IMPEACHMENT TRIAL : Monday, January 16, 2012

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The 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.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.  I move that we dispense with the reading of the February 9, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  (Silence)  There being none, the February 9, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, is hereby approved.  The Secretary will please call the case before the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Appearances.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, may we ask the respective counsels to enter their appearances.

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Your Honor, for the prosecution panel of the House of Representatives, same appearances.  And if I may, on behalf of the House also, we would like to greet the Presiding Officer advance Happy Birthday for tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you very much.  At this age, your Presiding Officer is no longer thinking about birthdays.  He is thinking about the future which is daily.  So, we proceed.  The defense?

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  Now, Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we recognize the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Mr. President, Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Jinggoy Estrada, the President Pro Tempore has the floor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Mr. President, I would like to denounce, in the strongest possible terms, the action of the defense lawyers who called for a press con last night for a supposedly important announcement and only to later say that the source of their story cannot not be discussed.

Second, I take personal notice of the statement made by the defense last night that they received very reliable information that the Executive Secretary, Paquito Jojo Ochoa, acting in behalf of President Noynoy Aquino III, was personally contacting and phoning Senator Judges to persuade or pressure us to defy the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court in favor of the Philippine Savings Bank.  Ayokong palampasin ito without saying anything.  Because the integrity, credibility.and independence of individual Senators, as well as the honor of the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, are at stake here.

Thirdly, I don’t want to speculate as to the reason for the defense panel for coming out with this incredulous statement.  But I challenge you, the defense panel, to name your so-called source.  Pangalanan ninyo kung sino at nang sa ganoon ay hindi tayo nanghuhula.  Magpakalalaki tayong lahat tayo dito dahil itong ginagawa namin ay hindi biro-biro lamang.  Ang kinabukasan, ang ikasasama o ikabubuti ng  ating bansa ang nakasalalay dito.  Sa mga magigiting na abogado ng depensa, hinahamon ko kayong lahat na pangalanan ang nagpaabot sa inyo ng kwentong ito.  If you believe the story, that is up to you.  But when you face the media and passed this story on to the public, with little more than your faces to back you up, then you have crossed the line.  And you are all wholly accountable for attempting to besmirch the reputation of this institution which has always stood as a bastion for democracy truth, decency, and integrity.

Malaking insulto sa institusyong ito at sa aming mga Senator-Judges.

And lastly, I stand before you as a duly elected Senator and I would like to look to all of you, straight in the eye and say: WALANG TUMAWAG SA AKIN UPANG AKO AY HIKAYATIN O TAKUTIN O BAYARAN. KUNG MAYROON MANG GUSTONG MAGTANGKA O GUSTONG TUMAWAG O HUMIKAYAT SA AKIN, ANG MASASABI KO LANG, HUWAG NINYO NANG ITULOY AT MAPAPAHIYA LAMANG KAYO.

Salamat po, Ginoong Pangulo.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, may we recognize Senator Allan Cayetano and then, Senator Pia Cayetano.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Cayetano.

SEB. CAYETANO (A.).  Magandang hapon, Mr. Presiding Officer, sa prosecution, defense, at sa mga kasama natin. Hindi pupwede natin hindi bigyan ng pansin ang isyu na ‘to sapagkat ang integridad ho mismo ng korte, so, I’d just like to ask some questions to the lawyers of the defense panel. Anyone of you can answer except the good Justice Cuevas for the simple reason, for the simple reason that he wasn’t in the press-con or, at least, evidence see it. Alas tres ng umaga ako natutulog, kaya paulit-ulit kong pinanood ang press-con. Can one or some of you please answer a few questions please?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The defense counsel may response.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, may we ask for authority for Atty. Jose Roy to make the explanation, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Proceed.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  At the onset, gusto ko lang ipaabot sa inyo na pilit kong iniintindi ang ginawa ninyo at pilit kong iniintindi na mayroon kayong kliyente na kailangang depensahan, ngunit kayo na po mismo ang ilang beses na nag-remind sa korte na ito na kailangang respetuhin iyong korte.  So, I’d like to clarify some of your statements through some of these questions.

Attorney, counsel, I assume but except for some very young lawyers in your panel, most of have had extensive practice, tama po ba ito?

ATTY. ROY.  Well, I don’t know if “extensive” is the right word, Your Honor, but, yes, I suppose for purposes of this question that …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  And I would assume  ho that respect to the court is given.

ATTY. ROY. Your Honor, I wish to assure you that was foremost in our minds.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).   Okay. What do you think would happen if you have a case in the Sandiganbayan, the CA or the Court of Appeals, or the Supreme Court and night before a important decision was to be made, you would go on air, saying, that some of the justices are being bribed and being offered a hundred million.

ATTY. ROY. That is a terrible allegation, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  And …

ATTY. ROY. But that is not that is not the allegation we made. What we said, Your Honor, was that we have received information that there were offers, we never meant to taint the integrity of the Senators, Your Honors.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Okay. By implication, did that not mean that some, if not all, or, at least, one of the Senator-Judges are susceptible to bribery by saying that tinatawagan at in-o-offer-an ng isang milyon?  Noong una isang daang milyon, hindi sinabing soft projects. Later on, ay kinalaro ninyo na hindi cash ito, kung hindi soft projects. Hindi po ba ang implikasyon nito or ang perception na ibinibigay sa ating mga kababayan ay para bagang hindi solemn oath ang aming tinake dito at pwede kaming magtanggap ng ganyang kalaki, kapalit ng aming boto sa kahit anong issue.

ATTY. ROY. Humihingi po kami ng dispensa kung hindi po naging malinaw ang aming pahayag. Hindi po namin nais na palabasin na kayo po’y nasuhulan o kaya’y tinanggap ninyo ito. At iyon ang pinakamalayo ho sa aming layunin.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  At this point, thank you, for your apology or for your clarification and that’s important for each member and this impeachment court. However, let me continue my questioning…

ATTY. ROY. Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.). … or this questions. If, in fact, you made that statement before the Supreme Court, don’t you think that the Supreme Court would make you explain?

ATTY. ROY. Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Or, at least, subject you to disciplinary action if ganoon iyong alegasyon na binigay ninyo.

ATTY. ROY.  That is correct, Your Honor, that is why we are here in full force to show you that there was no malice on the part of the defense and to prove to you that what we did, indeed, as a matter of principle, of professional belief.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Isn’t true also, Mr. Counsel, that nilagay ninyo sa alangan iyong korte, kasi kung dinesisyo namin ay huwag sundin iyong TRO, eh, di lalabas, may tumanggap sa amin ng isang daan milyon.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  ‘Pagka naman sinabi namin, we should abide(?), lalabas naman natakot kami sa prescon ninyo.  Of course, It’s not limited to those two scenarios but by—on the eve of—we all announced last Thursday that magca-caucus kami at pag-uusapan naming iyong TRO, and then, suddenly, you are on television, that is why Sunday, late afternoon, all of the members of the media were calling us not to even ask those questions but making us or asking us to deny.  Isn’t it an insult to us to even have to deny that we are susceptible to bribes?  You put us in that situation, Mr. Counsel.

ATTY. ROY III.  In hindsight, Your Honor, perhaps, you could view it that way but please i beg your indulgence.  That was not our intention.  Please hear me out.  We had very little choice but to hold the press conference at that time.  We received word late Saturday afternoon while we were in a conference with our client.  We have been told that Senator Tatad announced this plan and I think he is with Senator Maceda at that time.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY III.  We then, received, Your Honor …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  We will deal with Senator Tatad whether that he is right or not separately.  What I am saying is that we talked about the defense panel.

ATTY. ROY III.  Yes, Your Honor, I was getting to that.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  And that, counsel, just because I have limited time, that is not only what you said or what the group said.  Kasama pos a sinabi na hindi na patas, hindi na kayo maka-present ng evidence, can you answer this question, turn ninyo nab a mag-present ng evidence or pagkatapos ng prosecution saka pa kayo magpre-present ng evidence?

ATTY. ROY III.  We have been tried in public, Your Honor, minamadali po kami.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Well, is that the fault of the Senator judges or is that precisely the system?  No, my point, Your Honor , is that go ahead engage in a trial with publicity with the prosecution.  Iyan po ang demokrasya natin, iyan po ang sistema.  We will try to restrain both sides.  Senator Honasan has stood up so many times to try to restrain both sides, pero bakit pati iyong referee gagawan ninyo ng intriga, iyon po ang point ko doon.  Kasi noong sinabi ninyong hindi na patas, kung klinaro ninyo na sinabi ninyo na nakikialam kasi iyang Presidente, e, sinabi ninyo nakikialam ang Presidente, inuutusan ang Senator judge.  Ang implikasyon tuloy, kami ang nauutusan dito ng Pangulo.

ATTY. ROY III.  Paumanhin po muli.  Ang ipinapahiwatig po naming ay pine-pressure po kayo kaya hindi na ho patas.  Kasi po ang unang pahayag ng Presidente na hindi daw ho siya makikialam.  Pero nakita ninyo naman mga nakaraang mga araw nagging malinaw muli ang posisyon ng Presidente.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Pero, Mr. Counsel, hindi po ba obvious na marami naman talagang magpre-pressure eh, whether it is public opinion, whether it is your family, whether it is politics, pressure is always part of the game.  Ang question, napre-pressure ba kami or hindi.  At noong nag-oath kami pinangako namin sa inyo, at sa mamamayan, at sa Diyos na hindi kami magpa-pressure kahit kanino man.  But on this point no, last question on this point, kung ngayon po, may TRO before the Supreme Court, pumunta ako sa media, tapos I am a lawyer at sinabi ko meron po akong balita na walong justices po ay bibigyan ng tig-50 million para lang po patagalin iyong TRO, don’t you think that the Supreme Court will ask me why i should not be held In contempt or should not ask me why I shouldn’t be disciplined?

ATTY. ROY III.  Opo, I would expect that that you will be asked to explain.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  And wouldn’t you think that we are on the same level at least ng Supreme Court as far as impeachment is concerned.

ATTY. ROY III.  Yes, Senator.  Precisely, what I want to say is that the reason the why we had to go to the media, is because we wanted to send a very clear message to those who would tried to subvert the process.  That we will not allow to go unnoticed, we will bring it to the light of day, we will expose, we will protect the integrity …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  We fully understand that and I, once, like Senator Arroyo, he was a prosecutor, he did not reach the impeachment court, but when we are trying to impeach Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the former President, Senator Guingona, Senator Escuder, mga kasama naming, si Joel Villanueva, mga kasama naming sa House no, sila Congressman Zamora, all of them, we would have done something like that, but we would have stop when it came to the integrity or casting doubts upon the court.

Let me go to my last few questions–on the source.  Is any of you, defense counsel, also a member of the media?

ATTY. ROY III.  I am not that time aware, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So, I ask that because we are all aware that the members of the media have the source privilege granted to them by a  Republic Act.

ATTY. ROY III.    Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Is this source privilege also given to members of the bar, Philippine Bar, the lawyers?

ATTY. ROY.  There is a fundamental right, Your Honor, which we draw comfort from.  It is found in paragraph (e), Section 20 of Rule 138 and essentially it states that the lawyers are under oath at every peril to themselves to preserve the secrets of the client.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  But you will confirm to me that the attorney-client privilege is only available when there is an attorney-client relationship.

ATTY. ROY.  That is exactly the case here, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So unless your source is your client, then you are bound to reveal the source if this impeachment court ask you to reveal such.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, the reference to the attorney-client relationship pertains to the conduct of all the business of the client.  Whenever we receive information in our professional capacities which relate to the business of the client for which we have been retained, Your Honors, then it is covered by the mantle of the privilege.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Well, I will not argue with you on that, counsel, just because we don’t have time but I wanted to bring that to the attention of the court because I have heard some of the members wanting or you have heard Senator Estrada challenging to come out with the names so that we can clear the air here and that is why I asked you these questions.   Anyway, I took more than my time.  Thank you, Mr. Presiding Officer.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  But let me just make this strong statement  also that you put us in this situation.

ATTY. ROY.  We apologize, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).Isipin ninyo po kailangan pa naming mag-deny.  The mere fact na kailangan naming tumayo at sabihing walang P100 milyon, walang lumapit sa amin, walang nag-o-offer.  Paano po ngayon kung nagdesisyon kami kung pabor o hindi pabor sa inyo?  Kayo ang naglagay sa alangan, ang ano ng korte na ito.  Buti na lang ang tingin ko, ang mamamayan ay may faith and confidence sa impeachment court at nakikita nila na bawat desisyon namin ay may dahilan.  We want to explain every single point that every single vote we have.  But we are trying to save the prosecution and the defense’s time.  But when you make allegations like that, counsel, the net effect is that when we have voting, gusto naming magpaliwanag.

ATTY. ROY.  One again, Your Honor, we apologize and I wish  to assure you  that our view of the Senator-Judges has always been of the highest regard.  Your integrity has never been in question in our eyes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  I just like to leave you with this short, short story.  Meron ng gumawa niyan.  Pumunta sa pinakamataas na bundok and this is not original.  Kinuha iyong unan, tinastasan iyong unan, nilabas lahat iyong balahibo na laman ng unan, pinakawalan tapos bumaba siya tapos sabi sa kanya, hoy tsismoso ka, dahil mga gossip at saka mga reliable sources ang sinasabi mo.  Sabi niya, boss, pasensya ka na, mali pala ako or naging mapusok ang damdamin ko sinabi ko kaagad.  So sabi sa kanya, umakyat ka sa bundok, lahat ng balahibo habulin mo, kunin mo.  Sabi ko, boss, hindi ko na magagawa iyon kalat na.  So iyon din ang sinabi sa kanya.  Unfortunately, iyong tsinismis mo kalat na, hindi na makukuha.  So sana po maisip ninyo that when you make statements like that it is easy to apologize but you cannot put the toothpaste back into the tube ika nga ano.  Anyway, Mr. President, there are some members who would like to ask questions so I will stop there.  But I hope that it is clear to all of us how sacred is duty is and we should be very responsible if anything we do in this court or outside of this court and that goes both for the prosecution and the defense and even for the Senator-Judges.  Thank you, Mr. President.

ATTY. ROY.  You have my word, Your Honor, we shall heed what you said.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Pia Cayetano, Mr. President, wishes to be recognized and then Senator Franklin Drilon.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).   Mr. President, I take the floor for the same reason that our Senate President Pro Tempore, Jinggoy Estrada and Senator Alan Cayetano took the floor with respect to the allegations or the statements made by the defense counsel that Malacañang has offered P100 million to Senator-Judges.

Mr. President, in the landmark case of Salcedo versus Fernandez, in re contempt proceedings against Atty. Francisco, the Supreme Court said, in that case the lawyer was reprimanded when he created an atmosphere of prejudice against the court in its order to make it obvious to the public eye that the decision of the court promoted distrust in the administration of justice.  The court further ruled, the reason for this is that respect for the court’s guarantee the stability of their institution.  Without such guarantee, said institution would be resting on a very shaky foundation.

Mr. President, like any other right, the right of a lawyer to comment or criticize the decision of a judge or his actuation is not unlimited.  It is the cardinal condition of all such criticism that it shall be bona fide.  To degrade the courts, destroy public confidence in them or bring them in any way into disrepute transcends the limit of fair comment.”  This is taken from the book of Justice Ruben Agpalo on legal and judicial ethics.

Mr. President, counsels appearing before this court must be sternly reminded that it is their duty to uphold the dignity and authority of the court to which it owes fidelity, not to promote distrust in the administration of justice.  Faith in the courts a lawyer should seek to preserve, for to undermine the judicial edifice is disastrous to the continuity of government and to the attainment of the liberties of the people.  I quote directly from the case Surigao Mineral Board vs. Cloribel.

Mr. President, the defense counsel must point to the source of the information, and reveal who was promised or who was given P100 million to influence our decisions.  Otherwise, the statements made in their press-con only serve to promote distrust in the administration of the justice of which this Impeachment Court had promised to uphold.

Mr. President, I think my colleagues have discussed it at length, and I leave this before this honorble court, I sincerely feel that this is a—this issue has placed distrust in the eyes of the public, and I trust that the Members of this court will do what is right.

Thank you.

ATTY. ROY.  On behalf of the Chief Justice and the defense panel, Lady Senator, we apologize sincerely for any discomfort.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  Ilang tanong lang po, Ginoong Pangulo, kay Atty. Roy.

Sang-ayon po sa inyong press conference kahapon, sinabi po nyo “Kung bank account lang pinoproblema nyo po, hwag po kayong mag-apura.  Bubuksan po lahat yan ng Punong Mahistrado dahil hindi po niya ninakaw yan.  Relax lang po, Mr. President.”

And one of the major dailies today translated this in English and said, “If your problem is the bank account, don’t rush it.  All of that will be opened by the Chief Justice because he did not steal that.  Relax lang po, Mr. President.”

Does the lawyer confirm all of these statements?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor, that is contained in the press statement that was released by the defense.

SEN. DRILON.  So we assume that the Chief Justice has agreed to open these accounts—these dollar accounts?

ATTY. ROY.  At the appropriate time, Your Honor, he would disclose the information to the relevant bank accounts.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes, at the appropriate time.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  And when would that appropriate time be?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, I take guidance from the words of Senator Allan that when it is our turn to present the evidence, I suppose that will be the appropriate time.  In fact, I think part of the sentiments of Senator Allan was that perhaps we were attempting to litigate the case in public, and I wish to assure the Senators that was not our intention.

SEN. DRILON.  So the issue is whether or not he has agreed to open this account, but it’s a question of when it should be opened.

ATTY. ROY.  That is the authorization we were given by the Chief Justice to declare, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Because in that case, Mr. President, the Chief Justice, through his counsel, has agreed to open these accounts.  It is very clear from the admission of counsel, and it’s up now to the court to require when these accounts should be opened because consent has been given by the account holder.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we are ready to take up the Business for the Day, but I understand that it is the sentiment of the court that the Senate President read the ruling.

Senator Trillanes wishes to be recognized, Mr. President, before that.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from …

SEN. TRILLANES.  From Caloocan SEN. TRILLANES.  And Bicol, Mr. President, thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … and the Republic of the Philippines, …

SEN. TRILLANES.  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … Senator Trillanes.

SEN. TRILLANES.  .  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

I would like to wait for the answer to the questions of Senator Jinggoy Estrada, and Senators Allan and Pia Cayetano, who are the Senators you are referring to?

ATTY. ROY.  I am sorry, Your Honor, the information we received had nothing to do with the identities of the Senators, Your Honor, but was simply that—it was simply that the Executive Secretary was contacting some members of this court, and that supposedly …

SEN. TRILLANES.  Yesterday, I saw the press conference and you were so sure about your information.  And it is completely unfair to the members of this body.  So, I would like to know …

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, I assure you, I would try to be of help but I simply do not have a name for you because there was none that was given to us.

SEN. TRILLANES.  So, with that, Mr. President, I move that the members of the defense panel be made to explain why they won’t be cited for contempt of this impeachment court, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any objection?  (Silence)  The members of the defense panel will submit an explanation within—how many days do you need?

