IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Tuesday, February 21, 2012

At 2:12 p.m., the hearing was called to order with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile Presiding.

 

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

We shall be led in prayer by Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV

PRAYER BY SENATOR TRILLANES

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

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  The honorable Senators Angara; Arroyo; Cayetano, Allan Peter ‘Compañero’; Cayetano, Pia; Defensor-Santiago; Drilon, Ejercito-Estrada; Escudero; Guingona; Honasan; Lacson; Lapid; Legarda; Marcos; Osmeña, Pangilinan, Pimentel; Recto; Revilla; Sotto; Trillanes; Villar; Senate President Enrile.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With 18 Senator-Judges present, the Presiding Officer declares the presence of a quorum.  (Gavel)

Majority Floor Leader

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to make the proclamation.

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

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we dispense with the reading of the February 20, 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 20, 2012 Journal of the Senate sitting as an impeachment court is hereby approved.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Let us call the case, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  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 impeachment trial of honourable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Appearances.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, the prosecution, Mr. President.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Good afternoon, Mr. President, and the honorable Members of the Senate sitting as an impeachment court, same appearances for the prosecution, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICERS.  Noted.  The defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, the same appearance for the defense, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

Yes, Mr. President, may we recognize Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago before the Business for the Day.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Lady Senator from Iloilo.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Both counsel, please take your seats.

Mr. President, first, I humbly beg the indulgence of our colleagues, particularly, I apologize very profusely that I always take the floor at the beginning of the impeachment trial, the reason is, medical.

After two months, it is only now that my blood pressure has become normal, but I am now suffering from chronic fatigue.  If you remember, a couple of years ago, I took prolonged sick leave because of chronic fatigue.  This period’s chronic fatigue might be caused by the fact that I am suffering from what is called in layman’s terms, lazy bone marrow, that is to say, my bone marrow, apparently, does not manufacture enough red blood cells, and I have to be injected every week, to get my blood cells to normal.

That is the reason why I cannot stay long and that is why, sometimes, when I am speaking, I sound like I am out of breath.  Also, not only am I hyperventilating, I have palpitations when I am in trial court.

Now, to go to the Business of the Day, some observers of our proceedings might wonder why we have spent time, determining whether the specimen signature cards submitted by the prosecution, with the qualification that they do not vouch for its authenticity, some might wonder why we are spending time on whether these specimen cards are true or false.

The answer lies in this basic rule of evidence that is expressed in Latin as follows, falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.  This is a very serious and basic principle in evidence.  Once the court is convinced that one panel has been foisting a fake document on the court, the court will let them justify, indulging the disputable presumption that if, one panel has been lying on one particular, then on all particulars, and will have to disbelieve everything that that panel offers in evidence.  That is the scope and meaning of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, lying in one particular, lying in all particulars.

That is why, as a Senator Judge, I would like to counsel prosecution, be extremely, extremely careful, Gentlemen of the prosecution because you might be on very thin ice.

Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.  There was a theory expressed in this court that actually, the attachments to the request for subpoena of prosecution are not fake or not forgeries because they are simply, as the bank official testified, they are simply inconsistencies or discrepancies, which the bank official said, according to their count, number of over 40 inconsistencies or discrepancies.  Thus, we have to turn to our Penal Code to determine whether the specimen signature cards, both from the bank and from those submitted by the prosecution constitute falsification.  Under the Penal Code, Article 1721, as related to Article 1722, falsification is, by among other methods, committed by, “making any alteration or intercolation, intercolation means insertion, in a genuine document which changes its meaning.  And by the way, there is a difference between the term “forgery” and the term “falsification”.  Under the penal code, the term forgery is usually applied to bank notes.  For example, if you print Philippine pesos or US dollars, then, you are guilty of forgery.  If you are passing of these counterfeit notes as genuine.  But, if you are falsifying a commercial paper like a specimen credit card of a bank, that is a crime of falsification.  And it is a crime to knowingly introduce in evidence in any judicial proceedings such a falsification.  I have a whole list of cases that I look up when I left the session hall yesterday, but I will just quote a 2010 case because as you know, in law the later the decision, the more authoritative it becomes.  Ramos vs. People, 2010: The elements of falsification of commercial documents are:  1)  That there be an alteration, or a change, or intercalation or insertion on document; that it was made on genuine document; that the alteration or intercalation has changed the meaning of the document and that the change made the document speak something false.  That is the Supreme Court speaking on what is a falsified document.

Now, maybe some of us might think that we should call for a handwriting expert but that is not the jurisprudence.  We don’t need a handwriting expert because jurisprudence tells us that mostly courts disregard what the handwriting expert says, and it is up to the judge to determine for himself visually whether what he is seeing before him are, as described by the penal code, changes or insertions that tend to give a different meaning to the document.

So, the importance of this topic in our impeachment proceedings might overshadow the need to hurry and finish the impeachment trial because if we can prove, if there is proof on record that signature specimen card were falsified as falsification is defined under the penal code, then, perhaps, the court might lean towards considering the maxim falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus.  It is not relevant to say anyway, the people responsible will have to be accused in a criminal case until you have to find somebody who will file an accusation against them.  That is completely irrelevant.  The question before the Impeachment Court is, does this latin maxim false in one particular, false in all particulars, apply to the instant specimen cards?

Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Thank you. The Majority Floor Leader.  What is the pleasure of the counsel for the defense?

JUSTICE CUEVAS. Thank you, Your Honor.  Your Honor, please, before we start today’s proceedings, may I be allowed to make a short manifestation, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed, you have two minutes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I would like to appeal, Your Honor, to this honourable Body for a re-examination, Your Honor, of Rule 17, Your Honor, of the Impeachment Court, Your Honor.  The rule read as follows:  If a Senator wishes to put a  question to a witness, he or she shall do so within two minutes.  A Senator may likewise put a question to a prosecutor or  counsel.  He or she may also offer  a motion or order in writing which shall be submitted to the presiding officer.  We are pleading for a re-examination of this rule, Your Honor, to avoid the usual occurrence of what is known is mistrial, Your Honor.  Because while it is true that the proceeding of this court as of the moment may not amount to a mistrial, it is equally discernable that it may be raised in the future in the event that the situation goes worst than this.

And the reason for this, Your Honor, is, counsel, whether private or defense counsel, is precluded from raising an objection or arguing with the Members-Senator, Your Honor.  This is not the same rule that we have before, because in the old rule, Your Honor, there is that opportunity for counsel representing an impeached public officer to object to any question raised by the Senate-Member, Your Honor, and, if the objection is raised, the court is under legal obligation to examine the same and deal with these merits. In other words, it is ruled upon whether by the Presiding Officer whether it should be allowed or not, Your Honor.

Now, we say that this may amount to a mistrial, Your Honor, because there is nothing left in favor of an impeachable public officer or an impeached public officer.  He cannot object. He cannot make any manifestation and in all probability, as what we have noticed before, the question of a member of this court centers on practically everything, Your Honor.  One question may be raised, followed up by another, leading to a request for the issuance of an order requiring the production of certain documents, which document had not yet been proved to be material to the issue or relevant to the subject matter under discussion.  Under such a situation, Your Honor, notwithstanding the fact that a counsel or the defense counsel in this particular instance move for a denial of the motion, still the subpoena—the order is granted, a subpoena is issued; and notwithstanding the fact that a motion for the desolution or quashing of the subpoena is made, it is likewise—it may likewise be overruled. Under such a situation, we have no other recourse before this Honorable Court, Your Honor, and probably, the only recourse is to go to the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines.  Now, that will be, rather, not only burdensome, but almost a nullity as a remedy, because it will take time because preparing the necessary pleadings before the same scheduled before the appellate court and before any action can be made on the matter. You know, the result, we may arise—we may come into a situation where the Tagalog, “aanhin pa ang damo, kung patay na ang kabayo,” if the remedy may be granted later, but the proceedings went on and there is that violation of the constitutional rights of an accused.

