IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Thursday, February 23, 2012

At 2:15 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 Renato C. Corona of the Supreme Court is hereby called to order.  We shall be led in prayer by the distinguished Senator from Aurora, Senator Angara.

(Prayer by Senator Angara)

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

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  The honorable Senators-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 Enrile.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With  22 Senator-judges present in the Chamber, 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 22, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an Impeachment Court and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  (Silence)  There being none, the February 22, 2012 Journal of the court is hereby approved.  (Gavel)

The Secretary may now call the case.

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  Case No. 002-2011 in the matter of impeachment trial of honourable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we ask the parties and/or their respective counsel to enter their appearances.

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Your Honor, Mr. President.

For the House Prosecution panel, the House of Representatives, same appearances, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted. For the defense.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, before the Business of the day which is the continuation of the cross-examination of  the witness, may we recognize Senator Joker Arroyo for a manifestation

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Makati and Bicol has the floor.

SEN. ARROYO.   Thank you, Mr. President.  Just a cautionary note.

Yesterday, I asked the prosecution whether Atty. Marlon Manuel is the lawyer of PALEA.  Well, anyone can answer, this is not inquisitorial.

REP. COLMENARES.  Yes, Your Honor, Atty. Manuel is here, Your Honor.

SEN. ARROYO.  No, I am asking whether he is the lawyer of PALEA

REP. COLMENARES.  Frankly, Your Honor, I personally don’t know the answer, that is Art. III, so we are asking Prosecutor Kaka Bag-ao …

SEN. ARROYO.  I am not talking about Art. III.  That is why I said, it is a cautionary note.

REP. COLMENARES.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ARROYO.  And I will say it now, so that  …

REP. COLMENARES.  Thank you.

SEN. ARROYO.  I have been told by some respectable officials in the Department of Labor, of course, confidentially, that, you know, this proceedings has been watched in by the—because—in a national T.V.  He is here. Is he not the one?

REP. COLMENARES.  Yes, Congresswoman  Kaka Bag-ao, Your Honor—  Marlon Manuel, Your Honors.

SEN. ARROYO.  You better ask him.  I mean,  you know …

REP. COLMENARES.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ARROYO.  You ask him now.  I am just going to—that is simple question.

REP. COLMENARES.  Presiding Officer, Mr. Marlon Manuel, Your Honor.

SEN. ARROYO.  No. No.  The question is whether he is the lawyer?

REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor. He is a lawyer for PALEA.

SEN. ARROYO.  Now, you see, the prosecution asked for a subpoena duces tecum ad testificandum for the Supreme Court to produce and for some officers is to testify on the PAL case versus—well, involving the labor union, FASAP.

Now, the Supreme Court filed a return saying it, in effect, that we cannot do it because the case is pending. And also because there are some confidential matters which cannot be disclosed.

REP. BAG-AO. Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ARROYO.  Now, when you hire, when you retain private counsels, perhaps, it would be better part of this question, that you do not enlist lawyers who have vested interests, who have interests other than prosecuting the case. If the Supreme Court brought the documents, then, the lawyer of the labor union against PAL will see it while PAL will not have access to it. That is what I am saying.  You know, I have been in a prosecution.  Before we retained lawyers, we screen them. And I think, you have been doing that; but in this case, you know, we accept, subject to the objection of the defense, any subpoena, application for subpoena, so, we do it and produce it if the subject of this—ao, I am just making a cautionary note because we don’t know whether are on the home streets or we still go along way. But that, in the case of lawyers being retained by the prosecution, please, screen them so that there will be no statements or suspicious.  That is all. I am not going to say that you have been remised of those, perhaps, that is oversight. But please, be careful next time.

REP. BAG-AO. Your Honor, may I explain.

SEN. ARROYO.  Go ahead.

REP. BAG-AO. This is not an oversight, Your Honor.  First, let me tell this Honorable Court that Atty. Marlon Manuel is not a counsel for FASAP.  He is a counsel for PALEO and those are two different labor unions. FASAP has its own set of lawyers and PALEA is not involved in this case. Second, Your Honor, we are very conscious of that fact. In fact, when we invited lawyers to be part of the prosecution team, we are very mindful of all these consideration, but we don’t see any conflict in terms of Atty. Marlon Manuel being part of the prosecution, specifically, to handle Art. III of this impeachment complaint.

SEN. ARROYO.  You don’t see but I see it.    That is an obscurantism of my position.  The fact is that Atty. Manuel’s position is hostile to the PAL whatever the case, so  please, please be careful next time. Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   PALEA is Philippine Airlines Employees Association.

REP. BAG-AO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And FASAP is…

REP. BAG-AO.  Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They have no affiliation.

REP. BAG-AO.  No, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you.  Mr. President, may we now continue with the cross-examination of witness, Secretary Leila de Lima.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May we request the good Secretary of Justice to come to the witness stand and testify under the same cross-examination.  Thank you, Madam Secretary.  The defense counsel has the floor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.  And with the kind permission of the honourable court, may we be allowed to proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Good afternoon, Madam Secretary.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Good afternoon, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, yesterday, you dealt very lengthily on the dissenting opinion of the honourable Justice Sereno.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.  And in the course of your testimony, you dealt on a lot of alleged infirmities or irregularities in the matter of issuing the restraining order involved in the case decided by them.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, sir, not just the issuance but also the legal status or the efficacy of the TRO.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And will you be kind enough with the permission of the honourable court to kindly state again those infirmities that you found in the dissenting opinion of the honourable Justice Sereno.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, sir, but in doing so, can I also have the copies of the dissenting opinions.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may refer to the…

SEC. DE LIMA.  I beg your indulgence, it might be a little lengthy and I thank you for your question, sir, to provide me or give me an opportunity to further expound on what I was talking about yesterday.

Clearly, the November 15 TRO was conditional because there were three conditions stated therein so that the time that it was issued, that was before 6 o’clock in the evening of November 15, there has been no compliance yet.  Not even with respect to the payment of the bond and even with respect to the appointment of legal representative with the corresponding SPA.  But it was issued even before that, clearly conditional TRO but it was made to appear that it was already immediately executory and that is why in the evening of the same day, the former President wanted to leave.  Now, it was announced by the spokesperson that there is this TRO, the former President could already leave.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That’s one.

