IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER  The impeachment trial of the honorable Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona is hereby called to order.  We shall be led in prayer by Senator Francis Chiz G. Escudero.

(PRAYER BY SEN. ESCUDERO)

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

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With 17 Senator Judges  present, the Presiding Officer declares the presence of a quorum.  The Majority Floor Leader.

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

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

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.  I move to defer the approval of the January 30, 2012 Journal of the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.  It is being finalized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER  Your motion is to defer.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, move to defer, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  There being none,  the January 30, 2012 Journal of this court is deferred.

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

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  Case No. 002-2011..IN THE MATTER OF THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF HONORABLE CHIEF JUSTICE RENATO C.  CORONA.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Appearances.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President.  May I ask the parties to enter their appearances.

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Mr. President and Members of the Senate.  For the House of Representatives prosecution panel, same appearances, Your Honors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let it be recorded.  Defense.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let it be recorded.  Majority Floor Leader.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is the prosecution ready?

REP. TUPAS.  We are ready, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed, you may now call your next witness.

REP. TUPAS.  Before we call our witness we just want to ask—yesterday we manifested  that the prosecution panel complied with the directive of January 24 when we were required to submit the list of our witnesses and documents.  May we know, Mr. President, if the defense has already complied as of today because they have not yet complied as of the 27th and yesterday?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but, if Your Honor please, the way we understood it, we have the whole day today, we are filing it today.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you ready to present a list of your witnesses?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, it is being finalized.

REP. TUPAS.  Can we hope we get it today, Mr. President.  With respect to the prosecution, we complied on the 27th.  But anyway, we can proceed now.  We are ready to proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All the while I have the impression that you utilize it as your evidences that is why you are asking.

REP. TUPAS.  We just want to know because we have one of the witnesses and we complied with it and all the documents.  But anyway, we can call now our first witness, Mr. President.  This is our first witness for the day and the 10th.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So that we can minimize this exchange of words, I would suggest that henceforth the parties would supply the other party of any pleading or any document that you will submit to this court.  If that is agreeable to both the panels.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Mr. President, we are doing that.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  For the defense, we submit to the discretion of the court, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Now, proceed.  Call your first witness.

REP. TUPAS.  We are now ready to call our first witness for the day and the 10th since the beginning of the trial.  The name is Director Benito Cataran, the Director of the Corporation, Registration and Monitoring Department of the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC.  May we call now Director Benito Cataran.  Mr. Cataran.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, counsel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yesterday, Your Honor, we were made to believe that their next witness today will be the lady referred to by Mr. Ng, Your Honor, the marketing director of Megaworld, Your Honor.  Because we did not continue further with our cross-examination in the hope and in the belief that that witness will be offered today.  May we be informed.

REP. TUPAS.  For the information of the impeachment tribunal and the defense, we requested for a subpoena yesterday and it was issued and I think we were informed, Mr. President, that the marketing director of Megaworld is directed to appear tomorrow by virtue of the subpoena issued by this impeachment tribunal so we may present the marketing director tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, are we still on Article II?

REP. TUPAS.  That ‘s correct, still Article II.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This witness is presented under Article II.  The gentlewoman from Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Mr. President, just a clarificatory question on the witness from Megaworld yesterday.  I would like to know how we should treat his testimony in the light of the fact that it was established I believe to, I think questions of some Senator-Judges that it was hearsay because he himself admitted that he is not familiar with certain information he testified to.  So do we treat that as hearsay, do we consider that stricken off the record?  I would like to know because it was a very lengthy testimony.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That was objected to by the defense and then I asked a clarificatory question and indeed he said that he was told, so I ordered that it was subject to the hearsay rule, meaning that it was not disallowed to enter the record and so I asked the counsel of the prosecution to reform his question And so, the record will bear out hearsay.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Okay.  So, perhaps I will just reserve my right later on.  Just go over the record and see what is there because I do recall that it wasn’t just one or two statements.  It was quite lengthy statement and in fact,—I mean, it was a continuing response to a number of questions.  I will just look at the records and then make my further comments later.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  At any rate, in depreciation of the evidence, the court can segregate the hearsay testimonies from the factual.  So, I think we can dispose of that of a later date.

This is an SEC, Securities and Exchange Commission officer now being presented as a witness under Article II.  What is the relevance of this witness to Article II?

REP. TUPAS.  I’ll just give the floor to Congressman Rey Umali who will conduct the direct examination.  Congressman Umali, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, but the Chair would like to know the relevance of the SEC in this proceeding.  Will counsel please explain.

REP. UMALI.  Thank you, Mr. Senate President, Your Honors.

Let me just explain, Your Honor, that the relevance of presenting this SEC official is to amplify on points pertaining to the Basa-Guidote Enterprise Inc. which appeared in the SALNs or Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth which was hesitantly presented by the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court.  And in this particular SALNs, particularly Exhibits C, D E, F, G, H, I, J, K and L, which were also adopted as commons exhibits by the defense, the name of Basa-Guidote Enterprise Inc., where it show the there was a cash advance of P11 million was reflected in the liabilities column of the SALNs, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Cash advance of the corporation to whom?

REP. UMALI.  Allegedly to Renato Corona, the respondent, in this case.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How would the SEC know about the details of the cash advance by a corporation to someone?

REP. UMALI.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Their duty’s only to record the records of a corporation.

REP. UMALI.  Yes, Your Honor.  That’s why in this particular instance, the prosecution will prove that as of 2003, calendar and fiscal year 2003, this Basa-Guidote Enterprise Inc., Your Honors, have been revoked.  And therefore, its corporate existence …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Revoked?

REP. UMALI.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The license has been revoked?

REP. UMALI.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Revoked?

REP. UMALI.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To operate as a corporation, but it was not dissolved as an artificial person.  Was it dissolved as an artificial person by the revocation?

REP. UMALI.  As a juridical person, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s right.  Was it revoked?

REP. UMALI.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As a juridical person?  I doubt it.

REP. UMALI.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The only one that can dissolve it are the stockholders.

REP. UMALI.  No, Your Honor.  What happened here was for failure to comply with the reportorial requirements as required under the Corporation Code and this happened from 1990 to date, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This is a legal question, whether the order of the SEC to prevent the corporation to transact early business because of certain non-fulfilment of regulation would mean a disillusion of a corporation, although this is a legal question.  Let’s hear the witness.  Okay.  You proceed.

REP. UMALI.  Yes, Your Honor.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It’s up to the defense counsel to …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, may I be allow to say a couple of words.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVES.  If the witness on the stand, Your Honor, will be testifying on legal matters, I do not think that could be the subject of his testimony because as a witness, what can be covered by the testimony of the witness are only factual matters, never, legal matters, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … because that should be addressed.  I am sorry, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely, that the Chair asked whether he was—what is his relevance.  And now, it turns out that he is going to discuss a theory that has not been established by—I do not know, can a jurisprudence that—can be cited about this, but I would like to give them all the opportunities to prove their case, and let us hear …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We will just make of …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … the testimony of the witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I be allowed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, please.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We will just make of record, Your Honor, our objection to this kind of testimony, Your Honor, because if it deals with legal matters, then the witness will be entirely incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, you can register your objection.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, before the clerk of court swears in the witness, the clerk of court, also of the impeachment court, would like to inform that they have served the subpoena to the senior vice president of Megaworld, 9 a.m., this morning, received 9 a.m., this morning, but was said, was asked to appear at two o’clock this afternoon, today, not tomorrow, at two o’clock in the afternoon, at the 31st day of January.  Just for the record.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Was there any return showing that he received the service?

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, at 9 a.m., this morning, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, we will cite him for contempt.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we know if he is around, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We will cite him for contempt for not complying with the order of this court.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. President, we have been informed that he is here, just now.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  He is here?

REP. TUPAS.  Yes.  We were duly informed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then put him in the witness stand first.

REP. TUPAS. We were informed, Mr. President, that he just arrived now, so …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, what is the pleasure of the prosecution now?

REP. TUPAS.  Can we just present first the SEC.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why don’t you—for the orderly proceeding in this case, why don’t you finish with the article II, in relation to the testimony of the previous witness, because the testimony of this summoned witness is connected with that, so that we can finish, instead of jumbling the records.

Is he here?

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I move to suspend the trial for a minute, so that we can thresh this out.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is suspended.

It was 2:18 p.m.

At 2:19 p.m., the session was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is resumed.

What is the pleasure of the prosecution?

REP. TUPAS.  We will present witness, Mr. Noli Hernandez.  He is here, Mr. :President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Swear the witness before the question

(The witness was sworn in by the Secretary)

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. TUPAS.  May we request that Atty. Joseph Jomer Perez be recognized to conduct the direct-examination, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Attoryney …

REP. TUPAS.  Atty. Joseph Jomer Perez.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Atty. Perez may proceed with the examination.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Your Honor, the testimony of this witness is being offered to prove that the Spouses Renato and Cristina Corona bought and acquired a penthouse unit with three parking slots in the Belagio I condominium in 2009 for the purchase price of P14.5 million after receiving a discount of around 40% equivalent to about P10 million and other related matters.  This Belagio property, Your Honor, was not reported or disclosed in Corona’s SALN for 2009 and in his SALN for 2010, Corona did not truthfully disclose this Belagio property.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Mr. Witness, first of all, will you please identify yourself.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  My name is Mr. Noli Hernandez.  I am the Senior Vice-President for Marketing and Sales of Megaworld Corp.

ATTY. PEREZ.  And your age.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I am 42 years old.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Nationality.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I am a Filipino.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you.  You mentioned that you are the Senior Vice-President for Marketing and Sales of Megaworld Corp.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  That is correct, Your Honor.

ATTY. PEREZ.  How long have you held said position?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I have been with Megaworld for the past 17 years but I have been in this position for the past I think eight or nine years, if I am not mistaken.

ATTY. PEREZ.  In that capacity as senior vice-president for marketing and sales, will you state for the record you basic duties and functions.

MR. HERNANDEZ.   My basic duties actually include the packaging, the promotion, the marketing, and selling of all the projects that we have in Fort Bonifacio Area.

ATTY. PEREZ.  In the hearing yesterday, Megaworld Finance Director, Giovanni Ng stated that with respect to the pricing and discount for the Belagio penthouse bought by Renato and Cristina Corona, the person familiar with it would be you, do you confirm this statement?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  That is correct, Your Honor.

ATTY. PEREZ.  First of all, Mr. Witness, let us go to some preliminaries on the pricing of this Belagio unit.  In a high-rise condominium such as the Belagio which are more expensive, the higher floors or the lower floors?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  It is normally the higher floors, Your Honor.

ATTY. PEREZ.  And Giovanni Ng testified that Unit 38B acquired by Corona is located on the highest or topmost floor, do you confirm that?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  That is correct, Your Honor.

ATTY. PEREZ.  In terms of mode of payment, when is the price higher, when the payment is in cash or when the payment is in instalment?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  When the payment is in cash.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, may I manifest that in his answer, respondent Renato Corona admitted that he bought the Belagio on instalment basis.  Mr. Ng, in terms of stage  of development, when is it more expensive, when the building is still under construction or when it is already completed?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  When it is already completed.

ATTY. PEREZ.  And Giovanni Ng testified that the Belagio was completed in late 2008 to early 2009, do you confirm that?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  That is right.

ATTY. PEREZ.  And when did Corona buy the Belagio?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Our record shows that he bought it around September of 2008, Your Honor.

ATTY. PEREZ.  At that time, what was the regular selling price for a penthouse unit per square meter?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  There is a price range of between 78 to 80,000 per square meter.

ATTY. PEREZ.  You are referring to the regular selling price in Bellagio I.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  That is right.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How much?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Between P78,000 to P80,000 per square meter, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. PEREZ.  At P80,000 per square meter, can you tell us how much should be the price of a 303.5 square meter penthouse?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Could that not be a matter of computation.?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor, precisely.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It is a matter of what the witness answer, it will not be bound, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  At that price, Your Honor, that will be about P24 million.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  More or less.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you.  And why is it that the property with a regular price of P24 million, more or less, was sold at P14.5 million?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, there is a lot of reasons for this, Your Honor, and if I may be allowed to explain these circumstances surrounding the sale of this property at that price.  First of all, I would like to make of record…

ATTY. PEREZ.  Mr. Witness, I will reform first the question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, he is answering the question.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Okay, go ahead.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Okay.  First of all, let me just make of record that the price of the unit actually that we should be talking about is not P24 million but instead we should be talking of P14.5 million.  There is a reason for this and if I may be allowed to explain, sir.  Your know this particular unit happen to be the last unit in that particular building of the Bellagio I.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we suggest, Your Honor, that the direct examination of the witness be by means of question and answer and not in narrative form, Your Honor, so that we can object when the time so dictates, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let us finish first his statement and you can raise your objection later on.  Go ahead.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Okay.  As I was saying, Your Honor, the original price is P24 million but as I have mentioned, this was the last unit in that particular building and back in 2008, the situation has drastically changed for the marketing environment and this unit was delivered as a semi-bare unit, it wasn’t really finished.  We were about to finish this particular unit  but unfortunately there was a typhoon and the unit sustained some water damage, some leakage, Your Honor, and we deliberated on what to do next, were we supposed to, we were thinking of maybe repackaging the whole thing or redesigning it, redoing the whole unit and we decided that it was going to cost us more to have it redone and it made more economic sense for us to give it at a steep discount and from P24 million, I decided to just lower the price to P14.5 million.  Sorry.  From P24 million , it is now adjusted to P19.6 million, Your Honor.  So there was a reduction of about P5 million because that is how much it was going to cost us, to have it redone and you know, to go to the market and sell this particular unit and as I have mentioned, this was also the last penthouse unit in the building.  And so we adjusted the price to P19.6 million and so now we are left with only P5 million, from P19.6 to P14.5 which is the price reflected in the contract.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In other words, it was the decision of the selling company to reduce the price from P24 million to what?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  To P19.6 million.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  P19.6 million.  Alright.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel.