ATTY. ROY.  May we have until the end of the week, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Granted.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Misamis Oriental.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Atty. Roy knows the principle that the client is bound by the manifestations or agreements of counsel.  Client is even bound by the mistakes of counsel.

ATTY. ROY.  That is right, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  So, I will give you a chance to explicate yourself from the admission that you made to this court through the questioning of Senator Judge Frank Drilon.

So, do you confirm the statement that you are—that the client, your client is consenting through you, to the opening of his dollar bank accounts?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, I confirm that the client has told us that he will release the information in due course.  He did not authorize us to do it for him, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  So, he will do it personally and in due course.

ATTY. ROY.  I suppose, that is what he mentioned.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  That is your safety mechanism.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, as you know, you yourself, a student of the law, we are not authorized to compromise our client beyond, …

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Yes.

ATTY. ROY.  … that which we have allowed us to do.

The statement was quites simple, “Relax lang po, Mr. President, kung yun lang ang pinoproblema nyo, wag po kayong mag-apura …

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Dahil …

ATTY. ROY.  Bubuksan po naman lahat yan ng Punong Mahistrado.”

Iyon po ang statement na—we were authorized to make.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  And of course, and qualified with the manifestations you have made today.

So, okay, we will just—we will refer to the TSN, as to the extent of the concessions, the extent of the admissions that you have made today.

ATTY. ROY.  Let me be clear, Your Honor.  This is the way we understood our instructions.  The Chief Justice has informed us and authorized us to announce …

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Okay.

ATTY. ROY.  …that he will disclose the bank accounts, himself, at the appropriate time.  That is what we mean by in due course, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Okay.  Let us leave at that.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we are ready for the ruling of the court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.

The Chair would like to make a statement, if you recall, there was an issue that arose out of the issuance by the Supreme Court of a temporary restraining order, upon petition of the Philippine Savings Bank, with respect to the disclosure of alleged foreign currency bank accounts of the respondent Chief Justice, in the Philippine Savings Bank.  And when that news reached this Presiding Officer, he made an appeal that we take heed of the alleged ruling or order of the highest court of the land.  And some Members of this court suggested or advanced the opinion that the Supreme Court cannot exercise review, judicial review, jurisdiction over this court’s proceedings.  And because of that, the Chair opted to submit the matter to the consideration of the impeachment court in a caucus today at 12 noon.  And this matter was thoroughly discussed.  All Members of the court were present, either in person or through their representations, formal representations, and each Member of the court explained his or her position and a vote was taken on this matter.  The Chair opted to divide the court, meaning to ask for a vote and the result was 13 Members of the court opted to respect the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court on this particular issue regarding the matter raised by the Philippine Savings Bank with respect to the alleged foreign currency deposit of respondent in that bank.  And I would like to read formally the resolution of this court on this particular issue.

“The Senate asserts that it has the sole and exclusive jurisdiction to try and decide impeachment cases, all impeachment cases.  This is very clear under Paragraph 6 Section 3 of Article 11 of the 1987 Constitution.  After a deliberation on the issue, the majority of this court has decided to respect the temporary restraining order dated 09 February 2012, issued by the Supreme Court in the case filed with the Philippine Savings Bank insofar as the foreign currency deposit accounts are concerned..  Meaning, that we will respect the temporary restraining order of the court, as far as deposits falling under Republic Act 6426 but not under Republic Act 1405 which refers to local currency deposits because of the exception there contained.

Nevertheless, the Senate reserves the right to vigorously defend before the Supreme Court, the issuance of the subpoenas for the banks, for the foreign currency bank deposit accounts.  The Senate, acting as an impeachment court in the trial of the Honorable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona of the Supreme Court, is prepared to argue its case on the merits and to defend the legal and public policy basis underlying its ruling about the said subpoenas.

SO ORDERED.

Majority Floor Leader.  Is the prosecution prepared to proceed with the trial?

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, before we do so, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes.

SEN. SOTTO. …  a number of members of the court would wish to have the names of those who voted in favor and against of the temporary restraining order be read.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may …

SEN. SOTTO. So, with your permission.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may proceed to read the voting or the vote of each member of the Court.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Those who voted to respect the February 9 temporary restraining order of the Supreme Court are: Arroyo, Defensor-Santiago, Villar, Recto, Escudero, Pimentel, Legarda, Honasan, Revilla, Marcos, Sotto, Estrada and the Senate President.

Those who voted otherwise: Drilon, Cayetano, Allan, Osmeña, Angara, Lacson, Cayetano-Pia, Pangilinan, Trillanes, Lapid and Guingona. For the record, Mr. President.

Senator Guingona wishes to be recognized and then, Senator Pimentel, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Gentleman from Bukidnon, Senator Guingona.

SEN. GUINGONA.   Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, lumabas na rin iyong boto at nais ko lang pong magsabi at ipahayag ang damdamin ng mga kababayan natin matapos na nagkonsulta ako tungkol sa botong nangyari. Dalawa pong nararamdaman nila, Ginoong Pangulo. Una, pangamba, fear, worry. Pangalawa po, pagkabigo, disappointment, frustration, bordering on despair, Mr. President. Bakit pangamba? Sapagkat mayroon pong TRO ngayon na pinagbabawal ang pagtingin sa iilang mga bank accounts ng nasasakdal. At mayroon pang ibang TRO, may isa pang TRO na nasa Korte Suprema.. Ano daw po, ang tanong nila, ang pipigil sa Korte Suprema na magpalabas ng pangalawa, pangatlo? Later on, kahit anong galaw natin dito, pwede silang tumakbo sa Korte Suprema. Pang-apat na TRO, hanggang sa mawalang bisa ang impeachment court.

Pangalawa po, Ginoong Pangulo, pagkabigo. Eto na naman tayo, ayaw na namang ipakita ang buong larawan. Ayaw na naman tayong bigyang access sa katotohanan, bigo at pangangamba. May dahilan pa po ba para hindi yumuko sa susunod itong impeachment court sa mga TRO na ibabato sa atin? At hindi daw po kaya ang TRO ay isa na naman, isa na namang paggamit ng teknikalidad ng batas para pahirapan ang paghahanap ng katotohanan? Hindi ba ito magkakaresulta sa bankruptcy, bankruptcy of accountability, bankruptcy of transparency? Mahirap tanggapin na magiging bankrupt ang buong prosesong ito sa transparency at accountability.

Ginoong Pangulo, iginagalang ko po ang aking mga kapwa-senador- hukom, at iginagalang ko ang desisyon ng nakakarami Pero mahalaga po na kahit sa ilang sandali ay madinig sa Bulwagang ito ang  damdamin ng ating mga kababayan.  Damdamin ng pangamba, damdamin ng pagkabigo, ng isa na namang malaking pagkabigo sa paghahanap ng katotohanan.

Marami pong salamat, Ginoong Pangulo

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Pimentel, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Misamis Oriental.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Thank you, Mr. President.

I voted to respect that particular and specific TRO dated February 9, 2012, but subject to the impeachment court’s modification that said TRO refers only to foreign currency deposit accounts.

Since the TRO is only temporary, and for the meantime, only, there is no great damage to be suffered from respecting it, also, in the meantime only.  And in that meantime, the Senate will also vigorously defend it sole power to try and decide the impeachment cases before the Supreme Court.  The matter of jurisdiction will be raised by the Senate before the Supreme Court.  But I have noticed the attempt of the Supreme Court to enjoined the implementation of the entire Subpoena dated February 6, 2012, including peso accounts.  Hence, the need to modify the wording of the TRO to be respected.

May I, therefore, appeal to the Supreme Court to right or craft their decisions, resolutions, or orders very carefully, clearly, and accurately.  But what ultimately swayed my vote to respect the said TRO is that, I agree with the preliminary reading of the Supreme Court majority that foreign currency deposit accounts are of an absolute confidential nature.  But I am still hoping that on the final disposition of the PS Bank case, the Supreme Court will respect the constitutional power of the Senate to be the sole trier and judge of the impeachment cases.  Because if the Supreme Court does not—we will cross the bridge when we get there.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Trillanes, earlier, ask for the floor, then Senator Cayetano Pia, Senator Pangilinan and Senator Allan Cayetano, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. TRILLANES.  Thank you, Mr. President.

I voted not to abide by the TRO of the Supreme Court and this is my explanation.

We, the graduates of the Philippine Military Academy, are not taught to be saints.  We don’t even pretend to be one.  And we don’t even pretend to be self-righteous.  But when faced with the dilemma involving our work as public servants, we have been trained to always seek the moral high ground.  The issue we faced is not a constitutional crisis but immoral crises.

On one hand, the Supreme Court, who, through their TRO, threw that concept of judicial restraint out the window and intervened in the affairs of the Senate as an impeachment court to protect and cover up for one of their own.  On the other hand, the Senate who is merely performing their mandate as clearly defined by the Constitution.  To the ordinary Filipino, the choice is very clear, the Senate should not be a party to a policy that would provide sanctuary to alleged law breakers.  Moreover, as a former soldier, I was thought to obey a lawful orders.  This TRO, in my uncomplicated mind, that of a soldier, this is an unlawful order.

With that, Mr. President, while I respect the decision of the majority I firmly believe that the Senate missed the opportunity to stand on moral high ground in this issue.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We respect the opinion of the Gentleman but all of these will unravel in due time.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Pia Cayetano and then—she has withdrawn, therefore, Senator Pangilinan and Senator Alan Cayetano, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Pampanga.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Just to abbreviate the proceedings, I will just manifest that I will submit a written explanation of my no vote for the record.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who else?

SEN. CAYETANO.  Mr. President, in casting my vote this afternoon, I did not get a P100 million in cash nor in projects but I did have a P100 million reasons to vote that way.  Mabigat po ang desisyon.  Since Thursday afternoon sinabi ko hindi muna ako mag-iisip pero noong Friday, Saturday, Sunday po talagang inisip ko, ipinagdasal, dinisern, kasi bilang abogado napakahirap magdesisyon kung mag-a-abide or kung rerespetuhin ang isang TRO.  Hindi po sapat ang ilang minuto para i-discuss ang napakabigat na isyu so baka katulad ni Senator Kiko Pangilinan ay magbigay na lang po kami ng extended written explanation.  Ngunit gjusto ko pong banggitin na we took into consideration the law, meaning the Constitution, existing laws, jurisprudence, iyon pong mga desisyon ng Supreme Court, hindi lang po ng Pilipinas kasi kokonti pa lang po ang impeachment proceedings natin kung hindi iyong nangyari sa Amerika.  Sa isang banda po sinasabi na pag hindi nirespeto ang Supreme Court, masisira ang rule of law.  Sinasabi po na ito ay huling takbuhan po ng mga gustong protektahan ang kanilang karapatan.  Pero tama din po ang sinabi ng isang Senador kanina sa caucus na ang impeachment court ay huling takbuhan ng mamamayan kung merong napakataas na posisyon o nanunungkalan na kailangan alisin.  Nakakalimutan po yata natin na isang Chief Justice, isang miyembro ng Supreme Court ang ating trina-try ngayon at nagkakaroon na ng pag-iisip ang ating mga kababayan na ang Supreme Court po ay sila ay may tulungan pagdating dito sa impeachment.

I don’t want to cast any doubt upon the Supreme Court that is why I was hoping after asking last Thursday the witness, Mr. Garcia, kung walang TRO ilalabas mo ba iyong accounts?  Ang sagot niya, hindi.  Meaning kahit hindi nagbigay ng TRO ang Supreme Court, hindi pa rin naman ilalabas dito.  So I was hoping they would not issue a TRO even if they would go on with the case.  But to expound, Mr. President, why I voted that way, totoo po the highest court ang Supreme Court, the court of last resort.  Pero madalas nating sabihin ang impeachment court ay the very least sintaas or equal or some will say higher in the sense that pwedeng kasuhan ang buong Supreme Court, pwedeng lahat ng miyembro i-impeach, pwedeng paisa-isa.  So at the least, Mr. President, we all agree na pagdating po sa matters of impeachment, that should be left completely to the impeachment court.

We have agreed po that all of us who graduated law school after the 1987 Constitution understand the expanded jurisdiction.  Iyong parating binabanggit na grave abuse of discretion leading to lack or excess of jurisdiction.  Pero tinuturo din po sa atin na hindi nawala iyong political question doctrine—na kung klaro na sa isang ahensya ng gobyerno o isang body o isang instrumentality ang kapangyarihan na iyon hindi dapat panghimasukan ng Korte Suprema.  Meron pong tinuro sa amin noong mahilig pa po tayo sa mga debate clubs in high school, in college iyon pong argumentum ad absurdum.  You bring the argument to the absurd so that you will understand whether or not that argument is plausible.  The court agreed, pag pinatigil ang hearing hindi pwede gawin ng Supreme Court iyan.  The court also agreed that iyong desisyun natin ay hindi pwedeng baguhin o ibahin ng Supreme Court.  Ang pinag-uusapan po natin interlocutory orders.  Kung pwede po or mga points of law ay pwede mag-isyu ng TRO ang Supreme Court.  Ang sabi po ng majority pwede.  So let me bring the argument to the absurd.  What if the only ground to impeach a President, a Comelec chairman, Chairman of COA or a Supreme Court Justice was a dollar account.  Then the TRO will practically stop the whole impeachment proceeding.

Or what if one party suddenly decides each and every subparagraph, we will go to the Supreme Court for a TRO.  And what if the Supreme Court issues a TRO, Three TROs a week, two TROs a week, one TRO a week.  Hindi ba meron tayong doktrina sa batas what we cannot do directly, we cannot do indirectly?  We cannot say later on we will abide by this one, we will not abide by this one.

We have to face squarely the issue of jurisdiction.  Does the Supreme Court have jurisdiction in matters of impeachment cases?  And you have to look them in the eye and tell them, this is not a disrespect.  Hindi nyo field ito.  Hindi nyo po sakop ito dahil pag sinabi po nating sakop nila ito, they can practically stop the Impeachment Court.

So let me borrow po from a good friend, sinabi niya po ito sa kanyang church, si Pastor Boy Castillo, sabi niya, ang TRO ay dapat truth, respect, obedience.  Ito pong impeachment is search for the truth.  Hindi ito criminal case.  Hindi po makukulong ang respondent dito.  Ang pinag-uusapan dito, fitness, kung karapat-dapat.

Dapat po dito pagkatapos ng trial dalawa lang resulta, either klaro sa atin na hindi siya fit at tanggalin siya, or klaro sa atin na fit siya at lahat tayo’y suportahan siya bilang Chief Justice.  Respect those two ways, Mr. President.

We should respect the Supreme Court, yes, but did they respect us by suddenly issuing the TRO even if they could have taken judicial notice?  Ba’t hindi rin naman ibibigay ng presidente ng PS Bank.

E tayo po bumoto pa tayo na hwag ipatawag ang Justices dito.  And then, they will issue a TRO just like that.  Lastly, obedience.  Obedience to the rule of law.

We are under scrutiny here.  Binabantayan tayo kahit anong maging desisyon natin dito, may sasang-ayon, merong hindi sa atin.

But the question is, obedience to what law which will lead us to truth?  Will the TRO help us to find out what’s in that dollar accounts or will it hinder?

So, this is my humble submission, Mr. President, and that’s why I voted—my vote really was that to uphold the jurisdiction of this Impeachment Court that the Supreme Court does not have any jurisdiction or it is a political question.  They cannot issue TROs or orders that will in one way or the other affect how we try and how we decide this case.

Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Pia Cayetano, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The distinguished Lady Senator from Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Mr. President, if I had my choice, I would not have wanted this to come to a vote.  In the trial last week, I had hoped that one of the witnesses would, on his own, after contemplating and thinking of the repercussions of his refusal to provide the information on the foreign deposit, would come here voluntarily to disclose the same.  But given that the decision of the majority was to bring this to a vote, I chose to cast my vote in favour of defying the TRO.

Mr. President, I based my decision on the following:

I think it is very clear to all of us that we are very young in terms of our jurisprudence when it comes to impeachment.  We really have no form cases to base our decisions upon.  What we have is a constitutional provision that states that the Senate is the body that is charged to try all cases of impeachment.

So we look to the US as we do in many similar cases.  And there is a US Supreme Court, Nixon vs. United States.  In this case, Mr. President, a United States Federal Judge was convicted of federal crimes and was sentenced to prison.  After that, the House of Representatives, adopted articles of impeachment and proceeded with the impeachment.  He was impeached and the case was presented to the Senate.  Judge Nixon then questioned the Senate proceedings.  It then went to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court ruled.  The Supreme Court ruled that there are reasons why the Judiciary has no role in impeachment.  The Supreme Court stated that the framers of the Constitution recognize that there would possibly be two sets of proceeding.  One would be a criminal trial, which, in this case, the judge faced, and an impeachment trial.

And therefore, the criminal trial already called for judicial interference, in fact, judicial supremacy.  But the impeachment trial called for the impeachment court to be the sole judge.

The respondent, Judge Nixon, argued that judicial review is necessary in order to place check and balances on the legislature.  He feared that the Senate, if the Senate is given unreviewable authority to interpret the impeachment trial clause, there would be a grave risk that the Senate will usurp judicial power.

On this matter, the Supreme Court ruled, the framers of the Constitution anticipated this objection and created two constitutional safeguards to keep the Senate in check.  The first safeguard is that the whole of the impeachment power is divided between the two legislative bodies, with the House, given the right to accuse, and the Senate, given the right to judge.  This split of authority avoids the inconvenience of making the same person, both accuser and judge, and guards against the danger of persecution from the prevalency of a fictitious spirit of either of those—of a factious spirit, in either of those branches.

The second safeguard is the two-thirds super majority vote required, and that is the same requirement that we have under our Philippine Constitution.

Finally, Mr. President, I just like to mention that there are lengthy discussions, and I have taken the time to read the Federal impeachment process, a constitutional and historical analysis by Michael Gerhard, wherein it states, “Judicial review of such an impeachment procedure would undermine the impeachment’s effectiveness as a check on executive, and especially, judicial abuse of power.

Judicial review of the impeachment process would give judges the last word on the propriety of the procedure for their own removal, and thus, the chance to make their own or their colleague’s removal, virtually impossible, by ensuring that Congress could achieve such outcomes, only through the most complex and time-consuming ways.

I have many more interesting points that I can put on record, but I think, I have covered the most important ones and I thank the Senate President, for the time to put on record my sentiments on the matter.

Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President.  Senator …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Chair would like make a statement apropo to the statement of the Lady Senator from Taguig.

I agree with what you stated, Madam Senator, but I would like to put on record that those pronouncements and decisions are based on the text of the United States Federal government.  They are unlike the provisions of our Constitution.  And I am sure, that if those scholars and judges would have decided the cases, in the light of our present Constitution, the 1987 Constitution, I am not sure that they would make those pronouncement as you have recited there.