SEC. DE LIMA.  That’s one.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.  The second one is?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Because the spokesperson had the apparent authority from the Chief Justice to already announce those things.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, but I am referring, with your permission, Madam Secretary, I was referring to the alleged infirmity or irregularity that you picked up from the dissenting opinion of the Honorable Sereno.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.  I’m just laying down these things so that it would be clearer.  November 18, they met again.  Now, remember November 18 was a Friday and they don’t ordinarily hold a hearing or a session but it was called precisely to tackle the matter about the non-implementation of the TRO because since the TRO was not honoured by us on account of the reasons that I stated yesterday the no formal notice yet as of November 15 and no compliance yet with the three conditions.  They had to tackle that immediately on November 18 and there was this special session on a Friday.  Now, it would appear, Your Honors, from the letter of Justice Carpio to the Chief Justice that the very important points discussed on November 18 were never reflected in the November 18 resolution which was also immediately released on the same day

And that is why, there was an again announcement that the former would be leaving, would try to leave again the country.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I interrupt you, Madam Secretary.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am only asking you about the various enumerations that you stated, you found in the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno.  I am not asking for an explanation, Your Honor.

SEC. DE LIMA.  May I beg your indulgence, Sir and Your Honor, that for a clearer picture, I need to say first this—to narrate first these things.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But the picture is very clear to us, all we wanted to know is what are those alleged infirmities that you found based on the dissenting opinion of the Honorable Justice Sereno?  We will ask you about your explanation and probably, about your justification if we need it, but in the meanwhile, we are limiting ourselves to the infirmities—alleged infirmities and irregularities which you said you found in the dissenting opinion of the Honorable Justice Sereno.  One of them, as you mentioned, there was a TRO issued even …

SEC. DE LIMA.  This is a conditional TRO but it was made to appear that it could already be implemented on November 15.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The second one is …

SEC. DE LIMA.  The second one is the exact voting and the matters voted upon on November 18, were not duly reflected in November 18.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And the third one is …

SEC. DE LIMA.  The third is they wanted to—well, because of that, Justice Carpio asked for a clarificatory resolution in order to clarify the November 18 resolution because it was never stated in the November 18 resolution that there was no compliance yet of the conditions and that it is not deemed—or so, it is deemed suspended until compliance with the condition.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With your permission, I am not referring to the dissenting opinion of Justice Carpio, I am limiting myself to the dissenting opinion of the Honorable Justice Sereno.  So, the third one is …

SEC. DE LIMA.  Let me just answer you, Sir.  That matter was reflected in the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno.  In fact, Justice Sereno quoted verbatim the letter of Justice Carpio, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, that is the third one.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Is there any other infirmity that you discovered upon a perusal of dissenting opinion of the Honorable Justice Sereno.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Sir.  The supposed clarificatory resolution of November 18—the clarificatory resolution of November 22, as assigned to Justice Velasco for the drafting, and again, Justice Carpio noted that instead of clarifying the exact voting and matters voted upon on November 18, it only serve to compound the error because the Chief Justice produced his own version of the November 22 clarificatory resolution which did not reflect the correct voting.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Be that as it may, Madam Secretary, are there other observations that you discovered in that alleged dissenting opinion of the Honorable Justice Sereno?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Sir, the attempt to suppress or the suppression, in fact, of the December 2 dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I see, and what else, if there are any, nothing more?

SEC. DE LIMA.  There are more.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.

SEC. DE LIMA.  If only I have the opportunity to fully explain …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You are not prepared to deal with them as of today.

SEC. DE LIMA.  I can deal with them.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Please do so with the permission of the honorable court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed, Madam Secretary.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Well, as I was saying …

REP. DAZA.  Mr. President, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. DAZA.  May I request that the witness be given a couple of minutes to go over the thick dissenting opinion, to which the distinguished defense counsel refers, and which the defense counsel bases his question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I will have no objection, Your Honor, if a request to that effect is made, Your Honor, but I was on the assumption that the brilliant Secretary of Justice, Your Honor is very much in a position to go ahead or proceed with her testimony.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If the Madam Secretary will request it, I will give her all the time.

REP. DAZA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How many minutes do you need to …

SEC. DE LIMA.  Two minutes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You have five minutes.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is suspended for five minutes.

It was 2:35

RESUMPTION OF TRIAL

At 2:37 p.m., the trial was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial resumed.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Another questionable or irregular act on the part of the respondent, Chief Justice Corona, is the failure to correct all the misleading and inaccurate disclosures of the spokesperson, including the misrepresentation that the voting was 9-4 when in fact it was 7-6, including the misrepresentation that as of November 15 and even as of November 18, the TRO was not yet effected.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  This is on the basis of your examination or reading of the dissenting opinion of the honourable Justice Sereno.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  The Honorable Justice Sereno and Justice Carpio, yes, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, I am limiting myself only to Justice Sereno’s dissenting.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Anything more?  Something that is substantial.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  This is very substantial.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Especially changing of the draft from the drafter of the November 22, the alteration of the draft of the November 22 resolution from the statement that “there was no compliance of the conditions of the conditional TRO” to “there was substantial compliance with the conditions of the conditional TRO”.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Are you now through?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  My understanding based from your answer …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just to clarify.  Who was the drafter?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.   … It was assigned, Your Honor, to Justice Velasco by Chief Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And he drafted the resolution.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  He drafted the November 22 resolution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And there were changes?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes, Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May I now proceed, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Now, based on your answer now, I gathered the imprerssion that all the matters you stated awhile ago came from your perusal or reading of Justice Sereno’s dissenting opinion.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So, I am sure that they are not from your own personal knowledge?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Yes, Sir, another member of the court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In other words, what you have told us insofar as you are concerned, are merely, purely hearsay because they do not come from your own personal knowledge.  Am I right?

REP. DAZA.  Objection, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the ground?

REP. DAZA.  The question is misleading.  The dissenting opinion is a matter of judicial notice, in fact, we have marked this dissenting opinion as exhibit for the prosecution.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is not the subject of the examination, Your Honor.

REP. DAZA.  The question …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Go, go, ahead, please, I am sorry.

REP. DAZA.  The question, Mr. President, is, leading in form, but is leading in substance, because the question is, all that you have said or what you have testified to is hearsay which is not so.  It is misleading because, as she testified and as the question called for, she was reading from the dissenting opinion which, as I said, is a matter of judicial notice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is precisely the basis of my question, Your Honor.  What the witness told the court is merely what she gathers from the dissenting opinion and not from her own personal knowledge.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    The Secretary may answer.

DOJ. SEC. DE LIMA.  Based on an official document.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright.

DOJ. SEC. DE LIMA.  Officially released to the parties.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I would like to clarify the reason for this ruling, so that the people will not misunderstand because we have the technical rules, Rules of Evidence. The Secretary, indeed, read the dissenting opinion and by reading that dissenting opinion, she has knowledge of the facts stated in that dissenting opinion, but to the extent of the truth or falsity of what is being stated in that dissenting opinion, is there is any falsehood, is hearsay.  Because, as far as the witness is concerned, because, she is not present in the proceedings of the Supreme Court. So, that is why I allowed the Secretary to answer.

