At 2:06 p.m., the hearing was called to order with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile presiding.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER The continuation of the impeachment trial of the honorablet Chief Justice Renato C. Corona of the Supreme Court is hereby called to order. We shall be led in prayer by Senator Loren Legarda.
(Prayer by Senator Legarda)
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Secretary will now please call the roll of Senators.
THE CLERK OF COURT. The Honorable Senators: Angara, Arroyo, Cayetano Allan Peter “Companero”; Cayetano, Pia; Defensor, Santiago; Drillon; Ejercito, Estrada, Escudero; Guingona; Honasan; Lacson; Lapid; Legarda; Marcos; Osmena; Pangilinan; Pimentel; Recto; Revilla; Sotto; Trillanes; Villar; the Senate President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. With 19 Senator Judges present, the Presiding Officer declares the presence of a quorum.
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Majority Floor Leader.
REP. SOTTO. Mr. President, may I ask the Sergeant-At-Arms to make a proclamation.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Sergeant-At-Arms 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 on trial on the Articles of Impeachment against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Majority Floor Leader.
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, I move that we dispense with the reading of the February 6, 2012 Journal of the Senate sitting as an impeachment court and consider the same as approved.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there any objection? There being none, there being no objection, the February 6, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, is hereby approved.
The Secretary will please call the case before the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.
THE SECRETARY. Case No. 002-2011 in the matter of impeachment trial of honourable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Majority Floor Leader.
SEN. SOTTO. May we ask the parties and/or their respective counsel to enter their appearances.
REP. TUPAS. Good afternoon, Your Honor, for the House of Representatives Prosecution panel, same appearance.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Noted for the prosecution. The defense?
JUSTICE CUEVAS. For the defense, Your Honor, the same appearance.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Noted for the defense.
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Majority Floor Leader.
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, we are in receipt of a motion for reconsideration filed by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on the issuance of subpoena yesterday by the court.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. May I request the Majority Floor Leader to read the motion for reconsideration.
SEN. SOTTO. Yes, Mr. President.
She writes: Dear Mr. Senate President. This is to respectfully and humbly propose the procedure to be followed on the defense counsel’s pending motion for reconsideration. I refer to this court’s resolution yesterday which approved the prosecution’s request for subpoena to certain bank officials. At today’s hearing, counsel from both panel’s should be allowed to argue the motion for reconsideration for not more than one hour for each side unless the Senate orders otherwise. Impeachment Rules No. 5. After this debate, the Senate President could then give time for each panel to submit its written memorandum after both memoranda have been filed and the court could go into close session, caucus to resolve the pending motion. If necessary I shall, despite ill-health, attend this caucus if given advance notice of at least three hours.
Yesterday, I watched the live telecast of the proceedings. I noticed that one Senator stated that the Rules allows a Senator to file a motion for reconsideration. There is no such provision in our Impeachment Rules. Perhaps what he referred to or the Senate rules which provides that any Senator who voted with the majority may move for reconsideration within the next two session days, Rule 33. The only time that the impeachment rules allow the Senate rules to apply suppletorily is under Rule 6 which does not concern a motion for reconsideration filed by counsel. In any event, if it is your judgment that only a Senator can file a motion for reconsideration, then I respectfully request that this letter should be considered as abundante cautela as a motion for reconsideration from a Senator-Judge on the following grounds: 1) It appears that the subpoena would violate this court’s own ruling that evidence shall not be allowed on ill-gotten wealth. Complaint Article II, paragraph 2.4 since 2.4 is the only paragraph that specifically mentions bank deposits. Any request for subpoena concerning any bank deposits should be rejected. 2) It appears that a court’s resolution allowing subpoena even for foreign currency deposits appears to be a direct violation of Republic Act No. 6426. The Supreme Court ruled in Intengan versus Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 1289962002 that this law is violated if a foreign currency deposit is examined except only when the depositor gives written permission. This is the only exception and it is not present in this case. 3) Prosecution cited the 1997 case of Salvacion, 2000 case of China Banking Corporation and 2006 case of Ejercito. It appears that all three cases are off tangent. I cite these grounds without prejudice to my final vote after the motion for reconsideration has been properly debated. Thank you. Sincerely Yours, Miriam Defensor Santiago. I submit, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. There being a motion for reconsideration from a member of this Senate and given the fact that this is a gray area, this is not covered by the rules of the Senate. The rules of the Senate deals with matters involving legislation where only a Senator who voted in favour of our measure may seek for any reconsideration, it’s the position of the Chair subject to the final position of the House to hear the position of the movant, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago in person, so that we’ll be informed accordingly and make a decision.
The Gentleman from Cavite.
SEN. LACSON. May I inquire how the vote of the Honorable Santiago was recorded, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. She was absent.
SEN. LACSON. She was absent. Therefore, she did not cast a negative vote or she didn’t go with the majority vote.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. That’s correct.
SEN. SOTTO. I suggest, Mr. President, that we suspend and discuss this because that will not be a valid reason, especially in the case of the Majority Leader. If the letter is addressed to us, the Senate President and the Majority Leader, then we might have to take up the cajoles, but we do not want to do that now, so may I move to suspend, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. I would like to say that the role that we play here is that each one of us is an individual judge, and the decision of the Majority, a majority of 16, in this proceeding will render a conviction on the respondent.
Nevertheless, each one of the Members of the Senate is a Judge. And I think that the proper thing to do without prejudging the case is for us to hear the views of a judge who is absent during the caucus so that he will be given a fair chance to express his views before us.
SEN. SOTTO. May we recognize Senator Drilon and then Senator Arroyo, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Gentleman from Iloilo.
SEN. DRILON. Mr. President, a point of inquiry. When the Senate President ruled yesterday on the motion or petition for the issuance of the subpoena, the counsel for the defense took the floor, asked for a reconsideration. Senator Chiz Escudero rightly stood up on a point of order pointing out that under Rule 6 of the Rules of Impeachment, the ruling of the Senate President is a ruling that will be carried out unless a Member of a Senate shall ask for a formal vote to be taken thereon, in which case it shall be submitted to the Senate for decision after one contrary view is expressed.
We would like to think, Mr. President, that precisely the point of Senator Escudero was that only a Member of the Senate can ask in effect for a motion for reconsideration of the ruling of the Chair. And yesterday, there was no such motion being filed. The ruling of the Chair was not brought to the floor for voting, and that is why Senator Chiz Escudero correctly raised a point of order.
The question that we now raise is, is it not a fact, Mr. Senate President, that the ruling of the Chair squarely falls under Rule 6 so that a Member of the Chamber can bring it to a vote on the floor?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Anybody who wants to …
SEN. SOTTO. Senator Arroyo was seeking the floor, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Gentleman from Makati and Bicol.
SEN. ARROYO. It’s a different matter.
SEN. SOTTO. Ah, it’s a different matter.
SUSPENSION OF TRIAL
SEN. SOTTO. … move to suspend the trial for a few minutes, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Trial is suspended.
It was 2:20 p.m.
At 2:24 p.m., the session was resumed.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Trial is resumed.
Majority Floor Leader.
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair would like to make a statement about this matter. The Chair is not prepared to make a ruling on this today. Anyway, the witnesses expected to appear in this hearing, based on the summons that were issued on the basis of the ruling of this impeachment court yesterday afternoon, would appear before us tomorrow afternoon in the trial. And, so, therefore, the Chair would not make a ruling, either to deny or to sustain the motion, and give the Senator that made this motion a chance to be heard and a ruling will be made tomorrow before a witness will be called to the witness stand. So Ordered.
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, may I suggest a caucus of the court at 12:00 noon in the Office of the Senate President conference room.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. I beg your pardon.
SEN. SOTTO. We suggest a caucus to be called by the Senate President in the conference room of the Senate President’s office tomorrow at 12:00 noon and to inform all the Senators of this caucus.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. If that is the pleasure of the impeachment court, the Chair has no objection. Instead of a plenary discussion of the issue, then let us take it in a caucus before we open the session of the impeachment court in the afternoon. And, so, therefore, I announce that a caucus will be heard tomorrow noon at 12:00 on this particular issue.
SEN. SOTTO. Thank you, Mr. President. May we recognize Senator Joker Arroyo, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Makati and Bicol.
SEN. ARROYO. Thank you, Mr. President. I would just like to address a question to the prosecution. Many sessions ago, I asked the prosecution whether the House is contemplating on filing another impeachment case, this time against a Justice of the Supreme Court. The lead prosecutor answered that no, they do not have any plans. But this morning, we were informed that, yes, the House Committee on Justice has taken up the issue of impeaching a Justice by a vote of, I don’t know what and that is how it stands. May I know from the prosecution, from the Chairman of the Committee on Justice, whether that information is correct, that is, we like to know because the Senate is burdened by this impeachment case, and as I have explained some sessions, it is kind of burdensome if he have two sessions, or two impeachment being held side by side. So, we would welcome whatever the chairman can give us.
REP. TUPAS. Your Honor, we were asked a few sessions ago by the honorable Senator Arroyo about the impeachment complaint pending with the Committee on Justice. And this Representation stated that there is one pending impeachment complaint. It was filed December of 2010 and that is the impeachment against Supreme Court Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo. This morning, Your Honors, we had a hearing, and the committee on justice voted on the sufficiency of the grounds for impeachment. Meaning, the committee determined that the complaint alleges sufficient grounds for impeachment by a vote of 27 in favour, 4 against and 1 abstention.
Following the Rules of Impeachment of the House of Representatives, we will have to set a hearing in the committee level, probably two or three hearings which will hear the complainant, will hear the respondent and then the committee will set a hearing to determine whether there is a probable cause. And if there is probable cause or even if there is no probable cause, the committee has to make a report and this is subject to approval by the House in the plenary. Meaning, we acted this morning because we only had five session days left. The Constitution provides that we have to finish the committee deliberation within 60 session days and we acted on that because that is the mandate under the Constitution.
Your Honors, what will happen here with the Del Castillo impeachment complaint is that we are given 10 session days. If the committee will find probable cause next week or the week after next, 10 session days, to put this in the Calendar of Business and assuming that we transmit to the plenary in the House, the House will have 60 session days to decide. So meaning, as Chairman, I cannot say if the decision would be for impeachment because as of now the decision is only finding the complaint—just that we determine that a complaint alleges sufficient grounds for impeachment. So on the next voting on probable cause, I wouldn’t know, Your Honor. So it is too premature for the Chairman to say whether indeed the committee will impeach Associate Justice Del Castillo. But with the concerns raised by the honourable Senator, we have discussed this with the leadership of the House and it will be taken into consideration. The leadership would be mindful on the concerns that two impeachment, an article of impeachment would be transmitted to the Senate. I think it’s a consideration that will be taken into account by the House because we know how burdensome it is for just one impeachment trial before the Senate, Your Honor.
SEN. ARROYO. We cannot control the House, the Senate cannot and we do not mean to give in our views on how the House will conduct this impeachment proceedings. Of course, we are apprehensive that if the second course that is, that if you collect two-thirds—is that two-thirds–two-thirds votes of the members, then it will be immediately submitted to the Senate in the same manner as the one of Chief Justice Corona. Of course, we are worried about that because suddenly it will be thrown into our lap and that’s it, you know. And then while the contribution will be the House will be sending here a prosecution team, the entire Senate will have to attend to that so that is the problem. But we just want to know because, well, we are concerned about that and you know, as I’ve said before, I’ve been member of the House. I’ve liked the House, I’ve served it long. I hope you don’t make a cottage industry of impeachment. I talk as a former member with sympathies for because it is not easy for us also here. Thank you very much.
REP. TUPAS. If I may, Your Honor, with respect to the concern that one-third may sign, it is a different mode. The mode that was used in the impeachment of Chief Justice Corona was the one-third signing that is why it was automatical transmitted to the Senate. But with respect to the Del Castillo impeachment complaint, it goes through the committee level and it will pass through the plenary. Meaning, the one-third signature mode is not applicable here, Your Honor.
SEN. ARROYO. Well, whatever mode, I said the Senate is in no way and can no way interfere with the proceedings of the House. But if you should do file an impeachment complaint, please make your Articles of Impeachment good. The reason why you are handicapped today in the case of Chief Justice Corona is because of the Articles of Impeachment that was prepared by the House. It’s not because you are very good prosecutors. If the complaint is not good, it would be very difficult no matter how good lawyers are.
Thank you very much.
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, at this point, may we now be able to call the—We are ready to call on the prosecution for the continuation of the presentation of evidence.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. If Your Honor, please.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The prosecution may now proceed to call their witness.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. Your Honor, please. May we beg the indulgence of the honourable court on certain matters that to us is not very clear, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. What is the pleasure of the defense counsel?