And I just want to put that into the record, in order to guide future scholars and future lawyers and future historians to study this matter very carefully because while there are precedents in the United States, along the lines you stated, those precedents are based on American law, and not on Philippine Constitutional law.

Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Lady from Iloilo.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Thank you.

We are in the process of explaining our individual votes.  I have already announced to the media, priorly, that I was going to vote, in favour of obedience to the TRO for the following grounds.

Now, I will try to summarize them very quickly, under law, there is such a thing as a last clear chance doctrine.  If both parties are at fault, perhaps in automobile collision, but one party had the last clear chance to avoid the collision but did not take that chance, then he is the one who is at fault.

Today, we have a TRO issued by the Supreme Court against the impeachment court.  The Supreme Court is what its name implies.  The supreme court.  This, by contrast, is just the high court of impeachment.  If we will not obey the TRO, then we are engaged in a collision course.  And it is now for the Senate to avail of the last clear chance to avoid a collision which will naturally result in a constitutional collision.  That is the first argument.

The second argument, is this, under the 1987 Constitution, the Supreme Court is vested with judicial power.  There are two components of judicial power.  One, is the power to decide justiciable issues.  Two, another component peculiar only to the Philippine Constitution is, that the Supreme court has power, over political questions.  In that manner, therefore, the 1987 Constitution has already abolished the political question doctrine which is still observed in other democracies like ours, particularly in the United States.  So, if that is the case, then the Supreme Court has a more comprehensive extent of judicial power than that possessed by the United States Supreme Court because of this constitutional provision…The case of Mitchell vs. United States Involved a federal judge, who under American law is authorized to be impeached by the Senate.  Here, we do not have that system.  Therefore, the ruling in US vs. Mitchell does not apply to the Philippine jurisdiction.  It is, of course, a valid decision to be cited in American law but not in Philippine law because our constitutional provision is markedly different.

Third ground.  The secrecy of foreign currency deposits law is a child of this Congress.  We passed that law and said the secrecy of foreign currency deposits is absolute except, and only except, when the depositor himself gives his consent.  We made that tradition, sole, alone and by itself.  We made that law.  Now, are we going to break that law?  Lawmakers cannot  be law breakers.

Fourth ground.  The theory of checks and balances prohibits this impeachment court from claiming an exception unto itself.  Under the theory of separation of powers, there are three branches of our government as enumerated in our Constitution.  There is no specific provision in the Constitution that our governmental system is divided into three branches.  But you can imply it from the fact that our three separate and successive articles in our Constitution headed with the title the Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch, and then the Judicial Branch.  So, by implication, we imply that our government has three branches.  Now, under the system of checks and balances of a tripartite system of government, each branch has power to check or to modify the actions of other branches.  That is the system of checks and balances.  Even the Supreme Court is not final in its decisions.  This Congress, for example, can go against the brain of a Supreme Court decision and in that way overrule or overturn the decision of the Supreme Court.  Who are we that we should claim an exemption from the principle of checks and balances which underlies the very system of government under which we operate?  Who are we?  Is the impeachment court illimitable?  Are the powers of the impeachment court infinite?  Are we almighty, above all the three other branches of government?   ..We are not even mentioned in a separate article.  We are the impeachment court mentioned only under the article concerning accountability of public officers.  So, if we do not recognize the Supreme Court, who, therefore, do we recognize, nobody?  Nobody is checking the impeachment court, is that your theory?

Fifth ground.  Disobedience to the TRO violates the defendants human rights.  The separation of powers doctrine was invented to protect the individual and his rights or in other words, his human rights.  So, it becomes a question of how much judicial review should the Supreme Court exercise over the impeachment court.  I humbly submit that it should not be full judicial review that it can check us at any point.  Those are the nightmares of someone who is not educated in the democratic process. I humbly submit that the Supreme Court has the power to exercise the most minimum judicial review. Who decides what is the most minimum judicial review?  The impeachment court.

Finally, sixth ground. In, at least, two previous cases, the Supreme Court has already ruled that has power of judicial review over impeachment cases. These are the two cases of Francisco V. Nagmamalasakit, decided in 2003, and this very new case of Guitierrez versus House of Representatives. If that is the case, then, it’s all on judicial precedent. It is already a standing rule in law.

Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO. Okay, Mr. President, Senator  Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada wishes to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from San Juan and President pro tempore of the Senate.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, I voted to uphold the TRO of the Supreme Court.

Mr. President, my family has been the victim of the past administration for not upholding the rule of law. In so many instances, in various instances, Mr. President, even the Supreme Court created a special court, designed solely to convict former President Estrada, but, Mr. President, we have always respected and abided by the decision of the court whether it is adverse or not.

Mr. President, I am considered to be an ally of President Aquino. We have been very supportive of his projects, but my primary concern here is the welfare of the administration of President Aquino. Can our country afford a constitutional crisis? Can our country afford political instability? Can our country afford a clash between the Legislative and the Judiciary? Mr. President, my answer is no. We want to see President Aquino succeed in his dreams for our country.

Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO. Senator Chiz Escudero, finally, Mr. President.

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

REP. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, I voted with the Majority to issue the subpoena insofar as the bank records are concerned, both local and foreign. I still stand by that decision, Mr. President.

I believe the TRO issued by the Supreme Court is wrong, however, the place which logged it out is not here, but in the Supreme Court. Hindi naman ho tayo mga tambay sa kalye na pwede tayong magpatigasan ng mukha dahil hindi tayo nagkakasundo. Ang tamang lugar para ipaglaban na tayo ay tama ay sa Korte Suprema na siyang nag-issue ng desisyon. Hindi po dito para pag-banggain ang dalawang institusyon ng ating pamahalaan.

Mr. President, I am saddened by the fact that we even had to put this to a vote. Labis ang aking kalungkutan na kailangan pa bang pagbotohan ito, ang katanungang: Susundin ba natin ang desisyon ng korte o hindi? Natatakot at nanganganib ako na baka mamaya gayahin tayo ng ibang Sanggunian sa buong bansa. Paano na lamang kung ang Sanggunian Panlalawigan, bayan o siyudad ng ibang probinsiya, munisipyo at siyudad sabihin: “Tingin naming namin mali ang desisyon ng korte, pagbotohan nga natin kung susunod tayo o hindi dahil mali iyan, illegal iyan.”

As a student of the law, Mr. President, tama man o mali ang desisyon, tinuran po kami na sumunod at ipaglaban na lamang ang aming karapatan sa loob ng korte, hindi sumuway, dahil ang kapalit po niyan anarkiya sa ating bansa at karapatan at kapangyarihan para sa bawat isa sa atin, piliin alin ang desisyong susundin, alin ang desisyon na hindi susundin.

Mr. President, when we speak of morality and doing what is right, I am of the firm belief that in our search for the truth, this does not in anyway give us any right to violate the law. Sa paghahanap natin ng katotohanan, wala naman siguro tayong lisensiyang lumabag sa batas at hindi sumunod sa utos ng korte. Sa paghahanap ng katotohanan, bakit tayo tutulad sa kanila na walang pakundangan kung ilabag ang batas? Kung pag-uusapan po natin kung ano ang tama at mali, dapat dito tayo tumayo. dito tayo naiiba doon sa iba na walang pakundangan kung labagin ang batas, tama man o mali dahil kahit gaano kaganda ang ating motibo, wala tayong lisensiyang lumabag sa ano mang batas na tayo mismo ang pumasa. Bilang solusyon, Mr. President, Your Honors, ang akin pong nais ipanukala ay una, to hold to task and hold to their word the defense and the respondent, as well as their counsels, in their promise to reveal, in the course of the trial, these bank deposits and bank accounts.

Secondly, Mr. President, Your Honor, we have a Senate Bill, Senate Bill No. 107, which is containing a Committee Report No. 2, the second committee report to be filed before plenary, in this Chamber, and I hope our colleagues in the House will support this, too.  It is a simple bill, Mr. President.  It mandates that all public officials required to file SALN, shall, together with their SALN execute a waiver insofar as the secrecy of bank deposits are concerned.  Perhaps, this is the best time, this is the right time to remind our colleagues, both in House and in the Senate, to pass this long overdue bill.  So, once and for all, we will be able to do  this legally and should this occur again, we will be empowered and would have the arms and the necessary mechanisms in order to exact the truth not only for many respondents but from our banks as well.

As a final point, Mr. President, Your Honor, lahat tayo ayaw ng may daga sa loob ng bahay natin kahit gaano man kalaki or kaliit ang dagang iyon.  Pero sa kagustuhan nating hulihin iyong daga, wala nama siguro tayong lisensya na sunugin ang buong bahay, idamay ang ibang institusyon, idamay ang ibang tao na wala naman pong kinalaman dito.

Our vote does not and cannot be compared with respect to the other votes of the Senate insofar as hiding the truth is concerned, only that, we want to do it properly.  We want to do it in accordance with law, and at the end of the day, we hope that we will  be able to still  find the truth.  Legally, respecting everybody’s rights and in accordance with the Constitution and our laws.

Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Mr. Majority Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Legarda wished to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentle Lady from Antique, from Malabon, and the Republic of the Philippines.

SEN. LEGARDA.   Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, it is my belief that the Senate has the sole jurisdiction over the impeachment trial.  That, we have no question.  However, regarding the law covering currency foreign deposit, we must respect and implement the law unless and until we amend it.  This action of the Senate, of the Majority, does not, at all, give the Supreme Court jurisdiction over the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.  We are simply following the law which this institution created.

The law clearly states that only when the depositor allows the opening of the account can it be opened.  The respondent, through counsel, already committed to submit his FCD account to the impeachment court last week, to the media, and in the court, today.  Kung hindi po natin susundin ang batas na ginawa natin, paano po natin sasabihin sa iba na sundin ang ating mga batas kung ang Senado mismo ang lumalabag po nito.

Sa puntong ito, hindi po masusupil ang katotohanan dahil sinabi ng defense counsel na bubuksan nila ng kusa ang dollar account, and we take their commitment.  Pinili ko pong sundin ang ating batas at ang pagsunod po sa ating batas.  Hopefully, ang magiging daan sa ating katotohanan.

Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Manny Villar, Mr. President wishes to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Las Piñas, former President of this Chamber has the floor.

SEN. VILLAR.  Maraming salamat po, Mahal na Pangulo.

Marami po tayong pinag-uusapan sa larangan ng batas, subalit ako po talaga ay nasa kaisipan na hindi naman natin dapat balewalain ang ating ekonomiya dahil ang atin pong mahihirap ay talaga pong tuloy-tuloy ang nangyayaring paghihirap.  Tumataas po ang presyo ng bilihin, dumadami ang mga walang trabaho.  Kaya kahit papaano hindi ho pwedeng hindi natin sulyapan—Ano ba ang FCD o ang Foreign Currency Deposit?  Iyan po ay $31 billion  na po iyan o P1.3 trillion.  Iyan po ay kaya pinangangalagaan ng bangko sentral ay para naman maging stable po an gating ekonomiya at hindi po basta-basta natin dapat e isugal iyan, wika nga.  Kung magkakaroon po ng problema ang FCDU, magkaka-bank run po iyan, e, napakalaki pong tama sa ating ekonomiya.  Marami po sa atin dito mayayaman, hindi po maaapektuhan, subalit iyong milyong-milyong mahihirap na naman po na wala namang kinalaman dito sa ating pinaguusapan na diretso, iyon na naman po ang tatamaan.  Kelangan po ba naman, matanong kop o, kelangan po ba naman na talagang labagin natin iyong batas diyan.  Sa aking palagay hindi naman kasi kailangan.  Maliwanag naman po na sinabi nga po ng ating defense na ilalabas naman.  Sinabi naman po na hindi naman natin kailangang banggain ang Supreme Court.  Pangalawa po ako ay natatakot din.  Baka po wala tayong takbuhan.  Iyon pong sa ating hangarin, sa harangin po ng iba na ma-impeach ang ating Chief Justice ay marami pong institusyon ang nawawasak na po.  Baka pati Supreme Court masama na diyan.  Natatakot po ako doon sa mga maliliit na balang araw o malalaki na balang araw ay maaagrabiyado.  Saan sila po tatakbo  kung ang Supreme Court po ay nawalan na ng karangalan at nabastos na?  Kaya ako po ay naniniwala na hanggat maaari kung kaya naman nating gawing patas itong trial na ito na hindi natin babastusin ang ating Supreme Court ay bakit naman hindi po natin gawin.  Ako naman po naniniwala sa aking sarili kaya kong magdesisyon dito hindi lamang naman ang tanging basehan iyong FCDU account.   Napakaraming basehan para kung i-impeach natin o i-acquit si Chief Justice Corona, hindi lamang po ito.  Mahaba pa po ang trial, papakinggan pa po natin ang depensa.  Ang akin lamang hong hangarin, isipin din po natin iyong milyon-milyong mga kababayan natin, lalong maghihirap din pagka ang FCDU po ay nagka bankrun at iyon pong karapatan naman baka balang araw po wala na tayong matakbuhan kung tayo po ay naagrabiyado o nawawalan ng hustisya.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President, may we now proceed with the trial proper.  The last time…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Before that, the Chair would like to announce that he has prepared a written explanation of his vote and he would like to submit this to the Clerk of Court and make it a part of the record for the scrutiny of anybody interested, the whole public who is interested to read the position of the Chair on this issue.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, in the last trial date, it was the turn of the defense to cross-examine the witness of the prosecution then.  So Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago wishes to be recognized at the start of this trial proper, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The gentlelady from Iloilo has the floor.

SEN. DEFENSOR SANTIAGO.  Thank you.  Mr. President, these are questions for the lead prosecutor.  Counsel, do you still recognize me?

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DEFENSOR SANTIAGO.  Thank you.

I am sorry I cannot give you full time to explain your answers at length but you see we are under time constraints, I only have two minutes.

Question one, one of the cardinal rules in trial technique is, do not ask a question if you do not know what the answer is.  You have been raising many questions on bank deposits with bank officials.  You’ll be now ready to answer this question.  Excluding foreign currency because of the Supreme Court actuations here, what is your estimate in Philippine pesos of the total bank deposits of the defendant?  Remember?  You should know the answers to the questions you’ve been raising.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes.

SEN. DEFENSOR SANTIAGO.  Magkano?

REP. TUPAS.  So far for 2010 we discovered P31 million, Your Honor.  For 2007, we discovered around P5 or P7 million.  But in 2007, the cash that was declared in the SALN  is only P2.7.  In 2010, Your Honor, we discovered P31 million in cash but the cash declared in SALN was only P3.5 million.

SEN. DEFENSOR SANTIAGO. So let us make that our working estimate.  The prosecution’s estimate which is not of course binding is about P31 million in the bank deposits of the defendant.  Now, I ask you personally, what is your proposed benchmark for a total peso amount deposited in a bank or banks that would constitute evidence of betrayal of public trust?  Ano sa tingin mo?  Kung

Hwag lang yung dolyar dahil may Supreme Court ruling tayo doon.  Sa pesos, ano sa tingin mo ang dapat na minimum na sabihin mong may betrayal of public trust, public official man o hindi.  Mga ano kaya?

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, ang tingin ko dito, pag sobra sa dineclare nya don sa SALN.  Kasi dinedeclare niya lang ng 3.5, pag sobra doon ay that would already constitute betrayal of public trust.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Sobra by how much?  Halibawa, a few pesos di, natural, you can excuse that, by how much?  So in other words give me a benchmark figure.  Just lash it out of the air.

REP. TUPAS.  Ngayon,  Ngayon po yung pinapakita naming 31 million …

SEN. SANTIAGO.  31 million.

REP. TUPAS.  … that would already be a clear case of betrayal of public trust.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Betrayal of public trust.  All right.

There is a saying, those who come to court must come to court with clean hands.  Hindi ba dapat lahat tayo dito na participants ng Kongreso sa Impeachment Court ay dapat suriin natin ang mga kunsenya natin at mga budhi natin, meron ba tayong 35 million lahat-lahat?  Pati tong mga taga-pakinig sa gallery, meron ba kayong mga 35 million sa bangko?  E may betrayal of public trust pala kayo kung ganon yon.

Ang punto ko diyan ay ganito, hindi mo masabi kung magkanong benchmark mo for betrayal of public trust in quantifiable amounts, because it will depend how old is the person, how many children did he have to send to school in support, what is his record of accomplishments in his profession, is his wife working, etc. etc.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor please.  If I may be allowed to explain

SEN. SANTIAGO.  This is my two minutes, you see.

REP. TUPAS.  Okay, go ahead.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  You can also stop me after awhile.

Under the Anti-Money Laundering Council may investigate any deposit in a bank upon order of a court and establish that there is probable cause of an unlawful activity.  That is the provision of law.

Now my question to you is, has this counsel made such an investigation into the bank deposits of the defendant, answer, yes or no?

REP. TUPAS.  No.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  No.

REP. TUPAS.  This counsel, no.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  No, no.  Not you.  I mean do you know if the Anti-Money Laundering Council has asked a court to examine the bank deposits of defendant?  Because if it did not, then there is no probable cause.  It seems very much like that.

REP. TUPAS.  We are not aware of that, Your Honor.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Okay.  Now answer this question.  What is evidence on motion?  Evidence on motion.  Define.

I will supply the answer.  Evidence in motion is evidence that is not given inside the court.  It is given outside the court.  There are two lawyers there from each of the panels, there’s a clerk of court from this court, and a stenographer, and you ask exactly the same questions that you would ask in court.  Except that you don’t take the time of the court by doing it in the courtroom but outside the courtroom.  That is also called a deposition.

Kaya ang punto ko dito ay, ba’t hindi ka mag-evidence on motion para matapos na ito?

Question No. 3, under the Doctrine of the Judicial Precedent, pag merong kaso ang Korte Suprema, yang kaso na yan, pwedeng gagawing—how do you say—a compulsory.  If there is one case decided by the Supreme Court, all other cases in a certain category must be decided in the same way as that case.  That is called the Doctrine of Judicial Precedent.

Question, what is the determining criterion for the applicability of judicial precedent?  That’s very easy to answer.

REP. TUPAS.  Where the issues in the party should be the same.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  That’s right.  Correct.  A precedent is a judicial decision which contains inside itself a principle.

Ang probelma natin dito ay na, you cite a case only for its ratio decidendi and not for its obiter dictum.  What is the ratio decidendi of this case?

REP. TUPAS.  It’s the meat of the case.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  It becomes applicable to all?

REP. TUPAS.  Yes.  That’s the meat of the case as compared to obiter dictum …

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Excuse me?

REP. TUPAS.  It is the meat of the case.  The reason or rational is the ratio decidendi.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  It is …

REP. TUPAS.  The reason.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  … reason …

REP. TUPAS.  Yes.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  … for the rule in that case.  What is obiter dictum?

REP. TUPAS.  Well, it is just cite of the case but it does not decide the case.  It’s outside of the …

SEN. SANTIAGO.  It’s also persuasive but it is not as significant or as vital as the ratio decidendi, right?  So we are taught in law school, when you cite a case, cite the ratio decidendi of that case.  Do not cite the obiter dicta of that case, because obiter dicta is just like saying in plain English, by the way, di ba?

