IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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

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

PRAYER

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We shall be led in prayer by Senator Franklin M. Drilon.

ROLL CALL

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

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With 20 Senators-Judges present in the Chamber, the Presiding Officer declares the presence of a quorum.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please proceed.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.  I move that we dispense with the reading of the January 24, 2012 Journal of the Senate sitting as an impeachment court and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  (Silence)  There being none, the January 24, 2012 Journal of this impeachment court is hereby approved.

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

THE SECRETARY.  Case No. 002-2011.  IMPEACHMENT CASE OF HONORABLE 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.  Mr. President and Members of the Senate, good afternoon.  For the House of Representatives’ prosecution panel, same appearances.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted for the prosecution.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Good afternoon, Mr. President and members of this impeachment court.  For Chief Justice Corona,Your Honor, we are making the same appearance, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted for the defense.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, in compliance with the directive given yesterday by the Presiding Officer, the prosecution filed this morning its memorandum re Article II of the verified complaint for impeachment with opposition to respondent’s motion to quash subpoena issued to BIR Commissioner Jacinto Kim Henares.

Mr. President, with both parties having submitted their respective memoranda and having argued their positions in open court yesterday, we submit that the issues have been fully discussed and the Senate is now ready to rule on the issue.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.

This noon, at twelve o’clock this noon, the Members of this Impeachment Court met in a caucus and considered both the memorandum filed by the prosecution at ten o’clock this morning, as well as the memorandum filed by the defense panel yesterday morning, and we discussed the merits of both memoranda.  And this Impeachment Court has arrived at a decision in that caucus that this court will allow the introduction of evidence on Impeachment Article II, paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3, but not the introduction of evidence on paragraph 2.4.  And so, all parties must be guided accordingly.

The prosecution may introduce if it has evidence that would support the allegations contained in paragraph 2.2 and paragraph 2.3 under Article II of the Articles of Impeachment, but not to introduce evidence under paragraph 2.4 of Article II of the Articles of Impeachment.

So ordered.  (Gavel)

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Drilon wishes to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Just to amplify, Mr. Senate President.  When the court ruled indeed that the court would allow introduction of evidence on 2.2 and 2.3 which would allow evidence to prove that evidence can be introduced that a property, whether real or personal, is not included in the SALN.  However, under Article 2.4 which asserts that such properties could be ill-gotten, the court did not rule on that and will rely on the presumptions of evidence—on the presumptions of law, particularly the Anti-Graft Law, Mr. President.

That’s just an amplification of the ruling of the Chair.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is correct.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.  Majority Floor Leader.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, may I—For only one minute, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel for the defense, please proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we be informed, Your Honor, if there will be a written resolution of what have been disposed of today?  So that we will be able to determine the exact parameters, the connotation and denotation of that resolution, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We will not have the resolution now.  If that’s the question of the defense counsel, I’m now directing the Secretary of the Senate, acting as a clerk of court, to prepare a resolution to reflect this ruling of the Impeachment Court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The reason, if Your Honor, please, behind our request, Your Honor, is to be able to ascertain the next move on the part of the defense in connection with this resolution.

Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary of the Senate, acting as a clerk of court, is hereby directed to prepare a formal resolution embodying what has been stated in the record just now as the ruling of this Impeachment Court with respect to Article II of the Articles of Impeachment.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. President, please.

SEN. SOTTO.  On the same matter?

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, on the same matter, with respect to the ruling and the clarification made by Senator Drilon, we reserve our right to file a motion for reconsideration upon receipt of the written order, Your Honor.

Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Sorsogon is recognized.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. President, just a point of order.  It is my understanding that only a member of the Senate can seek a reconsideration from the ruling of the Chair.

Any rulings of the Char is considered the ruling of the Senate itself, unless a Member of the Senate seeks a reconsideration or a vote in plenary from the same ruling, and not by any of the parties.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is a correct parliamentary rule, and I think, that is followed in impeachment trials outside of this country.  So, I hope, the prosecution is well advised.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  As earlier stated, the counsel for Chief Justice Corona has filed a motion to quash the subpoena issued by the court to BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares, for its part, the prosecution has entered its opposition thereto, I move that the Presiding Officer rule on the motion.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With respect to this ITR requested by the subpoena filed with this impeachment court, the position of the Chair is to allow the subpoena for the ITR of the Chief Justice and his wife.

The ITR of others included in that request the prosecution must lay the basis or show the connection of those ITRs in the present impeachment case, which involves only the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor, please, if we may be allowed to say something.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel for the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All the while, I thought that with the proper resolution now of the denial by this honorable body, Your Honor, of the presentation of the evidence in connection with illegally acquired wealth, then the testimony of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue is precluded, Your Honor, because we were made to understand that the purpose of the offer of the testimony and evidence to be produced by the honorable Commissioner of Internal Revenue is in connection with the ill-gotten wealth, Your Honor, and no longer in connection with paragraph 2 and 3, Your Honor, but with the definite ruling made by this honorable court, that there could be no reception of evidence in connection with the alleged illegally acquired wealth, then, that forecloses the avenue for opening up the opportunity on the part of the commissioner to take the witness stand, Your Honor.

That is our principal purpose, Your Honor, in making this manifestation, Your Honor.

Sapagkat po, maliwanag sa amin na hindi na po natin tatalakayin, pursuant sa inyong order ngayon, ang nauukol sa illegally acquired wealth.  Sa amin pong paniwala at sa aming—ang dating sa amin, hindi na natin pag-uusapan iyan sapagkat may ruling na e, unless that is reversed by a different authority, Your Honor, then, they are precluded from presenting evidence in connection with this.

So, it will appear now, Your Honor, that apparently, there will be a contradiction in terms, Your Honor.  This was disallowed and yet, evidence apparently are being allowed to be presented in connection therewith.

That is our humble submission, Your Honor, based on our understanding of the order of this honorable impeachment court, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … impeachment court, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The manifestation of the counsel is well-taken.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we are now ready for the continuation of the presentation of evidence by the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes.  Good afternoon, Mr. President.  Our first witness for today is the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Ms. Kim Jacinto Henares.  We call on our first witness, Mr. President, Your Honors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the purpose of the offer of the testimony of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

REP. TUPAS.  The purpose, Mr. President, is the truthfulness of the entries in the SALN and at the same time the capacity to pay of the Chief Justice and the wife.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  The ruling of this Chair is to allow the presentation of evidence with respect to the non-disclosure of the SALN of the respondent and for the introduction of evidence with respect to the non-inclusion of assets and properties of whatever nature in the SALN.  I see no materiality, the Chair does not see any materiality of any introduction of BIR records with respect to these two allegations.  So, kindly explain and justify the introduction of evidence coming from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes.  Mr. President, we want to prove the accuracy in the SALN declaration.  And for this purpose, may we call on the private prosecutor to conduct the direct examination, Atty. Art Lim.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There is none yet an order from this honorable Body, Your Honor, allowing the introduction of evidence in this particular issue to be supplied by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.  So, this will be out of order.  I hope the court pardons me for emphasizing that point, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Santiago wishes to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Santiago has the floor.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Mr. President, yesterday I proposed and up to today I support the admission in evidence and the testimony of the Internal Revenue Commissioner.  However, I wish to say the following.  Number one, if the purpose is to prove veracity, she is incompetent to verify whether the income tax return states the truth of not; Number 2, if the purpose is to prove allegations of unexplained wealth, that itself, is also irrelevant because the court has already announced that it will decide on whether to accept evidence on the charge of ill-gotten wealth at a later time.  That is why I want to ask counsel for the prosecution the following:

Are you introducing this witness merely as an attesting officer to attest that that is the official tax return of the Chief Justice filed with their office?  Not as to the veracity   That is not possible.

And Number 2, or are you introducing her as an expert witness?  Later on I will tell you why there is a difference between an ordinary witness and an expert witness.

Could you answer the first question, please.  Are you introducing her as an attesting officer or as an expert witness.

REP. TUPAS.  The one, Mr. President, who will conduct the direct is Atty. Art Lim.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Ay, hindi, dapat alam mo iyan.  Prosecutor ka eh.  Basic iyong question na iyon.  Huwag mong itapon doon sa kanya.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please answer the question of the Senator.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. President, with respect to the first question, we are presenting BIR Commissioner Kim Henares  to testify on the truthfulness.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  No, you can’t.  That is the ruling of myself and of the rest of my colleagues, I hope.

REP. TUPAS.  The veracity of the SALN.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  She cannot testify as to the veracity of an income tax return.  You filed a return with her.  She does not go out and see if that is correct or not.  That is the function of some other office.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  The question of the Senator is the character of the witness being presented.  Is she going to be presented as an ordinary witness or as an expert witness?

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Or some other form of witness.

REP. TUPAS.  Well, yes, she is an ordinary witness.

SEN. DEFENSOR SANTIAGO.  Yes, she is.  And the difference, counsel, is this—if we introduce her as an expert witness, you can ask her hypothetical questions.  But if she is an ordinary witness, she will testify only as to her first hand knowledge.  Anything else will be hearsay.  So since she is, I will not use the word “merely”, she is actually one of the higher officials of our country, but since she is in her capacity appearing here as Commissioner of Internal Revenue, she cannot possibly be examined direct or indirect, redirect or recross, on whether the allegations in the income tax return are true.  That cannot be the purpose.  We are asking you what is the purpose.  Your purpose simply is to prove that this is a piece of paper, the same piece of paper that was filed in her bureau.

REP. TUPAS.  The purpose, Your Honors, is to prove the authenticity of the documents so that is the purpose.

SEN. DEFENSOR SANTIAGO.  That’s right.  She is only going to be attesting that this is a correct and a copy of the original.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, that is correct, Mr. President, Your Honors.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO. … recognize Senator Angara, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Senator from Aurora is recognized.

SEN. ANGARA.  Salamat po, Pangulo.  That is the same point I am going to raise, Mr. President, that the witness be allowed to testify to authenticate, not to verify the truthfulness or veracity of the document because obviously she cannot do that but she can certainly authenticate or attest to the truthfulness of that copy on file with her office.  I think that is what is allowed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If we may be allowed to say a word also after your time.