We submit, Your Honor, that these are reasons enough to warrant our plea for a re-examination of this particular provision, Your Honor, not to favor the defense, much less the prosecution, Your Honor, but so justice may be done, Your Honor and to avoid what is known in law “as a mistrial” which may ultimately result in the nullification of all the proceedings that we had under the old rule, Your Honor.  We believe that this is not only asking justice for the defense, but likewise for the prosecution because the question of the member-Senator, Your Honor,  may be favoring the defense, not all the time the prosecution or it may be favoring the prosecution.  And since there is no definite category of what may be asked, whether in the form of merely clarificatory question or cross-examination question, there is where we feel that the apprehension becomes greater because, ultimately, the respondent public official may be railroaded to a verdict of guilt, Your Honor.  Hence, it is again our plea, Your Honor, that this rule be the subject of another judicious examination in order  to determine whether there is really a room for improvement just so justice may be meted out in favor of everybody. Thank you very much, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Chair would like to find out, clarificatory questions from members of the court is not objectionable by either side.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. To clarify facts, to clarify—to obtain information that is vague or rather not understandable by any member of the court.

ATTY. CUEVAS. We submit that they are not objectionable, Your Honor.  But first and foremost, may we be enlightened as to why the right to object against any examination question by a member of this court is now prohibited or proscribed under the new rule, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, that is the rule adopted by this court.  Frankly, I am not privy to the adoption of this rule. I do not know when it was adopted, but anyway,—it was adopted, I think during the preparation of the impeachment trial for the former Ombudsman.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  When we were examining towards the root of this change, Your Honor, we found out that the right to object has been granted to counsel and/or his impeached client, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This was during the time of the trial of the former President…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Estrada.  That is correct, Your Honor.   And since then there was no impeachment proceedings that had taken place sufficient enough to show any flaw, any evil or any wrong attendant to such a ruling.  We were surprised, Your Honor, why that particular portion of the old rule had been totally obliterated and taken off the present rule now.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Our position is that…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the counsel for the defense…

REP. FARIÑAS.  Yes, I thought he was done.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Our point, Your Honor, is to make the rule more in accord with the constitutional requirement on the matter especially the Bill of Rights which grant to every person the right to life, liberty and property.  He cannot be deprived of any of these things in violation with due process clause.  It is our humble submission, Your Honor, that with the old rule, there is greater attachment, there is greater adherence to the observance of the protection of the right to due process, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We are conscious of that, Mr. Counsel, and I cannot rule on this at this moment.  This has to be taken up by the court in a caucus as we have practiced in order to arrive at a reasonable resolution of this you have raised.  Bu I can assure you that as much as possible we will try to accord the respondent a fair trial observing, not only substantive, but procedural due process in order not to intrude or rather derogate anything from the application of applicable provisions of the Bill of Rights.  Now, may I ask a question from a member of the court to test the credibility of a witness presented by either side.  Would that be acceptable to both sides?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Acceptable to the prosecution, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How about the defense?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With more reason, Your Honor, if the purpose is to test the credibility of the witness on the stand who is under examination, we can interpose no valid objection, Your Honor.  We are in total conformity and in full accord with that suggestion, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And, for instance, the Presiding Officer extensively question two witnesses for the prosecution yesterday precisely because of the fact that the issue involved an attachment to the request for a supplemental subpoena duces tecum to produce a document desired from a bank covered by certain laws that in turn covers the document with certain amount of confidentiality.  So I do not know whether that is objectionable to the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  To us, Your Honor, we could interpose no valid objection to such a procedure, Your Honor.  But if the questioning by way of testing the credibility of the witness will amount to, let’s say a discovery again of certain documents and then he is ordered to produce without the benefit of a subpoena, Your Honor, that is worse than a subpoena itself because a subpoena duces tecum may be quash, may be objected to but if there is a motion on the part of the member of this court requiring a particular witness on the stand to produce document, automatically he is under legal obligation by direction of this honourable court, Your Honor.  We are not saying that it is not valid, we are not saying that it is illegal, Your Honor, but it borders on what is known as gray area whereby the right of a party on the stand may be prejudiced and also the party under trial, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, we will take note of your manifestation.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Before we end, Your Honor, it is not our purpose to have a drastic action on our plea, Your Honor.  We are pleading this matter to be brought to the attention of this honourable court only for purposes of examination and judicious evaluation.

With that, Your Honor, we thank heavily this honourable court, Your Honor.

REP. FARIÑAS.  May we make also a manifestation, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  The Presiding Officer is conscious of the rights of the respondent, and the role of the prosecution as well as the defense in this case, and I can assure you that I’ve been following that norm.  But, we will take this up in caucus.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The chief of the panel of prosecutors from the House.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Yes, Mr. President.  May we just make a counter manifestation on that matter.

There’s a saying in English, it says that, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  Kung wala naman diperensya o sira, wag mo nang kukumpunihin.

The Rules as they stand now are perfect, Mr. President, because by precedence, we have been doing this in the 11th Congress in the hearing of the impeachment case of President Estrada, these same Rules applied.  And even in the US Senate, Mr. President, this same rule is found in the Rules of the US Senate that Senators sitting in impeachment can ask questions from witnesses and from counsels.  The only difference is that in the US Senate, the questions are written and submitted to the President, Mr. President, but they are certainly allowed to ask questions.

And on the part of the House, we have been maintaining, Mr. President, that an impeachment case is an administrative case where the only issue is whether the public officer still enjoys public trust in order that he can still continue to hold office.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If I remember of what I read correctly, counsel, in case of impeachment, the role of the House of Representatives is that of a grand jury.  You are supposed to have prepared the evidence beforehand.  In fact, your powers to gather the evidence beforehand is plenary.  It’s, in fact, inquisitorial in nature.  And that is why we have a problem in the course of this trial because we are using compulsory process to gather evidence for you, which you should have gathered beforehand before you filed the Articles of Impeachment in this court.  And that’s why I warned you several times that what you are doing might be fatal to the proceedings.

Your read the American precedence in impeachment cases.  The function of the function of the House is like that of a grand jury.  I had it researched.  And, in a grand jury proceedings, it is almost an inquisition.  There’s no adversarial proceeding.  You can subpoena any record from any sector, but you are called upon to keep these subpoenaed records absolutely confidential, not exposed to the public as what is being done in this proceeding.  You should have read those materials before you instituted this Articles of Impeachment.

REP. FARIÑAS.  May we …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, anyway, we are already at this point, it’s too late to backtrack, but it’s a lesson that we have to …

REP. FARIÑAS.  One minute, Mr. President, on this matter.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, before that, Mr. President, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, may I suggest that let the chief of the prosecution panel …

SEN. SOTTO.  I submit, Mr. President.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Thank you, Mr. President.