JUSTICE CUEVAS. Yes, Your Honor. Thank you for the opportunity for doing so, Your Honor.
Now, this refers to the motion for reconsideration being made or filed by a defense lawyer or a member of the prosecution, Your Honor. I was made to understand, and it is my humble submission, Your Honor, that no motion for reconsideration may be made by any party, irrespective of whom he represents, Your Honor, only in connection with the voting insofar as the impeachment proceedings are concerned. There is already a voting, and the voting had been made, there is no motion for reconsideration that will be entertained. That is pursuant to Rule 21, Your Honor. So much so that being guided by this Rule, Your Honor, we made motions, or we filed motion for reconsideration believing that we can do so. On the other hand, there was a statement to the effect that only a Member of this Impeachment Court or the Senate Tribunal can file motion for reconsideration.
May we be further enlightened so that we can act accordingly if the future instances demand so, Your Honor.
Does it refer to any matter that is under consideration by the Impeachment Court or only with respect to Rule 21, Your Honor?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Gentleman from Sorsogon has the floor.
SEN. ESCUDERO. Thank you, Mr. President.
Again, this issue was raised, and I raise this issue both in relation to a motion for reconsideration by the prosecution before, and this time the motion for reconsideration by the defense or counsel for the respondent.
As correctly cited by Senator Drilon awhile ago, we cite Article VI. It is to facilitate the proceedings, Your Honor, whereby we do not have to put to a vote all the matters that the Senate has to decide on. Once the Presiding Officer makes a ruling, it is considered as the ruling of the Senate itself, unless a Member of the Senate would seek a reconsideration from the same. Otherwise, we would be flooded with motions for reconsideration left and right, and we would have to put it to a vote each time a motion is made by the parties, hence, the logic behind Article VI.
Also, Mr. President, this finds support in the precedents in other impeachment proceedings in other jurisdictions in particular. I cite impeachment proceedings in the United States.
I submit, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Gentleman from Taguig.
SEN. CAYETANO (A.). Magandang hapon, Mr. Senate President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Magandang hapon po.
SEN. CAYETANO (A.). Mr. President, may I submit my view on the matter at hand.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Proceed.
SEN. CAYETANO (A.). Sabi po ng Rule 6, “The President of the Senate or the Chief Justice when presiding on a trial may rule on all questions as evidence, including but not limited to questions of materiality, relevancy, competency or admissibility of evidence in incidental questions, which ruling shall stand as the judgment of the Senate. Unless, a Member of the Senate shall ask that a formal vote shall be taken thereon. In which case, it shall be submitted to the Senate for decision after one contrary view is expressed.
So, Mr. President, ang rule po simple. Kapagka meron pong issue, ang Presiding Officer can do two things or three things. Number one, pwede siyang magdisisyon na kaagad, at kung walang apila, yun na po ang disisyon ng Impeachment Court. Or, he can throw it to the body at pwede pong magbotohan. That’s the second. Iyong pangatlo pong option, iyon pong kapag nagdesisyon po siya at mayroon pong tumayo para po kwesityunin at magbobotohan.
In the first option, wala pong tumayo para mag-motion for reconsideration, in the third po, meron.
Ang nangyari po kahapon, to clarify, hindi po desisyon iyon ng Presiding Officer, na walang kumontra kaya naging desisyon ng impeachment body. It was a written resolution by the majority of everyone.
Kaya tama po si Senator Miriam at Senator Ping Lacson, wala po sa rule VI sapagkat sa rule VI, nag-preliminary—nagdesisyon po ang Presiding Officer, pagkatapos ho, mayroong humihingi ng motion for reconsideration.
Kahapon po, ang nagdesisyon ay majority ng lahat po ng miyembro ng impeachment court, at nandiyan po mismo sa desisyon iyan. Nakalagay po doon, the majority.
Therefore, tama po si Senator Miriam, that in Seciton 91 of the rules of the Senate that apply because nakalagay din po in rule VI, the provisions of the rules of the Senate and the revised rules of court shall apply suppletorily whenever applicable.
However, Section 91 of our rules says, any Senator who voted with the majority may move for reconsideration of a measure on the same day if it was decided by the Senate or within next two session days.
Ang problema po, she did not vote with the Majority. Therefore, Mr. President, I just like to make a distinction between the two. Kapag ang Presiding Officer po ang nagdesisyon, pwede pong magtayo, but to—whenever there is such a contentious issue, the Presiding Officer has taken upon himself to discuss it with the court.
I would like a discussion. Gusto kong malaman ng ating mga kababayan kung bakit kami nagdesisyon na buksan iyong bank accounts despite the law and because of the Supreme Court decisions.
However, technically, I do believe that the rule speaks for itself at this point in time, Mr. President.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. My asking for a clarification, Your Honor, of the rule is, this is a condition precedent in certiorari proceedings, and if no motion for reconsideration is filed, then the petition may be considered defective and it may not be taken cognizance of the court—by the Supreme Court.
On the other hand, if it is clear that no motion for reconsideration may be asked by a litigant, Your Honor, or a party to the impeachment case, Your Honor, then we can proceed with the filing of the certiorari, not in connection with the case yesterday, Your Honor, because we feel that that is still pending consideration by this honorable court.
SEN. SOTTO. Senator Arroyo was asking for the floor, then, Senator Drilon, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Senator Arroyo.
SEN. ARROYO. Mr. President, our rules are kind of ambiguous in impeachment trials because we have had no previous experience. In this, in fact, this is the second impeachment case we have had.
The Section VI of our rules on impeachment speaks of a continuing trial, a trial going on, then questions are asked, then, objections are raised, so, the question is, shall it be admitted or not? The rule says, that the Chair will make a ruling unless a member of the Senate asks for a formal voting, meaning, we divide the House.
But what is presented before us is a very serious question of law. It is not evidence that we are taking up here. It is interpretation of a law, whether bank deposits can be opened and disclosed before us, an impeachment court
Now, it is very serious, the Chair said—it is serious because we are thriving on a gray area, which I share—because of this, and since we do not have any clear rules on this, I think that the better solution will be for us to hear this, because how will we decide this? Now, I have read all the books which were cited both pro and con on this, and really we have to discuss this very thoroughly. No one can say that he is an expert on this or on the interpretation of the Bank Secrecy Law and whether it could be opened or not. And because of the policy considerations, policy considerations about whether we know it will affect, there will be a capital flight or whether there will be a bank run and all these sorts of things. So, because of that, and there is a vacuum, I submit in our rules, which I will now read: “The President, when presiding on the trial, may rule on all questions of evidence including but not limited to questions of materiality, relevancy, competency or admissibility of evidence and incidental questions which ruling shall stand as the judgment of the Senate. Unless, a Member of the Senate shall ask that a formal vote be taken thereon, in which case it shall be submitted to the Senate for decision after one contrary view is expressed.” Now, I would imagine and I submit, that the setting of this particular section is the ongoing trial, whether questions are asked, documents are submitted, and because of that, there is an objection. So, the Chair is called upon to rule and a Member of the Senate can ask for a formal vote because it is only a Member that can ask for a division of the House. As to questions of law, my respectful submission is that this rule is silent and it does not apply because it is a question of law. It is a question of interpretation. It is a question that requires a serious study. I, myself, wouldn’t say that I know the answers to the questions. So, this is my respectful submission, Mr. President. That we are confronted with a case of first impression which we cannot take lightly. Thank you.
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, Senator Drilon and Senator Pimentel.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Senator Drilon is recognized.
SEN. DRILON. Mr. President, I think the issue here is very simple. Yesterday, a ruling was issued. A Member of this Court sends a letter asking that the court takes a second look at the order. It is a procedural matter which we must dispose of in accordance with the rules. We are of the view that Rule VI allows a member of this Chamber, of the court, to put the ruling on the floor by an appeal to the floor which is a parliamentary process. And that motion is voted upon by the members of the court. That is the procedural issue. Nowhere in the rules is a member of the prosecution or the defense allowed to seek a reconsideration of a ruling of the court. Unless such reconsideration is favorably endorsed and is, in effect, adopted by a member of the court. That is the only instance when such motion for reconsideration filed by the parties would be considered by the Court.
With all due respect to Senator Arroyo, we should not make distinctions about questions of law not being covered by Rule VI. There is no such distinction under Rule 6. All questions, all rulings of the Chair can be appealed to the floor. And having said that, I think all the members of the court will attest to the fact that this issue was extensively debated in caucus and that is why we have to come up with a written ruling citing all of those cases because this question is serious. But being confronted with serious questions is a fact of life. We have to decide one way or the other and this court has decided. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is within her rights to ask for a reconsideration by putting that issue to the floor under Rule 6 regardless of whether or not it is a question of law or a question of fact. That is our respectful submission, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Well, the Gentleman from Cagayan de Oro.
SEN. PIMENTEL. Thank you, Mr. President.
My reading of Rule 6 or Article VI of our Impeachment Rules is that it does not prohibit the parties from asking for a reconsideration or filing a motion for reconsideration. Article VI just gives us the different ways a pending issue could possibly be processed by this impeachment court. The Presiding Officer can rule and if no one expresses a contrary view, then that stands as the ruling of the court. If someone expresses a contrary view, the court goes into a vote, majority wins, or the Presiding Officer can immediately throw the question to the entire court for immediate voting so that he will know the sentiment of the majority.
So in my humble opinion, Article VI does not prevent the parties, through counsel, from asking for a motion for reconsideration because it is quite unnatural. It is unnatural not to allow a motion for reconsideration in a trial and because there will definitely be some incidents which will be ruled quickly upon by the Presiding Officer and a motion for reconsideration will give him a chance to revisit his ruling and possibly correct a mistake. We all make mistakes. But I agree that Article XXI provides very clearly that on the final decision, the decision of the impeachment court on the final question no motion for reconsideration will be allowed or is allowed. But then even if I believe that the parties through counsel are given the right to file a motion for reconsideration or ask for a reconsideration, I will advise counsel that no counsel has the right to assume that his motion for reconsideration will be granted by the court. Therefore, the proceedings should proceed as planned or as scheduled because no party has the right to assume that a motion for reconsideration will be granted by the court. But then I will concede the right of the parties to move, to ask for a reconsideration because in my opinion it is quite unnatural for a party not to be allowed to ask for a reconsideration. Thank you, Mr. President.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. Your Honor please.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Are all the members of the House finished? Well, I would like to recall to the members of the Senate that under Section 4, and I would like to read it: “The Presiding Officer shall have the power to make and issue by himself or by the Secretary of the Senate all reorders, mandates and … authorize by these rules or by the Senate. And to make and enforce such other regulations and orders in the premises as the Senate may authorize or provide.” This is the last portion with respect to the order within the premises of the Senate. The first portion of this Rule refers to the power of the Presiding Officer to make an issue, orders, mandates and writs.
Now, Rule 5 says, “The Senate shall have the power to compel the attendance of witnesses.”
The matter treated in Article VI refers to the admissibility or non-admissibility or the relevancy, materiality and competency of evidence. And while it leaves a Member of the Senate the power to ask for a reconsideration of a ruling of the Chair, it does not state a period, a time during which that motion for reconsideration ought to be made. And of course, common sense would tell me that it ought to be given seasonably at that time the ruling was made, but there is a certain vagueness under Rule 6.
On the other hand, Rule 4 and Rule 5 empowers the Presiding Officer to issue writs and to exercise the power of the Senate to compel the attendance of witnesses.
What is the matter treated in the ruling yesterday? It treats not with the admissibility or non-admissibility, with the materiality or relevancy or competency of an evidence presented, but for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum, a writ admittedly covered by the Rules of Court as well as by the Impeachment Rules of this Court.
Now, I would like to reserve a judgement on this in order to give a fellow Member of the Senate, seating as a judge, an opportunity to speak out and give her views in persona before the body. And so that’s why my suggestion was to postpone the consideration of this matter so that a caucus of the court could be held tomorrow noon before we go into the trial in the afternoon.
Unless, the House will not accept this procedure, I will abide by the decision of this Senate, seating as an Impeachment Court.
SEN. SOTTO. Senator Pangilinan, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Senator Pangilinan.
SEN. PANGILINAN. Yes, Mr. President, just one final point on the matter of whether or not counsels or their parties can file motions for reconsideration, and this is again will finally decide this tomorrow.
