IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Wednesday, February 22, 2012

At 2:33 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 honorable Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Renato C. Corona, is hereby called to order.  (Gavel)

We shall be lead in prayer by Senator Manny Villar.

PRAYER

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

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  The honorable Senator Judges 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; the Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  There are 20 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 seating 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 21, 2012 Journal of the Senate sitting as an Impeachment Court, and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any objection?  (Silence)  The February 21, 2012 Journal of the Senate sitting as an Impeachment Court is hereby approved.  (Gavel)

Secretary will now please call the case.

THE SENATE SECRETARY.  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, for the prosecution, Mr. President.

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honor, for prosecution panel of the House of Representatives, same appearances.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  The defense.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, before the Business for the Day, Senator Miriam Santiago would like to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Lady Senator from Iloilo is recognized.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  I beg the indulgence of our colleagues in making this manifestation.

Our Constitution provides under Article III, which is entitled, the Bill of Rights, Section 1, no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

Section 1 is only one sentence, it consists of two parts, what lawyers call, the due process clause and number two, what lawyers call, the equal protection clause.  And yet, Section 1 is so powerful that even if you deleted the entire Bill of Rights, and remained only with Section 1, every single Filipino citizen would still be entitled to the entire panoply of human rights enshrined in our Constitution.

Ganoon katindi ang bigat ng equal protection clause at ng due process clause.  Ngayon, the Business for the Day is the due process clause because yesterday, prosecution wanted to present a PAL officer, and Presiding Officer ruled that because bribery is not alleged under article III, then, prosecution cannot present that PAL officer.

I support that ruling.  In fact, I insist on it because of the due process clause of our Constitution.  The due process clause is so important that as I said, in the view of certain constitutional experts with tripartite democracies like ours all over the world, tanggalin mo na ang buong Saligang Batas, iwan mo lang ang due process at ang equal protection clauses meron ka ng proteksyon ng buong Saligang Batas para sa karapatang pantao. That is how important due process is.   Ngayon hindi lamang iyon ang probisyon ng ating Konstitusyon kung hindi sa Konstitusyon mismo, hindi sa Rules of Court lang, sa Constitution, the Constitution, Article III, which is also the Bill of Rights, going down the rights.  Section 14, paragraph 2, provides:  “In all criminal prosecution the accused shall be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him”. That is due process.  That is how our Constitution defines what due process is.  You must inform the accused, any accused person in a criminal proceeding or in a semi- criminal proceeding such as ours, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, and, accordingly, the Rules of Court provides:  “ Section 1, Rule 115.  Rights of the Accused.  Section 1.  “In all criminal prosecution, the accused shall be entitled to the following rights, b)  To be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.  So, the rules of Court is nothing but a reflection of an actual constitutional duty imposed explicitly by the Constitution. That is why we cannot admit the testimony or any other evidence of an officer, of any person when he witness concerning an allegation which has not been included in the complaint or information or as in this case which has not been included in the  articles of impeachment.

Merong mga biritero diyan, seeking a false note, na magsasabing e bakit ano ang dipresiya, testigo lang naman iyan di isingit mo na lang doon.  Hindi pwede iyan, because that is violative of the due process clause of the Constitution.  This is more or less virtually the same situation during the President Estrada trial when I voted against the opening of the second envelope, unless the prosecution first amended their Information.  My basis was, due process of law.  Ganoon na rin iyan ngayon.  Meron tayong testigo dito.  Ngayon, doon sa President Estrada trial, naalala ninyo,        opening of the second envelope, binilang kami isa-isa, tapos nagalit ang publiko, well, at least, part of the public against me dahil nagboto ako huwag ninyong buksan iyan. Actually, ang boto ko pwedeng buksan pero amyendahan o baguhin mo muna ang complaint or information para mabigyan ng due process clause ang akusado.   So that  he can be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.  Ngayon, nabuksan bandang huli iyong second envelope e wala palang laman na incriminatory doon.  Kaya what was all that theory about that pretended anger at the pretend violation of the constitutional right of the prosecution at that time.

Ngayon,  maliwanag sa ating Salingang Batas at sa ating Ruels of Court na hindi ka dapat magbigay ng ebidensya, testigo man o ano mang exhibit mo kung  hindi mo sinali doon sa inyong akusasyon sa inyong complaint or information ang  partikular na krimen na ginawa ng taong iyon, krimen according to the penal code.  Kaya sa mga kaso, our Supreme Court has ruled, particularly,  in Andaya v. People, a decision in 2006.  No matter how conclusive and convincing the evidence or guilt may be, an accused cannot be convicted of any offense unless it is charged in the information and which is tried or is necessarily included therein.  To convict him of a ground not alleged why he is concentrating his defense against the ground alleged, would plainly be unfair and underhanded.  The rule is, that at a very inch between the allegation in the information and proof adduced during the trial, shall be fatal to the criminal case if it is material and prejudicial to the accused so much so that it affects his substantial rights”.  Kaya fatal iyan.  Kaya dapat dahan-dahan ka lang kung gumagawa ka ng complaint or information mo or your articles of impeachment para sigurado mo na lahat ng ebidensya mo maiprisinta mo ng vista dahil nakalista doon, pag wala doon nakalista, hindi pwede, that is the rule,  People vs. Flores, 2002: “The right cannot be waived for reason to a public policy”.  If you have the right you cannot even waive it.  It is imperative that a complaint or information filed against the accused be complete to meet its objectives.  As such, an indictment was fully state the elements of the specific offense alleged to have been committed. For an accused cannot be convicted of an offense, even if duly proven, unless it is alleged or necessarily included in the complaint or information. And not only that, but our Supreme Court also held in the case of Ilog, the Court of Appeals, 1960 on the effects of a fatally defective information, a substantial defect in the information cannot be cured by evidence for that will jeopardize their right to be informed of the true nature of the offense for which they are charged. Iyon lamang ang gusto kong sabihin noon sa Estrada impeachment trial, eh, ang dami kasing sawsawero doon, eh, mas marunong pa sila sa nag-aral ng batas. Palagi silang nagsasabi “technicality, technicality.”

Exactly.  The law is exactly, a body of technicalities, that is why you need four years of Law School plus one year of the bar in all a total of ten years para malaman mo kung ano itong mga teknikalidad na ito. Dahil kung wala tayong mga teknikalidad na iyan, wala tayong tinatawag na “Rule of Law”, wala tayong tinatawag na “due process of law.”

Kaya, itong mga iba na nagdudunong-dunungan, akala mo kung marunong pa sila sa abugado o sa  dating hukom o sa mga hukom na iyon nakaupo. Kung anu-ano ang mga pinagsasabi, so filled with your breathe about their ignorance kasi kursunada nila o kaya mayroon silang intuition o kaya mayroon silang conscience para bang ang konsiyensiya nila mas malakas ng sa konsensiya ng lahat ng tao sa buong bansa. Iyan ang problema sa bansa na ito, nagdudunong-dunungan.

Plus, the Rules of Court provides, Section 5, amendment to conform to authorize presentation of evidence.  You cannot, as I said, to repeat the rule, you could not present evidence unless it is included within a charge that is listed in your complaint or information.

Ngayon, kung gusto mag-prisinta ng ebidensiya at hindi nag-object ang kabilang panig, ah, pwede iyon dahil wala naman pala silang objection, eh.  Pero, kung may objection, this is what the Rules of Court says, “If evidence is objected to at the trial on the ground that it is not within the issues made by the pleadings, the Court may allow the pleadings to be amended which shall be so with liberality,” et cetera.  Under this ruling, the Supreme Court, in 2005, in the case of Cagungon Bay Planters Development Bank, under this Section that I have just read, “If evidence is objected to at the trial on the ground that it is not within the issues made by the pleadings, the court may allow the pleadings to be amended freely when the presentation of the merits of the action will be subserved thereby and the admission of such evidence would not prejudice the objecting party in maintaining his action or defense upon the merit. It is, thus, clear that where there is an objection of the evidence presented because it is not within the issues made by the pleadings, an amendment must be made before accepting such evidence. If no amendment is made, the evidence objected to cannot be considered.”  That is the categorical ruling of our Supreme Court.

In the 2004 case, Ardiente vs. Provincial Sheriffs, the complaint should state the theory of a cause of action, which forms the bases of the plaintiff’s claim of liability. The office, purpose or function of the complaint is to inform the defendant, clearly and definitely of the claims made against him, so that he may be prepared to meet the issues at the trial.” Iyan ang batas.  Ngayon, ang problema natin, marami kasi na mga kibitzers mahilig mag-abu-abugaduhan. Eh, kung gusto ninyong mag-abugado, mag-enrol kayo o kaya magbasa kayo tungkol sa batas at hala, criticize, batikos ng batikos na wala namang base sa batas natin.  Gusto ba nilang gagawin sa kanila ang gusto nilang gagawin sa ibang tao?  That is the basic question. Akala mo kasi nakikipag-fish-ball-an tayo dito. Hindi.  Mahalaga ang pinag-uusapan natin dito.  Hindi  tayo nakatayo sa tabi ng fishball vendor at bumili ka ng fishball stick mo at bumili din ako ng akin, tapos kakain tayo doon at  maglandian tayo tungkol sa ating mga opinions sa batas. Magbasa kayo ng batas.

In short, within the discretion of this court, we can have a continuance, because that’s what the law says, to allow the prosecution, if it makes the proper request to amend their complaint. If they don’t, then, they simply cannot present the witness because he will testify to a matter that is not alleged  in the Article of Impeachment.  That was my position in the Estrada impeachment trial, that is the very same position I take today.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you very much.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we are ready to listen to the presentation of the prosecution or the continuation of their presentation of evidence or witnesses.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The prosecution has the floor.  You may now present your witness if you have any witness.

REP. AGGABAO.  Thank you, Your Honors.  Good afternoon.  This representation speaks relative to Article III, Your Honors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Article II.

REP. AGGABAO.  Article III, Your Honor.  We have started, we have reverted back to Article III yesterday, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, proceed.

REP. AGGABAO.  Your Honor, we have concluded the presentation of evidence yesterday with the proffer of proof.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proffer of truth.

REP. AGGABAO.  Proffer of truth, Your Honor, or…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Not offer of proof, not offer of evidence.  I just want to clarify.

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor, with the offer made by the private prosecutor yesterday in light of the ruling by this court, Your Honor, that a pivotal witness may no longer testify.  That is the last witness we have, Your Honor, for the so-called FASAP case.  Now this is embraced in paragraphs 3.1 to 3.3 of the complaint, Your Honor, just to be very clear.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  3.1…

REP. AGGABAO.  To 3.3 of the complaint.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute, I want to see the—3.1 up to 3.3.

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor, 3.1 to 3.3.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  At any rate, the understanding of the court is the private prosecutor made a manifestation and proffer what he considered to be an evidence.  The Chair will allow it to stay in the record but at the time of the offer of evidence, then the matter will be revisited and decided whether it will be admitted or not.

REP. AGGABAO.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Thank you very much, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I just want to put on record with the caveat that Article III does not allege any subornation or bribery or any special favour that influence the thinking, the attitude or whatever of the respondent.  I just want to make that clear so that if you want to strengthen your position, you know the remedies.

REP. AGGABAO.  Thank you, thank you very much, Your Honor,

Your Honor, having said that, the prosecution would like to respectfully manifest, Your Honor, that so far as the other wrongful acts stated under Article III is concerned, namely, Your Honor, that respondent created an excessive entanglement with Mrs. Arroyo through her appointment of his wife to office which is embraced under paragraphs 3.4 to 3.4.8, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  3.4…

REP. AGGABAO.  To 3.4.8.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER  Yes.

REP. AGGABAO.  That is the second wrongful instance or wrongful act that we alleged, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. AGGABAO.  Also that respondent dipped his hands into public funds to finance personal expenses, this is embraced in paragraphs 3.4.9 to 3.4.10.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  3.4…

REP. AGGABAO.  .9, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To?

REP. AGGABAO.  To 3.4.10.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. AGGABAO.  And finally, that respondent discussed with litigants cases pending before the Supreme Court which is embraced in paragraphs 3.5 to 3.6.5.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  3.6?

REP. AGGABAO.  Point five, Your Honor.  3.5 to 3.6.5.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What I have here is 3.6.4.  Where is—Here.

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  3.6.5?

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes.  In all this allegations of wrongful acts, Your Honor, starting with 3.4 to 3.6.5, Your Honor, the prosecution respectfully manifest that we are no longer presenting evidence in regard to this …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you dropping these matters?

REP. AGGABAO.  Only with respect to the three wrongful acts alleged in the complaint, Your Honor, but as far as Article III is concerned, Your Honor, the case is there, and in support of that, Your Honor, we have the evidence submitted in that so-called FASAP case, Your Honor.

To recall, Your Honor, please, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute, to be clarified.

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Your allegation in Article III is, respondent committed culpable violation of the Constitution and/or betrayal of public trust by failing to meet and observe the stringent standards of Articles 8, Section 7, paragraph 3 of the Constitution that provides that, “[A] member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity and independence” in (1) in allowing the Supreme Court to act on mere letters filed by a counsel which cause the issuance of flip-flopping decisions in final executory cases.

REP. AGGABAO.  We stop there, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You want to maintain this allegation …

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … to be the subject of proof?

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor.  We have proven that already, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely.  To be the subject of proof which you will offer at the proper time?

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes.  Yes, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Now, the next charge that you included in that Article III, the predicate of your conclusion is that in creating an excessive entanglement of Mrs. Arroyo to her appointment of his wife to office.  You are now dropping this.

REP. AGGABAO.  That’s right, Your Honor,  We’re not presenting evidence.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And you’re not going to present any evidence and this will not be presented to the court for its decision?

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.  Then the last one is, and—you have a conjunction here, and in discussing with litigants regarding cases pending before the Supreme Court.  You will also drop this allegation.

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Your will not offer any evidence, and it will not be presented to the Impeachment Court for decision.

REP. AGGABAO.  That is correct, Your Honor.  That is correct, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Before …

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Joker Arroyo …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Arroyo would like to ask a question at this point.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Makati and Bicol.

SEN. ARROYO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  It’s just a simple question.

I’ll just ask from the prosecution, anybody can answer, there is a lawyer here that appeared as a private prosecutor.  Is he here now?

REP. AGGABAO.  Yesterday, Your Honor?  Well, the one that made …

SEN. ARROYO.  Yes.

REP. AGGABAO.  Si Attorney—We’re gonna check if he’s here, Your Honor.  We’ll try to answer it.

SEN. ARROYO.  I just want to ask the question.  Is he the lawyer of PALEA?  Because I received information that he is the lawyer of PALEA, meaning, the labor union in Philippine Airlines.

REP. AGGABAO.  We will have to make an inquiry, Your Honor.

SEN. ARROYO.  Well, take your time.  I just want to have an answer on that.

REP. AGGABAO.  We’ll provide you with an answer, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Still on the issue, Mr. President, Senator Escudero.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Sorsogon.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Questions to the Honorable Congressman, Congressman Gigi Aggabao, with respect to the statements he made.  Do I take it that the prosecution will no longer present evidence aliunde with respect to the other subparagraphs of Article III?

REP. AGGABAO.  That is right, Your Honor, with respect to Article III.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  But the article still stands.

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  And simply, you are resting on the allegations contained in your complaint and will no longer be presenting documentary or testimonial evidence on the matter.

