do you directly report?

MS. VIDAL.  I have 15 Justices to report to.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  But administratively, who is the head of the 15 Justices?  Is it not the Chief Justice?

MS. VIDAL.  The Chief Justice, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So administratively, your “boss” is the Chief Justice.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And he can give you orders on administrative matters.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  How long have you known the Chief Justice?

MS. VIDAL.  I’ve known him since he came to the court but I cannot assure that he knows me also at the same period.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Very humble, Ma’am.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is very complimenting but does not concur with the question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please avoid side remarks, Counsel,…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … so that we will not be disturb by objections on these matters.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor, sorry.

Are you aware, Madam Witness, of the resolution of the Supreme Court in 1989 in connection with the guidelines for the release or publication of the SALN?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  How long have you been aware of that?

MS. VIDAL.  I can’t remember, but as division clerk of court, I am already aware of this.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  When you received the subpoena for attendance today, what did you do?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Too general, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The defense counsel, may I beg your indulgence.  You’re attending to impeach your own witness.  If you want to qualify him for purposes of impeachment, there are rules, and you may do so.

He is not a hostile witness represented into to testify on facts for your case.  And until you can establish before this court that she is a hostile witness, you have no right to, in effect, cross-examine this witness.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Your Honor, I am just asking, with due respect, what she did when she received the subpoena.  I am not at all impeaching her, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  My objection, Your Honor.  If we may be allowed to reiterate it, Your Honor, is that the question is too general.  It gives the witness a lack of opportunity to deal on so many things.

For instance, I consulted a lawyer.  I went to sleep.  I took my lunch.  Too general, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  She’s an intelligent witness.  She can answer the question.

MS. VIDAL.  I do, as I always do in such instances.  I placed the subpoena in the agenda of the court.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If I may know, what did the court do with the subpoena request?

MS. VIDAL.  I received the subpoena at past two yesterday afternoon and the agenda of the court was in the morning.  So, it will still be included in the next agenda of the court.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I’ll just make it of record, Your Honor, with the kind permission of the honourable Presiding Justice that there was no sufficient time for this witness to study and get into the records and receptacle of these records, Your Honor.

That is just a manifestation, Your Honor.

Do you Justice, do you have personal knowledge of that?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I impose on the counsels to please speak one by one.

Second, Mr. Defense Counsel, the witness on the stand is an intelligent witness.  She can answer this question what’s being propounded to her.  So, please allow the counsel of the prosecution to direct the question.

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

MS. VIDAL.  I directed the inclusion of the subpoena in the agenda of the court.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And you said that the items in that agenda have not yet been taken up?

MS. VIDAL.  Not yet, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Now, the subpoenas sent to you, ma’am, includes the submission of the SALNs of Chief Justice Corona for the years 2002 to 2011.  Did you bring those SALNs with you?

MS. VIDAL.  Your Honor, in view of the resolution of the court en banc on May 2, 1989, I am restricted because it says here in one of the guidelines that all witness for statements of assets, liabilities will have to file with the clerk of court.  It means that it will only be filed with me.  Whether or not it should be given will depend on the court.  And it is not within my competence to decide whether the purpose of the request is followed.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes.  So, you are considering the subpoena from the impeachment court as a request?

MS. VIDAL.  It’s an order for me to produce the SALN.  But then, it partakes also of a request for the SALN.

I do not have any discretion to decide for myself being guided by this resolution of the dated May 2, 1989.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  You mentioned, Madam Witness, that you are familiar with the en banc resolution of May 1989.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  May I read to you Number 2 of that resolution, second sentence into the records, Your Honor.  “Under specific  circumstances, the need for a fair and just adjudication may require a court to be wary of receptive requests for information which shall, otherwise, be freely available.  When the request is directly or indirectly traced to a litigant, lawyer or interested party in a case pending before the court, or where the court is reasonably certain that a disputed matter will come before under circumstances from which it may also be reasonably assumed that the request is not made in good faith, and for a legitimate purpose but to fish for information and with implicit threat of its disclosure to influence a decision or to warn the court of the unpleasant consequences of an adverse judgment, the request may be denied.”

Madam Witness, do you consider the subpoena from this impeachment court to fall under paragraph 2?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please …

MS. VIDAL.  It is not within my competence.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  It is not within your competence.

MS. VIDAL.  It is within the competence of the court.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  You said, Madam Witness, that you are familiar with RA 6713.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  May I read to you, Accessibility of Documents.  “Any and all statements …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, are you cross-examining this witness or you are …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  No, Your Honor.  I am just wondering why she did not …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, then, ask her why she was not able to bring the SALN so that she can make an explanation?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  She already said …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I beg to intervene.  Tendency of your question is to examine her.  It is improper.  In a direct examination, for the presenting lawyer, the lawyer presenting the witness to cross-examine his own witness.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I am not cross-examining, with due respect.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But that is the tendency of your question.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Your Honor, the witness has testified that she is under the direct control and supervision of the Chief Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then qualify her as a hostile witness so that you can propound cross-examination questions.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.  May I just continue to read the provision of RA 6713, Your Honor please.  “Any and all statements filed under this act shall be made available for inspection at reasonable hours.  Such statements shall be made available for copying or reproduction after ten working days at the time they were filed as required by law.”

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we be informed of the purpose of the question, Your Honor.  Because as observed by the honourable Presiding Officer, Your Honor, it seems that this is to lay the predicate in order to impeach a witness, Your Honor.  And we are fully aware, Your Honor, of the rules of evidence Your Honor.  Unless, unless, the witness had been impeached, then there is no permission or there is no license to ask leading questions or questions that will degrade the character of the witness, Your Honor.  We submit that as of this moment, there is no showing that the witness is a hostile witness.  It is only upon that showing that he can be cross-examined, Your Honor.  That is our point of objection, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor please, the SALN law requires not just a mere filing of the SALN but that these SALNs must be made publicly accessible and the witness has already testified that she is under the direct control and supervision of the Chief Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I remind counsel of Section 10 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Evidence.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please apply the Rule.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If you want to direct those kinds of questions on this witness, then qualify her as a hostile witness.  There is a technique to do that.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.  If I may proceed.

I repeat, Your Honor.  We are not impeaching her, we are asking her who has given her the instructions or the direction not…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But this court is impressed by the nature of the  question as an impeaching question.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So reform the question.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Ms. Witness, during your time as Clerk of Court, would you be aware how many requests for access to theSALNs have been made?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we know the purpose of the question, Your Honor.  Because supposing there is only one, supposing there are 100, there are 1,000, will it make the difference?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, because it will show that there a violation of the SALN because these SALNs are not being made accessible to the public as required by law.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And you are blaming your witness now.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  No.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Then decidedly…

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  She is acting under the control and supervision of the Chief Justice, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We submit, Your Honor, improper for…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I read to you the pertinent provision.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  “Leading and misleading questions.  A question which suggests to the witness the answer which the examining parties desire is a leading question.  It is not allowed except on cross-examination on preliminary matters  when there is a difficulty in getting a direct and intelligible answer from the witness who is ignorant or a child of tender years or is feeble-minded or deaf-mute, often unwilling or hostile witness or of a witness who is an adverse party, then you lay the basis so that you can cross-examine that witness in all respect.”

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Your Honor please, with due respect, I don’t believe my questions are leading questions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I am not saying that they are leading questions but the tendency is the counsel is in effect cross-examining the witness which is improper in a direct examination.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Counsel, you can frame your question in such a manner that you are eliciting facts not arguing the witness.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.  My question is simply, do you have any information of any requests for the SALN submitted to your office.

MS. VIDAL.  The records of the Clerk of Court en banc shows that we have received several requests for the SALN.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  About how many requests would that be?

MS. VIDAL.  I cannot remember anymore but I have them with me.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Physically now?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  How many did you bring with you

MS. VIDAL.  I really don’t know how many but, more or less, we have received requests for SALN about maybe less than 10.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  For what period is that, Madam?

MS. VIDAL.  May 2, 1989.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And would you know how these requests been disposed of?

MS. VIDAL.  In view of this resolution of May 2, 1989, the Clerk of Court always place them in the agenda.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So you are not the one making the decision on whether to release these SALNs or not?

MS. VIDAL.  No, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  No.  Thank you.  What documents did you bring with you, Ma’am?

MS. VIDAL.  Just some notes on several requests for SALN and the court action on them.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  May we examine them, please?

MS. VIDAL.  Just my notes only.  They are my notes only.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Sorry, my understanding was that you had the actual requests.

MS. VIDAL.  No.  But I placed in the rollo of the court …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you.

MS. VIDAL.  … which we are not allowed to bring out.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, these requests are also registered or recorded in a log book?

MS. VIDAL.  They are included in the rollo of the AM matter.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Forgive me.  Can you please describe on a step by step process how a request for a SALN is received by your office?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am apprehensive to make an objection, Your Honor, but the demands of justice and in fairness to the impeached public official, I am placing on record my objection to the—  Because these are impertinent, immaterial and irrelevant to the subject under consideration, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness may answer.  She is just asked to described the manner the procedure of …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay.  Submitted, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  .. the request for the release of the SALN.

MS. VIDAL.  When we receive any request for SALN, we place the pleading or the motion or the letter for that matter in the rollo of the case where there are other requests for SALN are also reported.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And after placing it in the rollo, what do you do with it?

MS. VIDAL.  They are included in the agenda of the court.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  But you do have a file of all these requests?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes.  The court—In our office, we have a file.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Are they also kept in a vault or a safe?

MS. VIDAL.  No, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute, Mr. Counsel.  I just want to clarify.  When you say place it in the agenda, for what purpose is it placed in the agenda of the court?

MS. VIDAL.  The matter is placed in the agenda of the court for its appropriate action and information.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Matters placed in the agenda of the court are under the disposition of the court?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed, counsel.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  So, Madam witness, you do not consider it your obligation under the SALN law to make any decisions with respect to disposition of request for SALN?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  For direct examination, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  She has already answered that she’s incompetent to do that.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, thank you, Your Honor.

Your Honor, please, may we reserve right to subpoena the individuals earlier mentioned by the witness and the other documents which were referred to during her testimony?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you please clearly state into the record your request for subpoena.  Who are to be subpoenaed?  What documents are to be brought in?  So that the ___ and that proper orders will be issued.

SUSPENSION OF HEARING

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In the meantime, session is suspended for one minute.  (Gavel)

It was 3:09 p.m.

The hearing resumed at 3:18 p.m.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The trial is resumed.

Where were we?  Before we start, may I just make a correction.  The Chair was not clear in citing the pertinent provision ofothe Rules of Evidence.  I was referring to Section 10 of Rule 132 in relation to Section 12 where it says the party producing a witness is not allowed to impeach the credibility of the witness except witnesses referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e) of Section 10, meaning hostile witness and adverse witness

So where were we?  The private counsel for the prosecution was presenting his witness.  Is the witness already in?  Not yet?  We will wait for her.

Trial is suspended to wait for the witness.

It was 3:20 p.m.

RESUMPTION OF HEARING

At 3:20 p.m., the hearing was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial resumed.

Counsel, proceed.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Your Honor.

With respect …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We were at that point where we were supposed to state into the record the names of the witnesses that you want to be subpoenaed, as well as the documents that want to be covered by a subpoena.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please state into the record.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Your Honor, please, instead of stating it into the record, may we just ask for a written request?  We probably submit it by tomorrow, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So ordered.  (Gavel)

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please.