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, yes.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Ngayon, patunayan mo sa akin, ratio decidendi ba ang binigay mo doon sa kaso ng Salvacion, China Banking and Ejercito, that the prosecution cited as its cases so that the foreign currency deposits of the defendant should be opened?

Yung ang argument mo e.  Inutos na yan noong Korte Suprema, di sundin natin.  But were you citing the ratio decidendi or not?

REP. TUPAS.  If I may explain, can I explain, Your Honor.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Please answer—very short as possible, because, you know …

REP. TUPAS.  We cited that case because that was one of the instances wherein the Supreme Court made an exception.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Huwag mong i-cite ang ratio decidendi.  If we had cited a ratio decidendi, di sasagot ka ngayon sa akin ng oo.  Nagpapaliwanag ka pa eh.

Ngayon, sa Salvacion kamo kanina, judicial precedent applies when the facts are the same, rigt?  Answer this one question, in the case of Salvacion, where the Supreme Court ruled that the foreign currency deposit could be scrutinized, what was the main offense charged?

REP. TUPAS.  It was rape, Your Honor.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Right.

REP. TUPAS.  By a foreigner …

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Is rape by—a stretch of the imagination, the same as impeachment?  Do not answer the question.  China Banking—dito sa China Banking naman, the Supreme Court ruled, “In view of the of the destructive”, meaning to say, destruct the attention, “circumstances attendant to the present case, where constrained to render a limited pro-hac vice ruling.”

What is the meaning counsel of pro-hac vice, counsel?

REP. TUPAS.  Only in this case.  Applicable only in this case.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Iyon lang pala e.  Alam mo naman pala e.  O, alam mo pala na doon sa China Banking, that Supreme Court said, this ruling applies only in this case, and yet you cited it in this case.  O ikaw naman, oo.

Next, Ejercito exception.  The third dollar deposit case is Ejercito vs. Sandigan, remember you replied to me earlier, you said, we can cite the doctrine of judicial precedent if the facts are the same.

Now, in Ejercito, what was the offense there?  Do you remember?

REP. TUPAS.  It was the officials of the Ombudsman, the officials of the Ombudsman—plunder, yes.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  All right.  This is an impeachment case for betrayal of public trust, etc., which is the case for plunder?  No.  O ayan, di nakita mo na.  Iba-iba pala ang pinagsasabi mo e.

Ngayon, iyong Tenggan case which you did not cite in our debate on foreign currency.  In Tenggan, the Supreme Court ruled, under R.A. No. 6426, there is only, a single exception to the secrecy of foreign currency deposits, that is, disclosure is allowed only upon the written permission of the depositor.

What was the subject matter of the case?  In Tenggan.

REP. TUPAS.  We did not cite, Your Honor.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  No.  Foreign currency deposits.

REP. TUPAS.  Foreign currency, yes.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Exactly.  So, there is only one case on record, which is on all force with the facts of this case in the impeachment court.

All your three other cases are absolutely irrelevant and you cannot as judicial precedent.

Ngayon, bilisan ko na lang ito.  The rules of court provides for disputable presumptions.  These are presumptions which are satisfactory if uncontradicted, but they may be contradicted and overcome by other evidence, that is why they are called disputable, the presumption is in favour of one party, but the other party might produce evidence, then, the presumption no longer holds.

One disputable presumption is, that evidence will fully suppress, if evidence adverse, would be adverse, if produced.

According to a long line of cases, this presumption applies only if the suppression is an exercise of a privilege.

In other words, if it does not lie within the discretion along of the defendant, but is related to some national interest, then, the presumption does not apply.

For example, itong pagsasagot sa pagtatanong, e kung wala siyang itinatago, bakit hindi niya ipalabas?  Iyan ang sagot sa batas because he is not allowed to do that by law.  It does not fall exactly on his personal discretion alone.

For example, it is reported that when one bank official justified against President  Estrada, in his impeachment case, her testimony is followed by massive withdrawals from her own bank.  That is a fact.  It is discussed sub rosa, secretly by the banking community dahil takot na takot sila sa bank run.  Iyan ang nangyari.  Mayroon isang opisyal, pumunta dito, dinaldal niya lahat tungkol sa kaso ng akusado noon, lahat ng depositors nila, nag-withdraw.

Now, my question to you is what is your guarantee that insisting a testimony from bank officials will not be followed by a bank run?

REP. TUPAS.  Because this is impeachment, Your Honor.  And we are only asking this because of the impeachment proceeding and respondent Chief Justice, I believe.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  In other words, you have no guarantee, right?  Puwede mo bang magarantya na hindi ito ma-follow ng bank run pag pinilit nating umupo iyong opisyal doon na hala daldal siya ng daldal tungkol sa pera?

REP. TUPAS.  With due respect, Your Honor, there are only few officials who are subject to impeachment.  And our argument is that this should be one of the exceptions to this foreign currency deposit law.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Iyan ang mahirap diyan, iyang mga exception na iyan.  Ngayon, nagmamadali lang kasi ako, pasensya ka na.  Under the rules of evidence, a witness is entitled to certain rights.  Hindi naman sukat umupo sa diyan puwede mong gawin ang gusto mo.  One of these is, I am quoting from the Rules of Court, “not to give an answer which will intend to subject him to a penalty for an offense unless otherwise provided by law.”  Under the foreign currency deposits law, if the bank president refuses to answer a question concerning a foreign currency deposit, will he enter a penalty?

REP. TUPAS.  If there is a justifying circumstance, then, he will not  …

SEN. SANTIAGO.  You are temporizing.  I give you a grade of 3.  In UP as you know, that means three warnings.  I pass you but I warn you.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Question 7.  On the one hand, the Paris Task Force of the International Anti-Money Laundering …. tries to pressure every government to open all its bank deposits to the public.  Dahil iyon ang kanilang mission in life eh.  To avoid people from hiding illegal wealth in bank deposits.  But on the other hand, those in favor of bank secrecy argue that no one will deposit his money in any bank unless confidentiality is guaranteed.  Ilalagay ba natin ang pera natin sa bangko kung hindi tayo sigurado na sekreto iyan at hindi niya  ibabalita sa madla?  Many business leaders fear that if this impeachment trial opens bank records, then the depositors will transfer their deposits to stricter countries like Switzerland.  I have already said, Switzerland is now gaining a reputation, I mean Singapore is now gaining a reputation as the new Switzerland of the world.  Because they have such strict laws about bank secrecy.  They will never reveal like a very, very complicated legal procedure.  So, kung ganyan pala na ilalagay mo ang pera mo sa bangko, puwede ;palang iladlad iyan ng kung sinong opisyal diyan sa bangko, aba eh kukunin ko ang pera ko, ilagay ko doon sa bangko na hindi niya ibabalita sa buong mundo ang pera ko.

So, question.  Is the prosecution panel willing to assume responsibility for substantial hardship on the Philippine banking industry?  I will educate you as part of my prerogatives as a Judge that that is the present concern of the Makati business community.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, we believe that the public policy here is public policy of accountability and transparency.  And the impeachment proceeding of the Chief Justice would be an exception to that.  It is only an exception.  And hindi ho kasama diyan ang bank run, kundi isang tao po lang ito.  At ito ay Chief Justice na kailangan nating buksan ang kanyang bank account.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Hindi naman iyon ang sinasabi sa law.  Ang sinasabi lang …

REP. TUPAS.  Kaya nga, bank accounts.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Ang sinasabi lang sa iyo, pag nakinig ang mga taga-TV at taga-radio, at iba pa dito sa gallery, baka magiging ganoon ang resulta.  I heard that bell, maybe that is intended for me.  May I just have permission to give one last question.

REP. TUPAS.  Before that, Your Honor, may i just say something.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  No.  I am just taking up my time.  Ask him.  On the one hand, it is argued that absolute confidentiality of foreign currency deposit will attract non-resident depositors.  Kaya tayo pumasa ng batas na iyan, na hindi puwedeng sabihin ang maski ano tungkol sa foreign currency deposit para iyong mga dayuhan pupunta sa Pilipinas at ilagay nila ang pera nila dito.  Ngayon, kung bubuksan natin iyan, hindi na sila pupuntadito, pupunta na sila sa Singapore at iba pang mga bansa.

But on the one hand, it is now argued that foreign currency deposits might become a haven for the ill-gotten wealth of crooks, terrorists and other criminals.  Aba, kung ganyan pala na hindi pala mabuksan-buksan iyong mga foreign currency, eh tayong mga nangungurakot sa gobyerno, ay doon na natin ilagay ang pera natin, huwag na sa peso deposit, dito na sa foreign currency dahil safe tayo doon.’

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I request the Lady to wind up.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Yes, I am winding up.  Insofar as Filipino crooks and criminals are concerned, would you be willing to file an amendment to the foreign currency secrecy law to provide the proper exception allowing the scrutiny of foreign currency deposits only when the Filipino citizen is depositor.  Because if you allow public scrutiny for all kinds of depositors, foreign depositors, will naturally no longer deposit their money. O, ngayon, kung ang habol lang natin ay mga nagnanakaw sa gobyerno, gusto mo bang i-amend ang batas na ang mga Filipino pwedeng suriin, pero, ang dayuhan hindi? Now, question, if so, how would you then answer the issue of discrimination against Filipinos in their own country.

REP. TUPAZ. Una sa lahat, Your Honor, willing tayong mag-file noon, given iyong nangyari ngayon sa Korte Suprema, because we thought  na iyong mga “whereas clauses’ ng Republic Acts regarding the Foreign Currency Deposit Act and the Bank Secrecy Law, akala natin iyong “whereas clauses” ay para lang iyon, iyong public policies, parang doon sa foreign depositors, vendors, and investors. So, we are willing to file and hindi ho made-discriminate iyan because they should be sufficient, sufficient iyong differentiation, iyong distinction sufficiently, dapat mapakita lang natin na may distinction at hindi po na made-discriminate iyong mga Filipinos. And we are thinking about that, Your Honor, because of this ruling of the Supreme Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO. Yes, Mr. President.  We are ready for the cross-examination by the defense for the witness of the prosecution from the last time.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Is the witness subject to cross-examination around? I am asking this from the prosecution.

REP. TUPAZ.  Yes.  We are not yet through with our direct examination with the witness from the PSBank, the President, Mr. Pascual Garcia. But before that, Your Honor, I just want …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, just a minute. If you are not through with the direct examination, are you ready this afternoon to present him for direct examination?

REP. TUPAZ.  Yes, Your Honor, we are ready.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Bring him into the courtroom.

REP. TUPAZ.  Okay. We now call on our witness, Mr. Pascual Garcia, President of the PSBank. And may we request, Your Honor, that Atty. Demetrio Custodio be recognized to conduct direct examination for the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  While the witness is coming to the courtroom, …

SEN. SOTTO. Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … session suspended for …

SEN. SOTTO. May we request 15 minutes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Fifteen minutes

RESUMPTION OF TRIAL

At 5:28 p.m., trial was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial resumed.  (Gavel)

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, the present witness was summoned by the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness take the witness stand and testify under the same oath.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Unless there are additional direct, Your Honor, we would like to announce on record for the defense that we have no further cross—we have no cross rather on the said witness because the matters that we wanted to be touched on our cross-examination had been the subject of this resolution of this court …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … relative to the dollar account, Your Honor.

I was made to understand, Your Honor, if my memory serves me right, that the witness has been ordered to bring with him the branch manager of his branch …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s correct, that’s correct.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … and that to find out how the information had been leaked to the outside world.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s correct, that’s correct.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I be recognized, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  This is Atty. Demetrio Custodio Jr., Your Honor.  One of the private prosecutors under the control of the public prosecutor.

Records will bear me out, Your Honor, that I suspended and interrupted my direct examination when it came to the dollar accounts, Your Honor.  And we were intending to continue with that trend of examination.  And in light of the ruling of the impeachment tribunal, made this afternoon, Your Honor, we are foregoing with further questions on direct examination, insofar as the witness is concerned, subject to the reservation, Your Honor.

And we are putting that on record, that when the time comes, we will examine the witness, insofar as the dollar accounts are concerned only.  But insofar as today’s hearing is concerned, Your Honor, we close the witness, there being no cross examination, we will have no redirect examination, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Your are not going to examine him anymore on the local currency deposits?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  We have finished the questioning on the local currency deposits, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But still, the court required the president and the general manager to appear regarding the leakage.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I understand, Your Honor, that from the records, that there are a couple of Senator Judges who would want to continue with their examination—I would just like to put on record that insofar as the prosecution is concerned, we have completed the testimony of the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We note that.  Now, the defense also has no further question on cross.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, may we have the witness come to the witness stand–the Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Senator Drilon, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Drilon.

SEN. DRILON.  Just for clarity, Mr. Senate President, we are talking here about the witness, Mr. Garcia, we are not talking about Ms. Anabelle Tiongson, against whom our subpoena was issued.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  Is the prosecution going to present Ms. Tiongson?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  No, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Well, regardless of what the prosecution’s position is, a subpoena was issued by the Senate President, addressed to Ms. Annabelle Tiongson, branch manager, PS Bank, to bring with her the original and certified true copy of the bank statements, showing the beginning balances for the following accounts, in the name of Chief Justice Renato Corona, 089121017358, 089121019513, 089121020122, 089121021681 and 089121011957, these are all peso accounts, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  These are all local currency accounts.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, is the manager here, Mr. President?

MR. GARCIA.  Your Honor, the manager is here, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, she is here, so, anybody who would want to ask questions among the Judges?

The Gentleman from Cebu, Senator Osmeña

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Mr. Garcia, good afternoon.

MR. GARCIA.  Good afternoon.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Mr. Garcia, the PS Bank normally has several other investment programs they offer to their clients, am I correct?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Aside from checking accounts, you have savings accounts, correct?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  The PS Bank ATM savings, the PS Bank regular passbook, PS Bank dollar savings, PS Bank overseas Filipino savings account, PS Bank premium US dollar time deposit accounts, PS Bank Euro savings accounts.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Am I correct?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  All right.  And normally, a depositor would have a large amount of deposits which he does not made for his operations, if it were a business or for his household needs and personal needs, would normally be invited to shift to a higher interest-paying account, that would be standard for the bank, is it not?

MR. GARCIA.  That is the experience for some of our depositors, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  That is what the bank usually asks–invites the depositors to do, correct?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Your website promotes all of these types of accounts.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, sir.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  So, therefore, it would make sense and it is probable that if the respondent had a large deposit, and in one case he had at the end of December 2010 in excess of P12 million, he would have probably been invited to shift it to an account that was going to make him more money in terms of interest payments than keeping it in a current account, is that correct?

MR. GARCIA.  I cannot comment on that , Your Honor, because I was not a party to that particular process.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  That is right, that is why we asked your branch manager to come here.  Is she here today?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor, she is here today.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  All right, we will ask her that question.  But, in the meantime, what is a settlement account?

MR. GARCIA.  A settlement account for some of our products, Your Honor, is an account where the proceeds of the mother account is deposited to.  For example, you have settlement account for certain transactions, whether they are for loans, for investments, there can also be settlement accounts for time deposits where instead of paying out the time deposit direct to a depositor a depositor could choose or elect to open a settlement account so that at the end of the tenor of the investment, the investment is created to the settlement account.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Is the settlement account, by nature, a savings account?

MR. GARCIA.  It could be a savings or a current account, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  So, this is like a catch basin, pag nag-mature na iyong time deposit mo, the bank would automatically pay it to the settlement account.

MR. GARCIA.  Depending on the instructions of the depositor, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Depending upon the arrangement, yes, with the agreement of the depositor.

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  What about mutual funds, does PS Bank offer mutual funds?

MR. GARCIA.  At this particular time, Your Honor, we do not.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Do you offer the mutual funds of your mother bank?

MR. GARCIA.  At this particular time we do not, Your Honor.  We are not allowed to by the Bangko Sentral.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Okay, so therefore, this Representation, Mr. President, would like to include, aside from the current and savings account and time deposits that we have mentioned earlier for subpoena is all settlement accounts in PS Bank under the name of the respondent, investment, management and trust accounts and mutual funds in pesos, of course, but you can give us the dollars if you wish.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Clerk of Court is directed to prepare a subpoena duces tecum as requested by the Gentleman from Cebu.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Mr. Garcia.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  According to his request.  Is the manager around?

MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor, she is.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you through with the president of the bank?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, Your Honor.  We move to discharge the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The president of the bank is discharged.

MR. GARCIA.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Could you please call the manager of the bank to enter the Chamber and take the witness stand and be sworn as a witness.

THE SECRETARY.  Ms. Tiongson, please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole and nothing but the truth in this impeachment proceeding?

MS. TIONGSON. Yes.

THE SENATE SECRETARY.  So help you God.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anybody who wants to ask questions from this witness?  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON. Ms. Tiongson, you were subject of a subpoena, a subpoena ad testificandum ad duces tecum, to bring the original and certified true copies of the bank statements showing the beginning balances of the following accounts in the name of Chief Justice Renato Corona and the five peso accounts were enumerated. Do you have these opening statements, opening statements and the beginning balances?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ms. Tiongson, the Chair would like to inform you that this Chair will allow only questions on peso accounts.

MS. TIONGSON.  Okay, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And we will not allow you to answer questions on foreign currency deposit accounts because of the TRO of the Supreme Court.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. DRILON.  The subpoena specified five account numbers which are all peso accounts. So, do you have these opening documents and the opening balances?

MS. TIONGSON. I have with me right now, Your Honor, the opening balances of the five-peso accounts. I believe that the opening documents were already submitted to you by our president before …

SEN. DRILON.  Alright.

MS. TIONGSON.  … in his previous testimonies.

SEN. DRILON.  So, on the basis of—can you please submit this to the court? Can we have a copy of this, Mr. President, so that for reference?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Please, submit to the Clerk of Court a copy of the document requested.

SEN. DRILON. Subpoenad.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Subpoenad.

Did you bring all the documents covered by the subpoena addressed to you?

MS. TIONGSON.   Yes, Your Honor, based on the subpoena dated February 9, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you submit them all to the Clerk of Court?

SEN. DRILON.  I already gave it to them.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All the documents covered by the subpoena duces tecum.

MS. TIONGSON.  It’s a one-page, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Can we have a copy of this from the Clerk of Court, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The Clerk of Court is directed to furnish the Gentleman from Iloilo copies of the documents.

SEN. DRILON. You have a copy of what you submitted to the court, Madam Witness?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Alright. Now, on Account No. 08912107358, account name, Renato Coronado Corona, account type, peso time deposit, opening date, 1-26-2009, opening balance P2,100,000, do you confirm that this is your record?

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the document, Your Honor, yes, I confirm.

SEN. DRILON.  Now, Account No. 089121019593; account name, Renato Coronado Corona; account type, peso time deposit; opening date, December 22, 2009, the opening balance  is three million seven hundred thousand.  Do you confirm that that is so recorded in your documents?