There are third modes of initiating impeachment complaint, Mr. President.  Indeed, it passes through the Committee on Justice, then we could have been afforded all this time to exercise the powers akin to a grand jury.  But, Mr. President, there is a third mode which is specifically granted by Constitution where in case the verified complaint or Resolution of Impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House, it shall be sent immediately to the Senate because, Mr. President, yung impeachment po kasi, emergency power po ito ng mamamayan.  Halimbawa po, kung iyong Pangulo ng bansa o yong Punong Mahistrado po, sa tingin ng isa sa bawat tatlong Miyembro ng Kamara po, ay talagang dapat panagutin kaagad-agad, hindi na po dadaan doon sa grand jury style kundi idudulog na po kaagad dito at maglilitis na po kaagad tayo dito dahil kung emergency nga po, baka masira po lalo iyong opisina kung dadaan po doon sa proseso.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Tama poi yon, pero ibig ba ninyong sabihin, na kahit na 1/3 ng House of Representatives ang pumirma ay pupulutin niyo sa hangin iyong ilalagay niyo sa Articles of Impeachment, na wala kayong batayan?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Hindi naman po, dahil katulad nga po nito, mayroon naman po silang ginawang mga artikulo of impeachment, na may mga nakalahad naman po doon kung ano yong mga reklamo at nahimay-himay naman po lahat.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alam mo, kaya magulo yong inyong articles of impeachment, kaya nga nahihirapan kami na—kung saan namin papasyahan yong mga ebidensyang ipinapasok niyo, kaya nga sa Article II lamang ay nagkaroon na tayo ng problema, pagdating natin sa Article IV, Article V, Article VII, Article VI, Article VII, halo-halo yong alegasyon niyo, pag binuksan niyo yan, makikita natin ang kamalian e.

Anyway, we proceed and we take advisement on this matter.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Thank you, Mr. President.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, as the Chairman of the Committee on Rules, first, I would like to thank the prosecution that the rules are perfect.  But nevertheless, the prohibition to object is not found in the Rules of the Senate, indeed, but it is found in the practice, in courts, wherein you cannot object t to the question of a judge.  But be that as it may, may we recognize Senator Angara and then Senator Joker Arroyo, Mr. President, so that they may amplify this position of the Rules Committee.

SEN. ANGARA.  This is very simple, Mr. President.  The question being raised is that, why is it that the defense or the counsel of either side cannot object to a question by a Senator Judge?

The Majority Leader is correct, there is no ban, there is no prohibition against any of the Senator—any of the lawyers, objecting to a question, but it is in the form of objection that there is a difference.  You perhaps may not say, I object, Mr. Judge, but you may say, I will file a reservation or an exception to that question because it tends to prejudice my client.

But I think, for the sake of fairness, and even the perception of perception of fairness, I think, we ought to really allow any of the lawyers to make an exception, rather than object verbally to a question of the judge, because even in a grand jury, that is the procedure.  In a grand jury, it is a free for all, you can ask almost anything under the sun without leading question, even misleading question, but the lawyers can stand up and say, we make an exception to that, so that you preserved your right to question it on appeal.

Now, if what–I think, the good distinguished juris is intimating and suggesting is that it will become a reversible error for mistrial, I think, that is even worst, because I think we ought not to think at this stage of a mistrial because–in a procedure that will allow an appeal on any perceived reversible error, because it will prolong the political agony of this nation if every issue that one thing is irreversible can be questioned on appeal.

So, we also appeal to the lawyers, in the same spirit that our Presiding President said, let us go straight to the point wala ng paliko-liko sapagkat naghihintay ang bansa.

Thank you, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Maraming salamat po, Ginoong Hukom.

May I just—only one minute, Your Honor. There is—with the kind permission of the Honorable Court.  There is a statement on the part of the honourable counsel for the prosecution, Your Honor, that in the Estrada impeachment trial, the right to object cannot also be made.  That is precisely why we brought this matter to the attention of this Honorable Court.  Because in that proceedings against the honourable President Erap Estrada, the right to object is found and it was only deleted under the new rules now.  We wanted to know and we are appealing to the impeachment court to merely have a re-examination.  We are not imposing our will, we are appealing to the understanding and judicious management of humility of this Court, Your Honor, to render more justice in consonance with the right of the accused against due process, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We cannot amend the rules now, because to amend it will delay the proceedings.  We’ll have to republish it, publish the rules, but, we will take this up in caucus, and consider your suggestion in the light of the suggestion of a Member of this Court, Senator Angara.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Counsel for the prosecution do you want to make any statement?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Your Honor, only with respect to the reference of my statement. What we said was the matter of judges asking questions to counsel and witnesses, but as to their objecting, I did not make any statement as to whether counsels can object to questions so far.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely, it is actually the substance of the statement of the defense counsel if I understood it correctly, is the tendency of questions being asked as if it is in favor of one or the other party.  So, I think that we will have to take up in caucus.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   The Gentleman from Makati and Bicol was raising his hand.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, he has withdrawn, and just concurred with what Senator and the Majority Floor Leader manifested.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  What is the stage of the proceeding now?

SEN. SOTTO.  We are ready for the Business for the Day, we are supposed to receive documents from the PSBank president requested by a number of Members of the Senate; and the inventory of documents from the PSBank related to the bank account of respondent CJ Corona which were submitted, shown and examined by the audit team of Bangko Sentral and AMLC, the names of specific officials of Bangko Sentral and AMLC who participated in the audit and handled the bank records of the Katipunan Branch and the bank account of respondent CJ Corona.  Also, request by Senator Estrada, for the logbook of the access.  And then request of Senator Legarda to provide the technical description f their document as supposed to the annexes submitted by the prosecution; and the request of Senator Pimentel for the submission of any other available customer identification and specimen signature card under the name of Corona, Renato Coronado.   Aside from that, well, after that, we have already discharged the witness, Mr. President, we will just await for the submission of these documents and then we will be ready for the BPI representatives, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We will give the officials of the bank concerned how many days to comply with our request.  This is not an evidence for the prosecution or for anybody, these are the documents required by the court to evaluate the supplemental request for a subpoena duces tecum where a document is questioned as a proper document for that purpose.  And this is addressed entirely to the attention and discretion of the court.

So ordered.  (Gavel)

REP. FARIÑAS.  Mr. President, may we make a manifestation regarding…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Yes.

REP FARIÑAS.  Yesterday, we were directed by this Honorable Senate to submit a memorandum regarding the nature of the testimony of the bank officials.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Not the nature of the testimony of the bank official with respect to a document that he presented to be marked.

REP FARIÑAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As requested by your panel to be marked as your exhibit…

REP FARIÑAS. … whether the ….

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … although, the witness was questioned by the defense as no longer—whether he is your witness or not witness. And there was no—when the Chair asked the member of your panel to state it for the record whether you are adopting the witness as your witness, I think his answer was that you just wanted the document to be marked as an exhibit for the prosecution.

REP FARIÑAS.  That is the manifestation we are going to make, Mr. President, because I was instructed by our lead prosecutor that after conference last night, the panel has decided that we will adopt the witness as our own with respect to the evidence—the documents that he presented yesterday as to eight accounts, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

REP FARIÑAS. And that they will be marked as evidence for the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    So, whatever that witness stated yesterday, you are bound by his statements …

REP FARIÑAS.  Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  …  all the declarations, statements, admissions made by her or by him. Which one of the witnesses which were presented yesterday would you adopt as your witness?