REP. DAZA.  Now, Mr. President, I am only objected to the use of the word “hearsay”.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. DAZA. I objected to it because …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Sa tagalog, hindi galing sa inyong sariling kaalaman.

REP. DAZA.  No, no.   Hindi iyan.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Because you said “hearsay”, so, I am ….

REP. DAZA.  No, I just objected, tumutol po ako, Ginoong Pangulo, doon sa paggamit ng Kagalang-galang na Tagapagtanggol ng salitang “hearsay” sapagkat ang “hearsay” po, ay makahulugan sang-ayon sa ating Rules of Evidence.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Naiintindihan po ng Presiding Officer iyan. Pero, ang ating testigo dito ay hindi pangkaraniwang testigo. Siya ay tanyag na abugado. Alam niya ang ibig sabihin ng hearsay at intelehenteng testigo ang ating Kalihim pwede niyang sagutin iyon.  Kaya, ang ruling ng Presiding Officer,  she must answer.

REP. DAZA.  Tinatanggap po namin iyon, Ginoong Pangulo.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we be allowed to proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, you also made us understand that the basis or the information you revealed to this Honorable Court on the issue of alleged infirmity or irregularity is solely on the basis of the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno, am I right?

DOJ. SEC. DE LIMA.  On the basis of the dissenting opinions, not just of Justice Sereno, but of Justice Carpio, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You are referring to the dissenting opinion of Justice Carpio?

DOJ. SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, sir, also.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I have read the dissenting opinion of Justice Carpio and Justice Carpio never mentioned about the dates you have mentioned. For instance, the scheduled oral argument, the deliberation made, the voting and so on. His dissent is solely on the basis of the character or the condition imposed, according to him, they were not complied with, then, the restraining order should not be made effective or enforceable, am I not right?

DOJ. SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There is nothing in his dissenting opinion which deals with the matters dealt with in the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno as you have narrated to this Court?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Counsel, for the defense, I think, to be fair to the witness, if you have the dissenting opinion of Justice Carpio, this is to confront the witness then, I think it is only fair that the document, as a basis of confrontation, must be shown to her.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I would have done that but I was given the impression that the Honorable Secretary of Justice had them in her possession, Your Honor.

DOJ. SEC. DE LIMA.  I have a copy, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Alright, may the Secretary answer.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Will you kindly indicate that particular portion in that dissenting of the Honorable Justice Carpio dealing with the dates, you mentioned the irregularity and the infirmity because the subject of dissent? Witness examining.

DOJ. SEC. DE LIMA.  Not on those matters directly, but as you correctly stated, sir, his dissenting opinion, primarily, dealt on the character of the TRO.  But there is also portion towards the end of his dissenting opinion about the issuance of the TRO that was issued or released to the petitioners before 6 o’clock in the evening of November 15 even before petitioners’ compliance with the first two conditions.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So there is nothing mentioned there about the alleged deliberation, the lack of oral argument, the lack of notice and so on.

SEC. DE LIMA.  It’s not in the dissent of Justice Carpio.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am very sure that you must have also gone over the dissenting opinion of the Honorable Reyes, the other dissenter.  You must have gone over his dissenting opinion also.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Is it the December 13?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, with respect to the grant of the restraining order…

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … which was the subject of…

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  You have examined it.  Could you kindly go over it and tell us in what particular portion of that dissenting opinion had the dates, the lack of notice and irregularities you mentioned before the court were incorporated?  Because I do not find any for your information, Madam Secretary.

SEC. DE LIMA.  There is none, sir, because the dissenting opinion of Justice Reyes is the dissenting opinion of November 15 or the dissenting opinion to the TRO itself where the very issue on the legal status or efficacy was not yet there because we don’t have the facts yet, the inside facts.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  So the basis of his dissent is that if the court acts on the application for the restraining order, one way or the other it will render moot and academic the principal issue in this case.  That is the substance of his dissent.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright, thank you.  Now, if that is so, why have you laid too much an emphasis on the dissenting opinion of the honourable Justice Sereno?  Will you  kindly tell the honourable court the reason for your giving too much emphasis and why you highly gravitate on that dissenting opinion.

SEC. DE LIMA.  I will gladly do that, sir.  And I have given importance or I’m highlighting the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno not because of the discussion there on the merits of his dissent to the grant of the TRO.  It is not actually about being the dissenting opinion or it’s not the dissenting opinion per se but on the various disclosures or revelations that he had made which gave us or give us the picture of the irregularities that were committed within the court insofar as the issuance of the TRO as well as the interpretation of the legal status or effect of the TRO.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  And these matters are now pending consideration before the honourable Supreme Court.

SEC. DE LIMA.  The main petition, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Correct.  Together with the alleged errors or irregularities attendant to the grant of the restraining order.  Am I right?

SEC. DE LIMA.  I’m not sure if it’s still being discussed or being deliberated upon by the Supreme Court, the alleged irregularities.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am telling you now that it is one of the issues involved in that case which and it is because of the citation against the honourable Secretary of Justice for contempt for having violated the order of the honorable Supreme Court in connection with the grant of a restraining order.  Am I not correct?

SEC. DE LIMA.  In a sense, sir, yes, you are correct.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In what sense am I wrong.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Well, because if you are referring, sir, to my compliance to the show cause order and the grounds I cited there is, number one, the lack of notice and number two is a conditional TRO, then the irregularities within the Supreme Court on the interpretation of the legal status, well, would not really have much bearing on the issue of my non-compliance.  Because in the first place, when I submitted my compliance of the show cause order, I wasn’t aware yet of those irregularities…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Correct.

SEC. DE LIMA.  … until I saw the dissenting opinion,…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct.

SEC. DE LIMA.  …December 13, of Justice Sereno

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And that was why I asked you the question whether without having come across with the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno, you would not have known these irregularities that you mentioned in your direct examination.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Alright, thank you.  Now, apparently, you gave us the impression in this honorable court that, permit the language, that you swallowed hookline and sinker, the truth of what is alleged or incorporated in that dissenting opinion.  Am I right or I am wrong?

SEC. DE LIMA.  I am giving it credence, serious credence because it was never disputed or denied by any other member of the court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But it remains to be a dissenting opinion up to now, unless modified or reversed by the Supreme Court in the final adjudication of a case.

SEC. DE LIMA.  A dissenting opinion on the very issue at hand which is the issue of the TRO or the propriety of the TRO, but it is not an ordinary dissenting opinion, because it dwells on those other matters.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  And it almost exempt you from criminal liability for being declared or being asked to show cause why should not be punished for contempt, because there was no …

SEC. DE LIMA.  If that is your interpretation, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.  It saves you from the trouble of being made liable for having allegedly disobeyed the order of the honorable Supreme Court because there is a restraining order, you issued an order, almost countermanding that order.  Is it not?