SEN. ANGARA.  Because if you say that it is to testify to the genuineness and veracity, then we are going to have a problem with paragraph 2.4 which the court itself said we will reserve judgment and ruling on that.  I think that is different.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, if it is merely a question of authenticity, Your Honor, I would like to save the honourable Commissioner of Internal Revenue from being saddled with the burden of coming here at the expense of what she should have done in her office.  That matter can be testified to if that is the only purpose by any official of the or even the keeper of the records of the Internal Revenue, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Drilon.

SEN. DRILON.  Thank you, Mr. President.  The court has already ruled that the prosecution may introduce evidence to prove that there were assets that were not covered by the SALN, only for that and that is under 2.2 and 2.3.  Insofar as ill-gotten wealth is concerned, the ruling of the court is that we will not rule on that as to whether evidence  can be introduced on that point but we will just let the documents be introduced and the conclusion is a matter of law and we will rule on that at a much later date.  So the court has already ruled, Mr. President, that evidence can be introduced to show that there were assets not covered by the SALN.  That is the ruling of the court under 2.2 and 2.3.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, the Chair rules that the witness may testify only on the authentication.  I would allow the witness to take the witness stand only to the extent of authenticating the due execution of the document.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, again we are compelled much against our regret, Your Honor, to place on record our discomfort with the manifestation made by the Honorable Drilon.  In fact, a lot of newspaper people said, hindi pa ba ninyo didiskwalipayin iyan.  Apparently he was already speaking, he is not ruling, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, may I recognize Senator Drilon first.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  We are just putting on record, Mr. President, the ruling of the court arrived at in caucus.  Any member of the court can dispute that ruling.  That it is clear that we were just stating for the record the ruling of the court as arrived at during our caucus.  So it is not my manifestation, it is a manifestation of the ruling of the court as arrived at in caucus.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … Anyway, let us now finish this argumentation.  The Chair will now allow the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to take the witness stand, only to testify on the due of the authenticity of the document and due execution.

So order.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Submitted, Your Honor.

REP. TUPAS.  We are calling now our first witness for today, Mr. President, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Ms. Kim Jacinto Henares.  And may we request from Your Honors that Atty. Art Lim, one of the private prosecutors, be recognized to conduct the direct examination.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the name of the private prosecutor.

REP. TUPAS.  It’s Atty. Arthur Lim.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Arthur Lim.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The honourable Commissioner of Internal Revenue may take the witness stand and let her be sworn in.

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  Please stand and raise your right hand.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in this impeachment case?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Yes, I do.

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  So help you God.

ATTY. LIM.  Atty. Arthur D. Lim, private prosecutor, acting under direction, control and supervision of the House panel of prosecutors, respectfully appearing, Your Honor, in this proceedings to come back the direct examination of the witness, honourable BIR Commissioner Kim Henares.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  May it please the court and with your kind permission, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Madam witness, good afternoon.

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Good afternoon, Sir.

ATTY. LIM.  Will you please state your name, address and present position or occupation.

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  My name is Kim S. Jacinto Henares.  My address is at 5th floor, National Office Building of the BIR, Agham Road, Diliman, Quezon City.  I’m presently the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

ATTY LIM.  Your Honor, please, the prosecution is respectfully offering the testimony of the witness, BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto Henares in order to prove the following matters or facts.

No. 1, to show that responded, Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, acquired properties as declared in his SALNs which are not justified by his income as reported to the BIR.

Second purpose, to show that respondent tried to hide some of these properties in the names of his children.  Said properties being still owned by him are, however, not declared in his SALNs.

Third and last purpose, to show compliance by the witness with the subpoena duces tecum et ad testificandum served upon her by this honourable court.

May I proceed, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, give me the opportunity to comment and/or object.  That is what the rules prescribe.

Your Honor, please, we object to the purpose of the offer, Your Honor, because as we understood it, if the witness will be allowed to testify, she will be testifying on her personal knowledge.  And that will involve the accuracy and the veracity of all that appears the documents that she will have to testify now.

Secondly, my understanding, Your Honor, is, any and all scinitilla of evidence are proscribed by the ruling of this court in connection with the alleged illegally acquired wealth.

So, any and all evidence that will be introduced in connection therewith will be immaterial, irrelevant and impertinent and therefore not admissible, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor, please, may I be allowed a brief reply, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  … the essence and the substance and the sum total of all these three purposes is authentication, which the honorable Presiding Officer has expressly allowed.  Please note

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please explain.

ATTY. LIM.  Please note, Your Honor—Yes, Your Honor, please note that this Representation never used the phrase ill-gotten wealth, and the witness will not be testifying about ill-gotten wealth, maybe that belongs to another forum.  The witness will simply authenticate public documents submitted to her office, vis-a-vis the SALNs which the witness knows, as a matter of data …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Isn’t counsel, isn’t it that authentication refers to the requirements to establish the authenticity of the document itself.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor, please, authentication in the legal sense is not simply to authenticate and make it a document that will be entitled to full faith and credit.  In the first place, these are already public documents, notarized documents, public records, and they speak for themselves.  So, authentication in this sense is really not to request another witness or the witness here to discharge the additional burden of saying, yes, this is the income tax return of Mr. Corona, and I hereby certify that this is indeed authentic.  There is no legal need for that, Your Honor, please, if I may humbly submit.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That was understanding of the Chair when he made this ruling and allowed this Chair.

ATTY. LIM.  If that were the only purpose for authentication in that very, very, limited and constricted sense, I respectfully submit, there is no need for any witness.

All we have to do is to bring certified copies of the records, but again, Your Honor, what do we have in this case?  This is not of course a criminal trial, but this is a trial for the high offense of culpable violation of the public trust, graft and corruption, betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution, failure to disclose assets in the SALN.  The honorable BIR commissioner will declare that based on the figures taken at face value, reported under oath in the income tax returns, these figures cannot and can never justify the acquisition cost for Bellagio, for …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then that goes …

ATTY. LIM.  … the other properties that the respondent acquired.

Sorry, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then, that goes into the substance of one of the allegations that was not allowed to be taken up in this court.

ATTY. LIM.  I was just citing…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As far as the form and compliance with the requirements of executing the SALN or the statement of assets and liabilities are concerned, that is the one authorized by this Chair to be testified on by the witness.  And so, therefore, this Chair rules that the—to the extent that you are going to look into the properties through this witness, that is disallowed.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor, please, just one, one very brief, Your Honor, on …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. LIM.  … manifestation, to the extent necessary, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. LIM.  … I respectfully beg the honorable Presiding Officer to direct a reconsideration or re-examination of the issue at hand, so as not to limit the witness to merely stating that this is the document submitted to my office.  The purpose again, the number one purpose, with due respect to Senator Santiago, may I just restate the number one purpose and then I will end, to show that respondent Chief Justice Renato Corona acquired properties as declared in his SALNs and the SALNs are now before the Senate, which are not justified by his income as reported where it is …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If that is in the SALN, the best evidence of what you are saying is the SALN itself.

ATTY. LIM.  We submit, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Santiago wishes to be recognized, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We are all familiar with the Rules of Evidence that no testimony can vary the contents of a document and the SALN is a document which is subject to the best evidence rule.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor please, we are not violating the parole evidence rule because the purpose is not to vary the terms of the contents …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely, Counsel, I know that.  But if now you admit that the SALN is authenticated in accordance with complying with the requirements of the law in filing that document for its purpose, then in fact, there is no need for this witness to be on the witness stand.  The document itself will be sufficient to prove its content.  That is the best evidence to prove the contents of that document.

ATTY. LIM.  I have received instruction, Your Honor, to accede.  And I humbly accept the ruling of the Chair.  We will just …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The rule stands.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  I am now ready to proceed, Your Honor, on that purpose.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Allow me to be heard because there is an offer, Your Honor.  If the only purpose, Your Honor, is authentication of the different documents in the form of income tax returns, to be testified by the honorable Commissioner, Your Honor, I will go on record as posing no objection.  Admitted.  No objection.  We are willing …not stipulate.  We admit that any and all documents relative to what is known as income tax returns are genuine and they are existing in the records of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor, just to have …

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Mr. President, may I request opportunity to speak.  I have been here for five minutes.  Out of courtesy to me as a Senator Judge, will you please keep quiet until the Senate President has acted.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The distinguished Gentlewoman from Iloilo, I apologize for not seeing the Lady Senator standing.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  I know that the Senate President is hard of seeing, that is why I stood here.  We have agreed among ourselves that to be visible to the Senate President, we shall stand up even if he has not recognized us, for your information.  Plus, please do not treat me as a mere observer.  I am a Judge in this proceeding.  In any trial court, you go into a court room, you should not speak, you should not take any behavior at all unless with the consent of the presiding judge.  Do not drown me out by screaming in this court room.  Only I can scream here and my fellow judges.

This is the first thing I want to say.  I am in very strong support of the ruling of the Chair.

Number 2, as already indicated, even before this witness came in, I already made the point that she cannot possibly testify as to whether the allegations in the income tax return of the respondent are true or not.  All that she can testify is, I have brought you an official copy of a record that has been filed in our office.  That is all.  She is merely an attesting officer.  In fact, if prosecution had been on its toes, it should have asked opposite camp for a stipulation.  :Puwedeng magkasundo lang tayo sa pinaguusapan dito?  Ito ang income tax return ng Chief Justice na nai-file niya sa BIR.  O payag ka ba o hindi?  O di tapos na.  Kasi iyon lang ang sasabihin ng testigo eh.  Hindi man lang masabi, totoo ba itong mga nilista niyang ito?  Wala.  Hindi naman siya nag-imbestiga.  Kung mayroon man siyang mga tauhan na nag-imbestiga.  Ang ginagawa nila, kung sa tingin nila ay nagkamali o nagsinungaling doon, ay ibibigay nila ang complaint nila sa fiscal at ang fiscal ngayon ay magdemanda sa korte.  At doon sa Korte malalaman natinkung totoo ba ang sinasabi ng BIR na nagsinungaling ang tao o nagkamali lang ang BIR.  Hindi iyan dito.  Kaya, maganda iyong ginawa ng defense dahil sabi niya, ay kung iyan lang pala ang paguusapan, payag na kami.  Hindi na kailangang i-attest pa ni Commissioner.  Maraming ginagawa iyan doon.  So, that is the present status of the proceeding.  Kaya tayo tumagal dahil may oration pa eh.  Huwag ninyo kaming i-orate dito.  This is not a school on oratorical skills.  This a school of logic and experience.  Ano ba ang istorya ninyo?  Na ang Chief Justice nagnakaw ng pera. Iyon ang mayor ninyong istorya eh.  Ngayon, ano’ng relasyon dtto sa income tax return niya.  I-establish lang naman ninyo na nag-file siya ng income tax return, ngayon mayroon kaming panibagong ebidensya na itong income tax return niya kulang.  Meron pa siyang ibang mga pag-aari kaya mayaman siya kaya ngayon ang pagtatanong, ay pinayaman pala niya ang sarili niya. E di siguro suspichoso itong taong ito at hindi dapat manatili na Chief Justice.  Iyon lang ang pagtatanong.  Huwag tayo dito naglalaban tungkol sa mga puntong ito.  Nililito ninyo ang publiko at nagagalit sa inyo.  Pakinggan ninyo ang radyo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is suspended for one minute.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial resumed.  (Gavel)

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Senator Joker Arroyo wishes to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Makati and Bicol has the floor.