REP FARIÑAS. The president who submitted the certifications as to eight other bank accounts, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And how about the statement from the bank manager?

REP FARIÑAS.  Having instructed that it is only with respect to the president as far as the documents that he presented.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Only the statement of the president of the bank and the documents that he used as a part of his testimony.

REP FARIÑAS.  Yes, Mr. President, respecting eight bank accounts of the respondent

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Counsel for the defense.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, this is one of the pit pulse that I noticed in our process of trial, Your Honor, because the witness on the stand was under direct examination of the Honorable Presiding Officer and the member-senators of this court, Your Honor. Now, if this witness is now being adopted on the basis of what have been—on the questions whether direct or cross, Your Honor, which have been propounded or made by any member of this court or most especially, the Presiding Officer, Your Honor, then, they are relieved of the burden of undergoing introduction through direct examination, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright. To shorten this, would you object to the adoption by the prosecution of the bank president as their witness only in relation to the document that they wanted to mark?

ATTY. CUEVAS.  We are constrained to object, Your Honor.  We are sorry that we cannot accommodate the prosecution on grounds of due process, Your Honor. The witness have not been examined by them. The examination was done by a member of this court and the honorable presiding Judge, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    That is true. That is why …

ATTY. CUEVAS.  We cannot …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  I am sorry. I am sorry.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is true. That is why yesterday, I directed your private counsel, member of your panel, whether he was adopting the witness as his witness with respect to that document, but no, that the witness was not his witness anymore, because you finished your direct and redirect examination of that witness. He was discharged and yet, he said that he have not authority to back up his statement that they can mark the document coming from that witness who was presented for examination by a member of this court. So, did you have  a backup jurisprudence on this claim?

REP. FARIÑAS.  I was told by them that they were willing to and ready to submit a memorandum, Mr. President, but after due deliberation and conference, they decided that to abbreviate the proceedings, we will just adopt the witness as far as…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, you  have to show us the propriety of doing what you want to be done.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Yes, Mr. President, we will abide.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Because you know I cannot remember in any of my trials that that could be done after you discharge your witness.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We submit, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So ordered.

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

REP. FARIÑAS.  Mr. President, may we call on the representative of BPI who is appearing here in lieu of Mrs. Dizon who gave birth, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  This is your witness.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the purpose of this witness?

REP. FARIÑAS.  May I call on the private prosecutor who will handle the direct examination of the witness to make the offer, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With the kind permission of the honourable court…

REP. FARIÑAS.  Atty. Arthur Lim, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … there was a similar manifestation made yesterday, Your Honor, and the honourable Presiding Judge ruled that what we need is Mrs. Dizon and not a substitute of Mrs. Dizon because I believe that the questions that will be propounded to her will be personal in character.  That was the ruling of the honourable…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Personal knowledge of Mrs. Dizon.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  Exclusively within the knowledge of Mrs. Dizon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is correct.

ATTY. LIM.  May we make a manifestation, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is your manifestation?

ATTY. LIM.  We respectfully disagree with the defense counsel because our understanding is that the witness who will testify today who is the authorized representative of BPI Ayala Branch will be merely identifying documents that were required by the honourable impeachment court, it is not to testify on a matter based on personal knowledge.  Specifically, Your Honor, the documents in issue or to be brought and produce now are the monthly bank statements which the honourable Presiding Officer specifically directed the bank to produce.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, your request is granted.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You call the witness.

THE SECRETARY.  Please stand.  Madam Witness, do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth in this impeachment proceeding?

MS. ARCILLA.  Yes, I do.

THE SECRETARY.  So help you God.

ATTY. LIM.  May I proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LIM.  Will you kindly state your name, address and occupation, ma’am.

MS. ARCILLA.  I am Mara Davak Arcilla, 31 years old, married, with office address at BPI Ayala Avenue, SGV Branch, in Ayala Avenue, Makati City.  I am the Assistant Branch Manager of BPI Ayala Avenue, SGV Branch.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor please, for record, in relation to the recall of this witness by the honorable court…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Has she testified before?

ATTY. LIM.  Not recall, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why are you saying recall this witness?

ATTY. LIM.  Of a BPI officer, Your Honor.  It was supposed to be the branch manager.  I withdraw that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Be careful with your statements here.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  In connection with the testimony of the witness now, may we…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  Are you presenting this witness for the first time?

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor, as a BPI representative.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  Then don’t say that she is being recalled to the witness stand.

ATTY. LIM.  I’m sorry for that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Now, place her under oath.  Has she been placed under oath?  Alright, proceed to ask the question.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor, but we are just indicating that we are respectfully offering the testimony of this witness to prove the monthly balances of the various BPI accounts of the respondent.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To prove the monthly balances, then prove that she has knowledge about those monthly balances.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Qualify her.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. LIM.  Will you tell us will you tell the honourable court your position in the bank again.

MS. ARCILLA.  I am the Assistant Branch Manager of BPI Ayala Avenue, SGV Branch, Sir.

ATTY. LIM.  Will you state your duties and responsibilities.

MS. ARCILLA.  My main function in the branch is cashiering.

ATTY. LIM.  Why are you before the honourable court today?

MS. ARCILLA.  Sir, I was asked to bring and to submit the documents requested by this honourable court for Miss Dizon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For Miss Dizon?

MS. ARCILLA.  For Miss Dizon, yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why for Miss Dizon if you are qualified to testifiy?  Why are you using the term for Miss Dizon?

Counsel, qualify your witness.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  Will you explain to the honourable court where Mrs. Dizon is right now.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is not the way to qualify the witness.  What is your job in the bank?

MS. ARCILLA.  I already asked that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  All right.  What is her job?

MS. ARCILLA.  I am the Assistant Branch Manager of the branch and …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do you have anything to do with the preparation of monthly bank balances?

MS. ARCILLA.  None, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How can she be competent?

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor, can I make a manifestation?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I’m asking you, how can your witness be competent?

ATTY. LIM.  She is here to produce merely documents, Your Honor, of the bank.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then don’t say that she is going to prove the bank balances because she’s incompetent.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor, please, the documents required by the honourable court …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just ask her about the document.  If she knows that document, identify the document.  Don’t tell this court that you are proving the bank balances because she’s incompetent.  She has nothing to do with the preparation of the bank balances.

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

Did you bring the documents required by the honorable court and which Mrs. Dizon requested you to bring here.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No basis, Your Honor.

If we may be allowed to explain, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The question asked for the authority to bring the document, there is no showing that a subpoena had been issued delineating the particular documents, book or accounts that must be produced by the witness in today’s hearing, Your Honor.

In the first place, no subpoena had been mentioned by the witness.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor, please, the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Have you requested for a subpoena?

ATTY. LIM.  It was a direct order of the Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The order of the Presiding Officer, you might think that I’m senile.  I’m 88 years old, but I remember what I say in this court, was for the two panels to go to the bank to examine the bank balances, but the other side does not want.  So you have to proceed with the proper request.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor, please, the witness is here because of an order of the honourable Presiding Officer by reason of a request of a Senator-Judge for these documents to be brought here, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If I may be allowed.  There can be no truth in that because the witness is …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. DRILON.  … the records will bear us out.  Atty. Cuevas cross-examined the previous witness on the monthly statement of accounts.  And then he said that these monthly statement of accounts should be produced before this court.  The court made an open order for the documents to be produced and the documents to be brought before this court.