ATTY. PEREZ.  May I proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, proceed.  Is there any objection from the defense?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, the witness had already answered, Your Honor.  I was trying to plead before this honourable court that his testimony be adduced by question and answer so that we can object when the time comes.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, I will ask questions.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  From hereon, then the counsel for the prosecution is instructed to slice his questions into separate questions to arrive at the desired answers.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Mr. Witness, according to the Contract to Buy and Sell and the Deed of Absolute Sale, the purchase price for the penthouse was P14.5 million.  Just to be clear, is this a regular price or discounted price?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Witness is incompetent, Your Honor.  There is no showing that he is in privity with this alleged contract.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, he just explained …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Lay the basis.  Counsel, lay the basis.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Mr. Witness, you testified and you confirmed that you are familiar with the pricing and discount for this particular Bellagio Penthouse.  Now, I’m asking you, the P14.5 million, is this a regular or discounted price?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very leading, Your Honor.

ATTY. PEREZ.  No, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness, did you prepare the contract to sell this unit?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  No, Sir, I did not.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who did?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Our Legal Department prepared it.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have nothing to do with the …

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I have nothing to do whatsoever.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … the drafting and the preparation of the contract?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  No, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How about the negotiation of price?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Sir.  Negotiation of price, Sir, yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You participated in the negotiation of price?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then, proceed from there counsel.

ATTY. PEREZ.  You mentioned that you participated in the negotiation for the price of this particular unit.  I’m asking you, is this price which was eventually indicated in the Deed of Absolute Sale, is this a regular price or discounted price?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  This is a discounted price, Your Honor.

ATTY. PEREZ.  How much was the discount?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, we have added some discounts to the contract price, so, basically we were left with—Because the client paid us in less than a year.  Our cash discount is 20%, but because this project was due to be delivered in less than a year, and the client was paying in about a year or so, we gave the standard shorter term discount of 15%.  So that amounts to P3 million, Your Honor.

ATTY. PEREZ.  You stated that the regular selling price was P24 million, and that price indicated in the Deed of Absolute Sale is P14.5 million.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes.

ATTY. PEREZ.  So, can you just clarify this, informing the court how much was the total discount given.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, if you subtract P14.5 million from P24 million, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  The regular price ordinarily was P24 million.  I’m clarifying this not because of anything else but the tendency of the question is misleading.  According to the witness, and the record will bear this out, that unit should, ought to be priced at P24 million.  But because of certain circumstances, motu proprio, the selling company reduced it to P19 million.  Am I correct in this?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  That’s correct, Your Honor.  P19.6, actually.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And so that was the price, specific price decided by no other one but the company.  So, please be sure that you do not vary the testimony of the witness.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. PEREZ.  You stated that the regular selling price was P24 million.  It was reduced to P19.6 million.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes.

ATTY. PEREZ.  But in the Deed of Absolute Sale, it stated P14.5 million.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  That is correct.

ATTY. PEREZ.  So, in total, how much was the total reduction?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  From P19.6 million, we gave an additional—Basically P5 million additional discount.  And, of course, out of that P5 million additional discount, P3 million or 15% was given because the client was paying almost in cash, a shorter term payment discount, that’s what we call it.  If he paid us cash, we would have given him a 20% discount.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  At this juncture, Your Honor, we request that the witness be directed to answer only the question and …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please answer the question   Do not elaborate.  Just answer.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Again.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Listen carefully with the question.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Actually, I share Justice Cuevas’ observation.  So, I will again ask, Mr. Witness, how much is the total reduction or discount given for this particular transaction?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  On the basis of what?  The question is vague, Your Honor.

ATTY. PEREZ.  On the basis, Your Honor, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Because there are several reductions, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Order.

ATTY. PEREZ.  That is why, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.  From 24 downwards, what was the reduction of the price?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  From 24 downwards, it is basically P10 million, Your Honor.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you.  This P10 million discount, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, this is not a discount.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Reduction.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, counsel, you are twisting the answer, and I am sorry to tell you that.

The reduction done voluntarily by the selling company could not be considered the discount.  That is—they lowered the price themselves.  That is not a discount to anybody.  Discount means you are giving a privilege or a favour to somebody, okay?

Now, the discount started from the reduced price of P19 million.  So, proceed.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

This reduction of around P10 million, is it common for Megaworld to make such a reduction?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very leading, Your Honor.  The witness is a very intelligent witness.

ATTY. PEREZ.  If he knows, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, it is not a question of knowing.  It is the nature …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.  You are an intelligent witness, you can answer the question, it is clear.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  It was not very clear, Your Honor.

ATTY. PEREZ.  This kind of P10 million worth of reduction, does Megaworld—is it common for Megaworld to give this …

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Actually, it is highly uncommon, considering the circumstances which I have mentioned already.  The circumstances surrounding this account, basically, are uncommon.

It is the first time that we sustained–a penthouse unit have sustained such a big damage, to wit, because of typhoon.  So, this is not really common at all.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why is it uncommon?  Please explain.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Normally, we would not have given the P5 million, we never would have given that P5 million reduction in price, have the unit not been damaged by the typhoon.  There was water leakage.  We were suppose to finish it.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, actually, …

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … the discount was not because of any favour but because of a force majeure.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Sir.  That is correct.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you.  Mr. Witness, let us clarify the reasons you gave.  You said that the unit was damaged because of a typhoon, are you saying, Mr. Witness, that—I will reform, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute, counsel, counsel, he is your witness.  Please do not argue with him.  Do not cross examine him, unless you qualify him as a hostile witness.  Do what is normal in direct examination.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. PEREZ.  I am not impeaching, Your Honor.  I was just thinking, a P10 million reduction is such a huge reduction to justify, so, precisely, Your Honor, I am clarifying and allowing the witness to clarify the reasons.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Mr. Witness, you said that the price was reduced because of, among others, damage due to typhoon.  Does Megaworld sell damaged units?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very leading, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Damaged …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I do not want to object, Your Honor, to appear that I may be in …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Does Megaworld sell damaged units?  When?

ATTY. PEREZ.  To customers, Your Honor, or to buyers.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, he just said that they are selling a damaged unit.

ATTY. PEREZ.  That is why I was trying to clarify, Your Honor, whether it is a practice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay, the witness may answer.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is it a practice for you to sell damaged units?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  First of all, when we were about to—when we were …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness, witness MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes. Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Listen carefully.  Is it a practice by Megaworld to sell damaged unit?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  No, sir, it is not.  That is why we were going to rectify it.  We were in the process of rectifying it.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Mr. Witness, do you know if there is any agreement between Megaworld and the Coronas regarding any liability for such damage?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No basis, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No basis, sustained.

ATTY. PEREZ.  You stated, Mr. Witness, that the price for this property was reduced because of, among others, the damage sustained by the unit.  And it is on record that Megaworld sold this unit to the Coronas.  So I am just asking if there is any agreement between Megaworld and the Coronas with respect to any liability with respect to the damage.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Liability  of whom?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Of the seller, Your Honor, because as a seller, the seller gives warranties on the unit that it is selling.  So, I am just asking, Your Honor, if any provision was made with respect to the damage.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, the best evidence of any contract would be the contents of the contract, isn’t it, Counsel?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, I am asking if there is any agreement, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Mr. President ..

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As I said, the contract would show the warranties, the obligation of each party, the obligation of the seller and the obligation of the buyer.  It is all in the contract.  And it is incompetent, it is not proper to introduce parole evidence in a completed transaction covered by a contract.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, we are not party to the contract.  So …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are not party to the contract.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor, so we submit that the parole evidence will not apply.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then produce the contract between the Coronas and Megaworld for the consideration of this Court.

ATTY. PEREZ.  We submit, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentle Lady from Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  We have spent about 33 minutes on this issue of the condition of the condominium and the reduction and the discounting of the price.  May I know from counsel what is the relevance to Article II as to the failure to disclose.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, the primary relevance, Your Honor, would be to the truthfulness of the SALN for 2010.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Then the question is did you disclose or did you not disclose?  Does it matter if it was disclosed it was P1 million more or P2 million more?

ATTY. PEREZ.  It was disclosed, Your Honor, but the acquisition cost was not disclosed and the current fair market value was grossly understated.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Well, I would just put on record, Mr. President, that we spent over 30 minutes on this issue and I do believe that at the rate we are going, it will really take us a very long time to get to the bottom of Article II.  So, maybe you can just try to …

ATTY. PEREZ.  I will try to abbreviate, Your Honor.  Mr. Witness, you just stated that the property suffered damage.  May I ask if the Belagio condominium was insured against such type of damage.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Immaterial, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.  It is normally insured.

ATTY. PEREZ.  And, Mr. Witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness, please answer.  Did you answer already?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir, I did.

ATTY. PEREZ.  With respect to the mode of payment, Mr. Witness, how many payments were made for this particular property?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  If I remember correctly, there were four … this was spread over one year.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Over one year.  Thank you.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes.  Over one year.  I don’t know, about a year or so.

ATTY. PEREZ.  And you also mentioned that the circumstances drastically changed.  What do you mean by these circumstances?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel.  Are you talking of the cost of the reduction in price motu propio by the selling company?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, I heard the witness earlier said that the reduction was because the circumstances drastically changed.  I am using his words.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Chair asked a direct question—what was the cost of the reduction, was it force majeure?  And he said yes.  And I am sure, as a lawyer, you know the meaning of force majeure.

ATTY. PEREZ.  I am just asking if by drastically changed…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, I will allow you to answer.  Proceed.

ATTY. PEREZ.  What do you mean by these circumstances drastically changed?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, at the expense of being repetitious, this was clearly stated by the witness—the condition of the property being water damaged and it had been very well-explained, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. defense counsel, bear with the prosecution.  Let the witness answer.  Answer.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay, thank you, Your Honor.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Okay.  As I was saying, the unit being a penthouse unit sustained some damage after a strong typhoon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You know, witness, so that we will shorten the proceedings, just give a detailed narration of the defects that, if there were defects in this unit.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I really wouldn’t call them defects, Your Honor.  It sustained some water damage because of the typhoon.  This unit  is a penthouse unit so before we could turn it over, before we could even finish the unit itself, there was a typhoon and it sustained some damage as I have mentioned.  So when we were computing the cost, how much it was going to cost us to redo the finishing, replace the flooring and so on and so forth, we decided that, well, along came our client and basically we decided that it made more economic sense for us to just sell it as it was.  So I think that for us it merited a drastic reduction in price so that was the first reason why we have decided to reduce the price.

ATTY. PEREZ.  You stated that the Bellagio condominium was insured against damage.  Did Megaworld report this damage with the insurance company?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Immaterial, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you cross-examining your witness?

ATTY. PEREZ.  No, Your Honor, just asking for clarification.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no, no, that is not clarification.  You are in effect, you are telling him, you are not telling us the truth.

ATTY. PEREZ.  I am not, Your Honor, I am sorry to say.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The impression of the court is that you do not believe the answer of your own witness.  Please reform your question.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.  You stated, Mr. Witness, that the Bellagio condominium was insured against damage.  What steps did you take, if any, after that penthouse unit was damaged?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No basis, Your Honor.  There is no such statement on the part of the witness.  He was asking whether it was insured.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Counsel.  Witness, was this unit insured?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I don’t have that information, sir, but normally our buildings are insured when we are constructing them.  It’s not within my jurisdiction.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Even your witness is incompetent to answer the question.  Did the company collect any insurance?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I am not in a position, sir, to actually know that.  I am just saying that normally during construction the building is insured.  But, you know, on top of this damage, I have to mention that the unit was actually on the finishing stage and this was just one of the reasons why we reduced the price.  Apart from this damage, basically we just computed how much it was going to cost as to we have to redo everything.  So we just factor that in and we decided that it is wiser for us to sell it at a reduced price.

ATTY. PEREZ.  We have no further questions, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have no further question to this witness?