SEN. ARROYO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

I will just ask one question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. ARROYO.  Commissioner Henares, have you obtained the authority of the President to reveal the income tax returns under question?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Yes, Sir.  I have obtained the authority from the President, Sir.

SEN. ARROYO.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel for the prosecution may proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.  With your kind permission, Your Honor, please.

Madam Commissioner, do you know if there is a government official in the Philippine government who is vested with sole, exclusive and original jurisdiction to interpret tax laws and to decide tax cases administratively?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Yes, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  Preliminary, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but you do not know what my objection will be.

ATTY. LIM.  We will state on legal ground …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

ATTY. LIM.  … that this is preliminary .

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel for the defense states his objection.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The question, Your Honor, call for an opinion.  And the way we understood it, the honourable Commissioner is being presented as an ordinary witness, Your Honor?  That is my objection.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Where his the Commission of Internal Revenue and the next judicial notice of that.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Does the Chair allow the question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s why I said proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Please answer.

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. LIM.  Who is that official?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  The Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

ATTY. LIM.  Is there any other government official who exercises that power concurrently with the BIR Commissioner?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s a matter of law.  That’s a matter of law.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s a matter of law.  That’s taking judicial notice of this body and the makers of the law.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.

May I proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. LIM.  Since when have you been BIR Commissioner?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  I assumed my office on July 2, 2010.

ATTY. LIM.  What are your duties and responsibilities, ma’am.

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  I implement the National Internal Revenue Code and all tax laws relating to internal revenues.

ATTY. LIM.  Why are you now before this honourable Impeachment Court?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  I received a subpoena from the Impeachment Court last January 18, 2012.

ATTY. LIM.  You earlier told the honourable Senator Joker Arroyo that presidential approval for disclosure has been obtained.  On that premise, Your Honor, may I now proceed also by way of compliance with the directive …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the purpose of presenting the income tax returns of the respondent?

ATTY. LIM.  To authenticate, Your Honor.  And I am now proceeding to …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, I’m asking the purpose.

ATTY. LIM.  For presenting the income tax returns, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. LIM.  To explain that as per the figures indicated therein, which should be taken at face value without interpretation, without opinionating as to how these figures were arrived at.  The figures declared under oath in the income tax return, in no way and can never justify …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That goes into the testimony of this witness, as offered, is to authenticate.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And the authentication, it goes into the compliance with the form of the SALN, the contents of the document presented by the witness as—you have not presented the SALN that was brought by the witness.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, present it first.

ATTY. LIM.  I am very much aware of the ruling to just merely limit the questioning to authentication of the income tax returns.  So, I am proceeding to that …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are not dealing with the authentication of the income tax return.  We are talking about the statement of assets and liabilities and networth of the respondent.

ATTY. LIM. Yes, Your Honor, but the purpose why the BIR commissioner is here is precisely to produce before the honorable impeachment court, the income tax returns or income documents, as reported and filed with the BIR, by the respondent herein.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The distinguished Senator from Makati and Bicol.

SEN. ARROYO.  Thank you, Mr. President, I hate to interrupt, but I think the defense has—have you stated that you accept the authenticity of the …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It is not merely a stipulation, Your Honor, we went on record, as admitting that the documents identified by the witness, by the honorable commissioner, especially the income tax returns are authentic, Your Honor, so what is—that dispenses of proof, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  Can I now proceed to enter into record the documents and mark them as exhibits.

SEN. ARROYO.  Mr. Lim, please do not—I have yet the floor.

ATTY. LIM.  I am sorry, Sir.  I am sorry.

SEN. ARROYO.  Well, if that is the case, to speed up the process, there is no dispute as to the authenticity.  There is no argument.  All sides have agreed.  You present it and that is it.

SEN. SANTIAGO. Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Since the defense submitted that the income tax return involved is the income tax return of the respondent, what income tax return is this, for what years?

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor, please, with the indulgence of Senator Santiago, may I also respectfully point out, so that …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, the Chair is asking, for what years are these income tax returns?

ATTY. LIM.  The subpoena, Your Honor, is at least from 2002 up to 2010, but there is one …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Two thousand …

ATTY. LIM.  Ten, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  From two thousand …

ATTY. LIM.  1992 to 2010.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But we are talking of an impeachment case of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and whatever he did before he was a Chief Justice, that has no bearing as far as this Chair is concerned with the impeachment.

ATTY. LIM.  This is precisely why, Your Honor, my presentation—the presentation of this humble Representation starts only from 2002.  Your Honor, please, may I be allowed to make a manifestation …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then, if you want—what is the pleasure of the counsel?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do you accept that the Chief Justice filed income tax returns from 2002, when he became a Justice of the Supreme Court until today?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Anyway, Your Honor, please, may I be allowed to explain.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I understand that what the honorable commissioner will make–will testify now is only with respect to this income tax returns, Your Honor.  Then, we have already admitted that they are all authentic and genuine, Your Honor, so, that issue is already taken out of the presentation of evidence.

Secondly, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, but they are asking for the introduction of those income tax returns.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  They will be impertinent, Your Honor, and I reserve my objection at the time they make the offer because these are documentary exhibits, Your Honor.  Unless they made the offer, we are not yet allowed under the Rules to object or to make any observation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then, why don’t you then wait until those documents are actually offered in evidence in this case.

ATTY. LIM.  One very important point of clarification, Your Honor.  Please allow this Representation, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. LIM.  The Chief Justice, Renato Corona …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  A member of this court wishes to talk.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Santiago, Mr. President, wishes to be recognized.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Thank you very much.  Nagkasundo na pala tayo eh.  Ang pagtatanong lang ay, saan ang income tax return ng Chief Justice dahil diyan tayo maguumpisa at ipakita natin sa kinabukasan na hindi tama iyong mga pinagsasasabi niya doon.  Eh, nagkasundo na tayo.  Ito ang ni-file sa BIR, tapos na.  Wala na.  Ngayon, marking na lang of the documents.  It can be done with the Clerk of Court outside with two parties represented there.  Wala na tayong pinagtatanong pa dito.  Next witness na dapat.  I kindly submit, Mr. President, that the steps would be pursuant to the direction that your comments have been taking so far.  Tapos na itong babaing ito.  May trabaho pa ito.  Pauwiin mo na iyan.  Markahan mo na ang papel.  Iyon lang ang puwede niyang sabihin eh.  Bakit may first-hand knowledge ba siya?  Pag isinulat mo diyan pag-aari ko ito, sa ganitong kalye na ito, pagaari ito ng asawa ko, bakit inimbestiga ba iyan?  Wala siyang first-hand knowledge.  She is testifying on hearsay except that the rules provide that these documents being official documents shall have prima facie evidentiary weight.  So, at first glance, iyon na nga ang katotohanan hanggang sa mayroon palang ibang ebidensya na hindi totoo iyong mga pinagsasasabi.  Ano naman ang masasabi ni Commissioner of Internal  Revenue tungkol diyan?  Dahil hindi naman siya ang nagde-decide diyan eh.  Ang korte.  Ang ordinary court of justice.  So, I think we should abbreviate the proceedings.  Markahan ang dokumento and call your next witness.  Huwag mo kaming pilitin ng ayaw naming gagawin.  Nag-ruling na ang Presiding Officer sa iyo eh.  You cannot prove anything is true or false, until you have the proper witness to do so, and she is not the proper witness.  So, bakit natin patagalin ito?  Eh, sinabi na ng Presiding Officer na tama na eh.  Sige ka ng sige eh.  You are already in danger of contempt.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I explain.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  May I explain the position of the Chair.  The situation is this, you said that you want to present these income tax returns.  The counsel for the defense, iyong abogado ng respondent, hindi tinatanggihan na iyang mga income tax returns na iyan ay income tax ng nasasakdal na Chief Justice.  Ngayon, kung anuman ang nilalaman ng income tax na iyan, walang ibang pruweba kung hindi iyong income tax return.  Ngayon, kung mayroon kang ebidensya na ang Chief Justice ay nagkaroon ng ari-arian na hindi naisama diyan at hindi naisama sa SALN ay iprisenta mo iyong ebidensya na iyon.  Because kung itong Commissioner ng Rentas Internas ang magsasabi sa akin, ay tatanungin ko sa kanya bakit hindi mo in-assess ang income tax na dapat mong kolektahin diyan bago ka ;pumunta rito.  Ayun.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor please, may I be allowed …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. LIM..  There are no income tax returns filed, Your Honor.  There are no income tax returns filed.  This is the problem.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  There are no income tax returns for what years?

ATTY. LIM.  Filed by Chief Justice Corona from 2002 to 2010.  This is what I have been itching, pardon the use of that word, to manifest before this honorable Body because Chief Justice Corona is what is termed in the BIR “a local employee”.  He does not earn income from business.  Therefore, the income of the Chief Justice from 2002 up to 2010 …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, I will tell you that I will disallow that kind of an evidence because you are proving paragraph 2.4 through the introduction of the income tax return of somebody and then you will conclude that the money came from the Chief Justice.

ATTY. LIM.  Please allow me to complete, Your Honor,  I beg the Chair.  Chief Justice Corona being what is termed a local employee not engage in business does not file income tax returns.  He is what is called listed in the alpha list of the Supreme Court, his taxes are withheld on a monthly basis, quarterly reporting and yearly, the Supreme Court  submits to the BIR an alpha list containing all the names of the Justices and the employees of the high court to the BIR.  So it is really necessary to conduct some direct examination to the witness so that the income will be authenticated, not explained but authenticated.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You do not authenticate the income.