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

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If the witness so to be presented, Your Honor, will be testifying tomorrow, then we are sorry to state for the record.  But they must be given enough time together with our observation and probably opposition to the subpoena that may be issued, Your Honor.

We are not opposed, Your Honor, to the issuance of the subpoena but we are pleading before this honourable court is to be given time within which to peruse the same and make our objection.  Because subpoena duces tecum requires a showing that the documents ought to be presented are material …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.

May I request the counsel for the prosecution …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … to identify the witness to be subpoenaed …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes we will, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … and the documents to be presented so that they will have enough time from hereon to prepare …

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … cross-examination of the witness, as well as the documents.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

As Justice Cuevas knows, we copyfurnish the defense whenever we make a request for subpoena, and the date for the presentation of the witness and the documents, we will ___ so that you will have time to oppose if you so wish.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you for the accommodation.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, proceed.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I just have one last question, ma’am.  Before you came over, did any of the Justices speak with you?

MS. VIDAL.  No, Your Honor.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, very much.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you through with the witness?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any cross?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No cross, Your Honor, for the defense.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness is discharged.  (Gavel)

The distinguished Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Thank you, Mr. President.

I wish to avail of the two minutes allowed under our Rules ____

Madam witness, did I hear you correctly that the subpoena issued by this court was submitted to the Supreme Court for their disposition?

MS. VIDAL.  I am actually asking for authorization.

SEN. DRILON.  And if no authorization is issued, you will not bring the documents ordered by this court to be perused?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are sorry to object, Your Honor.  The question is hypothetical, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The distinguished Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Thank you, Mr. President.  I wish to avail the two minutes allowed under our Rules to ask questions on the witness.

Madam Witness, did I hear you correctly that the subpoena issued by this court was submitted to the Supreme Court for their disposition?

MS. VIDAL.  I am actually asking for authorization.

SEN. DRILON.  And if no authorization is issued, you will not bring the documents ordered by this court to be produced?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am sorry to object, Your Honor.  The question is hypothetical, Your Honor.  Veryl hypothetical.

SEN DRILON.  Your Honor, how can this Counsel object?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am sorry, Your Honor.  I thought we are allowed to go that far, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  This Counsel is overdoing it.  He is objecting to the question of a Judge?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The question tends to elicit an answer from the witness of the prosecution.

SEN. DRILON.  Of course.  We want to have an answer to this question.  The Court issued a subpoena and we are part of the court.  So, we are asking the question from the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I beg the indulgence of the Counsel.  A Member of this House of the Senate is entitled to ask questions to the witnesses presented and to the counsel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  I realize that.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is their privilege.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I realize that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This is a new forum where lawyers operate.  So we understand.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I apologize especially to Senator Drilon, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The distinguished Gentleman from Iloilo may proceed.

SEN. DRILON.  I already forgot my question, Your Honor.  Again, this subpoena duces tecum requires you, Madam, to produce the sworn statements of assets and liabilities and networth (SALN) of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona for the years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.  And you said you submitted this to the court for their disposition.  Now, if the Court does not approve this subpoena, are you going to bring these documents to the court?

MS. VIDAL.  I follow the resolution of the Court dated May 2, 1989.

SEN. DRILON. Please answer my question, yes or no.  Will you bring it if the Court does not authorize you to bring them?

MS. VIDAL.  The Supreme Court has its rules which is a co-equal body as the Senate.

SEN. DRILON.  So, you will not …

MS. VIDAL.  I am awaiting instructions from the Court.

SEN. DRILON.  Assuming that the instruction is not to authorize in consistence with the Resolution, to bring the SALN of the Chief Justice, you will not obey the subpoena of this Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness, I must remind you that while we respect the separation of powers, we obey the subpoena of the Supreme Court.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And we hope and expect that the Supreme Court as an equal branch will equally respect the processes of this Court.  And so, kindly answer the question of the Senator from Iloilo.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.  I placed the subpoena in the agenda of the court for its information and I await the instruction of the Court which I believe …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But aren’t you the custodian of the records?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As custodian of the records, you have disposition over those records.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And so, therefore, if we call on you to produce those records, then you must produce them.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  May I request counsel for the respondent to please take note of this.  That this court under the Constitution has the sole power to try and decide this case.  We must not be impeded by any agency of government in the performance of our duty.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We take note of that, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  So that, just asking the view of the witness as a custodian of these records, it is not your view that the orders of this impeachment court is not subject to the approval  of the Supreme Court.  In other words, you do not subscribe to the proposition that the orders of this court for you to produce these SALN is subject to the approval of the Supreme Court.

MS. VIDAL.  As the Clerk of Court, I have the obligation to inform them of whatever subpoena or matter is brought  before him.  So, I just await instructions.

SEN. DRILON.  If the instruction is not to produce the SALN you will not follow the subpoena of this impeachment court?

MS. VIDAL.  Being …

SEN. DRILON.  Please answer, yes or no.

MS. VIDAL.  I will follow, Your Honor.  I just gave it to them for their information and authorization.

SEN. DRILON.  All right.  So, you just gave it to court for their information.

MS. VIDAL.  For their information and authorization which I believe they will alsol grant.

SEN DRILON.  If have no authorization, will you bring these SALN in compliance with our subpoena.

MS. VIDAL.  If the court requires me to do so, I will do so.  The impeachment court, I mean.

SEN. DRILON.  If the impeachment court requires you to do so, you will do so.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes. Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Now, at this point  you have not brought the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth ask for by the Supreme Court.

MS. VIDAL.  I have brought them with me.

SEN. DRILON.  You have brought the SALN with you.  Is that correct?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Alright.  May I ask now the witness to produce before this court the documents that were subpoenaed by this court in a subpoena dated January 17, 2012 as the witness said that she has these documents with her.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness must comply, submit to the court thesubpoena that you submit to this court.

SEN. DRILON.  The SALN, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The SALN.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, but I have not received the—I have placed it also in the agenda of the court.

SEN DRILON.  I thought…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We did not subpoena the Supreme Court.  We subpoenaed you to produce the record in your custody.  So you are now ordered by the Chair to surrender these records to this court.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON. Can we ask now the Clerk of Court to receive these documents.

MS. VIDAL.  I am really in a quandary, I am in dilemma because we are covered by the Rules of the Supreme Court and also by this honourable court so may I request that at least I get the authorization first from the court  before I submit it.

SEN. DRILON.  We do not believe that that is proper, Your Honor, because to do so would subject the orders of this impeachment court to the approval of the Supreme Court.  Because if the court does not authorize the release of the statement of assets and liabilities of the Chief Justice, then the subpoena is defeated, your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I request the counsel for the respondent to please advise the witness to surrender the SALNs and advise your client—Senator Drilon’s two minutes is over.  Who is next?

SEN. ARROYO.  Mr. Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Arroyo.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Senator Arroyo wishes to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Arroyo has the floor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With the kind indulgence of this honourable court, may we make a one-minute manifestation, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, I notice, Your Honor, that under paragraph 17 of the impeachment rules of this impeachment body, Your Honor, it states, if a Senator wishes to put a question to a witness, he shall do so within two minutes.  The Senator may likewise put a question to a prosecutor-counsel.  He or she may also offer a motion or order in writing which shall be submitted to the Presiding Officer.

My question is for enlightenment, Your Honor.  The words putting a question, does it cover cross-examination question which is the privilege and the right of the counsel for both parties, Your Honor, or merely clarificatory question, Y

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We cannot question the type of questions that will be propounded by a member of this Senate.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So it could also be cross-examination question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes. They can search the soul and the brain of the witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  Very clear.  We submit.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I request counsel to please advise the respondent in this case to please bear with this court and to please allow the presentation of the SALN.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. Senate President, please.

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

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, because we heard that the Senate President is asking the counsel for defense to advise our witness?  Because she is our witness …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Not your witness.  I am to advise the respondent.

REP. TUPAS.  Okay.  That’s clear.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I think the Gentleman knows the word respondent.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I now recognize the Gentleman from Makati and Bicol.

SEN. ARROYO.  Mr. President, I am disturbed by this developments.  The witness has asked that she would like to ask for authorization from her officer, and that is the Supreme Court.  We do not know how the Supreme Court will react.  But let us suppose that the Supreme Court says do not release it.  We will now run the risk of having a showdown between the impeachment court and the Supreme Court.

I thought that we’re here to try Chief Justice Corona as to whether he should be removed from office or not.  That is what we are here for.  But we cannot have another problem of a clash between the Supreme Court and Congress.

There are cases in the Supreme Court asking for a TRO against the impeachment court.  They did not grant it.  I wouldn’t know the reason, but let us just assume that this indifference ___.

The lady witness is asking for time to, if I understand her correctly, to ask for authorization.  Chances are it will be given.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes.

SEN. ARROYO.  But, it will be given, then we don’t have a problem that she will be scolded by her bosses.  She has her own boss like our Secretary here.  Her boss is the Senate, period.

What I’m trying to say is that in our desire to have a fair trial, let us not, I hope the two parties will appear, both the prosecution and the defense.

Give her a day to ask the Supreme Court whether it’s all right for her, rather than using the strong arm of the impeachment court.  That is all.  We should avoid—We have already too many problems in the country.

That is all.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Senator for Iloilo may reply.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President, I accept the wise counsel of the Gentleman from Bicol.  But the lady witness has already stated on the record, she has brought the SALN in compliance with the subpoena of this court.

If, in fact, theoretically, the Supreme Court tomorrow will say, you are not authorized to release it, then precisely we will get into that situation of a confrontation between this court and the Supreme Court.

We precisely avoid the confrontation by having before us now the documents that was subpoenaed by this court, and which the witness in compliance with the orders of this court has brought with her.  And therefore, it is now proper that

this statement of assets and liabilities and networth, which were subpoenaed by this court, be now produced as the witness is now ready to produce that make it part of the records of this court so that we can dispose of this matter.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I ask clarificatory question.  Madam Witness, you responded to the subpoena of this court to bring the SALN of the Chief Justice and you came to this court in compliance with the subpoena and brought those SALNs.  Why did you bring those SALNs if you are not willing to deliver them to the court.

MS. VIDAL.  Out of respect to the court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And if you respect this court, please deliver them to us.

MS. VIDAL.  But the Supreme Court has also its rules under which I must follow.  So, I am placed here in a dilemma.]

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, are you pleading for time to ask the Supreme Court …

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor, I am pleading for time.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Minority Floor Leader, before we dispose this issue.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have two minutes.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Like the Senator Judges, I am also disturbed by this.  But, may I take note that the subpoena was issued to the Clerk of Court and not to the Supreme Court.  In the same manner that when the Supreme Court or any court of the land issues a subpoena to a bank manager, the bank manager cannot come to the court and say, hihintayin ko muna iyong board of directors o iyong president.  The problem with giving into this request is the precedent that it will set.  I really believe that the Supreme Court would allow the release.  And there is no reason for them not to.  The problem is the precedent that it will set.  If all the witnesses that will come here who are custodians and the subpoenas are issued to them will come and tell us they have to talk to their boss, that will erode the authority of this impeachment court.  That is why I am constrained, Your Honor, not to avail of the two-minute time but to raise a point of order.