And, thereafter, for his own reasons, Atty. Cuevas withdrew his request, but the court has already issued an order, in open court, direct order to the witness to produce these bank monthly reports—monthly statement of accounts from 2005 to 2010.  And that was the order of the court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I request the stenographer to locate the order of the Presiding Officer.

I’m sorry that I cannot remember all the details.

SEN. DRILON.  Can we then ask for a one-minute suspension while this is being reproduced?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  Trial suspended for one minute.

It was 3:05 p.m.

At 3:07 p.m., the session was resumed

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is resumed.

On page 64 of February 9 trial, indeed, the Gentleman from Iloilo made a request, “Mr. President, may the court be provided with the documents that counsel for the defense—and so, kindly allow to be examined in the bank premises.  As members of the court, I believe that we are also entitled to see these documents because this is already with the consent of the”—and then, the Presiding Officer said, “Well, that is a reasonable request, so, the bank concerned is ordered to submit a certified true copy of the bank statements over the period, from the time the bank—this checking account was opened up to the year ending December 31, 2010.

So, this witness cannot be presented as a witness for the prosecution because the request was made by a Judge of this court, and the request of the Senator Judge from Iloilo was approved and ordered to be obeyed.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President, may I also respectfully refer the honorable Senate President to page 62 of that transcript of the Journal, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. DRILON.  Okay, on top of the page 62, if I may read, Mr. Cuevas, “In view of the answer of the witness, Your Honor, may we respectfully request that the statement of account covering these periods 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, be produced by the witness at the most convenient time considering her condition now, Your Honor”.

And then, several lines below that:

“THE PRESIDING OFFICER:  So, the witness is instructed by this court or ordered by this court to produce the documents that the defense counsel requested”.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What line is that?

SEN. DRILON.  On page 62, on top of page 62 and the line that I had just read, Sir, is about ten lines from the bottom, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes.  So, the witness is instructed by this court or ordered by this court to produce the documents that the defense counsel requested.  So, this witness is not a witness for the prosecution, but simply, required by this court upon a request by a Senator-judge of this court to produce the documents.

SEN. DRILON.  So, Yes, maybe to cut short the proceedings, Mr. President, if she can produce the documents this will cut short all the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely.

SEN. DRILON.  So, if the witness can now produce these documents, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Madam Witness, you are here upon order of this court to produce the documents that it required to be produced by Ms. Dizon.  Do you have those documents?

MS. ARCILLA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, present them to the Clerk of Court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I hope the court pardon us.  May we know the concept of this examination question, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The same is true with the proceedings—I am sorry, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute, counsel.  If you remember, there was, if I recall correctly, in one hearing day, we tackled this issue and the Presiding Officer suggested that both counsels will go to the bank to examine the monthly statements for the years involved up to 2010.  I think it was from 2005 to 2010.  Later on, the defense counsel said that his client has these monthly bank statements.  Isn’t it?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, and that is why …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And what happened next was, you withdrew with your commitment to go to the bank.  And I think—did you offer to present the bank statements?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, Your Honor, what we did was to make a formal written notice of withdrawal, Your Honor.  Because,  that is exclusively within the privilege of impeached public official, the honourable Chief Justice, Your Honor.  What is there to compel us?  This is evidence in our favour.  Why shall we be compelled to produce?  We terminated our cross-examination.  So, what is this proceeding now?  Will this be re-direct or …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, precisely.  The score through this Presiding Officer, will not allow this witness to be a witness for the prosecution because this witness is coming here simply to comply with an order of this court to produce the documents that you, yourself, possessed, for the information of the court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, if you are going to present this anyway in your evidence in chief when your turn to present evidence, I see no harm for this document to be presented to the court in compliance with its Order.  So, that is the position now—I ordered the presentation of the documents to the Court without being marked by the prosecution.

JUSTICE CUEVAS. Thank you, Your Honor, for that clarification.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So ordered.

ATTY. LIM.  May I make a manifestation please, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. LIM.  We are not adopting the witness as correctly observed by the honourable Presiding Officer, but we are requesting permission to mark the documents as our own in line …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    You mark them when they are presented by the defense as your own if you want to mark it.  Do not change the order of presentation. The defense said that those are their evidence

ATTY. LIM. May I be clarified, the defense will be surely presenting this when their turn comes?

ATTY. LIM.  Do we have any legal obligation to let you know.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Counsel.

ATTY. LIM. In line with the question, Your Honor,

THE PRESIDIDNG OFFICER.  Mr. Counsel, you are fishing for evidence.

ATTY. CUEVAS. Yes.

ATTY. LIM. No, Your Honor, because

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. No. Wait a minute.

You did not subpoena this evidence.

ATTY. LIM.  That is correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This Court used its discretion to bring documents here.

ATTY. LIM.  That is correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And the fact that you tried to adopt them for your own is a misrepresentation.

ATTY. LIM. Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute. Don’t interrupt me. I know my rules. I have handled more cases that you can imagine.

ATTY. LIM. Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And that is why I am allowing the presentation of this document to this court for the uses of this court since these documents will be presented by the defense at the proper, now, if you want, to mark them as your exhibit at that time, then, do it at that time. In the same manner that when you presented your documents, they are opted to mark them also as their exhibits. So, you cannot intervene in the presentation of the documents to this court.  So Ordered.

ATTY. LIM.   Just a humble manifestation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. LIM.  Very brief, Your Honor.

Your Honor please, I am respectfully invoking the rule that in a trial whether civil, criminal, administrative or impeachment, I respectfully submit, any and all document that is produced before the court may be marked by any of the parties, subject, of course, to the control of the court and subject to any ruling on admissibility that will be made …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When, when …

ATTY. LIM.  When they are formally offered.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Alright. When the documents will be presented by the defense, then, at that time, you can do it. You can ask for the marking of these documents as your exhibit if they will not present it.

ATTY. LIM.  Another humble manifestation, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. LIM.  Your Honor please, if the honorable Presiding Officer—I just would like a respectful clarification, the last ruling or the last sentence of the Honorable Presiding Officer was if the defense will not produce those documents, then, we will be of liberty to produce them, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no, they are already in the hands of the court.

ATTY. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Then, you can ask the court to present the evidence for your marking at that time.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you very much, Your Honor.  We will do that, Your Honor.  We will comply with that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This is understood, counsel for the defense.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Right, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Alright.

ATTY. LIM.  We thank you for that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So Ordered.

ATTY. LIM.  Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we may discharge the witness then after the submission.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, let the representative of the bank submit the records she was ordered to bring here.

MS. ARCILLA.  I already submitted the documents to the court.

SEN. SOTTO. They were already submitted.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then, issue a receipt. Issue a receipt for those documents.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  May we ask permission, Your Honor, that a member of defense panel go over the documents being.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Yes.

SEN. DRILON.  May we also …

REP. FARIÑAS. May we do the same, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Both of you will examine the documents.

SEN. DRILON.   May the Senator-Judges, Mr. Senate President, be also given access of these documents.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SEN. DRILON.  Preferably, if we can have a copy.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The members of this court can have access to these documents, after all, it was requested by this court for its own uses.