ATTY. LIM.  The alpha list, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel please for the defense, go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If that is directed to the defense lawyer, Your Honor, may I make this manifestation.  I thought we were agreed on the proposition that the purpose of introducing the honourable Commissioner of Internal Revenue is merely to authenticate and nothing more.  To shorten the proceedings and to help my good friend, Your Honor, I am willing to admit, not only stipulate, but admit that any and all documents pertaining to the income tax returns of the honourable Chief Justice Corona we admit that they are authentic, Your Honor.  What more?  Maliwanag po ang aming pag-amin, hindi namin tinututulan na authenticated iyan, ano pa po ang bibistahan dito kung iyon lang ang purpose.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Chair rules that the proposed introduction of the income tax returns of other than the Chief Justice and his wife is not authorized.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor, we submit to that ruling.  We only propose to limit the introduction of income evidence as far as the Chief Justice and his spouse are concerned.  But there is a practical problem…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I thought you are authenticating the SALN of the Chief Justice.  That was the representation…

ATTY. LIM.   That has been presented in the past hearings, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is that?

ATTY. LIM.  My appearance today is for the income tax returns, Your Honor.  The SALNs were brought by the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court.  That was on the third day of the hearing, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It is the ITR that you want to authenticate.

ATTY. LIM.  That is the subject of the hearing today, yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Whose ITR?

ATTY. LIM.  Renato Corona and Mrs. Cristina Corona, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed to authenticate the pertinent ITRs of the Chief Justice.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Madam Witness, did you bring the ITRs or other income documents of Chief Justice Renato Corona as required in the subpoena?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The question, Your Honor, is too general.  And other documents, what are those documents?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Specify.

ATTY. LIM.  I beg permission to delete that phrase.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  So will you kindly reform the question for the better understanding of the witness.

ATTY. LIM.  It is the Chair who should be making the ruling, Your Honor, not the counsel.  I object to that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Order, order.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is why I am making a manifestation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I request the counsel for the defense not to act, make any remarks that will cause irritation to the lawyer representing the prosecution.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I apologize, Your Honor, especially to my learned colleague, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  With your kind permission, Your Honor.

Madam Witness, please tell this honourable impeachment court whether Chief Justice Renato Corona filed income tax returns for the period 2002 up to 2010 as required in the subpoena.

COM. HENARES.  He did not file any income tax return for tax years 2002 up to 2010.

ATTY. LIM.  Do you, however, have a record of his income considering the function of the BIR?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The record of income, Your Honor, may we be permitted to place on record our objection.  Again, this tends to prove that which is prohibited by the order  of this honourable court, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  No, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are very clear on that.

ATTY. LIM.  No, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Order.  Mr. Counsel for the prosecution, we are asking if the Chief Justice filed an income tax return for the years involved, and the answer is no.  That’s the end of the matter.  If the BIR Commissioner wants to prove that there are other income, then do it.  You have to make the assessment.  And if you make the assessment, present it in this Impeachment Court.  That’s the proper thing to do.

ATTY. LIM.  May I proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. LIM.  Madam witness, will you kindly tell us what is an alpha list?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we know the purpose, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the alpha list?

ATTY. LIM.  Preliminary, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, preliminary to what?

ATTY. LIM.  But every question has to be indicated as to purpose, Your Honor?  We respectfully take exception.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  The alpha list is a document enumeration of all employees of certain employer, their income earned and amount withheld from them.  And these are submitted by the employers at the month after the end of the year and because of Section 51 of the Tax Code, this takes the place of the income tax return for certain employees under Section 51 of the Tax Code.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The counsel for the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We move to strikeout, Your Honor, the answer of the witness because it is irrelevant, immaterial and not—no nothing connection with the alleged authentication problem, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let it expanse from the record.  We have not yet laid down the basis.  What is the connection of the—What do you call it?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alpha list.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alpha list.  You have not even identified whose alpha list that is.

ATTY. LIM.  We submit, Your Honor.  May I proceed, Your Honor.

Is Chief Justice Renato C. Corona the respondent in this proceedings a registered taxpayer?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Admitted, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  What is his TIN?  Will you please state it for the record, Madam witness.  T-I-N, Taxpayer’s Identification Number.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Again, we will objection to the question, Your Honor, on grounds of immateriality, irrelevancy and …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why should …

ATTY. LIM.  I am laying the basis, Your Honor, please.  I’m sorry for butting in, Your Honor.  May I proceed?  May I proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The tax in the identification number.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor, please, I am precisely laying the basis for the introduction of evidence that in lieu of ITR which is normally the document filed by a regular taxpayer, a person earning income solely from a certain outfit, government or private, does not file income tax return, but is merely reported regarding his income, as well as tax withheld by his employer.  And it is in this light that we are asking the witness what is the alpha list.  But since that alpha list question was disallowed, I am proceeding to lay the basis that firstly, the responded is a registered taxpayer, therefore he has a TIN, and the next question would be, how is he registered as a taxpayer?  Local employee or engaged in business?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please.

ATTY. LIM.  We are in search of the truth here, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel for the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I thought we were agreed, especially when we hear the purpose of the offer, that the honourable Commissioner is being introduced only to authenticate the documents that will be identified and presented in today’s proceeding.  Where is the authentication here?  We’re too far behind—are not covered by the purpose of the offer, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor, please.  How in heaven’s name can the alpha list be authenticated when it also contains the income of other justices for whom no disclosure or authorization has been granted?  So, there is a need to illicit certain facts from the witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We submit, Your Honor, entirely out of the purpose, Your Honor, and that is prohibited by the rules of procedure, and even under pre-trial proceedings, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  Because there is already a ruling by the honorable Presiding Officer that the prosecution can now proceed to authenticate and make of record the income.  My only …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The income of whom?

ATTY. LIM.  Renato Corona, the respondent, Your Honor, and his spouse.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But the income tax return, as you said, is not there.  It is in the alpha list that the BIR commissioner will testify on.  She has the alpha list, and I request permission to allow the witness to show the alpha list.  It is a very thick document.  The only thing that will prevent the witness from identifying or marking the alpha list is, it contains the names of other taxpayers, all justices of the Supreme Court.  We cannot reveal their individual income without authorization, and they are not yet—I remove the word yet, they are not under impeachment proceedings, Your Honor.

I am sorry for that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let me understand this alpha list.  Does the alpha list contain—what does it contain?

ATTY. LIM.  The alpha list, Your Honor, contains all the names of the employees.  It is a listing of all employees of the Supreme Court, including justices, and how much income or salaries they have been paid monthly.  How much withholding tax has been withheld by the Supreme Court and how much has been remitted by the BIR to the Supreme Court by way of withholding tax which is the tax payment by these employees, including the justices.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Para maintindihan …

ATTY. LIM.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … ng publiko, ito bang alpha list ay ipiniprisinta ninyo para ipakita na ang respondent ay hindi nagbayad ng tax?

ATTY. LIM.  Kung magkano po ang buwis na kanyang ibinabayad by way of withholding tax, at kung magkano ang kanyang kinikita po buwan-buwan, Mr. Presiding Officer.

Wala pong income tax return kaming madadala at maipakita sa hukuman.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wala bang income tax return ang Chief Justice sa mga anong taon?

ATTY. LIM.  From 2002 po, Your Honor, up to 2010.  Hindi po siya nagpa-file ng ITR dahil hindi siya obligado sa ilalim ng batas.  Wala po siyang income bilang business or bilang—or wala siyang other income, Your Honor, other than his salaries.

And if a taxpayer earns income solely as a local employee, that is the technical classification, meaning purely an employee of a certain company or a certain government office, hindi po siya nagbabayad na ng income tax return, kinakaltas na lang po iyong kaniyang withholding tax.  Employer ang gumagawa po noon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Dahil ang pinag-uusapan natin, ito ay authentication ng dokumento …

ATTY. LIM.  Ipa-authenticate ko po iyong alpha list, as far as Corona is concerned.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you please allow the Presiding Officer to …

ATTY. LIM.  My apologies, Your Honor.  My sincer apology.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Apology accepted.

Dahil ang pinag-uusapan natin dito ay dokumento, iyong income tax return ng respondent o iyong kanyang SALN.  Sinabi mo, wala iyong SALN dito, walang incomet tax return, ngayon, gusto mong ipakita ang nilalaman noong alpha list.

ATTY. LIM.  Opo, para malaman po ng hukuman kung magkano ang kinikita ni …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Iprisinta mo iyong alpha list, that is the best evidence ng kinowt na nilalaman noong dokumento.

ATTY. LIM.  Wala po kaming disclosure, authorization, may pangalan …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Paano mo gagawin iyon?  You cannot.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You present the alpha list.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  Madam witness, will you please produce the alpha list from the Supreme Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is the best evidence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, may we be allowed to …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … make a manifestation in this regard, with the kind permission of the honorable Chairman.

All the while, Your Honor, we thought that in today”s proceeding, they will be  presenting the ITR of the honorable Chief Justice Corona, Your Honor.  In fact, we went on record as admitting that all these are authentic.  It is only now that they found out that they do not have allegedly the records of the income tax returns of the honorable Chief Justice Corona.  In that case, Your Honor, the issue of authenticity is beyond the issue that should be resolved here.  Now, we were informed by our co-counsel here that in the markings that was made this morning, no income tax returns of the Chief Justice was presented or marked, Your Honor.  So, what is it that falls under their purpose that merely to authenticate?  What is it?  What is it?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, anyway, the Chair has ruled that let them present and submit that alpha list for the consideration of this impeachment court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Submitted, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.  May I proceed, Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  How much was the income …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The best evidence rule applies.  I already told you, Mr. Counsel.  Do you understand the best evidence rule?

ATTY. LIM.   We cannot leave that here, Your Honor.  We cannot leave this here.  It is a confidential document containing …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then I will disallow it.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.  May we recognize Senator Ralph Recto.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Batangas.

SEN. RECTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Ginoong Pangulo, para mapabilisan natin iyong proseso dito, palagay ko, base sa pagkaintindi ko, ang sinasabi ng prosecution dito para mailabas natin ang katotohanan, ay, ang sinasabi nila, na kaya mahalaga ang testigong ito ay para maipalabas magkano ang buwis ang binabayaran ng Chief Justice.  At magkano ang suweldo base sa mga dokumento na ibinibigay ng Supreme Court sa BIR at iyong mga withholding taxes wini-withhold ng Supreme Court.  And dahil diyan, kung maaari po akong magtanong sa testigo …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please go ahead.