ATTY. PEREZ.  None, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Cross.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Good afternoon, Mr. Witness.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Good afternoon, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, I heard you mentioned that the buyer is one Renato Corona and Mrs. Corona.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  That’s right, Sir.  That’s right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And, was this considered in reducing the price?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Of course not, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I see.  So, definitely, the reduction is not because the buyer is a certain Corona or Justice Corona.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  No, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Whether it is Juan dela Cruz or anybody else, you would have reduced the price because of the condition of the unit when it was sold.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  That is correct, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  Will you kindly tell the honourable court whether the damages that you found in this unit was inventoried or listed.  For instance, what is the extent of the damage and so on, and which part of the unit was damaged?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, I just consulted somebody from the technical team and they came up with an estimate.  And the estimate was around P5 million or maybe even more than that.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So that even if it was bought by anybody else, he would have spent the same?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Sir.  Even we redo it ourselves and spend the same amount or even more, or find a buyer that would be willing to buy it as it was.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, in the matter of fixing the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  May I request the distinguished Gentleman from Ilocos Norte to allow the cross-examination to push through first so that before he can ask the question that he wants to …

SEN. MARCOS.  Yes, Mr. President.  Thank you.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With the kind permission of the honorable court, I’m showing to you Exhibit AAAA which is also marked as Exhibit 25 for the defense.  Will you kindly go over this, Mr. Witness, and tell us whether you’re familiar with that document.

SEN. MARCOS.  Mr. President, if I may.  Mr. President, a point of order, if I may.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is raising a point of order?

SEN. MARCOS.  I am Senator Marcos, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is your point of order?

SEN. MARCOS.  The point of order, Sir, is that it is precisely that I am perplexed as to why we are listening to this testimony.  I have hesitated to rise in this proceedings because I am a member and there are many aspects to this that are strictly legal.  However, as far as I understand, we are examining or talking about Article II which has to do with non-disclosure of the SALN and non-inclusion of certain aspects in the SALN.

I cannot make the connection between the testimony that we are hearing today and have heard yesterday, and how it impacts upon how we decide whether or not the SALN was disclosed or was inaccurate.  And so, I would like perhaps to get some guidance, some enlightenment, how we are supposed to treat this testimony when we are deciding which way to vote for Article II.

Now, in my related question by Senator Pimentel yesterday, when Atty. Perez was asked the similar question to what I’m asking now, he mentioned that it is not only Article II but also Article III that this testimony refers to.  But I looked at Article III, Mr. President, and all Article III talks about is the flip-flopping of the Supreme Court on issue of the cityhood of 16 cities.  I cannot know, I cannot figure out how the discount and the change in price and what the reasons these changes were made from impact upon the issue of Article II which is non-disclosure of the SALN and non-inclusion of the SALN.

So, perhaps the defense can help me here because as I said, maybe my lack of legal training is showing through, but I hope you can enlighten me.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Gladly, Your Honor.

SEN. MARCOS.  I’m sorry, the counsel for the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Presiding Officer would like to clarify, he allowed our of liberality the witness to answer because the counsel for the prosecution said he wanted to show that the actual price of the unit was not disclosed in the SALN of the Chief Justice.  But the witness also clarified that there was no discount, special discount, if I will recollect this answer, the answer of the witness, given to the Chief Justice, because he was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, so, I allowed the question to be answered.

That is the reason why we went into this thing.  But evidently, I see the pure point, and you have a good point.  That kind of a question will go into paragraph 2.4, which is improper, because then, you are now saying that this is—the price is understated.  And this witness contradicts this question, because he said, that was the real price, what was stated in the SALN.

SEN. MARCOS.  Thank you, Mr. President, precisely my point, that it was—the Chair had already ruled that the evidence on the paragraph 2.4 of article II would not be admissible.

And therefore, I do not understand what—how I will now, as a Senator Judge, I will now take this testimony that is being heard, that we have heard yesterday, and today, and what is the impact of this upon the disclosure or non-disclosure of the SALN or the accuracy or inaccuracy of the SALN.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor.

SEN. MARCOS.  It goes directly to my duties as a Senator judge in deciding how to vote when—if the time comes for article II.

ATTY. PEREZ.  May I just make the connection, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I think, Your Honor, that the—it is not the private prosecution that should be given the privilege and the right to argue the case purportedly, head of the panel, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You know, this is—well, let the Members of the Congress, forming the panel of prosecutors answer the question of the Senator from Ilocos Norte.

REP. BARZAGA.  Well, if, Your Honor, please, the prosecution was permitted …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is …

REP. BARZAGA.  Prosecutor Barzaga, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let me finish first with the Gentleman from Cavite, …

REP. BARZAGA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … so that—proceed.

REP. BARZAGA.  The prosecution was permitted by this honorable court, in order to present evidence, with regard to the non-disclousure of the properties under the SALN of the respondent.

In this particular case, we are dealing with a property purchased from Bellagio.  According to our witness, there was a discount—there was a reduction in price of P10 million.  There is also a statement, Your Honor, that the respondent has to shoulder P5 million for the repair of the unit.

Insofar as that P5 million is concerned, Your Honor, that would be an improvement, insofar as the property is concerned, and therefore, normally, it should be included as an added value to the property.

Moreover, Your Honor, the SALN also indicates not only the real properties but also the personal properties such as cash.  And therefore, we would like to find out whether or not the SALN, as submitted by the Chief Justice, includes the necessary amount of cash to answer for the improvements or for the repair of P5 million.  And therefore, any evidence insofar as the CC is concerned, is within the issue permitted by this honorable court pertaining to SALN.

SEN. MARCOS.  That such may be, Your Honor.  But again, we are focusing—we have spent, again, as the good Lady from Taguig has brought up, we have spent a good amount of time, talking about the discount, the reduction in price, what does this have to do with non-disclosure or non-inclusion in the SALN?

Now, all the other points that the good Gentleman has made are well-taken.  But that is not what has been discussed here.  What we are discussing is something else entirely.

I hope, you can enlighten me because it goes directly, as I said, to our duties duty as Senator Judges and we have to decide how does this testimony impact upon the situation as you are trying to explain it to us.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I request that we limit ourselves to the two-minute cross so that we will not prolong the proceedings.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Thank you, Mr. President.  We just wish to put into the record some of our views in an effort to clarify the questions raised by the Gentleman from Ilocos Norte.

Mr. President, Article II of the impeachment complaint pertains to the respondent’s failure to disclose to the public the SALN as required under Section 17, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, which, in turn, contemplates a truthful and accurate disclosure thereof.  In other words, Mr. Chairman, the filing is not a ministerial act.  It is not the act of filing itself which would satisfy the requirements of the Constitution.  It is the filing of a truthful and accurate statement of assets, liabilities and networth.  It must be complete, it must be timely.  And these are the decisions of the Supreme Court in a number of cases.  Flores vs. Montemayor, where there was a statement that the ownership of an asset that is not yet passed is not a valid excuse for omitting it in the SALN.  That was the decision of the Supreme Court.  In the case of Office of the Court Administrator vs. Judge Usman, every public official or government employee must make and submit a complete disclosure of his assets, liabilities and networth in order to suppress any questionable accumulation of wealth.  And in another case, Ombudsman vs. Peliño, the court ruled that it is a timely disclosure of the assets.  So, it is clear from this jurisprudence that it is not the ministerial act of filing that a government official complies with his duty.  The SALN must be accurate, must be truthful, and must be timely.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  At any rate, the court understands the situation to mean that this witness is to be discharged because the prosecution said they are through with the witness.  So, let me dispose with this issue first.  What is the pleasure of the prosecution?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, as far as we are concerned, we are through with the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are through with the witness.  So, what is the pleasure of the Gentleman from Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Mr. President, good afternoon.  From Taguig and Pateros.  I have a clarificatory question to the witness.  And since Senator Bong Marcos ran out of his two minutes, I just like to continue his clarificatory statement, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.  I did not know that the Gentleman from Ilocos Norte has not finished his two minutes.  If he has not finished his two minutes, he has a right to finish his two minutes.

SEN., MARCOS.  I had, in fact, finished my two minutes, Mr. President.  So, I yield to the Gentleman from Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Just on his point, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I thought that he exceeded the two minutes.  I must apologize.  The Gentleman from Taguig, proceed.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Mr. Presiding Officer, Mr. President, let me agree with your statement previously with Senator Marcos, Senator :Pia Cayetano, and Senator Drilon.  I think this all started when we had a ruling regading 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4.  Malinaw na malinaw po dito na hindi puwedeng magpasok ng ebidensya tungkol sa ill-gotten wealth as a separate charge.  At kahapon nilabas iyong written resolution.  Nguni’t, puwedeng ipakita ng prosecution ang kahit anong property na hindi isinama sa SALN under 2.2 and  2.3  or kung mali ang ipinasok, ibig sabihin sa presyo, description o kung anuman.  Ito po ang sinasabi ni Senator Drilon.  But we cannot ignore that while there is a trial ongoing here, there is a trial ongoing outside.  And kahapon, noong lumabas iyong discount, because of the question of Senator Pimentel, parang ang pinapalabas na noong discount ay merong deal na nangyari between Megaworld and the CJ na this is very unfair to both the respondent and to Megaworld unless in fact iyon ang gustong i-prove ng prosekusyon.  So I just have one or two questions, witness, and then sa counsels.  Witness, good afternoon.  Was there a pending case between Megaworld and the Supreme Court or when either CJ was Chief Justice or was a Justice of the Supreme Court, if you know?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Your Honor.  We actually have lost two cases in the Supreme Court and I have here the details.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.P.).  So you had a case pero natalo kayo.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.P.).  Okay.  So just to ask you directly—hetong reduction or discount this had nothing to do with the case or this had something to do with the case?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Nothing whatsoever, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.P.).  Okay.  Next question—would you have offered the same price to any other buyer?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I would have, sir.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.P.).  When did the negotiations take place for the price before you knew it was CJ Corona or Justice Corona at that time buying it or you would have offered it to anyone anyway?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Honestly, sir, at that time I didn’t even know it was CJ Corona, sir.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.P.).  Okay.  So meaning if I or anyone else came and say dahil damage iyan, bilhin ko na iyan for P14 million, ibebenta ninyo na for P14 million.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir, it was brought to my attention.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.P.).  Okay.  So whether it is the private prosecutor or the Gentleman from Cavite.  So, sir, did I get the statement right of Congressman Barzaga that you are asking this question not to dispute the price but to show that the price reflected in the SALN is either non-existent or is wrong?

REP. BARZAGA.  Well, actually, Your Honor, just by way of backgrounder, we were permitted to present evidence insofar as paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3 is concerned.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.P.).  That is correct.

REP. BARZAGA.  And under 2.3, it is expressly provided.  It is also reported that some of the properties of the respondent are not included in his declaration of his assets, liabilities and net worth in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.P.).  Just to abbreviate, sir, just for this property.  So for the Bellagio property, heto po bang number 5, iyong condo at P6.8 million current per market value, iyan ho ba iyong Bellagio?  Heto po sa SALN sa Exhibit M ninyo?

REP. BARZAGA.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. CAYETANO (A.P.).  Okay.  So ang ipinapakita ninyo lang dito na P14 million ang selling price pero P6.8 million dito tapos ang acquisition cost wala.

REP. BARZAGA.  Wala po.

ATTY. CAYETANO (A.P.).  Okay.  But you are not asking that question or you are not going into whether there was a deal between Megaworld or CJ or whether it was ill-gotten.

REP. BARZAGA.  Well, insofar as this ill-gotten is concerned we admit that we are not presenting an evidence insofar as ill-gotten wealth is concerned considering the ruling.

ATTY. CAYETANO (A.P.)  Okay po.  I think klaro and we can move on already from that issue.  Because I just like to, you know, make of note here, Megaworld is a publicly listed company na naghihirap ang ating Pangulo at lahat ng ating mga economic theme na magdala ng investments into our country so we have to be very careful when we make accusations, let us make it very clear.  Kung hindi, linawin din po natin dito.  I am not referring only to the prosecution but we have to be responsible here.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Is the defense counsel through with his cross-examination?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In view of this development, Your Honor, may I announce on record that I am through with the cross-examination of the witness.  Thank you, Mr. Witness.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Estrada, Senator Recto and Senator Osmeña wish to pose questions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is the first one to be recognized?

SEN. SOTTO.  Estrada, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The President Pro Tempore of the Senate has the floor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Mr. Witness, are you comfortable in speaking in Tagalog or in English?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Tagalog po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Because yesterday I couldn’t force your colleague in Megaworld since I think he was just half Filipino.