SEC. DE LIMA.  The issue of my alleged defiance, Sir, would still be there, even notwithstanding or even in the absence of these disclosures or revelations of internal matter.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  So, let us get this clear then.  Without going further into examining the depth and width of the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno, you would not be able to tell the court whether what were stated in there, based on your testimony, are true, correct and accurate representation of the actual facts.  Am I right?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Sir.  So, that your testimony therefore is solely based on what you have read from that dissenting opinion.

SEC. DE LIMA.  My testimony on those irregularities, yes, Sir.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Did you bother to look into the other opinions incorporated in the decision on the main issue of grant of the restraining order, in order to verify the truth, the accuracy and the authenticity of the statement of facts made by the Honorable Justice Sereno?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Sir, I did.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, were there other opinions?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There were already.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Apart from the main decision, there were concurrent opinions?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor, there was the opinion of Justice Brion.  There was also the opinion of Justice Brion.  There was also the opinion of Justice Velasco, and also the rejoinder that she made for not having been able to answer the issues raised in the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Rejoinder of whom?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Pardon, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Rejoinder of whom?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  By Justice Velasco, Your Honor.  The ponente of the case.

Now, may I go to—may I be permitted to go to another—in that case, Your Honor, I will move, much to my regret, for the striking out of the entirety of the testimony of the witness, on the ground that the same is hearsay, insofar as the accuracy, the truth and alleged authenticity of what is alleged as basic facts, for the dissenting opinion, Your Honor.

I regret to do that, Your Honor, but the rules of evidence and procedures compel me to do so.  I am not questioning that there is such a dissenting opinion, but I am not in conformity with it, with what was stated in there, together with the statement of facts made because they are controverted by the other facts obtained in this case, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of …

REP. DAZA.  Yes, Mr. President, we would like to be heard.  As I understand, the defense counsel is moving to strike the testimony of the witness of the ground that his testimony is hearsay.  The court …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I think the counsel is saying, that to the extent of the truth or falsity of what Justice Sereno said in her dissenting opinion, that is the matter that is being covered by the motion of the counsel for the defense.  In other words, as far as the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno is concerned, as far as what she said in her dissenting opinion, that is within the competence of the witness to state in her answers to the questions of the defense counsel.

REP. DAZA.  In other words, the basis of the motion to strike or the object of the motion to strike is the portion in the testimony of the witness on the irregularities …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To the extent of the truth …

REP. DAZA.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … or falsity of what was said by Justice Sereno in here dissenting opinion.  But as far as what Justice Sereno said in her dissenting opinion stays into the record as a part of the testimony of the witness.

REP. DAZA.  We vigorously object to the motion, Mr. President.  Firstly, because, the dissenting opinion is, in fact, a matter of judicial notice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. That is correct.  Well, anyway … proceed, proceed.

REP. DAZA.  And the facts that the Lady stated in regard to the irregularities are part of the dissenting opinion.  Firstly, Mr. President, these portions of the dissenting opinion are matters stated in the opinion by a public official.  Therefore, unless proven otherwise, they are entitled to a presumption of truth and irregularity.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I’ll pose the question this way.  Whether what the witness said as irregular is indeed irregular, they want to be stricken-off the record, but, as far as the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno is concerned, what she stated in that dissenting opinion will remain in the record as a part of the testimony of the witness.  Am I correct in understanding your position?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct, Your Honor.  We are not in anyway disputing the existence of the dissenting opinion together with what is stated in there.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In other words, the counsel for the defense said to the court, please disregard the claim of the irregularity attributed to others by the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno, because the witness was not present when those acts were done, and when they came to the knowledge of Justice Sereno.

REP. DAZA.  In which case, Mr. President, this statement in the minority opinion apart from the fact that they are entitled to the presumption of truth and irregularity, the fact is that those statements are in their own right independently, relevant statements made by a justice of the Supreme Court who, herself, was speaking of her own personal knowledge.  Secondly,

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, this is sufficiently argued, the Chair will make a ruling unless a member of the Senate sitting as an impeachment court would want to discuss this matter.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But before the ruling of the honourable court is made, may I be allowed one or two minutes rebuttal, Your Honor.

REP. DAZA.  I am not finished ….

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let us allow the …

REP. DAZA.  Mr. President, I am not finished yet.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, let us allow the prosecutor to finish.

REP. DAZA.  Secondly, it is plain to us that the motion is actually in substance raising an issue either of weight of defense.  Whether it is a matter of weight of defense, Mr. President, it is not a ground to strike whatever portion the testimony has been made.  If it is a matter of weight, it is for the discretion of the court to decide on whether to give it weight. And if it is a matter of weight, how heavy the weight should be? And it is a matter of defense.  The defense will have its turn to present evidence to impeach, discredit or overthrow the statements or similarities contained in the opinion.  Now, thirdly, Mr. President, I have read the concurring opinions, myself, just like the defense counsel.  And it is there, it is there, Mr. President showing that these statements or similarities of disclosures made by Justice Sereno were not treated or met in those concurring opinions. There was silence in their opinions and we know, that as, in a court of justice, when such imputations are made, which are serious as against others, there is silence, there is a presumption of truth. I may say in Spanish, no disputa se accepta. If you do not dispute, you accept.  The other Justices never disputed in their concurring opinions these revelations made by Justice Sereno.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Is the counsel thru, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you thru?  Are you thru?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.   May I be allowed …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Is the Gentleman from  …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  One-minute rebuttal.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Wait a minute.  Is the Gentleman from the prosecution thru?

REP. DAZA.  Yes, Your Honor, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   The defense counsel.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If Your Honor please, the Honorable Court have noticed that we have predicated our motion to strike out on the basis of the admission made by the Honorable Secretary of Justice that she has no personal knowledge of all these irregularities and infirmities and that this knowledge came to him, to her, rather, I’m sorry, by reason of going over the dissenting opinion.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    By reading the dissenting opinion.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Correct, Your Honor. That’s why we made the statement that all she testified to in connection with the alleged irregularities or infirmities did not come from her own personal knowledge, but merely from her reading of the dissenting opinion.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    That was accepted by the witness.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The presumption of regularity and the fact that dissenting opinion exists, we never questioned that, Your Honor. We never questioned that. We were limiting ourselves to the character of the evidence being elicited from the witness, Your Honor, which, in accordance, with the evidence and law, is decidedly hearsay and if is hearsay, then, it may be the subject of motion to strike out, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago wants to be recognized.

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

SEN. SOTTO.  Before you make a ruling, Mr. President.