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, with respect to the other allegations there, Your Honor.  But with respect to the FASAP case, Your Honor, as I said, we have concluded the presentation of evidence, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Just to be clear, Mr. President, Your Honor.  So, therefore, we will still be putting it into a vote.  You are not withdrawing it as I earlier heard, you respond to a question by the Presiding Officer.

REP. AGGABAO.  No, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  You are not withdrawing Article III.

REP. AGGABAO.  No, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  You will still put it to a vote.

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  And the defense is free to present evidence aliunde should it so desire…

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  … or rely on the allegations of their own answer and other pleadings if at all when their turn comes.

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor.  That is true, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you, Your Honor.

REP. AGGABAO.  If I may add, Your Honor, we feel that …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Before we leave this subject, Your Honor, may I be allowed to make a short clarification, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The only witness that I recall, having been presented by the prosecution is the president of PALEA, Mr. Anduiza, FASAP, rather, is he the only witness you are referring to in the offer, in support of the allegations mentioned in here, which you allowed to remain.

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor, because the pivotal witness …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, no other witness you are referring to.

REP. AGGABAO.  No other witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute, will you allow the prosecution to finish first.

REP. AGGABAO.  I reiterate, Your Honor, that insofar as the prosecution is concerned, we have concluded the presentation of evidence with respect to the FASAP case covered under paragraph 3.1 to 3.3 of the complaint.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The only one presented by you is …

REP. AGGABAO.  The FASAP president.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The FASAP president, and that will be the only witness you will present under Article III.

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Sir.  That is correct.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In other words, I would like to reiterate my question, you have totally waived the—other than the flip-flopping, you will waive everything else.

REP. AGGABAO.  That is true, Your Honor.  That is true, Your Honor.  We have…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And you will not present anymore evidence and this portion of Article III will not be presented for the consideration of the impeachment court.

REP. AGGABAO.  That is correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, that is very clear.  In effect, what you are saying is that you are waiving, you are excising this particular portion of your Articles of Impeachment.

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, the Gentleman …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If I recall correctly, Your Honor, while Mr. Anduiza was on the stand, he admitted that he had no complaint against the rest of the other members of the court, although he knew that the decision of the court is a collegiate one and not solely a ponentia by the respondent, the honorable Renato Corona, Your Honor.

Now, there was also an admission by him that he was of the impression that the decision that was altered or modified or reversed is the decision on the merits.  But when we clarified this point through cross examination and confronting him with the records of that case, Your Honor, it becomes very clear that the decision on the merits of this case awarding the PALEA employees, millions of dollars in back wages, Your Honor, had never been modified, altered nor revoked.  It remains as it is, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, that will be proper in the appreciation of the evidence and during your summation.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please, with the kind permission of the court, I just brought that out, Your Honor, because I was about to move for the exclusion of that particular testimony, Your Honor, because it does not support the allegations of the complaint in connection with the alleged violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.  That is my point, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  But anyway, let it stay in the record since the admission of the witness will be carried or will have to be borne by the party that offered it.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With that clarification, Your Honor, we submit.

Thank you very much.

SEN. SOTTO.  Just one more question from Senator Miriam Santiago, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentle Lady from Iloilo is recognized.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Counsel, you are well aware that your present move is entirely unconventional by the standards of trial judges throughout the country.  Normally, when you make several charges under a certain cause of action or under a certain article of impeachment, then, you want to present proof, because, otherwise, the answer of the defense will stay on the record.   You will have your complaint plus the answer there in equipoise, but they might present proof in defense on Article III.  So, the equipoise will be broken and then the balance of evidence will be in favor of the defense,  of course, you are well aware of that, as I said it is very unconventional.  I just wonder as a judge, why you are wasting the time of the court?

ATTY. AGGABAO.  Your Honor, please.

Your Honor, of course, we have taken a look at this hard and longer.  We feel that on the strength alone of the evidence presented on the FASA case, Your Honor, it is, as far as we concern, Your Honor, adequate, Your Honor.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  That is your privilege.

ATTY. AGGABAO.  And we want to abbreviate the proceedings, Your Honor.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  That is your privilege, of course.  I just wanted to be clear.

Now, I want to know for Article III, have you made an offer of proof or are you making a tender of excluded evidence?  Which one are you doing?

ATTY. AGGABAO.  The words used by the private counsel, Your Honor, was Offer of Excluded Evidence.  I stand corrected, tender of excluded of evidence.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Tender, you are making a tender of excluded evidence.  I will read, Section 40 of Rule 132.  “If documents or things offered in evidence are excluded by the court, the offeror may have the same attached to or made part of the record if the evidence excluded is oral, the offeror may state for the record the name, and other personal circumstances of the witness and the substance of the proposed testimony”.  That is what the Rules of Court provide.

Now, I want you to answer this question.  Since, only the impeachment court, this court, and none other, not even the Supreme Court can make a decision on an impeachment trial, what then is the purpose of your tender of excluded evidence?  In normal trial practice you make such tender, you make such offer of proof because you want it to be placed on record, and when the case is appealed to the Supreme Court, then, the Supreme Court will make a position to state whether the trial court was wrong in his rulings or not.  But since we are supreme as an impeachment court, Supreme Court cannot substitute its judgment for our judgment with respect to the impeachment trial, what then is the purpose of this tender of excluded evidence?

REP. AGGABAO.  Very respectfully, Your Honor, we were aware of that, Your Honor, we were not even sure, Your Honor, whether under the rules that is allowed because as I said, Your Honor, and as you correctly pointed out there is no appeal here for which the exclusion of evidence would have been raised as correctible error.  But we thought, Your Honor, that we have the evidence inserted in the records so that the entire impeachment body is afforded a second look, Your Honor, a chance, even if remotely, a chance to be able to review the evidence that should have been made by the witness who was excluded, Your Honor.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Well, that is in the far-fringes of expectations, right?

REP. AGGABAO.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Because we have transcript of stenographic notes in the form of our Senate Journal which are now verbatim, just like in court, and we placed a Journal on top of that everyday, and it must now  be about one-foot high so the expectations could be too high for the purpose.  I doubt  very much if every Senator will bother to go to the TSN or the transcript verbatim of the Journal.  What I am saying is, the tender of excluded evidence seems to be an extraneous and unnecessary motion.  But, in the spirit of liberality since our Rules of Court provide, that the rules shall be construed with liberality, I have no objection.

REP. AGGABAO.  Thank you very much.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please.  Only in connection with this matter, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

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

There is a lot of difference between Offer of Evidence and Tender of Proof, because under the particular rule of evidence mentioned by the honourable Senator who had just spoken, Your Honor, it refers to a situation where a party had presented its evidence and it is closing its evidence, Your Honor.  In this case, there is no closure yet to speak of.  So, this will not apply, the way I understood the manifestation of the gentleman representing the Private Prosecutor yesterday, it is because there was an objection to the offer of that testimony and therefore, he is merely making an offer of proof. And the situation cannot be covered or cannot be considered as falling within the ambit of offer of proof, Your Honor. Because the situation contemplated in an offer of proof is something like this, the witness is on the stand.  He is being examined by a counsel and there is an objection interposed and the objection was sustained. Therefore, he was prevented from answering the question. Then, in that case, the examining counsel may offer or may tender an offer of proof and that is by stating that if he is allowed, if the question is allowed, he will have elicited this kind of an answer and only that; but has the court noted is that, practically, several documents were mentioned, they were about to be marked, upon motion, but it was denied by the court, Your Honor.  And, allegedly, this should be considered as evidence in this case. There is where I cannot affirm my concurrence or conformity, Your Honor, because it is violative of the rules of evidence, Your Honor.

REP. AGGABAO.  Your Honor, …

ATTY. CUEVAS.  However, liberal may the attitude be taken  by this Honorable Court, I do not think that it will sustain the situation contemplated or brought about by the Private Prosecutor yesterday, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright. We take note of your—of the position of the defense. And as I said, let the manifestation stay in the records not being offered yet.  At the proper time, if I remember the rules of—Impeachment Rules, both parties will have one hour each, I think to argue their case.  It is at that time where you will have to tackle this issue.  And I assure you that we are well-informed about the Rules of Evidence.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  We just brought that into the attention of this Honorable Body, Your Honor, with the hope that we may not be construed as having waived our objection to this kind of procedure, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. We understand your position.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

REP. AGGABAO.  Your Honor, having said that, Your Honor, the prosecution is prepared to move to the next Article, which is Article VII, Your Honor.  And we are ready.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What happened to Article IV, Article V, Article VI?

REP. AGGABAO.  Your Honor, to recall, Your Honor. The original order was …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes. You have given that order of proof, but are you also going to present evidence on Article IV, Article V and Article VI?

REP. AGGABAO.  May I turn over the floor to the lead Prosecutor, Your Honor.  Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright. Proceed.  You present the witness.

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Good afternoon.

REP. TUPAS.  We filed a manifestation to that effect, Mr. President. I think on the second week of the trial and we stated the sequence of the articles.  First, is Article II, the SALN, nondisclosure of SALN.  Then, Article III, which is this case, the competence, integrity, probity and independence and Article VII.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Presiding Officer remembers that and that is why I just want to clarify whether the prosecution will eventually present evidence on Articles IV, V and VI.  If you want to proceed, proceed on Article VII.

REP. TUPAS.  Thank you so much, Mr. President.

Article VII, Mr. President, we request that the member of the panel of prosecutors for Anak Bayan Party-List Colmenares be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from the Party-List, the Honorable Congressman Colmenares has the floor.

REP. COLMENARES.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Magandang hapon po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Magandang hapon po naman.

REP. COLMENARES.  Before we embark po on Article VII, may we be allowed po a brief manifestation, just to give a roadmap or a briefcase on how Article VII is going to present this case.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

REP. COLEMENARES.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Ang prosekyusyon po sa ilalim ng Article VII ay magpe-present ng ebidensya na magpapatunay ng mga sumusunod.  Una, bumoto si Chief Justice Corona para agad-agaran ibigay ang hinihinging TRO ni Ginang Arroyo kahit wala naman life and death urgency na ibigay itong TRO.  Pangalawa po, noong November 15, bumoto ang Korte Suprema na i-grant ang TRO pero dapat tuparin muna ang mga kondisyon bago ito maging effective bago makalipad si Ginang Arroyo.  Ang ginawa ni Chief Justice Corona binaligtad ang desisyon ng Korte Suprema at ginawang effective iyong TRO kahit hindi pa natupad ang mga kondisyon.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, at this juncture, I hope we will be permitted to interrupt, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  Counsel, we will let him say—these are matters of his representation, how he will develop his case.  Anyway, the records of the case will show what happen.

REP. COLMENARES.  Salamat po.  Pangatlo po, ilahad namin ng November 18, may desisyon na naman ang Korte Suprema na hindi na-comply ang isang kondisyon ng TRO kaya hindi po effective ito pero ang ginawa ni Chief Justice Corona binaligtad na naman po ang desisyon at sinabi niyang effective ang TRO pending the compliance of the second condition.  Pang-apat po, in-extend niya ang office hours ng Korte Suprema, maagaran niyang inisyu ang TRO kahit hindi pa nagbayad ng bond, kahit hindi pa nagsabmit ng SPA.  Panglima po, si Chief Justice Corona fed information through Midas Marquez that misled the public para i-distort ang desisyon at panghuli po, si Chief Justice Corona pinigilan ang pag-upload ng dissent ni Justice Sereno bahagi ng kanyang pag-attempt na ma-distort ang desisyon ng Korte Suprema.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Iyan ba ay nasasaad sa record ng Korte Suprema?

REP. COLMENARES.  Yes, po.  There was a dissent of the…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Hindi.  Iyong sinabi ninyong lahat na iyon, naka-reflect doon sa mga record ng Korte Suprema?

REP. COLMENARES.  Yes.  Your Honor, we are going to present the testimonial and documentary evidence to prove this po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So proceed, okay.

REP. COLMENARES.  Salamat po.  And just to end na lang po, Your Honors, these acts among others will prove, we will prove in Article VII.  We will show that by his acts, Chief Justice Corona betrayed public trust and he cannot, therefore, continue to remain in public office.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So proceed.

REP. COLMENARES.  And the last sentence na lang po is, na ang desisyon ni Chief Justice Corona was a conscious decision to favour former President Arroyo para makatakas siya sa mga kasong laban sa kanya.  Thank you, Your Honor.  That is just the brief manifestation.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, with the kind permission of the honorable court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I knew I may be charged of discourtesy, Your Honor,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … but I cannot in conscience tolerate this kind of presenting evidence, Your Honor.  Because it appears that what he is trying to tell the court are gospel truth, Your Honor.  To our mind, it is a matter of evidence, Your Honor.  Whatever is…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is why, counsel, we are asking him to proceed.  Those are his impressions, opinions, they are not evidence here…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … but the words of a lawyer advocating for his client and so, therefore, we will not take that as evidence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Or maybe the public will believe or not believe what he says.  Then that is why we want to receive the evidence so that we will see whether he is truthful in his manifestation.

REP. COLMENARES.  Maraming salamat po, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Not that he is truthful but whether, Your Honor, his manifestations are accurate and correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct.

REP. COLMENARES.  Your Honor please, it was a mere manifestation and the Senate President said yesterday these are not evidence..  In fact, Your Honor please,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER,  Let’s stop this discussion.  Just present your evidence.

REP. COLMENARES.  Okay, Your Honor please.  Thank you for that grant, Your Honor.  So we would like to call one of our prosecutors, Your Honor, Deputy Speaker Raul Daza, to present our first witness under Article VII, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I thought you are the one presenting.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, I was thinking that you will be…

REP. COLMENARES.  Your Honor, I am the lead prosecutor of Article VII, Deputy Speaker Daza is the lead prosecutor of Article I.  In our presentation of witnesses, Your Honor, we allow other panel members to handle and present the witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

REP. COLMENARES.  Thank you, Your Honor.  May we ask the honourable court to recognize Deputy Speaker Raul Daza, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The honourable Gentleman from Northern Samar, Congressman Raul Daza, is recognized.

REP. DAZA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Good afternoon, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Good afternoon.  Good afternoon, brod.

REP. DAZA.  Brod, good afternoon.  Good afternoon to the defense counsel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  He is also your fraternity brother.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Good afternoon, brod, including Brod Drilon.

REP. DAZA.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Mr. President, may we call our first witness to the stand, Secretary Leila De Lima of the Department of Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The honourable Secretary of Justice, if she’s here may now please take the witness stand if she wishes and be sworn in to testify in this impeachment trial.

REP. DAZA.  I understand that she’s in the holding room of the Impeachment Court.

SUSPENSION OF TRIAL

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial suspended for one minute.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Long minute, Your Honor?

It was 3.21 p.m.

At 3:25 p.m., the session was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is resumed.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, for the continuation of the prosecution.

THE SENATE SECRETARY.  Madam Secretary, please stand up and raise your right hand, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in this impeachment proceeding?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, I will.

THE SENATE SECRETARY.  So help you God.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. DAZA.  Madam Secretary, will you please state your full name, your address and your present occupation.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Magandang hapon po, ako po si Leila De Lima, ako po yong Kalihim ng Katarungan.

THE SENATE SECRETARY.  I think we can judicial notice of the facts about the circumstances of our witness.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Thank you, Your Honor.