Rule V says, the Senate shall have the power to compel the attendance of witnesses to enforce obedience to its orders, etc. etc.  Mr. President.  The subpoena is an order of this court.  And a few minutes ago, the Presiding Officer already ordered the witness to surrender those documents.  So, I think, Your Honor, it is in order to raise a point of order to simply order this witness to turn over these documents.  The Supreme Court will not fault you for that because it is precisely under the authority of this impeachment court.  Will a bank manager suffer if the president says huwag mo i-release tapos ang korte ay mayroong subpoena.  This is not a request.  The resolution deals with request.  This is not a request.  This is an order under Section 5 of the Rules of the impeachment court and these rules was promulgated under the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.  I think the rest speaks for itself, Mr. Presiding Officer.  I think it is in order that your earlier order now be enforced, Mr. Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sentor Arroyo, since you are the objector to the proposition of the submission of the SALN.

SEN. ARROYO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  There are many cases pending before the Supreme Court.  If the Supreme Court should issue a TRO, what I am saying is this, we cannot afford to have a crisis between the Senate as an impeachment court and the Supreme Court.  There are cases pending in the Supreme Court.  To stop the proceedings here, together with that is a petition for a restraining order.  The Supreme Court did not give it.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We take note of that.

SEN. ARROYO.  But let me please proceed.  May I proceed.  Supposing, just supposing, we issue now a subpoena and in retaliation the Supreme Court issues a TRO, what do we do?  We will not obey the TRO. Then the Supreme Court also will condemn the Senate for not giving a chance.  What the witness is asking for is just time to ask for authority so that it will all be valid.  What is one day as against a deadlock or a confrontation between the  Supreme Court that might possibly in retaliation issue a TRO and all because the witness is not given a chance to ask the Supreme Court.  Well, this idea—I cannot accept the proposition but since it is the lady here that has been subpoenaed and it is not the Supreme Court, are we now saying that if Secretary Reyes, our Secretary, is subpoenaed, she will act on her own without consulting the Senate President  and the members of the Senate.  Of course she will ask.  She cannot ignore the officers of the court and the Senators because she is the Secretary of the Senate.  So this argument that since a person is being subpoenaed, then she must obey.  But she is only the custodian.  I rest my case but please, one day might preserve the peace.

Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Kiko Pangilinan.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Just a manifestation, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have two minutes.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes, thank you.

The subpoena duces tecum is directed not to the Supreme Court but to the Clerk of Court and she is here.  I subscribe to the view, Mr. President, that it would have been a different story altogether if she did not bring with her the SALN.  That would have created a different set of facts and, therefore, a different set of circumstances.  But she has the SALN, Mr. President, and it is our duty, Mr. President, as an impeachment court to avoid delays in these proceedings, Mr. President.  And I believe, Mr. President, that if we seek authorization or she seeks authorization from the Supreme Court then it undermines and diminishes, Mr. President, the power of this impeachment court.  And to add, Mr. President, the one on trial here is the Chief Justice, the head of the institution that she will be seeking authorization, Mr. President.  Therefore, it is clear that  we are, without meaning to, Mr. President, subsuming the powers of this court to an authority of a Supreme Court  whose Chief Justice is being tried by this court, Mr. President.  And we appeal to the Clerk of Court out of respect  of this court to quote her that she turned over the SALN in her possession.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Escudero has the floor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Just a brief manifestation and some queries.  Una sa lahat, under precedents actually it was ruled awhile ago, but based on precedents of the United States, actually counsels can object to questions propounded by the jurors but it is not for the presiding—no, again, I am citing precedents, Mr. President, Your Honor.  Whether we follow it or not but there are such precedents in other jurisdictions.

My point, Mr. President is this—maraming unang beses tayong ginagawa ditto at nagsisimpatya ako sa Clerk of Court ng Supreme Court.  Pag hindi siya sumunod sa ipinaguutos nating subpoena, maaaring i-cite natin siya in contempt.  May rule din at may resolution din ang Korte Suprema na nagasasabing bawal niyang ibigay iyon ng walang pahintulot.  Maaari din siyang i-cite in contempt ng Korte Suprema kung saka-sakali.  But I hold the position, Mr. President, Your Honor, that the subpoena is addressed to the Clerk of Court.  She has the documents with her and if she fears being cited in contempt by the court, she can always claim as a matter of defense a subpoena a compulsory process issued by the impeachment court  against here to produce the documents.  Ang sinasabi ko po, Madam Clerk of Court wala ho siguro kayong dapat ipagalaala kaugnay ng Korte Suprema, may depensa naman ho kayong valid.  Unang beses pa lang nangyari ito.  At hindi tulad ng ibang opisyal ng ibang korporasyon, kayo po ay may dahilan na sumunod at ipagpaliban muna iyon resolusyon dahil may subpoena po laban sa inyo na inisyu ang korteng ito.

Sana, iyon ang piliin niyong gawin at sundin.  At buo ang tiwala’t kompyansa ko na hindi naman siguro kayo sa-cite in contempt ng Korte Suprema kaugnay sa pagsunod dito sa kautusang ito ng Senado.

Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Lacson has the floor.

SEN. LACSON.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The order of speaking will be, the next one will be Senators Estrada, Pimentel and Angara, and Guingona.

SEN. LACSON.  Thank you, Mr. President.

There is a ruling earlier by the Chair that the witness submit the documents as required by the impeachment court.  Now, there’s a counter-review put forward by the honorble Gentleman from Bicol and Makati.

Now, I move that we abide by the Rules and divide the House.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Before we do that, let’s hear the other opinions.  Senator Estrada.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Maraming salamat po, Ginoong Pangulo.

Ipagpaumanhin nyo po’t ako’y magsasalita sa ating sariling wika.

Ginang testigo, narinig nyo ba ho iyong talumpati ng inyong boss, ang inyong Punong Mahistrado?

MS. VIDAL.  Opo.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Sa kanyang mga talumpati, sinasabi niya na lagi po siyang nagsa-submit ng kanyang SALN at wala siyang tinatago.  Tama po ba ako?

MS. VIDAL.  Opo.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Kung ang sinasabi po ng inyong Punong Mahistrado na wala po siyang tinatago, regular po siyang nagsa-submit ng SALN, bakit hindi nyo po maibigay ang SALN sa amin para makita namin, para malaman ang buong katotohanan, kung talagang nagsusumite siya ng regular sa inyo, at para na rin malaman ng taong bayan ang buong katotohanan?

Hwag na kayong magpatumpok-tumpok pa.  Hwag na kayong humingi ng permiso sa Korte Suprema.  Ang sundin ninyo ay ang subpoena na inisyu sa inyo para matapos na ito.  Pwede ba hong makiusap sa inyo na isumite ninyo iyong SALN na dala nyo diyan?  Tutal naman, sinasabi niyo naman na nirerespeto nyo itong korteng ito.  Kaya nyo po dinala iyong mga SALN, dahil sinabi nyo po, out of respect.

Ngayon, ako, bilang isa pong hukom dito sa impeachment court, ako’y nakikiusap sa inyo na kung pwede, ibigay nyo na po sa aming clerk of court iyan para maumpisahan na po natin at para ma-determine natin kung talagang merong ill-gotten wealth o kung ano man.  Pwede po ba iyon?

MS. VIDAL.  Meron po kasing resolusyon ang court.  Ang resolution po ng court, nagsasaad na ang request as finafayl lang sa clerk of court.  Kaya po, nag-a-ask po ako ng authorization sa court bilang kawani ng Korte Suprema.

At ang Chief Justice po ay isa lang po sa mga Mahistrado, and they are …

SEN. ESTRADA.  Ang nasasakdal dito ay ang Punong Mahistrado, tama po ba?

MS. VIDAL.  Opo.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Siya mismo, sa kanyang mga talumpati, sinasabi niya wala siyang tinatago, regular siya na nagsa-submit ng kanyang statement of assets and liabilities and net worth sa inyo.

MS. VIDAL.  Opo.

SEN. ESTRADA.  O, e kung talagang walang itinatago ang inyong boss, ang ating Punong Mahistrado, baka pwede nyo nang ibigay sa amin iyan.

MS. VIDAL.  Ang gusto ko lang po, malaman po ng buong korte, hindi po …

SEN. ESTRADA.  Katulad po ng tinatanong ni Sen. Drilon, e kung ayaw ng Korte Suprema na ibigay sa amin yan, pano?  Magkakaron tayo ng showdown.

MS. VIDAL.  Ang hinihiling ko lang po ay authorization out of courtesy.  Sa palagay ko naman po, ibibigay po ng korte and SALN na to.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Sa palagay mo.  Hindi naman ikaw ang Korte Suprema.  E kung hindi nga po ibigay pano po iyon?

MS. VIDAL.  Wala pong dahlia para …

SEN. ESTRADA.  Hanggang kailan ho kami maghihintay, Ginang witness?

MS. VIDAL.  Ang hinihintay ko lang po, kasi po nailagay ko po sa agenda ng Tuesday, ite-take up po ng court ng Tuesday.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Ibig nyo pong sabihin sa susunod na Martes pa tatalakayin yan?

MS. VIDAL.  Ang korte po ay nagse-session po twing Tuesday.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Ibig nyo hong sabihin, maghihintay pa ho kami hanggang Martes para makuha namin ang SALN na dala-dala mo na ngayon?

MS. VIDAL.  Kasi po, ang Supreme Court po, may sarili pong Rules at ako po ay kawani ng Supreme Court, … /amc

MS. VIDAL.  … kawani ng Supreme Court, so dapat din po na sundin ko ang rules ng Supreme Court gaya ng pagsunod ko rin po sa inyong mga directives.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alam mo, Madam Witness, iyong utos nitong korte na ito ay hindi request.  Isang orden iyon na sa iyo na dalhin mo rito yoong dokumento na nasa loob ng impeachment court.  Dapat iyon sinabi mo na sa Korte Suprema, sa mga miyembro, na kailangan ng korte na ito sa kanyang trabaho iyong mga dokumento na iyan.  Kaya, gusto ko lang ipaalaala sa iyo ito na hindi request ito, order ito.  So, the Senator from San Juan …

SEN. ESTRADA.  Only one question, Mr. President.  ‘Di ba ho iyong kahulugan ng talumpati ni Chief Justice Corona na sinasabi niyang wala siyang itinatago at regular siyang nagsusumite ng kanyang SALN sa inyo, ‘di ba parang implied waiver na ho iya.  Ilabas ninyo na iyan, puwede na iyan.  Bakit hindi ninyo maibigay sa amin?

MS. VIDAL.  Isa lang pong dahilan, iyon pong rule po ng Supreme Court ng May 2, 1989.

SEN. ESTRADO.  That is all, Mr. President.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  The next one in line is Senator Pimentel.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Papayuhan ko lang po iyong witness natin na , Madam, huwag kayong matakot doon sa May 2, 1989 resolution.  Nabasa ko na eh.  Hindi naman ito made in bad faith, an gaming subpoena.  Hindi naman ito fishing expedition.  Hindi naman ito extortion.  So, wala kang dapat katakutan kung mag-comply po kayo.  At saka, naisalabas ninyo iyong SALN eh.  Nagpaalam po ba kayo sa korte bago ninyo ilabas iyong SALN?

MS. VIDAL.  Dala ko lang po.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  So, alam ninyo na may karapatan kayo na ilabas iyan sa opisina ninyo, tama?  It is within your powers to do it, right?

MS. VIDAL.  But …

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Dinala mo eh.

MS. VIDAL.  I believe that the impeachment court will believe me in saying that there is also a court resolution which is a co-equal branch.

SEN. PIMENTE.  I know.  I know.  Huwag ka na ngang mag-alaala doon eh.  It is within your powers to bring those documents out of your office, correct?  Right.  Ginawa mo eh.