SEN. RECTO. … to abbreviate the proceedings.  Hindi para pumanig sa sinuman.  Ginoong Pangulo, tatanungin ko sa ating testigo, sa taong 2002, magkano ang buwis na binayaran ng Chief Justice?

MS. HENARES.  Sa taong 2002 ho ay hindi ho nag-file ng alpha list ang Supreme Court at hindi rin ho nag-submit ng income tax return ang Chief Justice Corona ho.  So, wala ho kaming record …

SEN. RECTOR.  Wala kayong record kung magkano and buwis na binayaran ng Chief Justice na winithhold ng Supreme Court na dapat ibinigay sa BIR for the year 2002?

MS. HENARES.  Wala ho.

SEN. RECTO.  Wala.

MS. HENARES.  Wala ho.

SEN. RECTO.  Pero hindi nangangahulugan na hindi siya nagbayad.

MS. HENARES.  Hindi ho.

SEN. RECTO.  Dahil trabaho ng Supreme Court ang kumaltas at mag-remit sa BIR, tama ho ba iyon?

MS. HENARES.  Tama ho iyon.

SEN. RECTO.  Sa taong 2003, magkano naman ang buwis na binayaran ng Chief Justice?

MS. HENARES.  Ganoon din ho ang nangyari sa 2003.  Wala hong income tax return finayl ho ang Chief Justice Corona at wala rin hong alpha list na sinubmit ang Supreme Court.

SEN. RECTO.  And to be fair, Mr. President, hindi nangangahulugan na kailangan siyang magkaroon ng income tax return kung wala naman siyang other income, tama ho ba iyon?

MS. HENARES.  Oho.

SEN. RECTO.  So, walang bawal diyan.

MS. HENARES.  Wala ho, nasa Section 51 ho iyan ng National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

SEN. RECTO.  Tama po yon.  Sa taong 2004, magkano naman ang buwis na binayaran ng Chief Justice?

MS. HENARES.  Ganoon din ho, wala ho siyang finayl na income tax return at wala rin hong ibinigay na alpha list ang Supreme Court.]

SEN. RECTO.  Sa taong 2005, ganoon din po ang katanungan, magkano ang buwis na binayaran ng Chief Justice base sa mga records ninyo?

MS. HENARES.  Ganoon din ho, wala rin ho siyang finayl na income tax return at wala rin hong finayl na alpha list ang Supreme Court.

SEN. RECTO.  Okay.  Sa taong 2006, magkano ang buwis na binayaran o winithhold ng Supreme Court at ibinigay sa inyo na mula sa Chief Justice ng Supreme Court.

COM. HENARES.  Ang winithold ho ng Supreme Court ay P109,706.60 based ho sa gross compensation ho na P465,597.

SEN. RECTO.  Samakatwid iyong P400 plus thousand na binabanggit mo, iyon iyong income ng Chief Justice na binawasan ngayon iyong P100 plus thousand na binabanggit ninyo?

COM. HENARES.  Oho.

SEN. RECTO.  Okay.  Sa 2007 magkano naman iyong buwis na binayaran ng Chief Justice na winithold ng Supreme Court na ibinigay sa Bureau of Internal Revenue?

COM. HENARES. Based ho sa alpha list na sinabmit ho ng Supreme Court, ang binayaran hong buwis ay P117,399.31.

SEN. RECTO.  At iyong income?

COM. HENARES.  P488,156.57.

SEN. RECTO.  Halos pareho noong 2006.

COM. HENARES.  Oho.

SEN. RECTO.  Nasaan na ba tayo, 2007 o 2008 na ba?  2008, ganoon din po ang katanungan.

COM. HENARES.  Ang winithold hong buwis ng Supreme Court ay P154,057.75.  Ang gross income ho ay P604,388.46.

SEN. RECTO.  For 2008 iyon?

COM. HENARES.  Oho.

SEN. RECTO.  Sa 2009 naman po.

COM. HENARES.  Sa 2009 ho ang winithold  na buwis ay P155,556.20, ang total gross income nya ho is P621,528.62.

SEN. RECTO.  Para hong lumaki noong 2009.  Ito ba ay dahil sa pagtaas ng Salary Standardization Law?

COM. HENARES.  Siguro ho.

SEN. RECTO.  Okay, fair, fair enough.

COM. HENARES.  2010.

SEN. RECTO.  Sa 2010 naman po.

COM. HENARES.  Ang withholding tax ho niya ay P176,577.32, ang total salary ho niya, taxable salary ho is P657,755.57.

SEN. RECTO.  Okay.  Sa madaling salita ang meron lang kayo record from what year again? 2005?

COM. HENARES.  2006 hanggang 2010 ho.

SEN. RECTO.  Meron ba kayong record from 1992  to 2001?

COM. HENARES.  From those years ho kasi nag-dispose na ho kami ng mga records namin. Meron hong rule na nagdi-dispose ng records.

SEN. RECTO.  For every how many years iyong disposal ninyo ng records?

COM. HENARES.  Because hindi ho ako iyong commissioner na nagbigay ng orders for this po.

SEN. RECTO.  Pero ano iyong nakasulat sa batas tungkol diyan, 10 taon na dapat itinatago?

COM. HENARES.  Wala ho ako noong batas na iyon.  Meron lang ho akong kopya ng Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 73-2008 wherein nagkaroon ng record disposition schedule ng mga returns, mga dokumento ho.  So kasama ho iyong mga returns.  Ang meron lang ho kami ay computer printout noong na encode na return for 1997 and 2001 ni Chief Justice Renato Corona.

SEN. RECTO.  So meron kayong computer printout?

COM. HENARES.  Oho ng 1997 ho at ng 2001.

SEN. RECTO.  Dalawang taon lang.

COM. HENARES.  Oho.

SEN. RECTO.  Pero wala iyong mismong income tax return.

COM. HENARES.   Wala ho.

SEN. RECTO.  Kung meron mang income tax return.

COM. HENARES.  Dahil naka-encode, kasi ho iyong proseso pag file ng return tinatanggap ho ng bangko, ipinapadala sa BIR at ang BIR ho ay nage-encode ng mga data ho.

SEN. RECTO.  Hindi tama po iyan.  Hindi ang pinag-uusapan natin ay iyong mismong form ng income tax return.  Wala.  Di ho ba?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Oho.

SEN. RECTO.  Kinakaltasan kaagad yan?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Oho.  Ang dahilan ho kung bakit ho alpha list lang ho ang meron kami at hindi ho income tax return dahil ho sa Section 51 ng National Internal Revenue Code, at sinsadaad doon ho, kung ikaw ay isa lang—nagtatrabaho lang kayo sa isang employer, at tama iyong pagka-pass sa inyo, hindi na ho kayo magfa-file ng income tax return kasi ho yung alpha list ho ng employer ay sapat na hong return yon.

SEN. RECTO.  Sa madaling sabihin, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With the permission of the Gentleman from Batangas.

Madam Commissioner, in other words, your alpha list is in lieu of income tax returns?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Yes, Sir.

SEN. RECTO.  Correct.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. RECTO.  Wala na po akong katanungan, Mr. President.  Maraming salamat.

Masakit lang na pag nakaupo ka’t hindi nagkakaintindihan kaya’t tumayo na tayo para maipalabas lang natin ito.

Maraming salamat po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, Mr. Counsel for the prosecution, proceed.  What is there to authenticate?

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.

I will now proceed to Mrs. Christina Corona’s ITR, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the relevance of Christina Corona to the impeachment case?

ATTY. LIM.  I respectfully invoke the ruling of the honourable Chair that the income tax returns of the spouses Corona, meaning, Chief Justice and his wife, will be a proper subject of direct examination or inquiry in this proceedings.  The Chair only excluded, I think, the children, if I’m not mistaken.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you going to make an examination of the contents of the internal revenue income tax return of the respondent for the years mentioned?

ATTY. LIM.  Yes.  I will be asking similar questions similar to those propounded by honourable Senator Recto, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But, isn’t that document the better evidence of its content?

ATTY. LIM.  There is again this problem of alpha list, if I may use the word problem, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.  (Gavel)

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Is Mrs. Christina Corona a registered taxpayer as far as the BIR records are concerned.?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Yes, Sir.  She is a registered taxpayer.

ATTY. LIM.  Did you bring with you, Madam witness, what the subpoena referred to as income tax returns of Mrs. Christina Corona from the year 1992 up to 2010?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Again, Sir, she did not file any income tax return, and I would like to make—She was registered only as a taxpayer in September 9, 2003.  So, any year before that, she is not a taxpayer.

ATTY. LIM.  Let me be more specific, for the record, from 1992 to 1996, are there income tax returns in your record filed by Christina Corona?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, at this juncture, we hate to object, Your Honor.  But insofar as Christina …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Because she is the wife, Your Honor, and she is covered by the resolution of this honourable court.  Christina is the wife, Your Honor.

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Yes, but she is not the one testifying.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It is the Commissioner of Internal Revenue with respect to an income tax return of the wife.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But these are evidences, Your Honor, against her when she is not the respondent, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness may answer.  (Gavel)

ATTY. LIM.  May the Secretariat kindly read the pending question if it is all right to request a reading.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Otherwise, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You can propound the question again so that …

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … to cut short the proceeding.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

Madam witness, do you have in your records income tax returns of Christina Corona for the years 1992 up to 1996?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  No, Sir.  She did not file any income tax return and neither is she a taxpayer during those years.

ATTY. LIM.  What about from 1997 to 2005?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  She did not file her income tax return and we do not have it.

ATTY. LIM.  What about for the years 2006 up to 2010?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  She did not file her income tax return for those years.

ATTY. LIM.  When did she become a registered taxpayer for the first time?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  September 9, 2003.

ATTY. LIM.  In connection with what?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  She registered as a one-time taxpayer for a property transaction.

ATTY. LIM.  Do you have in your record, what property transaction is that?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Yes, Sir, it is the La Vista property, Sir.

ATTY. LIM.  Will you kindly elaborate?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Chair will not allow that kind of a question.  As I said, the best evidence of that transaction are the documents bearing on that transaction.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor, we submit.  How much income—may I proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Did Cristina Corona pay any income tax, in connection with that property transaction?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, this now borders to the allegation—to the contention of alleged illegally acquired wealth, Your Honor.  This—what is ought to be presented now are the income tax returns allegedly of Mrs. Corona, Your Honor, and there is a ruling by this honorable court, Your Honor, that she cannot be examined for or against the husband, during the existence of the marriage, Your Honor.