REP. DAZA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

The testimony of this witness is offered to prove the partiality of the defendant as Chief Justice and as a member of the Supreme Court, one, in the grant of a temporary restraining order in favour of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo, in the consolidated cases of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo vs. Honorable Leila De Lima, in her capacity as Secretary of the Department of Justice and Ricardo A. David Jr., in his capacity as Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration, GR no. 199034, and Jose Miguel T. Arroyo vs. Honorable Leila M. De Lima, in her capacity as Secretary of the Department of Justice, Ricardo Paras III, in his capacity as Chief State Counsel of the Department of Justice and Ricardo A. David Jr., in his capacity as Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration, GR no. 199046, in order to give them an opportunity to escape prosecution and to frustrate the ends of justice.  And two, in distorting the Supreme Court decision on the effectivity of the TRO in spite of the clear failure by the petitioners in these two cases to comply with all the conditions of the TRO.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed counsel.

Ginang Kalihim, kalian pa po kayo nanungkulan sa inyong pagiging Kalihim ng Kagawaran ng Katarungan.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Naitalaga po ako sa posisyon na ito noong July 1, 2010.

REP. DAZA.  Bilang Secretary of Justice, mangyari po bang sabihin ninyo sa kagalang-galang na hukumang ito ang mga mahahalaga ninyong mga tungkulin.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  Ang karamihan po ng mga katungkulan ng Kalihim ng Katarungan ay nakasaad sa revised Administrative Code.  Marami po iyan, pero yong mga maitatawag po natin na parang core mandates of core functions ng Kalihim ng Katarungan ay yong imbestigasyon ng mga krimen at prosekusyon ng mga criminal offenders at meron din po kaming provision on the regulatory immigration services, at kaya nga po sa ilalim ng Department of Justice ay several po iyong mga attached agencies–na nandiyan nga po iyong Bureau of Immigration at even yong—well, the National Prosecution Service po ay sakop ng Department of Justice.

At isa pa hong function or authority ng Secretary of Justice ay yong pag-iisyu po ng mga tinatawag na hold departure orders and watch list orders ayon sa isang circular.

REP. DAZA.  Ito pong nabanggit ninyong tungkulin ninyo sa pagpapalabas ng tinatawag na hold departure orders, watch-list orders, ano ho ba ang batayan ng inyong tungkulin na ito?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Nandiyan po iyan sa Department Circular No. 41, which was issued around May 25, 2010.  At bago po iyong department circular no. 41, ay mayroon pa pong mga nauna pa na mga circulars, circular no. 17, if I am not mistaken po this was issued sometime in 1999 or 1997, and then iyong isa pa po ay iyong circular no. 18 in 2007.  Iyong circular no. 41 po ay parang kinon-solidate lang po iyong mga dati na mga regulasyon tungkol sa pag-i-issue ng tinatawag na hold departure orders (HDOs) and watch-list orders (WLOs).

REP. DAZA.  Sino po ba ang Kalihim ng Katarungan noong inilabas itong nabanggit ninyong department circular no. 41?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Iyan po ay ipinalabas noong aking predecessor at iyong Secretary Alberto Agra.  Kasi bago po iyan ako naging  Kalihim.

REP. DAZA.  Iyon po ay noong kapanahunan ni dating Pangulo Gloria Macapaga- Arroyo.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Opo.  That was—sinabi ko po kanina iyong circular was issued May 25, 2010 bago ho nag-assume officially sa katungkulan si Presidente Benigno S. Aquino III.  So, bago rin po ako naging Kalihim.

REP. DAZA.  Mr. President, request permission to approach the witness to identify an exhibit.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may approach the witness, no problem.

REP. DAZA.  Akin pong ipinakikita sa inyo ngayon ang isang exhibit, exhibit KKKKKKKKK which was marked this morning during the pre-marking.  Ano po ang kaugnayan nitong exhibit KKKKKKKKK doon sa circular na iyong nabanggit?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Certified true copy po ito noong circular no. 41 na binanggit ko po kanina.

REP. DAZA.  Sa bawat pahina po nitong exhibit na ito ay may nakalagda sa itaas ng pangalang “Joel A. Ocay, OIC, Records Section”.  Kilala po ba ninyo itong lagda na ito?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Well, oho, part ho siya ng records section ng departamento, although, bihira ko hong makita iyong kanyang signature pero kami po ang humingi nito sa kanya.  So, pinirmahan nya ito sa harap ng aking staff.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  To save time …

REP. DAZA.  Would the defense counsel …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.  To save time, Your Honor, we are willing to admit that the document being identified by Madam Secretary is a faithful reproduction of circular no. 41.

REP. DAZA.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. DAZA.  Natatandaan po ba ninyo na sa ilalim nitong circular no. 41, kung inyo pong natatandaan ay kayo ay nagpalabas ng isang watch-list order na nauukol sa dating Pangulo?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Opo.

REP. DAZA.  At ng kanyang—ang dating First Gentleman?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Opo, nagpalabas po ako ng a total of three watch-list orders against the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  Although, actually, dalawa lang po iyon because iyong unang watch list order issued August of 2011, ay inamend po ng another Watch List Order issued sometime in September.  At iyong pangatlo po ay another Watch List Order issued sometime in October, October 27. So, eto po ay mga Watch List Orders. Iyong unang dalawa na binanggit ko ay against the former president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Iyong pangatlo naman na binanggit ko against the former President and the former First Gentleman.

REP. DAZA.  Bakit po kayo nagpalabas ng Watch List Order na nauukol sa dating Pangulo? Ano pong dahilan o mga dahilan?

SEC. DE LIMA. Mayroon ho kasing mga mabibigat na kaso na nai-file sa Department of Justice. Eto po iyong plunder cases, tatlo po ng plunder cases against the former President and mayroon naman po dalawa na electoral sabotage cases against the former President and even against the former First Gentleman.

REP. DAZA.  Kayo po ba’y nagsagawa ng isang listahan nitong mga cases na ito na inyong nabanggit?

SEC. DE LIMA.   Mayroon ho akong hiningi na parang matrix of these cases filed with the Department of Justice against the former President. Pinagawa ko po iyon sa National Prosecution Service, in a matrix form ho iyan para mas madali po na makita. Mayroon po.

REP. DAZA. Request permission to approach the witness, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. DAZA. Akin pong pinakikita sa inyo itong listahan.  Ang nakasulat po sa itaas ay “Status of cases filed with the Department of Justice against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.” Ito po ba iyong tinutukoy ninyong listahan?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Dated what?  Does it bear a date?

REP. DAZA. As of October 27, 2011.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  October, thank you.

SEC. DE LIMA.   Opo, ito po iyong matrix na nanggaling po sa National Prosecution Service na pinirepare po ng aming Prosecutor General Claro Arellano.

REP. DAZA.  Dito sa baba nito ng dokumentong ito na minarkahan kaninang umaga Exh. LLLLLLLLL mayroon po ritong nakalagdang Claro A. Arellano, Prosecutor General, kilala po ba ninyo itong lagdang ito?

SEC. DE LIMA.   Opo kilalang-kilala ko po ang pirma niya.

REP. DAZA. May the defense stipulate that …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We will not only stipulate.  We admit that the document being shown to the witness is a genuine document, Your Honor.

REP. DAZA. Thank you.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Save with the problem of authenticity.

REP. DAZA.  Nasabi ninyo kanina kayo’y nagpalabas ng tinatawag na “Watch List Order” kung hindi po ako nagkakamali, eh, ang sabi ninyo ay dalawang order at ipinakikita ko po sa inyo itong may nakasulat na Watch List Order No. 2011-422 at Watch List Order No. 2011-422 rin, ito bang tinutukoy ninyong dalawang Watch List Order at ito po ay kanina minarkahan na Exhibits NNNNNNNNN at NNNNNNNN-1?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo. Ito pong unang dokumento na pinapakita ninyo sa akin, eto po iyong unang WLO, original WLO dated August 9, na aking pinalabas po against the former President. Ito naman pong pangalawang dokumento na pinakita ninyo sa akin is the amended order dated September 6 is the amended WLO dated September 6 na pinalabas ko rin po against the former President.

REP. DAZA.  Would defense counsel favour us with the same admission in respect to these two exhibits.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very willingly.

REP. DAZA.  Thank you.  Kanina pong umaga meron din isang watch list order na minarkahang Exhibit NNNNNNNNN, 572011-573, akin pong ipinakita ito sa inyo.  Ito ba’y nakikilala ninyo?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  Ito po iyong pangatlong WLO at ito po ay ipinalabas ko against several na mga respondents.  So hindi lang ho ito against the former President, meron din pong mga iba pang mga personalidad na kasama dito sa WLO.  Sila po iyong mga tsinarj for electoral sabotage case.  Now, kasama po diyan iyong former First Gentleman, kasama iyong former Comelec chairman, etc.

REP. DAZA.  Same admission?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Admitted.

REP. DAZA.  Thank you.  Dahil po na ang dating Pangulo ay nakasama doon sa tatlong watch list orders na aking ipinakita sa inyo, meron po bang hakbangin na ginawa ang dating Pangulo na nauukol po dito sa mga watch orders na ito?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Humingi ho ng permiso iyong dating Pangulo, humingi ho siya ng tinatawag na allow departure order sa akin dahil nga po merong watch list orders laban sa kanya.  Kung natatandaan ko po iyong unang request niya for the issuance of an allow departure order pursuant to the provisions of Circular No. 41 ay ang petsa ho noon is September 21 at nasundan pa ho ng dalawa pang mga sulat reiterating iyong request na kung pwede daw po payagan siya na makaalis ng bansa.

REP. DAZA.  Again may I approach the witness, Mr.President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please do so and may I suggest that counsel is free to approach the distinguished member of the Cabinet.

REP. DAZA.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Ipinakikita ko po sa inyo ang tatlong liham na kaninang umaga ay minarkahang Exhibits OOOOOOOOO, PPPPPPPPP, QQQQQQQQQ.  Ito po ba ang mga sulat o liham na tinutukoy ninyo?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo, ito po iyong tatlong liham dated October 20, 21 and 24 na pirmado ho lahat ng dating Pangulo at meron nga po dito na ito pong tatlo may mga attachments.

REP. DAZA.  Okay.  Same admission?  Thank you.  Bukod po doon sa tatlong liham na ipinakita ko ho sa inyo kanina, kayo po ba ay nakatanggap ng liham na nagbuhat sa manananggol ng dating Pangulo?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  Natatandaan ko po na after the third letter requesting permission to travel abroad, nagsabmit din po iyong isang abogado ng former President, if I am not mistaken, si Atty. Anacleto Diaz, na basically inuulit din iyong request na payagan at may sinabmit po silang sort of final itinerary daw noong balak na pag-alis ng bansa

REP. DAZA.  Ipinakikita ko po sa inyo itong liham na nanggaling kay Atty. Anacleto Diaz na kaninang umaga ay namarkahang Exhibit quadruple R.  Ito ho ba’ng tinutukoy nyong sulat na galing sa manananggol ng ating Pangulo?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  Ito po yon na pirmado ni Atty. Anacleto Diaz at meron pong isang attachment nakalagay itinerary sa part 1 and part 2 persons accompanying President GMA.

REP. DAZA.  Same admission.  Same admission from the defense counsel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

REP. DAZA.  Thank you.

Pagkatapos po ninyong matanggap yung mga liham na galing sa dating Pangulo at yung ika-apat na liham na galing naman sa kanyang manananggol, ano po ba ang mga hakbang na inyong ginawa ukol dito sa mga—ukol sa liham ng dating Pangulo siya’y makapaglakbay sa ibayong dagat?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Okay.  Ang una ko pong ginawa ay inivaluate ko po yung mga sulat na yan at nagpatuloy din po ako kay Secretary Enrique Ona, ang ating Secretary of Health, para dun sa pag-iintindi nung nakakabit o naka-attach na medical abstract.  Meron ho kasing isang medical abstract diyan na naka-attach sa isa sa mga tatlong letters po yon.  So, pina-explain ko po sa kanya—Kasi nga po, yung pangunahing dahilan na sinasabi ng dating Pangulo kung bakit kailangan daw po niya na makaalis ng bansa ay dahil nga daw po sa magpapagamot siya.  So, para ho sa akin, importante hong malaman ko kung sapat po yung dahilan niya dahil nga po under Circular No. 41, bagama’t nga may WLO, anyone who is a subject of either an HDO or WLO, ay pwedeng humingi ng permiso na makaalis basta ba merong i-cite na exceptional reasons para makapag-issue po ang Secretary of Justice ng tinatawag na Allow Departure Order o ADO.

REP. DAZA.  Ano po ang pinaghantungan ng inyong pakikipagsanguni sa Kalihim ng Department of Health.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Okay.  Ang kanyang pong pananaw, ang kanya pong opinyon, and we can say that he’s an expert because isa nga po siyang pangunahing government physician, ang sabi niya po, base dun sa medical abstract sa pagkaka-describe, at saka binisita rin niya po yon, si former President GMA sa kanyang tahanan sa Libis, ang kanyang opinyon is that hindi po life-threatening yung kondisyon ng dating Pangulo at wala rin pong medical necessity na kung ano man ang pangangailangan ng dating Pangulo ukol sa kanyang kalusugan, yung kanyang complete—nagpa-opera ho kasi siya months ago, ay pwede daw hong matugunan dito sa ating bansa ng ating mga local doctors.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  At this juncture, Your Honor, may it please the court, Your Honor, I understand that this matter is being dealt with now in the examination of the honourable Secretary of Justice on matters pending before the Supreme Court, on exactly the same issue, validity and/or authority of the Secretary to issue this Hold Departure Order.

I am worried that there may be a conflict of findings and conclusions between this court and the Supreme Court, Your Honor.  But if this court so desires, then I have no—I’ll just abide, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let us allow the Secretary to recite the facts for the consideration of this court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, then, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We are aware of that, there is a pending case.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, and we have no assurance that the stand or the position of the honourable Secretary will be reversed or will be sustained by the honourable Supreme Court.  That’s my only worry, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In the event …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We will know the jurisdictional issues involved.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, then, Your Honor, because in the event that there will be a pronouncement on the part of the Supreme Court that the authority in the issuance of the hold order is not valid, and this court may do otherwise, there will be a conflict of pronouncements, Your Honor.

That is my apprehension, Your Honor, which I am now placing upon the table of this honorable court, Your Honor.

REP. DAZA.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We are well aware about the allegations in the Articles of Impeachment, and I think the members of this court are very intelligent enough to distinguish between the jurisdiction of this court and the jurisdiction of the Judicial Department of the government.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you then, Your Honor.

REP. DAZA.  May I proceed, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. DAZA.  Bukod po doon sa inyong pakikipag-sangguni sa Kalihim ng Kalusugan o Secretary of Health, sa inyong mga hakbanging ginawa, tugon sa doon sa hiling ng dating Pangulo, meron pa po ba kayong ibang isinagawa?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Kasi nga po, dahil kailangan kong ma-determine kung merong exceptional reason para payagan ang dating Pangulo na makaalis, kailangan ko pong masiguro lahat.  Masiguro yong mga nakasabi ngang rason at masiguro na hindi siya magiging flight risk.