SEN. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO.  Mr. President, I am responding to your call for the Senator-Judges, if any, to make an input on this question before you issue your ruling.  My first comment is this, under the complaint, Article VII, the defendant is charged with betrayal of public trust. And I am reading now, quote:  “Through his partiality in granting a TRO in favor of President and her husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo,” et cetera.  So, the question under Article VII simply is, did the Chief Justice show any partiality when the Temporary Restraining Order was granted, not by the Chief Justice alone, but by his colleagues in the Supreme Court?  That is the question today before us.  Now, I have a copy of the internal rules of the Supreme Court. Rule XII is entitled “Voting Requirements”  and self-explanatory. And Rule XIV is entitled: “Decision-Making Process.” It appears from what the witness has said so far that she has never personally participated in either counting the votes or in the decision-making process of the Supreme Court. In fact, she has said she has no personal knowledge.  She has admitted that. Now, according to the Rules of Court, Rule 130 on rules of admissibility, Section 36, Testimony generally confined to personal knowledge, hearsay excluded.  A witness can testify only to those facts, which he knows of his own personal knowledge, that is, which are derived from his perception, except as otherwise provided in these rules.” If she is absent, how could she have personal knowledge, so, what—she is, in effect, therefore, offering to us her opinion.  But I’ve already said several times in this session hall that no opinion is allowed by the rules of evidence unless the expert has first been qualified as an expert witness.  She has not been so qualified.  She was not present when these so-called irregularities or discrepancies were taking place so how can she be a witness on this instance on the particular point of fact of whether the Chief Justice took an active role in issuing the TRO all by himself when according to the witness herself, according to the internal rules of the Supreme Court which are available to lawyers like us, no one justice is allowed to issue a TRO all by himself.  So, defense is correct in invoking the hearsay rule.

There are exceptions to the hearsay rule.  They are one to eleven exceptions.  Which of these exceptions is the prosecution trying to ground its position on?  The general rule of evidence is no hearsay, only eyewitness can testify except, one to eleven.  Under what exception is being quoted?  Why are we splitting hairs?  It’s very, very clear.  A witness can only testify as to what he perceive himself except that there are 11 of these exceptions and none of them is being cited by the prosecution panel.  So in effect what we have been hearing is a series of opinions extrapolated or explained to us by the witness.  But we have already seen that a witness is not allowed to express an opinion unless she has been qualified as an expert witness and the rules for qualifying her.

Let me quote only one case, just one case decided only this month, February 1, 2012.  The case of Malayan Insurance Company v. Reyes.  Here is the Supreme Court.  “Concomitantly, a witness may not testify on matters which he or she merely learned from others either because said witness was told or read or heard those matters.  Such testimony is considered hearsay and may not be received as proof of the truth of what the witness has learned.  This is known as the hearsay rule.”  May we just, one other case—Estrada v. Desierto, 2001.  But notice that what I’ve cited was a case issued only this month by the Supreme Court educating all of us in the law profession and in the general public.  Estrada versus Desierto.  “There are three reasons for excluding hearsay evidence.  One, absence of cross-examination.  Two, absence of the minor evidence and three, absence of the oath.”  Now, the witness insist that her opinions are well-grounded on the dissenting opinion of a singular Justice of the Supreme Court.  So we are now faced with the issue of what is the weight of a dissenting opinion.  The Supreme Court itself said in the 2008 case concerning Mr. Amado Macasaet.  “The Supreme Court stated that elementary decision making teaches that we cite the majority opinion as precedent not lonely dissenting opinions.

Another case, 2006, GSIS v. Kapisanan.  It is the majority opinion and not the dissenting opinion that is the controlling jurisprudence.  These are accepted facts in law school.  Why do we have to debate these topics?  We can safely take them for granted.  So to return to Article VII, our quest here is factual in nature.  Was the Chief Justice personally and individually responsible for what are perceived deficiencies or irregularities in the issuance of the TRO?  The TRO is the subject matter and the target of this particular Article VII is the Chief Justice, the respondent.  The issue, therefore, is can one judge be held liable for the decision of a collegial body?  Here is the Supreme Court speaking in an administrative case filed by an individual against certain Justices of the Supreme Court and here is what the Supreme Court said—“Although the Chief Justice is primus interpares, first among equals, he cannot legally decide a case on his own because of the course nature as a collegial body.  Neither can the Chief Justice by himself overturn the decision of the court whether by division or the en banc, whether by division or by the entire Supreme Court.”  And here is an excerpt from the book, Judicial Opinion Writing by Joyce George in her fourth edition as early as 1993.  In writing an opinion, the writing judge is involved in a joint venture.  The end product is not his opinion alone but rather that of all the members of the panel who formed the majority.

So, I return to the issue at hand.  The issue at hand is simply like this, is the witness qualified under the rules of court to testify on this particular matter?  Answer, no.  She said no herself.  She said, I am not a member of the court, I have not been there, I was not present, I was just reading the dissenting opinion of the one of the dissenting justices.  That is what she said.

So, she is not testifying according to her own personal knowledge.  That falls under the hearsay rule.  As I said, I admit that there are 11 exceptions to the hearsay rule.  Therefore, prosecutor has the burden of showing that at least one of the 11 exceptions to the 11 hearsay rule applies, otherwise, there is no point belabouring this issue.  We can move on.  Let us move on, counsel.

Thank you, Mr. President.

REP. DAZA.  Mr. President, may I react to the distinguished Lady Senator and now, International Jurist.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. DAZA.  I agree …

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Mr. President, point of order.  He will engage in a colloquy with me, a judge.  The judge has spoken.  Now, the judge is taking time to deliberate on what she has just told to the court.  I do not think this is proper, you should debate among yourselves.  You do not debate with a judge.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, I am sorry.  A member of the court objects to any further discussion.

REP. DAZA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I will make a ruling.

REP. DAZA.  Mr. President, may I just have—may I just have, for two minutes, a remark.  Well, one of the exceptions to the hearsay rule, one of the 11 exceptions to the hearsay rule, under Rule 130, is Section 44, and …

THE PRESIDGING OFFICER.  And which says …

REP. DAZA.  Yes, let me read that, Your Honor.  It says, Section 44, Rule 130, one of the 11 exceptions to the hearsay rule, and it says, “Entries in official records.  Entries in official records made in the performance of his duty as a public officer of the Philippines or by a person in the performance of a duty, especially enjoined by law, are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.

This is an exception to the hearsay rule.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. DAZA.  And therefore, the burden of persuasion is shifted, we have exercised our burden …

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Mr. President.

REP. DAZA. Then, the burden is shifted to the defense to demonstrate to the court that we do not fall to this exception.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I beg the indulgence of the Senator from Iloilo to let the counsel finish and then I will recognize her.

SEN. SANTIAGO. Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.