MS. VIDAL.  Out of courtesy for the impeachment court.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Right.  You have it with you now.  So, that means that if it is within your powers to bring it out, it is within your powers to surrender it to this impeachment court today, because the policy and the mandate is not to waste time.  To make up for the time we lost yesterday.  So, anyway, I have given my advice to you.  You have nothing to worry about.  I think there will be lawyers who will volunteer to defend you.  And I also believe that the Supreme Court is composed of reasonable people and they also understand the May 2, 1989 resolution.  You have nothing to worry about.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Angara.  First two minutes, Senator Angara.

SEN. ANGARA.  Not to add to further confusions, Mr. President.  Mr. President, I conceive all the technical and legal arguments presented by our colleagues.  But I think we ought to now crush the reality.

Number one, the witness already brought with her the subpoenaed documents.

Number two, she admitted that she is willing to surrender them out of obedience to this court.  And the reservation that she made later on to get authorization was almost like an afterthought, but she already manifested to us that she is willing to surrender the documents and that would have solved the problems we are encountering now.

As it is, Mr. President, we are speculating of a potential showdown with the Supreme Court, we are speculating that the Supreme Court will defer the authorization, but the reality is already with us.  That the documents are here, that she followed the subpoena, and she is willing to give it to the Clerk of Court, Mr. President.  So, I think the advice of our young colleague here, Coco Pimentel, is quite wise that you don’t have to fear at all because this is pursuant to a lawful order of a lawful authority and pursuant to a higher, not  higher court but to a higher calling.  I think history will be on your side, Madam Clerk of Court.  You don’t have to worry at all.  I think we can handle the situation as it is now faced with this undisputed facts, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Gguingona.  Senator Guingona.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Maraming salamat po, Mr. President.  Madam Witness, sinasabi ninyo po iyong co-equal iyong korte na ito sa Supreme Court.  Pero hindi po ako sang-ayon diyan sapagka’t ang co-equal ng Supreme Court ang Kongreso, which is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.  Ito po, hindi po Senado ito.  Impeachment court ito.  True, it is made up of Senators, but that is why we have to take another oath because we are a different body and therefore hindi po puwede ang Supreme Court na makialam dito kung may proseso tayong hinihingi.

So, Madam Witness, pakiusap ko na kung, if you see it proper, kung ;puwede sundin ninyo ang impeachment court sapagka’t ang impeachment court ay hindi kapantay ng Supreme Court.  Iyon lang po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, the matter has been sufficiently …  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President, with due respect to everyone, to all concerned, there was a ruling by the Chair that the SALN was ordered to be turned over to the Court.  May I know if there is anyone objecting?  Senator Arroyo was merely manifesting and airing the plea of the witness.  So if there is no objection we can carry on with the ruling.  If the Senator is objecting, then we can take a vote on the ruling of the Chair.

SEN. LACSON.  Mr. President.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Arroyo is pleading for one day and is not objecting, Mr. President.  So what is the pleasure of the body, that is the…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I thought—I am sorry.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Lacson.

SEN. LACSON.  I will read in part Rule 6 of the Rules of Procedure on Impeachment Trial, Mr. President.  “Rule 6.  The President of the Senate or the Chief Justice in presiding the trial may rule on all questions of evidence including but not limited to questions of materiality and so forth and so on which ruling shall stand as the judgment of the Senate unless a member of the Senate shall ask that a formal vote be taken thereon in which case it shall be submitted to the Senate for decision after one contrary view is expressed.  There need not be an objection, Mr. President.  A contrary view was expressed by Senator Arroyo.

SEN. SOTTO.  As a matter of fact, it was a plea by Senator Arroyo, Mr. President, so a plea of one day.  Well, nevertheless, if you consider that as a contrary view, then again we leave it to the ruling of the Presiding Officer, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, the Chair has ruled that we now require and order the witness to surrender to us the SALN, the pertinent SALN that she brought to this court.  So ordered.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we be allowed even one minute, Your Honor, to state for the record…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel for the respondent may speak.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.  Your Honor please…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Order please.

SEN. SOTTO.  It was asked to be turned to the court not to the prosecution.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Order please, order.  No laughing please in this court. (Gavel)

Counsel for the respondent, what is your pleasure?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

We are apprehensive, Your Honor, that after returning over of the Chief Justice, Your Honor, the witness may be subjected to disciplinary action by the Supreme Court for violating the Rules of Procedure covering this particular instance, Your Honor.

So, my question is this, Your Honor, kung sakali po bang tanggalin ito, oorderan ng Supreme Court na ma-dismiss siya because of this infraction of the rules and regulations of the Senate, ito ho bang kagalang-galang na hukumang ito mao-order na maibalik siya as against the ruling of the Supreme Court?  We wanted to gait that kind of disastrous calamity, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, counsel for the respondent, may I request you to convey to him the request of this court that being an impeachment court ordered by the people to solely try and decide this case to bear with us and not to punish this witness for the order of this court.

We are co-equal, separate, but coordinate departments, and that is why I am making this plea to you because you are the counsel of the respondent.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, and I have stated on record my willingness to do that in pursuant to the suggestion for order of the honourable Presiding Justice, but my apprehension is not a mere imagination, Your Honor.  There is that probability of having subjected to a criminal action.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I am sure that the Supreme Court is composed of wise men, and they will realize the implication of any contrary action against the order of this court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Because, here is my point, Your Honor, with indulgence of the honourable Presiding Justice, if the only issue to be resolve by the presentation of the SALN of the honourable Justice Corona, Your Honor, and the fact alone that there is SALN, Your Honor, is proof enough that we have filed and complied with the rules and regulations on the matter, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, but …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Nandito po ito at meron talaga.  E ano pa ang pag-uusapan?  Ang sinasabi hindi nag-file, e nandiyan pala e.  That resolves the problem.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  We are talking only of compliance with the order of this court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Right, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With respect to the conclusions that will arise from this, that will come later.

What I’m saying here is that, each branch of the government must respect the prerogative of the other branch.  We respect the court.  They have their internal rules.  But on the other hand, we have taken an oath to perform a different task from our ordinary task as legislators.  And that is to judge, to try and decide and judge a high official of the government subject to impeachment which unhappily is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  And while we respect the Supreme Court as a co-equal, they must realize that we are also bound to enforce our orders in the same way that they enforce their orders.

And so, I’m requesting you as counsel for the respondent to please counsel them to comply with our orders and not to punish this witness in complying with the orders of this impeachment court.

So ordered.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor, Mr. Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary may now please take possession of the documents and subject to disposition in the course of this trial.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Mr. Senate President, Your Honor, please.  Atty. Bautista, private prosecutor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The private counsel of the prosecution.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  We subpoenaed these SALNs for the purpose of presenting them as evidence for the prosecution.  May I request that we be allowed to examine and mark them for the record.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Precisely, Your Honor, that is the dilemma that we are trying to avoid, Your Honor.  One of the Members of this honorable body requested for only one day, for only one day, besides, Your Honor, I recall the order of this honorable court through Mr. President, that the private prosecutor shall not be allowed to be engaged in oral argument, Your Honor, it is the problem of the public prosecutor, Your Honor, who shall have control of the proceedings in this case, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Rules of this Senate allows the private counsel to be engaged by the House to present the evidence, and of course, incidentally, in the course of the presentation of the evidence, and in dealing with the evidence, he can speak out with respect to the matters involving the handling of evidence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, Your Honor, please, the order of this honorable court, is to surrender, not to allow the other party or the prosecution to examine it, to go over it and so on, Your Honor.  And apparently, nagpi-piyesta na po sila diyan sa dokumento na iyan e, iyan po ang aming ipinangangamba.  Baka po hindi magkaroon ng fair trial.

While it is true …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there anything sensitive in this document that ought not to be revealed to the public?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I have not seen it yet, Your Honor, that is why I cannot make an intelligible information regarding the matter.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President, counsel for the House of Representatives requested that they be given an opportunity to mark these documents as evidence.  The Chair asked counsel for the respondent whether or not he has any objection.  I am lost as to—you know, with the–again, with the brilliant peroration of the counsel, we do not know whether he is objecting.  Can he just state, Mr. President, whether he is objecting, so that it can be disposed of.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If the part …

SEN. DRILON.  Because an order from the Chair, whether or not the counsel has an objection, so that we will have an orderly proceeding, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I appreciate the dissertation of the honorable Senator, Your Honor, but what I am concerned deeply, Your Honor, is this may be a violation of the order of the honorable Chairman, because what the witness was ordering is merely to produce, not to allow the marking thereof, nor to consider it submitted for purposes of evidence.  They are entirely two different things, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  So, is the counsel objecting?  So that we can act accordingly.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, is not my manifestation a very clear indication of my objection, Your Honor?

SEN. DRILON.  Alright.  So, if he is objecting to submit …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you objecting therefore to the marking of these documents?  Just for the mere marking of these documents as exhibits.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright, I am sorry, Your Honor, if it is merely marking, we submit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then, the Chair will order the marking of these documents, the surrender of these documents and the marking of these documents by the prosecution in the presence of the counsel for the respondent, to be fair.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  Thank you.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  And Your Honor, please, may we ask for a photocopy of the originals that are marked.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We will supply you with certified copy.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Can I request the clerk to proceed with the marking, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President, while the marking is going on, can we ask for a one-minute recess.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  While the mechanical marking is going on, I think, we can have a recess of the court, just for one minute.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The trial is suspended.

It was 4:14 p.m.

At 4:37, the trial was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial resumed.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  May we proceed with the presentation of evidence by the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I request the prosecutors, if they have marked already the SALN of the respondent brought by the witness.  By the way, may I ask the witness to stay in the podium.  Please state the SALN that were received, indicating the, years they refer to and the exhibit numbers into the record.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, they were turned over to the clerk of court already.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, that is why we want them to be …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Inventoried, some sort of an inventory.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They have to be recorded.  They must be stated into the record.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Right, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, for purposes of identification.  So, will you please, counsel for the prosecution, without—just for the purposes of recording them, they are not yet being offered for submission, for resolution, for admissibility.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.  May I request the Clerk of Court to…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  State the year of the SALN…

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … and the civil number.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, may we place on record our desire to be allowed to ask only one or two cross-examination questions, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let us first record them before you can proceed with the cross-examination.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Right, Your Honor, that is why we are waiting.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  If Your Honor please, he already waived his right earlier.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I beg your pardon.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  He already waived his right earlier.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but at that time, Your Honor, this was not the subject of discussion.  We did not have the opportunity, no production.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, let him ask the questions so that we will not wrangle here.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Kindly state into the record the year of its SALN and the corresponding exhibit number.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor, the Clerk of Court is photocopying the…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, we are waiting for her, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.  If the counsel for the defense is willing to ask questions to cross-examine the witness without the SALN involve, then you may proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, may we request the termination of the photocopying and taking the Xerox copies thereof.  May we request, Your Honor, for a suspension of at least one or two minutes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The trial is suspended for one long minute.

It was 4:42 p.m.

At 5:15 p.m., the trial was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial resumed.

Majority Floor Leader.

Okay, I now request the counsel for the prosecution, the private counsel, to state into the records, the SALN submitted by the witness, the clerk of court of the Supreme Court by virtue of the subpoena duces tecum sent to her, into the record, stating the year of the SALN, with the corresponding exhibit number for identification.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Mr. Senate President.  We mark the SALN, statement of Chief Justice Corona dated December 31, 2002 as annex A on the front page thereof—I am sorry, exhibit—it was filed on March 10, 2003, with a corresponding receipt, the signature is illegible, time, 21:10.  At the back page of exhibit A, rather, exhibit A-1 is the back page of exhibit A.