Section 14 of the Rules also provide, “All motions, objections, requests or applications, whether relating to the procedure of the Senate or relating immediately to the trial, including questions with respect to admission of evidence or other questions arising during the trial made by the parties or their counsel shall be addressed to the Presiding Officer only.” So,
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. That’s right. That is probably the reason why the letter was addressed to the Presiding Officer.
SEN. PANGILINAN. Yes, Mr. President. And therefore, it says, all motions–And therefore, the question immediately is, immediately is, does it include a motion for reconsideration by counsel?
This is something we will have to decide.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. Thank you, Your Honor, for the lecture.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. I am not prepared to answer the question about the motion for reconsideration of counsel, because truly, our law says, the rules of court, as well as the rules of the Senate is suppletory to these rules, but there is vagueness in the rule of the Senate because the rule of the Senate that deals with reconsideration deals with a reconsideration of matters dealing with registration.
Now, whether that rule is applicable to an impeachment case like what we are doing which has a quasi-judicial character in nature is something that we have not encountered, experienced or dealt with. And so, that is why I would like to hear a thorough discussion on these issues in a caucus tomorrow, so that we can arrive at a wise and carefully considered decision, not so much to favour anyone, but for the sake of our own institution and for the sake of due process, and the normal principle of human justice.
SEN. SOTTO. Okay, we accept your—the defense …
JUSTICE CUEVAS. Thank you, Your Honor, for the–if we may call that a lecture, which is rather enlightening and for free.
I post that issue, Your Honor, because if it is a fact and a policy of this impeachment court, that no motion for reconsideration may be made by any counsel, whether for the prosecution or for the defense, then, where else are we going to go in order to question the validity and the legality of any ruling of this court, Your Honor.
We cannot seek any reconsideration here. So, left with no alternative, the only remedy, probably, will be a petition for review on certiorari, which requires the filing for a motion for reconsideration. But if it is definitely the rule of this body, Your Honor, that no motion for reconsideration may be entertained, then, we feel that we are free to proceed with a petition, Your Honor, without resorting to a formal motion for reconsideration.
Secondly, Your Honor, the fact that this has been laid down as a rule, does not prohibit any lawyer or any litigant from questioning the validity of this ruling—of this article, Your Honor, because even before the Supreme Court or any judicial body, a motion for reconsideration had always been available, Your Honor.
The Supreme Court cannot say, no motion for reconsideration will be entertained, Your Honor. That is true if there were several motions already, but a first motion for reconsideration, Your Honor, is decidedly and cannot be precluded by any judiciary branch of the government, whether it is the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court.
That is our point, Your Honor. If it is clear that we cannot raise the legality of this ruling before this court, then, we will have no other alternative but to seek another venue, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Anyway, I would like to appeal to the members of the impeachment court, since there are none of those covered by the subpoena duces tecum arising from the ruling of the court yesterday to be here this afternoon to testify that we should have a discussion on this in caucus, so that we can dispose of this one way or the other.
As far as the right of the counsel for the defense, as well as the prosecution panel to take all legal remedies, that is their right. That is their privilege. After all, , the institutions of government do not stop performing their duties and exercising their assigned powers under the Constitution simply because there is an impeachment case pending. Government does not stop with the filing with the Senate of an impeachment case. In a proper case, it is up to the institutions of government to perform their jobs. The President, if he is impeached under impeachment, does not mean that the President has to stop faithfully executing the laws of the land or administering the entire bureaucracy. In the same manner, that should there be any problem with respect to the leadership of the Senate, that does not mean that the Senate will stop performing its function to legislate. And so, the Supreme Court, as an institution, distinguishing it from the individual members of the court, will not stop its function as a court of law.as a final arbiter of national issues coming within its competence and jurisdiction simply because an impeachment case is filed against the head of that branch of the government before the Senate. And so, anyone can take whatever legal remedies they want to take in a proper case. The only thing that I think this Chair will take exception to is for anyone to stop the trial in this Chamber. Because the Constitution says: “Once the articles of impeachment reaches this House, trial in this Senate shall forthwith begin, and it is given the sole power to try and decide this case. But incidental matters, within the competence of other departments of government are within their jurisdiction to dispose.”
JUSTICE CUEVAS. Thank you, Your Honor, for your indulgence. Thank you again.
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, may we have one final statement from Senator Drilon.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Gentleman from Iloilo has the floor.
SEN. DRILON. Thank you, Mr. President. As a member of the court, we just wish to make of record our views on this point. First, it is an accepted principle that this impeachment court is a class by itself. It is not akin to any trial. It is not a judicial process. Because, otherwise, if it was a judicial process, then politicians like us should not have been made to sit in this court. It is not a quasi-judicial proceeding. It is a class of its own. And indeed, as cited by the Senate President, under the Constitution, we have the sole power to decide on this case. And, therefore, no institution of this government can tell us what to do. This is the sole authority insofar as impeachment is concerned.
The counsel for the defense raised the question, what is the relief available to us if we do not agree with the decision of the impeachment court. There has to be an end to litigation. In the same manner, that there is no remedy against the errors of the Supreme Court. Because insofar as our system is concerned, they are the interpreters of the law, they can commit errors, we can disagree with them, but we cannot do anything. In the same manner, Mr. President, it is our respectful submission that this impeachment court is supreme in its power to try and decide impeachment cases.
Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. So, what is the pleasure of the House?
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, we accept your proposal and we will take it up tomorrow. We are now ready to listen to the continuation of the prosecution in their presentation of evidence.
REP. AGGABAO. Thank you, Your Honors. Good afternoon, Your Honors. My name is Congressman Aggabao, Your Honors, and I have entered my appearance at the onset of this hearing as one of the public prosecugtors, Your Honor. And I stood up to take the floor, Your Honor, to manifest that the prosecution is ready to open the prosecution of Article III under our impeachment complaint, Your Honors.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. We interpose no objection, Your Honor.
REP. AGGABAO. Thank you.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. So we take up Article III.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. Yes, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The prosecution may proceed.
REP. AGGABAO. Thank you, Your Honor. We are cognizant, of course, Your Honor, and aware that there are still pending incidents related to Article II but we do not wish to unduly impose on the time of this court so we take this chance to open and commence the prosecution of Article III. Your Honor, so that there is an orderly presentation of the evidence so far as Article III is concerned, may we be allowed to make a very short manifestation and allow us to make a brief sketch or a drawing on how we intend to prosecute this.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Proceed.
REP. AGGABAO. Thank you, Your Honors.
We have cited four specific instances of wrongful acts committed by respondent under Article III. First, that respondent allowed the Supreme Court to act on mere letters filed by a counsel which caused the issuance of flip-flopping decisions in final and executory cases and this is embraced in paragraphs 3.1 to 3.3 of the complaint.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Just a minute. You used the term “allowed”. That is an active term. Is the Chief Justice in control of the entire Supreme Court like the President having supervision and control over the bureaucracy?
REP. AGGABAO. Your Honor, I used the word “allowed” having picked that precisely…
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. No, I am asking you a very basic constitutional question of power.
REP. AGGABAO. Our respectful submission, yes, Your Honor. He is the Chief Justice…
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chief Justice has power and control over the members of the entire Supreme Court or the Justices of the Supreme Court?
REP. AGGABAO. Our respectful submission, Your Honor, is that he is the Chief Justice and he exercise influence, Your Honor, and ascendancy over…
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. What are the stated powers of the Chief Justice under the Constitution and the internal rules of the court?
REP. AGGABAO. To begin with, Your Honor, the Chief Justice as head of the agency has control and supervision over that department.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Will you read the specific provision of the Constitution.
REP. AGGABAO. Yes, Your Honor. May I ask for a short recess, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes.
REP. AGGABAO. Thank you.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Kindly show the court first whether the Chief Justice has the power of control and supervision over the entire—The Chief Justice ha, not the Supreme Court—the entire judicial system, including the members of the Supreme Court, like the power of the President of supervision and control over the entire bureaucracy.
Your better ask Brandeis, Cardozo, Frankfurter and John Marshall to assist you.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. With the kind indulgence of the honourable court, Your Honor, while they are looking for the article, may I place on record, Your Honor, the provision of Section 4—2a—2 rather, which speaks of “and other regulations shall be decided by the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon.”
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Counsel, thank you for that, but bear with me, I just want them to answer that question first.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. I’m sorry, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Because we’re now dealing Article III and many of us are lawyers here. We all came from the same school.
REP. AGGABAO. Thank you, Your Honor. Let me try to answer, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes.
REP. AGGABAO. The Chief Justice, Your Honor, has administrative supervision over the affairs of the Supreme Court.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. And what does administrative supervision of the Chief Justice entail?
REP. AGGABAO. For instance, Your Honor, he chairs the sessions of the Supreme Court en banc. He is the one who directs the special raffle of cases which include an application for a TRO. He is the one who assigns consolidated cases to the member in charge after consolidation. He is the one who orders the release of en banc resolutions to the parties. All these, Your Honor, we state to convey the motion that the Chief Justice exercises special powers which an ordinary Justice does not.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes, but we are talking here of control and supervision, which in my opinion is the semantical meaning of to allow—to allow, meaning, to permit. Can he permit somebody to do anything? That is within the discretion of that somebody?
REP. AGGABAO. Is that a question post, Your Honor?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Proceed.
REP. AGGABAO. Thank you. Thank you, Your Honor.
Second, Your Honor, that respondent created an excessive entanglement with Mrs. Arroyo …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. No, we are talking of the …
REP. AGGABAO. We’re still on the first matter, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. … question of control, because that is the operative term is the word allow. So that we will know what we are dealing here in the Article III.
REP. AGGABAO. As I said, Your Honor, …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Can you submit to this court a legal memorandum citing authorities about the extent of the power of a Chief Justice, whether he is a Roberto Concepcion or Justice Ricardo Paras or Justice Moran or whoever, Abad Santos, to control any discretion of a member of the Supreme Court.
REP. AGABAO. We will do that, Your Honor. Thank you very much.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Okay.
REP. AGABAO. So, may we be allowed to continue, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. You can proceed, subject to that memorandum.
REP. AGABAO. Second, Your Honor, that respondent created an excessive entanglement with Mrs. Arroyo, through her appointment of his wife to office. This is embraced in paragraph 3.4 to 3.4.8.
Third, that respondent dipped his hands into public funds to finance personal expenses. This is embraced in paragraph 3.4.9 to 3.4.10.
Fourth, that respondent discussed with litigant, cases pending before the Supreme Court. This is embraced in paragraph 3.5 to 3.6.5
So, Your Honors, the presentation of our evidence will be sequential along the manner stated in our complaint.
The first specific instance of wrongful act that I mentioned will be prosecuted, Your Honor, by Congresswoman Kaka Bag-ao. The second specific instance of wrongful act will be prosecuted by this Representation. And the third specific wrongful act will be prosecuted by Congressman Rodolfo Fariñas. And finally, Your Honor, the fourth specific wrongful act will be prosecuted by Congressman Sherwin Tugna.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Proceed. You may proceed with presentation of witnesses under Article III, subject to the submission of the memorandum, to give a guide to the members of this court, whether indeed, the Chief Justice has the power of—you know, the meaning of control and supervision.
REP. AGABAO. Thank you, Your Honor. We understand, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. We accept that there is–the constitutional provision about administrative function is clear. It is provided in the Supreme Court.
REP. AGABAO. But only on the matter or provision …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The only interest of the Presiding Officer is to see to it that there are no clouds involved in the use of terminologies in defining the charges against the respondent.
REP. AGABAO. Thank you. Thank you, Your Honor.
Your Honor, for today’s hearing, we are ready with one witness, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Proceed.
REP. AGABAO. But having said that, Your Honor, may we bring to the attention of the honorable court, certain pending subpoena, Your Honor, that until this time, have not been issued. And I refer more particularly to the request for subpoena made on February 2, 2012, requesting for Mr. Enrique Javier, Vice President of Philippine Airlines, and Ms. Ria Carreon Domingo, Vice President of said company, Attorney Enriqueta Vidal, Clerk of Court en banc, Attorney Felipa Anama, Deputy Clerk of Court, Supreme Court, which until date, Your Honor, has not been issued and …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Well, this Chair would like to make an explanation.