REP. DAZA.  I am finish with my statement.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  That does not apply, counsel, let me educate you.

When an official custodian or other representative, qualified by that office or authorized by that office to issue an official record, then the presumption applies that what is stated in the official record is correct to that extent.  Therefore, there is an exception to the hearsay rule.

That person or that custodian or that record keeper does not have to explain why his record is that way.  You just have to take it on faith.  That is the meaning of that.  But we are talking of a dissenting opinion by collegiate body, the Supreme Court.

So, if the dissenting opinion contains certain narrations of fact, which in fact, are intended to dispute what the majority opinion has issued, you cannot prima facie presume that the dissenting opinion is correct and the majority opinion is wrong.

That is why I read you those cases where the Supreme Court repeatedly said, you rely on the majority opinion, not on the dissenting opinion.  That is why, I was warning you already, do not engage in a colloquy with the judge.  That is not allowed by the Rules of the impeachment court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Put it in your memorandum.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  May the Presiding Officer, now make a ruling.  Is there any objection?  (Silence)  All right.  It is the ruling of the Chair that to the extent of the facts narrated by the witness on the basis of the dissenting opinion, let them remain as a part of her testimony.  Let them remain as a part of the record, as a consequence and part of her testimony.

Let them remain as a part of the record as a consequence and part of her testimony here as a witness.  But to the extent of the truth of falsity of what the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno contained, to the extent of those facts, whether they’re true or not that the Chief Justice influenced this or the Chief Justice did not or somebody else did something else, then to that extent, it is hearsay because the witness was not present when those things were being done or being said.

And so, I will allow the testimony of the witness to remain into the record and admonish, or rather, suggest to the court to disregard whether the statement of the Chief Justice or what he did or other Justices did in the course of their deliberation because those are not within the competence of the witness to testify.  So therefore, those are hearsay.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

I was about to make a short manifestation, Your Honor, as to the effect of a declaration of statement being considered as hearsay, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … because there are plenty of jurisprudence to the effect that whether objected to or not, if the testimony is hearsay, it shall not and must not be considered by the court in rendering a decision, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, but we must remember that we are not trying a criminal case.  We are trying an impeachment case.  Although there’s a penalty, the only penalty is not loss of freedom or infliction of an economic burden, but the removal of the respondent from his position and his disqualification.

And, therefore, the principle of the rule on hearsay, the hearsay rule contained in our Rules of Evidence do not apply strictly in impeachment cases, as far as I could remember what I read about the experience of the United States in impeachment cases.

It’s true that in a strictly criminal case, the hearsay rule is a very strictly—is adhered to as a Rule of Evidence, but not in an impeachment case.  And that’s why I made the distinction between the truth or falsity of what was related by Justice Sereno in her dissenting opinion, and what the witness now said based on what was contained or the information being presented on the basis of the dissenting opinion of Justice Sereno.

To that extent and to the extent of the dissenting opinion, let it stay as a part of the testimony of the witness.

So ordered.  (Gavel)

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I’m heavily thankful, Your Honor, for the announcement made by the honourable Presiding Justice, but I’m also thankful for being allowed to make that manifestation of record because that is a rule not only applicable to civil, criminal and other cases, Your Honor.  And I am searching in vain a ruling or a Rule of Procedure insofar as the impeachment court is concerned relative to hearsay evidence.

If we examine the Rules of Procedure, there is nothing in there, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, I’m going to ask you to read the book of Charles—the one written by—

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  By Black.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Charles Black.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And also the book written by Raoul Berger of Harvard.  These two books will tell you that the hearsay rule is not adhered to strictly in impeachment cases.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If you want I can bring them here.  I think I have them in my office upstairs.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I have gone over the first book, but black, but the second one, I have not seen it.  I do not know.  But thank you, thank you for the information.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Raul Berger. Raul Berger is a Harvard man who wrote a very extensive study on impeachment trials in America. And he cited a lot of authorities to say the hearsay rule does not strictly apply in impeachment cases. And so, I understand your position, but we are not proving the guilt or innocence or the guilt, rather, of the respondent beyond reasonable doubt. We are going to decide this case on the basis of quantum of evidence that we think is best to be used in determining whether he is guilty or not guilty, not beyond reasonable doubt because this is not a criminal case.  It is akin to a criminal case, but not really a criminal case. That is why I made that ruling and so, let it remain as a ruling of the Court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor. I am thru with the witness.  Thank you, Madam Secretary.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let us now discharge the distinguished Secretary of Justice.

SUSPENSION OF THE TRIAL

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, there are number of Senators who have made the reservation to us to ask questions to the witness, so may we move to suspend for fifteen minutes  before we proceed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, Madam Secretary, can you bear us out, bear with us, rather? Okay.  Trial is suspended fifteen minutes.

It was 3:21 p.m.

RESUMPTION OF TRIAL

At 3:44 p.m., the session was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial resumed.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO. Yes, Mr. President, now that the cross-examination has finished, there are a number of Senator-judges who wish to pose questions to the witness, so, may we start of with Senator Panfilo Lacson.

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

SEN. LACSON.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Before I ask my questions to the witness, I would like to address the prosecution panel.  If you allow me to do a Senator Miriam, I’ll just do some—to make some lecture.

It is true. I fully support the ruling of the Chair that as to the truthfulness and accurateness of the contents of the documents marked as Exhs. TTTTTTTTT, UUUUUUUUU, VVVVVVVVV, talagang hindi po pupwede kasi hearsay because Secretary De Lima admitted that she was not present during the en banc  deliberation.  But, if I may suggest, why don’t you do it another way? Assuming that Justice Sereno, because we have already ruled unanimously, not to issue a subpoena to any of the Associate Justices, that is foregone, wala na po iyon. But for all you know, she brought with her a clerk or a Chief of Staff or whatever, baka naman po present siya during the en banc and she would have personal knowledge. Bakit hindi ninyo naman alamin and then, submit a motion to the court na mag-issue ng subpoena to the person concerned at baka mapayagan kayo?  So, at least, somebody, not Secretary De Lima, who has no personal knowledge on the contents or the truthfulness of what transpired during the en banc  sessions, the three en banc sessions of the Supreme Court, eh, baka naman makakuha kayo ng may personal knowledge.  It is just a suggestion.

REP. DAZA.  Maganda po sana iyan.

SEN. LACSON.  Just to ferret out the truth, no, not for anything else.