MS. TIONGSON.  Your Honor, may I ask you to please repeat the account number.

SEN. DRILON.   Yes, the account number, the last one that I mentioned is, 089121020122, three million seven hundred thousand.

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the document, Your Honor, I confirm.

SEN. DRILON.  That as of opening date of March 4, 2010.  Is that correct?

MS. TIONGSON.  Correct, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Now, Account No. 089121021681- Renato Coronado Corona, peso time deposit, September 1, 2010, opening balance- seven million ninety thousand ninety-nine pesos and forty-five centavos.  Is that a correct reflection of your records?

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the document, Your Honor, I confirm, it is a correct reflection of the records.

SEN. DRILON.  Now, last.  Account Number 089121011957- Renato Coronado Corona, peso time deposit, opening date – May 16, 2007, opening balance – two million pesos.  Is that a correct reflection of your records?

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the document, yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  By the way, this certification does not contain any signature.  There is a statement here: “This is a system-generated certification and requires no signature”.  Even if without any signature, you confirm that this is a document coming from your bank?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Now, in the last hearing, Senator Osmeña asked that any and all accounts: time deposit, certificates of deposits and other such financial instruments offered by the PS Bank be produced.  Are you aware of this …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman is given an extension of two minutes.

SEN. DRILON.  I have no more question, Your Honor, I was just asking that in behalf of Senator Osmeña.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, at this juncture may we be allowed to be informed whose witness is  the witness on the stand, Annabelle Tiongson, because, the prosecution never claimed that this witness is their witness, Your Honor, neither is the defense.  All the while I thought Your Honor, we were of the impression that she was summoned in order for this honourable Court to gather information as to whether there have been leakage of the bank records despite the confidentiality of the said records, Your Honor, pursuant to the bank law.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is true.  The purpose of calling this witness is to explain the leakage, but a Member of the Court, the Gentleman from Iloilo asked from this witness whether—because she was the one subpoenaed by the Court to bring the documents, whether she brought the documents subpoenaed, and that is why he was asking questions.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  I am only asking, Your Honor, if it is allowable under the Rules of this impeachment court whether this witness is a witness for the prosecution because she is not our witness, so, she must be the witness of Senator Drillon, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Can we respond, Sir?  Can we respond?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo.

SEN. DRILON.  The witness was subpoenaed not for the purpose of examining her on the alleged leakage.  Pages 17 and 19 of the records of the Senate of the last session will clearly show that the ruling of the Chair was that the subpoena issued was included the original and certified true copy of the opening documents and the account numbers were enumerated and the Senate President ordered the Clerk of Court to issue the subpoena.  This is not a subpoena asking the witness on the matters pertaining to the alleged leakage.  We were asking the questions in the course of our time as to whether or not she complied or the former witness complied with the subpoena only on bringing the original and certified true copies of the opening documents and that was precisely the subpoena issued by the Senate President.  So it has nothing to do with the leakage and we said we need this information.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, I do not know whether the defense lawyer will be allowed to engage in an argument with the honourable impeachment judge, Your Honor.  Because if we argue, Your Honor, then we will be ruled as out of order.  But here is a witness who had been examined by the Honorable Drilon, we do not know whose witness she is and what will be the value of her testimony.  Otherwise, Your Honor, we will move to strike out all the testimony of the witness.  There is nobody, we cannot even prosecute her  for perjury or falsification, Your Honor, because nobody claims her to be a witness.  We are not in conformity, Your Honor, to the fact that the only purpose in calling this witness is to produce the documents mentioned in the subpoena.  We are very clear and we stand pat on this manifestation, Your Honor, that in fact the president of PS Bank, Your Honor, was ordered to produce Ms. Tiongson, Your Yonor, because allegedly the court has information to the effect that there were leakages in this case and, therefore, if there were, there is, therefore, that violation of the Bank Secrecy Law and any and all evidence presented towards that direction is subject to a motion to strike out, Your Honor.  That is the rules of evidence we have understood, that is the rules of evidence in this country and I suppose even this impeachment court will be governed by…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is correct, Your Honor.  That is the recollection also of the Chair and the records will bear that out.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Mr. President, just on that point.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Mr. President, it is good that the good Justice Cuevas brought that out because that is the point I missed out awhile ago on the defense panel press con last night.  Umaangal din sila na may nagsabi po, hindi ko lang maalala kung sino sa kanila, o tignan ninyo iyong mga Senator-Judges, pag nagtanong iyong iba cross-examination na, iyong iba ganito or ganyan, giving our people the idea or the impression that something irregular is happening here.  And I don’t blame the good Justice Cuevas and the defense counsel for  asking.  But let me put on the record, this is the rule that we follow during the—that this Senate and we weren’t here yet—during the Erap Estrada impeachment.  When we formulated these rules, we were aware that these rules will be applicable to any one impeached.  The Constitution says you can impeach the President, members of the Supreme Court, some people with, for example, the Comelec chairman, COA chairman, etc..  When the Ombudsman Mercy Gutierrez was to be impeached, we would have followed the same process.

So, Mr. Chair, in the response to the question of the counsel, this is a regular procedure from impeachment court.  Let us not confuse the procedure in a regular court of justice in a criminal or civil case with our procedure in impeachment case because the rules clearly provide that each Senator can ask questions in a two-minute time limit and I think this is the third time that the good defense counsel questioned some of the questions being asked by Senator Drilon and in the first instance, the Presiding Officer already explained their questions are clarificatory questions but it can be framed in any manner a Senator-Judge would like to ask it.  So I don’t blame you, sir, for asking whose witness is this.  Pero po iyong tendency ng tanong na sinundan nyo pa po na, witness ba ito ni Senator Drilon?

Pasensya na po kayo, Sir, but medyo na-offend ako don kasi just because one Senator-Judge is more active than the other, or asks one question that—as I said po last time na nagsalita ako dito, di ba sabi ko, maghintay lang ang defense.  Kasi pag kayo na magpepresenta, kung pano ako magtanong na ang akala nila kampi ako sa prosecution, ganon din ako magtatanong na akala ng iba kampi ako sa defense naman, dahil gusto ko malaman ang katotohanan.

But that’s our right under the Rules.  Hindi po ordinary criminal—hindi ito ordinary—this is not a court of justice wherein we follow strictly the rules in criminal or civil cases, Sir.  Dito, nagtatanong talaga ang Senator-Judges.

Lastly, the good Senator-Judge Miriam Defensor-Santiago mentioned the first time she stood up that Judges also ask questions like this, and that is the prerogative of the Judge and that was repeated by the Presiding Officer.

So, sana po ma-settle natin ‘to, pero sana, hindi na po ganon ang ano natin pag nagtatanong yung isang Senator-Judge.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Wala po kaming hindi …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just to finish this discussion.

Precisely, I asked a law firm to research for me the nature and powers of a grand jury.  Because I remember that under American law, the House of Representatives, in conducting an inquiry and in determining the sufficiency of that inquiry to warrant the filing of Articles of Impeachment is similar to the power of a grand jury in ordinary criminal prosecution.  And I have the research here.

So, normally, the prosecution, even in our ordinary system, gathers the evidence without the participation of the court in the preparation of the criminal information, and this witness is a witness of the prosecution.  They were the ones who requested this court for the court to issue a subpoena precisely to bring those documents.

If the purpose of the court for calling in calling her here was only for purposes of determining how those documents leaked, but this witness is none other than a witness of the prosecution.  They requested her under a compulsory process of this court to be brought here.

Now, I’m sorry to bring this up, henceforth, if the prosecution will disown witness that they request to be subpoenaed, then, I will not, as a Presiding Officer, unless I’m as ordered by the Senate as an Impeachment Court, issue a subpoena duces tecum or subpoena ad testificandum, unless, you have a reason to present the witness.

It’s your responsibility.  In fact, I’ll tell you that—and I’m sorry to say this publicly, your procedures seems to suggest to me as a Presiding Officer, that you did not have any evidence.  You are just gathering it through subpoenas issued by this court.  And I warn you that this is going to be a fatal error on your part.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I be recognized, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  The witness now on the stand was not called by the prosecution precisely because the evidence she’s going to present is the very same records that was presented already by the bank.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, but you asked this court to subpoena her.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, and therefore, Mr. President, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Your should have asked—manifested to the court that we want the subpoena to that witness quashed already.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, Mr. President, may I therefore make a formal manifestation, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  … that pursuant to the subpoena issued by the honorable tribunal, that we are adopting this witness as our own witness, and we will conduct additional direct examination, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But if, Your Honor, please, may I be allowed even one minute only, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, please.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  They are now speaking of a subpoena requested by them.  I hope, I will be pardoned with using the word, that is a falsity, Your Honor.  Because, in their subpoena, it said, acting on the request for issuance of subpoena of Senator Judge Franklin M. Drilon.  There is no mention about the prosecution, Your Honor.

That is why, I wanted to know, Your Honor, whether this witness—whose witness is the witness on the stand?  Because under our rules of evidence, it is very clear, the court shall not consider any evidence presented,5 unless, formally offered, Your Honor.  And when we speak of documentary evidence, it must be—it must not be merely offered but rather, it must be identified, marked, and then, offered in evidence, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But counsel, I have here a copy of the subpoena that I issued—I cannot remember …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That may be the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I cannot see the date.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … first one, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct.  But this is—I am talking of this subpoena.  I did not issue any other subpoena against this witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In that connection, Your Honor, may we ask permission to read the statement appearing here.  “Witness, Honorable Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate President and Presiding Officer of the Senate, seating as an impeachment court at city of Pasay, this 9th day of the year of our Lord 2012”, Your Honor, then signed, Honorable Juan Ponce Enrile.  So, this is a February 9 subpoena, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, I am sorry, I forgot about this—you see—yes, I own this subpoena.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President, can I have the floor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President, the subpoena that the Senate President issued last, is only in consistent with, and in pursuit of the previous subpoena issued by the Senate President.  This is a subpoena issued February 6, 2012.

A resolution dated February 6 or February 7, 2012.  I have here the unsigned copy, but the record is—the original is in the records of the Senate.

It is a resolution, and let me read part of that resolution.  Letter B, the branch manager and/or authorized representative of the Philippine Savings Bank, Katipunan Branch, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, is commanded to bring before the Senate at 2:00 p.m., on February 8, 2012, the original and certified true copies of the account opening forms, documents for the following bank accounts, allegedly in the name of Renato C. Corona.

Now, during the last session of this court, we asked whether or not, the opening documents and the opening balances for account number 089121017358, which was included in this resolution of February 6, was complied with.  And there was no compliance because the witness was under the impression that it was only the ending balance which was subpoenaed, when in fact, the resolution of the Senate President, clearly stated, opening forms and documents.

And since it was not this witness who–it was not Mr. Garcia, who had knowledge of this, this Katipunan branch manager was subpoenaed here, and that is clear on page 17 of the records of the previous hearing.  Page 17 and page 18.  So, it is very clear that the subpoena now issued again is in pursuance of the resolution of the Senate President dated February 6, 2012.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I would like to be heard, Your Honor, if I will not be ruled out of order, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The subpoena being read by the honourable Drilon, Your Honor, refers to appearance on the 8th.  This subpoena refers, you are hereby commanded to appear before the Senate of the Philippines at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon on the 13th day of February, 2012.  So, this is later.  This cannot be altered anymore.  I am not after the testimony of this lady.  I am heavily thankful for her responding favourably to honor the subpoena of this honourable court.  What puzzles me is this.  Our rule of evidence states, the court shall not consider any evidence not formally offered.  Any lawyer of this impeachment court will agree with me that that is the rule.  All right.  Now, insofar as testimonial evidence is concerned, the offer is made the moment the witness is called to the stand.  She is now called to the stand.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is your pleasure?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  My pleasure now, Your Honor, why I went to that extent is, her testimony, therefore, should be stricken out from the record.  She is not a witness for the prosecution, neither is she a witness for the defense, neither is she a witness for Senator Drilon.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I be heard, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, please.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Our earlier manifestation, Mr. President, is that we are adopting this witness as our witness pursuant to the subpoena.  And a ruling was already made by the Senate President.  We would like to proceed with this witness, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

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

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, this will be a curative act, Your Honor, because the witness is through testifying already after the testimony …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I order the striking out of the testimony …

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor please, may I be heard.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  So that we can resolve this.  Since nobody owned the testimony of this witness prior to your accepting him as a witness, I now grant the motion of the defense to strike out the testimony of the witness and order you to direct your questions to the witness.

So ordered.

SEN. DRILON.  We reserve our right to appeal the ruling of the court later, Your Honor.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor, we are offering the testimony of Ms. Annabelle Tiongson to prove, Your Honor, and to identify documents that were subpoenaed by the Senate, sitting as an impeachment tribunal.  We will offer her testimony to identify the five accounts that were identified in the subpoena and ask her to identify the opening statements and the opening balances pertaining to these five accounts, Your Honor.  And we will be presenting also related questions insofar as these are concerned.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you.  Good afternoon, Ms. Tiongson.

MS. TIONGSON.  Good afternoon, sir.

ATTY., CUSTODIO.  You are here pursuant to the subpoena of the honourable impeachment court …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very leading, Your Honor.  Witness is a very intelligent person

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness may answer.  She is an intelligent witness.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Ms.  Witness, you are commanded by the subpoena to bring certain documents.  Do you have the documents that you were asked to bring?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Vague, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let her answer.  She is an intelligent witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Certain documents.  We submit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness, did you bring the documents you were required to bring to this court  by virtue of the subpoena issued by this court on February 6?

MS. TIIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor, I have with me statements …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do you have the documents?

MS. TIIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I approach the witness, Your Honor, to …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Witness, Your Honor, presenting to counsel a bank certification from the PSBank Katipunan dated February 10, 2012.

JUSTICE CUEVA.  Your Honor please, may we request that the document be—that we be allowed to examine the document before any question is propounded.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The defense is allowed to …

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I understand that a copy is available.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Identify the account number to which that document is connected.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I proceed and read into the records description of the document, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We will object, Your Honor, because manifestation is no evidence whatsoever.

THE PRESIDENT OFFICER.  Just ask the question to link that document to any of these account, local currency account numbers stated in subpoena. The contents are covered by the documents.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Can you point to the bank certification, Ms. Tiongson, the entry pertaining to Account No. 089121017358?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We admit that the witness can point, Your Honor.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Will you describe, Ms. Witness, the kind of account pertaining to this account number?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The best evidence will be the document itself, Your Honor, since it will be presented …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

MS. TIIONGSON.  Based on the document, 089121017358, Your Honor, is of peso time deposit.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you.  Can you state, for the record, if appears in this document, when this account was opened?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Which account?  Very vague, Your Honor.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor, we were referring, particularly, to the first account. We read already into the record the account number.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very vague, Your Honor. We wanted to object, but we have no based—there is no basis for the question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. What is the basis of the objection?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Vague, Your Honor.  Will you tell us what account is this?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. The understanding of the Chair of the question is only to ask the witness when the account was opened …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … to identify the date.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There are several accounts mentioned in the certification.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS. So, which of these accounts …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.

Madam Witness, will you state to what account number that document is related?

MS. TIIONGSON.  Your Honor, can you repeat the question?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What account number, peso account number or deposit account number is that document related?

MS. TIIONGSON.  This document covers all the account numbers that were requested, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What are those account numbers?

MS. TIIONGSON. Based on the subpoena, Your Honor, the account number requested were 089121017358, 0891210191593, 089121020122, 089121021681, 089121011957.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why is it that that document is related to all these five, the bank deposit numbers?

MS. TIIONGSON.  Your Honor, we issued a bank certification showing all the five accounts and their opening balances.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. And that certification, is that document?

MS. TIIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. What  is that the date of certification.

MS. TIIONGSON.  The date of the certification is February 12, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And who signed that bank certification?

MS. TIONGSON.  Our bank certifications do not bear any signature, Your Honor, it is system generated.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And it contains the details about these account numbers?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Ms. Tiongson, can you refer to your record and—particularly, account no. 089121017358.  Can you tell us what kind of account this is.

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the document, 089121017358 is a peso time deposit account, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It is a peso time deposit account?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What do you mean by that?

MS. TIONGSON.  Peso time deposit account is a peso dominated account that earns higher interest for a period of time.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For the period.

MS. TIONGSON.  That, say, 30 days.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With the period.

MS. TIONGSON.  For a period of time.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Interest bearing.

MS. TIONGSON.  Interest bearing.

THE PRESIDING.  Alright.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Can you tell us, Ms. Tionson when this particular account was opened?

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the document, 089121017358 was opened on January 26, 2009, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2009.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Can you tell us, Ms. Tiongson, under whose name this account was opened?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is a ..

ATTY. CUEVAS.  The documents ….(inaudible)

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, when you are dealing with the document, remember the best evidence rule.  So that we will not tarry.  Objection sustained.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Ms. Tiongson, what was the opening balance of this particular account?

MS. TIONGSON.  Account No. 089121017358, based on the document, it was opened on—the opening balance was two million one hundred thousand pesos, Your Honor.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you.  Ms. Tiongson, will you refer now to account no. 089121019593.  Can you tell us what kind of account this is.

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the document, the account 089121019593 is a peso time deposit account.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Can you tell us on what date this account was opened.

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the document, this was opened on December 22, 2009.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  And can you tell us please the opening balance of this particular account.

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the document, the opening balance of this particular account with number 089121019593 is eight million five hundred thousand, Sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Can we move to the third account which is account no. 089121020122.  Can you tell us, Ms. Witness, what kind of account this is.

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the certification, account no. 089121020122 is a peso time deposit account, Sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Can you tell us when this particular account was opened.

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the certification, the opening date is March 4, 2010 for this account.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  And for this account, can you tell us the opening balance, Ms. Withess.

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the certification, the opening balance for this account is three million seven hundred thousand.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Or so a time deposit account?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is your answer?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. CUSTODIO. Let’s go Ms. Witness to the fourth account which is 089121021681.  Can you tell the Court your records as to what particular account this is.

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the record, account no. 089121021681 is a peso time deposit account, Sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Can you tell us when or what particular date this account was opened?

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the record, sir, the opening date for this account is September 1, 2010.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  And can you tell us please the opening balance of this particular account?

MS. TIONGSON.  Opening balance for this particular account, sir, is P7,090,099.45.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you.  Let us go now to the last account, Ms. Tiongson which is 089-121011957.  Can you tell us what kind of account this number pertains to?

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, this account with No. 089-121011957 is a peso time deposit.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Peso time deposit.  Can you tell us when this account was opened?

MS. TIONGSON.  This particular account based on our record, was opened on May 16, 2007, sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  And lastly, can you tell us the opening balance of this particular account?

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on our record for this particular account, the opening balance is P2 million, sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Does your record show when a particular account was closed?

MS. TIONGSON.  The record I have, sir, only discloses the opening balance.  I believe that our president has already given you that before.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I approach the witness, Your Honor, to look at the document.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Witness handing to counsel, Your Honor, the bank certification dated February 10, 2012 which after authentication and identification we would like to mark as our Exhibit QQQQQQQ, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We object to the use of the word “authentication”.  I have not heard any question towards that effect, Your Honor, so it has no basis.