Yesterday, in the caucus of this impeachment court, we were going to take up those other requests for subpoena, but some members of the impeachment court decided to forego a discussion on those request for subpoena, in view of the legal questions involved in the subpoena that was decided—request for subpoena that was decided request for subpoena that was decided yesterday. And perhaps, the caucus that this Chair suggested to be called for tomorrow would tackle this other request for subpoena. Because, I will be frank with you as Presiding Officer, some of these requests for subpoena are going to tread on the principle of co-equalness, separation of the three departments of government. And we have to study this request very carefully in order that we will not impair the checks and balances in the entire system of democratic republican government in this country. For instance, the prosecution requested us to subpoena justices of the Supreme Court. Now, if there are Justices of the Supreme Court who are willing to testify in this impeachment case, and they come here voluntarily, that is their prerogative. We will not stop them. But I would take abundante cautela or an abundance of caution in subpoenaing the members of a co-equal department of government. That was the reason why we did not issue a subpoena requested by the defense to subpoena the Speaker of the House and Members of the House Representatives. Because of our respect for the co-equalness, separateness of these three departments of government. And I am going to take these matters with the members of the impeachment court in the caucus tomorrow. I think while we are interested in ferreting out venalities in government, while we are interested in punishing anyone held in this court, no matter how high and how powerful, we must see to it that in the process, we will not destroy the principles of government established by our forebears in their constitution. Is that clear?
ATTY. AGGABAO. Yes, Your Honor. Your Honors please, may the prosecution be heard on that, Your Honor, and for this purpose, Your Honor, may I turn over the floor to public prosecutor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Gentleman from Iloilo first has the floor.
SEN. DRILON. Mr. President, may I advice the prosecution to proceed with the presentation of their witnesses. We have been debating on issues other than the presentation of witnesses. Can we now proceed with this.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Proceed.
ATTY. AGGABAO. Thank you, Your Honor. Your Honor, may we call our first witness. To prosecute this case, I now turn over the floor to Congresswoman Kaka Bag-ao.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Before we proceed to hear, may I be given one minute, long minute, to do something.
It was 3:28 p.m.
At 4:04 p.m., the session was resumed.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Trial is resumed.
The prosecution may now proceed with the presentation of their witness.
REP. AGABAO. With the kind indulgence of the Supreme Court, Your Honor, before we proceed, the prosecution, Your Honor, has one small concern and I would like to ask the honorable public prosecutor, Congressman Colmenares to articulate this concern of the prosecution, Your Honor, if we may.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. To what?
REP. AGGABAO. Your Honor, the prosecution has one small concern. And I am asking the honorable Congressman Neri Colmenares, public prosecutor, to articulate this concern, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Proceed. The honorable Congressman Colmenares has the floor.
REP. COLMENARES. Thank you, Mr. Senate President. Thank you, good afternoon. Gusto ko lang pong mag-manifest regarding an issue which was tackled just a while ago, on the issue of the subpoena po of the justices and the records of the court which is a very important component of Article 3 and Article7 and other articles in the impeachment complaint po. Iyong pag-subpoena po ng Supreme Court records and Justices, we believe cannot be equated with an imposition by an equal branch on a co-equal branch. The Senate here is sitting as an impeachment court. It is not issuing the subpoena on the basis of its powers as the Senate but rather as a sui generis na body kung kaya wala siyang co-equal in that sense.
Secondly, po, the Senate has actually, in fact, subpoenaed members of the Executive, Commissioner Kim Henares, in a sense, is a member of the Executive. And, in fact, the Supreme Court has actually been subpoenaed with the clerk of court who disclosed the SALN which according to court resolutions is prohibited from being disclosed. So, ang punto po dito, if the other branches of government, in fact, even Members of Congress can be subpoenaed by the impeachment court, and under the rules, a Senator may even be subpoenaed and shall testify before the impeachment court. Kung kaya ..
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Mayroon na bang sitwasyon na sinubpoena ng Korte Suprema ang mga Kinatawan ng Kongreso?
REP. COLMENARES. Well, in that case, Your Honor …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Mayroon ba? Mayroon? Mayroon kayong natatandaan?
REP. COLMENARES. In the impeachment case of Merceditas Gutierrez, Your Honors, I was informed just now, that the Supreme Court actually subpoenaed Members of Congress. But, Your Honors, I would like to stress …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Sino ang sinubpoena sa Kongreso tungkol kay Merceditas Gutierrez.
REP. COLMENARES. Your Honors, if I may be allowed, the information here is that we were made parties by that case. But I would like to stress, Your Honors please …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. You can be a party but you cannot be summoned by a co-equal department. That is my understanding, my humble understanding of our principle of separation of power.
REP. COLMENARES. I agree, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Due courtesies are given, otherwise, when the defense asks this Chair to subpoena the Speaker, Congressman Abaya, Congressman Tupas, Congresswoman Bag-ao and Congressman Erin Tañada and another one, Congressman Mandanas, Congressman Remulla, immediately I denied it because of that tradition and my notion of the meaning of separation of power and co-equalness of the three departments of government. In the same manner, that we cannot subpoena the President. He is the head of the Executive Department. Can you imagine, the Supreme Court subpoenaing the President? Or that the Senate in its investigation, subpoenaing the President?
REP. COLMENARES. Thank you, Your Honor. If I may, Your Honor please.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes, go ahead.
REP. COLMENARES. The subpoena that the Supreme Court, the issue of whether the Supreme Court has subpoenaed Members of Congress is not in all force here, Your Honor, because it is not the Senate that is issuing the subpoena. But the Senate, acting as an impeachment court, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Correct, but we are still operating under one Constitution.
REP. COLMENARES. Yes, Your Honor. and there are cases…
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. None is more powerful than any other department.
REP. COLMENARES. Yes, Your Honor, and then there are cases in fact where the Supreme Court said in cases both the US and the Philippines where the Supreme Court said the separation of powers may be used in cases where records through confidentiality clauses are subpoenaed. However, the Supreme Court itself said that there are in fact instances when records can be subpoenaed by another department in relation to an investigation.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Records, iba iyong records. I understand the Supreme Court motu propio allowed in an en banc resolution the submission of the requested records but not the person or the Justices.
REP. COLMENARES. Your Honors please, in my belief the impeachment court has absolute powers to subpoena any one but the discussion of whether the head of the institution, the Chief Justice, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House or the President of the Philippines, the prosecution may probably find it reasonable to discuss whether or not they could be subpoenaed. But mere justices, Your Honors, Members of Congress, members of the Senate, in fact the Senator is allowed to testify and in fact can be subpoenaed, Your Honors, by the impeachment court. And if I may, Your Honor please, the issue here is actually accountability, Your Honor, it’s not the separation of powers. Otherwise, the impeachment powers of this honourable Senate should have been placed in Article V under the Executive or maybe Article VI on the Legislative or Article VII of the Judiciary. But it was placed in Article VII, Your Honor, on accountability and I believe that the coequal principles may be of serious consideration. However, it is the accountability mechanism that is at place here. The Chief Justice in fact in his compliance of the subpoena has in fact also subpoenaed members of the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice has also listed in his compliance records of the Supreme Court. And if the Chief Justice wishes to subpoena the records and the notes of the Supreme Court for his defense, Your Honors, I think we should allow the Chief Justice all the tools and we cannot tell the Chief Justice…
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Sino ba ang mga miyembro ng Korte Suprema na gusto ninyong paratingin dito na magdeklara?
REP. COLMENARES. Your Honors, in the defense side, they are subpoenaing Justice Presbitero Velasco, they are subpoenaing Justice Abad, in our case we are subpoenaing Justice Sereno and we are asking for a subpoena for other members of the court like Midas Marquez and the Clerk of Court, Your Honor. And very crucial po sa amin talaga na ma-subpoena ng impeachment court and let the Justice or the personnel of the court refused to answer if ever a question from both the prosecution and the defense but I think we should not preclude both parties from issuing or asking for the subpoena of these Justices, Your Honors please. It is very crucial that we are able to prove our case. Otherwise, Your Honors, pag hindi natin ma-subpoena iyang ilan na iyan, iyong Senate impeachment tribunal here will decide on the conviction or acquittal of the Chief Justice based on half of the records, Your Honor, and that will be very difficult for us all to explain. Kasi we either to acquit or we convict but the facts, the documents, the evidence kalahati lang po ang na-avail natin. Mahirap ho iyon that is why we are really, really expressing this serious manifestation in the same manner that both the defense and the prosecution anyway are asking for the court records that the Senate allow.
In any case, the main reason usually against the subpoena of court deliberations is that Justices may not exchange in frank opinions and views. If they feel that an impeachment court someday will subpoena their proceedings, for us that is not necessarily the fault of the system, Your Honors please, that is the fault of the Justice himself. A judge should be able to express his opinions whether it’s private or public. The Senate expresses their vote in certain bills. The Senate expresses their vote on certain committee reports. Even Congress expresses their intentions, their reasons on why they voted for a certain bill or not without fearing that, oh because our deliberations are open to the public, I may not be able to express my frank opinion on the matters. For us, Your Honors, in the prosecution please, this impeachment trial is public, Your Honors, and the Senate cannot say, well, since it’s a public trial, our opinions may be strained, etc. So in the same manner, Your Honors please, we are asking that the confidentiality clause being claimed usually by the courts for the subpoena of their records or notes should not be applied. In any case, Your Honors, it is moot. The Justices have discussed the deliberation in public, in the Internet. The Supreme Court has actually vote those who voted in favour of the TRO and those who voted against the TRO have discussed the deliberations, how the vote was arrived that, and it is even looked in that sense, Your Honors, please.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Aren’t these matters recorded in the records of the proceedings of the Supreme Court?
REP. COLMENARES. Right now, Your Honor, they are not.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. They are not?
REP. COLMENARES. They are not, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Did you check? Did you check whether these are recorded in the proceedings of the Supreme Court?
REP. COLMENARES. Your Honors, please, when Article III and Article VII …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. No, I’m asking what you want regarding the proceedings inside the Supreme Court during the hearing of a case are recorded by their recording officers?
REP. COLMENARES. Yes, Your Honor. We were informed that there were the minutes of the proceedings …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. And have you tried to secure any of these records officially?
REP. COLMENARES. That’s why, Your Honors, we’re asking for a subpoena from this honourable court.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. I don’t know your experience, but normally, public records will require—we ask beforehand …
REP. COLMENARES. We have copies of the …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. … before we ask for a subpoena if they refuse to release the document.
REP. COLMENARES. Yes, Your Honor. We have copies, Your Honor, of the decision and the …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. If you have copies, those are public records. Then present them.
REP. COLMENARES. We have no copies, Your Honor, …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. It is a question of authentication whether those are faithful reproduction of the records of the Supreme Court, then let the defense dispute the falsity of those records.
REP. COLMENARIES. Thank you, Your Honor. We have copies of the official records. We don’t have copies of the minutes of their proceedings and the minutes of the deliberations of the Justices, Your Honors, please.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. That is where we differ but I don’t think we will allow the Supreme Court to subpoena the records of our executive sessions.
REP. COLMENARES. If it’s the Supreme Court, Your Honor, acting as a Supreme Court, maybe yes. But this is an Impeachment Court, Your Honor. If the Supreme Court were an Impeachment Court, Your Honor, that would be very different, I think, Your Honors.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Anyway, Your Honor, I will submit it to the wise judgement of the Members of the court in the caucus.
REP. COLMENARES. May we reserve to submit a memorandum to that effect, Your Honors, please.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. You May.
REP. COLMENARES. Thank you. Thank you, Your Honors. We really hope that the subpoena will be granted.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Make it as brief as possible because we do not have the time to go over voluminous records.
REP. COLMENARES. Yes, Your Honors. We will try to submit it this afternoon, Your Honors. Thank you.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Your witness.
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor. Magandang hapon po, Your Honors.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Magandang hapon po.
REP. BAG-AO. I am Kaka Bag-ao from the Party-List Akbayan. And I would like to call our first witness.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Alam po namin yon. We take judicial notice of our counterparts the House.
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor.
We would like to call our first witness, Mr. Roberto Anduiza, from the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP).
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Please swear the witness.
THE SECRETARY GENERAL. Please raise your right hand.
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in this impeachment proceeding?
MR. ANDUIZA. I do.
THE SECRETARY GENERAL. So help you God.
REP. BAG-AO. Your Honors, may I be—I would like to request that I be allowed to use a PowerPoint presentation.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. If Your Honor, please, there seem to be no justification as yet being laid before this PowerPoint presentation may be allowed.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. May we hear first the …
JUSTICE CUEVAS. The basis have been laid, Your Honor.
REP. BAG-AO. I will explain, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. What is this witness for?
REP. BAG-AO. Your Honor, before I make my actual presentation and ask questions to the witness, allow me to provide this honourable court a quick guide as to how we shall establish the facts constituting the impeachable act under Article III.
Your Honor, this is the first time that Article III will be presented …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Will you kindly please fix your microphone.
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor.