REP. DAZA.  Maganda po sana iyan, Ginoong Senador, kanya lang ang balakid ay ganito.  Ang Korte Suprema noong Valentines Day, birthday ng ating Pangulo, naglabas ng isang resolution na kung saan ipinagbawal ng Korte Suprema na kahit na mayroong subpoenang manggagaling dito sa Senado sa impeachment court, para sa isang Mahistrado o isang empleyado ng Korte Supreme na dito ay pumunta upang magbigay ng saysay.  Ang sabi daw po sa resolution na iyon, eh, may mga bagay na internal, ang tawag ng Korte Suprema, internal na hindi pwedeng ibunyag kahit dito po sa Impeachment Court. At saklaw po niyan, hindi lamang isang Mahistrado. Ngayon, kung ‘di ang kanyang mga empleyado.  Ngayon, kung ibig o kagustuhan ng isang Mahistrado na sa kanyang ganang sarili ay pumunta rito at magsaysay, ang sabi po ng resolusyong  iyon, kailangan humingi ng waiver o clearance, kung sa ating pangkaraniwang usapan, sa husgado.  Kanya, hihingi ng waiver iyong Mahistradong iyon. Eh, hindi po …

SEN. LACSON.   If I may, we are not there yet po, ano. Assuming that there is a memo issued even to the employees, not just an internal arrangement among the Justices of the Supreme Court, wala pa po tayo doon because it is up to the Court, this Court, to determine if, when we ask questions, or you ask or the defense panel, will ask their questions, it is up to us to decide whether or not he or she can decline to answer the question.

REP. DAZA.  Ginoong Senador, ang akin pong iniisip na ang talagang may personal dito, eh, si Justice Sereno. Kanya nga po iyon po ang …

SEN. LACSON.  It is accepted po, pero, for all you know.  Hindi lang naman si Justice Sereno ang present doon, baka mayroon siyang bitbit na Supreme Court employee, one member of her staff na pwede ninyong …

REP. DAZA.   Saklaw po iyong, ano, iyong sa resolusyon ng Korte Supreme.

SEN. LACSON.  Well, I’ll say it again …

REP. DAZA.  … pati mga empleyado saklaw doon sa pagbabago.

SEN. LACSON.  I say it again, this is an impeachment court, sui generis po ito,  Ito po’y supreme din na on its own, ano, Anyway, I will not belabour the issue.

REP. DAZA.  Baka po naman, baka po naman …

SEN. LACSON. Pupunta na po ako kay …

REP. DAZA.  Sa sariling kusa, sa sariling kusa ni Justice Sereno dahil dito sa ating usaping ito ay baka naman sa kanyang kusa ay humingi siya ng waiver at harinawang mabigyan ng waiver o clearance ang Korte Suprema at dito magbigay ng kanyang salaysay.

SEN. LACSON.  Anyway, it’s just a side issue.  I will now proceed to my main issue.  Tatanungin ko na po si Secretary de Lima.

REP. DAZA.  Maraming salamat po sa inyong payo.  Susubukin po namin iyan, baka naman po maawa si Justice Sereno sa ngalan ng bayan na pumunta rito para magbigay ng kanyang sariling salaysay.

SEN. LACSON.  But if you’re waiting for the Supreme Court to issue a subpoena, wala na po iyon because we have unanimously supported the Presiding Officer that we will not issue a subpoena to any Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

REP. DAZA.  Alam po namin iyan.

SEN. LACSON.  Now, Madam Witness, magandang hapon po.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Magandang hapon din po, Your Honor.

SEN. LACSON.  When did you first, kailan ninyo po unang-unang nalaman na mayroong TRO?  Ayon po sa inyong salaysay, mga 1 o’clock ng hapon ng November 15.  Tama po ba iyon?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo, ng mag press con po si Ginoong Midas Marquez.

SEN. LACSON.  Now, when did you first learn about the conditions imposed by the Supreme Court?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Nabanngit din ho iyon…

SEN. LACSON.  During the press conference.

SEC. DE LIMA.  … kung hindi po ako nagkakamali parang binasa po iyon ni Midas Marquez.

SEN. LACSON.  Pero ayon din sa inyong pag-testify dito, una ninyong natanggap iyong kopya ninyo around 8:16 a.m. the following day, November 16.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  825 or 8:26.

SEN. LACSON.  Kailan ninyo po unang nalaman na mayroong irregularities, merong hindi pagsunod doon sa mga kondisyons na na-impose?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Noong natanggap ko na po iyong November 18 resolusyon po.

SEN. LACSON.  November 18 resolusyon.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo, na natanggap kung hindi po ako nagkakamali on the same day, November 18.

SEN. LACSON.  Kailan ninyo po pinagbawalan si Ginang Arroyo na umalis ng bansa papuntang kung saan mang lupalop iyon?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Iyong attempt niya po noong November 15 ng gabi.

SEN. LACSON.  In other words, noong hindi ninyo siya pinayagan na umalis, ay hindi ninyo pa alam na may mga kondisyones na hindi na-fulfill doon sa TRO?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Hindi ko pa po alam kung talagang na-fulfill na iyong mga conditions as of that time.  Kasi ang alam ko po, Your Honor, is that pag meron pong mga kondisyon ang isang order, kailangan meron hong confirmatory order iyong korte na itong mga kondisyon na nakasaad dito ay na-comply na noong party concerned.

SEN. LACSON.  Pero hindi ninyo alam na mayroong condition number two, requirement number two, iyong pag-a-assign ng legal representative  ay hindi pala na-comply dahil mali iyong isinumite noong kanyang lawyer, si Ferdinand Topacio.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  Noong gabi pong iyon hindi ko po alam kung ano sa mga kondisyon na iyon ang na-fulfill na.  Maski nga po iyong bond, hindi ko pa rin ho iyon alam kung naibigay na iyon noong araw na iyon.

SEN. LACSON.  So that prompted you to order the immigration officers at the airport including the personnel of the NAIA authority not to allow her to leave the country.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. LACSON.  That evening.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. LACSON.  Ano po ba ang diperensya ng WLO at saka ng HDO?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Ang HDO po, hold departure order, ay pinagbabawalan na umalis ang isang either nasasakdal o respondent in a preliminary investigation case at ito ay may duration ng limang taon, five years, and unless lifted or revoked.  Iyong WLO naman po, watch list order, ay essentially ang effect ay hindi basta-basta makakaalis unless makakuha rin po ng lifting order o allow departure order pero eto po ay only for a period of 60 days and not five years.

SEN. LACSON.  An HDO is issued by the court, by the Regional Trial Court.  Kapag nai-file na iyong information whether or not naisyuhan ng warrant of arrest iyong korte po  ay may kapangyarihan sa ilalim ng batas na magisyu ng hold departure order.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo, ang korte po ay may kapangyarihan na mag-issue ng HDO at iyong Department of Justice din po under Department Circular No. 41 ay meron din po. kapangyarihan.