So, kailangan ko po ma-analyze lahat, ma-evaluate lahat, attending circumstances, hindi lang po yong tungkol nga po sa kanyang kalusugan, kundi iba pa po kasi nakatawag pansin po sa akin yong mga itinerary niya nag iba-iba po sila ng listahan ng mga bansa na pupuntahan daw po.  So, kailangan ko ring pong i-evaluate yon, na bakit ganoon, paiba-iba yong kanilang itenarary?

REP. DAZA.  Ano po ang naging resulta ng inyong evaluation tungkol doon sa iteneraryong iprinisinta ng dating Pangulo.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Nakita ko po na hindi naman lahat po iyong una nilang mga nilagay na bansa ay hindi naman dahil sa magpapagamot daw po ang dating Pangulo.  Meron hong kasama doon, like for example, yong sa New York, U.S.A., saka sa Geneva, Switzerland, na ang nakalagay na rason—ito po ay nakita ko na lang doon sa travel authority po na naka-attached, galing sa House of Representatives, kasi hindi ho yon nilagay sa mga sulat ng dating Pangulo.  Katulad po yong nasa New York ay mag-aattend daw po ng komperensya, yong Clinton Global Initiative meeting, at iyong sa Geneva naman po ay tungkol naman sa komperensya on the abolition of death penalty.

So, iniisip ko, kung ang kanyang paglabas o ang kanyang pagpunta sa ibang bansa ay para makakuha ng—yong unag sabi kasi, the best medical treatment abroad—she would want, allegedly, to seek best medical treatment abroad, bakit ho kasama sa kanyang mga paiba-ibang mga itinerary iyong mga ganyang events or purposes?

REP. DAZA.  Bukod po riyan, mayroon pa po ba kayong natuklasan o anumang nakarating sa inyong kaalaman ng ukol sa inyong pagsisiyasat, bagay dito sa kanyang hiling na makapaglakbay?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Sa totoo lang po, nagduda ho ako doon sa tunay na dahilan kung bakit gustong umalis ng bansa.  So, bukod nga doon sa—ang pananaw ko po, sa aking analysis ay ginagawa lang dahilan iyong supposedly health reasons or medical reasons.  Paiba-iba nga po yong itinerary.

And then, humihingi po kami noon ng kung sino ang mga kasama niya para makaalis ng bansa.  Ang nakalagay po sa November 2, apat o lima lang na pangalan, pero meron po kaming impormasyon na hindi lang pala ganoon—hindi lang pala apat o lima iyong balak niyang isama sa travel.

REP. DAZA.  Pwede po ba ninyong masabi itong ulat o impormasyon na sa inyo ay dumating?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Kung tatanungin nyo po ako kung saan nanggaling ang impormasyon, hindi ko po pwedeng sabihin.

REP. DAZA.  Pero iyong impormasyon o ulat pwede ho ba ninyong ibunyag dito sa kagalang-galang na hukuman?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Okay.  Ang impormasyon po na natanggap naming is that, hindi lang apat o lima sila na aalis, kung hindi katorse (14) po, may mga pangalan po kami ng kung sino iyong mga isasama supposedly sa isang bansa, at noong tinitingnan ko nga po iyong mga pangalan noong mga kasama na hindi naman dinisclose sa amin, ay nagcre-create ng agam-agam po sa akin na ano kaya ito, talaga bang magpapagamot lang or meron ibang pakay na baka hindi na bumalik.  Isa pong pangunahing ano ko po is, she is a real flight-risk dahil nga may nakasampa sa kanya, nakasampa against her na mga malalaki o mabibigat na kaso like plunder and electoral sabotage.  And at that time,  malapit na pong matapos iyong joint DOJ-COMELEC investigation into the electoral sabotage case.

REP. DAZA.  Ito pong labing-apat na mga taong sa inyo’y nakarating na impormasyon, e, ito po’y mga doctor, mga nars, mga taong may kinalaman sa kalusugan ng dating Pangulo?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Meron din pong personal nurse, merong aide, merong mga dati niyang empleyado, meron ding utility, meron ding passport worker.  So, nag-isip po ako kung magpapagamot lang bakit po ganoon kadami at bakit may mga personalidad na kasama na kailangan ba sila sa pagpapagamot.  Isa lang po iyan sa mga konsiderasyon nung aking hindi pagpayag na makaalis iyong dating pangulo.

REP. DAZA.  Nang dahil po dito sa inyong pagsisiyasat, sa inyong paghingi ng sangguni sa mga taong nararapat hingian ng sangguni at itong mga ulat na dumating sa inyong tanggapan, ano po ang inyong nagging aksyon doon sa kahilingan ng dating pangulo na makapaglakbay?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Hindi ko po pinayagan.  Dineny ko po iyong application for allow departure order for several reasons including na po iyong mga nabanggit ko na.

REP. DAZA.  Doon po sa inyong pagtanggi sa kanyang ipinayl na request na tinatawag na ADO, o application to depart order …

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Allow Departure Ordder.

REP. DAZA.  Kayo ba ay gumawa ng isang sulat na kung saan ay doon po inilahad ninyo ang inyong pagtanggi sa kahilingan at ang mga dahilan kung bakit tinanggi ninyo?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Opo. Nasa isang order po iyan dated November 8 na aking ipinalabas.

REP. DAZA.  Ipinakikita ko po  sa inyo ang isang Order na binubuo ng labing- isang pahina at ang petsa ay ika-8 ng Nobyembre 2011.  Ito ho ba ang tinutukoy ninyong Order na inyong ipinalabas pagtanggi sa kahilingan ng dating Pangulo?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Opo, ito po iyon, Order dated November 8.

REP. DAZA.  Doon po sa pahina ikalabing-isa ay may lagda po dito Leila de Lima, Secretary, ito po ay lagda ninyo?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Opo.

REP. DAZA. Itong sulat na ito ay kanina minarkahan ng exhibit SSSSSSSSS at mangyari po bang dulutan kami ng defense counsel ng admisyon uli gaya ng dati?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We have an alleged copy, Your Honor, but we have no time to verify the authenticity of this document, Your Honor.

REP. DAZA.  But you are the … you have copies …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is the farthest we can go.  We wanted to go further but the situation does not allow us to do so.

REP. DAZA.  Madam Secretary, dito po sa bawat pahinang ito ay may nakatimbreng certified true copy at may nakalagdang Joel Okay(?) OIC, Record Section, eto ho ba si Ms. Okay ang Records OIC ng Kagawaran ng Katarungan?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Katulad po ng sinabi ko kanina, although, hindi ako masyadong familiar sa pirma niya, pero, personnel nga po siya sa DOJ, siya po ang OIC ng Records Section at ito nga pong order na ito kilalang-kilala ko po ito kasi order ko po ito.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Anu bang order iyan, Madam Secretary?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   It is the order dated November 8, 2011 denying the request of the former President for an allowed departure order.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. DAZA.  Pagkatapos na inyong tanggihan ang kahilingan ng dating Pangulo, na siya’s maglakbay sa ibayong dagat, mayroon po ba, mayroon po ba kayong natanggap na anumang order na nagbuhat sa Korte Suprema ukol doon sa mga sa dalawang usapin na nasa Korte Suprema?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very vague, Your Honor. We hate to object, but to us the question is very vague.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer. She is intelligent enough to understand it.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA. Okay, sa pag-deny ko po ng allowed departure order, by issuing the November 8, 2011, ang alam ko po ay nag-file ng supplemental petition sa korte Suprema iyong dating Pangulo.

REP. DAZA.  Ang nasabi ninyo po ngayon ay supplemental petition. Mangyari po bang ipaliwanag ninyo sa hukuman bakit ang natanggap ninyo ay supplemental petition pagkatapos ninyong tinanggihan ang kanyang kahilingang maglakbay?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Bago ho kasi pinalabas ko po iyong November 8, 2011 order denying the allowed departure order, ay pumunta na po sa Korte Suprema iyong dating Pangulo by filing a petition questioning the constitutionality of Department Circular No. 41 at saka iyong WLO, WLOs po na na-issue ko. So, bago pa man pinalabas ko iyong November 8, 2011 Order, pumunta na po sa Supreme Court iyong dating Pangulo at sa katunayan nag-file din po ng similar petition questioning the constitutionality of Department Circular No. 41 and the Watch List Order iyong dating First Gentleman.

REP. DAZA.  Liliwanagin ko po sa inyo samakatuwid, bago po ninyo inilabas iyong pagtanggi sa kahilingan ng dating Pangulo, mayroon nang dalawang usapin ang naisampa sa Korte Suprema?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA. Opo.

REP. DAZA.  Ang isa ay usapin o kasong pinayl ng dating Pangulo at iyong ikalawa ay isang asunto, kaso rin, na isinampa ng dating First Gentleman, ganoon po ba?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Doon po ba sa dalawang kaso na iyan, Madam Secretary, ay may request for a temporary restraining order?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA. Opo, may prayer po pareho iyong dalawang petitions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Proceed.

REP. DAZA. Nasabi ninyo na doon sa dalawang usaping iyon ay humiling doon sa isan ang dating Pangulo, sa ikalawa, ang dating First Gentleman ng temporary restraining order?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Opo.

REP. DAZA. Nagkaroon po ba ng temporary restraining orders?

DOJ. SEC. DE LIMA. Mayroon po, nagpalabas po ang Korte Suprema ng temporary restraining order noong November 15, 2011.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Ano iyong tenor noong temporary restraining order, Madam Secretary?  Ano niri-restrain nila?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.     Restraining or enjoining the respondents, meaning ako po,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Oo.

SEC. DE LIMA.   and BI commissioner from implementing or enforcing…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The watch list.

SEC. DE LIMA.  … both the Circular No. 41 po and iyong mga watch list orders.

REP. DAZA.  Meron po ba kayong kopya noong temporary restraining order na inyong nabanggit?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Meron po.  Your Honor, pwede pong, it was already premarked po.

REP. DAZA.  Ipinakikita ko po sa inyo ang isang notice of resolution ng Korte Suprema na ang petsa ay Nobyembre 15, 2011.  Ito ho ba ang temporary restraining order o TRO na inyong tinutukoy?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  Temporary restraining order, iyong pinaka resolusyon mismo ng majority at may mga naka-attach po na tatlong dissenting opinions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Meron bang taning iyong temporary restraining order na inisyu ng Korte Suprema diyan sa dalawang kaso na iyan, Madam Secretary?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Wala po.  This is the so-called indefinite TRO.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Open-ended iyong…

SEC. DE LIMA.  Open-ended po.  Yes, Your Honor.

REP. DAZA.  I would like to make it of record that this notice of resolution was premarked this morning as TTTTTTTTT and attached to the notice of resolution was a temporary restraining order itself in toto marked as Exhibit TTTTTTTTT-1 and the attached dissenting opinions of Justice Sereno as Exhibit TTTTTTTTT-2, dissenting opinion of Justice Carpio as TTTTTTTTT-3 and the dissenting opinion of Justice Reyes as TTTTTTTTT-4.  Noong matanggap ninyo itong notice of resolution na nakamarkang Exhibit TTTTTTTTT, kalakip po iyong mga ibang exhibits na nabanggit ko sa inyo?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Ang pagkakatanda ko po noong natanggap ko iyong kopya po nitong November 15, 2011 TRO morning of November 16 ay ang kasama lang niya po na naka-attached dito ay iyong dissenting opinion ni Justice Carpio.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Iyan bang kaso na iyan ay iyan iyong pinayl ng dating Pangulo o iyong ipinayl ng First Gentleman?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Consolidated cases po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ah consolidated.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.  As a matter of fact, among the dispositions in this order is that the two cases are being consolidated.  So aside from the TRO, there is also a decision to consolidate.

REP. DAZA.  Iyon pong ibang dissenting opinions noong ibang Justices, iyong dalawa, iyon ba ay natanggap ninyo pagkatapos na natanggap ninyo itong Exhibit TTTTTTTTT?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  After November 16, let me just double check, well, natanggap din po namin iyong copy ng dissenting opinion noong November 16 iyong copy ng dissenting opinion ni Justice Sereno.  And then iyong dissenting opinion ni Justice Carpio, ito po iyong nakakabit don sa kopya ng November 15, 2011.

REP. DAZA.  Yun pong kay Justice Reyes na …

SEC. DE LIMA.  Justice Reyes, mas huli po.  I think natanggap ho namin ito November 17, the next day na po.

REP. DAZA.  Salamat po.  Ito pong temporary restraining order na ang marka’y Exhibit nanuple T-1, hihilingin ko po sa inyo para sa kaalaman ng hukumang ito at para sa record na kung pwede po basahin ninyo yoong kondisyones, yung the conditions of the honourable TRO.  Kayo na po bumasa.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Okay.  Kagaya po ng nasabi nyo, it would appear from the tenor of this temporary restraining order na isa po itong conditional TRO, kasi meron pong tatlo na mga kondisyones na linagay dito yung Korte Suprema.

REP. DAZA.  Basahin po ninyo.  Dyan po ninyo basahin sa TRO mismo.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  “Condition No. 1, the petitioners shall post a cash bond of P2 million payable to this court within five days from notice hereof.  Failure to post the bond within the aforesaid period will result in the automatic lifting of the Temporary Restraining Order.

2.  The petitioners shall appoint a legal representative common to both of them who will receive subpoena orders and other legal processes on their behalf during their absence.  The petitioner shall submit the name of the legal representative also within five days from notice hereof.”

And Number 3, “If there is a Philippine Embassy or consulate in the place where they will be travelling, the petitioners shall inform said embassy or consulate by personal appearance of by phone of their whereabouts at all times.”

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yung cash bond is for both petitioners?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo, Your Honor.

REP. DAZA.  Kailan po sa kauna-unahang panahon o petsa na dumating sa inyong kaalaman na merong TRO na ipinalabas ang ating Korte Suprema?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yung kopya po ng TRO natanggap namin sa DOJ, umaga nung November 16.  Meaning, the next day.

Pero nung November 15 po ay napanood ko yung presscon ng court administrator cum Chief PIO or spokesperson, Midas Marquez, kung hindi po ako nagkakamali, it’s between one to two p.m. of November 15 na merong presscon at in-announce ni Atty. Midas Marquez na meron nga daw pong TRO na in-issue ang Korte Suprema dun sa dalawang consolidated cases.

REP. DAZA.  Kung meron man, ano pa po bang inannounce o ipinatalastas ni Ginoong Marquez don po sa conference?  Ito po ba’y napanood niyo sa television o sa radio?  O naron po ba kayo?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Wala po ako sa presscon.  Ang natatandaan ko po, nasa palasyo po ako nung oras na yon at meron ho akong pinanood—may monitor po doon at nakita ko yung portions, hindi po lahat nung complete presscon ni Atty. Midas Marquez.  In-announce nga po yan, saka sinabi kung ano ang boto, 8 to 5, and parang natatandaan ko, parang sinasabi na immediately executory na daw po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yung boto nila ay 8 to 5?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Walo ang pabor don sa TRO …

SEC. DE LIMA.  In favour of the TRO.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … at lima ang kontra?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor,

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yung mga kontra ang tinatawag na dissenters.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ang kasama diyan si Justice Carpio—Antonio Carpio and Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Hindi po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wala na siya don pala.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Justice Sereno po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ah, Justice Sereno.