This is the first opportunity that Article III will be presented and we would like to give this honourable court a quick guide, specifically in relation to the FASAP case.
We will establish through documentary and testimonial evidence the fact the respondent C.J. Corona committed betray of public trust and/or culpable violation of the Constitution by failing to meet and observe the standards under article VIII, Section 7, paragraph 3 of the Philippine Constitution, on competence, integrity, probity and independence.
Among the evidence we will present are official records of the Supreme Court which the respondent have already admitted, either in their answer or in their compliance. I will …
THE PRESIDNG OFFICER. What is your pleasure? You are requesting that …
REP. BAG-AO. That I would like—just like to give a summary of the …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Summary?
REP. BAG-AO. A Powerpoint presentation–with the aid of the Powerpoint presentation, Your Honor, the summary of those that have already been admitted …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Unless I am disauthorized by the court, any of the proceeding, all statements must be under oath. The Powerpoint does not take an oath. So, you direct your questions.
REP. BAG-AO. Your Honor, these are already admitted. In fact, these are the documents that we will be …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. No. The court would like to hear it from the mouth of the witness.
REP. BAG-AO. Okay.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. That is the order of the court. (Gavel)
REP. BAG-AO. Okay, Your Honor.
Iyon po sanang layunin noong introduction, Your Honor, ay para lang po ipakita iyong mga bagay na inadmit na ng defense pero dadaanan na lang po natin—para po sana umiksi at hindi ko na siya kailangang itanong.
The testimony of Roberto Anduiza, Your Honor, is being offered to prove the following: Number one, that members of the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines of FASAP sent a letter petition to the Supreme Court, in connection with the case docketed as GR No. 178083, Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines vs. Philippine Airlines Inc, Patria Chong, et al, or the FASAP case.
Number two, that the Supreme Court required Philippine Airlines to comment on such letter petition.
At number three, that the Supreme Court acted on the letters of PAL counsel Atty. Estelito Mendoza, to the Supreme Court, without giving FASAP the opportunity to comment on the letters.
Number four, that FASAP learned about the letters of Atty. Mendoza, only when the Supreme Court en banc …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Will you please lay—Madam, proceed with your questions instead of filling up the records with your own words.
REP. BAG-AO. I know, Your Honor, but I am just offering the testimony…
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. I know that. I know that. That is a technique by some lawyers, but this court will not allow that. Proceed in proving your case through the mouth of the witness.
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor.
Magandang hapon po.
MR. ANDUIZA. Good afternoon.
REP. BAG-AO. Maaari nyo po bang sabihin ang inyong pangalan, edad at tirahan.
MR. ANDUIZA. Roberto Anduiza, 48 years old, taga-Parañaque.
REP. BAG-AO. Ano po ang inyong trabaho?
MR. ANDUIZA. Isa akong flight steward ng Philippine Airlines.
REP. BAG-AO. At gaano na po kayo katagal na nagtatrabaho bilang flight steward?
MR. ANDUIZA. 27 years.
REP. BAG-AO. Bukod po sa pagiging flight steward, may hinahawakan pa po ba kayong ibang tungkulin sa PAL?
MR. ANDUIZA. Kasalukuyang president ako ng FASAP.
REP. BAG-AO. Ano po ang FASAP?
MR. ANDUIZA. Ito yong labor union ng mga flight attendants ng Philippine Airlines.
REP. BAG-AO. Mga ilang miyembro po ba ang kasapi ng FASAP?
MR. ANDUIZA. Sa ngayon, 1,600 kami. 600 dito iyong lalaki, mga 1000 iyong babae.
REP. BAG-AO. Bakit po kayo nandito ngayon bilang testigo sa impeachment laban kay Chief Justice Renato Corona?
MR. ANDUIZA. Nandito kami, sumusuporta kami sa impeachment dahil sa pangingialam ni Chief Justice Renato Corona sa kaso namin na nagresulta sa pagkabawi ng final na desisyon.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. We move—Your Honor, please, we move to strike out the answer of the witness.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. What is the pleasure of the …
JUSTICE CUEVAS. Naririto po kami para tumestigo laban kay Justice—we do not—that is not a statement of fact, Your Honor.
REP. BAG-AO. Pero iyan po ang kanyang dahilan ng pagpunta dito.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Let the witness answer.
REP. BAG-AO. Bakit po kayo nandito para tumestigo sa impeachment court hearing na ito?
MR. ANDUIZA. Dahil nga sa pangingialam ni Chief Justice na nagresulta sa pagkabawi ng kaso namin na panalo na.
REP. BAG-AO. Ano po iyong kasong tinutukoy nyo?
MR. ANDUIZA. Ito yong tungkol sa illegal retrenchment ng 1,400 na flight attendants noong 1998 pa.
REP. BAG-AO. So, ano po ang ginawa nyong pagkilos, kung meron man, na may kaugnayan doon sa sinasabi mong pagtanggal noong mga flight attendants?
MR. ANDUIZA. Noong pagkatapos noong 1998, noong nag-retrench, nag-file kaagad kami ng kaso sa NLRC
REP. BAG-AO. At ano ang nangyari sa kasong ito, kung mayroon man?
MR. ANDOIZA. Nanalo kami sa NLRC at pagkatapos noon nag-apela iyong Philippine Airlines, umabot ng sampung taon. Pagkatapos ng ten years, nasa Korte Suprema na kami, at nanalo uli kami ng tatlong beses doon.
REP. BAG-AO. At ano po ang nangyari sa kasong ito nang nasa Supreme Court na?
MR. ANDOIZA. Noong una ho, nanalo kami noong 1998 ito ano, nag-file sila ng motion for reconsideration so hindi namin na-execute iyong order na nago-order na ire-instate iyong 1,400 at bayaran ng P2.3 billion na back wages.
REP. BAG-AO. Sinabi po ninyo na nanalo kayo, kalian po ito nangyari?
MR. ANDOIZA. Noong 1998 ito po. Ten years after the case.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Do you have a copy of the decision?
REP. BAG-AO. Opo. May ipapakita po ako sa inyong dokumento.
MR. ANDOIZA. Iyan po ang desisyon.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Madam lawyer.
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Just present the decision. That is within the judicial notice of this court. You do not have to draw that from the witness. Everything that was said there will determine whether we find the fault …
REP. BAG-AO. I was just asking him to identify the decision that he was referring to, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. It carries a GR number, di ba?
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. That is the identifying mark.
REP. BAG-AO. Yes. And actually this is an exhibit, Your Honor, which was earlier marked as Exhibit MMMMMM and there was already an admission by the defense counsel that what we will be showing as well as the other decisions are the faithful reproduction of the original decisions, Your Honor. Sige po. So, ang tinutukoy ninyo po ay ang decision, unag decision ng Korte Suprema sa GR No. 178083 …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. May I suggest that you just state into the record the case title and the case number of the decision and mark it for this court.
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor. We are referring to GR No. 178083, Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines, (FASAP, Petitioner vs. Philippine Airlines Inc., Patria Chong and Court of Appeals. The decision was dated July 22, 2008. So noong natanggap po ninyo ang decision noong July 22, 2008, sa kaso ninyo sa Korte Suprema, ano po ang inyong naramdaman?
MR. ANDOIZA. Natuwa kami dahil finally, nagkaroon ng hustisya after ten years at tama nga kami, illegal iyong retrenchment na ginawa.
REP. BAG-AO. Okay po. At ano po ang …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Did you mark that document?
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor. It has already been marked as Exhibit MMMMMM. The succeeding documents, Your Honor, that we will be presenting have also been marked earlier. Sige po. Ano po iyong mahalagang nakalagay doon sa decision para sa inyo kung sinasabi ninyo na kayo ay natuwa?
MR. ANDOIZA. Pinapa reinstate iyong 1,400 with full back wages amounting to P2.3 billion.
REP. BAG-AO. At ano po ang nangyari sa kaso ninyo pagkatapos noon?
MR. ANDOIZA. Nag-file ho iyong Philippine Airlines ng motion for reconsideration.
REP. BAG-AO. Ano po ang naging aksyon ng Korte Suprema kung mayroon man tungkol sa motion for reconsideration na iyan.
MR. ANDOIZA. Grinant ho ito, iyong una hong motion for reconsideration.
REP. BAG-AO. At kalian …
MR. ANDOIZA. At naglabas ho ng panibagong order noong 2009 na ito, after one year, na panalo uli iyong FASAP ordering PAL to reinstate 1400 at pinapabayaran pa rin ng P2.3 billion na back wages. Ito ho iyong pangalawang decision.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Anong case number doon sa pangalawang decision?
REP. BAG-AO. Same case number, Your Honor, GR No. 178083.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. What is the title of the case?
REP. BAG-AO. The title of the case, Your Honor, is Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP), Petitioner vs. Philippine Airlines Inc., Patria Chong and Court of Appeals.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Who was the ponentia?
REP. BAG-AO. In this case, Your Honor, we are referring to …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Who was the one who wrote the majority opinion?
REP. BAG-AO. The ponentia, Your Honor, for the first document and the second which were the original decision and the decisions in the motion for reconsideration were Justice Henares-Santiago.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. So the first decision was written by Justice Henares Santiago.
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. And the second decision was…
REP. BAG-AO. Which was a denial of the motion for reconsideration was also penned by Justice Henares Santiago.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Alright. So both the original decision and the denial of the motion for reconsideration filed by PAL was also authored and written by Justice Henares Santiago.
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Alright. Proceed.
REP. BAG-AO. Thank you, Your Honor.
Sinabi ninyo po na may desisyon noong 2009 sa motion for reconsideration. Ano po iyong sumunod na pangyayari sa kasong ito noong ma-deny iyong first motion for reconsideration?
MR. ANDOIZA. Pagkatapos ng second denial ng motion for reconsideration, nag-file ho iyong Philippine Airlines ng pangalawang motion for reconsideration.
REP. BAG-AO. Again, Your Honor, we would like to put into the record the motion for reconsideration filed by PAL which has already been marked earlier, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Mr. Witness, I just want to clarify after the denial of the motion for reconsideration, ang PAL nag-file uli ng second motion for reconsideration.
MR. ANDOIZA. Opo, tama po.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Pinayagan ba ng husgado iyong second motion for reconsideration?
MR. ANDOIZA. Pinayagan po.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Pinayagan na i-file iyong second motion for reconsideration.
MR. ANDOIZA. Opo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Ano ang resulta noong second motion for reconsideration?
MR. ANDOIZA. Nagkaroon ho ng denial uli.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Dininay uli ng husgado. Sino ang gumawa ng order of denial?
MR. ANDOIZA. Doon sa second motion for reconsideration po wala na pong ponenteng nakalagay sa denial kasi parang two-page resolution na lang iyon.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Ah kuwan na lang iyon, minute resolution.
MR. ANDOIZA. Opo, tama po.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Okay. Pinirmahan lahat ng mga mahistrado.
MR. ANDOIZA. Sa second po wala pong nakapirma sa likod na mga pangalan.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Minute resolution.
MR. ANDOIZA. Opo.
REP. BAG-AO. We would like to put into the records, Your Honor, that it has the same number G.R. No. 178083, the minute resolution, dated September 7, 2011. Ano po ang ginawa ninyo pagkatapos ng desisyon na ito ng Korte Suprema?
MR. ANDOIZA. Second motion for reconsideration po?
REP. BAG-AO. Opo.
MR. ANDOIZA. Nainip na po kami so nagkaroon na kami ng mga mass actions. Nagkaroon kami ng mga picket, ang mga kasamahan namin nagkanya-kanya kaming sulat. Ang mga kasamahan ko sumulat ho sa Korte Suprema.
REP. BAG-AO. Okay. Iyon pong sulat ninyo puwede po ba naming ipakita para tignan kung ito nga ba iyong sulat na tinutukoy ninyo? Your Honor, this was earlier marked as Annex 6, Exhibit -60.
MR. ANDOIZA. Tama, iyan po.
REP. BAG-AO. Ano po ang ginawang aksyon ng Korte Suprema sa inyong sulat?
MR. ANDOIZA. Naglabas ng order iyong Korte Suprema, ipinagko-comment iyong Philippine Airlines, inutusan silang mag-comment sa sulat na iyon.
REP. BAG-AO. Sige po at may ipapakita ulit po akong dokumento na order. Iyon po ba iyon? Your Honor, this has been previously marked as Annex 6-T.
MR. ANDOIZA. Tama, iyan po iyan.
REP. BAG-AO. Ano po ang sumunod na pangyayari sa kasong ito pagkatapos nito kung meron man?