So, this is prescribed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, the wife is not testifying here.  It is the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.  I humbly believe that the rule against the spouse testifying against the other spouse is not applicable in this case.  And so, that is the ruling of the Chair.

Now, in the case of this question, lay the premise.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who was the seller and who was the buyer?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  The seller of the property …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no, please, I am asking the counsel to profound the question, because he is not laying the basis of his question.

ATTY. LIM  Yes, Your Honor.

You referred to a sale of property transaction in 2003.  What transaction was that exactly?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  It is a sale of a property in La Vista from Mr. Victor H. Bongcaling to Cristina R. Corona.

ATTY. LIM.  And the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And how do you know that Madam Commissioner/

Were you present in that transaction?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.   Sir, I have the certificate authorizing registration that the Bureau of Internal Revenue issues when the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then, that will become a hearsay evidence.  It is not within your actual knowledge.  So, counsel, lay the basis.

ATTY. LIM.  May we beg for reconsideration on—this is …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why?

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  May I proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  You stated that Cristina Corona registered with the BIR as a one-time taxpayer, in connection with that property transaction, sale from Victor Bongcaling to the Corona spouses of La Vista property.  What documents were filed with your office, in connection with that application for registration as a one-time taxpayer or what you called ONETT, O N E T T, if any were filed?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  There is a return that are filed by the parties to the transaction paying for the capital gains stocks and documentary stamp tax for the sale of properties.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do you have that return?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  I do not have the return because the subpoena only said, I will bring the certificate authorizing registration.

ATTY. LIM.  What is this—may I proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  What is this certificate authorizing registration that you are mentioning, in connection with this transaction?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  When somebody sells a property, before the title  can be transferred, taxes thereon has to be fully paid.  And BIR will do an investigation, and when it satisfied, it will issue a certificate authorizing registration, in effect, informing the registry of deeds that they can now transfer the property from the seller to the buyer.

ATTY. LIM.  Was a CAR, certificate authorizing registration issued for that property transacted.

MS. HENARES.  Yes,  sir.

ATTY. LIM.  Do you have that with you right now, Madam Witness.

MS. HENARES.  Yes, sir.

ATTY. LIM.  Can you kindly produce it.

MS. HENARES.  Here, sir.

ATTY. LIM.  Witness handing to counsel a document which unfortunately was not all marked, our documents, because we started at 1O:00 ‘clock, Your Honor, but we were 8:00 o’clock in the morning.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You mark it.

ATTY. LIM.   Yes, Your Honor.  Witness handing to counsel, Your Honor, a document under the letter head of the Bureau of Internal Revenue …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you kindly use the microphone please.

ATTY. LIM.  Witness handed to counsel, Your Honor, a one-page document under the caption of the Bureau of Internal Revenue which is a form of the BIR, BIR Form No. 1954, revised July 1999 CAR 2003, 00023747.  Madam Witness, please examine this document and tell us the property that was …I withdraw that, Your Honor.  Based on this document, I noticed that the selling price is P11 million.   For identification purposes, I will request the honourable Presiding Officer to allow the prosecution to mark this as Exhibit GGGGG as in golf, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it.

ATTY. LIM.  May I please proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Who is the buyer in that transaction evidenced by that CAR, for record please state his name?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, the best evidence will be the document itself.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes.  We know that, Your Honor.  But if that is the objection of counsel, may I be permitted …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Are you overruling me?

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, with the Chair’s permission.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Order.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I address, Your Honor, my objection to the honorable Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please.  Please.  Please.  Let us handle this hearing as Gentlemen.  Now, what is the objection of the counsel?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The best evidence, Your Honor, will be the document itself.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct, but please make the Commissioner competent to testify on the transaction.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  May I please request the name of the buyer in Exhibit GGGGG which is Cristina R. Corona with Taxpayer Identification No. 226-355-368 to be bracketed and marked as Exhibit GGGGG-1.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it.

ATTY. LIM.  I also respectfully request, Your Honor, that the selling price …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is the buyer?  Corona.

ATTY. LIM.  Corona.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And who is the taxpayer that ought to pay the tax?

MS. HENARES.  Sir, for the capital gains tax it, is the seller who is supposed to pay it.  It is withheld by the buyer and remitted to the Bureau of Internal of Internal Revenue.  The documentary stamp tax is …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is covered by a withholding document.

MS. HENARES.  No, sir.  I only have the certificate authorizing registration showing the tax payment made, the capital gains tax, and the documentary stamp tax.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just for the information of this Court, what is the practice of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in the sale of capital assets?  Do you require a special tax return to reflect the payment by the seller of the final tax of the capital gains?

COM. HENARES.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why did you not require it in this transaction?

COM. HENARES.  Sir, it is there but the subpoena only required us to bring the certificate authorizing registration.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So the return was filed by the seller and this document is only a request by Mrs. Cristina Corona to register the property.

COM. HENARES.  No.  It is by the system of how the Registry of Deeds can transfer property.  They will need a certificate authorizing registration.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For purposes of Land Registration Office.

COM. HENARES.  Yes, sir, before they can issue a new title.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.

May I please request the selling price of P11 million as stated in the document to be likewise encircled and marked as Exhibit GGGGG-2, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there a need for that?  The document itself will reflect the purchase price.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, if you want to make a very detailed markings of your exhibit, go ahead but for expeditiousness of this trial…

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  P11 million is the selling price.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Do you have in your records—based on your records, meaning BIR records, did Cristina Corona have any income in 2003 when she and her husband, respondent Renato, bought this La Vista property for P11 million per  Exhibit GGGGG?

COM. HENARES.  She was not registered as a taxpayer and, therefore, for all legal purposes as far as the BIR is concerned, she had never earned any income prior to September 9, 2003.

ATTY. LIM.  Given this situation, Madam Witness, what is the position of the BIR  regarding this transaction?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We object, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Teka muna ano ba ang question?

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor, there is already an answer by the witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Then we move to strike out the answer, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  Kindly allow me to finish, Counsel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We allow the counsel for the prosecution to please finish, explain.

ATTY. LIM.  There is evidence on record that Mrs. Corona purchased property known as La Vista in 2003 for P11 million.  There is also evidence on record in the form of the sworn testimony of this witness that Cristina Corona did not have any form of income at all in 2003.  My question now, Your Honor, is this—given this situation, meaning a taxpayer with no income, buying property worth P11 million, what is the position of the BIR on this transaction?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you asking for an opinion?

ATTY. LIM.  I am asking her as the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The proper thing to do is to ask if the commissioner examined the taxpayer and whether they issued  a tax assessment for that value that she used to acquire the property.

ATTY. LIM.  Along that line as suggested by the honourable Presiding Officer, we will propound the necessary questions.

Madam Witness, when did you make this discovery about a taxpayer with no income buying property worth P11 million?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, no basis, Your Honor.

Your Honor please, I did not get the ruling of the court.

ATTY. LIM.  Let the witness answer.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

COM. HENARES.  We only found out about this because of the impeachment proceeding.  To be specific, we only found out about these things as of last Friday, January 20, 2012, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But, Madam Commissioner, that certificate that was issued by your office to authorize the registration of the property was issued or a priory, isn’t it, to what you came to have discovered.  Isn’t that a matter of record in your office?  And was that not supposed to be enough for you to inquire into the source of the money that was used by this taxpayer to pay for the land?  And why did you not exercise your power as a commissioner to assess?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Sir, this transaction happened in September 2003.  I was not Commissioner of Internal Revenue at that time.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then, that is the responsibility of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.  And I’m quite surprised that, why was it that no action was taken by the agency if this is an income earned, and for which tax was paid?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Sir, the income was earned by the seller of the property.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We do not know whether it was earned, whether it was won in the lottery, whether it was inherited, whether it was a gift from somebody.  How can you be sure that that was—that kind of a proceed?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Sir, that’s why after discovering this thing, there will be further investigation conducted by the BIR on the matter.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then, why are we now assuming that that is an income and not reported if you have not really made an investigation that it is?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Sir, I’m not making …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I will disallow the question.  (Gavel)

ATTY. LIM.  May I proceed, Your Honor?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, there is a pending question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Madam witness, is there any alpha list with respect to Christina R. Corona?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Yes, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No basis, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  This is ..

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, because it has not been shown that she is an employee and according to the previous testimony of witness, this covers only employees in the government service.  So, no basis.

ATTY. LIM.  I regret to say that counsel is just prolonging the proceedings.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer if she knows that there is an alpha list reflecting the person concerned in that alpha list.  (Gavel)

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Your Honor, we have the alpha list of John Hay Management Corporation for the year 2007 up to year 2010.  And also we have an expanded withholding tax list of John Hay for year 2006 up to 2010.

ATTY. LIM.  With the kind indulgence of the Chair and of Senator …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. LIM.  With the kind indulgence of the Presiding Officer and Senator Recto, may I ask similar questions propounded by the good Senator?  For the year 2007, what is the income of Christina Corona, as per that alpha list from John Hay Development Corporation?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  For year 2007, she has a total taxable compensation of P623,157.30 and a tax withheld of P154,170.34.

ATTY. LIM.  What about, Madam witness for the year 2008?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  She had a taxable compensation income of P1,024,303, and a tax due of P279,656.96.

ATTY. LIM.  What about, Ma’am, for the year 2009?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  She has a taxable compensation of P1.106,201.15, and she has a tax due of P302,984.37.

ATTY. LIM.  What about for the year 2010, Madam witness?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  She had a taxable compensation of P469,986, and a tax due of P100,995.80.  In addition to that, there are expanded withholding tax reported for her for director fees given to her from year 2006 to 2010.

ATTY. LIM.  Witness, Your Honor, reading from a document which, with the court’s permission—may I request the counsel to hand it over to this Representation, it is a document captioned certification pertaining to the witness has stated just now.

Madam witness, there is a signature above the name Kim S. Jacinto-Henares, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, in this document that you were reading from, when you gave your testimony just now.  Kindly confirm that signature Ma’am.

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Yes.  It is my signature.