REP. DAZA.  Liliwanagin ko lang, napanood nyo ho sa—nasulyapan nyo o napanood nyo ito sa telebisyon?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Iyong pag-announce noon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By the way, Madam Secretary, sino yong tatlo na naging dissenters?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Justice Reyes, may I just po, para sigurado po ako—nakasabi po sa last paragraph ng TRO—ng order, ang nakalagay lang po dito, Justices Antonio Carpio and Bienvenido Reyes have reserved their right to submit their dissenting opinions.  Ang natatandaan ko po, ang isa pang nag-dissent is Justice Mendoza and Justice Bernabe, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Lima sila.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sino naman yong mga walong bumoto in favour?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Chief Justice Corona, Justices Brion, Abad, Velasco, Justice Perez, Justice Bersamin, Justice …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Velasco.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Nabanggit ko na po si Justice Velasco, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Si Justice Peralta?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo, kasama rin po sa walo.  So, let me restate again, Your Honor, Chief Justice Corona, Justice Brion, Justice Abad, Justice Velasco, Justice Perez, Justice Bersamin, Justice—hindi po si Justice—Justice De Castro po wala, I think she was on leave, and Villarama.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ilan ang hindi nag-participate doon sa kaso, dalawa?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  Justice De Castro who was on official business and Justice Del Castillo who was on official leave as of November 15.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, 13 Justices participated.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.

REP. DAZA.  Dito po sa exhibit nanuple T, sa unang pahina, mayroon po ritong timbre na sinasabi, Office of the Secretary, 16, Novermber, 2011, Department of Justice.  Ano po ba ang kahulugan nitong timbreng ito?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Ito po ay nagpapatunay kung kalian natanggap ng opisina po ng Kalihim ng Katarungan at saka iyong oras na naka-receive kami noong official copy nitong TRO.

REP. DAZA.  Ano po naman ang naging tugon ninyo o hakbanging inyong ginawa pagkatapos niyong matanggap itong TRO noong Nobyembre 16, 2011?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Nakipag-sangguni po ako sa Office of the Solicitor General and I told them to avail of an appropriate remedy, at noong araw pong iyon, noong November 16, the Solicitor General prepared and filed an urgent motion to reconsider and/or lift the temporary restraining order.

REP. DAZA.  Isinagawa po ba ng Solicitor General?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  Ni-rush po yong motion na yon because it was also filed, if I am not mistaken, in the afternoon of November 16.  We received the TRO, 8:25, as shown in that stamped portion, 8:25 in the morning of November 16, and the motion was filed in the afternoon of November 16 po. We received the TRO 8:25 as shown in that stamped portion 8:25 in the morning of November 16, and the motion was filed in the afternoon of November 16 po.

REP. DAZA.  Pagkatapos po noong Nobyembre 16, kayo po ba ay nakatanggap ng ano mang order o notice na buhat sa Korte Suprema?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Pagkatapos po ng November 16, kung natatandaan ko po ang sumunod na nalaman namin at natanggap namin ay is another resolution, November 18, merong ulit another resolution na kung saan ay dineny po iyong motion for reconsideration and/or lift the TRO at pinapa-show cause po ako as Secretary of Justice sa hindi ko raw po pagsunod doon sa TRO.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Iyon bang denial of motion for reconsideration na ipinayl e it was not subjected to arguments of the parties.

REP. DAZA.  Wala po.  Apparently, Your Honor, it was taken up in that session of November 18, because there was a resolution dated November 18 na dineny nga po iyong motion na iyon, and along with that, and in the same resolution po ay nandoon na rin po iyong show cause order issued to me, and certain other dispositions kasama po iyong pinapa-comply iyong petitioners na mag-submit ng tamang compliance with respect …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sino ang pumirma noong denial of the motion for reconsideration?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  There is not—it was not signed by any of the justices, is there resolution issued by the clerk of court.  So it is not a signed resolution, unsigned by the justices. Katulad din po iyon noong November 15 TRO na it’s the unsigned resolution.  And the one who actually issued it and signed is the clerk of court of the Supreme Court en banc.

REP. DAZA. Your Honor.  Babalikan ko lang po iyong …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, iyong denial of the motion for reconsideration was done by the Supreme Court en banc.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

REP. DAZA.  Babalikan ko lang po iyong tanong ng Ginoong Pangulo.  Tinanong po kayo kanina kung nagkaroon ng hearing sa Korte Suprema ukol doon sa motion for reconsideration na ipinayl ng Solicitor General.  Nagkaroon po ba ng hearing o hindi.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Wala po.

REP. DAZA.  Salamat po.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Pwede ho bang magdagdag?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.  Madam Secretary, go ahead.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Iyan nga po iyong pinakapunto noong mga nag-dissent doon sa November 15 TRO.  Sila Justices Carpio, Sereno, and Reyes.  Na dapat daw po binigyan muna ng pagkakataon iyong respondents, the government, the government through the respondents, para ipaliwanag iyong pag-issue ng WLO saka sa pagbawal sa dating pangulo na umalis ng bansa.  So, it was  a TRO issued ex-parte lalo na may mga observations si Justice Sereno na dapat hindi tineyk as gospel truth iyong mga alegasyon, iyong mga supposedly verified allegations in the petition na hindi naman—is less than truthful especially insofar as the issue of the actual state of health on the part of the former president.  Lalo na iyong TRO, kasi nakalagay, considering the right to life which is the highest right under the Bill of Rights or under the Constitution.  Ganoon po iyong premise noong TRO –  Right to Life. So dapat dininig muna po ng Korte Suprema meron ba talagang potential violation of the right to life, meaning, na iyong kalagayan ba ng dating pangulo ay life threatening ho ba?  So, iyon po, wala pong hearing.

REP. DAZA.  May nabanggit kayo kaninang Order, Notice of Order na nagbuhat sa Korte Suprema, na ipinalabas ng Korte Suprema Nobyembre 18, 2011, ipinakikita ko po sa inyo itong notice of resolution na kanina po’y minarkahang Exhibit UUUUUUUU, ito ho ba iyong tinutukoy ninyo na order na nanggaling sa Mataas na Hukuman?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Opo.

REP. DAZA.  Mangyari po bang basahin nga ninyo dito sa page 2 iyong paragraph C na nauukol sa Urgent Motion for Reconsideration para po—ito po’y bagay doon sa katanungan kanina ng Ginoong Pangulo?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA. It says, as one of the dispositions of this Resolution, November 18, denied the consolidated urgent motion for reconsideration and/or to lift temporary restraining order dated November 16, 2011 filed by the Office of the Solicitor General for public respondent Leila De Lima in her capacity as Secretary of Justice, Ricardo David Jr. in his capacity as Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration, and Ricardo D. Paras III in his capacity as Chief State Counsel.

REP. DAZA.  Thank you. Nabanggit ninyo na mayroong dissenting opinion si Justice Sereno ukol dito sa panibagong order na ito na nanggaling sa Korte Suprema noong Nobyembre 18, 2011. Dito po kalakip nitong exhibit ay Exhibit UUUUUUUU-1. eto po ba iyong tinutukoy ninyong dissenting opinion ni Justice Sereno?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo, dito po sa November 18, so aside from iyong dissenting opinion niya po sa November 15, which was the TRO, mayroon ho uling dissenting opinion si Justice Sereno dito sa November 18, 2011, tungkol nga po sa pag-deny ng TRO at saka mayroon po siyang mga dinisclose dito tungkol doon sa mga botohan na naganap sa Korte Suprema doon sa usapin ng TRO kung ano ang tunay na nature ng TRO, kung conditional ba o hindi. At iyong pangalawang tanong, iyon ba ay na-suspend ba iyong efficacy or effectivity ng TRO dahil nga hindi nasunod iyong condition, isa sa mga kondisyon ng TRO? Nakalagay po diyan iyong mga impormasyon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ano ba iyong kondisyon na hindi natupad?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Ang tinutukoy po dito ay iyong tungkol sa kondisyon No. 2, iyong sa TRO po, iyong condition No. 2 is about the appointment of a legal representative or representatives of both petitioners common to both petitioners with authority to receive legal summons and other processes of the court, more or less po, ganoon iyong tono ng …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But the other conditions were complied?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Iyong first condition po, it would appear, it was complied with and this was also disclosed in a later dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno.  Mga banda ho atang ala-sais ng November 15, the day that the TRO was issued doon ho nakapagbayad o nakapag-submit noong P2 million bond. Pero, iyong number 2, although mayroon pong sinabmit iyong abugado, if I am not mistaken, Atty. Topacio na something which purports to be the special power of attorney, defective ho sabi dahil imbes na ang sasabihin is “with authority to receive legal summons,” ang nakasabi po doon sa special power of attorney na sinabmit ni Atty. Topacio ay “to produce legal summons.”  Kaya it was disclosed subsequently, especially, in the dissenting opinions of Justice Sereno and Justice Carpio na walang compliance and in fact, sabi po sa dissenting opinion ni Justice Sereno, by a vote of 7-6, ang ruling ng korte is there was no compliance with condition number 2 as of November 15 and even November 16 or succeeding days.

REP. DAZA.  Babalikan ko po ang administrator ng Korte Suprema na nabanggit ninyo kanina, si Ginoong Midas Marquez.  Noong Nobyembre 18, 2011, meron po ba kayong natatandaang anumang nakita sa telebisyon ukol kay Ginoong Marquez?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Kailan po iyon, ano pong date?

REP. DAZA.  November 18, meron po ba?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  May press con na naman po si  Ginoong Marquez noong November 18.  I think as an offshoot noong pag-issue nga po nitong November 18, 2011.

REP. DAZA.  Ano po ang mga sinabi ni Mr. Marquez doon sa press conference na sa palagay ko ang tinutukoy ninyo nakita ninyo sa telebisyon?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Hindi ko na po natatandaan lahat.  Ang natatandaan ko lang po na medyo importante hong masabi and this can be confirmed ay ipinaliwanag niya na effective na daw po talaga iyong TRO.  Wala siyang sinasabi na nagkaroon ng botohan, na there was non-compliance with that condition and iyong unang botohan ho ng Supreme Court again based on the disclosures of Justices Sereno and Carpio in their dissenting opinions ay by 7-6 ang ano nila is that hindi na nila kailangan sabihin kung suspended ba talaga iyong TRO kasi clear naman daw po o it’s common sense, quoting one of the Justices, na it’s common sense that it’s understood that because the TRO is subject to certain conditions pending the compliance with those conditions, it cannot be considered as already effective.  Iyon parang ang naging consensus nila as disclosed by Justice Sereno, dahil malinaw naman po daw iyon, that is fundamental na conditional so hindi na nila kailangang sabihin na it was deemed suspended.  That was the first voting.  Mahaba hong istorya.  Meron hong other…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, with the kind indulgence of the…

REP. DAZA.  I will ask questions.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You will ask questions na?

REP. DAZA.  Yes, I will do that, I will ask questions.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Because with due respect, Your Honor, it seems that the testimony now is beyond the purpose.  This is practically amending, criticizing the decision of the honourable court.  It has nothing to do with the alleged impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Corona, Your Honor.  May I be permitted, Your Honor, to go into the impeachment complaint, Your Honor.  “Respondent betrayed the public trust through his partiality in granting a temporary restraining order in favour of former”—now, this alone—the charge is that the guilty party, meaning Chief Justice Corona, issued a restraining order, Your Honor, in violation allegedly of any provision of law or culpable violation of the Constitution, Your Honor.  But thus far, nothing had surfaced to this effect.  What is being discussed, with due respect to the witness, Your Honor, are matters which are entirely irrelevant and impertinent.  The court can take judicial notice, Your Honor, of the nature of the proceedings before the Supreme Court.  It is a collegiate court, there can be no restraining order on any decision that can come out without the majority participating therein whether it is an en banc decision or merely a decision in division, Your Honor.  We had been very tolerant in this matter, Your Honor, because we were quite at a loss as to the real purpose of the introduction of the honourable Secretary in connection with these matters, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The understanding of the Presiding Officer is that the Secretary of Justice was introduced to narrate the history of the issuance of the TROs with respect to the enforcement of Circular No. 41.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And what’s this orders?  And there was a TRO issued against her, that is within her knowledge, and that the dissenting opinion is part of the record of the TRO, correct?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, but with due respect to the—may I …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  This is an impeachment complaint, Your Honor, against Chief Justice Corona.  Under paragraph 7, he is being impeached because allegedly he master-minded the granting of a Temporary Restraining Order.  Up to this point, Your Honor, I see no testimony to that effect.

What is being attacked now is the validity, the illegality or the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, we are intelligent enough to read the Article VII and relate it to the testimony of the witness.  So counsel, have faith in the …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I have.  I have more than …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … selected Senators to evaluate the evidence that are going to be presented here.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’m only trying to exercise some sort of protection in favour of the Chief Justice, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I understand where you’re coming from and we will be able to shift between what is knowledge and what is hearsay evidence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It is not merely—With the kind indulgence of the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We are not reviewing the decision of the Supreme Court.  We are just getting the narration of the witness with respect to her knowledge of what transpired with respect to the issuance of the TRO against her.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, I fully agree with that.  There may be some infirmity.  There may be some irregularity.  But our centerpoint here is the alleged participation of honourable Justice Corona who is being impeached, Your Honor,  That’s my point.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let us wait for the finality of the direct examination of the distinguished Secretary of Justice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay.  Thank you, Your Honor.  I was just a little bit reluctant because of the—The testimony is being adduced by the honourable Secretary of Justice.  I was once Secretary of Justice and do not want to be placed in a position that she is now, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, she is the witness called by the prosecution and let us give her—We realize that, for herself, it was not the respondent alone that issued the TRO, it was the Supreme Court en banc, so, we know this.  It’s from the mouth of the honourable Secretary of Justice.

So, proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, then, Your Honor.  Sorry.

REP. DAZA.  After you received—Pagkatapos po ninyong matanggap yoong notice at saka resolusyon ng Korte Suprema na ang petsa ay Nobyembre a-dies y ocho, 2011, meron po ba kayong natanggap, kung meron man kayong natanggap na panibagong notice at resolusyon sa Korte Suprema tungkol po don sa dalawang usapin na nabanggit ninyo, yung combined that were consolidated?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Meron pong several resolutions after the November 18, kasi po, after the November 18 resolution, nagkaroon po ng oral arguments at—nung November 22 po yon.  And then, meron uli, another one, November 24, and then another oral arguments December 1.  And after each of those sessions, those oral arguments, nag-i-issue po ng resolution ang Supreme Court.

REP. DAZA.  Okay.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And that resolution was issued by the Supreme Court en banc?

SEC. DE LIMA.  En banc, Your Honors, but again these are unsigned resolutions because they speak of pending incidents and not yet the decision on the merits.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But those en banc resolutions were issued after an argument by both parties before the court.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, but yong mga resolutions po are just on certain incidents, like for example, reflecting or narrating the what pleadings or what incidents were taken up in a particular hearing or session.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Not on the merits.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Not yet on the merits, Your Honor, as a matter of fact …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Actually, the case is not yet over.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It is still pending.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.  These consolidated cases have been submitted already for resolution because parties have filed their respective memoranda but no decision yet as of this moment, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. DAZA.  May I proceed, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. DAZA.  Natatandaan po ba ninyo kung kayo ay nakatanggap—kung nakatanggap ba kayo ng notice of resolution muli sa Korte Suprema na ang petsa ay Disyember 13, 2011?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  Isa po ito sa mga later resolutions na natanggap namin, December 13, 2011, resolution na may mga naka-attach uli na mga dissenting opinions.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We admit the existence of this resolution, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All of those are public records.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They can be taken notice of by this court, but it is better for them to be presented here anyway, so that we will not be asking the Supreme Court anymore for copies.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We have no objections, so, you can proceed.]