Exhibit B, Your Honor, is the—it appears to be a copy of the December 31, 2002 of the SALN of Chief Justice Corona, the only difference is on the back page, thereof, exhibit B-1.  I do not think there is any difference.

Exhibit C, Your Honor, is the SALN of Chief Justice Renato Corona, filed on April 12, 2004, and the back page is marked as C-1.

Exhibit D, Your Honor, is the December 31, 2004 SALN of Chief Justice Corona filed on April 25, 2005, and the back page has been marked as exhibit D-1.

Exhibit E, Your Honor, is the April 25, 2005 SALN of Chief Justice Corona, and the back page thereof has been marked as exhibit E-1.

The December 31, 2005 SALN of Chief Justice Corona as been marked as exhibit 5.  It was filed on April 20 of 2006.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It was supposed to be marking of exhibits of defense—by letters …

ATTY. BAUTISTA. Exhibit F.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  F.  Thank you for the correction.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I am tired Justice.

Exhibit G is the SALN of Justice Corona for the year December 31, 2005, dated April 20, 2006, the backpage thereof is marked as exhibit G-1.

Exhibit H is the SALN of Chief Justice Corona, dated 9-23-07, for the year December 31, 2006, and the back portion of it is marked as exhibit H-1. The SALN of Chief Justice Corona dated December 31, 2007 is marked as Exhibit I.  It was filed on April 11, 2008 and the back portion thereof has been marked as Exhibit I-1.  Exhibit J is the December 31, 2008 SALN of Justice Corona filed on April 28, 2009 and the back page thereof is marked as Exhibit J-1.  Exhibit K is the December 31, 2008 SALN of Chief Justice Corona which has been marked as Exhibit K.  It does not indicate when it was filed, at least the copy I have.  The back portion of Exhibit K-1 likewise does not indicate when it was filed.  Exhibit L is the December 31, 2009 SALN of Chief Justice Corona.  The date of filing is illegible as to the year but it is April 26 but the year is not legible.  The back portion thereof has been marked as Exhibit L-1.  Exhibit M is the front page of the December 31, 2010 SALN of Chief Justice Corona filed on April 29, 2011.  The back portion thereof has been marked as Exhibit 1-1.  Exhibit N is the SALN of Chief Justice Corona as of December 31, 2010 filed on April 29, 2011.  The back portion thereof has been marked as Exhibit N-1.  May we mark as Exhibit O certification photocopies of Exhibits A to N with partials of marking received by the counsels for the defense and the counsels for the prosecution certified by the Office of the Deputy Clerk of Court, Atty Kenneth Tampal.  That is all, Your Honor, for the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This is understood that these documents are only presented in compliance with the subpoena duces tecum  as evidence for the prosecution but not yet offered in evidence.  The offer will come later.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  That is correct, Your Honor.  We conform that we will make the formal offer at the appropriate time.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you through?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel for the respondent may now take the floor and propound cross-examination questions if he desires.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.  May I now be permitted to proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we request this honourable court for permission to mark the following documents as exhibit or as evidence for respondent Corona, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Which document?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All these documents that were identified.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All the SALNs.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All the SALNs presented will all equally be adopted as…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  As exhibits for the defense, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As evidence for the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Right, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And with corresponding marking.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct, Your Honor.  So may we be allowed with the court’s permission to mark them as follows, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The SALN for the year 2002, Your Honor, which had been marked as Exhibit A be marked as Exhibit 1 for the defense, Your Honor.  And the entries on the right side thereof reading march 10, 2003  by Juliet together with time 2110, Your Honor, be encircled, Your Honor, and be marked as Exhibit 1-A, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the markings be done.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, Your Honor, our next exhibit will be exhibit 2, which is already marked as Exhibit B for the prosecution, together with the entry as appearing in the right upper portion thereof, March 10,2003, by Juliet, Your Honor, being circled.

The prosecution’s Exhibit C, Your Honor, as Exhibit 3 for the defense.  The entries appearing on the upper portion of the right hand portion of the document, dated carrying the entries April 12, 2004, then the name by Juliet, and timed being circled and marked as Exhibit 3-A, Your Honor.

Exhibit D of the prosecution, Your Honor, we request that the same be marked as Exhibit 4 for the defense, and the entries appearing on the upper right hand portion, carrying the entries April 25, 2005 by unreadable, 11:50 being circled, and marked as Exhibit 4-A.

Exhibit E for the prosecution, Your Honor, which is the SALN for 2004, Your Honor, be marked as Exhibit 5 for the defense, Your Honor, and the entries appearing on the right hand margin thereof upper portion, carrying the entries April 25, 2005, then by initial and the time 11:50 being circled and marked as Exhibit 5-A.

Exhibit F for the prosecution, Your Honor, which is the SALN for 2005, Your Honor, be marked as Exhibit 6 of the defense, Your Honor, and the entries appearing on the right hand upper portion thereof, there is a signature but illegible.  Then the entries 4-10-06, 3:30 likewise encircled and marked as Exhibit 6-A.

Exhibit G for the prosecution, the SALN for the year 2005, Your Honor, marked as Exhibit 7 for the defense, Your Honor, and the entries appearing on the right hand upper portion thereof, carrying the following, unreadable, Your Honor, date 4-20-06, time 3:13 being circled and marked as Exhibit 7-A.

Exhibit H for the prosecution which is the SALN for the year 2006 be marked as Exhibit 8 for the defense, Your Honor, and the entries appearing on the right hand margin thereof upper portion reading, by Verna, date 9-23-07, time 1:40 being circled and marked as Exhibit 8-A.

Exhibit I for the prosecution which is the SALN for the year 2007, Your Honor, be marked as Exhibit 9, Your Honor, for the defense, and the entries appearing on the right hand margin thereof reading, Verna, date 4-11-08, 11 being circled, and marked as Exhibit 9-A.

Exhibit J, Your Honor, which is the SALN of the respondent for the year 2008 be marked as Exhibit 10, Your Honor, and the entries appearing on the right hand portion thereof of upper portion, reading by April 28, 2009 by Juliet, likewise encircled and marked as Exhibit 10-A.

Exhibit K, Your Honor, which is the SALN for 2008 be marked as Exhibit 11 and the illegible entries appearing on right hand portion thereof be marked as Exhibit 11-A, Your Honor.

Now, likewise, Your Honor, may we request that we be allowed to mark on the reverse side thereof, the entries reading, Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 28th day of April 2009, affiant exhibiting community tax certificate, be likewise marked as 11-B, Your Honor.

Exhibit L for the prosecution, Your Honor, which is the SALN of the respondent for the year 2008 be marked as exhibit 12, Your Honor, and the entries appearing on the right hand upper portion thereof, reading, April 26, illegible, by—date, 2:20, be encircled and marked as exhibit 12-A.

May we also be permitted to marked the jurat appearing at the bottom thereof reading, subscribed and sworn to before me this 26th day of April 2009, affiant exhibiting his TIN identification card number 1020843111 as exhibit 12-B.

Exhibit M of the prosecution, Your Honor, which is the SALN of the respondent for the year 2010, Your Honor, be marked as exhibit 13 for the defense, and the entries appearing on the upper portion, right hand portion thereof, reading April 28, 2011, by Juliet, and the time, 2:30, be encircled and marked as exhibit 13-A, Your Honor.

Now, the exhibit N, Your Honor, which is likewise the respondent’s SALN for the year 2010 be marked as exhibit 14, Your Honor, and entries appearing on the upper right hand portion, Your Honor, reading April 29, 2011, by Juliet, time, 2:30, be encircled and marked as exhibit 14-A, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you through?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we ask permission, Your Honor, that they first be marked as requested, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the clerk of court mark them accordingly.

The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President, it is quite obvious that time is being consumed just in the mechanical act of marking these documents.  May we suggest that starting tomorrow, when there is no dispute as to the production of documents, let the markings be done outside of the hearing of this impeachment court, so that when the parties come here, the documents are already marked, and we can proceed with the examination of witnesses, without spending so much time of the court in the markings, which are actually mechanical in nature, Mr. President.  That is our suggestion for better presentation of this case.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is what the Presiding Officer intends to instruct the prosecution, because all the witnesses subpoenaed in addition to the present witness on witness stand are actually witnesses for the prosecution, and so, i will now instruct the prosecution that you may now mark the exhibits, the documents that you have requested per subpoena and per witness that you will present, and then—so that we will abbreviate the proceedings tomorrow without getting delayed with this effort of marking the documents as exhibits.

So, ordered.

REP. TUPAS.  We will do that, Mr. Senate President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Mr. President for the suggestion.  We shall consider it very, very helpful in the early disposition of the case, Your Honor.

But may we place on record that these documents were only presented today, wala pang kuwan—we have no opportunity to mark them because we do not know what they are, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Actually, as they will be presented tomorrow, into the records, maybe, the defense could already mark them accordingly.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So that we will abbreviate the proceedings.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We shall consider such suggestion as a command, Your Honor, and we will accordingly comply.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.

(Marking of exhibits)

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do you need the documents to proceed with your cross-examination or…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, because I wanted her to go over it before asking questions so that she may intelligibly answer our questions, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

(Marking of exhibits)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Mr. President, may I now be permitted to proceed?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel for the defense may now proceed to cross-examine.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

I’m showing to you this documents now marked as Exhibit 1 up to Exhibit 15 for the defense together with the submarking thereof.  Kindly go over the same.  Examine it and tell us whether you will agree with my observation that the honourable Chief Justice of the Supreme Court had complied with the requirements of filing that SALN in your office.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Objection, Your Honor.

The compliance of the document is a conclusion.  Moreover, the best evidence is the document itself.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sustained.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are on cross-examination, Your Honor, and the best evidence rule do not apply.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I beg your pardon?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are on cross-examination.  How will the best evidence…

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  I beg your pardon?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, these are all public documents.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Although public documents, there’s no dispute about the authenticity of these documents.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The question now I am asking, whether she agrees with my assessment and examination of evidence that there was compliance on the part of the respondent, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  To avoid any wrangling, the witness may answer.

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Thank you, Your Honor.

If Your Honor, please, we put on record our continuing objection that the question asked for a legal conclusion which the witness cannot make.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The question is whether she agreed with my assessment that …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The ruling is there, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the objection to be placed on the record, but let the witness answer.

MS. VIDAL.  Your Honors, these statements of assets, liabilities and net worth were duly filed with the Office of the Clerk of Court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Madam witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any re-direct?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Nothing else, Your Honor.  Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from—Sen. Pangilinan—the Gentleman from—Senator Arroyo, Senator Arroyo first.

SEN. ARROYO.  It turns out that the defense is adopting the evidence of the prosecution.  Is my assessment correct?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are starting towards that end, Your Honor.  In fact, we have it marked, but whether we will offer it or not will be an entirely different thing, because marking and offering are entirely two different things.

SEN. ARROYO.  So, I was just wondering, I thought, you were objecting too earlier to the presentation of this.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There was no objection on my part.  I was misunderstood.

SEN. ARROYO.  In other words, the prosecution and the defense have the same kind of evidence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Insofar as the statement of assets and liabilities.

SEN. ARROYO.  Yes.  Yes, thank you.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ARROYO.  Insofar as the statements of assets, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ARROYO.  … you agree on that.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.