THE PRESIDING OFFCER.  Counsel for the prosecution, answer the objection.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  We will proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You want it authenticated?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Yes, Your Honor, because this witness had already testified that these are her records and these are what she brought pursuant to the subpoena, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  According to what I heard, that document was unsigned.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Unsigned.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  May I propound additional questions, Your Honor, to clarify.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no, no.  Witness, is that document unsigned?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor, it’s unsigned.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And who prepared that document?

MS. TIONGSON.  This document was prepared by our bank, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who in the bank?

MS. TIONGSON.  Our IT.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is your IT?   Who, talpulano, talpulana?  Who?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we request, Your Honor, that the lady beside the witness be ordered to refrain from discussing anything or talking with the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Chair is asking and clarifying a matter.

MS. TIONGSON.  Your Honor, normally when we prepare bank certifications, it’s system-generated because we have our own system that covers the…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What do you mean by system-generated?

MS. TIONGSON.  It’s owned by the bank, Your Honor, and we call it the bank certification system, sir, and it’s bar coded, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why do you call it system-generated?  Is that drawn from your computer system?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Recorded by your computer system.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By your Accounting Department.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And who operates that computer system?

MS. TIONGSON.  Each of our branches has their own…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who in your branch is operating your computer system?

MS. TIONGSON.  We have—The one encoding is the customer service associate and then it is approved by the officer, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is the officer that approved it?

MS. TIONGSON.  Normally, it’s the branch service and control officer, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Now, was that document generated from your system on your request?

MS. TIONGSON.  May I consult my counsel?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Was it on your request or on the request of your president or on the request of San Antonio?

MS. TIONGSON.  May I consult my counsel?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.  Consult

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  For the record, Your Honor, may we request that the identity of the lawyer referred to by the witness be placed on record, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is the lawyer advising the witness?

ATTY. PELARES.  Good afternoon, Your Honor.  Same appearance.  I’m Atty. Richie Ramos Pelares of Puno and Puno Law Offices, Your Honor.  We’re …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are here to advise her as a counsel?

ATTY. PELARES.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. PELARES.  Together with Atty. Regis Puno and Atty. Vince Bayhon, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you part of the prosecution?

ATTY. PELARES.  No, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. PELARES.  We are just counsels for PS Bank, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, can you please repeat the question?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Was that document generated from your computer system on your orders?

MS. TIONGSON.  Upon the receipt of the subpoena, Your Honor, we requested …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I am asking a simple question.  Was it generated on your orders?

MS. TIONGSON.  On my orders, Sir?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You were subpoenaed.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who ordered the generation of that document if you did not order it?

MS. TIONGSON.  More or less, Sir, you may say that I did.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What do you mean “More or less I did.”?  You better be definite.  Why are you hesitating?

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, it was generated by our head of IT.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct.  But did you order the generation of that …

MS. TIONGSON.  I requested them to produce because we don’t have any record of this particular account, or for this particular depositor, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  You did not have a record of that particular account?

MS. TIONGSON.  If you may, Your Honor, all of the documents were already sent to the head office even before I came here, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  There were all in the head office.  Why was it that your office do not have the record of that account when it is maintained in you branch and you are the manager of that branch?

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, since this is the subject of the Impeachment Court, we sent all the documents to the head office for safekeeping, Your Honor, by senior officers.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How did you send the documents?

MS. TIONGSON.  It was brought by senior officer—It was picked up by senior officers, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By hand?

MS. TIONGSON.  By hand, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I thought these are system-generated documents?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir, it is.  This one.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then this Chair could not understand, how could—You have your own system …

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … in Katipunan Branch?

MS. TIONGSON.  It’s a centralized system, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It is a centralized system.  But you do not have any system of your own assigned to your branch linked with your system in the central office?

MS. TIONGSON.  For this particular account, our depositors, Sir, we do not have.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why?

MS. TIONGSON.  It is no longer in our records.  Sir, may I consult again?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, actually, upon the receipt of the subpoena, I showed it to our president, and he also ordered for the generation of this …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When you received the subpoena, how did your president know that you were subpoenaed?  Did you report to your president?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And then, he told you to transfer the account to the head office.

MS. TIONGSON.  No, Your Honor.  He just requested the generation of this document that was requested by the subpoena.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It must be cleared by the head office.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, this document was not generated upon your orders, it was generated upon the orders of your president.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Counsel, proceed.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Last question, Mr. President.  Did you have a chance, Ms. Tiongson, to go into the records, after you received the subpoena of the particular accounts mentioned in the subpoena?

MS. TIONGSON.  Can you please clarify your question, Sir, what records in particular …

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  After you received the subpoena, did you look into the records, pertaining to the five accounts mentioned in the subpoena?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  All right.  Will you confirm that this bank certification that you are now testifying on is accurate and correct based on the records that you say, you looked into at the time you received the subpoena.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very leading, Your Honor.  Consequently, that will be asking for an opinion, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You better lay the basis.  You know, you are asking too many details in your question, and without any basis.  You better lay the basis.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Ms. Witness, what documents did you examine before–or after you received the subpoena?

MS. TIONGSON.  This particular document, Sir.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  And what document is that, Ms. Witness?

MS. TIONGSON.  This is a bank certification of the opening balance of the requested accounts, Your Honor.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  And this bank certification pertaining to the details of the five accounts mentioned therein, you have the chance to compare that with the records in your bank?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very leading, Your Honor.  That is practically putting the answer in the mouth of the witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

MS. TIONGSON.  Personally, no, Sir, but because this was ordered by our president, and it was generated from our system, it can be considered genuine.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Thank you.  That will be all, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Cross.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Good afternoon, Madam Tiongson.

MS. TIONGSON.  Good afternoon, Sir.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. SOTTO.  With the permission of the gentleman from the defense, may we recognize Senator Jinggoy Estrada before the cross examination.  Because originally, Mr. President, just to set the records straight, although Senator Drilon was correct about the report earlier on the testimony of the witness, it was Senator Estrada who initially or originally asked for the presence of the witness that is now been adopted by the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I suggest, for an orderly handling of the witness, let us first allow the counsel for the defense to cross examine her, and after that, the distinguished Gentleman from San Juan will take the floor to ask his question.

SEN. ESTRADA.  We submit, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS  I was about to yield to him, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  No, it is okay.  It is okay.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

You can cross-examine.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Before you came over in today’s proceedings, I suppose you have conferred with the lawyers of the prosecution, am I right?

MS. TIONGSON.  The lawyers of the prosecution, no, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You never had any conference with any of them, more particularly Atty. Custodio, Representative Tupas.

MS. TIONGSON.  No, sir.

JUSTTICE CUEVAS.  The first time that you had a talk with them was today only.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Before this case was filed, which was last December 13, 2010, you never did have a conference with them.

MS. TIONGSON.  I never did have a conference with them.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And I suppose you have never shown them any copy of the documents you have testified on this afternoon?

MS. TIONGSON.  I have never shown any document to any one, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No.  But I am asking a particular person, Atty. Custodio.

MS. TIONGSON.  No, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  To Congressman Tupas.

MS. TIONGSON.  No, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  As of now ,have they already examined these documents before questions on direct examination were propounded to you?  No also?

MS. TIONGSON.  Sorry, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  As of now, today, did they have a talk with you in connection with these documents you identified?

MS. TIONGSON.  No, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, they do not know anything about these.

MS. TIONGSON.  No, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is the kind of preparation that you have had before testifying in this court in connection with matters touching your direct examination, am I right?

MS. TIONGSON.  Sorry, sir, I did not understand your question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And that is the kind of preparation that the counsel for the prosecution had when they called you to the stand now, yes?

MS. TIONGSON.  If you say so, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Kindly answer so that your answer will be reflected on the record.

MS. TIONGSON.  May I consult, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Go ahead please, if the court allows.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.  You can confer.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir, I never met with them.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We asked that question to you because the defense, together with the honourable Chief Justice Corona were of the impression that the production of these records were merely what is known as fishing expedition.  Do you confirm that?

MS. TIONGSON.  I cannot comment on that, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, she would not know the meaning of fishing expedition.  She might think …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ano ho bang katapat noon, mangingisda?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Nangangalap.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Nananalakab sa Bolinao.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Nangangalap.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ano po ang sagot ninyo?  No answer.

MS. TIONGSON.  I cannot comment on that, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, a while ago, prior to your being under direct-examination by Atty. Custodio, Atty. Custodio never mentioned that you are one of the witnesses for the prosecution, do you agree with me?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Objection, Your Honor.  She would not know that.  She would be incompetent to answer that question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am only asking her to affirm or deny.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

MS. TIONGSON.  If you mean him recognizing me as a witness, sir.  Sorry.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ang tanong ko p o sa inyo ay ganito.  Bago kayo nagpunta sa witness ngayon, walang sinasabi si Atty. Custodio na kayo ay isa sa testigo ng prosecution, tama ho ba iyon?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And you were merely adopted as a witness for the prosecution after you were subjected to direct-examination by the honourable Drilon?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, kindly look around and tell us whether you are familiar with Congressman Tupas.

MS. TIONGSON.  I see him on TV, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  How about in your bank, you have not seen him there?  Answer please for the record.

MS. TIONGSON.  If I have seen him in my bank?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Sa premises ng bangko ninyo.

MS. TIONGSON.  May I confer with my ..

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Ay simpleng simple lang noong question.

MR. PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness, you address your request to confer with your counsel to the Chair.  So, Madam Witness, henceforth, when you want to confer  with your counsel, please address this court.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sorry, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

MS. TIONGSON. Based on my lawyer’s advised, that is not covered by the subpoena, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS. No, but I’m not asking you whether that is covered by the subpoena or not.  Yun ho ba ang sinabi sa inyo ng abugado nyo?  Yun ho ba ang sinabi sa inyo?  We just wanted the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Madam Witness, the question is simple.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do you know the Congressman mentioned, Congressman Tupas?  Apart from seeing him …

MS. TIONGSON.  No, I do not know him, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’m sorry, Your Honor.  May I be allowed to proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We have reliable information that he is one of the most important bank clients of your bank.  Am I right?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Objection, Your Honor, misleading.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the ground …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Leading?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Misleading, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are asking the witness to confirm or deny, Your Honor.  We are not telling that she knows.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may answer.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, may I ask my counsel, please, because that’s already …

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Your Honor, may I be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Identify yourself.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  Private prosecutor, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you the one propounding the question to her?

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  I have an objection, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  The objections of this questioning is already beyond the scope of the direct examination which was limited only, Mr. President, to the contents of a document.  Whatever pertain to matters before the issuance of that certification or afterwards is beyond the realm of cross-examination, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, may we be allowed to inform counsel that cross-examination may deal with any matter taken up in the direct or connect there with sufficient fullness and freedom to determine bias or want of bias on the part of witness and thirdly, to elicit admission is pertinent to the point.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Objection overruled.  Proceed.

You know in cross-examination, the Chair allows wide latitude to determine whether the witness is telling the truth or not and anything that is suspect is open to cross-examination.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, may I refer to my counsel?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, please repeat your question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you through with your …

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir, thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then answer the question.

MS. TIONGSON.  I was requesting, Sir, to repeat the question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  My question I think is whether he is one of the most valuable clients or important client of your bank.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, if you are asking he has accounts in our bank, is that the question?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Just kindly answer the question.  I had a very simple question.  You conferred with your lawyer, I did not object.  Siya ho ba ay isa sa importante …

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, if I confirm or deny, then I will be in violation of 1405.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So I see.

MS. TIONGSON.  I cannot neither confirm nor deny.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But you are not denying.  Is that what you wanted to tell the court?

MS. TIONGSON.  I cannot comment on any question on if he has a bank account with us or if he is a client.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If we request for the issuance of a subpoena directing you to produce the bank accounts of Congressman Tupas in your bank, will you be able to do that?

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, if there’s an order for us.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, you will be able to produce it?  In this connection, Your Honor, then we request for the subpoena duces tecum …

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, can I …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … in order to test the bias and the lack of interest and so on on the part of the witness, Your Honor.

Because impeachment may deal on the credibility of the witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The bank account request of the prosecutor has nothing to do in this case.  It is not a party to this case.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Yes, …

REP. TUPAS.  Can I say something.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The bank account is not in dispute and so this Chair is constrained to deny the request.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, but this may tend to show the credibility on the part of the witness and bias or want of bias.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, the fact that the witness answered that she neither denies nor confirm, then, it tells so a great winning.  She does not want to say anything because she is invoking, precisely, the bank secrecy law.  So, she will not involve the bank secrecy law if the person alluded to does not have a bank account in the bank.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Precisely, Your Honor, that is why we followed it with the request to this honorable Court for the production of any and all …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That will be going against the…

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Privacy.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The …

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Confidentiality.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Republic 14 …

ATTY. CUEVAS.  1405

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  1405.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Alright.

Now, when was the last time you saw Congressman Tupaz in your bank for banking transactions?

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, I have never seen him, personally.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  At any time?

MS. TIONGSON.  This is the first time I have seen him personally.

ATTY. CUEVAS.   So, you do not know him personally.  So, he had not talk to you in connection with this matters, of deposit of Chairman Tupaz.

MS. TIONGSON.  No, Sir.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  That is even prior to the filing of the case before the Supreme Court on December 13, 2010.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  That has been asked and answered already, Your Honor, repeatedly.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  How can it be answered, I have not ask it yet, I am definite now, I am asking a definite bate, Your Honor.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  The records will bear that it had been asked already.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Objection.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The lady answered already that she had not yet met the person mentioned.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, I did not get the ruling of the Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I sustained the objection of the prosecution.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Okay, then, thank you.

In your capacity as branch manager of your bank, have you been ask to testify on similar matters like the one you are testifying now, impeachment case?

MS. TIONGSON.  There was only one instance that  I testified in a Court, Your Honor, about BP …

ATTY. CUEVAS.  But it is not an impeachment case.

MS. TIONGSON.  No, it is my first time.

ATTY. CUEVAS. And what case are you referring to?  Violation of the Anti-Bouncing Check Law?  Is that you wanted to tell the Court?

MS. TIONGSON.  If I remember it right, Sir.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Anti-Bouncing Check Law.  It has nothing to do whatsoever with your capacity—I withdraw the question.  Why were you asked to testify if it is only a case of prosecution or violation of the Anti-Bouncing Check Law?

MS. TIONGSON.  My assistant manager couldn’t go, so, I was the one who went there.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  And you merely testified on records.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, based on records.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Not on personal knowledge similar to this case now.

MS. TIONGSON.  No.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  That is all for the witness, Your Honor.

ATTY. CUSTODIO.  No re-direct, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Estrada after the manifestation of Senator Drilon, Mr. President.

SEN. DRILON.  Just a manifestation, Your Honor.

Just to clarify on the record, I am in receipt of the notice of the Clerk of Court, Emma Reyes, dated February 13, 2012.  It says:  “For Honorable Senator Judges, Subject:  Subpoena Ad Testificandum And Duces Tecum dated February 13, 2012.  Please be informed that per request of the House panel of Prosecutors, the honorable Presiding Officer of the Impeachment Court issued a Subpoena Ad Testificandum and Duces Tecum to the following:  Number three, Ms. Annabelle Tiongson, Branch Manager, PS Bank”.  So, this was requested by the prosecution and there was a statement in the later Subpoena that it  was upon my request.  Yes, it was upon my request the previous subpoena was not complied with.  The misrepresentation of counsel for the defense is certainly not clear because the subpoena is requested by the House of prosecutors.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In this connection, Your Honor, and fearful that these accounts here, Your Honor, may again be ruled as out or order, we will just request for the marking of the subpoena, Your Honor, dated February 9, 2012.  Exhibit 61 for the defense, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS. And the entry acting on the request for issuance of subpoena of Senator-Judge Franklin Drilon be underlined and marked as Exhibit 61-A, Your Honor.  62

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If there is no objection, mark it accordingly.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes, just a manifestation—that that statement is clearly an error because that subpoena was requested by the panel of prosecutors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let all those statements stay in the record.  The Gentleman from San Juan.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am through with the witness, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Madam Witness, just for the record, you were issued a subpoena on February 6, am I correct?

MS. TIONGSON.  The first one, sir?

SEN. ESTRADA.  The first subpoena, yes.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir.

SEN. ESTRADA.  And just for the record, pwede bang malaman kung bakit hindi kayo naka-attend noong kayo po ay pina-subpoena noong February 6, 2012?

MS. TIONGSON.  When we received the subpoena, I was in the head office  at that time and I got to talk to our president, Mr. Garcia, and he offered to go to the stand in my behalf.  Well, based on his explanation, it was to protect me from any possible criminal liability.

SEN. ESTRADA.  So you mean to tell us that the president of PS Bank took the cudgels for you.

MS. TIONGSON. I believe so, sir.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Alright.  Before you were promoted as bank manager, have you been a bank manager before?

MS. TIONGSON.  Before I was a bank manager of PS Bank?

SEN. ESTRADA.  Yes.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir, in a different bank.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Okay.  Have you been assigned as an accountant or teller or cashier of any bank before you were promoted as branch manager?

MS. TIONGSON.  No, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Never.

MS. TIONGSON.  Never.

SEN. ESTRADA.  So what are your qualifications that made you qualify for the post that you are holding right now?

MS. TIONGSON.  When I joined my former bank, I joined as a management trainee and right after the training, I was already promoted as senior system manager.  I was not assigned in a branch before.  Right after the training, I was an account officer.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Where?

MS. TIONGSON.  For consumer loans.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Of PS Bank?

MS. TIONGSON.  In my former bank, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Okay.  Of course you are now a branch manager, what are the duties of a bank manager?  Can you please educate this representation.

MS. TIONGSON.  For PS Bank, sir, I am primarily responsible for the growth of our deposit and loan portfolio, the overall management of the branch and to ensure that the branch is operating smoothly and efficiently and that good quality service is being delivered to the clients, among others.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Alright.  What are the steps in opening a bank account?

MS. TIONGSON.  For new clients, Your Honor, we require them to fill out our forms and then we request them to give us their original IDs depending on what they present.  So if it is a primary ID, we require one or if she or he has secondary ID, we require this too.  And then we validate and verify their signatures and we ask them questions as to their personal details like the name, the address, telephone number, contact details, employer, business, the other source of funds and number.

SEN. ESTRADA.  So, you, as a bank manager, do you supervise the opening of bank accounts of your client?

MS. TIONGSON.  Not normally, but …

SEN. ESTRADA.  All right.  For example, if a VIP enters your bank and wants to open an account on your bank, do you supervise the opening of his or her bank account?  I am referring to a VIP here, Madam Witness.

MS. TIONGSON.  When you say, Sir, VIP, a person who is known or anybody?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Very Important Person.