MR. ANDOIZA. Noong tumagal, noong October 4, 2011 na, nasa isang miting pala ako may tumawag sa akin na taga-media. Ang sabi niya, Mr. Andoiza, pinagko-comment ako, totoong bang binawi iyong desisyon sa inyo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Sagutin mo lang iyong tanong sa iyo noong abogado. Huwag kang gumawa ng istorya.
MR. ANDOIZA. Opo.
REP. BAG-AO. Sige po. Ano po ang nangyari sa kasong ito pagkatapos ninyong sumulat sa Korte Suprema, pagkatapos po ilabas iyong order ng Supreme Court.
SEN. ESTRADA. Mr. President, may I be recognized
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Gentlema from San Juan, the President Pro Tempore.
SEN. ESTRADA. Thank you, Mr. President. I believe that there is a life case pending before the Supreme Court. My question is, is the impeachment court bound by the subjudice rule, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a pending case before the Supreme Court on this unresolved?
JUSTICE CUEVAS. There is, Your Honor, if I may be allowed.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes, please.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. I have here a certification from the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court. One is that in G.R. No. 178083 Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines vs. NLRC, there is a pending motion for consideration of the resolution of October 2, 2009, and a second motion for reconsideration of the decision of July 22, filed by respondent Philippine Airlines and Patria Chong.
So there is a pending litigation, Your Honor, before the Supreme Court. So the rule on sub judice will still apply.
REP. BAG-AO. Your Honor, please.
Naniniwala po ako na subj udice po ay nag-a-apply sa proceedings na ito, pero hindi po ito nagva-violate ng ruling sub judice.
Unang-una po ay hindi natin pag-uusapan yung karapatang ng mga manggagawang pinag-uusapan ngayon sa kasong ito. Ang pinag-uusapan po natin ay naging aksyon ng Korte Suprema sa mga sulat ng FASAP at yung mga sulat ni Atty. Mendoza at hindi po yon pumapasok doon sa usapin ng kaso ngayon.
JUSTICE CORONA. Yes. But ultimately, if Your Honor, please, it will deal also on what was the action taken by the court and more particularly the impeached Justice Corona, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Well, anyway, counsel, I will allow the witness to answer. Anyway, I’m sure the courts can explain the proceedings and there’s nothing hidden or sought to be hidden in this entire proceeding. This is a public proceeding.
The witness may answer. (Gavel)
REP. BAG-AO. Ano po yung sinasabi nyong binawi? Sabi nyo po kanina kasi may binawi sa inyo.
MR. ANDUIZA. Yung October 4 resolution. Yung ngang nasa—Am I allowed to elaborate?
REP. BAG-AO. Yes.
MR. ANDUIZA. Nung nasa meeting ako, nakatanggap ako ng tawag, sinasabihan ako ng mga taga-media na binawi nga daw yung disisyon.
REP. BAG-AO. I will not show anymore the document, Your Honor, but I will manifest on records that he is referring to a decision dated October 4, 2011.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. That is your manifestation. If Your Honor, please. Let the document be shown to the witness.
REP. BAG-AO. Okay. Sige po. Ipapakita po ako ng disisyon sa inyo, ngayon po ay naka-mark as Exhibit RRRRRR.
MR. ANDUIZA. Tama. Yan po iyan.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Is that in connection with the same original case?
REP. BAG-AO. Pwede pong pakibasa yung Case No.?
JUSTICE CUEVAS. In this connection, Your Honor, may I be permitted to place on record that AM Case No. 11101 Supreme Court, letters of Atty. Mendoza GR No. 1780, Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines vs.—there is a pending motion for reconsideration of the October 4, 2011 resolution filed by FASAP. So there is a pending case now.
REP. BAG-AO. Again, Your Honor, hindi po natin pag-uusapan yung mga issue sa nakalagay sa motion for reconsideration nila. Ang pag-uusapan lang po natin dito …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The question being asked by the Presiding Officer, that document bears or related to the original case decided by Justice Henares Santiago?
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor, but it has a new Docket No. now.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The same Docket No.?
REP. BAG-AO. No, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. And then, this is an incidental issue with respect to that case?
REP. BAG-AO. The AM Case No., Your Honor, which is AM 11-10-1-SC in effect ay ang naging resulta po nito ay ang pag-recall ng GR No. 178083.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. Again, that is a manifestation, Your Honor, which should not have probative value. The witness on the stand, the evidence that ought to be listed through his testimony must be by question and answer, Your Honor.
REP. BAG-AO. But that was already stated in the resolution, Your Honor, and they thought na we will dispense with that summary already because that was already admitted.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Anyway, these are matter of public records. I’m sure any lawyer involved in the case and including this court can read these cases.
So, the witness may answer. (Gavel)
REP. BAG-AO. May I repeat my question, Your Honor, to remind him. Noon pong nakatanggap kayo ng disisyon nung October 4, 2011, ano po ang inyong naging reaksyon nang matanggap nyo ito?
MR. ANDUIZA. Kami ho sa FASAP, galit na galit ho kami lahat dahil walang sinayt na rason. Ang nakalagay lang dito regarding the letters of Atty. Mendoza at may sinasabing may mga sulat na wala naman kaming natatanggap na kopya.
REP. BAG-AO. Sino po si Atty. Mendoza?
MR. ANDUIZA. Ito po iyong abogado ng PAL na pumasok sa motion for reconsideration namin.
REP. BAG-AO. Iyong sabi niyo pong sumulat si Atty. Mendoza, ano po yong sulat na binanggit nyo?
MR. ANDUIZA. Hindi kami nagkaroon ng kopya nito, nalaman na lang namin dahil noong natanggap namin ang resolusyon, may nakalagay doon na regarding the letters of Atty. Mendoza. At wala namang dahilan na sinasabi kung binawi, kung bakit nila binabawi ang desisyon.
REP. BAG-AO. May ipapakita po ako sa inyong mga sulat, pwede po bang pakisabi kung iyan iyong tinutukoy nyo, that these letters, which are four letters, Your Honor, has been earlier marked as exhibit …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. You use your plural terms, letters, how many letters are that?
REP. BAG-AO. Four letters, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Four letters.
REP. BAG-AO. … 60s 1 …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Please state the dates of each letter.
REP. BAG-AO. Okay. Pwede po bang paki—iyong mga petsa po noong apat na sulat.
MR. ANDUIZA. Ito po iyong apat na sulat. Iyong unang sulat po, September 13, 2011, addressed to the clerk of court, signed by …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Addressed to the clerk of court.
MR. ANDUIZA. Opo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Not addressed to the respondent.
MR. ANDUIZA. Hindi po.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Okay.
MR. ANDUIZA. Pangalawang sulat, September 16, 2011, addressed to the clerk of court ulit. Pangatlong sulat po, September 20, 2011, addressed to the same clerk of court. Last letter po, September 22, 2011, addressed to the clerk of court, Supreme Court.
REP. BAG-AO. Permission to approach the witness, Your Honor. I will get the document.
I would just like to manifest, Your Honor, and to put on record, that in all letters filed by Atty. Mendoza—in the letter dated September 13, 2011, I would like to put on record, that the honorable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, Supreme Court, Manila, was copy furnished.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Copy …
REP. BAG-AO. A copy was also sent, furnished a copy.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Copy furnished.
REP. BAG-AO. Opo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Well, let the document show that.
REP. BAG-AO. Opo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. I am sure, it is shown in the document …
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. You do not have to make a manifestation.
REP. BAG-AO. Sa lahat po ng mga sulat ay nandoon ang copy furnished na terms para kay Chief Justice, sa apat na sulat po.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Were there other justices—furnished with the same copies?
REP. BAG-AO. Meron po. Sa unang sulat po, kailangan ko pong isa-isahin kasi iba-iba po ang copy furnished ng mga sulat na ito.
Sa September 13 letter po ni Atty. Mendoza, ang copy furnished po ay para lang kay the honorable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, Supreme Court, Manila.
Sumulat po siya ulit noong September 16, 2011, para po sa clerk of court, wala pong ibang pinadalhan ng kopya.
September 20, 2011, sumulat po ulit si Atty. Mendoza, at meron pong copy furnished…
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Kanino addressed iyong sulat?
REP. BAG-AO. Sa clerk of court po, pero may copy furnished po si Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.
At iyong panghuling sulat, dated September 22, 2011, addressed po ito sa the clerk of court, Supreme Court, Manila, ang copy furnished po dito, sinayn po ito ni Atty. Mendoza, ang copy furnished ay si Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, Honorable Arturo B. Brion, Honorable Jose P. Perez, Honorable Diosdado M. Peralta, Honorable Lucas P. Bersamin, Honorable Jose C. Mendoza, with copies of letters dated September 13, 16 and 20, 2011.
May I proceed, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Proceed.
REP. BAG-AO. So, noon pong kayo ay nagulat, dahil sinabi nyo kanina, kayo ay nagulat dahil po sa mga sulat na ito, ano po ang naging aksyon nyo sa mga sulat na ito?
MR. ANDUIZA. Noong natanggap namin ang sulat na iyan, galit na galit kami dahil naka-tatlong desisyon na nga, tatlong desisyon ng panalo kami, tapos binabawi at nag-aappear doon …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. And itinatanong po sa inyo, ano’ng aksyon na ginawa ninyo, aksyon, hindi iyong galit ninyo, kung hindi ano’ng aksyon ang ginawa ninyo? Iyon ang sagutin mo.
MR. ANDOIZA. Nag-file po kami ng motion for reconsideration.
REP. BAG-AO. Doon sa decision?
MR. ANDOIZA. Sa decision na pagbawi.
REP. BAG-AO. Sinabi mo kanina noong bakit ka pumunta dito ay dahil sa nakialam si Chief Justice Corona sa kaso ninyo. Bakit mo naman nasabi iyon?
MR. ANDOIZA. Kasi noong natanggap naming iyong October 4 resolution, lumalabas na nag-participate siya samantalang klaro sa pagkaalam naming na nag-inhibit na siya rito as far as 2008.
REP. BAG-AO. Paano mo naman nasabi na may kinalaman si Chief Justice Corona sa pagbawi ng kaso ninyo at sa desisyong tinutukoy mo?
MR. ANDOIZA. Sa mga lumalabas na resolution sa dati, pag nagme-meeting kami sa mga abogado, nakalagay doon na Chief Justice Renato Corona took no part, noong mga naka-ilan iyon, tapos mismong si Spokesperson Midas Marquez naga-admit siya, nakikita naming sa TV na sinasabi niya nag-inhibit na dito si Chief Justice, 2008 pa. .Iyon iyong lagi nilang sinasabi.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Sandali lang. Anong sinabi, Mr. Witness, Justice Corona took no part?
MR. ANDOIZA. Opo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Sinabi ba doon kung bakit ustice Corona took no part?
MR. ANDOIZA. Hindi ho naming alam iyong dahilan basta klaro lang doon sa mga tinatanggap namin na resolution na may nakalagay doon na Chief Justice Corona took no part.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Took no part. Absent siya, nagbakasyon siya, may sakit siya, o natutulog siya.
MR. ANDOIZA. Hindi po naming alam, dahil nakalagay lang sa resolution took no part.
REP. BAG-AO. Saan po nakalagay iyong took no part? Sa desisyon po na ito ay may took no part po bang nakasulat?
MR. ANDOIZA. Wala. Sa October 4 na desisyon, nandoon, nakalagay iyong mga pangalan ng took no part, pero iyong pangalan niya, wala. Iyong ang kakaiba diyan sa October 4.
REP. BAG-AO. Mayroon po akong ipapakitang desisyon sa inyo na may petsang October 4. Puwede pong pakitingnan kung iyan po iyong desisyon na tinutukoy ninyo?
MR. ANDOIZA. Ito po, nakalagay sa second page, Castro and Del Castillo, no part; Brion, no part insofar as the raffle is concerned. Tapos nandito iyong mga no part doon. Wala iyong pangalan ni Chief Justice.
REP. BAG-AO. Para lang po sa record, pakibasa po iyong case number.
MR. ANDOIZA. Administrative No. 11-10-1-SC, letter of Atty. Estelito Mendoza. Re: GR No. 178083.
REP. BAG-AO. Your Honor, copy of the decision was earlier marked as Exhibit RRRRRR, Your Honor, for the record. Ano po ang naramdaman ninyo pagkatapos ninyong matanggap iyong naturang resolution na iyan ng Korte Suprema?