SEN. DRILON.  Can we have a copy of this right now and may we request the Clerk of Court to be with us.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we be permitted, Your Honor, to make a short manifestation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  These documents required by the court to be produced now in our understanding are rather confidential because they involve bank deposits, Your Honor.  We will, therefore, request that they be placed in an envelope, sealed for that matter so that not even the press may illegally use the same by way of showing them in the television shows and so on, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s a reasonable request.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you,Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  But can we see it before it is sealed, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, only for the uses of the members of the court but not for public exposure at the moment.

SEN. DRILON.  Can we ask for a one-minute recess, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is recessed.

It was 3:21 p.m.

At 3:31 p.m., the trial was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is resumed.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, the documents have already been submitted.  We may discharge the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The documents having been submitted to the court, the witness is discharged.

SEN. SOTTO.  We are now ready to listen to the prosecution for the continuation of the presentation of evidence or witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Prosecution, present your next witness.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, Mr. President, before that, may we just make a short manifestation on an administrative matter.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

REP. TUPAS.  On—the prosecution manifest that we will not anymore present the witness from the National Statistics office, namely:  Ms. Editha Ursilla, because on the pre-marking last 30 January 2012, attended by the defense, a certain Dexter Corpuz and the prosecution, Manuelito Luna, the defense has stipulated on the authenticity of the documents, namely:  the birth certificate of Ma. Carla Corona, exhibit SSSSSS for the prosecution; the birth certificate of Francis Corona, exhibit TTTTTT, marriage certificate of Constantino Castillo III and Ma. Carla Corona, exhibit UUUUUU, and birth certificate of Ma. Czarina Corona, exhibit VVVVVV for the prosecution.

So, we just want to manifest that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have stipulated with the defense on this?

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  The defense can confirm it if they wish to.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

REP. TUPAS.  A certain Dexter—Atty. Corpuz was present and stipulated, as to the authenticity.  That is the reason why the prosecution will not anymore present that—the witness from the National Statistics Office, Your Honor.

So, we thank the defense for stipulating.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You offer that at the proper time, when you make your offer of evidence.

REP. TUPAS.  That is correct.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Next witness.

REP. TUPAS.  So, now we proceed, Your Honor, we leave Article II of the impeachment complaint.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When you say, you’ll leave the Article II, are you through with the presentation of your evidence in chief on Article II?

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, I am about to say that, Your Honor.  We leave Article II, with a reservation on the foreign currency accounts, subject of the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court, and also with the reservation earlier on the eight accounts from the PS Bank, as specified by the president, because we were required by the honorable Presiding Officer to submit a memorandum to that effect.  So, with that reservation …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What memorandum was that?  I cannot remember.

REP. TUPAS.  This is regarding the testimony, Your Honor, of the president of the PS Bank.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. TUPAS.  Because we wanted to mark as our exhibits, the eight accounts produced yesterday by the president of the bank, but we were required by Your Honor to submit—with that reservation, we leave Article II, and we will now proceed to Article III, and we would like to request, Your Honor, that one of the members of the public prosecutors, public prosecutor, Congressman Sherwin Tugna be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The named lawyer is recognized.

REP. TUPAS. He is a member of the prosecution panel, Your Honor, Congressman Sherwin Tugna.

REP. TUGNA.  Thank you, Mr. Presiding Justice, good afternoon, Your Honors.  We will now continue with the presentation of Article III, and for our next witness, we will call on the vice president of Philippine Airlines, vice president for Sales, Mr. Enrique Javier, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Proceed.  Bring the witness in.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, to put the record straight, Your Honor.   The honourable public prosecutor mentioned our next witness, there is no witness yet, this is the first witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is correct.  That is lapsus in memoriam.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, just so the Journal will speak the real situation, Your Honor.

REP. TUGNA.  If I may, Mr. Presiding Justice.  The public prosecutor Congresswoman Bag-ao has already presented a witness for Article III, and it was Mr. Bob Anduiza, Mr. Presiding Justice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, his testimony is also in support of impeachment Article III.  Is that right?  You confirm that, Mr. Counsel?

REP. TUGNA.  Yes, Mr. Presiding Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, that is settled, bring the witness in.

REP. TUGNA.  Mr. Presiding Justice, if I may.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Yes.

REP. TUGNA.  I am calling on private prosecutor Atty. Marlon Manuel to conduct the direct examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Atty. Marlon Manuel may now proceed to handle his witness.  Let the witness take the witness stand and be sworn.

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

MR. JAVIER.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE SECRETARY.  So, help you God.

ATTY. MANUEL. Your Honor, we offer the testimony of the witness to prove that while the case entitled:  Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP), vs. Philippine Airlines Incorporated, Patricia Chiong and the Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 178083 was pending before the Supreme Court; Chief Justice Renato Corona and Mrs. Cristina Corona received a special privileges, including free plane tickets from Philippine Airlines.  The witness will also identify documents covered by the Senate subpoena.

May  I proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Magandang hapon po, Mr. Javier.

MR. JAVIER.  Magandang hapon din naman.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Maari ninyo bang sabihin ang inyong pangalan, edad at tirahan.

MR. JAVIER.  Ako po si Enrique Javier, 53 years old, at naninirahan sa Kapitolyo, Pasig.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Salamat po.  Maari nyo bang sabihin kung ano ang inyong trabaho sa kasalukuyan.

MR. JAVIER.  Ako po ang vice president for Sales ng Philippine Airlines.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Gaano katagal na po kayo vice president ng PAL?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  At this juncture, Your Honor, with the kind permission of the honourable court, if Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We have a motion to quash the subpoena against this witness, Your Honor, on the humble submission that his testimony will be irrelevant and immaterial and impertinent to the subject matter of the case, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Why irrelevant and immaterial?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, this witness is allegedly being presented in connection with Impeachment Article III, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Correct and that is why I was reading it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And there is no mention about the alleged plane tickets mentioned in here, Your Honor,–I am sorry.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   I will read the Article III.  “Respondent committed culpable violation of the Constitution and/or betrayal of public trust by failing to meet and observe the stringent standards under Article VIII, Section 73 of the Constitution that provides: that Members of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence in allowing – this is the charge, in allowing the Supreme Court to act on mere letters filed by counsel which cause the issuance of flip-flopping decisions in final and executory cases; in creating an excessive entanglement with Mrs. Arroyo through her appointment of his wife to office; and, in discussing with litigants regarding cases pending before the Supreme Court.

Now, counsel for the prosecution, what’s the relevancy and materiality of this witness to this charge?

REP. TUGNA.  Yes, Your Honor, the presentation of the testimony of the Vice President of Philippine Air Lines that the respondent and his wife received free travel benefits, special privileges while a case is pending in the Supreme Court, Your Honor, need not be alleged, Your Honor, in the complaint, because, Your Honor, these are mere statements of evidentiary facts which constitutes as the reason for the impartiality of the respondent, in favor of Philippine Air Lines.  Partiality, Your Honor.

I submit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We deny this witness.  (Gavel)  It is not relevant to Article III.

REP. TUGNA.  Your Honor, if I may, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I just read to you Article III of your Impeachment.  This is the one that is going to be voted upon by the Members of this Court that there’s no allegation in Article III that you alleged about perquisites or favors.

REP. TUGNA.  If I may, Your Honor, just for a minute, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. TUGNA.  Your Honor, the charge in Article III is that the respondent culpably violated the Constitution, and betrayed the public trust because he lacks independence and integrity, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  Wait a minute.