SEN. ARROYO.  Thank you also.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Pangilinan.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes, thank you, Mr. President.

Madam witness, just one or two questions.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Earlier, you were asked by the defense counsel that—your opinion on whether or not there was a proper filing, and your answer was, mayroon, mayroong proper filing.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  But the articles of impeachment provide for failure to disclose to the public, would you say, based on your opinion, that there was public disclosure of his statement of assets and liabilities?

Was there public disclosure?  Yes or no.

MS. VIDAL.  None, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Senator from Sorsogon, Senator Escudero.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. Senate President.

Mr. Senate President, I was expecting the parties will actually ask questions along the same lines as Senator Pangilinan, because the article of impeachment, article II says that the respondent failed to publicly disclose his SALN.

May I ask, may nag-request na po ba na i-disclose iyong SALN ni Chief Justice Corona sa inyong tanggapan?

MS. VIDAL.  In general …

SEN. ESCUDERO.  When you say in general, lahat ng miyembro ng korte?

MS. VIDAL.  Lahat po ng miyembro ng korte.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Kabilang si Chief Justice Corona.

MS. VIDAL.  Opo.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Noong siya ay Chief Justice na o Justice pa lamang?

MS. VIDAL.  Noong siya ay Justice pa lang po.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Hanngang ngayon?

MS. VIDAL.  Hanggang ngayon.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Nabanggit ninyo po kanina, sampu na ang nag-request ng SALN.

MS. VIDAL.  I do not remember the exact number, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  You mentioned in your testimony awhile ago na mga sampu, …

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  … sabi ninyo, ang dala ninyong mga request, thereabouts.  May I ask, doon sa sampung iyon, may grinant na ba ang korte?

MS. VIDAL.  None yet, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Sang-ayon po sa May 2, 1989 resolution en banc ng korte—bago po ako magpatuloy doon, sino po ba ang Chief Justice noong ipinasa itong 1989 resolution na ito.

MS. VIDAL.  Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Mayroon po bang Justice ngayon na bahagi noong korteng iyon, noong ipinasa itong resolusyong ito o lahat noong nagpasa nito ay retirado na.

MS. VIDAL.  Sa pagkakaalam ko po, retirado na po.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Ngayon, nakalagay po dito na iyong rason ng denial ay dapat ibigay, hindi po ba?

MS. VIDAL.  Opo.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  So, lahat po ng nag-request, idinenay.

MS. VIDAL.  Actually, the action of—in some of the resolutions of the court, the court directed the composition of a committee to study the—it created a committee to determine what can be disclosed.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Sa mga request pong ito, maaari po bang malaman, ano iyong boto ni Chief Justice Corona?  Dahil korte ang nagdedesisyon, hindi po ba, sabi ninyo kanina, kapag may request, bini-bring-up po ninyo po sa husgado, sa en banc, ano po iyong naging boto ni Chief Justice Corona sa mga request na ito?

MS. VIDAL.  We are not aware of the voting, only the result.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Itong mga desisyong ito ay unanimous po ba—iyong botohan?  Siguro naman po, nakalagay kung ilang iyong bumoto at ano iyong naging boto kahit hindi nakalagay kung sinu-sino ang bumoto.

MS. VIDAL.  Probably, Your Honor, or I may say, it was unanimous.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  So, iyong buong korte.

MS. VIDAL.  Opo.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Huling tanong na lamang po, Kagalang-galang na Pangulo, kung gustong ilabas ng isang Justice iyong kanyang SALN, puwede ba niyang gawin iyon ng walang pahintulot ang korte?

MS. VIDAL.  Are you asking for my opinion?

SEN ESCUDERO.  Paglabag ba ho iyon doon sa resolution ng korte>

MS. VIDAL.  I believe that they are all covered by the resolution, so if they want to disclose their SALN it is already their own decision.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  So, puwede nilang gawin iyon kung gusto nila nang hindi kailangang humingi ng permiso mula sa korte.

MS. VIDAL.  I believe so.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you, Madam Witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any one else?  (Silence)  If there is none, the Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  No, Mr. President.  I was just going to ask if there are other witnesses to be presented by the prosecution and if they are finished with the witness.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Mr. Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Pangilinan, what is your pleasure?

SEN. PANGILINAN.  With the permission of the Presiding Officer, just two or three questions, Mr. President, if I may, to the witness before we discharge her.  Just additional two very quick questions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you.  Kanina po, Madam Witness, nabanggit ninyo na inilipat iyong SALN from a filing cabinet to a vault.  Was that under your … is that correct?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Iyon ba ay sa ilalim noong panunungkulan ninyo bilang Clerk of Court?

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Was it your decision or a decision of the Supreme Court to move it?

MS. VIDAL.  It was my decision.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, you took it upon yourself to transfer from the filing cabinet to a vault this SALN.

Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Madam Witness, can I refer you to Exhibit X just for clarification.  Exhibit X, H, I am sorry.  Exhibit H is the statement of assets, liabilities and networth of the Chief Justice Corona as of December 31, 2006.

MS. VIDAL.  I am sorry, I do not have the copy right now.

SEN. DRILON.  Can the Clerk give the witness a copy.  I just want to ask one question.  Exhibit H.

MS. VIDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  All right.  On the upper right portion of this Exhibit H appears what appears to be a date.  Do I read this correct to be 9/23/07?

MS. VIDAL.  I think it is a 4/2307.

SEN. DRILLON.  4/23/07.  But there is a time below, there is an indication of the time immediately in the next line.  It says 1:40.  Four is very clearly 4, whereas the line before that, what appears to me is that it was filed on September 23, 2007.  Correct me, if I am wrong, but that is my reading of the notation of the marking.

MS. VIDAL.  Your Honor …

SEN. DRILON.  Do you have the original of this?

MS. VIDAL.  It was already submitted.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes.

MS. VIDAL.  Your Honor, on the back page, it states that it was subscribed and sworn to before me this 23rd of April, 2007.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes, this subscription may be April 2007, but it is possible that the filing takes place way after that.  That is why I am just asking just for clarity, because it would appear to me that it is 9/23/07 or September 23, 2007 and it is clearly not a four because on the next line the time is 1:40 and the four is very clear.

MS. VIDAL.  Maybe it was just the stroke of the pen.

SEN. DRILON.  By the way, are all of these electronically received or are these manually done?

MS. VIDAL.  Manually received.

SEN. DRILON.  Manually done.  Is it possible that the data indicated since it is manually done would not be the true data.  Example.  Would it be possible that Exhibit H was actually filed on September 23, 2007.

MS. VIDAL.  Since it was subscribed and sworn to on April 23, 2007, it could have been filed also on April 23, 2007.

SEN. DRILON.  But since it was manually written, any date could have been written.  Just answer my question—is that possible?

MS. VIDAL.  It could be possible.

SEN. DRILON.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anything else?  There being none, this witness is discharged.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Your Honors, Mr. Senate President, we will just enter a reservation to recall her to testify for the other Articles of Impeachment.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You intend to recall her  at some future time?

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Mr. Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So recorded.

REP. TUPAS.   May we now call our next witness for today, Your Honors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. TUPAS.  The head of the Malacañang Records Office.  The name is Marianito DImaandal.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Marianito?

REP. TUPAS.  DImaandal.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness come inside the Chamber to take the witness stand.  I understand the witnesses are—is the witness here?

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Your Honor, he is here now on the witness stand.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If he is already here, he may appear.

REP. TUPAS.  He is here already.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then put him on the witness stand.

REP. TUPAS.  He is already on the witness stand, Mr. Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So swear him in.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  I, Marianito M. Dimaandal, do swear that the evidence I will give in this case now pending in the Philippines of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona  shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  So help me God.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. Senate President.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. Senate President please.

SEN. SOTTO.  Before that, Mr. President, may we move for a few minutes of suspension of the trial, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The trial is suspended.

It was 6:04 p.m.

At 6:15 p.m. the trial resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial resumes.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we recognize the President Pro Tempore before we call the prosecution, Senator Estrada, Mr. President.

SEN. ESTRADA.  The Gentleman from the City of San Juan in the Philippines, the Senate Pro Tempore has the floor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  I would just like to put on record, since the witness, the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court, has already been discharged, I would just like to put on record my observation that the statements of assests and liabilities and networth of the Chief Justice for years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, the dates of receipt are electronically imprinted while for the years of 2005, 2006 and 2007, the dates of receipt are manually written.  I think I find this unusual.  And also one observation, the receiving clerk for all those manually received SALNs seems to be accepted or received by a certain Verna while most of those electronically received were received by a certain Juliet.  That is all, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  May I just announce to the Attorney to prosecution if this is correct.  The prosecution does not need the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court for tomorrow’s hearing.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  Not for tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We can dispense her presence until the prosecution requests for further time to this court.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.  The Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court may now be allowed to go home.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. President, may we request that Attorney Justiniano be recognized to conduct the direct examination for the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Attorney Justiniano is recognized.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we make a one-minute manifestation, Your Honor.  We were trying to determine from the rules of this impeachment whether counsel is allowed to talk to their witness while the witness is on the stand.  Because insofar as judges of ordinary courts of general jurisdiction are concerned, that is prohibited.  May we be informed, Your Honor, whether the rules of this impeachment court allows.  Let us say in my case, I am presenting a witness, can I talk to him or to her while she is on the witness stand?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I think we have to follow the formal procedure where the witness sits on the witness stand and the lawyer asking the question will stay where they are.  There was no coaching.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In short, he or she cannot be talked to, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I made that inquiry, Your Honor, because I notice that while their witness was on the stand, Your Honor, the honourable Chairman of the Justice Committee of the House of Representatives had been talking to her.  Whatever the subject of their conversation is, it gives rise to a lot of suspicion, your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, we will request the counsels to refrain from, if possible, for contact with their witnesses unless they ask permission from this court..

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor, and I apologize to the honourable Chairman.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes.  Since my name was mentioned, Mr. Senate President, let me also say something.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. TUPAS.  There was an observation made by counsel for defense that this Representation approached the witness during a break.  I just want to put on record, Mr. Senate President, that it was after the release of the SALN and it was before, I think before the information that we receive that the Supreme Court has authorized.  I told her ang sinabi ko lang sa kanya, okay lang po ba kayo.  Okay po ba kayo.  Human nature iyon, Mr. Senate President.

Secondly, I also have my own observation that when session was ongoing, two or three members from the defense approached our witness, Ms. Vidal, and talked to Ms. Vidal.  I just want to put that on record, Mr. Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let those remarks be recorded then the Presiding Officer would like to request the lawyers to avoid any signs of extraordinary contact with the witness so that there will not arise any suspicion of any coaching.  So let us proceed.  Attorney Justiniano, please proceed with your witness.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  With the permission of this honourable court, we are calling our next witness, Mr. Marianito Dimaandal.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And what is the purpose of presenting this witness?

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  We are offering the testimony of this witness to show that he is a record custodian in Malacañang in the Office of the President, that he will identify the SALN of Chief Justice Renato Corona from 1992 up to 2002 and that these copies are authentic reproduction of the original.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the relevance of this proposed evidence, SALN by Chief Justice Corona when he was not yet a Chief Justice?

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  …discharge for grounds stated in the Constitution when already sat as a justice and he would not be impeached for any act that he did before he joined the court.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So kindly explain to us the relevance of these documents.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Yes, Your Honor.  May I proceed now, Your Honor.