MS. TIONGSON.  Very Important Person.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Yes, for example, …

MS. TIONGSON.  Actually, we consider all our clients very important, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  For example, …

MS. TIONGSON.  So even if I don’t know them, sometimes I personally attend to them.

SEN. ESTRADA.  For example, one of the Senators here goes to your bank and opens an account, are you going to personally supervise the opening of a bank account of that particular VIP, for example?

MS. TIONGSON.  Most probably, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Do you usually do it?

MS. TIONGSON.  I would probably do it.

SEN. ESTRADA.  All right.  Is there difference on the way you treat a special client and an ordinary client?

MS. TIONGSON.  As I’ve said earlier, Your Honor, we treat everyone as valued …

SEN. ESTRADA.  So, if you treat everyone as a valued client, is it not that a bank manager attends to a special client rather than a clerk?

MS. TIONGSON.  Not necessarily, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Not necessarily.  Siyempre, pag alam mong VIP yung kliyente mo, ipagpalagay mong isang sikat na artista o mayaman na politiko, alam mong may pera, pag pumunta yon hindi nyo ba aasikasuhin?

MS. TIONGSON.  If I’m there, Your Honor, I would assist.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Excuse me?  I didn’t get your answer.

MS. TIONGSON.  If I’m in the branch, I would assist in the opening.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Your will assist.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Pag VIP?  Pag sikat?  Pag alam mong merong malaking idedeposito?

MS. TIONGSON.  Even if—For as long as I’m not really that busy.  I go to the new accounts section most of the time to assist them and been introduced to our clients if they’re new.

SEN. ESTRADA.  So pag busy ka at merong isang tanyag na personalidad na pumasok sa bangko nyo, hindi mo aasikasuhin?

MS. TIONGSON.  I may finish what I’m doing and probably go to that person, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  All right.  Okay.  Let’s go to the documents that are being kept in your branch.  Could you identify the forms being filled out in opening an account?

MS. TIONGSON.  For new clients, Your Honor, they’re required to fill up their information in the specimen signature card.  And then they’re asked to sign the agreement.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Okay.  I was asking your president last week regarding the attachment made by the prosecution with regards to the request for subpoena, and I got hold of a Xerox copy of the customer identification and specimen signature card.

If I showed this to you, do you have the original copy of this particular specimen signature card?

Mr. President, permission to approach the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Approach the witness.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, may I consult.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Handa na po kayo sa isasagot?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Okay, sagutin nyo po yong tanong ko.

MS. TIONGSON.  The question again, Sir.  Sorry.

SEN. ESTRADA.  You know, Madam Witness, you keep on smiling, I do not know what that smile is for.

MS. TIONGSON.  It is—I am nervous.

SEN. ESTRADA.  I have already showed you a copy of—a Xerox copy of a customer identification specimen signature card from PS Bank.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Can you produce the original copy of this particular specimen card?  Did that come from your bank?  Galing ba ho sa bangko nyo ito?

MS. TIONGSON.  I will just compare it, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  Counsel, ask the permission of the Chair to approach your client, otherwise, I will be compelled to ask you to leave this room.

MS. TIONGSON.  For this signature card, Your Honor, it is the copy of the original.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Excuse me, I did not get your answer.

MS. TIONGSON.  The signature card is the copy of the original.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Okay.  Are you willing to bring that original copy here in this court?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are the originals in the possession of your bank?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And those documents are faithful reproduction of those originals.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

SEN. ESTRADA.  So, dala nyo yung ano—is it my understanding na dala nyo yung original?

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do you have the originals with you?

MS. TIONGSON.  Your Honor, may I consult my counsel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may consult.  Who is the other lawyer approaching the witness?

MS. TIONGSON.  Your Honor, these were marked as exhibit already.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Okay.  Madam Witness, do you consider those—the documents that you have as confidential documents?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

SEN. ESTRADA.  If so, Mr. President, can you give me at least three minutes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are given five minutes.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  If so, Madam  Witness, where do you keep these particular documents?

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, after…

SEN. ESTRADA.  In a safe?  In a vault, …

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

SEN. ESTRADA.  … or a drawer?

MS. TIONGSON.  It is in a filing cabinet inside the vault, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Filing cabinet inside the vault.  All right.  Who are those entrusted for the safekeeping of these documents?

MS. TIONGSON.  It is under the joint custody of one officer and one …

SEN. ESTRADA.  One officer.

MS. TIONGSON.  … customer service associate.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Excuse me, one officer …

MS. TIONGSON.  And one customer service associate.

SEN. ESTRADA.  And one service …

MS. TIONGSON.  Associate.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Service associate.

MS. TIONGSON.  Customer Service Associate.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Customer Service Associate.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who are they?  Who are they?

MS. TIONGSON.  Your Honor, for my particular branch?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who are they?  Name them.

MS. TIONGSON.  Name them.  Right now, Your Honor, the primary custodians are the BSCO, our BSCO right now is Almond Raquiza.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Since when?

MS. TIONGSON.  Since—I do not recall, Your Honor.  I am sorry.

SEN. ESTRADA.  You mentioned these two people.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is the other one?

SEN. ESTRADA.  One officer, Mr. President and one customer service officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  The Chair would like to know the identities of these two persons and I will ask another question.  Witness answer the question.

MS. TIONGSON.  The other custodian is Emiline Dizon, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And the filing cabinet could not be opened without the two of them using a key.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.  There is a combination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For security purposes.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Not one of them can open the filing cabinet without the other.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.  They cannot open without the other.  It is a joint custody.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And all of these signature cards would be in that filing cabinet.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In your branch.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And they are the only ones who have access to the signature cards.

MS. TIOGNSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Can you access those signature cards?

MS. TIONGSON.  I can also access, Your Honor, in their presence because they have to open it.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Can you access them alone?

MS. TIONGSON.  No, Your Honor, because I need them to open the vault.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If the manager wants an access to the signature cards, you have to ask the officer-in-charge and the other person to open the filing cabinet.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But either of them could not access without the other?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor, they cannot access without the other.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Both of them must be present to open the filing cabinet.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They can access it without your permission.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Proceed.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Your Honor.  So, kung mayroon mga  Xerox copy ng opening account documents, ito lang dalawang sinabi mo, sila lang ang makakaalam kung puwedeng maglabas ng kopya, tama po ba ako?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  If there are photocopies made from the the opening deposit account document, only these two officers that you mentioned or employees, would know and they should be responsible, am I correct?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  And you mentioned earlier to the Senate President that you, too, as a bank manager has access to the vault.

MS. TIONGSON.  I am the alternate custodian, Your Honor, of the primary custodian, the officer, and then the other one has also an alternate custodian.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is the primary custodian?

MS. TIONGSON.  The other officer of the branch, Your Honor, that is the primary custodian.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And what is your role?

MS. TIONGSON.  I am the alternate custodian.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alternate to whom?

MS. TIONGSON.  To the officer, Your Honor.  To the other officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are the only alternate custodian.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No other one.

MS. TIONGSON.  The other custodian also has an alternate.  So, parang they are four.  Two primary and two alternate custodians.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is the other alternate custodian.

MS. TIONGSON.  Another customers service associate, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is that person?  I am not asking the position.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sorry, right now ..

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are evasive.  I warn you, be candid.  You are under oath.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.  It is Irene Dizon.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Can I continue, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, please.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Is it not part of your procedure that when you retrieve a document, for example, from the vault or from the filing cabinet or steel cabinet, whatever you want to call it, you have to log the date, the time and the type of document and the name of the person retrieving that document.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Do you have that with you?

MS. TIONGSON.  No, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Can you show us such record, Madam Witness?

MS. TIONGSON.  I do not have it with me, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  So, in this case, you mentioned, Almond Raquiza and Irene Dizon. at saka—sino ba itong Emily? And, parehong Dizon?  Emily Dizon and …

MS. TIONGSON. Yes, po, but they are not related, sir.

SEN. ESTRADA.  They have the same surnames?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Ito bang si Irene or Emily Dizon, maliit na babae ba ito?

MS. TIONGSON. They are short as I am.

SEN. ESTRADA. So, you considered them as small ladies?

MS. TIONGSON. I do not—it’s relative or short.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Paano nag-leak out itong dokumentong ito?

MS. TIONGSON. I do not know, Your Honor, but I can say that it did not come from our branch or from our bank.

SEN. ESTRADA.  You said, you showed me the original copy of the customer identification specimen signature card a while ago. And you said you brought those particular documents with you. Alright. Paano na-xerox copy iyong dokumentong hawak mo at lumabas sa prosekyusyon at naibigay sa ibang tao, particularly, iyong prosecution panel? Kasi, in-attach nila ito sa request nila for subpoena. Ito nga ang naging basihan nila para malaman nila ang mga account numbers ni CJ Corona.

MS. TIONGSON. Which one, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

SEN. ESTRADA. Yes.  Ikaw ang bank manager, dapat alam ninyo po, ‘di ba ho?

MS. TIONGSON. This did not leak out then.

SEN. ESTRADA. Ito nga xerox. ‘Di ba parehong xerox copy ito? Ipinakita ko nga sa inyo. Iyang hawak ninyong naka-mark na exhibit. Can you check this if it’s the same?

MS. TIONGSON. Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  O, pareho, eh, paano nga nakapag-xerox copy itong mga sinasabi mong ano kung hindi mo alam? Can you just present the logbook to be brought here?

MS. TIONGSON.  Your Honor, may I confer to my counsel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The question is very simple. Can you explain the fact that according to your testimony, so far, only two souls can open that cabinet? Is this a steel cabinet, isn’t it?

MS. TIONGSON. Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And also you, upon your orders with the presence of those two. The question is, how was it possible that documents inside that cabinet with that security measure could be copied by anybody?

MS. TIONGSON.  Your Honor, having seen the one that the prosecution hands, is this the one also?

SEN. ESTRADA.  Exactly, what you have right in front of you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With the permission of Senator Jinggoy, I’ll ask you this question.  Do you have any signature cards, replica of those signature cards in those steel volt, steel cabinet in other portions of your bank?  Yes or no?

MS. TIONGSON.  Can—sir, Your Honor, please repeat the question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   You do not understand. You are getting nervous.

MS. TIONGSON. No, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The question is simple.

Your signature cards in a bank are in a volt?

MS. TIONGSON. Yes. Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Because they are important documents.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. They are not supposed to be exposed to anyone. The very confidential document as far as the bank is concerned.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And that is why they are placed in a volt, a steel volt, as usual, in a bank and two persons can open that volt, not one, but two.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And if you access it as a manager, you need the two. Now, the question is, are those documents inside that volt have copies in other parts of your bank-corporation?

MS. TIONGSON.  The original signature cards, sir, they are also sent to the head office upon the initial account opening.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The signature, what is the purpose of sending the signature cards in your head office when the account is with you, what for?

MS. TIONGSON.  For …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, there is no transaction by the depositor in your head office.  Come on.

MS. TIONGSON.  It is for the scanning of the signature, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Signing of the signature for what?

MS. TIONGSON.  For our system.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Ha?

MS. TIONGSON.  Scanning.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And after the scanning, they are brought to your—the originals are brought to your office back?

MS. TIONGSON.  There is a bolt also, Sir, that keeps the signature card, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Of the said…

MS. TIONGSON.  The signature cards that were sent to the head office stays in the head office and then we also have our own copy.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is it a practice of Philippine Savings Bank that for every account, whether it is branch account or a central office account, all the signature cards must have copies in the central office?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ha?  Are you sure?

MS. TIONGSON.  The originals, Sir …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Because if we check,  and you are not telling us the truth, you are subject to the disciplinary powers of this Court.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That …

MS. TIONGSON. That other original copy of the signature cards are also in the main office.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are forwarded to the head office.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And who would be the custodian in the head office?

MS. TIONGSON.  It is a department, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Department head.

MS. TIONGSON.  CBRCD

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Do you know the department head in your head office who is in-charge of the signature cards?

MS. TIONGSON.  I am sorry Sir, I do not know.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are those signature cards from your knowledge treated security-wise in the same way that they are treated in your branch.

MS. TIONGSON.  I would like to believe Sir, Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Ha?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Or also two persons could only open the depository vault?

MS. TIONGSON.  I really do not know their practice, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You do not know the practice.

MS. TIONGSON.  The procedure, Yes, Sir, for that office.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you.  You just mentioned earlier that that particular document did not come from your bank.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Alright.  And now, you have the original document and the xerox copy, and you said it is both the same, identical.  Am I correct?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Kung pareha iyan, Xerox copy saka iyong original, e, kanino ba ho mangagaling iyon di ba ho sa bangko ninyo?  As simple as that.

MS. TIONGSON.  This document did not come from our—I mean, the documents that is floating around did not come from our bank, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have the original with you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why?

SEN. ESTRADA.  You have the original with you.

ATTY. PELARES.  Your Honor, please.

MS. TIONGSON.  May I consult, Sir.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Mr. President.

THEPRESIDING OFFICER.  It is a question of procedure in your bank.  We are not asking about the deposits.

SEN. ESTRADA.  This is very, very important, because this violates Republic Act No. 1405, the Bank Secrecy Law.  Kaya gusto naming malaman kung—is it a normal practice of your bank to just give information of the client’s bank account to any strangers?

MS. TIONGSON.  It is not, Sir.

SEN. ESTRADA.  So, kanino nga galing ito?

MS. TIONGSON.  I wouldn’t know, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It could only come from your bank.  And the source could only be your branch in this case, in this particular case, or head office.  Correct?

MS. TIONGSON.  Possibly, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What do you mean possibly?

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, may I ask something lang with my counsel?

THEPRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, may I just clarify

SUSPENSION OF HEARING

At 7:25, the trial was suspended.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial suspended for one long minute.  (Gavel)

At 7:30 p.m., the trial was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Trial is resumed.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you.  Mr. President, while we are waiting for the witness, it might be the best time, the Senate, to submit to the court, the report of the Sergeant-at-Arms, on the CCTV of February 2, 2012, concerning the manifestations of Representative Umali, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. SOTTO.  … about the lady.  We hereby submit it to the court, for the—including the copies of the CCTV itself.  We are going to furnish each member, a copy of the report.  It does not contain any little ladies, giving anything to Representative Umali, from the time he arrived at one o’clock, up to the time that he boarded his vehicle around 3:19

Thank you, Mr. President.  We submit for the record.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Mr. President.  I think the Senate President has a hanging question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from San Juan has the floor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  I think, Mr. President, you still have a hanging question that ought to be answered by the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you show Annex A of the request for supplemental request for subpoena reply, dated 12 February—is this correct—12 February?  Yes.  The Annex A—show it to the witness, and, Madam Witness, tell us whether this document came from your bank.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, this did not come from our bank–from my branch.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This is not a bank record of the Philippine Savings Bank?

MS. TIONGSON.  This is a photocopy, Sir, and this is not our bank record.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, it is a photocopy, but is it a photocopy of a document in the possession of the Philippine Savings Bank.

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the document that I have here it is not.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It is not.  Do you have the original of the document similar to this document?

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, this is the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I am asking you a question and please understand.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Can you please stop whispering, Madam Counsel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, I warn you, I will send you out of this room if you are not going to observe the decorum in this chamber.

I will repeat my question.  Is this Annex A, a replica, a photocopy of a similar document in your bank, in Philippine Savings Bank?

MS. TIONGSON.  Your Honor, I could not say because I do not have the same copy with me, Sir, or the same kind of document that shows the same details, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You do not have—do you have the original of this document supposedly in the name of Corona, Renato Coronado, date, October 31, 2008.  And then, there are other impressions below this document.with figures.  Madam Clerk of Court, will you kindly show this document to the witness.  This document that I am holding.  All of these attachments.  Show the supplemental request, the complete document.  Examine all those documents covered by Annex A, there are several of them.  And tell me if you have similar documents like that in your bank.

MS. TIONGSON.  If you mean the exact replica, we do not have it, sir.  But if you are asking for the standard form that we use for those who open, it is the standard form.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you saying that these documents are false documents?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir, it seems fake, they are fake documents, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They are fake documents.  Are you sure?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Now, counsels …

MS. TIONGSON.  These did not come from our bank.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No.  But I want to know whether those are replica of genuine documents in your bank or they are not.

MS. TIONGSON.  No, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They are not.  What do you mean by no, sir.

MS. TIONGSON.  They are not, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They are not replica of genuine documents in your bank.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They are not replica of genuine documents.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please clearly state your answer.  Are those documents attached to the supplemental request for subpoena filed by the prosecution faithful reproduction or replica of documents in your bank?

MS. TIONGSON.  They are not the same, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are they false documents?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Then we want an explanation from the prosecution.  You know, Gentlemen, we are all lawyers here, there are ethical standards to be observed by us.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Mr. President, I think we need an explanation from the prosecution panel on how they got these alleged fake documents presented to the court and attach it to their supplemental request for subpoena.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. TUPAS.  Last Monday, we explained it here.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Explain it again.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  It was a Thursday, that was February 2 at around 7 to 7:30 in the evening, the prosecution met at a hotel along Roxas Boulevard and Congressman Umali gave me the document.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Roxas Boulevard.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  Midas Hotel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Midas Hotel.  Who were there?

REP. TUPAS.  Myself, Congressman Umali, Congressman Abaya, some of the spokespersons, I think it was Congressman Angara and Congressman Miro Quimbo, Congressman Colmenares.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Did you meet there for the purpose of waiting for Congressman Umali to bring those documents?

REP. TUPAS.  No, Your Honor.  We meet regularly. Thursday, we meet after the trial.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. In that place?

REP. TUPAS. In that place and it so happen that Congressman Umali approached me and he handed to me …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Approached you, where?

REP. TUPAS. Inside. Inside the hotel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Midas Hotel?

REP. TUPAS.  Midas.  And he gave me this brown envelope, I think we have here and he opened it before.  It was already opened and he showed that to me.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It was already opened.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes. He opened it.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who opened it?

REP. TUPAS.  Congressman Umali.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And then?

REP. TUPAS.  Then, he gave that to me and examined the documents. And it turned out to be the annex. It turned out to be the customer identifications specimen signature card in the name of …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. And now, there is a statement here under oath that it is a fake document. It is being disowned, so, explain to us how you will treat these documents that you subpoenad.

REP. TUPAS.  The only explanation that I can make, Your Honors, is how we got the document and that’s how we got the document. After document was given to me by Congressman Umali, I conferred with Congressman Abaya. Then, we called our lawyer. We set a meeting the following morning, around 10:00 o’clock and in that meeting, we decided to attach it in our supplemental request. Because before that, Your Honor, in our original request that was a Monday, before that was last week, Monday, we didn’t have the account number. We only had the one million winning in a promo raffle won by Renato Corona Coronado that signified that he has bank accounts in that particular branch of PSBank which is the Katipunan Branch. And then, we met with our lawyer on Friday and we decided to attach it in our supplemental request because it was very clear to us that the Senate President said that we need specificity.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct. Specificity.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay. Now, when Congressman Umali, as a member of your panel, presented the witness for the first time bearing on that document, I asked him how he got it, he said he want to Department of Public Works. And I asked him whether the document was given to him in the Department of Public Works, he said, no. And I asked him, where did you receive that document? I don’t know whether the records will bear this out, but I asked him, where did you receive that document? And he said, I received it from a small lady, I think inside this building. And we have the records of the CCTV of this building regarding the movement of Congressman Umali and it does not show anybody meeting Congressman Umali in this building. So, explain to us. You are ordered to explain to us in 24 hours.