REP. TUGNA.  If I may be …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  The court speaks, you stop.  (Gavel)

Your read your Article, the way you framed your Article III.  I know that you’re a literate person, and it says, you are quoting Section 7, paragraph 3 of the Constitution that provides that a Member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence and the rest in that three charges—three allegations, in that in allowing the Supreme Court to act on mere letters filed by a counsel which cause the issuance of flip-flopping decisions in final and executory cases.  That’s one.  In creating an excessive entanglement with Mrs. Arroyo through her appointment of his wife to office.  That’s another one.  And in discussing with litigants regarding cases pending before the Supreme Court.  Now, you are expanding the coverage of this Article.m This court will not allow the expansion of this Article unless you amend it.

So Ordered.  (Gavel)

REP. TUGNA.  Your Honor, just …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What?

REP. TUGNA.  If I may be allowed, Your Honor, just to expound on the matter, Your Honor, while we …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The court has already ruled.  (Gavel)  You are wasting the time of this court.

My God.  We have to have some discipline here.  You made allegations and you are going to expand it without the proper charges in your Article III.

REP. TUGNA.  Your Honor, I understand that you have already made a ruling but if I may, Your Honor, if I may just explain for a minute, Your Honor, why this matter is being sought to be introduced.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Then, if you want to introduce that, amend your Articles of Impeachment.

REP. TUGNA.  Your Honor, if I may, Your Honor, the presentation of this testimony is relevant because, Your Honor, it will—it help establish the partiality of the respondent in favour of Philippine Airlines, Your Honor.  I submit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But you did not allege it here.

REP. TUGNA.  Your Honor, if I may explain.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, the court has ruled so that’s it.  You take me to the court.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we may now discharge the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness is discharged.

SEN. SOTTO.  May I ask the prosecution if there are any other witnesses.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I already told you that this is the trouble of your Articles of Impeachment.  You are not very careful in your allegations and you want to expand it in the course of the trial.  I’ve warned you several times.

REP. TUGNA.  Your Honor, although there is a ruling…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You know there is a limit to the patience of this court.

REP. TUGNA.  Your Honor, motion to confer with the other counsel, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may.  Trial is suspended for one-minute.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we expand the suspension, Mr. President, to ten minutes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  Ten minutes suspension.

It was 3:46 p.m.

RESUMPTION OF THE TRIAL

 

At about 4:34, the trial resumed.

SEN. SOTTO. May we know from the prosecution, Mr. President, if they have additional witnesses for Article III.

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Yes.

REP. TUPAS. Can we just be allowed to make a short manifestation, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Proceed. Proceed.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you so much.

Mr. President, this is regarding the exclusion of the testimony of the witness from the Philippine Airlines.  We have utmost respect to the honourable Presiding Officer.  The prosecution takes exception to the ruling regarding the matter and it is the position of the prosecution that with the presentation of the witness from PAL, the prosecution does not expand the complaint as stated for the following reasons, Mr. President.  As to the relevancy to Article III, it proves consideration, inducement, motive.  To us, the motive here is very, very important, crucial, critical to an impeachment proceeding  The motive for what?  The motive for the Chief Justice in flip flopping, the motive why the Chief Justice acted on a mere letter based on paragraph 3.3 of the article, the motive why the Chief Justice was involved in the administrative matters that are alleged.  So we alleged here the flip flopping, Your Honor.  We alleged the mere acting on a letter by Atty. Mendoza, but to us, it is very important to prove the motive in an impeachment proceeding.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You should have alleged bribery, if you understand the meaning of bribery.

REP. TUPAS.  Yes, we did not allege that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely but that is the tendency of the evidence that you are presenting.

REP. TUPAS.  But, Your Honor, the very heart of Article III is integrity, probity and independence.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct.  But you limited your chance for lack of competence, probity and integrity in three ways.  Mr. Counsel, I do not know how you learned your art of pleading.  I do not fault you but I am basing my ruling on your allegations and nothing more.  And if you are going to insist on your position, I say I will not change the ruling.

REP. TUPAS.  We respect that, Your Honor.  Can I just finish my manifestation with utmost respect.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Now you want me to order you to amend your Articles of Impeachment and send it back to the House?

REP. TUPAS.  We wouldn’t know, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have a choice.

REP. TUPAS.  We respect that, Your Honor.  But I just want to finish, Your Honor, that…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. TUPAS.  … technicalities cannot be permitted to prevail in such an important proceeding.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This is not—for heaven’s sake, this is not a technicality.  The grounds for impeachment are very clearly stated in Article XI of the Constitution.  We are already very liberal.  You are in effect asking us to review the decisions of the Supreme Court.  Who are we to review the decisions of the Supreme Court?  But we allow it in order not to embarrass you but you are going too far.

REP. TUPAS.  We respect, of course, we have a very high respect…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do you want me to lecture to you more?

REP. TUPAS.  No need, Mr. Presiding Officer.  Anyway, Your Honor, we just want to put that on record as the position of the prosecution.  That’s all.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, I will tell you, if you want to allege the receipt of gifts, the receipt of valuable things by the respondent, then amend your Articles of Impeachment because you are in effect alleging a crime which we will have to evaluate whether it is a high crime.  You are in effect alleging that he was bribed to make that decision.

REP. TUPAS.  But, Your Honor, the charge here, the ground is betrayal of public trust.  Anyway, Your Honor, thank you for that, for giving us opportunity just to—we just want to thank the honorable Presiding Officer for giving us that opportunity just .to state for the record the position of the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  You may…

REP. TUPAS.  And now may we request that one of our private prosecutors be recognized again, Atty. Marlon Manuel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Atty. Marlon…

REP. TUPAS.  Manuel, Your Honor.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Manuel.  Proceed.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Thank you, Your Honor.  We will make a tender of excluded evidence, Your Honor, under Rule 132 of the Rules of Court.  And we would like to state for the record that had PAL Vice President for Sales, Enrique Javier, been allowed to testify, he would present the following documents which were required to be submitted pursuant to the subpoena that was issued.

First, Your Honor, and this was previously marked as Exhibit septuple P, this is a certification and compliance signed by Enrique P. Javier saying that Platinum Card No. A752 was issued in the name of Corona Renato C..  The date of issuance is December 2010 and the expiry date is December 2011.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  I will allow the manifestation.  What is the pleasure of the …

ATTY. MANUEL.  Yes, Your Honor.  Thank you very much, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Where practically this is adducing evidence to a manifestation, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANUEL.  This is a tender of excluded of evidence, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The proffer of evidence, Your Honor, is proper only when there is a witness on the stand and a question had been propounded to him, and an objection is made, thereby sustaining the objection.  So that if the witness was not prohibited from further testifying, then his counsel or the counsel conducting the examination may make a proffer of evidence.  That is the situation where that rule applies, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Your Honor, may we be allowed to respond.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Under Rule 132, Section 40, if the evidence excluded is oral, the offeror will state for the record the name and other personal circumstances of the witness and the substance of the proposed testimony.  So this is precisely the situation that we have now.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We have discharged the witness.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Yes, Your Honor.  That is why we are making the manifestation for the record on the substance of the testimony of the witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor, please, this is unprocedural, this is violative of the cardinal rules on evidence, Your Honor.  As we have stated, that can be done only when there is a witness on the stand, there is an objection, and the objection is sustained.  So there could be a proffer of evidence.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, counsel, even if I will allow the matter to remain in the record, to me it is not evidence yet.  So, let it be.  (Gavel)

ATTY. MANUAL.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Your Honor, based …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is a platinum?  I don’t understand what is a platinum.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Yes, Your Honor.  A Platinum Card, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Your cannot state it for yourself.