MR. ANDOIZA. Nawalan na ho kami ng tiwala dahil sabi namin, naka-tatlong decision na kami na panalo, tapos sinasabi nila nag-inhibit si Chief Justice, tapos dito sa resolution nagparticipate siya, at noong October 18, pagkatapos lang ng ilang araw, took no part na naman siya sa susunod na resolution. So, lumalabas na nag-participate lang siya doon lang po sa October 4.
REP. BAG-AO. At dahil po sa nangyari sa kaso ninyo sa FASAP, ano po ang naging patingin at pakiramdam ninyo sa Korte Suprema?
MR. ANDOIZA. Nawalan na ho kami ng tiwala dahil sabi namin, ito iyong huling magbibigay sa atin ng hustisya, kung ganito pa ang nangyayari, after mag fo-fourteen years na ho iyong kaso namin, sabi namin, saan pa kami pupunta at kukuha ng hustisya kung sa Supreme Court hindi natin ito makukuha?
REP. BAG-AO. At sa pagharap mo sa impeachment hearing na ito, ano po sana ang gusto ninyong mangyari?
MR. ANDOIZA. Sana po ma-impeach si Chief Justice Corona, para magkaroon kami ng tiwala uli dahil sa tingin naming siya talaga iyong naging …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. May I suggest to the counsel not to educate the witness.
REP. BAG-AO. I am not educating the witness.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Please lay your … ask the proper questions. Too obvious, please.
REP. BAG-AO. Anyway, Your Honor, we have no more questions for this witness.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. If Your Honor please
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Is your direct question over?
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Cross?
JUSTICE CUEVAS. If Your Honor please, may I respectfully request that we be allowed to conduct our cross-examination tomorrow, Your Honor. There are quite a number of documents which we have not seen before and we wanted a thorough examination of the same before we can conduct an intelligible cross-examination.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. What is the pleasure of the..
REP. BAG-AO. Your Honor, iyon pong mga dokumentong ipinakita namin at in-identify ng witness ay mga desisyon at resolusyon ng Korte Suprema at ito po ay under judicial notice at inaasahan kong alam din po iyon ng—at in-admit na din po iyan kanina ng defense counsel, ni-recognize at in-admit ang existence ng mga resolutions at decision na iyan.
JUSTICE CUEVAS. We submit, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Well, let us give the counsel time to prepare his cross-examination. Next witness.
REP. BAG-AO. And that is the reason why earlier Congressman Aggabao was making a manifestation, Your Honor, is that all our witnesses aside from this witness are under subpoena by this honourable court and that have not been issued, these subpoenas have not been issued so we are waiting for the issuance of this subpoena, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. What are those witnesses that you need that have not been subpoenaed?
REP. BAG-AO. For this particular part in the PASAT case, Your Honor, there is a pending request for the issuance of subpoena on the officers of PAL for Mr. Enrique Javier, Vice President, Sales, of Philippine Airlines and Ms. Ria Carreon Domingo, Vice President of Product Loyalty Marketing of Philippine Airlines. There is also a pending request for subpoena and the same request, Your Honor, for the issuance of subpoena duces tecum ad testificandum for Atty. Enrequita Vidal of the Clerk of Court en banc of the Supreme Court and Atty. Philipa Anama, Deputy Clerk of Court en banc of the Supreme Court. We also have a pending request for the issuance of subpoena to the Justices of the Supreme Court, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. We will tackle this issue tomorrow. I was going to take this request for subpoena on this particular case of the Philippine Airlines yesterday but as I said, some Senators requested that we concentrated on the issue of subpoenaing the bank records. So bear with us, we will take this up tomorrow and decide it and I can assure you that we will issue the proper subpoena once the court will tell me that I can go ahead.
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor, we would also like to manifest that there are also other request for subpoena for the other witnesses that are covered by Article III not just those that I mentioned.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Who are those other witnesses?
REP. BAG-AO. Okay. For Atty. Gregorio Elarmo, the chief of staff, Chief Justice staff head of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Who is that? Wait a minute. Who is that?
REP. BAG-AO. Atty. Gorgonio B. Elarmo, the chief of staff, Chief Justice staff head of the Supreme Court of the Philippines; Ms. Michelle Mangubat, Special Disbursing Officer of the Supreme Court; Corazon Ferrer Flores, Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief of the Fiscal Management Bureau Office of the Supreme Court of the Philippines and the Resident Auditor of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Commission on Audit, Commonwealth, Quezon City.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. What is the connection of those witnesses with respect to Article III?
REP. BAG-AO. As we have earlier said, Your Honor, iyong Article III refers to different instances that completes the allegation that there is non-compliance with the standards set by the Constitution on competence, integrity, probity and independence and this will tackle all the witnesses that we will be presenting to prove Article III.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. I will read to you the article.
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Respondent committed culpable violation of the Constitution and/or betrayal of the public trust by failing to meet and observe the stringent standards under Article VIII, Section 7(3) of the Constitution that provides that “A Member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity and probity.” These are the basis of your charge.
In allowing the Supreme Court to act on the letters filed by counsel which cause the issuance of flip-flopping decisions in final and executory cases impuning an excessive entanglement with Mrs. Arroyo—in creating, rather—an excessive entanglement with Mrs. Arroyo, though her appointment of his wife to office and in discussing with litigants regarding cases pending before the Supreme Court.
What has the financial records of the Supreme Court got to do with this article?
REP. BAG-AO. I would like to ask Congressman Fariñas to amplify, Your Honor.
REP. FARIÑAS. Thank you, Mr. President.
Yung usapin po dito, meron po kasing alegasyon sa complaint na patungkol po don sa paggugol ng mga pondo ng gobyerno para sa personal na gamit ni Chief Justice.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. But that is not alleged in your Article III.
REP. FARIÑAS. It is included in the body of Article III, Mr. President
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. No, no, no. You charge him of, as I understand it ha, correct me if I’m dense in understanding your Article III, you accuse him of not being competent, not having integrity, not having probity and not having the proper independence in allowing, etc. But there’s nothing about financial disposition, financial disbursement or anything of this sort.
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo. Nasa loob nga po ng article because in the body of the article, Mr. President, …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. It is in the discussion?
REP. FARIÑAS. In the allegations, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. What paragraph?
REP. FARIÑAS. This is paragraph 3.4.9, it says here, Mr. President, that the “Respondent reportedly dipped his hands into public funds to finance personal expenses. Numerous personal expenses that have nothing to do with the discharge of his official functions, such as lavish lunches and dinners, personal travels and vacations, and tetes and parties, have reportedly been charged by the Respondent to judicial funds. In essence, Respondent has been reportedly using the judicial fund as his own personal expense account, charging to the Judiciary personal expenditures.”
At yung sunod pong artikulo, nakalagay din po dito, “It is therefore apparent that there is reasonable ground to hold Respondent for the reported misuse of public funds, and in acts that would qualify as violations of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act, including malversation of public funds, and use of public funds for private purposes.”
If we may be allowed, kung papayagan nyo po kami, Ginoong Pangulo, kasi po ang pleading naman po ay iisa lang po ang …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Alam mo, Ginoong Manananggol, ang problema natin dito sa grounds ninyo na naka-enumerate dito sa page 11 ng inyong tererya o Articles of Impeachment ay simple yung inyong alegasyon e, na sinasabi ninyo na walang competence, integrity, probity at independensiya yung nakasakdal dahil pinayagan nya ang Korte Suprema to act on mere letters. Iyong mga sinasabi nyo ay wala dito e.
REP. FARIÑAS. Inaamin ko po …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Karagdagan iyon, e paano ngayon sa pagbobotohan namin dito, pagbobotohan namin iyong mga paragraphs na iyon, e hindi ganoon ang precedent o desisyon na nasasaad doon sa desisyon ni Ex Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, at sinang-ayunan ni Justice Antonio Carpio, na bawat paratang ay isang article of impeachment.
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo. Pwede pong magpaliwanag, Ginoong Pangulo?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Sige.
REP. FARIÑAS. Obiter lang naman poi yon, hindi naman po yon yung main …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Alin ang obiter?
REP. FARIÑAS. Iyong napasabi po doon na ang kanais-nais sana ay isang artikulo bawat isang complaint. Isang course of action, isang artikulo po.
Kasi po, ang purpose naman po ng pleading ay para lang malaman noong kabilang partido kung ano iyong course of action laban po sa kanila. At maliwanag naman po dito sa pleading na iyon ay sinabi po ng mga complainants na si Chief Justice ay gumamit ng mga pondo ng gobyerno.
Kay po, kung papayagan nyo po ako, matagal na pong panahon, halos 100 taon na po ang edad nitong desisyong ito ng Korte Suprema, na ang sabi po ng Korte Suprema, maski kahiya-hiya o asiwa iyong complaint, basta ito—ano po ang sapat na sukatan kung ang complaint ay dadaan sa pagsusubok, kung iyong kabilang partido ay malalaman kung ano iyong course of action laban sa kanya.
At iyon po ay maliwanag na alam naman po ni Chief Justice Corona dahil sa sagt po nya, ang sabi po nya, naku, hindi totoo yan, hindi totoo na ako ay gumamit ng pondo ng gobyerno. Kaya po ngayon, Ginoong Pangulo, dahil nagsalubong na po iyong dalawang isyu, sabi po naming, ginamit yong pondo ng gobyerno, sabi nya, hindi totoo, e ano po ang gagawin natin dito? Bigyan nyo po kami ng pagkakataon na patunayan ito, dahil kung hindi po, Ginoong Pangulo, ano po ang mangyayari dito? Pagdating po ng December 13, pipilahan po uli naming siya ng impeachment, e lalo pong magkakaroon tayo ng maraming trabaho po dito, Ginoong Pangulo.
Kaya po ang intention po ng Saligang Batas, na isang impeachment complaint lang sa isang opisyal sa isang taon po, hindi po para sa proteksyon nya, kung hindi para sa ating lahat po dito dahil sayang po yong panahon po natin kung sa December 13, magpa-file na naman po kami ng panibago, e nandito na rin lang po …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Para sa amin po dito, sa akin lang paningin, ano, ang sinusunod lang namin, iyong kautusan ng Korte Suprema, sapagkat sila ang interpreter ng Saligang Batas natin, hindi tayo.
Hindi kami sa Kongreso—dito sa Senado, hindi ang Presidente, sila lamang ang inatasan ng Saligang Batas na gumawa ng final interpretation ng Constitution.
Ngayon ay may desisyon, ipaliwanag nyo sa amin kung paano kami boboto dito ha.
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo. Opo. Ganito po iyon …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Pagdating ng araw ay pagbobotohan namin ito isa-isa e. Ito, sinasabi ko lang…
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Kung sinasabi lang ninyo na siya ay nilabag nya ang requirement na siya ay competent, may integridad ,…
REP. FARIÑAS. Integridad po.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. … may probity at may independensya dahil sa sumusunod, at inilagay nyong lahat yon ay maaari siguro na payagan yon. Pero ito, ikinonfine nyo dito sa ground ang isang bagay, pagkatapos, doon sa discussion, pinalawak nyo, e ang pagbobotohan naming ay itong mga specification nyo, iyong enumeration of the articles of impeachment.
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. O, paano iyon?
REP. FARIÑAS. Ganito po, Ginoong Pangulo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Kaya gusto naming matuto sa inyo eh.
REP. FARIÑAS. Hindi naman po, ibibigay lang po namin iyong mga desisyon po ng Korte Suprema. Ang maliwanag po, maski civil case o criminal case, ang nasusunod po ay iyong mga niloloob noong pleading. Hindi po iyong titulo. Halimbawa, po, maski may charge na krimen, maski sinabi po ng Fiscal na ito ay rape, eh kung nasa loob naman po ay hindi naman rape, ang nasusunod po ay …ito ang sinabi ng Korte Suprema.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Ang nasusunod ay kung murder ang dapat, ang masusunod murder hindi rape. Kahit na ang sinabi sa information ay rape. Ay, iba siguro ang pinag-aralan mong Rules of Court kaysa pinag-aralan ko.
REP. FARIÑAS. Yes, sir. Ipahintulot ninyo kung basahin ko po iyong desisyon. Eto po ang sabi ng Korte Suprema. Pagdating po sa civil cases, the test for determining the sufficiency of the complaint is this, does the complaint fairly apprise the defendant of the plaintiff’s real contentions and claims against him? Could he be misled to a surprise and injury if he plays faith in its allegations?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Ano ba iyan, criminal case ba iyan?
REP. FARIÑAS. Civil po.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Civil case iyan.
REP. FARIÑAS. Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Ay iba sa criminal case eh.