MR. HERNANDEZ..  Tagalog po is okay.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Alright.  Ginoong testigo, nakit mo na ba iyong Bellagio unit?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Nakita ko na po iyong Bellagio unit.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Nakita mo na rin ba iyong binilhan, supposedly, ni Chief Justice Corona?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Bago po ito nabili, nakita ko na po iyong unit.  Nainspeksyon ko na ho siya mabuti, at oho napuntahan ko na siya.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Ilang beses mo na nakita iyong unit na binili.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Iyong partikular na unit ho na binili niya, isang beses ko lang ho pinuntahan because it came to my attention that it was damaged, it sustained some damage, so I went to see for myself.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Okay.  Sino ba iyong lumapit sa inyo?  Si Chief Justice ang nag-inquire sa Ballagio o kayo mismo ang nagpunta kay Chief Justice para alukin ng condominium.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes.  Pangalawang—This was actually his second purchase that’s why I …

SEN. ESTRADA.  So, kilala mo siyang personal?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi ho personal.  Hindi personal.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Pero nakapag-usap na kayo?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi ho kami personal na nakapag-usap.

SEN. ESTRADA.  So, sino iyong lumapit para bilhin itong 38B na unit?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Ang pagkakaalam ko ho, ang nakipag-usap sa amin ay iyong kanyang maybahay na si Ginang Christina Corona.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Kelan po?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  If I remember correctly, Your Honor, it’s about middle of September.

SEN. ESTRADA.  At nagpahayag siya ng kanyang interes na bilhin ang isang unit?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Opo.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Tinuro ba niya kaagad iyong 38B?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Honestly, Your Honor, I just found out about it.  When I found out about it, they were basically in the advanced stage of …

SEN. ESTRADA.  Kala ko gusto mong Tagalugin?  O sige na, sige na.  Okay lang.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Sa totoo lang ho, noong …

SEN. ESTRADA.  Sige na, sige na, Ingglesin mo na.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Okay.  By the time it came to my attention, there was already some inquiries made already.  And my staff—basically was just asking that there’s this buyer who’s interested in the penthouse unit.  I didn’t know exactly—

SEN. ESTRADA.  Who the buyer was?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes.

SEN. ESTRADA.  And it turned out to be Mrs. Corona.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Okay.  According to the testimony of Mr. Ng, base sa salaysay ni Giovanni Ng kahapon, meron daw mga technical defects iyong unit.  And as you’ve testified earlier, there were some technical defects.  Pwede niyo ba eksplika sa amin, ano itong mga technical defects na ito sa condominium?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, Your Honor, hindi ko ho ito matawag na technical defects talaga.  Kagaya na ho na nabanggit ko kanina, mayroong bagyong dumaan bago namin ito natapos, at nagkaroon ho siya ng damage.

Now, prior to this, we were on the finishing stage also of the unit.  We were finishing their unit.  We were experimenting with a certain design and feel for the unit which didn’t quite turn out to be—well, we didn’t actually get to finish it because while we were finishing it, the typhoon came along and damaged the unit.  So, nagkaroon na ng water damage.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Ano ba iyong bayong tumama doon?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi ko na ho matandaan.  That was in 2008.  And alam niyo naman po, ang unit naman na ito ay nasa penthouse, nasa bubungan.  Hindi pa ho na-turn over sa amin ng maayos.  Pinasok ho ng tubig na galing sa exit papunta sa helipad.

SEN. ESTRADA.  2008 tumama iyong bagyo.  That was during typhoon Ondoy.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, I think, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  2008, ang mga bagyo lang don, bagyong Frank.  Pati ba yung typhoon Frank tinamaan yung condominium unit ni CJ Corona?  So, you admit right now that one of the defects of the condominium unit was because of the typhoon.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Sir.  Hindi so defect, nagkaroon ho siya ng damage.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Not necessarily defect?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  No, no.  Not at all.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Marami na ba kayong—Is is unusual on your part na magbigay ng malaking, halimbawa diskwento, sa mga sikat o kilalang personalidad?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi ho naming normal na practice iyan …

SEN. ESTRADA.  Hindi ba sa—alright, sige, you finish your answer.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Sige po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Hindi ba normal sa isang taong katulad mo na isang marketing man, na halimbawa, mayroong isang sikat na personalidad, halimbawa, isang sikat na artista, ipagpalagay nating si Bong Revilla, gustong mag-acquire, halimbawa, ng isang unit diyan sa Bellagio, siyempre, karangalan nyo yan dahil isang sikat na personalidad, magagamit nyo pa sa inyong marketing purposes, sasabihin niyo, ah, diyan nakatira si Bong Revilla, bili na kayo ng isang unit.  Hindi nyo ba ginagawa iyan at bibigyan ko kayo ng discount.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I think, the other developers are doing that.  But as far as we are concerned, and our projects speak for themselves, karaniwan ho, medyo nakakasama pa ho iyong ganoong sitwasyon sa amin, so, it is not really something that we look for.  It is not something that we seek out.

SEN. ESTRADA.  So, sa—bilang isang marketing person, up to what extent, hanggang ilang porsyento ho kayo allowed na magbigay ng discount?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Sa totoo lang ho, it is a case by case basis e.  Of course, we arrive at the pricing based on several factors.  Number one, we have to determine our costs, our construction cost, development cost, marketing cost, and so on and so forth. And then, we take a look, we do our research, we take a look at the prevailing market prices, and we also add to that our target profit, and we go from there.

So, as long as I know the bottomline, Your Honor, I should be able to make some decisions.  I am guided by these parameters, and I do not deviate.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Alright.  Doon sa—di ba dalawa iyong units doon sa 38th floor, at iyong isa, na-damage kamo, iyong kay Chief Justice Corona, iyong isang unit ba doon, on the same floor, na-damage din ba?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi ko—wala na hong nakarating sa aking impormasyon tungkol doon, so, I assume—I think, it is safe to assume that there was no damage to that particular unit, and also, by that time, that particular unit was sold already, it is 38B, happens to be the last unit we sold in that building.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Alright.  Do you conduct financial background to all your prospective buyers?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  We see no need to do that, Your Honor, it is a tedious process.  And as far as we are concerned, if you fail to—if you renege in your obligations, the unit stays with us.

So, unlike when you go to a bank and you try to take out loans, the bank will have to do background investigation, because if you occupy your house and you renege on your payments, the banks will have to go through a lot of trouble evicting you.  We do not have that problem, Your Honor, so, for us, it is unnecessary, so, we don’t.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. Witness.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Thank you.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Mr. President, I think, my time is up.  Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Osmena wishes to be recognized, and thereafter, Senator Recto and Senator Drilon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Cebu is recognized.

SEN. OSMENA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. Witness, ilang pong penthouse doon sa Bellagio?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Anim po.

SEN. OSMENA.  Anim.  On three floors?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Opo.

SEN. OSMENA.  So, ibig sabihin, two per floor?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, po.

SEN. OSMENA.  At siguro, iba-ibang presyo noong tatlo, the one on the first floor of the penthouse would be priced at less than the top penthouse, hindi ba?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes po.

SEN. OSMENA.  Alright.  Mayroon ho kayong price list?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Wala po akong …

SEN. OSMENA.  Would you like to submit to the court the price list, the asking prices for those penthouses?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, our price is basically—based on …

SEN. OSMENA.  No, just submit it.  Do not argue, please.  We ask the court that it subpoenas the original price list for the Bellagio condominium building.

Can we have it by tomorrow, Mr. Witness?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMENA.  Alright.  Ngayon po, iyong damage, anong klaseng damage ang na-sustain ng penthouse ni Chief Justice Corona?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Gaya po noong nabanggit ko kanina, nagkaroon po ng leakage …

SEN. OSMENA.  Ibig sabihin mo, water damage lang?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Water damage po and …

SEN. OSMENA.  Water damage, in my experience, is one of the least …

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, the floors where …

SEN. OSMENA.  There is no construction damage.  There are no cracks.  Kung water damage lang, paint lang yan.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi lang ho iyon.  Medyo extensive ho iyong naging damage.  Besides hindi pa ho talaga tapos.

SEN. OSMENA.  Do you have photographs of the unit as this was damaged?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  No, sir.  I don’t remember any.

SEN. OSMENA.  You did not file any insurance claims on it?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  No, sir.

SEN. OSMENA.  You did not.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Not that I know of, sir.

SEN. OSMENA.  Will you please check because that is very normal that if there is any sort of damage, there is a claim that is made and photographs are taken.  You are under oath, Mr. Witness.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.

SEN. OSMENA.  Do you know that for a fact that no claims were filed?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I don’t know that for a fact, sir.

SEN. OSMENA.  So, you said  there was none, so you were not telling the truth.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I don’t know that for a fact, sir.  All I said is that normally, there should be …

SEN,. OSMENA.  Never mind normally.  I am asking you specifically in this case, if any claims were filed.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I am not aware of that.

SEN. OSMENA.  All right.  Will you find out and let the court know tomorrow.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I will, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMENA.  Thank you.  Ano pong normally construction cost ng multi-storey condominium building like the Belagio.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I am actually not …

SEN. OSMENA.  You are not a finance man.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  No, sir, I am not.

SEN. OSMENA.  Normally, the construction cost is about 70 to 80% of the total selling price.  20% is the normal profit made by a developer.  Are you aware of that?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I am not so sure, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMENA.  All I am saying is that, if the listed price is P24 million, it was eventually sold at P14 million, the developer sold this at a huge loss..  Are you aware of that?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I wouldn’t call it a huge loss, sir, but a reduction of profit.

SEN. OSMENA.  Okay, so you are aware of the number.  So, what is to you a huge loss and what is a small loss?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, as the figures will show, sir, it is about 40%.

SEN. OSMENA.  What figures, you haven’t told us any figure?  Are you talking about the difference between P24 million and P14 million?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, yes, sir.  That is one way to look at it, sir.

SEN. OSMENA.  That is one way to look at it.  You have other ways of looking at it?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, because from a normal selling price of P24 million, and we ended up selling it for P14.5 that is quite a reduction, sir.  But as I have mentioned earlier, there was a reason for this and I was explaining it.

SEN. OSMENA.  Yes, and we are trying to probe if that reason is valid.  Now, that is why we are asking for photos because in my experience water damage is one of the least that can happen to your property as far as damage is concerned because you just … a coat of paint.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Your Honor, if I may also add.  I was saying earlier, that on top of this the unit was actually semi-bare at that state.  We were just about to finish it.  We were going to complete it.  And then we were just about to finish it.  We were going to complete and then some parts of it were damaged.

SEN. OSMENA.  You are saying that the unit was semi-bare.  Will you please describe what semi-bare means.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, it is not a 100% finished, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMENA.  Well, you know that, but then you know, what is missing?  The electrical were in place?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes.

SEN. OSMENA.  The water pipes were in place.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.

SEN. OSMENA.  And did you not finish it before you handed it over to the new owner.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  No, sir, we did not have a chance to do that, as I have mentioned.

SEN. OSMENA.  You mean to say, the new owner moved in and did all the finishing himself.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  We just turned over to the new owner, sir.

SEN. OSMENA.  Would you show us the dates on which the turn over was made, please.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Pardon, sir.

SEN. OSMENA.  Show the court the date on which the turn over was made.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I don’t have it with me, sir.

SEN. OSMENA.  Yes, will you submit it to the court.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir, I will.

SEN. OSMENA.  Now, essentially, a developer will never turn over a unit that is not finished and not up to spec because the contracts would all reflect the presentations and warranties, particularly in a condominium building.  So, we doubt very much if you are being very accurate this afternoon.  In any case, my two minutes are up, Mr. Senate President, thank you very much.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Recto, Senator Pangilinan, Senator Drilon, and Senator Villar in that order, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Recto has the floor.

SEN. RECTO.  Thank you, Mr. Senate President.  Mr. President, I just have a few questions with the prosecution to better understand the case of the prosecution with regard to the SALN and the Belagio property.

THE SENATE PRESIDENT.  Proceed.

SEN. RECTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Am I correct to hear from the prosecution earlier that you agreed that the Chief Justice included the Belagio property in his SALN?

REP. BARZAGA.  Yes.

SEN. RECTO.  So,it is found in the SALN.

REP. BARZAGA.  In 2010, mayroon pong nakalagay roon na dalawang condominium sa Taguig City.

SEN. RECTO.  Okay.  So you are saying that is in number 5, year acquired, 2010, I suppose.

REP. BARZAGA.  Yes.

SEN. RECTO.  Is that correct?

REP. BARZAGA.  Yes.

SEN. RECTO.  Okay.  Kung nandito, ano iyong problema?

REP. BARZAGA   Una muna ang problema ang nakalagay po lamang diyan ay P6 milyon mahigit.

SEN. RECTO.  You are saying now, just to be specific about it, Mr. Senate President, under the issue of current fair market value on number 5 of the SALN of the Chief Justice, it says condo Taguig 2010, installment assessed value 3496320 and then it says under the current  fair market value is P6.8 million.  Is that correct?

REP. BARZAGA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO.  Okay.  And you are saying that he should have?

REP. BARZAGA.  Well, unang-una ang selling price po ay P14.5 million.  Pangalawa po, kung totoo ang sinasabi ng aming testigo na iyon ay reduced price at kinakailangang gumastos pa ang Punong Mahistrado ng Korte Suprema ng additional na P5 milyon, dapat po ang value ng property is P14.5 as reflected in the deed of absolute sale plus the P5 milyon na gagamitin sa pagpapaayos ng penthouse.