ATTY. MANUEL.  I am not stating it, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Your are not under oath.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Yes, Your Honor.  But I am referring to a record showing the benefits of a PAL Platinum Card.  And this is based on the certification …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, that is improper for a counsel to state.  You should have presented a witness for that purpose.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Your Honor, I am referring an annex of the certification of the witness.  This was already marked, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let it stay as it is.  The ruling of the Chair stays.

ATTY. MANUEL.  So may I be allowed to continue with the manifestation, Your Honor.

The PAL Platinum Card was used based on the certification and compliance for four round trip travels.

One, Manila-Guam, Guam-Manila dated April 20 and April 24, 2011, respectively.

Manila-Singapore, Singapore-Manila, April 15, 2011 and April 19, 2011, respectively.

Manila-Honolulu and Honolulu-Manila, December 25, 2010 and December 30, 2010, respectively.

Manila-Hong Kong and Hong Kong-Manila, December 18, 2010 and December 21, 2010, respectively.

And then, the Platinum Card No. A753 in the name of Corona Ma. Christina R., date issued December 2011, expiry date December 2011.  And there are 12 round trip travels recorded in the certification and compliance.

Manila-Jakarta, Jakarta-Manila, July 10, 2011 and July 15, 2011, respectively.

Manila-Guam and Guam-Manila, April 20, 2011 and April 24, 2011, respectively.

Manila-Singapore and Singapore-Manila, April 15, 2011 and April 19, 2011, respectively.

Manila-Bangkok and Bangkok-Manila, March 4, 2011 and March 7, 2011, respectively. Manila-Honolulu and Honolulu-Manila, December 25, 2010 and December 30, 2010 respectively.

Manila-Hong Kong and Hong Kong-Manila, December 18, 2010 and December 21, 2010 respectively.

Manila-Bacolod and Bacolod-Manila, July 28, 2011 and July 28, 2011, same dates.

Manila-General Santos and General Santos-Manila, June 3, 2011 and June 4, 2011 respectively.

Manila-Cebu and Cebu-Manila, March 18, 2011 and March 19, 2011 respectively.

Manila-Tagbilaran and Tabilaran-Manila, March 22, 2011 and March 24, 2011.

Manila-General Santos and General Santos-Manila, March 2, 2011 and March 3, 2011.

Manila-Cebu and Cebu-Manila, February 15, 2011 and February 16, 2011.

Your Honor, Annex A of this certification and compliance refers to the benefits of the PAL Platinum card, and may I read for the record …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The document speaks for itself.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Your Honor, in that case, may we make a manifestation that …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Stop.  Just present the evidence—you have already marked it as exhibit, you said, so be it.

ATTY. MANUEL.  This was marked as …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The contents of the document is the best evidence, you cannot add anything to it.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Yes, Your Honor.  Septuple P-4, Your Honor, is the passenger name record, BZFUMN, in the name of Corona Renato, Mr., Corona, Ma. Cristina Ms.  Exhibit septuple P-5—passenger name record, CFFTE2, Corona, Renato, Mr.  Septuple P-6, Corona, Renato, Mr., Corona, Ma. Cristina, Ms.  Passenger name record C6QIWN, exhibit septuple P-7, passenger name record BKEHT6, in the name of Corona, Renato and Corona, Ma. Cristina.  Exhibit septuple P-8, passenger name record EHIZDW, in the name of Corona, Ma. Cristina, all with indications of business class and the use of the platinum card, Your Honor.  We have also marked as exhibit septuple P—okay, Your Honor, those are referring only to the names in the passenger name record.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you through?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please, if they …

ATTY. MANUEL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute, you are offering this under Article III.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But you have not alleged any bribery, isn’t it, under Article III?

ATTY. MANUEL.  We have alleged …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, you did not answer my question.  You did not allege bribery.

ATTY. MANUEL.  Not bribery, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Finished.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please.  On the part of the defense, Your Honor, we move to strike out any and all manifestations made, together with the documents now marked as exhibits, Your Honor.  And this is the purpose, Your Honor, this is allegedly offered pursuant to the rules on proffer of evidence, Your Honor.  We are in conformity with counsel that this may be done, but not in this particular situation, because here, there is an allegation under the Articles of Impeachment, and the evidence is being presented, not in accord or to sustain that there is nothing in the Articles of Impeachment which will cover this particular matters, Your Honor.

So, the proffer of evidence is highly improper, and should be excluded at all cost, Your Honor, because first, the manifestation was made not under oath.  We cannot accept the veracity, authenticity or accuracy of what is being introduced into the records.

The manifestation was made by counsel, he is not under oath, he can be a witness if he want to, Your Honor, so that we can cross examine him.  But this is not a case of not being able to answer a question, because there was prohibition by the court.  This is a case where there is an impeachment article and the evidence sought to be presented is not embraced in that particular article.  So, this is decidedly illegal, Your Honor.  It has no probative value whatsoever.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In anyway, counsel, I think you and I understand that this evidence is nothing …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING JUSTICE.  … because it assumes something that has not establish yet.  So, let it remain as a manifestation of counsel, and it will be appreciated by the members whatever they wish, but we will discuss this in due time.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING JUSTICE.  You know, with due respect to the members of the prosecution panel, this Presiding Chair has been very lenient.  I tried to help you but there is a limit to what is Presiding Officer can do.  If your Articles of Impeachment is defective, that is your responsibility.  You made an allegation, specific allegation, charging the respondent with lack of probity, integrity, and so forth and so on, and you stated the basis of your conclusion.  Your statement that he does not have competence, probity, integrity, and what else, and independence, is a conclusion of a fact based on what you want to prove, and now you are offering a stranger in paradise to prove an allegation that does not exist in Article III, that is why I considered this a trash.  So, let it be a part of your manifestation if you want to.  (Gavel)

Proceed.  Next witness.  You present your next witness.

REP. TUPAS.  Mr. President, just one minute recess, please.

THE PRESIDING JUSTICE.  Okay, two minutes recess.

REP. TUGNA.  Thank you.

It was 4:52 p.m.

RESUMPTION OF THE TRIAL

At about 4:56 p.m. trial resumes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial resumes.

REP. AGGABAO. Your Honors, in view of the development, Your Honor, that one of our pivotal and important witness has not been able to testify today, we are constrained and this we ask most humbly, Your Honor, to ask for a continuance of the hearing until tomorrow.

ATTY. ROY.  We have no objection, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Until tomorrow?

REP. AGGABAO .  Tomorrow, Your Honor, 2:00 o’clock, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I would like to explain to the public that the discharge of your witness because his testimony was considered irrelevant with respect to the allegations of Article III is not the fault of this court. It was the fault of your way of presenting your case and in making your allegations in your Articles of Impeachment.   Okay.

The requested continuance is approved.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President.  We are in receipt of the explanations of vote of Senator Pimentel and Senator Pangilinan, I move that we include it into the record of the impeachment court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Let those explanations of votes be included.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to make an announcement, Mr. President.

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

ADJOURNMENT OF TRIAL

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we adjourn until two o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday, February 22, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any objection?  (Silence)  The trial is adjourned until two o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday, February 22, 2012.

It was 4:58 p.m.. /rmm

 

 

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