ATTY. LIM.  May we request, Your Honor, that this document be allowed to be marked as Exhibit HHHHH.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Sorsogon.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Mr. President, kanina po, binanggit ni Senator Arroyo at tinanong si Commissioner Henares kung may permiso siya galing kay Pangulong Aquino, para ilabas iyong mga records ng BIR tungkol sa partikular na mga taxpayers, sabi po niya ay meron.  Hindi po ba Ma’am?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Oho.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Is that in written form or oral form?  Did he give the order verbally or in writing?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  It is in written form, Sir.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Can you submit it to us, Ma’am, please.

And secondly, Mr. President, while she is producing that document, I raised the question because I inquire as to what is the coverage of the permission given by the President, if only includes for example, Chief Justice Corona and Cristina Corona, because perhaps, the page being produced by counsel and marked, might include other names as well, not included in the authorization of the President to release records of these taxpayers who are innocent third parties of these proceedings.

May you submit Madam.

May I ask counsel, iyon po bang papel na pinamarkahan ninyo, pangalan lamang at buwis na binayaran ni Cristina Corona iyon o may iba po bang pangalan diyan at buwis na binayaran?

ATTY. LIM.  Wala na pong ibang pangalan.  To reply to the honorable Senator, may I be allowed to manifest, Your Honor, that this morning, we marked the presidential authorization for disclosure of income documents pertaining to the spouses Corona, Your Honor.

And the children, and these were marked as Exhibits TTTT for the—I am sorry, Your Honor, I will start with Exhibit SSSS which is the memorandum of the witness to President Aquino on the subject presentation of the documents at the impeachment trial, seeking specific authorization to disclose the documents subpoenaed, meaning, documents pertaining to the Chief Justice and his wife, pursuant to and in compliance with Section 71 of the Internal Revenue Code.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Mr. Lim, if I may—Att. Lim, Mr. Presiding Officer, I simply ask for it to be submitted because counsel earlier did not have that pre-marked document marked into evidence and present it before this court formally.

And number two, just to inquire, iyong one page po bang exhibit na minarkahan ninyo kanina, na naglalaman ng binayarang buwis ni Cristina Corona sa alpha list, may iba po bang pangalang laman iyon?  Kung wala, okay lang po.  Kung mayroon, marahil dapat i-exclude po iyong parteng iyon dahil ang authorization lang ay tungkol kay Cristina Corona. That is my simple question, Madam Commissioner.

MS. HENARES.  Sir, can I just read the memorandum so that I don’t have to make a judgment, what the authority includes?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Memorandum of what?  What is that memorandum?

MS. HENARES.  Sir, this is the authority from the Office of the President ordering me to present documents to the impeachment trial court, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

MS. HENARES.  Memorandum from the Executive Secretary.  To Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares, Bureau of Internal Revenue.  Thru Secretary Cesar V.  Purisima, Department of Finance.  Subject.  Supoena ad testificandum et duces tecum for the production of income tax return of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, et al.  Date 20 January 2012.  Pursuant to the subpoena ad testificandum et duces tecum issued to you by the impeachment court, and the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended, particularly Section 71 thereof, His Excellency, President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III hereby orders you to allow the inspection of and to furnish the impeachment court with certified true copies of income tax returns including attachment thereto, such as certificate of income tax withheld on compensation, certificate of income payment not subject to the withholding tax, and certificate of creditable tax withheld at source or any document to prove payment of taxes (alpha list of withholding agent, etc.), if any, of the following individuals, and to testify thereon, to wit: One, Renato C. Corona, 1992 to 2010; Two, Cristina R. Corona, 1992 to 2010; Three, Maria Carla Beatriz C. Castillo, 2000 to 2010; Four, Constantino T. Castillo III, 2000 to 2010; Five, Francis R. Corona, 2005 to 2010; Six, Maria Czarina R. Corona, 2005 to 2010.

Furthermore, you are hereby authorized and directed to provide the impeachment court with certified true copies of the certificate authorizing registration covering the sale of the following properties listed below and to testify thereon, to wit:

All units, including parking lots, at the Belagio Tower I sold in 2009

All lots in McKinley Hill, Taguig City sold in 2008

All units in Spanish Bay Tower, Bonifacio Ridge, The Fort, Taguig City sold in 2005

All units in the Columns, Ayala Avenue corner Senator Gil :Puyat Avenue, Makati City sold in 2004;

All units in Burgundy Plaza, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, sold in 2003

And all houses and lots in La Vista Subdivision, Quezon City, sold in 2010.

Compliance with this order is enjoined through the Secretary of Finance.  Should there be no document in the custody of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the necessary certification to that effect shall be issued.’

By authority of the President.

Paquito N. Ochoa Jr.”

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Sorsogon.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  We thank the distinguished Commissioner for her patience in reading the memorandum.  Mr. President, I raised this question because I am concerned about trampling upon private rights.  Innocent third parties who may have nothing to do with this impeachment complaint, and yet, might be inadvertently, unintentionally dragged into this controversy, at the right time, Mr. President, may I make a reservation to raise the subject matter should we come to the point wherein innocent third parties and third persons will be mentioned already via the subpoena or via the testimony of the honorable Commissioner or any other witness who might have nothing to do with this impeachment complaint.  Because I take note of the mention of all buyers in La Vista for a certain year, all buyers in a subdivision or condominium in a certain year.  Mr. President, I do not know the purpose why the prosecution is asking for it, but if at all, in seeking and searching for evidence, they should not trample upon the privacy and private rights of individuals and third parties innocent and who have nothing to do with these proceedings.  And I thank the Gentleman for clarifying that there are no other names in the alpha list that he marked.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PREIDING OFFICER.  The Lady Senator from Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Just two points, Mr. President.  Number one is, I just like to support the position raised by Senator Escudero and at the proper time, we will make the necessary objections to the presentation or offer of evidence that is not genuine and vague for the protection of other parties.

The other point I would like to make is, the witness, before there were interventions meant, was reading from the last document marked.  And she mentioned that there was other income from director’s fees.  And that was not pursued.  And so, to complete the testimony of the witness, may I ask that she also puts on record what that other, I do not know if she has the other income and the other withholding tax.  Thank you.

MS. HENARES.  For year 2006, income payment was made to Maria Cristina R. Corona in the amount of P233,333.33 and the amount of tax withheld is 10% or equivalent to P23,333.33.

For 2007, an income payment of P400,000 was made to her and the amount of tax withheld is 10% also which is P40,000.

For 2008, the amount of income payment made was P220,000.  The rate of tax withheld, 10%, amount of tax withheld, P22,000.

For 2009, the amount of income payment made was P318,000 and the rate of tax is 10%, the amount of tax withheld is P32,000.

For 2010, the amount of income payment was P240,000.  The rate of tax is 10%, the amount of tax withheld is P24,000.  That is the expanded withholding tax that was made, I believe these are director fees made to her.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor. May I be allowed to proceed or effect my pending request to mark that document as Exhibit HHHHH, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.  Mark it.

ATTY. LIM.  Please mark it.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  While they are marking the documents, may I move for a 15-minute suspension as requested by members of the court and considering that it is past 4 o’clock, may I move for a 15-minute suspension of the trial, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The trial is suspended.

It was 4:08 p.m.

At 4:39 p.m., the trial was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is resumed.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we know if the prosecution is finished with their witness.

ATTY. LIM.  Not yet, Your Honor.  We still have several questions and issues to tackle.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please call the witness again to the witness stand.

ATTY. LIM.  May we call Commissioner Henares please.  May we call her back to the witness stand.  Our apologies, Your Honor.  She is here now.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Commissioner, please take the stand again.  Counsel, proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.  May it please the honorable court.  Before I proceed to other questions, may I just request for identification purposes to mark the certification on the per diem or allowances of Cristina Corona which was the last item testified to by the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  As Exhibit IIIII, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it.

ATTY. LIM.   Thank you, Your Honor.  Madam Witness, aside from the CAR for the La Vista transaction already marked Exhibit GGGGG, were there other property transactions entered into by Cristina Corona for which CARs or certificates of registration were issued by your office or the BIR.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With the kind permission of the honorable Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel for the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The question lacks basis, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No basis?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No basis, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  He is asking whether there are others.  So, let the witness answer.

MS. HENARES.  Sir, I will answer it.

ATTY. LIM.  Please answer, Madam Witness.

MS. HENARES.  There is another CAR.  There was a CAR issued to Corona, Cristina Roco in year 2005, in year October, 2004 for Unit 31P 4-12 parking, the Column, Ayala Avenue, Makati City.

ATTY. LIM.  Witness, Your Honor, producing a document from her records or files which is a certificate authorizing registration, BIR Form No. 1954 and what the witness has produced is an original copy.  For lack of material time in this morning’s marking, may I be allowed to show the photocopy which is being stamped certified copy to opposing Counsel with a request for stipulation …

ATTY. LIM.  … with a request for stipulation that the photocopy to be marked Exhibit JJJJJ, as in Juliet, is a faithful copy of the original, Your Honor.  Can I approach the distinguished counsel and show him the document, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed, go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, may we propose, Your Honor, that the comment with respect to the substitution be made at the time they offer it.  Because we do not know whether it is only at the stage of identifying and marking.  There is no assurance that this will be evidence for the prosecution, Your Honor.  So in order to at least go into a speedy disposition of these issues, may we propose that we be allowed to make our comment at the time they make a formal offer of these documents, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  I can assure the good counsel that this document will not only be marked as it is being marked now but it will certainly be offered in evidence.  We are aware, Your Honor, that even a document marked need not be offered in the discretion of the party presenting the evidence but the practice is to make the comparison in open court, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, the counsel for the defense wants to examine the document.  That is his pleasure.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, objection, Your Honor, to the substitution to accommodate my learned colleague.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you very much, Mr. Justice.  May we request the document to be marked Exhibit JJJJJ, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Your Honor please, may I request please that the name of the buyer, Corona, Cristina Roco, be encircled and marked Exhibit JJJJJ-1 and the selling price of P3,588,931.82 be likewise encircled and marked Exhibit JJJJJ-2

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Your Honor please, may we also request that the date of the transaction which is for October 24, I withdraw that please, Your Honor.  The date of the CAR which is Makati City, 20th October 2004 and validity up to 20 October 2005 be likewise encircled as Exhibit JJJJJ-3 and the property herein which is Unit 31-B and Parking No. 12 at the Columns, Ayala, Makati be likewise encircled and marked Exhibit JJJJJ-4, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it.  That is for a parking lot.

ATTY. LIM.  And a unit, Your Honor, Condominium Unit 31-B at the Columns, Ayala Avenue, area, 48 square meters, parking, 12.50 square meters, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  The market/zonal value, of the condominium unit is P2,880,000 and that for the parking is P250,000.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the acquisition value?