We have alleged that Chief Justice Corona accumulated ill-gotten wealth and the SALN of Chief Justice Corona from 1992 up to 2002 up to the present will show the trend in his net worth whether a decrease, it remain constant or it increase.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In other words, you are going to use this as a matter of comparison?

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Yes, Your Honor.  As a starting point, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, I leave it to counsel for the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, there is no definite and specific allegation of the alleged violation of the Anti-Graft Law with respect to unjust enrichment in public office, Your Honor.  In fact, during the early hours of our discussion, Your Honor, we are raising the validity of the allegations contained insofar as that portion is concerned.  It merely said purported, allegedly and so on and we feel that they are not in compliance with the Rule of Procedure, Rules of Proceeding enshrined under our rules of evidence, Your Honor, and Rules of Procedure.

If that is so, then any all evidence that will be presented in order to support their stand will be immaterial, impertinent, irrelevant and non-admissible, Your Honor.  And it will be a waste of time, Your Honor.

They are not prosecuting Chief Justice Corona for accumulating illegally acquired wealth, Your Honor.  Their complaint is very specific on the point, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The allegations under Article II, “Failure to Disclose”, that is the ultimate fact alleged.  Then also, only unreported that some of the properties of the respondent are not included.

I will not pass judgment on this, for there it is an ultimate fact.  And the third is, “Likewise suspected and accused of having accumulated ill-gotten wealth, acquiring assets of high values and keeping bank accounts which proves the process.”

This is the nature of the allegations in Article II.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What’s the pleasure of the defense counsel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, we were placing on record our vehement objection with apologies to this honourable court, Your Honor, because this in not in compliance with the Rules of Proceedings.

It may be said that this is only an impeachment case.  If in a criminal case, in a civil case, this is not allowed.  This form of allegation is not allowed with no reason, there is a compelling necessity that the statement of facts must be in accordance with the Rule of Evidence and Rule of Procedure, Your Honor.

Our rules on pleading, Your Honor, states that the complaint or the information must allege ultimate facts and not evidentiary facts.

Now, this is not allegation.  It’s a respondent likewise suspected.  Is this enough allegation, Your Honor?

It is our humble submission that this does not comply with the Rule of Pleading.

It has been reported, Your Honor.  What is the value of the allegation, Your Honor.  Because if they are not statement of the ultimate facts, then we have abundant jurisprudence to the effect that if they do not satisfy the Rules on Pleading, Your Honor, then we can bar the presentation and admission of any evidence proving those allegations, because it becomes immaterial, impertinent and irrelevant.

This is because we were quarrelling with ourselves, Your Honor, and asking, is he being impeached because of ill-gotten wealth?  If the answer is yes, what are the material facts?

Our first impulse, Your Honor, was to move for a bill of particulars, Your Honor, because what have not been alleged with sufficient, definiteness and particularity could be raised through a bill of particulars, Your Honor.

But we were worried, Your Honor.  We may be charged with only delaying, and resorting to technicalities, because if we did that, certainly they will be compelled to allege with specifity and particularity what are these facts constitutive of the ultimate facts of the case.

And we have jurisprudence to the effect.  If this does not satisfy them, no evidence may be admitted and presented, Your Honor.

We are placing that on record, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I would like to ask the prosecution, in crafting this paragraph 2.3, who reported the fact that you allege in this pleading?  Can you identify?

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  May I please, the honorable court, the allegation of ill-gotten wealth is contained in paragraph 2.4, which state, respondent is likewise suspected and accused of having accumulated ill-gotten wealth.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Suspicion is only suspicion, it is not a fact.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  There is an accusation, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who accused?

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  The complainant, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ha?

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  There is an accusation by the complainant that the respondent has accumulated ill-gotten wealth consisting of …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The complainant, meaning, the Honorable Niel Tupas, Honorable Bag-ao …

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  The 188 Members, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ha?

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  The 188 Members of Congress who signed the articles of impeachment.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, if we follow the logic of the honorable counsel, Your Honor, you and I and everybody may be sentenced to death in a criminal prosecution by mere suspicion and report, Your Honor.  That is not what is required of a pleading, Your Honor.

We are dealing in here with an actuality.  We are dealing in here with the fate and future of the Chief Justice, no less than the Honorable Corona of the Supreme Court.

Why are we going to allow a proceeding similar to this, solely on the basis of what is reported, solely on the basis of what is suspected?

I have yet to meet a jurisprudence that will sustain the validity of this kind of assertion, Your Honor.  This has been prescribed in a lot of—if we will be given the opportunity to do so, we are willing to present a memorandum in support of this contention.

But suffice it to say that for purposes of evidence, Your Honor, this cannot be the subject of evidence because these are not valid allegations.  If they are not valid allegation, then the elementary rule of evidence, you cannot prove that which is not alleged, and if it does not constitute sufficient allegation, then we will be barred from presenting evidence in support thereof.

That is our humble submission, Your Honor, and we are sticking to that, we are leaving it to the discretion of the honorable court, but if so, if the court will require us, we will be willing to submit jurisprudence to this effect, for the guidance of the court, Your Honor, and just so, fairness and justice will be observed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For the purposes of the hearing today, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … let us allow the witness to testify and let us see what is the relevance of these materials that they are going to present in relation to the ultimate facts mentioned here regarding failure to disclose public statements, to disclose to the public his statement of assets and networth.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we be permitted to go a little farther, even for one or two minutes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. Chairman.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  The President of the Senate already made a ruling.  We have been throwing arguments back and forth on this point, I think, the President already ruled that let us allow the witness to testify and we can rule on the questions raised by counsel for the defense at a later date.  He can even file a memorandum.  So, let us proceed and allow the witness, as ruled by the Senate President, to testify.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, Mr. Counsel, this is only a presentation of the evidence.  When they offer the evidence, then, we will allow you to raise your objections.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, Your Honor, at the expense of convenience of this honorable court, Your Honor, in matters of evidence, where the evidence is testimonial in character, when the witness is called to the stand, the offer starts, Your Honor, unlike in documentary evidence, where you have to wait until the determination of what the counsel would like to prove, and then, make an offer at the end of the proceedings.

But in testimonial evidence, the moment the witness is called to the stand, the offer starts, Your Honor, and the objection can be validly raised at any time, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You can state your continuing objection.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We will do that, Your Honor.  Our point is just so we will not be precluded to raise this at any time in the proper forum and at the proper time.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER  With that understanding that you make your continuing objection, the presentation of this witness with respect to the statements contained in paragraph 2.3 and 2.4 is reserved for you.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Mr. Dimaandal, with what government office are you connected?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Your Honor, I am presently connected with the Office of the President of the Philippines as Head of the Malacanang Records Office.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  What are your duties and responsibilities as head of the Malacanang Records Office?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Records custodian of the papers in the Office of the President.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  When you said records custodian, does it include the statements of assets and liabilities of government officials?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very leading, Your Honor.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Preliminary.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Preliminary to what, Your Honor?

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Preliminary.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Preliminary to what?  It is not enough that …

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Preliminary to his identifying the statements of assets and liabilities of Justice Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  He may answer.  Proceed.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor, we keep the SALN in the Office of the President.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Do you have them with you?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.  It is with me right now.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is it that you have with you?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  The certified true copy of the SALN of Justice Renato Corona.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That was not asked in the question.  The question is, do you have copies of the SALN.  SALN of whom, that is why we are objecting, Your Honor.  Vague, general, indefinite.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Your Honor, to obviate the objection, I will just reform.  Do you have with you the SALN of Chief Justice Roberto Corona?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very good, thank you.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.  Renato Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  I am sorry.  Renato Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  SALN of Chief Justice Corona when he was working in Malacanang, isn’t it?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just to clarify.  Go ahead.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  May I make of record that witness is producing …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please use the microphone.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  … witness is producing, Number 1, as sworn statement of assets, liabilities and networth as of July 22, 1992 consisting of two pages.  Mr. Witness, on the second page, there is a rubber stamp, certified copy, and there is a signature, Marianito Dimaandal, Director, Malacanang Records Office.  Whose signature is that?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  It is my signature, Your Honor.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Again, may I request, Your Honor, that this statement of assets, liabilities and networth as of July 22, 1992 be marked as Exhibit P.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the Clerk of Court mark it accordingly.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  The back portion which contains instructions be marked as our Exhibit P-1.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  The second page, we request that the same be marked as Exhibit P-3.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  P-2, I am sorry, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is SALN for 1992.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  And the back page, Your Honor,  we mark as Exhibit P-3.  Yes, Your Honor, 1992.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  1992 of then Attorney Corona now Chief Justice .

ATTY. ROY.  May we manifest that the exhibit marked as Exhibit B by the prosecution refers to one Renato Corona whose position here is described as Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs, Assistant Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs, Office of the President, etc.  We wish to make that of record, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  May I request, Your Honor, that the figure 14,968,000 which represents his net worth as of July 22, 1992 be encircled and mark as our Exhibit P-4.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Isn’t it a rule that the entire document is the best evidence of all its contents?  What is the need of marking that number?

ATTY. ROY.  For the part of the defense, Your Honor, just to draw that attention to that portion of the document which we take it significant.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  The figure appearing as his total assets which is 9,138,000 be marked as Exhibit P-5.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.  Is that figure the net worth or is it the gross?

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  This represent, Your Honor, the assets, the total assets of Chief Justice Corona as of July 22, 1992.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No liabilities.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  There is, Your Honor.  There is an entry beside the word car financing loan in the amount of P300,000.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You see, when you only mentioned the asset without giving the other particulars of the, this is an accounting document, without presenting the other side, the liability side, you are misleading.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Your Honor, therefore, I will mark as our Exhibit P-5 the liabilities in the amount of P300,000, Your Honor.  I am sorry, P-6.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For purposes of comparison, why not just mark the net worth?

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  The signature identified by the witness to be his own, may I request that this be marked as our Exhibit P-7.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, may we manifest that  there was an error in the marking, and a circle was placed around the signature that purports to be the signature of the maker.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is the maker?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, the document is in the name of—as we manifested earlier, one Renato Corona, Assistant Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And then signed by him?

ATTY. ROY.  It appears to be his signature, Your Honor.  There is no printed words beneath the signature.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And you cannot attest to the fact that…

ATTY. ROY.  I do not know, Your Honor.  I cannot attest to the genuineness of his signature.

May I also manifest, Your Honor, that under the column personal and other properties, the total amount is P6,130,000 in order to clarify the figures that were marked as Exhibits P5, P6 and P4.  We just wish to manifest that there is another entry which was not marked as one of the submarkings of the prosecution, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is that figure that you mentioned?  The last one.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, the last one is the amount that represents personal and other properties, Your Honor, which taken together with the assets would, as Your Honor pointed out, represent the total amount, less the liabilities, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Mr. President.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Sorsogon.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Mr. President, my understanding earlier, per the manifestation and request of Sen. Drilon that marking be henceforth be done before the clerk of court.

I believe, based on the offer of counsel of testimony of witness, he will just be identifying these as duly certified copies and not as to the veracity or accuracy of the contents anyway.

So, may we just ask that the witness identify the documents that he presented and that these be marked at a later time before the clerk of court so that we save on time.

ATTY. ROY.  We will do that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness will actually incompetent to testify on the veracity of the entries in that document.  That’s why I said, the best evidence of the contents is the document itself, unless it is controverted.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  There is, Your Honor, another SALN as of December 31, 1992.

Mr. Witness, is this a faithful reproduction of the original?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  For the record, Your Honor, this SALN as of December 31, 1992 consist of two pages.