REP. TUPAS.  We will do that. We will comply, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Mr. President, may I continue with my one and last question.

Mr. Counsel, Congressman Tupas, mukha yatang mahirap yatang paniwalaan ang script ninyo, ‘no? Primero, nagbigay, may maliit na babae nagbigay o nagabot or whatever. Be that as it may, Mr. Counsel, assuming na totoo o genuine itong mga dokumentong ito and you know for a fact that you are a lawyer, and you know for a fact that that particular document was illegally obtained and that is in violation of Republic Act No. 1405. My question is, if that particular document was illegally acquired or illegally obtained, why did you have to attach that in your supplemental request for subpoena?  Alam ninyo, ako po’y hindi po abogado, pero, noong binasa ko po iyong batas, alam ko pong illegal iyan. And I know, all documents that are illegally acquired or illegally obtained are inadmissible in Court.  That is as far as what I learned from my law school.

REP. TUPAS.   Your Honor, please.

We were in good faith when we attached it.  Ini-attached po naming ito dahil—unang-una, in our supplemental request, and I read it, I read:  “Moreover it seems that the media itself also has information pertaining to the PS Bank accounts”.  Ito iyong newspaper articles with Mr. Jake Macasaet in Abante, the day before, and Mr. Conrado Banal III in the Philippine Daily Inquirer also dated February 2.  At, tungkol naman ho doon sa sinasabi ng ating Senador na illegally obtained, ang pagkakaalam po naming na walang exclusionary rule doon sa Foreign Currency Deposit Act.  And at the same time wala ring exclusionary rule doon po sa Republic Act No. 1405, or iyong Bank Secrecy Law.  Kaya po in good faith po kami na ini-attached po namin ito and it turned out that at least ten bank accounts turned out to be existing and accurate.  Iyong at least, iyong ten bank account numbers stated or covered by the Subpoena, naging accurate po iyong sampung iyon.

SEN. ESTRADA.  I will yield the floor to Senator Escudero.  But one last question before I yield the floor to Senator Escudero.

Madam Witness, are you related to any member of the prosecution panel?

MS. TIONGSON.  No, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Defense panel?

MS. TIONGSON.  No, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  And for that matter, to any Senator judge?

MS. TIONGSON.  No, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Were you pressured or duly influenced to release a document in question?

MS. TIONGSON.  No, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Are you sure?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ESTRADA.  All right.  Thank you, Mr. President.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Mr. President, I actually wanted to raise a point of order earlier.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Sorsogon.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, based on our Journal of Thursday, February 9, 2012, the Presiding Officer ordered the president of the bank to produce the originals of the annexes attached to the request for Subpoena by the prosecution.  And if I may read, page 35 thereof, “Then, produce the originals, Mr. Garcia goes, ‘Yes, Your Honor’.  And the Presiding Officer asked Mr. Garcia, “Does this particular account exist without asking for the details”.  And he give the particular number of the account mentioned by Senator Estrada.  Page 37, MR. PRESIDING OFFICER: All right.  Lastly, account no. 089191000373.  Does this account exist in your bank?  MR. GARCIA.  Yes, Your Honor.

On second point, Mr. President, Your Honor, the Presiding Officer also asked the president of the bank, and if I may quote on page 39, “I am asking whether they would exist in other branches of your bank, referring to the records, the signature card and the contract.  I am not delving into the details of the account, I do not even know the owner of these accounts.

MR. GARCIA.  Your Honor, when an account is opened in one branch, it is domiciled in that branch, it will not exist in other branches”.

And an order was given again by the Presiding Officer for the originals to be produced.

Clearly, Mr. President, Your Honor, the document she is comparing, using to compare the attached annexes is different.  May I ask the witness.  In accordance with the undertaking of Mr. Garcia, did you produce the originals of account number 089191000373, which is domiciled in your branch according to the president of your bank?

MS. TIONGSON.  Your Honor, that account number pertains to a dollar account.  So, it was not part of the Subpoena.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  If I may reiterate Ma’m.  We know it is a dollar account and we are not delving into it.  We only want you to do is for you to compare it with the Xerox copy attached as an annex in the request for Subpoena to find out if it is a faithful reproduction of what is in your record, to find out where that document came from.  Hindi naman ho naman naming titingnan iyong account, ni hindi nga ho pinamarkahan sa ebidensya eh.  Nais lang naming maikumpara, galing ba talaga iyong dokumentong iyon sa inyo?  Dahil ang sagot po sa amin ng presidente ninyo hindi daw niya masabi kung galing sa kanila dahil wala sa kanya iyong original.  Kaya po hiniling na dalhin sana iyong original dito.  Dala ninyo po ba iyong original noong account na nabanggit ko?

MS. TIONGSON.  Based on the subpoena, Your Honor, we were only asked to bring for peso accounts.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  May I refer to the records, Mr. President.  May we request the corresponding clarification to be made with respect to the documents we asked of this witness and of Mr. Garcia.  Again, not (inaudible) to the dollar accounts, Mr. President, Your Honor, but for the witness to be able to compare whether or not the annex attached to the request for subpoena is indeed a record that came from your bank, Madam Witness, ma’am, ito po ay wala ng kinalaman sa dollar account.  May kinalaman po ito sa paglabag sa 1405 dahil may kumakalat pong dokumento, hindi nga ho kumakalat e, isinumite po sa amin, and it turns out that that account is  an account that actually exists in your bank

MS. TIONGSON.  I am sorry, I was not religiously following the proceedings, sir.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  May we request, Mr. President, to reiterate the ruling of the Chair for the witness to bring the original of the account referred to in the annex attached to the request for subpoena.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, Madam Witness…

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Only for comparison purposes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are the  manager of Kalayaan Branch of Philippine Savings Bank.  You are ordered by this court, no longer by a subpoena, you are  orally ordered by this court to bring the original of the document that was shown to you, if it exist, or a document of similar nature in the possession of the bank for the examination of this court to compare it with this document attached to the supplemental request for subpoena and to bring it here at 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon during the trial of this case and also to notify your president to come back here to be examined by any member of this court who wishes to examine him on these documents.  Because you said the head office of your bank carries—does your head office carry the documents annexed to the supplemental request for subpoena?

MS. TIONGSON.  This document, Your Honor?  All documents pertaining to this account are in the head office, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When?  As a matter of practice from the time it was opened, copies of these documents are send to the head office?

MS. TIONGSON.  Especially because of this…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no, I am asking you a direct question.  I expect you to answer it.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When this account was opened, were these documents that were shown to you as attachment to the supplemental request for a subpoena given to the head office or they were only asked later on?

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, all the original documents are with the head office right now.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The original documents.

MS. TIONGSON.  I cannot say if it’s the exact because…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You know I am not asking you whether exact or this document.  I am asking you whether a similar document like what has been attached to the supplemental request for subpoena bearing on this alleged account of Chief Justice Renato Corona in your bank were supplied to the head office when the accounts were opened?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the meaning of “Yes, Sir.”?

MS. TIONGSON.  The head office has copies.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They were given copies?

MS. TIONGSON.  I mean the original copy.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The central office was given original …

MS. TIONGSON.  The original copy.  They have the original copy.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Also?  And that is a normal practice?  Is that a normal practice of the bank for all customers?

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Then you tell your—So there are only two sources of these documents if these are replica of the documents in your possession, but you say they are fake documents.  But we want to be sure.  The only two sources would be your records or the records of your central office.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, may I consult my …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For what?

MS. TIONGSON.  I’ll just as if I can ask something.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For what?

MS. TIONGSON.  May I just say that there was an audit of BSP in 2010 …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And then?

MS. TIONGSON.  … in our branch and they were able to …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the relevance of the audit in 2010?

MS. TIONGSON.  I believe they were able to see the records.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who are they?

MS. TIONGSON.  The BSP, Sir, and as required by the AMLA, the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  BSP?

MS. TIONGSON.  Bangko Sentral, Sir.  They can examine the bank’s records during annual or special audits.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It was shown to the Bangko Sentral?

MS. TIONGSON.  I’m not quite sure, Sir, but there was an audit of our branch.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who audited your branch?

MS. TIONGSON.  The Bangko Sentral, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The superintendant of banks?  The banking division or what?  Who?  Bangko Sentral’s a very big organization.  Who?

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, we’ll just have to—I will verify the exact details, but as far as I recall, there was that audit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Escudero.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Just a few more questions.

Madam Witness, hindi naman po kayo inaakusahan na kayo’y naglabas o opisyal ng bangko yung naglabas, kaya nga po hinihiling sana namin yung original dahil sabi nung presidente ninyo mukang hindi daw yon eksakto at may pagkakaiba daw don sa nasa records ninyo.  Kaya hiniling po namin na madala sana yung original.  Hindi para bulatlatin yung dollar accounts, pero para tingnan kung magkapareho nga ba o magkaiba dahil kung magkapareho, e di ibig sabihin, faithful reproduction yung nasa record ninyo, at kung sino man ang may access don, ngayon sinasabi nyo BSP, kayo man o sino mang opisyal, sila yung maaaring tanungin kung saan nakuha itong dokumentong ‘to.

Ayaw lang ho kasi naming maakusahan kami na bahagi kami ng paglabag ng 1405, bagaman ginamit naming basehan ito sa pag-issue ng subpoena.  Sana po naintindihan nyo kung san kami nanggagaling.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, with all due respect, if we produce the original for this, I think this is covered by the TRO.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  We’re not asking you to show it to us.  We’re asking you to use it as basis and compared with our photocopy to be able to answer if indeed it is a faithful reproduction of what you have on hand.

Secondly, maliwanag naman na nagbotohan na po kami kanina.  Hindi po namin—gagalangin po namin yung TRO ng Supreme Court, subali’t tinatanong po namin ito ng may kinalaman sa paglabag sa 1405, hindi po sa 6426.

Ito po’y may kinalaman, bakit may dokumentong kumakalat, at hindi po namin pwedeng panghawakan lamang ang salita ninyong hindi galing sa inyo dahil kung eksato po yon, e di nanggaling po don.  Ang tanong na lamang ay sino.

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, may I consult with my counsel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

By the way, I address these remarks to the prosecution.  At one point during the trial of this case, I requested a memorandum from the prosecution about the duties, particular duties of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  Have you submitted that memorandum?

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, we submitted it, three o’clock, this afternoon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  I will find out from the clerk of court if they have received it.]

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  My last question, Mr. President, may we get a response from the witness.

MS. TIONGSON.  Your Honor, the document that you showed me, based on Annex A, seems to have information on dollar accounts that would—if ever presented, would be in violation of the FCDU Law.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Madam Witness, we are not asking you to present it, and it won’t be presented as evidence.  Sige, po, pasimplehin ho natin.  Ikumpara nyo ho, pag-uwi nyo, mamaya o bukas, sa original na nasa file nyo, yong nasa annex, at sabihin nyo po sa amin bukas, yan ba ay may pagkakaiba doon sa record nyo o wala.  Huwag nyo na hong dalhin yong dokumento rito.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Pwede po yon?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You know, if the—you said that this document is fake, if it is a fake document, then I think that it is proper to cancel the subpoena.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Iyon lamang po an ang aming layunin, Ma’am.  Kung sa palagay nyo ay may paglabag sa batas, kung dadalhin nyo rito—as long as you will be able to competently answer our question, yan po ba ay may eksaktong kopya sa inyo o wala?  Iyon lamang po.

MS. TIONGSON.  Your Honor …

ATTY. PELARES.  Your Honor, may I be allowed to explain our side.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. PELARES.  With all due respects, Honorable Chiz Escudero, if we confirm or deny that it is an exact replica, it would be a kin to admitting that the information there about the dollar account is accurate, Your Honor.  So, it is already covered by the TRO.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Your bank president already admitted that that account exists under oath.  Now, all we are asking is, if that is a faithful reproduction of what you have in the bank, to find out, binigyan ba kami ng peke ng prosekusyon, niloloko ba kami ng mga ito, o ito ba ay dahil sa isang leak.

Nais din naming protektahan yong bangko nyo, dahil kung peke yan, e di ibig sabihin, walang paglabag sa 1405, and the prosecution will be made to account for it.  Pero kung faithful reproduction yan, still, there would be some liabilities attaching to whomsoever may have been part of that leak. That is all that we are trying to drive at here.

Again, she does not have to bring the document.  All she has to do is say under oath, ito po ay hindi katulad ng nasa amin.  Ganoon lamang po kadali yon, kung hindi, e di peke yon.  Tapos ho ang usapan.

Thank you, Mr. President.  That would be all for the witness.  Thank you, Ma’am.  Good evening.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Pampanga.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Just very quickly, Mr. President.  Thank you.  To the witness, is it my understanding that while the bank account is domiciled in one branch, which is in this case, your branch, the peso accounts, can the bank records be accessed by other branches?

MS. TIONGSON.  No, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Can it be accessed by the main office?

MS. TIONGSON.  It is kept under a very safe …

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes, but can it be accessed by the main office?

MS. TIONGSON.  I would not know, Sir, probably.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  You would not know, probably.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No.  Only the President will be able to answer that question, that is why, the Chair wants the President to be back.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Because of the lateness of the hour—so, we will pursue it with the, perhaps, with the President, maybe, tomorrow, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  The other point is, you mentioned, there was an audit by the BSP in 2010, and you mentioned AMLA.

MS. TIONGSON.  There was an audit of the bank.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  In 2010, you said 2010.

MS. TIONGSON.  Yes, Sir.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  When in 2010?

MS. TIONGSON.  Around November.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  November 2010.  And then, you also mentioned AMLA.  AMLA made an audit or …

MS. TIONGSON.  I think, it is required by the MOR be–that BSP can …

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Do a special audit.

MS. TIONGSON.  Is allowed to go to any bank and do a special audit or an annual audit.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Is it the BSP or the AMLA?

MS. TIONGSON.  I will confirm, sir.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Can you please double check, November 2010 …

MS. TIONGSON.  Sir, we will just check

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes, double check the information, the facts, November 2010, BSP, AMLA, special audit or regular, what do you call it, regular audit?  Which ever.  And your point being that they were able to access these bank records.  So, we would like to get the facts at perhaps at the next setting, Mr. President.  Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Osmena wishes to have the floor.  And then Senator Cayetano.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Cebu.

SEN. OSMENA.  Thank you, Mr,. President.  Ms. Tiongson, sabihin mo lang sa court kung itong limang account na ito, ending, I will just give you the four numbers, alam naman natin iyan…7358, 9539, 0122, 1681, 1957, the five-peso time deposits.  Are they still open up to this day?  Do they still exist?

MS. TIONGSON.  May I refer to the previous documents that were submitted, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

MS. TIONGSON.  Your Honor, may I answer for some of the accounts.  For 089121011957, it was closed sometime 2008.  I do not have the exact date, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMENA.  Go ahead.

MS. TIONGSON.  For 1681 for account number 089121021681,  it was still open as of 2010, Your Honor, but  if it is closed as of now, I do not have the record, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMENA.  Would you please find out and let us know at the next hearing.

MS. TIONGSON.  It will be subpoenaed naman eh.  So we can have  a basis.

SEN. OSMENA.  No, we do not have to issue anymore subpoenas and bother the court.  This has to do anyway with the account which had been identified and we would like to know if it is still existing today.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is that a peso account or a …

SEN. OSMENA.  It is a peso account, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Under 1405, the impeachment court has the power to require the production.

MS. TIONGSON.  Okay, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMENA.  I have the same question for the account ending 0122.

MS. TIONGSON.  For 0122, based on the records, sir, I think it is closed already because it is zero here.  I will confirm tomorrow, sir.

SEN. OSMENA.  As far as account 9593.

MS. TIONGSON.  For 9593, as of 2010 ending December 31, it is still open but as of today I will confirm.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Thank you. And, as Account No. 7358.

MS. TIONGSON.  For 7358, I will just confirm tomorrow because zero …

SEN. OSMEÑA. Now, will you also bring information as to the tenor of the time deposit because you have an opening deposit of P8.5 million.  It is registered as a peso time deposit per your testimony earlier. I would like to know how long the time deposit is supposed to run. Alright.

MS. TIONGSON. Yes.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Okay, ngayon po, are you aware of any other accounts that the respondent would have with your bank including investment management funds, investment trust funds, unit investment trust. I am not referring to any foreign currency deposit, just peso-denominated deposit, mutual funds. Wala namang mutual funds Mr. Garcia said earlier. So, are there any other accounts which existing?

MS. TIONGSON. Sir, I only have information on the subpoenad documents.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  No, we do not have, only information, the subpoenad documents. You have information also of other accounts that exist in the bank?

MS. TIONGSON. I could not say right now, sir.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Okay, will you bring that information tomorrow and give us a categorical answer if there are any other existing accounts because earlier, the court approved the subpoena of all other related accounts, sister accounts, and we expect that to be handed to the court tomorrow. So, I would like you to give us more complete information on those accounts.

MS. TIONGSON.  It will be covered by a subpoena, sir.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  It is covered by subpoena, yes.

Now, Ms. Tiongson, of course, you are familiar and you are involved and trained on how to abide by the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

MS. TIONGSON.   Yes, sir.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Alright. Some of these accounts, what is the covered-transaction limit on the Anti-Money Laundering Act?

MS. TIONGSON. P500,000, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  P500,000. Did your branch submit a covered-transaction report to the Anti-Money Laundering Council on these accounts?

MS. TIONGSON. Yes, sir.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  On all of these deposits that were in excess of P500,000?

MS. TIONGSON. Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The time of the Gentleman is extended.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Alright. That will be all for now.  Thank you very much to the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

The Minority Floor Leader.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.). Magandang gabi po, Mr. President.

Mr. President, if the witness is coming back and bring those documents, I’ll ask my questions tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Alright.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO. Thank you, Mr. President.

Yes, the prosecution wants to be—do you have any—Mr. President, there are some housekeeping chores we have to do, but because of the lateness of the hour, I will do that tomorrow. And may I just ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to make an announcement for today.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, before please.

SEN. SOTTO. Yes.

REP. TUPAS.  Before we adjourn, with respect to our other witness, Ms. Leonora Dizon of BPI Ayala Branch, may we ask, Your Honor, to direct her to come back tomorrow also 2:00 in the afternoon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, let Ms. Leonora Dizon come back tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 to join the hearing of this impeachment case.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO. The Sergeant-at-Arms will make an announcement.

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

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move to adjourn until 2:00 in the afternoon of Tuesday, February 14, 2012, the birthday of the Senate President

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  (Silence) The trial is hereby adjourned until two o’clock of Tuesday, February 14, 2012.

It was 8:15 p.m.

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