SEN. RECTO.  Kung ipapagawa.

REP. BARZAGA.  Kung ipapagawa po.

SEN. RECTO.  Okay.  So the problem is, what you are saying is that dapat inilagay niya sa acquisition cost, P14.5 million.  Do you have a problem with the P6.8 million under current fair market value?

REP. BARZAGA.  Well, I think na malinaw naman po na kung ang current fair market value is only P6.5 million, no sane person would be selling the same property whose market value is only P6.5 million.  The seller would be selling it for P14.5 million.

SEN. RECTO.  Mr. Prosecutor, let me invite your attention to Exhibit LLLLL.  This is the exhibit given by the prosecution.  It says here in the certificate authorizing registration, without this you cannot register the property.  In this certificate authorizing registration, the selling price is here at P14.5 million and I agree with you that the Chief Justice should have put it in the acquisition cost.  But having said that, there is also an account here that says market zonal value which is P6,827,000.  Meaning to say, for purposes of real property tax payments, heto iyong public document na isa pang dokumento ito.  Heto for registration purposes whichever is higher, that is the corresponding taxes that you pay so that you are issued a TCT or CCT, in this case the CCT.  Samakatwid hindi rin siya nagsinungaling when he put P6.8 million in the current fair market value dahil ito ay mga local ordinance na ipinapasa sa schedule market of value, in this case in Taguig, ang cost or ang value ng property doon ay ganito lang ang halaga.  Samakatwid based on the public documents presented by the prosecution.

REP. BARZAGA.  Ang nais po naming ipakita ay malinaw na malinaw sa dokumento na ang halaga ng ibinayad ni Chief Justice Corona ay P14.5 million.  Kaya gusto po naming linawin, base ba sa kanyang SALN,  meron bang sufficient siyang cash para bilhin ang property na worth P14.5 million.

SEN. RECTO.  Okay. Again, I would suppose at a future date we will probably take a look at the SALN.  Has the prosecution showed any property not in the SALN at this point in time?

REP. BARZAGA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO.  How many?

REP. BARZAGA.  Seven properties in Marikina.

SEN. RECTO.  But that has not been presented yet to the court.

REP. BARZAGA.  The Register of Deeds has already been presented, the cross-examination of the defense has not yet started.

SEN. RECTO.  Okay.  So if at all, you would be saying now the two items—para maintindihan na rin natin dito sa korte at ng publiko—sa ngayon sa SALN ng Chief Justice lima ang property na nandito for 2010.  Total throughout his life, he had 8 properties it appears.  You are saying that in 2010 he has not put 7 properties in Marikina.

REP. BARZAGA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO.  So iyon ang hindi truthful ang declaration, wala pa dito.

REP. BARZAGA.  Yes.  And when we speak of truthful declaration, it presupposes that there should be a truthful statement insofar as the amount used for the purchase of the property is concerned.

SEN. RECTO.  And the other allegation now would be, why did he not use the acquisition cost?

REP. BARZAGA.  Yes.

SEN. RECTO.  That is the point, right?

REP. BARZAGA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO.  Okay.  At the appropriate time, I would like to reserve my right to ask on the defense, at the appropriate time, with regard to this, because we would still like to hear the defense how would they defend this in the SALN of the Chief Justice.

But having said that, just a point of inquiry, Mr. President, maybe it’s opportune for me to ask an inquiry of this court.  My understanding is that based on the Rules, there are eight Articles of Impeachment.  It has been reported in the papers that the prosecution will present a hundred witnesses.  And I would assume based on our Rules that at the end of the prosecution’s a hundred witnesses, the defense now will have the opportunity to present their witnesses and their evidences to support their position, right?  Is that correct, Mr. President?  Is that the procedure we are following?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That?

SEN. RECTO.  That the prosecution will present first testimony and evidences for the eight articles.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For all the articles.

SEN. RECTO.  For all the articles.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, before the …

SEN. RECTO.  Before the defense will have the opportunity …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … will present their contraverting evidence.

SEN. RECTO.  Correct.  And then the defense at the end of the eight articles, after the eight presentations on the part of the prosecution, the defense will have their turn.  Is that correct?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The defense will now?

SEN. RECTO.  Will have their turn.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. RECTO.  Okay.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Now, the procedure is there are eight Articles of Impeachment.

SEN. RECTO.  Correct.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The prosecution will present their evidence for each of these eight Articles of Impeachment, at which case, they will then rest their case …

SEN. RECTO.  Okay.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … and say that they have presented already the evidence.  And then at that point, it will be the turn of the defense to present their evidence to disprove and all of the eight articles …

SEN. RECTO.  Okay.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … and rest their case.

SEN. RECTO.  I understand, Mr. President, because that is not clear in the Rules as I read the Rules.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, that does not have to be served.  That’s the normal procedure in adversarial proceedings.

SEN. RECTO.  I understand, Mr. President.

However, the reason I asked this question is that it would be easier, at least for me, maybe not for all the judges, especially the non-lawyers in this Chamber, that I think it would be more proper that the prosecution present, let’s say Article II, the defense now at the end of the prosecution presenting Article II, the defense is given the opportunity to defend themselves in Article II.

Thereafter, they can move on to the next article, the prosecution can present the next evidence with the next article, and then the defense can now present their evidence in that particular article, instead of the procedure we have that the prosecution will first present eight articles …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That would mean an amendment of the Rules of Impeachment of the Senate.  In which case, we’ll have to republish.

SEN. RECTO.  Yes.  I do not wish to spend so much time today on this issue, Mr. President, when I agree that we vote at the end of eight articles.  I think, it would be best for all of us if the prosecution is allowed to present their evidence, their witnesses, for a particular article, then give the defense the opportunity to defend themselves, per article as well.  And at the end, we vote accordingly.

But I do not wish to belabour the point at the time of this court.  And maybe at an appropriate time during a caucus, we could discuss this matter further.

Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alam mo, Ginoong Senator, para maunawaan ng madla itong proseso na ito ay—ang order ng proof ng pagpapatunay ay iyong sumasakdal—ng nakasakdal, sila muna ang nagprisinta ng lahat ng kanilang ebidensiya doon sa kabuuan noong kanilang paratang.

SEN. RECTO.  Nauunawaan ko po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Pagkatapos, sasabihin, tapos na po kami.  Ngayon, sasabihin naman ng hukom, o ikaw, depensa, patunayan mo, iprisinta mo iyong mga ebidensya.

Ngayon, habang nililitis natin ito, kaya mayroon tayong stenographer, inire-record lahat iyong mga nangyayari dito sa ating hukuman.  At iyon ang batayan ng magkabila, pati na ng hukom, na pag-aralan ang kabuuan noong kaso, at doon nila papasyahan kung sino ang nagsasabi ng totoo at kung sino ang nagsasabi ng hindi totoo.

SEN. RECTO.  Tama poi yon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  At iyan naman ang pagbabatayan ng hukom upang husgahan iyong kaso.

SEN. RECTO.  Nauunawaan ko po.  Kaya lang, para bang may mali, Ginoong Pangulo, na posibleng ang prosecution, mag-oopensa ng 100 prosecution witnesses, sa loob ng posibleng isang taon, bago makasagot naman ang depensa.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Talagang ganyan po ang proseso.  Kahit na sa husgado, ganyan.

SEN. RECTO.  Nauunawaan ko po, ngunit siguro sa tamang panahon ay baka maaaring mapag-usapan natin muli ito, iyong common sense po natin dito tungkol sa trial na ito, dahil mahirap naman na pag-usapan natin iyong walong artikulo, at baka makalimutan iyong una.  Hindi lamang tayo, kundi noong mga nanonood sa atin dito.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Palagay ko po, hindi natin makakalimutan, sapagkat kailangan, magkakaroon lahat tayo ng sariling mga notes natin para doon sa—tungkol sa mga ebidensya na …

SEN. RECTO.  Tama poi yon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … na iprinisinta dito sa article I, sa article II, article III, article IV, hanggang sa article VIII.

SEN. RECTO.  Well, thank you, Mr. Senate President.  Thank you for the response.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sino ngayon ang susunod po na …

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Pangilinan, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Kagalang-galang na Senador ng Pampanga.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Maraming salamat Ginoong Pangulo.

Magandang hapon, Mr. Witness.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Magandang hapon po.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Just a follow up doon sa tanong noong damage, nagkaroon ba ng engineer’s report, after an ocular siguro—was undertaken?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Nasabihan lang po ako ng mga tao ko, ng mga staff ko sa marketing and sales.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes, pero hindi ba standard iyan na kapag mayroong mga damage, units na hindi pa nabebenta, nagkakaroon ng report?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  There should be some reports po.  But I have to …

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, can we likewise request for that report …

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I have to find out if we still have it on file, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes.  Again, you are under oath, and …

MR. HERNANDEZ.  This is going to be a subpoena that you will have to follow and comply with.

Doon sa usapin ng negotiations, nabanggit mo kanina, ikaw mismo ang nagne-negotiate?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi po ako. Hindi po ako.  Actually, iyong staff ko lang ho iyong nagne-negotiate, dahil ho sa telepono, sinasabi ho sa akin kung ano iyong request ng kliyente.  At of course, nagbabalik-balik lang ho basically iyong negotiation.  Tatawag sa akin kung ayos ho bas a akin, kung acceptable sa amin, kung ano ang mga kondisyon.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, hindi ikaw ang personal na nakipag-usap.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi po ako ang personal na nakipag-usap.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Nakausap mo si Ginang Corona?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi ko po siya nakausap.  I think, I met her in some other meetings po, but not here, not in this particular transaction.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Pero ang desisyon na ibaba ang presyo, sabi mo kanina, desisyon mo iyon.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Opo.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  That is your decision alone?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  You do not consult with the higher management?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Of course, I had to speak to our finance people also, but I know naman po iyong parameters.  Alam ko po iyong parameters na ginagalawan ko at alam ko ho iyong pupuwede kong gawin at hindi ko po puwedeng gawin.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, mayroon kang rekomendasyon.  You cleared it with finance, they said okay?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I think, at that time, they had no choice but to say okay to me.  We were also getting to be quite desperate at that time.

Remember, Your Honor, this was 2008, Lehman Brothers has collapsed, and we were there.  This was the last unit—end of 2008, and …

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Okay.  You already said that earlier.  Thank you.

Mayroon bang ibang buyers doon sa unit na iyon na nakikipag-usap, humihingi ng discount or nagne-negotiate?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Marami pong tumitingin at lahat ho ay humihingi ng discount.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Marami, ilan?  Lima, sampu?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  It should be more than that, Your Honor.  I do not remember the exact figure.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  And they were all willing to pay the amount?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, hindi naman po lahat nagkakaigihan kami ng negosasyon.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, more than 10?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  It should be more than 10, Your Honor.  This was in 2008, I don’t recall exactly.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, kahit na mayroong krisis, marami pa ring gustong bumili.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Iyon nga po iyong isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit ho ako nagdesisyon na ibaba iyong presyo for this particular unit because you know, Your Honor, there is a very thin market for this particular unit.  A very thin market.  We are talking about penthouse.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  You said there were a lot of interested buyers.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.  People, you know, would go and take a look, but at the end of the day …

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, noong nagkaroon ng water damage, alam mo na ba o alam na ba ninyo na interesado si Gng. Corona dito sa property na ito?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, nauna ho kasi iyong water damage, and then tiningnan ho iyan at …

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Now, the question is, when there was  water damage, were you already aware that Mrs. Corona was an interested buyer?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.  I was told that there was a client who was interested, who was looking and interested to negotiate for it, so I was very keen on moving the negotiation forward.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, at the time of the damage, there were already initial negotiations with Mrs. Corona.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Among other clients, yes, sir.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Doon sa 6 units, were you also involved sa negotiations sa pagbenta noong 6 other penthouse units?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Normally, sir, sometimes if there is a pressing need to call me about some issues …

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, you were involved in the same way you were involved …

MR., HERNANDEZ.  In one way or another, sir, yes, sir.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Would you know, sabi mo walang damage iyong iba.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi naman ho na-damage.  Dalawa lang po iyong units sa taas, sa pinaka-taas mismo.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  All these other 6 units have been sold, five rather?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  At that time, yes, sir.  All the other five units have been sold already.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Would you know how much the other unit was sold for?  Magkano iyong unit na nasa top floor, iyong isang iyon?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I don’t have the exact price here, but the price range is between 78 to 80,000 per square meter or so, sir.  So, if we will compute it …

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, that was probably sold for around 20 plus million.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  What about the lower floor?  The same?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Thereabouts, sir.  About the same …

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Around 20 to 24 million.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, thereabouts, sir.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  And so all other five units were sold at around 20 to 25 million pesos.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Except for this unit dahil nga sa damage, binabaan ninyo ng 19 tapos binenta ninyo ng 14.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.  14.5

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, sino ang nagdesisyon na kay Gng. Corona ibigay o ang maging buyer at hindi iyong interested na buyers?  Was that your decision?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Basically po, it was my decision, but we have to also take into consideration how we operate in our department.  Usually, it is on a first come first served basis.  So, nagkataon po na siya ho iyong mas inentertain naming para ditto, nagkasundo na ho kami, mas interesado siya and we just, as I have mentioned, at this point, we were quite as bent to dispose of it.  There is a huge cost in carrying this particular inventory.  It is big and as I have mentioned, this was in 2008, time for getting to be difficult.  People were loosing their shirt.  I was losing my hair, so, things were getting difficult for us.  So, I had to make a decision.  It was the tail end of 2008 and I had to make that decision, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Okay.  No other questions, Mr. President.  Maraming salamat.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Thank you po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Drilon, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes, Mr. President.  Actually, I have no more questions to ask.  I just want to inquire.  Senator Osmena requested for a number of documents.  Two questions, will a subpoena be issued for these documents requested by Senator Osmena, and second, will we now require the witness to come back tomorrow?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, the witness said he will bring the documents.  Witness, are you going to bring the documents?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  First, I will have to find it, sir.  This was in 2008.  I will have to check our records if we still have it.  Because again, we are not really, even in our contract to buy and sell, or reservation contract to buy and sell, we are not selling on the basis of square meters.  We are basing it basically, sir, on a per unit basis.  So we play with the figures between 78 in this particular instance where the average price is…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Now the question is you were asked to bring some documents.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I will have to find it, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Now are you willing to bring them voluntarily or do we have to issue a subpoena to compel you?