There is, Your Honor, another SALN as of December 3, 1993.  Mr. Witness, is this a faithful reproduction of the original?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. JUSTINANO.  Another SALn, Mr. Witness, as of December 3, 1994, consisting of …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  Are you marking the 1993?

ATTY. JUSTINANO.  As per suggestion, we will do the marking later to save time, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay, okay.

ATTY. JUSTINANO.  There is another SALN, as of December 3, 1994 consisting of two pages.  Is this a faithful reproduction of the original?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. JUSTINANO.  Another SALN, as of December 31, 1994, consisting of two pages.  Is this also a faithful reproduction of the original?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are already constrained to object.  The questions are leading, Your Honor, and the witness is a very intelligent witness.  This is prescribed by the Rules of Evidence.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, that is correct.  Reform the question because—Anyway, you must lay the basis.  Are those certified copies?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then you have to premise your question on the fact that they were certified.

ATTY. JUSTINANO.  Yes, I will do that, Your Honor.

There is another SALN as of February 21, 2001, consisting of one page, and there is—it is stated here, certified copy, why do you say that this is a certified copy?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No basis, Your Honor.  We have never stated that, Your Honor.  That is the conclusion or the observation of counsel, which is not evidentiary in character.  Therefore it is not allowed by the rules of evidence.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sustained.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Mr. Witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Reform your question.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  I will reform it, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Lay your premise.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Did you conduct a search of the SALN of Chief Justice Corona?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute, counsel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Again.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Make the witness competent to testify on the document.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Mr. Witness, you stated awhile ago that you are connected with the Malacañang Records Office.  Is that correct, Mr. Witness?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.  I have stated awhile ago.

ATTY. JUSTIANO.  Now, as head of …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you the custodian of these documents?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have custody of these documents.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are familiar with the records of these documents.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And these are certified copies of documents in the custody of your office?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Have you certified these documents?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor, I am the one who signed it.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Under your signature.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  So, proceed counsel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I thought he will thank the Presiding Officer.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  I am showing to you a SALN as of February 21, 2001, is this is one of the SALN which you certified?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Another SALN, as of December 31, 1996, is this one of the SALN which you certified?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we place on record, Your Honor, with the kind permission of the honorable Presiding Officer, that all these questions are very leading, and we do not want to bother the witness and the examiner with all leading questions, so, may he be advised, Your Honor, to refrain from asking leading questions, because definitely, it is violative of the rules on evidence.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is correct, only when you are presenting an adverse witness can you ask leading questions.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  I will proceed, Your Honor.  There is a SALN as of February 5, 2002, which appears to be certified, what is the relation of this certified copy with the original?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  This is the faithful machine reproduction of the file—of the filed copy and filed in the office, and I certified it, to the authenticity and veracity of the document.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  There is another SALN as of April 2002, and there is a marking at the back, certified copy, what is the relation of the certified copy with the original in your officer?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, just the same, this is the official copy and file, and we are required to submit in the honorable court, and I signed it and issued a certified true copy on this.  I am sorry, I forgot to sign.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You issued a certified true copy on this.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Jus the signing.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we make it of record, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am sorry.  I am sorry.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I want to clarify, what do you mean by “on this”?  Your statement is, I issued a certified true copy on this.  What is “this”?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  In compliance Sir with the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you saying that that is a certified true copy of an original in your custody?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Sir, i just signed it now.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Make it clear, please lang, ipaliwanag mong mabuti.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  I am sorry, Your Honor.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  That will evolve, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you through counsel?  Are you through?

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  I have no further question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we be allowed to start with our cross examination, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, please, go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.  Now, I understand that you are merely asked to produce or bring before this court certain documents, am I right?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  No, Your Honor, we received a letter from Congressman Joseph Emilio Abaya, dated this January 16, 2012 and received by our office on January 1, 2012, and the second paragraph …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am asking a very simple question.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, you came here not pursuant to a subpoena issued by the honourable impeachment court.  Only yes or no.  I am making it easier for you.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  No, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, there was no subpoena issued to you.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  The subpoena was just received by our office this afternoon I think.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, it is very clear, coming here to testify is not pursuant to a subpoena issued by this court.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  This is in compliance with a letter …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am not asking you whether that is in compliance or not.  I am asking you a very simple question.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  May we know the materiality of the question of the defense?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just answer the question, Witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am testing his credibility.  I am on cross-examination, Mr. Counsel.  Am I precluded to test his credibility?  Because cross-examination may deal as a subject what has been taken up in the direct or connected therewith with sufficient fullness, or to elicit admission favourable to who is involved.  Am I precluded?

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  But does it make the document that he identified less credible because he came here voluntarily?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are not yet at that point.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Order.  Order.  Allow the Counsel who is making the cross-examination propound his question.  Now, your question is what is the materiality.  Well, let him explain.  What is the materiality or what is the relevance of your question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, because this is an impeachment court.  It issue the compulsory processes.  We wanted to determine whether his coming over here voluntary or pursuant to the process issued by this honourable court.  I do not think there is anything objectionable there.  This is preliminary, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is correct.  He is only asking whether he came here at the behest of the prosecution or in answer to a subpoena issued by this court.  That was the tendency of the question.  So proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, when you received the letter, you made the conclusion that you will appear in response to the letter.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, did you examine the original of all those documents that ___________.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  We have the file copy.  We don’t have the original on file.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is not my question to you.  May we request for an order ordering the witness to answer responsively.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness, please understand the question very carefully and answer it directly.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am not asking you whether … I am asking you whether at the time the request was made, you have the originals of those documents with you.  Only yes or no.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You have them with you now.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  No, Your Honor.  But the original copy is with the appointee.  And we have the duplicate copy on file with their office.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, you are telling us now that you were not able to bring it now because you do not have custody or possession of that document?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Of the original, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS. Yes.  So, when you made the certification, the original is not with you?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is very clear ha.  You do not have the original and yet you are certifying to the correctness of the duplicate.

ATTY. JUSTIANIANO.  Your Honor, what the witness is stating is that the original is with the one who filed …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Kindly, kindly just …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Order.  Let him finish first and then if you want to make a re-direct, then make a re-direct question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It is not our purpose, Your Honor, to preclude the learned counsel from opposing.  But he should not supply testimony in behalf of the witness.  Otherwise, we will ask him to take the stand and we will be able to cross-examine him.  And that will be a very novel issue, examining the counsel for the prosecution.  We have a very simple question.  We wanted to reiterate and determine that at the time he made the certification, the originals are not with him.  That is our only purpose, am I right?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.  So, you are now testifying merely based on memory.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  I am sorry, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I repeat my question, Your Honor, just to save time.  So, you are now testifying merely based on memory.  You do not have the original when you issued the certification.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  We have the official copy on file.  We don’t have the original but we have the official copy on file in the possession of our office.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No.  What I am asking you is, when you issued the alleged certificate that it is a copy of the original, you do not have the original with you at that time.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  We don’t have the original.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct.  Now, you have identified quite a number of documents.  Will you agree with me that you do not know the correctness and veracity of the contents of these documents?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Well, Your Honor, we have the official, the duplicate on file with our office.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  What question are you answering again?  My question is to you is, based on the documents that you produced before this honourable Court, can you tell the honourable court about the accuracy and correctness, well, I am not in the position whether that the entries in that document are correct.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

Now, so, you wanted us to understand now, or am I correct in understanding that you came over only to produce those documents?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  To produce the certified true copy.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Correct.  And you are not, in any way, been reliable on the issue of accuracy, authenticity and correctness of the contents thereof?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you very much.

We are through with our cross-examination, Your Honor.

Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any re-direct?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Nor re-direct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are we through with this witness?

ATTY. BAUTISTA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness is discharged, unless you want him to come back at the proper time.

REP. TUPAS.  No more, Your Honor.  We’re done with the witness.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Just a few clarificatory questions, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. DRILON.  Not to counsel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have two more minutes.

SEN. DRILON.  You kept on saying that the original of this SALN is with the appointee, is that correct?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, sir.  It’s with the appointee, the original.  It was duly received by the office.  The original is with them, one or two.  And there are copies being left in our office.

SEN. DRILON.  Isn’t it a practice that you file the original and that the duplicate is retained for your own personal file?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Sometimes nangyayari din po yon.  Pero meron po kaming—yon pong aming official file.  We have also sometimes the original, sometimes duplicate copy.  What we are to assure is just a copy on file with us.

SEN. DRILON.  So, the duplicate copy in your file is a copy—is a faithful reproduction and copy of the original.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  That’s all that we wanted to calrify.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Pangilinan.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Just a clarification, Mr. Witness

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  What is the difference between the original copy and the duplicate original copy?  Are they both signed by the—well, in this case, by the filer?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  They’re both signed?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, there are actually two original copies?  One is retained by the…

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Sometimes two or three pa po e.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes.  Two or three original copies duly signed?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  And therefore, the copy that is with you is duly signed SALN?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, it is a duplicate original?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  In other words, if after the appointee—well, assuming no, hypothetical, he goes to you.  He has four copies.  He signs all four copies.  He submits one to you and then he retains the other three.  Ganon ba yon?  Does that happen?

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Sometimes the appointee requested three copies then for other purpose which we don’t know.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Kaya nga.  So, meron siyang dalawang kopya o tatlong kopya, hawak-hawak niya.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Okay. Hindi pa niya pinipirmahan.  Hypothetical, pipirmahan niya bawa’t isa, tatlo.  Yung isa, ibibigay sa ‘yo, ‘yon ang i-fa-file mo.  Tapos yung dalawa, dadalin niya.  Ganon.  Ganon ang …

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Ganon ang mangyayari po.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Maraming salamat.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anything else?  No one else?

Thank you, Mr. Witness.  Your are discharged.

MR. DIMAANDAL.  Thank you very much, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You’re welcome.

ATTY. TUPAS.  Mr. President, may we call on our next witness?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. TUPAS.  The next witness is the Register of Deeds of Marikina City.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness—the Register of Deeds of Marikina City, if he’s here may now please enter the room and take the witness stand.  And the clerk is directed to administer the oath.

There is a request here that the next witness would be presented tomorrow because the hour’s getting late.  What’s the pleasure of the Body?

ATTY. TUPAS.  He’s here.  He’s here, Your Honor, our witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Would the prosecution agree that we will continue tomorrow?

ATTY. TUPAS.  Maybe, Your Honor, if that’s the pleasure of the court.  Although we have eight more witnesses for …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, we’ll tackle them tomorrow when we start at two o’clock.

ATTY. TUPAS.  May we just request, Mr. Senate President that the eight witnesses be directed to appear tomorrow instead of two o’clock, at ten o’clock for marking of exhibits at the Office of the Impeachment Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All the witnesses that appeared today and who should be testifying today are directed to appear tomorrow at ten o’clock for the markings of the documents requested from them under the subpoena duces tecum issued by this court and to also be present at two o’clock in the afternoon to attend the formal hearing during the continuation of this case, tomorrow afternoon at four o’clock.

So ordered.  (Gavel)

ATTY. TUPAS.  Thank you, Mr. Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. Senate President, I move to adjourn the trial until two o’clock in the afternoon of January 19, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  January 19, 2012, tomorrow.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thursday.

ADJOURNMENT OF HEARING

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  (Gavel)  Hearing none, the trial is hereby adjourned until tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, January 19, 2012, and all the witnesses are ordered who are supposed to testify today are ordered to be present at that time to take the witness stand.  So order.  (Gavel)

It was 7:09 p.m.


 

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