REP. DAZA.  Your Honor, also admission, you admit.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Oh yes.

REP. DAZA.  All right.  Attached to exhibit nanuple V, is exhibit—pre-marked exhibit nanuple V-1, which is the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno, also admitted?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Oh yes.

REP. DAZA.  Thank you.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Very willingly.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any instance in this entire proceeding, Madam Secretary, that you know of, where the respondent acted alone in issuing a process or order of the Supreme Court?

SEC. DE LIMA.  If you are referring, Your Honors, to resolutions duly issued by the court, there is none.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In the entire period that these petitions to restrain the Department of Justice in carrying out Circular No. 41 and the WLO, the watch list order, up to now, is there any instance where the respondent acted alone in issuing any order, any process or any resolution bearing on this particular issue?

SEC. DE LIMA.  The direct answer to that question, Your Honor, is no.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

SEC. DE LIMA.  But may I …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, please.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor, yes, there has been no resolution, orders or processes coming from the Supreme Court, which was issued alone by the respondent Chief Justice Corona or an action on his own.

But if I may refer you, Your Honors, to certain disclosures again in the dissenting opinions, particularly, that of Justice Sereno, there is one or a couple of points there which to me is worth looking into, like for example, number one is, the order or the instruction of the Chief Justice through Justice Velasco, not to promulgate the December 2 dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno.  And that dissenting opinion pertains again to what was happening with respect to the voting of the members of the Supreme Court on the issue of the efficacy of the TRO.  Medyo nagkagulo po sila doon, so that is one po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please,  with the kind indulgence.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May we request the counsel to allow the Secretary Justice to finish before you make …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am sorry, I thought she is through with her statement.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Not yet, Your Honor.  I was just citing one example, there is another example …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Because, I was about to interrupt, Your Honor, the matter is being dealt within the testimony are matters strictly of official confidence, Your Honor.  A public officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, anyway, if she is going to be disciplined, let the …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, it is not the question of, if, Your Honor, please.  I hope I will not be misunderstood.  It is not a question of disciplining the witness on the stand, Your Honor, it is a question of violating the rules of etiquette insofar as matters lend in official confidence by an official, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, but …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And these are matters …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … we are gathering the evidence here.  Anyway, at the proper time when the turn of the defense, will present its evidence you can controvert everything that the Secretary of Justice is stating here.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Maybe …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  These are open to question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Maybe …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Maybe we will not go that far, Your Honor, because we do not subscribe to the pertinency, materiality and relevancy of the statement being adduced through the testimony of the honourable secretary in connection with the impeachment complaint.  Not that I am discrediting her, but if the purpose is to support the complaint, Your Honor, it is our humble submission that it is entirely irrelevant, impertinent and immaterial.  True, well may be …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Well, we will allow the Secretary to continue with her statement.  Anyway, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS. There are matters lend in official confidence, Your Honor.  I was one step for almost …

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Your Honor, thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So ordered.(Gavel)

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Before I cite the second example, may I just respond briefly.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  What I am saying now is what I read from the dissenting opinions in other resolutions.  So, this is not a disclosure of something that is confidential because these matters have been succinctly or explicitly revealed or disclosed by Justice Sereno in here dissenting opinion.  And according to her, again in her dissenting opinion, no one from among the other members of the Supreme Court had come out to dispute the accuracy or the correctness of her revelations with respect to those processes, the goings on the voting.  So, it is all a matter of record, Your Honors, I am just probably paraphrasing.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are those statements that you made found in the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno that had been presented by the Gentleman from the prosecution?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As part of your examination by him?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor, it is part of her dissenting opinion dated December 13.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  The second example po, Your Honor, is …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Wala ng question.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Hindi po, pinapatuloy po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, I said proceed.  Let the Secretary Justice …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am sorry, Your Honor.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Madam Secretary, you go ahead.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

The second example, again, as disclosed by Justice Sereno in her dissenting opinion, and even by Justice Carpio, but, may be for the sake of accuracy, can I ask for a copy of those dissenting opinions?

REP. DAZA.  With the permission of the court, may we show the witness THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

REP. DAZA.  …Exhibit V-1.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We have already gone on record, Your Honor, as admitting all these documents, the main opinion together with the dissenting opinion.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, since you have admitted the accuracy of these documents, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The existence …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … whether you are admitting the accuracy or something else, the Chair does not see any harm if the Secretary of Justice will read the portion of the document as a part of her testimony, so, let her do so.

REP. DAZA.  You may proceed.  The witness, Mr. President, is going over the document previously marked, which she requested that she be allowed to read or review.

SEC. DE LIMA.   Yes, Your Honor, I am reviewing both the dissenting opinions of Justice Sereno and Justice Carpio.

REP. DAZA.  Exhibit B-1.

SUSPENSION OF THE TRIAL

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Trial is suspended for one minute while the Secretary is looking for the pertinent documents.

REP. DAZA.  Thank you.

It was 4:51 p.m.

The trial was resumed at 4:56 p.m.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is resumed.  Madam Secretary, you may continue to complete your statement.

JUSTICE DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor, I finally found it.  Doon po sa una kong sinabi na nagbigay ng instruction si Chief Justice Corona through Justice Velasco na huwag daw po i–promulgate the December 2 dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno, it’s found on page 8 of the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno at nakalagay nga ho dito, may I read this portion, this is according to Justice Sereno—“On the following Monday or on 5 December 2011, two members of my staff had a serious talk with Atty. Vidal,” referring to the Clerk of Court, Your Honor.  “She admitted that she could not tell my staff the real reason for the non-promulgation of my opinion.  But actually, Justice Velasco gave her the instruction as confirmed by the Chief Justice that my opinion should not be promulgated.”  Isa lang po iyan na portion about that.  Iyong pangalawa pong example at dito po iyan uli sa dissenting opinion ni Justice Sereno, specifically page 17 sa may matrix po, it says; ”The Clerk of Court informs Justice Carpio that CJ Corona sent in his own handwritten corrections on the typewritten draft resolution from Justice Velasco with the instruction that the Chief Justice’s version is to be immediately promulgated.  CJ Corona’s version is to the effect that petitioners have complied with the conditions for the issuance of the TRO and that it is in full force and effect.”  Meron daw hong ganong pinarating sa Clerk of Court at sinasabi po sa dissenting opinions of both Justice Sereno and Justice Carpio na hindi nga ho iyon iyong unang pinag-usapan noong November 18.  Noong November 18, according also to the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno dated also November 18, iyong resulta daw po ng botohan, 7-6, is that they need not say or clarify na suspended iyong efficacy ng TRO dahil nga hindi pa nakapag-comply with condition No. 1 because it’s clear, it’s common sense.  Pero nung kinlarify na po the November 22 resolution, parang iba na yung naging laman.

So that is why Justice Carpio was constrained to write to the Chief Justice and ask na i-fade in abeyance muna yung November 22 clarificatory resolution because instead of clarifying what in fact transpired during the November 18 deliberations ay nagpalala pa daw ho.  Lalong naging—napasama pa dahil hindi naman daw yon talaga ang tunay na intensyon.  And it would appear from the narration of Justice Sereno na si Chief Justice po ang nagpasingit nong version na iyon.

There are several portions po, hindi ko ho kasi maaano lahat, but if you read very thoroughly this dissenting opinion, makikita ho natin yung buong istorya.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, Madam Secretary, for the information of the Chair, I would like to ask you this question, where you present in the arguments done in the Supreme Court with respect to the issuance of the TROs and the succeeding resolutions of the Supreme Court?

SEC. DE LIMA.  During the oral arguments, I was present, Your Honor, November 22, November 24 and December 1, because …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This was en banc session of the Supreme Court?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor, oral arguments.  Open to the public.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  The petitioners were represented as well as the government?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor, at the office of the Solicitor General.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As normally done, did the members of the court ask questions from the lawyers of the parties concerned?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor, because precisely it was oral arguments after the oral arguments of both parties.  They were subjected to questioning.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All of them?  All the Justices who participated, they propounded questions to the lawyers of the petitioners as well as the lawyers of the government?

SEC. DE LIMA.  As far as I can remember, there are sessions where there are oral arguments where all of them asked questions.  There is one session that actually not all asked questions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Did the respondent, Chief Justice Corona, ask any question?  And if he did, from what panel?  Was it a question propounded to the lawyers of the petitioner or to the government?

SEC. DE LIMA.  If I remember correctly, although I’m not quite sure, Your Honor, I was sure he asked a question propounded to the office of the Solicitor General with respect to the issue on the constitutionality of Circular No. 41 and WLO.

I’m not sure, though, whether he propounded questions, the Chief Justice propounded questions on the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If you recall, how extensive was his questioning the Solicitor General?

SEC. DE LIMA.  By the Chief Justice?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEC. DE LIMA.  A few minutes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  A few minutes.  How about the others—other Justices?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Extensive oral arguments by some, but not all.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How about the dissenting Justices, they also questioned the lawyer representing the petitioners?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And also the government?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So all of them were asking questions, including the Chief Justice?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.

REP. DAZA.  May I resume, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed, counsel.

REP. DAZA.  Ginang Kalihim, ibabalik ko po kayo doon sa Nobyembre kinse na kung saan mga bandang ala-una, alas dos, sabi niyo, nakita nyo sa telebisyon na nagkaroon ng press-con si Mr. Marquez, at doon ay, sa kauna-unahang panahon, nalaman niyo na mayroon palang TRO, na inilalabas ang Korte Suprema.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor, as announced.

REP. DAZA.  Noong pagkatapos nakita niyo, napakinggan niyo sa telebisyon, natatandaan po ba niyo, kung mayroon kayong natatandaan na anumang pangyayaring nakapagbigay sa inyo ng problema na nauukol sa Department of Justice?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  If you are referring po sa November 15, noong in-announce nga po ni Ginoong Midas Marquez iyong issuance ng TRO, pero as of November 15, wala po kaming natatanggap pang kopya, ay nagtangka po na umalis iyong former President Macapagal-Arroyo and former First Gentleman.  Pumunta po sila sa airport, mga banda hong alas-otso at sinasabi nga na aalis sila dahil nakakuha po daw sila ng TRO.

REP. DAZA.  Ano po ang nangyari sa airport?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Pinigilan po sila ng BI o ng Bureau of Immigration personnel.  Actually, noong nandoon na po yong grupo ng dating Pangulo, may mga kasama rin po siyang mga abogado ay tinawag po sa akin kung ano daw po ang gagawin, dahil nga po nagpupumilit na aalis sila noong gabi na yon.

REP. DAZA.  Ano po ang inyong tugon doon sa nagtanong?  Ang nagtanong  po ba sa inyo, ang Immigration sa airport?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  If I am not mistaken, it was the executive director of BI ang humingi ng guidance, executive director Eric Dimaculangan.

REP. DAZA.  Ano po ang inyong tugon?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Ang sabi ko po, hindi pa natin natatanggap yong official copy noong TRO, so, hindi pa yan binding sa atin.  So, sabi ko po, hindi pa pwede natin paalisin dahil hindi pa binding sa atin yan, at noong in-announce nga po, I supposedly may conditions, but hindi ko po alam yon as of the evening of November 15, kung nagkaroon na po ng compliance yong mga petitioners doon sa mga kondisyon na nakalagay sa TRO.

REP. DAZA.  Noong gabi—noong Nobyembre 15, mayroon ba kayong natatandaang—kung may natatandaang kayong di pangkaraniwang pangyayari doon sa gusali ng Department of Justice.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Wala po ako noon, noong November 15, because katulad po noong sinabi ko, nasa palasyo po ako, nasa Malacañang po ako, around after lunch of November 15, at hindi na nga po ako nakabalik, lalo na noong nalaman na po sa TV, sa news na may TRO kaya nagpulong-pulong po kami doon sa palasyo.  At natatandaan ko rin po, I also conducted my own—I had a press-con at the palace, na I had to state or announce the position of government na dahil nga po as of that very moment, that was about late afternoon, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., wala pa pong natanggap ang DOJ o iyong OSG ng official copy, because under the law, under the rules, ang announcement po through media or press-con is not one of the modes of service, and therefore, it cannot be considered as effective.

REP. DAZA.  Napansin ko po kanina, noong sumasagot kayo sa mga itinatanong ng kagalang-galang na Pangulo, ay binabasa ninyo iyong dissenting opinion ni Justice Sereno, iyon pong exhibit V-1. Ang tanong ko po sa inyo ngayon e, pagkatapos ninyong mabasa iyong exhibit V-1, iyong dissenting opinion na binasa ninyo ulit kanina, ano po ang inyong reaksyon sa inyong nabasa?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Lubha ho akong nabahala kasi itong December 13 pong resolution na ito at iyong mga dissenting opinions, natanggap lang ho naming ito December 21, at sa unang pagkakataon, doon lang ho naming nalaman kung ano iyong mga pangyayari, kaganapan sa loob ng Supreme Court ukol doon sa botohan ng tunggol doon sa isyu ng effective na ba iyong TRO?  So, masyado ho akong nabahala na may mga iregularidad at meron hong mga aspeto hong nabanggit ko kanina kagagawan po ng Chief Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Meron lang akong tanong Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Kung iyong mga kondisyones noong TRO na ipinababa ng Korte Suprema ay natupad sa inyong paniniwala, ay ang Department of Justice would have complied.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Ganito po iyon.  I beg your indulgence, Your Honor, but I think it is not as simple as that.  The answer—I cannot just directly answer that.  Okay, ang pangunahin pong dahilan kung bakit hindi ho namin sinunod iyong TRO as of November 15 lalo na noong gabi na nagtangkang umalis iyong dating pangulo, ay dahil nga po wala pang official copy.  And then, nakita ho natin as announced na may mga kondisyon.  Now, sinabi ko rin po na nagulat nga ho kasi kami doon sa TRO, because, hindi ho namin expected na mag-i-issue ng TRO, na bibigyan muna dapat kami ng pagkakataon na i-explain kung bakit ayaw namin payagan iyong dating pangulo na makaalis ng bansa.  So, ang sabi ko, we have to file a motion for reconsideration para maintindihan ng Korte Suprema iyong mga naging dahilan kung bakit ayaw nating payagan iyong dating Pangulo.  So, sa pananaw ko po,  pending the disposition or the resolution of the motion for reconsideration which was eventually denied by the Supreme Court on November 18 ay dapat po hindi na muna i-recognize iyong TRO.  Iyon po ang naging posisyon ko.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I will put it this way, so that—I just want to clear all of these vague portions of this whole thing.  If, I am asking a hypothetical question.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If the TRO was served on the Department of Justice, being a necessary party, and if the conditions when the TRO was served had already been complied, would the Department of Justice have respected the TRO?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Maybe or maybe not.  Your Honor,  ang pananaw ko po kasi is that iyong TRO po ay improper in the sense that a TRO, we know it, Your Honor, that it is supposed to preserve the status quo pending the disposition of the merits of the main petition, it is supposed to prevent something or to prevent the issues involved in the main petition from being moot and academic or rendered ineffectual.