MR. HENANDEZ.  Yes, sir.  It should be no problem if I find it, sir, if it still on our file.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How long a time do you need to find it?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I should find out today, sir, if I can bring it tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  You will come back tomorrow to tell us whether you have found them or not.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And then if you don’t , then we will subpoena the corporation to produce them.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  Now, TJ Guingona.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President, TJ Guingona and then Senator Villar, yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator TJ Guingona.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Gusto ko lang, I just want to be clarified, I would like to ask the prosecution.  Let me just take of where Senator Drilon tried to define using the Supreme Court decisions the disclosure of a SALN.  There are three elements of disclosure.  One, truthfulness; two, accuracy; and three, timely.  In 2008, the unit was purchased, am I correct, Mr. Prosecutor?  You alleged.

ATTY. PEREZ.  May I respond, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Whoever.  I am here to find out, to be clarified.  Anybody can answer.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.  The contract to buy and sell was executed in 2008 while the deed of absolute sale was executed in 2009.

SEN. GUINGONA.  And the amount was P14.5.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Okay.  Ang kailangan nakalagay dito sa SALN nakalagay fair market value.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Okay.  Ang ibig sabihin sa pagkaalam ko ng fair market value kung saan ang isang nagbebenta ng bagay at ang isang bumibili ng bagay ay nagkasundo.

ATTY. PEREZ.  That is correct, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  When there is a meeting of the minds between the buyer and the seller, then you have a sale and, therefore, that sale is a reflection of the fair market value.  Ganoon po ba?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Okay.  So, therefore, for this purpose, P14.5 would be the fair market value.

ATTY. PEREZ.  For this particular transaction, yes.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Okay.  And yet the said sale you alleged was not declared until the year of 2010.  Am I correct?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  So sinasabi ninyo itong P14.5 million dapat lumabas noong…

ATTY. PEREZ.  2009, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  2009.  Pero lumabas na lang noong 2010.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When was the deed of sale?

ATTY. PEREZ.  2009, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2009.  What month?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, the deed of absolute sale was undated but it was entered in the notarial book, series of 2009 and the certificate authorizing registration I think was issued sometime in December 2009.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When was it received by the owner, by the transferee?

ATTY. PEREZ.  We are not aware, Your Honor, but we are basing this on the provision of the Civil Code that there is constructive delivery when the formal instrument is executed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  So again, you are basing it on what provision?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, under the Civil Code.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You mean the constructive delivery.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When the title is issued or when the deed of sale was concluded?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, ownership is transferred upon delivery and there is delivery upon execution of the formal instrument, in this case the deed of absolute sale.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Delivery even without the title?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor, because under the Civil Code, delivery can either be actual or constructive, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Okay.  So, sinasabi niyo po na dapat, whatever you say about your delivery, okay, sinasabi niyo na dapat nakalagay noong 2009, merong P14.5 million sa SALN, hindi po ba?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Iyon ang wala.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Wala pos a 2009 SALN.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Lumabas na lang noong 2010.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  So, again, going back to the three elements of truthfulness, and accuracy and timeliness, hindi po pumasa?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Is it truthful?  It’s not accurate and it’s not timely.  That’s what you allege.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Opo.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Okay.  E iyong sinasabi naman ni Senator Recto kanina na merong P6.8 million, nakalagay dito nga sa 2010 na SALN, P6.8 million.  So, pagdating ng 2010, ang nilagay—dineklara na, 2010, pero hindi nilagay P14.5 million, kung hindi P6.8 million.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Hindi po nilagay iyong acquisition cost.

SEN. GUINGONA.  The fair market value.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Doon po sa fair market value naman, hindi po nilagay iyong fair market value.

SEN. GUINGONA.  So, ipinapakita ni Senator Recto, ang sinasabi niya, zonal valuation?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor.  But under the guidelines, if I may explain, Your Honor, …

SEN. GUINGONA.  Teka, teka.  Teka muna.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Opo.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Ang zonal valuation, nakalagay dito P6.8 million, iyon ang dineklara.  Pero ang nakalagay sa column, fair market value.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Opo.

SEN. GUINGONA.  May diperensya—ang pagkakaalam ko, may diperensya ang zonal valuation at may diperensya ang fair market value.  Hindi po ba?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Tama po.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Tama.  Ang diperensya noon, yung zonal ay iyan an listahan ng presyo ng binibigay ng BIR sa isang property para pag-compute ng mga capital gains tax, hindi po ba?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Tama po.

SEN. GUINGONA.  So, hindi pa rin akma na iyong zonal ay hindi fair market value, hindi po ba?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Tama po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ano bang ebidensiya ng fair market value?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, under the—In the 1994 SALN of Chief Justice …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no.  Normally, what evidence do we need to determine fair market value?

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, as defined in the guidelines, it means actual value that is the fair value of the property as between who wants to purchase it and the one who wants to sell it.  So actually, kaya po namin tinatanong iyong testigo tungkol sa normal selling price, because we believe that this is a consideration in determining the actual fair market value.  We have to know the price at which Megaworld is normally willing to sell the property.  Iyon po yung connection that we are trying to show, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.  Mr. President, Senator Villar.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Las Piñas.  You can help us in this because he is in this field.

SEN. VILLAR.  Hindi naman po, Mahal na Pangulo.  Ako po’y—gusto ko lamang bigyan ng konting kaliwanagan.

Iba-iba ho ang policy ng mga developer diyan sa condominium, at maraming mga circumstances po iyan.  Merong pong mga naghahabol ng benta, wika nga, pag year end na malalaki discount.  Meron namang namumrublema at meron naming mga—Tama yun kung inabot ng bagyo, nasira.  Talagang mga special na presyo na iyan.  At normally maraming flexibility po ang mga manager diyan.  Wala sila iyong mga hanggang 10% ka lang, merong flexibility sila.

Babanggitin ko po at siguro ito na lamang example ko ang aking kontribusyon sa diskusyon na ito.  Noong Disyembre po, sa mga nagbabasa po ng mga diyaryo, at siguro milyun-milyon po nakabasa nito, isang malaking developer po ang nag-offer ng 40% discount to anybody, to everybody. Iyan po ay—hanapin niyo po iyong mga diyaryo noong Disyembre at makikita nyo po roon, dalawang pages po iyon, 40% discount to everybody, sa condominiums, lahat ng units nila, alam ng ating witness iyon kung ano.  Subalit, iyon lamang po ang aking kontribusyon dito, na ang masasabi ko lamang po, napakaraming factors that govern pricing.  Hindi po simple iyan.  Hindi iyong puhunan lang.  Hindi iyon kung binagyo lang.

Minsan, iyong pangangailangan—pero halimbawa, noong 2007, maaaring katatapos natin ng world crisis noon, medyo mahirap ang bentahan, agresibo po iyan.  Kapag 2010, na medyo boom, halimbawa, mahihirapan kayong kumuha ng malaking discount, dahil diyan, minsan, pipila pa kayo.  Pero kapag naman may isang developer at gustong mag-agresibo, depende po iyan sa programa nila—kamukha noong isa nga ay—na tama namang policy, hindi ko sinasabing maling policy.  Kung gusto nilang mag-dominate ng market, malaking market share, 40% discount, open to everybody.

Iyon ang—hanapin po nyo iyon sa—noong December.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.  Mr. President, may we urge …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, may we urge Senator Villar to disclose the name, tutal, matindi ang plugging ng Bellagio …

SEN. VILLAR.  Alam naman natin, isang napakagaling na developer, at hinahangaan ko ang developer, ang SMDC ay nag-announce niyan.

SEN. SOTTO.  Ayun.

Thank you, Mr. President.  Sen. Escudero then Senator Lacson, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Escudero.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Mr. President, before I ask a couple of questions to the witness, may I raise a procedural matter.

Mr. President, earlier, Senators Osmena and Pangilinan asked that a subpoena be issued, for documents to be produced by the witness, Mr. President.  Unlike a Congressional or Senate inquiry, the parties should be the ones to ask for it, because otherwise, how would we be able to identify this document, and how would this be offered as proof, later on after the trial.

So, perhaps, the prosecution should take this an advisement if they will consider the request for the issuance of a subpoena because I doubt if the court can ask for the issuance of a subpoena, summons or requests by the parties.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With the indulgence of the court, the members of the court, ours is to receive the evidence from the prosecution and as well as from the defense.

So, that is why I asked the question whether the witness, being a witness of the prosecution, will voluntarily submit the requested document.  Now, if he will not, then, of course, we will issue the subpoena upon request of the interested party.

We are not supposed to produce evidence for either side.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. President, for that clarification.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Unless, of course, a member of this court would like to satisfy himself that—to test the credibility of the witness, that is for his personal—in my opinion, there is no prohibition in the rules for him to request that a compulsory process be issued.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  For his consumption, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Pampanga, with the permission of the Gentleman who has the floor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes, with the permission of Sen. Escudero.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  I yield, Mr. President.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Well, I think, the good Presiding Officer already manifested that at some point, the Senator judges may, and so therefore, I will submit to the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  And concur with the observation, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  A member of this court has requested that a compulsory process be issued against the witness.  And that is a request by a member of this court and the Presiding Officer has to respect it because he might want to use it for his information or for purposes of challenging, confronting the witness, to whom a question was addressed by him.

So, we will allow the witness to produce the required document by the distinguished Senator from Cebu, and if he does not then upon his request, the Presiding Officer will be compelled to pro-forma issue the compulsory process.

SEN. PANGILINAN.   Mr. President, just one more point, we also requested for the engineer’s report apart from the request of Senator Osmena, this Representation likewise requested that the engineer’s report be submitted.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The engineer’s report.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  As to the damage to that unit.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To whom shall we address that.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Actually, the witness earlier manifested that he will try and secure.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do you know the engineer’s report?  Are you part of the engineering department of Megaworld?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  No, sir, I am not.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   So, who will be in possession?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I will make some inquiries.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who will be in possession of the engineering report on any question regarding the structure, damage or deficiency in the structure owned by Megaworld.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Our operations department should have it sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who in the operations department?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  The engineers there, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The chief of the engineering department.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  The operations department, sir.  That is what we call it.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Chief of the operations department.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.  I will get in touch with him to find out.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Can you identify him for purposes of directing the subpoena.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir. His name is Philip Escando, sir.  He is the one heading our operations department.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Mr. President, if I may just clarify.  So, therefore, this is a submission actually of the witness in favour of a juror or a Member of the Senate.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary is directed to prepare a subpoena for that purpose as requested by the Members of the Senate.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Again, Mr. President, if I may, I would rather consider this as a submission on the part of the witness upon the request of a Senator Judge, because otherwise, Mr. President, we would be burdening the prosecution of again calling the witness of identifying the document.  Can we just consider this, with the permission of the two gentlemen, as a submission on the part of the witness, sans the presentation of this witness again to present the document.  He is not competent anyway to identify the document.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And only for purposes of the Members of the court to evaluate the testimony of the witness.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  So, it is just submission, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

SEN. ESCUDERO. Thank you, Mr. President.   Just two questions on this witness, Mr. President.  Una, sabi mo kanina, G. Testigo, na may bottom line ka, tinitimbang mo, may range ka na nagde-decision kung magkano ibebenta ang unit.  Sa simpleng tanong, binenta ba ninyo ng palugi itong unit sa nakabili?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi po.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  So, kumita kayo ng pera ditto.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Kumita po pero maliit.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Pangalawang tanong.  Sabi mo may dalawang kasong pending noong mga panahong ito.  Pakibanggit ho ng detalye para lang Makita ng …alam ninyo ba iyong SCRA o GR No. Noong dalawang kaso?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Nandito po siya, dala-dala ko po.  Megaworld Properties and Holdings, Inc. vs. Hon. Judge Benedicto G. Cobarde, GR No. 156200, 2004.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Anong petsa po niyan, noong desisyon.  May petsa ho iyan.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I think it is January 17, 2007.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Tungkol be sa anong kaso iyan?