REP. FARIÑAS. Criminal, pupunta po tayo sa criminal case po. Eto po ang sabi ng Korte Suprema pa rin po. Pagdating sa criminal case, dito po ang nagsalita po ay si Justice Morlan. Sabi po niya, “In other words, the real nature of a criminal charge is determined not from the caption or preamble of the information, nor from the specification of the provision of the law, alleged to have been violated, they being mere conclusions of law which in no way affect the legal aspects of the information …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. They being …
REP. FARIÑAS. Mere conclusions of law po. Kung ano po iyong nakalagay sa titulo …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Conclusion of law, tama iyon, sapagkat ang elements of the crime are factual, hindi ba?
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo. Ito na nga po iyong sabi. And, but from the actual recital of facts as alleged in the body of the information.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Correct.
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Pero you have to allege the elements, the factual elements of a crime.
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo, sir. Isa po, Ginoong Pangulo, kami po, ang position po namin dito hindi naman po krimen ito …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Hindi criminal proceeding.
REP. FARIÑAS. It is not criminal proceedings, Your Honor, because if this were a criminal proceedings …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Eh bakit kayo prosecutor?
REP. FARIÑAS. Mali nga po iyong aming rules. Dahil sa Amerika po, ang tawag sa amin dapat, Managers of the complaint.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Ay hindi kami ang may kasalanan noon.
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo. Kasalanan po noong mga gumawa ng aming rules, pero gusto kong palitan ito po noon, dahil ako po ang chairman ng rules re-writing committee, kaya lang po, bago po kami mag-umpisa, mayroon na hong complaint vs. Mercedita Gutierrez. Hindi ko naman po puwedeng palitan iyong alituntunin habang may dinidinig po doon. Pero, pangako po namin, aalisin po naming lahat iyong mga prosecutors na iyan dahil wala naman pong prosecution dito.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Bakit sinasabi sa Article 11 na iyong respondent ay convicted.
REP. FARIÑAS. Ang sabi ko nga ho sa …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Alam mo, sa aking kaalaman, sa pag-aaral ko sa batas criminal, iyong term na conviction ay ginagamit lang sa criminal law, hindi sa civil law. Hindi sa special proceeding, hindi sa special civil action.
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo. Kung ipagpapahintulot ninyo, kung ito po ay criminal case, ang nakalagay nga po sa Article 11, pagkatapos ma-convict iyong respondente dito, susunod iyong criminal prosecution ho niyan.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Pero, may parusa. May parusa dito, di ba?.
REP. FARIÑAS. Ang parusa lamang po sa impeachment, pagkatanggal lang po sa trabaho.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Tama. Pero iyon, ay hindi pa parusa iyon? Di ba ho?
REP. FARIÑAS. Yes, sir. Pero kung sinabi rin po ng 16 dito na tanggal ang Senador, tanggal na po sa pagka Senador. Maski po si Kagalang-galang Bong Revilla na hinalal ng 20 milyon na mamboboto, pag sinabi po ng two-thirds dito, tanggal kang Senador dahil ang gulo-gulo mo dito, halimbawa, tanggal po siya sa trabaho. Hindi po siya pwedeng umangal na, ay bakit namon ho ang due process…
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Pero alam po ninyo, kaiba iyong nakasakdal dito. Iyong kanyang titulo na Chief Justice ay kasama doon ang kanyang puwesto.
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo. Now, kung ipahihintulot…
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Ako iyong titulo ko na Senate President hindi kasama doon ang titulo ko na bilang Senador kapag ako ay tanggalin na Senate President. Senador pa rin ako. Hindi mo pwedeng tanggalin iyong Chief Justice na hindi matatanggal diyan sa pwesto sa pagka mahistrado. Iyon ang kaibahan naming dalawa. Hindi ba?
REP. FARIÑAS. Yes, sir, opo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Kaya hindi tama iyong sinasabi ninyo na pareho ang katayuan na Senate President at Chief Justice sa kanilang bilang pwesto, hindi ba?
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo. Ang sinasabi lang po namin ang accountability po public office is a public trust.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Tama, tama ka.
REP. FARIÑAS. Pwedeng ipagpatuloy ko, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Oo.
REP. FARIÑAS. Na walang may karapatan na magsasabi na heto ay si Chief Justice, iyon pong mga impeachable officers na iyan po, kaya nga ho, meron po kasi tayong ginintuang pagkakataon dito ngayon, Ginoong Pangulo, para ituwid po natin itong bansa natin dahil sa mga nakaraang panahon po, iyong Korte Suprema naging napakalakas po nila, na parang sila na po ang hari ng bansa. Ang hari po ng bansa ay iyong mamamayang Pilipino patungkol po sa atin dito. Kaya po dito, Ginoong Pangulo, kung ipagpahintulot po ninyo, ang nangyayari po dito ngayon ay ang Kongreso ng Pilipinas pinapagot si Renato Coronado Corona dahil kami po hindi naman po tayo maglilitis dito pag hindi po kami nagsampa ng kaso dahil ang kapangyarihan po para lang magsampa ng kaso ay nasa House of Representatives. Kaya iyong Kongreso po magkasama po tayo dito hindi po tayo magkaaway, ang kalaban po natin iyong respondente dahil pinapagot po natin siya. Heto po, kami pong Kinatawan ng taumbayan at ang tingin po namin dapat maalis na po siya diyan kaya bumoto po kami na siya ay nagtaksil sa tiwala ng bayan. Kasi po, Ginoong Pangulo, sa nakaraan pong mga panahon, hindi po ba minsan iyong Korte Suprema pati tayo dito sa Senado po ay pinapangaralan tayo ng lahat na ganyan para tayong mga bata po lahat. Ngayon po may pagkakataoon po natin na ipakita…
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Pwede bang magsalita ang Presiding Officer ?
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Totoo iyong sinasabi mo na ang tingin ninyo ay makapangyarihan ang Korte Suprema. Pero sino ba ang nagbigay noong kapangyarihan na iyon? Hindi tayo, hindi ikaw, hindi ako, ang taumbayan.
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Ang taumbayan hindi natin masasalungat iyong ibinigay na kapangyarihan sa President ng Pilipinas, sa Kongreso at sa Korte Suprema. Kung pinalakas ng gumawa ng Constitution ng 1987 ang Korte Suprema ay hindi dahil sa atin, kung hindi dahil sa taumbayan. Iyan ang utos nila. Gusto ba ninyong suwagin iyong utos ng sambayanang Pilipino?
REP. FARIÑAS. Hindi po.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Iyon pala. So tapos na tayo ng pagsasalita. Testigo, mag prisinta kayo.
SEN. SOTTO. May we recognize Senator Estrada, Mr. President.
SEN. ESTRADA. Mr. President, may I be recognized.
Ginoong Prosecutor, kayo po ay naniniwala sa sinampa ng inyong mga kasamahan na kaso laban kay Chief Justice Corona.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Nililiwanag ko lang ang proseso natin.
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Pinag-uusapan natin proseso. Para maunawaan ng taumbayan sapagkat baka malillito sila kaya…
REP. FARIÑAS. Opo.
SEN. ESTRADA. Take two, Mr. President. Kung baga sa pelikula, take two po.
Ginoong Prosecutor, kayo ba ho ay pumirma sa impeachment complaint?
REP. FARIÑAS. Hindi po.
SEN. ESTRADA. Bakit po?
REP. FARIÑAS. Mabagal po kasi akong bumasa e kaya noong prinisinta po sa amin iyan Alam po nyo ako e, maski nung estudyante po ako e seryoso ako bumasa e. Nabasa ko po lahat diyan—E noong nakapirma na po yung pang-huli puro—mga kasamahan ko sa Kongreso marami pong speed reader diyan e. Mabibilis po silang bumasa e. E ako, mabagal po. E dahil sobra-sobra naman po yung pumirma na, isang daan at walumpu’t walo, hindi naman po kailangan yung pirma ko at saka medyo masama rin po kasi yung pagkagawa ng konti, hindi na lang ho ako pumirma.
Inaamin ko naman lahat. Inaamin ko po naman e.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Silence. (Gavel) Now, let’s stop this thing and proceed with the trial.
REP. FARIÑAS. Yes, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Now, let the defense raise their objection, if there are any, in the presentation of the witnesses. Proceed (Gavel)
REP. FARIÑAS. Thank you. Maraming salamat, Ginoong Pangulo.
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, the defense panel earlier requested that they do their cross-examination tomorrow. So, may we suggest that …
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Let them present their next witness.
SEN. SOTTO. Next witness. They are not ready to present another witness, Mr. President. So, may we do some housekeeping, Mr. President, before I move to adjourn.
REP. FARIÑAS. No. Let us hear from the prosecution if they do not have any witness.
REP. BAG-AO. Your Honor, I have already explained earlier that all our witnesses are still subject to motion—I request for subpoena.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. So you have no additional witness today?
REP. BAG-AO. For the day, Your Honor, no, because we’re still waiting for the subpoena, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. So you will discharge this witness, but he will be asked to come back for the cross-examination?
REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Okay. The witness is discharged. (Gavel) Thank you.
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Senator Pangilinan.
SEN. PANGILINAN. Just an administrative matter, Mr. President. Considering that we do have two major issued that we have to resolve tomorrow that perhaps we should meet earlier than twelve because the last time we met at twelve, we were not able to thresh out the first issue. But this time, we’re going to have two issues to discuss. Perhaps, a little earlier than …
SEN. SOTTO. May we know the pleasure of the Gentleman, Mr. President.
SEN. PANGILINAN. Eleven or eleven-thirty? Or after the session.
SEN. SOTTO. I saw move, Mr. President, that the caucus be convened at eleven o’clock in the office of the Senate President’s conference room. Eleven o’clock, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Which one?
SEN. SOTTO. Eleven o’clock, the caucus tomorrow.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Minority Floor Leader.
SEN. CAYETANO (A.). Mr. President, just another administrative matters.
Marami po kasing sumusubaybay at nanonood at gumagawa ng sarili nilang analysis sa trial na ito, at hindi naman sila nabibigyan ng kopya ng dokumento, yung SALN, yung mga exhibits na ipinapakita. Baka naman pupwede ho na gamitin natin yung wide screen o kaya mag-set up sa likod, para pag pinapakita sa mga witnesses o yung defense o prosecution, hindi lang tayo mas madali, imbes na hanap tayo ng hanap ng dokumento para sa mga judges, pero pati yung mga kapatid natin sa media na nagbabantay dito, mai-focus lang ng kanilang telebisyon, maiintindihan nating lahat yung dokumento na yon.
This is just a request. If there’s—Maybe we can take it up sa caucus, Mr. President, but I think matutulungan po tayo na sundan ang bawa’t dokumento o exhibit na pine-present dito.
Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. All right. So when do we have …
SEN. SOTTO. We’ll take it up tomorrow morning, Mr. President, at eleven o’clock.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Tomorrow morning, you want the caucus to be held?
SEN. SOTTO. Yes, 11:00 a.m., Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. All right. Any objection? (Silence) Hearing none, the caucus of the Impeachment Court will be held at eleven o’clock tomorrow morning, February 8. (Gavel)
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, I think this is very important. Let me just take up—We are in receipt of a manifestation from the prosecution informing the Impeachment Court that it is temporarily discharging Ms. Araceli Bayuga of the Supreme Court, Jaime Agbayani of John Hay Management Corporation, Peter D. Garas of John Hay Management Corporation, Rizel Pascua of John Hay Management Corporation and Anna Venus Mejia of Filinvest Alabang Inc., for appearing before the impeachment court, until further notice, for the information of the court, Mr. Presdient.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Who is making the motion?
SEN. SOTTO. The prosecution, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The prosecution.
SEN. SOTTO. Yes, informing us of a temporary discharge of the witnesses.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The head of the panel of the prosecution, do you confirm this?
REP. TUPAS. Yes, we confirm that, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The said witnesses are discharged until further notice.
SEN. SOTTO. And one more, Mr. President, in compliance with the directive of the court, the prosecution filed yesterday, February 6, 2012, its memorandum on the issue of when ownership is acquired over a property and when is a public officer required by the Constitution and the laws to disclose in his SALN, his ownership over a property, for the information of the court, Mr. President.
And also, we are in receipt of a supplemental legal memorandum from the SEC director, Benito A. Cataran, also for the information of the court, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Noted.
SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, may we ask the Sergeant-at-arms to make an announcement.
THE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS. Please all rise.
All persons are commanded to remain in their places until the Senate President and the Senators have left the session hall.
SEN. SOTTO. I move to adjourn the trial until two o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday, February 8, 2012.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there any objection? (Silence) The trial is hereby adjourned until two o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday, February 8, 2012.
It was 5:21 p.m.