Now, what was the effect of the issuance of the TRO conditional or not?  It had the effect of rendering the disposition of the main petition, well, illusory or ineffectual, because it is as if you granted already the petition.  Because the main issue really is, should we allow the former President to leave the country despite the pendency of this big cases against her. So noong pinayagan na po ng Korte Suprema na makaalis, ano pa ho ba ang pag-uusapan natin, parang na pre-empt na iyong magiging desisyon ng Korte Supreme.  To me, Your Honors, in all honesty and based on my understanding of the law and rules, hindi po iyan ang function or office ng TRO.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You would have taken these steps to ask for a motion for reconsideration …

SEC. DE LIMA.   Exactly.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … in order to really re-argue the necessity for a TRO and its effect.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor, that is why I immediately directed or requested the Office of the Solicitor General to file the urgent motion for reconsideration, which as I said earlier, was denied in the subsequent session in November 18. Dinenay po iyong aming motion for reconsideration.  But on November 18 po, tamang-tama po nagkaroon na ng resolution iyong COMELEC doon sa electoral sabotage case at eto ay finayl sa RTC Pasay at na-raffle noong bandang tanghali po siguro iyon, or after lunch, no, no, before lunch noontime of November 18 at nai-raffle kay Judge Mupas at noong mga bandang hapon po ay nakapagbalabas na si Judge Mupas ng warrant of arrest and therefore, naging moot and academic po iyong usapin ng TRO doon sa consolidated cases before the Supreme Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But outside of all of this narrated information drawn from the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno, did the Chief Justice alone or in combination with other members of the court, acted alone in trying to enforce the TRO?

SEC. DE LIMA.   I would not have the information or I am not at all privy, and aside from those circumstances that reflected in the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno ay hindi ko na po iyon alam. I am not in a position to answer that.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Thank you.  Thank you, Madam Secretary, for your candor.  The Gentleman from Cavite.

REP. DAZA.  Mr. President, with due respect, may I just ..

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By the way, are you through, Your Honor?

REP. DAZA.  I’ll just put on record …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let us let the prosecution to finish first. I am sorry, I thought everything is over.

REP. DAZA. There is no problem, Mr. President. I just would like to put on record that I have no further questions from the Secretary of Justice.  Maraming Salamat po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. DAZA.  I have no more questions. For now, no more questions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. You are …

REP. DAZA.  We are closing the direct examination on the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. You are closing the direct?

REP. DAZA.  Yes, that is correct, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright. May I recognize now the Gentleman from Cavite.

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

Madam Secretary, pakiulit nga po ulit kung kailan ninyo in-issue itong WLO?

SEC. DE LIMA. Tatlo po iyong ini-issue ko, August, September and October.  Iyong pinakahuli po ay October 27.

SEN. REVILLA. Mayroon ho bang humiling para ma-issue ninyo ang WLO na ito?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Wala po. I did it motu propio pursuant to the provision of Circular No. 41.

SEN. REVILLA.   So, wala pong umorder from Malacañang para ilabas iyong WLO na ito?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Wala po.

SEN. REVILLA.  Ayon po sa inyo, ang nagbigay sa inyo ng kapangyarihan ay ang Circular No. 41 na pinirmahan ni Secretary Agra, tama po ba?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. REVILLA.  So, ang circular ay gawa din ng DOJ?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Yes, Your Honor, na pirmado o in-issue ni former Secretary Agra.

SEN. REVILLA.  Hindi ito batas?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Circular po which has the force and effect of law.

SEN. REVILLA.  So malinaw hindi po ito batas.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Hindi po batas but it is an administrative issuance which has the force and effect of law.

SEN. REVILLA.  Okay, I just want to put it on record, Madam.  Kailan ninyo po ulit natanggap ang TRO ng Korte Suprema?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Noong umaga po ng November 16, specifically at 8:25 in the morning.

SEN. REVILLA.  So kung nakatanggap kayo ng kopya ng TRO noong araw na iyon, papayagan ninyo po ba siyang umalis, ang dating Pangulo?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Hindi pa po dahil nga po conditional iyong TRO.

SEN. REVILLA.  Ayon po sa ilang report natin, nagpadala po ang Korte Suprema ng kopya sa inyo ng araw na iyon pero hindi po ito tinanggap ng inyong opisina.  Tama po ba?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Wala na ho kasing tatanggap.

SEN. REVILLA.  Wala na hong tatanggap?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. REVILLA.  Anong oras po dumating sa opisina ninyo?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Based po doon sa records namin at sa affidavit noong security guard na nandoon pa ho kasi wala na po iyong mga staff ko is about 6 something in the evening, 6:20, 6:25.

SEN. REVILLA.  So wala na po kayo doon sa Korte Suprema.  I mean doon sa inyo sa DOJ.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Wala po ako because after lunch nga po nasa palasyo po ako, hindi na po ako bumalik and kung natatandaan ko po, from the Palace I came here at the Senate dahil may budget hearing po kami noon.

SEN. REVILLA.  Nasa palasyo po kayo?  Sino po ang kasama ninyo sa palasyo during that time?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Pumunta po ako sa opisina ni Pangulo dahil nga po inaabangan namin iyong magiging developments noong session ng Supreme Court noong umaga dahil balita naman po na ite-take up iyong mga petitions noong araw na iyon, November 15.  Kaya nga po noong nag press con si spokesperson Midas Marquez ay nasa palasyo po ako and aside from that, meron pa ho kaming mga ibang mga pinag-usapan.

SEN. REVILLA.  Okay.  Sa palagay ninyo ba kung nakaalis po ang ating dating Pangulo Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, sa tingin ninyo po ba siya ay babalik o hindi na?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Iyong paniniwala ko po base sa aking masusing evaluation noong mga circumstances at saka sa mga impormasyon na nakakalap po namin at in-analyze ko po, mukhang hindi na po.

SEN. REVILLA.  So sa tingin ninyo talagang hindi na siya babalik?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Hindi naman po ako 100% na magiging sigurado diyan because hindi ko naman po talaga tunay na mababasa…

SEN. REVILLA.  So hindi ninyo po kinonsider na talaga siya ay may sakit.  Ako po ay walang kinikilingan.  I just want to know kung ano po talaga iyong katotohanan.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Kinonsider ko po iyon.  Pero ang crucial po doon is iyong kalagayan niya gaano ho ba kalala.  Kasi kung malala talaga, kung nakumbinsi po ako, sa totoo lang po kung nakumbinsi ako na talagang kailangan niya ng emegency treatment abroad at hindi matutugunan dito sa atin na talagang life threatening, siguro po pinayagan ko po.  Hindi po siguro ako nagdalawang isip.

SEN. REVILLA.  So tingin ninyo hindi siya life threatening.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Hindi po.  In-explain po sa akin iyon ni Secretary Uno.

SEN. REVILLA.  Pag naging appointee ba ni PGMA, malaki bang posibilidad na kumiling ito pabor sa kanya?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Depende ho sa tao.

SEN. REVILLA.  Depende.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes.

SEN. REVILLA.  Hindi po ba kayo ay naging appointee rin ni dating Pangulo?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes,Your Honor.

SEN. REVILLA.  Ano po ang posisyon ninyo?

SEC. DE LIMA.  I was appointed as the Chair of the Commission on Human Rights.

SEN. REVILLA.  Commission on Human Rights.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes.

SEN. REVILLA.  At hindi ninyo rin po pinagsisihan iyon, hindi po ba?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Hindi po.  Siguro naman…

SEN. REVILLA.  Dahil maganda ang inyong performance during that time.  Okay, Mr. President, thank you very much.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you very much.  The Gentleman from Taguig and Pateros, Minority Floor Leader.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Good afternoon, Mr. President.  May I ask some clarificatory questions to the prosecution to any one in their team.  I will ask my question first tapos bahala na po kayo kung sino’ng gustong sumagot.

Magandang hapon po sa inyo.

REP. DAZA.  Magandang hapon po, Ginoong Senador.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.). Together with many of our colleagues here, Senator Lacson, Senator Guingona, Senator Escudero and some of my former colleagues who are sitting behind you, and some who are in government now, we really took a stand to hold the former President Arroyo accountable for her actions during her term until now.  So I don’t think issue sa amin yon.

You have some of the people—Congressman Colmenares here was one of them who drafted the impeachment complaint who helped us during that time.  I think hindi issue na many, many Filipinos want her held accountable and does not want her to escape.  But I’d like you to help me draw the line, or katulad nung tanong po ni Senator Pimentel, dati sa inyo, yung legal theory.

Pwede nyo po bang ipaliwanag sa amin sa korte, and for my own clarification, ano po ang difference ng isang erroneous na desisyon lang ng Supreme Court, o sabihin nating hindi tayo nag-a-agree, di ba kung tama yung desisyon nila, wala tayong pag-uusapan, pero kung mali o erroneous, bakit erroneous, hindi tayo agree sa kanilang—tingin natin mali ang desisyon nila, or tingin natin, iregular ang pag-issue ng TRO or whatever, when is it simply erroneous, and because they are the Supreme Court we just have to follow, and when does it become an impeachable offense?

I’d like that clarified because ang dami pong nagtatanong na—And secondly po, in the answer of the defense, sabi nga nila, collegial body yan e, so why single out the CJ when ang nag-decide nito grupo?  Please try to clarify on that.

REP. DAZA.  I’ll do the best I can.

Well, firstly, the Chief Justice has been known as a primus inter pares, but if you look at internal Rules of Procedure of the Supreme Court, and we have filed our memorandum on that, per order of the Presiding Officer, it is obvious that he wields a tremendous influence over the other member of the court.

I would like to start from that assumption—from that premise that he has broad powers, not only over the courts, but over the members of the Court.

Now, given that, as stated in the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno, certain actions of the Chief Justice, having our view gone beyond that line from honest mistake to an impeachable offense amounting to betrayal of trust, among other things as stated in that dissenting opinion, (1) there was an agreement within the deliberations of the Supreme Court that the ponente, Justice Velasco, was to consult with Justice Corona on the issue whether or not the TRO had taken effect.

In other words, whether the conditions were what we call …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.). Sorry to interrupt you but I want to be fair to the defense because, are you gonna present witnesses on that or it’s just the DOJ Secretary?

REP. DAZA.  No, we have already marked the dissenting opinion …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.). So, in other words, Sir, what you’re saying is that the partiality makes it different.  If it is simply an erroneous decision …

REP. DAZA.  Yes.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.). … but they were impartial, …\

REP. DAZA.  Yes.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.). … it’s not impeachable?

REP. DAZA.  Yes.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.). But if it was—the partiality amounted to betrayal of public trust?

REP. DAZA.  Yes.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.). Okay.  Number 2, Sir, I see in your complaint, it says, in order to give them a chance to escape.  So, are you gonna present witnesses or are you also going to rely on some documents to show that, in fact, that was the motive of the Chief Justice to allow her to escape?

REP. DAZA.  We don’t have any document to show clearly that the conduct or the actuations of the respondent, the Chief Justice were calculated for that purpose, but certain acts that are stated in the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno, would lend someone to the belief or the conclusion that all of these acts pieced together were synchronized in a manner as to enable or to give the former First Lady and her husband the opportunity to escape.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  And then, third, Sir, distorting the Supreme Court decision on the effectivity of the TRO, and this is what the good Justice Secretary is testifying on.  So, do I get it right, what you are saying ho, kung ordinaryong desisyon, walang conspiracy, walang influence ang kahit sino, walang partiality, kahit hindi kayo agree, hindi impeachable yon.

REP. DAZA.  Tama po yon.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Kasi, and dali po kasing humusga dito dahil unpopular si Presidente Arroyo.  Could you imagine if she was very popular, and 90% of the people wanted her to leave, would we be having this impeachment proceeding?  So, as Senator Judges, we have to make that legal distinction e.  Hindi kami pwedeng kung ano ang popular lang, doon po kami.

So, I am trying to find out what makes it betrayal of public trust?

REP. DAZA.  Hindi po.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So, what you are saying is, number one, it is the partiality that which you will show with the dissenting opinion and the testimony of this witness.

REP. DAZA.  That is correct.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  And then, yon pong distorting and yon pong giving a chance to escape are conclusions based on the actions and on the partiality.

REP. DAZA.  Hindi, iyong distortion po, ipinaliwanag iyan e.  Maliwanag po yan sa dissenting opinion ni Justice Sereno.  Iyong botohan, isang halimbawa.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Opo, meron po yon sa dissenting opinion pero may sagot din po kasi ang defense sa kanilang answer e.  And kung iko-compare naming—halimbawa po, kahapon, nag-decide ang Senate President na hindi tatanggapin ang ebidensya tungkol doon sa free tickets, collegial body po kami, wala po sa aming tumayo, even if some of us may have disagreed or agreed, pero of course, the Senate President, has a lot of influence on us, although pare-pareho kaming Senador, he is the Senate President.  But do you file a case only against him and not the whole Senate?  Iyon po ang sinasabi noong defense that we want to be clarified because marami rin pong tanong—so, are you saying that there was a conspiracy here and the leader of the conspiracy is the Chief Justice kasi siya ang nag-influence sa iba?  So, are we also going to hold the others accountable?  Kasi ang nag-issue ho ng TRO, yong majority—Mr. President, just a 30-second extension.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.  Go ahead.  I will give you two minutes.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Thank you, Sir.  Klaro po sa akin na iyon yung partiality, at yon pong sinabing dalawa, but iyong question ko po ng, ang mali ba sa pag-iisyu ng TRO ay yong Chief Justice lang ho ba o lahat ng Justice na pumirma?

REP. DAZA.  Maaari pong yong ibang Justice din, pero sa ngayon po, ang ating pinaglilitis dito ay ang Chief Justice.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Okay.

REP. DAZA.  But yon pong mga nakasulat sa dissenting opinion ni Justice Sereno ay yong mga ginawa o the acts done by the Chief Justice were apart from whether—from certain acts which were together with the other Justices.  There were certain acts that were his own that were so clear.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  And you have outlined that and in your summation, you will outline that.  But the reason this is so important to us, Sir, is because some of these cases, including the show cause, including this TRO, including that FASAP case, and these are pending before the Supreme Court, so, maraming nagtatanong, so, kung hindi mo gusto ang desisyon at marami kang kaibigan na Congressman, pwede bang ang gawin mo, appeal via impeachment, meaning file-an mo ng impeachment, i-discuss natin ang kaso dito.

On the other hand, wala ngang appeal sa Supreme Court, your only remedy against Supreme Court Justices, if they betray the public trust is to go to impeachment court.  So, I also agree that we can call some of them here or we can look at the document etcetera, but I want the defense—the prosecution to show us very clearly what makes it different?  What makes it different when it is an ordinary case na erroneous na dapat hindi pasukan ng impeachment and when it has reached the point that the only redress of our redress of our people to deal with the actions of certain justices or maybe a division or one of them is to go into impeachment process.  You have answered some of the questions, but I think that is so important because ang dami pong nagsasabi na, e, ongoing po iyong cases na iyan e bakit ninyo dini-discuss iyan.

REP. DAZA.  You know, Mr. Senator, there will be a time for us to put hold together the bits and pieces of evidence in order that we could present a clear picture of the partiality, which in our theory, is a betrayal of public trust.  When we come to the summation, hopefully …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  I will basically wait for that, Sir.