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Tungkol saan po iyong kaso?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, this is about a …Megaworld filed a motion for restitution with the trial court seeking to recover from respondents the principal amount of P5,853,793.00.  I can read everything with your permission.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  A collection case.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, I am not a lawyer, sir.  So, I don’t really know.  I just know that we lost in two cases and we lost big.  We lost P47 million.

SEN ESCUDERO.  Isa-isa muna tayo.  Dito sa kasong ito, magkano ang ;perang involved?  Sa kasong ito, magkano ang involved na pera?  Iyong binanggit ninyo, Megaworld vs. Cobarde?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Cobarde po.  P21,725,438.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  At iyong pangalawang kaso, ano po ang GR No at title?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  The second case is, GR No. 181206 in 2009.  I am sorry.  The P21,000.00 po ay para dito sa GR No. 181206 at sa GR, 175391  the amount involved was P26 million in total.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Sino po ang nanalo sa kasong iyon?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi po kami ang nanalo sa kasong iyon, ang opposing party po namin at this is Megaworld Globus Asia Inc. versus Selerica Holdings Inc.  Iyong pangalawa pong nabanggit ko is Megaworld Globus Asia Inc. versus Tanseco.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Maliban sa dinesisyunan ng Korte Suprema iyan, may papel po ba si Chief Justice Corona sa pagdesisyon ng kasong iyan?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Kasama po siya sa nagdesisyon sa kasong ito.  Pwede pong ma-examine.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Hindi na.  We will take judicial notice of the cases you mentioned that is why I asked for the case numbers and the titles of the case.  That would be all for the witness, Mr. President.   Thank you.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move to suspend the trial for 15 minutes before we recognize Senator Lacson.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The trial is suspended.

It was 4:05 p.m.

RESUMPTION OF HEARING

At 4:32 p.m., the hearing was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Hearing resumed.  (Gavel)

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the status of the case?

SEN. SOTTO.  We’re still with the witness at hand.  Senator Lacson wishes to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The prosecution is finished?

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, both prosecution and the defense are finished with the examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If the defense is finished with cross-examination, the witness is under questioning by the Members of the Court.

The Gentleman from Cavite has the floor.

SEN. LACSON.  Thank you, Mr. President.

I have a couple of questions which I will address to the prosecution, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To the prosecution.

SEN. LACSON.  Upon questioning of Senator Guingona, you mentioned that Chief Justice Corona did not reflect the correct fair market value in his SALN.

REP. BARZAGA.  Totoo po iyon.  Kasi ang paniniwala po namin, when we speak of the fair market value, that would be the price.  Where a person who happens to be the owner of the property is willing to sell the property, and the buyer is the person who is willing to purchase the property under the same circumstances.

SEN. LACSON.  What is your competence in saying that CJ Corona did not reflect the fair market value?  Ang pagkaintindi ko po, city assessor lamang ang pwedeng mag-testify tungkol sa fair market value.  So, I’m asking you, Mr. Prosecutor, ano po ba ang competence ninyo to testify as to the correctness of the fair market value of a property?

REP. BARZAGA.  Nais ko pong sagutin, Ginoong Senador, na mismo roon sa SALN, merong nakalagay na acquisition cost.  At dito po sa SALN ni Chief Justice Corona, wala pong amount na nakalagay sa acquisition cost of the property.  At kung ako po ang Megaworld, at ang fair market value ng aking property ay P6.5 million lamang, Kung ako si Chief Justice Corona, hindi ko bibilhin ito sa halagang P14.5 million, at mayroon pa akong additional expense na P5 million.

SEN. LACSON.  Pwede po bang pakisagot ng diretso iyong aking tanong.  Ano po ang competence ninyo para sabihing hindi tama iyong fair market value ng property?

REP. BARZAGA.  It is the ordinary practice and usage.

SEN. LACSON.  City assessor po ba kayo ng Taguig?

REP. BARZAGA.  Hindi po.

SEN. LACSON.  Hindi po ba ang may competence lamang na magsabi ng fair market value sa Taguig City ay iyong city assessor.

REP. BARZAGA.  Pero ang …

SEN. LACSON.  Hindi po.  Sagutin nyo muna po.

REP. BARZAGA.  Totoo po iyon.

SEN. LACSON.  Kayo po ay may competence?

REP. BARZAGA.  Totoo po …

SEN. LACSON.  Sagutin nyo po muna kung may competence kayo o wala para sagutin iyong aking tanong na sa pagkaalam o sa pagsasabi tungkol sa fair market value.  Mayroon po ba kayong competence?

REP. BARZAGA.  Wala po.

SEN. LACSON.  Salamat po.  Sige po, dagdagan nyo …

REP. BARZAGA.  Ang nais ko pong sabihin, iyon pong assessed value at saka iyong fair market value, iyon po ang fair market value, insofar as for tax purposes.

SEN. LACSON.  Alam ko po iyon.  Alam ko po iyon.  Nag-chairman po ako ng Ways and Means dati kaya alam ko po iyong zonal valuation, zonal value, fair market value, schedule of market values, and so forth and so on.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mawalang-galang sa Ginoong Senador ng Cavite.  Ginoong Prosecutor, hindi ba ang fair market value ng maski anong pag-aari ng tao ay subjective, depende doon sa tao na may-ari at iyong bumibili.

REP. BARZAGA.  Totoo po iyon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Nasa utak lang iyon dib a?

REP. BARZAGA.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Hindi mathematically exact …

REP. BARZAGA.  Yes, it is relative, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

SEN. LACSON.  But in the schedule of market values, there is a list of fair market values of properties in a certain locality, hindi po ba?

REP. BARZAGA.  Totoo po yon.

SEN. LACSON.  And it is the city assessor who prepares the fair market value of properties in a certain locality.

REP. BARZAGA.  Totoo po yon.

SEN. LACSON.  So, hindi po ba nararapat na tawagin natin iyong city assessor para siya iyong mag-testify kung tama nga ba ang inilagay ni CJ Corona, Chief Justice Corona sa kanyang SALN, doon sa figure under the column, fair market value.

REP. BARZAGA.  Well, …

SEN. LACSON.  Dahil po, dahil wala nga po kayong competence para sabihin na tama o hindi ang fair market value.

REP. BARZAGA.  Totoo po yon.

SEN. LACSON.  Salamat po.  Dadako naman po ako doon sa testigo, sa witness.  In the subpoena issued to you—good afternoon, Mr. Witness.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Good afternoon, Sir.

SEN. LACSON.  In the subpoena issued to you this morning, were you ordered to bring copies of Supreme Court decisions involving cases of Megaworld in the Supreme Court?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  No, Sir.  I was not.

SEN. LACSON.  Why did you bring them?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I know what is at stake here, Sir.  I know where this is leading to and as a well—as a—I think, this is—I am speaking in behalf of the company, Sir, so, I know why …

SEN. LACSON.  So, you came prepared.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Sir, as far as I can come prepared.

SEN. LACSON.  Did you talk to members of the—any member of the prosecution team before you came here?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Well, at the holding area, Sir.  They came in and they ask me some questions but I was immediately summoned here.

SEN. LACSON.  So, you were not able to confer with them.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I was not able to talk to them at glance.

SEN. LACSON.  Did you talk to any member of the defense panel before you came here?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Uhhhm, no, Sir.  No, Sir.

SEN. LACSON.  Thank you.  I will take your—since you are under oath, I will take your word for it.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I am just trying to recognize each of them.  I might bumped into one of them outside.

SEN. LACSON.  Ah, baka may lumapit sa iyo.  Now, pakiulit nga po ninyo iyong GR number na kung saan, diyan sa dala nyong dokumento, na kung saan, sabi nyo, parehong talo ang Megaworld.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Opo, GR number 175391 in 2007, Megaworld Globus Asia Inc. vs. Celerica Holdings Inc.  And Megaworld Globus Asia Inc. vs. Tanseco, GR number 181206 in 2009.

SEN. LACSON.  Wala nap o?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Meron pa pong isa na GR—Megaworld Properties and Holdings Inc. vs. Honorable Judge Benedicto G. Cubarde, GR number 156200 in 2004.

SEN. LACSON.  2004.  Panalo po ba o talo ang Megaworld diyan?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Natalo po kami rito sa kaso pong ito, in the amount of P47 million in total …

SEN. LACSON.  Sa record po namin dito, panalo kayo rito.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Nanalo ho kami nung una.  Before—ito ho, if I may read this.

SEN. LACSON.  Yes.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  The first Megaworld case decided by the Supreme Court penned by  Justice Corona was in 2004.  Two years before the purchase of the McKinley lot and four years before the purchase of the Belagio unit.. No. 1, Megaworld Properties and Holdings, Inc. vs. Hon. Judge Benedicto G. Cobarde, GR No. 156200 in 2004, the Third Division rendered the decision dated  31 March , 2004 in favour of Megaworld Properties and Holdings, Inc..  All the members of the division concurred.  The dispositive portion reads:  Wherefore, premises considered, the instant petition is hereby granted, the decision of the Court of Appeals dated August 28, 2002 and its resolution of November 20, 2002 are hereby set aside.  The order of public respondent judge dated June 29, 2001 executing the compromise agreement as well as the writ of execution and notices of garnishment are hereby declared null and void.  Pursuant to said decision, Megaworld filed a motion for restitution with the trial court seeking to recover from respondents the principal amount of P5,853,793.01 plus interest which was the amount illegally garnished and obtained by the respondents.

In 2007, or less than a year, after the purchase of the McKinley lot, and a year before the purchase of the Belagio unit, the division in which Justice Corona was a part of, issued an adverse decision dismissing the petition filed by Megaworld Globus Asia Inc..

No.2.  Megaworld Globus Asia Inc. vs. Celerica Holdings Inc., GR No. 175391 in  2007, the First Division of which Justice Corona was part, rendered its minute resolution dated 17 January 2007 against Megaworld Globus dismissing its petition for review under Rule 45.  In effect, the Supreme Court affirmed the adverse decision against Megaworld Globus.  The judgment award by the HLURB against Megaworld Globus is as follows:  Wherefore, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered as follows:

No. 1, declaring as cancelled and rescinded the contract to buy and sell entered into by and between the complainant and respondent; and

No. 2, ordering respondent to pay the complainant the following sums: a) the amount of P14,522,955.68, with interest thereon at 12% per annum to be computed from the time of complainant’s demand for refund on December 12, 2000 until fully paid.  The amount of P50,000.00 as exemplary damages; the amount of P50,000.00 as attorney’s fees and d, the cost of suit.  Megaworld Globus paid the above amounts to respondent.  In addition to a three bedroom condominium unit at the Salcedo Park as payment for the interest.  The total amount paid to respondent including the amount of the condominium unit is about P26 million.

About a year after the purchase of the Belagio unit, the Supreme Court again issued an adverse decision against Megaworld Globus Asia Inc.  It is significant to note that even before Spouses Corona finished their amortization of the Belagio unit, Justice Corona voted against Megaworld Globus.

In No. 3, Megaworld Globus Asia, Inc. vs. Tanseco, GR No. 181206 in 2009.  The Second Division rendered the decision dated 9 October 2009 penned by Justice Carpio-Morales against Megaworld Globus Asia Inc.  Justice Corona concurred in the decision.  The dispositive portion of the decision reads:  Wherefore, the challenged decision of the Court of Appeals is, in light of the foregoing, affirmed with modification.  As modified, the dispositive portion of the decision reads:  The July 7, 1995 contract to buy and sell between the parties is cancelled.  Petitioner Megaworld Globus Asia Inc. is directed to pay respondent Mila S. Tanseco the amount of P14,281,731.70 to bear 6% interest per annum starting May 6, 2002, and 12% interest per annum from the time the judgment becomes final and executory; and to pay P200,000.00 attorney’s, P100,000.00 exemplary damages; and costs of suit.  In satisfaction of the judgment, Megaworld Globus paid the total amount of P21,725,438.02 to respondent, broken down as follows: principal is P14,281,731.70; interest is P7,064,175.30; attorney’s fee is P200,000.00; exemplary damages, P100,000.00  cost of suit, P79,531.  The total amount paid by Megaworld Globus is P21,725,438.02.

SEN. LACSON.  Mawalang galang po.  Anong GR number iyang binabasa ninyong kaso?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Iyong last po is GR No. 181206.