ATTY. LIM.  P3,588,931.82 which is the selling price as per the Deed of Sale, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely, that is the acquisition value to the buyer.

ATTY. LIM. Yes, Your Honor.

We request the witness to kindly identify the signature appearing above the name, Kim S. Jacinto Henares, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, below the certification reading certified true copy from the original.  Who’s signature is that, ma’am?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  My signature, Sir.

ATTY. LIM.  What about—Is that all, Madam witness?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  No, Sir.  There’s a Certificate Authorizing Registration issued in November 16, 2005 for a property 113.2 square meters in Global City, Fort Bonifacio.

ATTY. LIM.  The witness handing to counsel, Your Honor, and document which is a duplicate original copy which is being certified in open hearing or in open court by the witness.  The stamp certified correct copy from the original being stamped on the space where the signature of the witness has been priorly written.  And I would like to request my esteemed counsel, Justice Cuevas, to kindly stipulate that the photocopy being marked is a faithful reproduction from the carbon original copy.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay.  We admit, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Mr. Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will the admission of the defense counsel be recorded.

ATTY. LIM.  May we request this document to be marked Exhibit KKKKK, and the name of the buyer Christina R. Corona as KKKKK-1, the date of the authorization which is 16 November 2005, valid until 16 November 2006 as KKKKK-2, and the acquisition cost, Your Honor, or selling price which is P9,159,940 for a property whose particulars read:  Global City, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig; area 113.02 square meters as Exhibit KKKKK-3, Your Honor.

Do you have any other CAR, Madam witness?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Yes, Sir.  There’s another Certificate Authorizing Registration issued on December 2009 where the spouses Renato and Christina Corona were the buyers.  This is for 303.5 square meters in Bellagio One with three 12.5 square meter area of I don’t know what included in the Certificate Authorizing Registration.

ATTY. LIM.  Witness producing from her records a document, Your Honor, which is a carbon original copy, a photocopy of which we request be allowed to be marked in evidence with a request for stipulation to the counsel for the defense that the photocopy is a faithful copy of the original.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Admitted, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Admitted, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Mr. Justice.

We request the photocopy to be marked Exhibit LLLLL, Your Honor.

May we request the witness to affix her signature in open court on the stamped portion certified true copy, Kim S. Jacinto-Henares.

She has done that with the court’s kind permission.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Commissioner may do so.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.

We request that the name of the buyer, Cristina R. Corona–I withdraw that, Your Honor.  We request this document to be marked Exhibit KKKKK, the name of the buyer—LLLLL, the name of the buyer, spouses Renato Corona and Cristina Corona, LLLLL-1, the property particulars reading 303.50 condominium unit, Bellagio I, condo, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, and three other properties identified simply as 12.5 and 12.5 square meters, with a total selling price or acquisition cost of P14,510,225, the date, Your Honor, of this document is December 17, 2009, valid until December 17, 2010, which we likewise request to be sub-marked as our Exhibit, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.  Mark it.

ATTY. LIM.  … as Exhibit LLLLL-2-3-4.

Is there any other document or CAR in your record, Madam witness?

COMMISSIONER HENARES.  Yes, Sir.  There is another CAR that was issued on December 8, 2003, from Burgundy Realty Corporation, to Renato C. Corona/Cristina Corona, for a condominium property of 62.7 square meter.

ATTY. LIM.  The witness has produced and handed to counsel, Your Honor, a document which is in the form of the Bureau of Internal Revenue carbon original copy, CAR no. 200300174054, for the property already described by the witness with a selling price or acquisition cost of P2,508,000.

I would like to request permission to show this to opposing counsel with a request for similar stipulation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, we do not merely stipulate, we admit that the certified true copy, Your Honor, is a faithful reproduction of the original.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The admission of the defense counsel be recorded.

ATTY. LIM.  We request that this document, which is the photocopy, be marked as our Exhibit MMMMM, the name of the buyer, Renato Corona/Cristina Corona, as MMMMM-1, the property particulars as MMMMM-2, the acquisition cost of P2,508,000 as MMMMM-3, the date of the document which is December 8,2003 as MMMMM-4.

ATTY. LIM.  … MMMMM-4.  For the sake of the record, Your Honor, may I request, Madam Witness, kindly identify the signature in the portion reading “certified true correct copy” Kim S. Jacinto-Henares, Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

MS. HENARES.  It is my signature, sir.

ATTY. LIM.  Is there anything else, Madam Witness, specifically a CAR?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness.

ATTY. LIM.  The witness, Your Honor, is taking out from her records another document which is a carbon original copy.

MS. HENARES.  In 2010, there is a CAR issued where Cristina R. Corona is a seller and the buyer is Maria Carla C. Castillo for a property in Pansol, Diliman, Quezon City.  It said here land  for 1,200 square meters.  The date of the CAR is October 22, 2010.

ATTY. LIM.  Witness handing to Counsel the document as described, which I would like to show to opposing counsel with a request for a stipulation that the photocopy thereof is a faithful copy of this original.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, we admit that the certified true copy is a faithful reproduction of the original, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the admission of the defense counsel be recorded.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.  We request that this CAR or certificate authorizing registration for the La Vista property be marked as Exhibit NNNNN as in Nancy; the name of the buyer, Maria Carla C. Castillo as NNNNN-1; the name of the seller Cristina R. Corona as NNNNN-2; the property particulars which is a parcel of land consisting of 1,200 square meters as NNNNN-3; the acquisition cost or selling price of P18 million as NNNNN-4; and the date of this CAR which is October 22, 2010 as NNNNN-5, Your Honor.  May I be allowed to ask the witness.  Madam Witness, kindly authenticate or affix your signature in this certified copy portion.  I make of record, Your Honor, that as requested, with the Chair’s permission, the witness has so affixed her signature.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Is there anything else by way of CAR, Madam Witness?

MS. HENARES.  There was another CAR issued on March 12, 2010 where the seller is Spouses Renato Corona and Cristina Corona sold to Amelia E. Rivera, et al for a land with 460 square meters in Pansol, Diliman.

ATTY. LIM.  Witness has produced and handed to counsel a carbon original copy of a document in the form of the BIR which is form No. 1954, certificate authorizing registration, a photocopy of which is shown to opposing counsel with a similar request for stipulation.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. :President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Some members of the court are asking how long these markings will take.

ATTY. LIM.  One more, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  One more, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  One more box or one more marking?

ATTY. LIM.  One more CAR.

SEN. SOTTO.  One more CAR.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  They will be patient…

ATTY. LIM.  We apologize, Your Honor, because we were ready to mark 8 o’clock in the morning, we were here with the commissioner 7:30 but the marking started only 10:00.  I will not say whose fault it was.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Thank you, Justice.  May we request, Your Honor, that this CAR be marked as Exhibit OOOOO.  The sellers, spouses Renato Corona and Cristina Corona, be encircled as OOOOO-1.  The date of the CAR which is March 12, 2010 as OOOOO-2 and the selling price of P8 million as OOOOO-3.  And we would like to manifest, Your Honor, that it bears the certified true correct copy signature of the witness herein.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anything else?

ATTY. LIM.  The date, Your Honor, is March 12, 2010.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anything else?

COM. HENARES.  There is another CAR dated December 5, 2011, Filinvest Alabang Inc. selling to spouses Renato and Cristina Corona for a share of stock in the Palms and Country Club Inc.

ATTY. LIM.  Witness producing, Your Honor, from her records an original or carbon original copy of CAR No. 00334574 dated December 5, 2011.  For particulars of property, Palms and Country Club Inc.; Stock Certificate No. 00891; Class A; for the selling price of P700,000; buyers, spouses Renato Corona and Cristina Corona.  We request, Your Honor, that this document be marked Exhibit PPPPP but may we just reserve the marking because we have no photocopy right now, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. LIM.  That would be all for the CAR, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Tahnk you, Counsel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I will still proceed to some other points if the court will allow, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With the same witness?

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  Because to be candid, Your Honor please, the honourable Presiding Officer made a ruling earlier in the proceedings that provided the prosecution can show and establish a connection between the children and the respondent in terms of the income tax returns issue, the court will so allow it and…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You establish the connection, lay the basis and…

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … we will appreciate it.  Now, before you proceed, may I request that henceforth, maybe tomorrow, the prosecution should consider marking all their documents in the morning henceforth so that when we come to the proceedings in the afternoon, then we are not tarried by this tedious marking so that the presentation of evidence will be done smoothly and faster.

ATTY. LIM.  We do not wish to subject the honourable court and the honourable Presiding Officer especially to the inconvenience of being only an audience during the marking in open court.

So, we would request, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s not a problem, but we will have to heed the …

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … clamour of the public that we show them that we are expediting the hearing, and this is also to serve the interest of the respondent for a speedy trial.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor, please, since there are other documents which we were not able to completely mark during the proceedings this morning, although we were able to mark some substantial number with the good cooperation of Atty. Cruz of the Secretariat of the Senate, we have to state, Your Honor, to the honourable Presiding Officer that we still need to mark this.

If the honourable court will direct that I proceed, I’m ready to proceed.  But if the honourable court will direct that markings be done beforehand tomorrow, then we will do it also tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is this going to be in connection with your other witnesses or with the same?

ATTY. LIM.  With the Commissioner, but she is willing to come back, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then you mark them tomorrow.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And then let the Commissioner come back to identify them …

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … to testify on them.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is that agreeable with the defense counsel?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  We submit to the discretion of this honourable court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, what’s the pleasure of the prosecution?

ATTY. LIM.  In view of this development, Your Honor, I am constrained to respectfully request for a continuance.  I hope, without objection from the good Justice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I hope you are not ordering me.

ATTY. LIM.  I am not.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It’s past the hour of five o’clock.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I have already stated—Yes, I’m sorry, Mr. Presiding Officer.

He is asking me my conformity, Your Honor.  I was about to make of record that we have no objection, Your Honor.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you.  Thank you, Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Therefore, Mr. President, we will be ready to move to adjourn.

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

ADJOURNMENT OF HEARING

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we adjourn until two o’clock in the afternoon of Thursday, January 26, 2012 for the continuation of the presentation of evidence by the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The trial is adjourned in accordance with the date, and time stated by the Majority Floor Leader.  (Gavel)

It was 5:12 p.m.

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