REP.DAZA.  Because the bits of evidence is best to be put together.  We cannot take one act, questionable act of the Chief Justice or any associate justice in isolation.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Well, Sir, I appreciate your answer, nalinawan po ako ng konti.  I was hoping kasi na ipre-present ninyo iyong excessive entanglement.  Kasi tingin ko nakakabit iyon dito eh.  Kasi, kung ipapakita mo gaano kalapit kay Presidente Arroyo ang Chief Justice, and then, ang kasunod kung ano.  But, since hindi ninyo na iprinesent iyon, pero, hindi naman kayo nag-flip-flop no, nag-decide lang kayo na huwag i-present iyon.  That is why medyo pinangunahan ko lang ng konti, kasi, we have a tendency na kung saan-saan napupunta minsan ang important issues.  That is why I stood up to clarify this.  And also, concerns noong defense ito eh, ilang beses na nilang itinanong na ongoing iyong case eh.  And we have to be careful after this impeachment we still have to give all respect sa Supreme Court.  Let me stop there, Sir.

REP. DAZA.  Just a last word, Mr. Senator, with the indulgence of the Presiding Officer, Mr. Senate President.  Hindi na po naming kailangan ipakita kung gaano kalapit si Ginoong Corona sa dating Pangulo.  May mga katibayan po kami, documentary pa na magpapakita, na ipapagtibay kung gaano kalapit mismo si Chief Justice Corona kay dating Presidente Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  But, Sir, we cannot take judicial notice of closeness of the Chief Justice to President Arroyo.  And kanina po, sinabi po ng kasama ninyo dito, hindi ninyo na ipre-present iyong excessive entanglement.  So, ako, kapag nag-review ako ng files na ito bago ako gumawa ng desisyon, hindi ko pwedeng tingnan iyong allegation nyo lang.

REP. DAZA.  Hindi, ang sinasabi ko po, meron kaming ebidensiya …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Na ipre-present ninyo po.

REP. DAZA.  … na ipapakita kung gaano kalapit mismo si Chief Justice Corona sa dating Pangulo.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Okay. If you are going to present that, then, I will wait for that.  But I was just saying kanina po kasi ang understanding ko iyong excessive and entanglement kung tawagin ninyo ay hindi na ipapakita.  But, of course, even he is very, very close, normal naman na i-a-appoint ng Presidente iyong close sa kanya, hindi normal na ia-appoint ng Presidente iyong kalaban niya.  So, you still have to show a link that that closeness led to partiality.

On that point, Mr. President, thank you for the extension and may I take this opportunity also to thank the Senate President and Senator Gringo for what they did in 1986 because it is February 22 today and we have not forgotten, Mr. President.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  That is in the past, we are looking towards the future.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes.  Before we are overtaken by the lateness of the hour, may we start with the cross-examination, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The defense counsel may cross if they wishes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay.  Just a couple of questions, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  On the assumption that we will be granted to continue in tomorrow’s hearing, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Good afternoon, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Good afternoon, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It is nice to see you around.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Same here, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, once upon a time, this representation was also a Secretary of Justice, the department you are now handling.  And I have gone over the powers and prerogatives of the Secretary pursuant the administrative code that you have mentioned.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I did not see in there any power or functions granted to the Secretary to review, much less, to reverse any decision of the Supreme Court.  Do you agree with me?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor, definitely not, no such power.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And this is because of the hierarchy in our governmental set-up, it is not?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And so, as far as the judicial department is concerned, the head is the Supreme Court and on top of that,  is the Chief Justice.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Now, do you know of any branch of the government that can go deep by way of constitutional function into examining the decisions or orders of the Supreme Court?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA. None, because—well, if you are talking about decisions of the Supreme Court ….

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Even—yes, go ahead, please.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   … then, it is only the Supreme Court.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Okay. So, there is no governmental function or machinery that can dig deeper into the wisdom, validity and correctness or constitutionality of any decision of the Supreme Court?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Yes, in the exercise of its judicial review.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Alright. Now, is there any function allotted to the Executive Department whereby it can review, even in a minor sense, the decision or orders of the Honorable Supreme Court?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Reviewing the decisions and orders of the Supreme Court, also none because the Supreme Court is …

ATTY. CUEVAS.  And you must agree with me that this embodied in several decisions already like the Borromeo, the Malaba versus Court of Appeals case whereby a party-litigant lost his case in Negros went to the Court of Appeals, the decision was also in favor of his opponent, went to the Supreme Court and it was denied. Filed a motion for reconsideration, the motion is denied. So, what he did was to go to the Office of the President and filed an administrative case against the members of the Supreme Court and that was dismissed by the Supreme Court. Do you recall that case?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Well, I don’t exactly recall that case, but the …

ATTY. CUEVAS.  But there was …

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   … principle involved …

ATTY. CUEVAS.  But there was—I am sorry, kindly, go ahead.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   The principle involved, I am familiar with.

ATTY. CUEVAS. And there was a dictum in there stating that there is no authority or governmental set up in our system of government, not even the Office of the President can review, much less, reverse any decision of the Supreme Court, am I right?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Yes, Your Honor.  In the exercise of it …

ATTY. CUEVAS.  You recognize that?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. CUEVAS. In the governmental set up, necessarily, the Supreme Court is higher than any of the departments of Executive Department?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   The Judiciary, the Supreme Court is a coequal branch.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Yes. Insofar as the departments are concerned, right?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. CUEVAS. I am referring to the other Cabinet of the President or the departments under the President, are they coequal with the—is that what you wanted to tell us?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Well, the departments or the Executive offices under the Office of the President, they all form part of the Executive department.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Correct.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA. So they have the Executive Department, all executive officers have their respective powers and prerogatives in the exercise of the executive power and the Executive Branch of government happens to be a coequal branch of government.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  And in the distribution of powers under the Constitution, it is not the Cabinet member of the department officials that or on level with the Judiciary, is it not?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Yes.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  It is the President or the Chief Executive?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   The officers under the Executive Department or specifically, the Cabinet Secretaries, they are considered the alter egos of the President.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  Alright.   Now, if that is so, why could there be a dispute relative to the validity of the resolution of the Honorable Supreme Court in connection with the issuance of court order by a Secretary of the President?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   The reason is because of the propriety of the TRO. As I explained earlier, responding to the question of the Honorable Presiding Officer, we are questioning the propriety of the TRO because it violates or it went against or goes against the very essence of a TRO.

ATTY. CUEVAS.  And after your challenge against the TRO have been resolved, is there any alternative left to any member of the Cabinet to disobey the order, ruling of the Supreme Court, irrespective of the nobility o purpose on the part of the Secretary?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.   Yes, if there is a final ruling on the issue of the validity of the TRO, then, we will have no choice but to adhere to the TRO because that would be the final ruling of the Supreme Court and we cannot reverse the Supreme Court on that matter.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I understand that in this case there was a ruling already insofar as the TRO is concerned, is it not?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor, that was November 18.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, and that had never been amended much less repealed or revoked as of this time, is it not?

SEC. DE LIMA.  No, Your Honor, because it denied precisely the motion to lift and/or motion for reconsideration of the November 15, 2011 TRO.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And the motion to lift was denied.

SEC. DE LIMA.  The motion to lift was denied in the resolution of November 18.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  To us, it means, therefore, that the TRO stands as it is.

SEC. DE LIMA.  As of November 18, it was not yet clear because of the dispute on the exact interpretation, the import of the TRO whether it was already considered effective on account of the non-compliance by petitioners with condition number two.  Nalaman po natin…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Madam Secretary.  Go ahead please.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  As of November 18, hindi pa ho klaro iyon na effective na iyong TRO.  Wala pa nga ho silang pinalabas, any confirmation, any order, any ruling na, yes, there had been compliance already with the conditions of the TRO.  Sa pagkakaalam ko po kailangan ng separate order or any clarification from the Supreme Court doon sa compliance.  And it is only when there has been a confirmation of the full compliance and with the conditions na pwede na nating sabihin na naging effective na po iyong TRO.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I know that you had been a practitioner of note before entering the government.  Is that right?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.  And you must have been continuously in appellate practice.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Well, I have some exposure to appellate practice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And you knew that the Supreme Court acts en banc and also in a division.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And the decisions of the Supreme Court, whether en banc or in division, must be a majority decision.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In its entirety it is the responsibility of all the members who participated in not a particular member, not even solely by the ponente.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.  Now, in this particular instance, there is a statement in here and may I be allowed to read it for your benefit—“Respondent betrayed public trust through his partiality in granting a temporary restraining order in favour of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.”  My understanding of this particular impeachment article is that it was the honourable Chief Justice Corona who issued a restraining order.  Is that correct or do you agree based on the allegation of this impeachment complaint?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Well, as crafted, it seems to be the connotation but it is actually referring to the TRO as issued.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, and that particular TRO issued was not solely issued only by the Chief Justice.  In fact he has no participation in the issuance thereof.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Well, he concurred in the issuance of the TRO because he was one of the eight members who voted in favour of the issuance of the TRO in November 15.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Could you give us an explanation as to why the charges were merely levelled against the Chief Justice notwithstanding the fact that there would have been no TRO had there been no concurrence of the majority of the court?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Well, the allegation is with respect to partiality.  Now, betrayal of public trust because of the partiality on the part of the respondent in issuing the TRO which had the effect of aiding the former President to leave the country and escape prosecution…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I have not gone that far yet.  My only question is, since this TRO according to you was granted by the Supreme Court acting en banc and there were eight Justices who participated in, in fact there is an allegation that the rest of the other members of the Supreme Court conspired and confederated with the Chief Justice in issuing this TRO, do you subscribe to that view or may we hear your comment in connection therewith?

REP. DAZA.  Objection, Mr. President.  The question is leading.

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

REP. DAZA.  Yes.  The question is predicated on the claim that there is conspiracy among the Justices.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please.

REP. DAZA.  I object to that because there’s no such allegation.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’m not saying …

REP. DAZA.  Nor is there any statement by the witness that there was conspiracy.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I have not gone that far, Your Honor.  I just predicated my question on your admission to the clarificatory questions made by the honourable Senator awhile ago, that the eight or the other members conspired with the Chief Justice that enabled the Chief Justice to issue this alleged questionable restraining order.

REP. DAZA.  So the question—Mr. President, I understand therefore that the question is hypothetical.  In other words, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Oh no.

REP. DAZA.  Because there’s no admission of conspiracy here.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I submit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  The question is, did the counsel—the member of the prosecution asserted that the respondent conspired with other members of the court to issue the TRO?  It was asserted by …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  By the honourable Congressman Daza.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Let us appeal to the record.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There was a question, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Stenographer, will you kindly check the questioning by the Gentleman from Samar to find out whether he used the word conspired or conspiracy, in order to be fair.  All these things are reported.  So, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’ll just withdraw the question.  If the court so allows, Your Honor, so that we can move a little farther.  I’ll reform the question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  You will withdraw and reform the question.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

Now, there is also mentioned in here that the actuation of the honourable Justice Corona was in order to give the former President the opportunity to escape prosecution.

SEC. DE LIMA.  That’s in the article, Article VII

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Do you subscribe to the statement appearing in here, or you have doubts also?

SEC. DE LIMA.  I subscribe to that allegation.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.  In other words, there is really the desire on the part of Justice Corona to allow the escape of GMA?

SEC. DE LIMA.  From my own appreciation of what happened, the developments, actions, of what I read in the opinions, etc., yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, this is not based on your personal opinion?

SEC. DE LIMA.  My own observations based on, again, as I said, my appreciation of the attendant facts and circumstances, and based on the pleadings, the order, the disclosures, the revelations in the dissenting opinion, and Your Honors, also because, when in the fact, in the issuance itself of the TRO.

So it was November 15, and then we were given only very limited period to file a comment, only in three days due on November 18.  And then they set the oral arguments for November 22 was not common, Sir.  Normally, the respondents are given a period of 10 days to file a comment, and then after which, if the court so desires, reset the case for oral arguments.  Now very limited period, and then, immediately oral arguments on November 22.

Now if they intended to get the comment from us in just three days, and they intended to hear us out in that oral arguments on November 22, why issue the TRO on November 15?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So that is your conclusion.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  On the basis according to you on the documents your have read.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Documents and my understanding of law.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Would you say there was conspiracy among the members of the Supreme Court that enables the grant of the restraining order?  Conspiracy is a positive act and the liability of one is the liability of all.

That is why I ask this question.  Why is the impeachment complaint only gravitate or centers on the Chief Justice, excluding the other conspirators?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Because…

REP. DAZA.  Mr. President, I object to the question as argumentative.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, let the Secretary of Justice answer.  It is not argumentative.  He is just asking whether she knows, as a matter of fact that there was conspiracy.

SEC. DE LIMA.  If the question is demanding for a categorical answer on my part …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Certainly, yes.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Conspiracy?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Based on—well, the conspiracy because they issued the questionable TRO—well, the Chief Justice is only one vote, of course, when it comes to decisions, but there are other things, there are other functions and duties and powers of the Chief Justice as primus inter pares.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But that is not my question to you, Madam Secretary.  My question to you is, this restraining order could not have come into effect, where if not for the fact that the majority of the court en banc decided to grant the same.  Am I right?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.  It could not have been possible by—just by the signature merely of Chief Justice Corona.  Is it not?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.  And since the actual result is there was a restraining order issued by the court, the responsibility is supposed to be shouldered by all the signatories to that resolution granting the restraining order, or you have a different view?

SEC. DE LIMA.  If we talk only about the voting and the position with respect to the propriety of the TRO, with eight of them concurring that a TRO at that time was proper in their view or in their—that is their position as the majority, then, yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  I noticed that you have laid very heavy on emphasis on the dissenting opinion.  Is this your ordinary approach to cases that you have been handling?  Because my opinion is, what controls is the majority decision.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.  No, Sir, that is not my usual appreciation.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  This is a special one only.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Well, because of the peculiar circumstances.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And there is no other case which you have treated in the same manner where you laid heavy an emphasis on the dissenting opinion.

SEC. DE LIMA.  There may have been a few.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But you cannot recall anymore.

SEC. DE LIMA.  No more.  When I was still a practitioner, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.

SEC. DE LIMA.  … I believe that the dissenting opinions are normal …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I will request permission, Your Honor to be allowed to—it is already six o’clock, I do not want to …

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

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I request, Your Honor, that I be allowed to continue with my cross …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … in tomorrow’s hearing because of time …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And besides, the Secretary had been on the witness stand for almost two hours.

REP. DAZA.  No objection from the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Request granted.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Therefore, we will continue with the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May we respectfully request the honorable Secretary of Justice of the Republic to …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No vacancy yet in the Office of the Chief Justice.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. … come back tomorrow to answer questions from the defense.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

REP. DAZA.  Mr. President, may I request that two witnesses that we subpoenaed and were here today be directed to appear again tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May we request—yes, all those witnesses that were subpoenaed upon request of the prosecution to testify today and who were not able to testify are ordered to come back tomorrow at two o’clock in the afternoon when we continue with the trial of this impeachment case.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President, and we will continue tomorrow with the cross examination by the defense, and then, thereafter, a number of members of the court would like to ask questions, particularly, Senator Ping Lacson, Senator Pimentel, Senator Estrada, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

SEN. SOTTO.  So, with that, Mr. President, may I ask the sergeant-at-arms to make an announcement.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The sergeant-at-arms will now make the announcement.

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.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move to adjourn until two o’clock in the afternoon of Thursday, February 23, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  (Silence)  The Chair hears none; the trial is hereby adjourned until 2:00 p.m. of Thursday, February 23, 2012. (Gavel)

It was 6:00 p.m.

 

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