SEN. LACSON.  Hindi po.  Ang sinasabi ko iyong ponente o ponensya ni Chief Justice Corona, iyong GR No. 156200.  Doon po ba talo kayo?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Nanalo po kami dito ng P5,000,853.

SEN. LACSON.  Panalo kayo ng P25 million, naghabol pa kayo ng another P5 million dahil P29 million ang hinahabol ninyo.  Doon kayo natalo sa additional na P5 million na hinahabol pa ninyo pero hindi na si Justice Corona ang ponente noon?  Hindi po ba?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi na ho siya pero parte pa ho siya noon…

SEN. LACSON.  Doon sa ponensya nya, panalo kayo, iyong P25 million?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  This was in 2004, Your Honor, before he bought from us.

SEN. LACSON.  Yes, yes, that is correct.  Wala tayong disagreement doon.  So, in other words, para ma-simplify lang natin para sa kaalaman ng impeachment court, doon sa usaping P25.1 million sa ponensya ni Justice Corona ay ni-reverse nila iyong compromise agreement ng mga partido, hindi po ba, kaya nanalo kayo doon?  Pero gusto ninyo pang habulin iyong additional na P5 million na talo naman kayo doon, hindi na si Justice Corona ang ponente doon.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Hindi na po siya.

SEN. LACSON.  Maraming salamat ho.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Opo.

SEN. LACSON.  Iyon lang po, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Estrada asked for the floor before Senator Pimentel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Estrada.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Only one question address to the witness.  Mr. Witness, you mentioned earlier that you lost in two cases.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, sir.

SEN. ESTRADA.  That was after the purchase of the two units developed by Megaworld, am I correct?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  That is correct, Your Honor.

SEN ESTRADA.  How many cases did you win?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  We won one but that was before he purchased from us.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Before he purchased.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  And that was only P5 million or P5 point something.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Okay.  Are there any other pending cases of Megaworld before the Supreme Court?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I am not aware of that, Your Honor.  All I know is that after he purchased from us in 2006, we lost a case right after 2007 and then he bought again from us in 2008 and then we lost again a case in the Supreme Court in 2009.  This is a triple whammy for us, Your Honor, if you will look at it.

SEN. ESTRADA.  That is already recorded.  What I am asking from you—do you have any pending cases before the Supreme Court?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I am not aware of that.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Now, I mean pending now.  You do not have any idea?

MR. .HERNANDEZ.  I am not aware of that, sir.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Okay.  Just in case you can gather some information, can you submit in writing tomorrow if you still have pending cases with the Supreme Court.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  I will do that, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Pimentel has the floor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Payong kapatid lang po sa prosecution as your fellow lawyer.  Kasi kahapon tinanong ko si Atty. Perez, ano iyong theory of the case, sabi niya sa discount.  Bakit kasi naka-focus kayo sa discount.  Sabi niya sa Article II at saka Article III.  So nakita na natin ang nangyari ngayon hindi po kami nakumbinsi sa relevance noong discount sa Article II.  Kaya ang payong kapatid na lang, huwag ninyo na pong pilitin ang discount sa Article III.  Kasi kung babasahin mo iyong Article III, talaga hindi po talaga mapapasok doon kasi ang pinag-uusapan sa Article III iyong flapping sa letter, excessive entanglement ni Mrs. at saka iyong talking to litigants.  So payong kapatid lang ha para hindi na tayo magkagulo ng katulad ng nangyari ngayong araw.  So let go of the discount kasi wala po siya talaga sa Articles of Impeachment, Atty. Perez.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes, Your Honor, thank you for the suggestion.  We were just referring to the provision in the article referring to the moral qualifications of a Justice of the Supreme Court.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  I know, I know that is Article III but basahin ninyo ulit kasi ginamit lang ninyo iyong canons tapos binigyan ninyo ng example or specific instances, tatlo kung paano na-violate iyong canon.  And ang acceptance of a discount wala doon kaya nga please huwag ninyo na pong pilitin gamitin iyong discount sa Article III.  Payong kapatid lang.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Thank you po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By the way, the Gentleman from Cavite.

SEN. REVILLA.  Just a few questions, Mr. President, to the witness.

Nabanggit mo kanina na ang original price ay P24.5 million.  Is that correct?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  That is correct, Your Honor.

SEN. REVILLA.  At dahil sa damage ng bagyo, binaba mo ang presyo sa P19.6 million.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. REVILLA.  At ayon sa testimonya mo kanina, binigyan nyo din ng 15% discount.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. REVILLA.  Correct.  Ayon po sa computation ko, ang 15% ng P19.6 million ay P2.94 million.  So, P19.6 million less P2.94 million is P16.66.

Bakit po P14.5 million niyo binenta ang unit.  Nasan ang difference na P2.1 million?

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Maliban po roon sa 15% binigay namin bilang discount doon sa shorter term payment scheme na kinuha ni Ginoong Corona, nagbigay pa ho kami ng additional P1 million.

Actually po, kung susuriin ninyo ang binigyan namin sa kanila, ito ho iyong special discount talaga na nabigay namin sa kanila.

As I have mentioned at nabanggit po ni Kagalang-galang na Senador Villar, may mga panahon po na iyon naghahabol po kami sa aming production, sa aming quota.  I also mentioned about the Lehman—the global crisis.

SEN. REVILLA.  You answered that already kanina.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Sir.  So we gave an addition …

SEN. REVILLA.  Ang sinabi mo kasi is 15%, but the total is 25.5%.  So, at P14.5 million ang selling price mo.  So, iyon nga, lumalabas nga na hindi siya 15%.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  15% ho siya.  And on top of that, nagbigay pa ho kami ng additional.  And also marketing fee, we also subtracted that, that’s about 5%.  And also, additional 5%, this is P1 million.  That was basically the only special discount that I gave to the client because it was, as I’ve mentioned, getting to be difficult at that time.  Really difficult.  Senator Villar mentioned that earlier.

In fact, just to also put on record, there was a twist where we actually sold a house at 50% off in McKinley Hill.  I just want to say this because …

SEN. REVILLA.  Meron pa ba kayong ganyan?  Baka …

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Marami pa hong naghahanap pero naubos na.

Now, really, sa McKinely Hill po, if I may be allowed to mention it, because this is becoming quite unfair to us also.  Let it be of record that we have two model houses in McKinley Hill, exact same layout, everything is pareho po.  But the other one is finished, the other one is not.  And due to some considerations that we have also, we were forced to basically sell it at 50% off.  Magkatalikuran lang ho ito.  Exact same layout.  But the other one is furnished, the other one is bare.

At iyon po ang kailangan namin talagang ipaliwanag na ito hong unit na ito ay bare namin halos naibigay.  Kaya ho iyon ang …

SEN. REVILLA.  All right.  Thank you, Mr. Witness.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Salamat po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No more?  Now, I would like to take advantage of this time to gently request the prosecution, before you bring your witnesses here, confer with them.  I think, there’s nothing improper for you to confer with your witnesses so that you can order the presentation, and especially the manner of questioning them.

I hope you did not feel that I’m criticizing but I noticed that you bring the witness, put him on the witness stand without conferring with him as to how you’re going to ask the question, and as to how—what is the subject matter upon which he was called to testify.

So, this is normal among lawyers.  Before they come to trial, they confer with their witnesses.  It’s up to the other side, the defense, to cross-examine the witness whether they have conferred with you and whether you teach them what to say that they ought not to say.  And that is a proper of line of cross examination, but that does not mean that you are not authorized to confer with your witnesses.

Thank you.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.  May we be allowed, Your Honor, to conduct a very brief redirect examination.  Redirect.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please go ahead.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Opo.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Mr. Witness, you mentioned that noong panahong binebenta nyo ito, hirap na hirap kayong magbenta dahil sa Lehman Brothers crisis, tama po ba?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Improper, Your Honor.  Improper, Your Honor, for redirect, because that was not touched in my cross examination.

The subject matter of redirect must be matters that are not taken up by the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Tama iyon.  Tama iyon.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, the cross examination touched upon the discount and the reasons for the discount.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  O sige, para wala ng maraming salitaan, aaprubahan ko na iyan.  O sige na.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Again, Mr. Witness, you confirm that.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  It was getting difficult.  Yes.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Yes.  Because of among others, the Lehman Brothers.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Among others, yes.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Okay.  Mr. Witness, I have here the 2008 annual report of Megaworld Corporation for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008.  I will refer you to page 21 of this annual report, submitted by Megaworld Corporation to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

I will just ask you first to read the highlighted portions very briefly.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Again, improper for redirect.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you—wait a minute counsel.  Are you trying to impeach your witness or cross examine him or contradict what he said in the cross examination?

ATTY. PEREZ.  I am just asking him to clarify, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Explain.

ATTY. PEREZ.  … the consideration that he mentioned or the factor that he mentioned to be included in the factors that were considered by the marketing.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may answer.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, there is no showing that he is a party to this alleged report.  It is not even …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Results of operation.  Review of 2008 vs. 2007.  During the year 2008, the consolidated net income amounted to P3.79 billioin.  25.1% higher than the previous year’s net income of P3.03 billion.

Consolidated total revenues composed of real estate sales, rental income, hotel income, interest income, dividend income and other revenues grew by 18%, from P14.64 billion to P17.3 billion, resulting from strong property sales and increase in leasing and hotel operations.

Development, among product groupings, the bulk of generated, consolidated revenues came from the sale of residential lots and condominium units at 71.9% of total, amounting to P12.43 billion in 2008, compared to P10.61 billion in 2007, an increase of 17.2%.

For the year 2008, there were no seasonal aspects that had a material effect on the financial condition or financial performance of the group, neither were there any trends, events or uncertainties that have had or that are reasonably expected to have a material impact on net sales or revenues or income from continuing operations.

The group is not aware of events that will cost material damage in the relationship between cost and revenues.

There are not significant elements of income or loss that did not arise from the group’s continuing operations.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Are you aware of these disclosures when you testified to his honorable court?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please. I hope the court pardons me.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are now trying to disown your witness.  He is your witness.

ATTY. PEREZ.  I am just …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  He has already testified.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It is not a question …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are bound.  You are bound by what he said.

ATTY. PEREZ.  I am just asking, Your Honor, if he is aware.  There is nothing harmful with …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What?

ATTY. PEREZ.  … asking if he is aware of these disclosures, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But what is the purpose, Your Honor?  He is practically impeaching the witness, Your Honor.

First, it is improper on redirect.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is true, you see.  A redirect is to add to what you forgot in your direct.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Your Honor, I will just …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To clarify, but you are actually presenting the document on the testimony in chief of your witness.

ATTY. PEREZ.  I will just withdraw the question, Your Honor, considering that the witness has already rested.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Objection sustained.

ATTY. PEREZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.    Nothing further, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No re-cross, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No re-cross.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No re-cross, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, the witness is discharged.

MR. HERNANDEZ.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we recognize Senator Joker Arroyo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, the Chair discharged the witness, but with the indulgence of the court, let a Member …

SEN. SOTTO.  No, Mr. President.  This has nothing to do with the witness.  We agree with your ruling to discharge the witness.

ATTY. PEREZ..  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. ARROYO.  Senator Angara said I was cut off.  Now, I am addressing this question to the House prosecutors.  We read in the papers that the House Committee on Justice, which most of you are members, are preparing another impeachment complaint against a Justice of the Supreme Court.  We cannot prevent you from doing what is your constitutional duty.  However, as a matter of policy, we are disturbed because at the rate we are going in the impeachment of Chief Justice Corona, are we to understand that if you file or the House transmits the articles of impeachment against the Justice, you expect the Senate to also attend to that simultaneously with the one of Chief Justice Corona?  Give me a clear stance here so that we don’t quibble over it.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, right now, there is a pending impeachment complaint pending with the Committee on Justice.  And there is only one.  And that is the Del Castillo impeachment complaint.  But with respect to the reported filing of another impeachment, as Chairman of the Committee on Justice, I am not aware of that.

SEN. ARROYO.  So, there is nothing pending impeachment proceedings.

REP. TUPAS.  There is a pending impeachment.  It was filed March of 2011 and it is still pending with the Committee on Justice against Supreme Court Justice Del Castillo.  That is the only one that is pending, Your Honor.

SEN. ARROYO.  We are not involved with that.  The only thing that I would like to know, at least as far as I am concerned, is that you do not intend to burden us with two impeachment complaints simultaneously, that is the question I would like to ask.

REP. TUPAS.  We don’t.  We don’t intend to burden the Senate because it is still with the House.  In fact, it is still with the Committee on Justice.

SEN. ARROYO.  All right.  Because it seems that the newspapers have misquoted, I mean the reports are not very accurate.  Thank you.

REP. TUPAS.  That is not accurate.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

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

(The Sgt-At-Arms made the announcement)

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we adjourn until 2:00 in the afternoon of Wednesday, February 1, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  The Chair hears none; the trial is hereby adjourned until 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday, February 1st 2012.

It was 5:49 p.m.

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