SEN. LACSON.  Kapangyarihan.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. LACSON.  Sino po ang nagbigay ng kapangyarihan sa DOJ na mag-issue ng Watch List Order?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Nasa Circular po yan, No. 41, ay ito po ang basehan po nito, kasi ang Circular No. 41 po ay, kagaya ng sinabi ko po kahapon, ang nagpalabas po niyan ay yung dating Secretary of Justice Alberto Agra, at yung mga dati rin pong mga circulars before Circular No. 41 ay meron din po doon tungkol sa HDO, so yung mga dating mga circulars, inisyu rin po ng mga dating Secretary of Justice.

Ang batayan po ay yung sa Administrative Code na kung saan—

SEN. LACSON.  292.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. LACSON.  E.O. 292.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Executive Order 292 po.

SEN. LACSON.  Pero, basahin po natin yung pinagkopyahan, yung cinite dito, which is yung Circular No. 18, hindi po ba—yun yata pinanggalingan nito e.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. LACSON.  Department Circular No. 18, at ang sinasabi doon ay binibigyan ng—nawala yung notes ko—Binibigyan ng kapangyarihan ang Secretary of Justice para utusan ang Immigration.  Pero pagka sinabi pong Immigration ay yon po ay patungkol lamang sa naturalization, mga naturalized at sa mga aliens.  Hindi po ba?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Basically, opo.

SEN. LACSON.  Opo.  So, ang sinabi nyo po kahapon sa mga pagtatanong ng aking kaprobinsya na si Senator Bong Revilla, merong effects of a law ang Circular No. 41.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  Has the force and effect of—

SEN. LACSON.  Yes.  But it is not a law.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Is not strictly a law.

SEN. LACSON.  Is there a law that authorizes Circular No. 41?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yung batas po—

SEN. LACSON.  Mr. President, marami po akong pagtatanong na—Trenta sigunda lang.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You can go on.  (Gavel)

SEN. LACSON.  Thank you po.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Wala pong batas expressly authorizing yung Department of Justice, I mean Secretary of Justice na mag-issue ng Hold Departure Order or Watch List Order.  Pero ang batayan po diyan ng poder na yan ay yung aming mandato under the Administrative Code, at ito po under the rule-making powers din po ng department for the effective implementation of its mandate at saka po yung exercise ng police power.

SEN. LACSON.  May an agency, in this case the DOJ, grant to itself by issuing a circular that power?  Kayo mismo?  Hindi po ba self-serving yon?  Pagka kayo mismo ang nag-grant ng power sa sarili ninyo sa pamamagitan ng isang circular, hindi po ba na nararapat lamang, it is basic for that agency, in this case again, the DOJ, to seek the support of Congress by way of an enactment, hindi po ba?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yan ho ang ideal situation.  Kung meron po sana pong talagang batas na talagang directly, expressly, categorically granting us that power, mas maganda po sana yon.  Pero all these years nga po, wala pa.  Hindi pa ho yan binibigay o hindi pa ho yan pinapalabas ng Kongreso.  Pero meron po kaming batayan, yung sinasabi ko po kanina sa Administrative Code, meron po kaming kapangyarihan na mag-issue ng mga rules and regulations na sa tingin namin ay makakatulong para talaga magawa po namin ng maayos ang aming mandato, which is to administer the criminal justice system, investigate crimes and prosecute criminal offenders.

SEN. LACSON.  Have you even attempted to ask Congress to enact a law para mabigyan kayo ng ganong kapangyarihan sa ilalim ng ating batas?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Meron pong mga ginagawa ngayon na mga bills o mga draft ng mga isa-submit po namin na proposal sa Kongreso.  At alam ko po na meron ding mga pending bills tungkol diyan pero hindi ko po alam kung anong pinaka-status, kung nakompleto na po yung bill.

SEN. LACSON.  But in the meantime that there is no law, you cannot implement or even—you cannot implement Circular 41, di po ba?  Kasi hindi po kayo pwedeng mag-grant ng power sa inyong sarili, at pagkatapos kayo rin ang magpapa-implement.  Parang wala po sa ating Saligang Batas yon.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Recognized po yan na kung meron po kaming rule-making powers sa aming paggawa ng aming mandato ay pwede po, and the police power, kasi yong police power nga po ay nasa Kongreso nga po yan, but it can be delegated, and it can be delegated through the power of the agency concerned, to issue rules or to promulgate rules and regulations para mapadali ang trabaho.

At yong pag-iisyu po ng HDOs and WLOs ay long-recognized institutional practice na po yan ng DOJ, mula at sapul pa po ay yong mga dati pong mga secretaries of Justice, kasama na rin po yong lahat ng mga secretaries of Justice na in-appoint ng dating Pangulo, they have been issuing hold departure orders and watch list orders bago pa man po yong circular number 41.

SEN. LACSON.  Alam ko po yon dahil ginamit po ito ni dating Pangulong Arroyo to go against her perceived political enemies.  Hindi po ba?  Kasi, noong minsan, naabutan ko si Congressman Satur Ocampo, kawawa, nandoon sa isang kwarto doon sa Immigration at ang dahilan lamang kung bakit hindi siya paalisin ay mayroong watch list order.

Sa akin pong pagakaintindi, as the name connotes, or as the nomenclature indicates, watch list order.  Parang ang connotation lamang, bantayan nyo yan, alamin nyo kung saan pupunta, alamin nyo kung kelan babalik and nothing more.

Hindi naman po pwedeng pag watch list ay sasamahan na ng hold, kaya nga meron tayong tinatawag na hold departure order at meron tayong tinatawag na watch list order, kasi magkaiba po yong dalawa.

Kanina, tinanong ko po sa inyo, ano ang diperensya, sa inyong paliwanag, wala akong nakitang diperensya.  The difference is the same.

SEC. DE LIMA.  It is just the period—yong epekto po ay parang …

SEN. LACSON.  Pati yong epekto po, dahil hino-hold yong Pilipino para hindi makaalis ng bansa by virtue of a watch list order.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Iyong nga po ang nasabi ko po kanina na watch list order, pero yong epekto po ay halos pareho in the sense na hindi ho basta, basta makakaalis na hindi muna magpaalam sa Department of Justice, sa pamamagitan ng pagkuha ng lifting order o ng allow departure order, and ang epekto nga po, ang duration nga po is 60 days instead of the longer period kapag HDO na five years.

SEN. LACSON.  Bakit …

SEC. DE LIMA.  Doon po sa sinasabi nyo na ginagamit po ng dating Pangulo against perceived enemies, well, maaaring naabuso nga po iyong podet na iyan.

SEN. LACSON.  At ngayon naman po, ginagamit naman natin doon sa atig perceived political enemy rin.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Maaaring …

SEN. LACSON.  The same circular.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Sa akin po, you don’t have to worry about that, Sir.

SEN. LACSON.  Pero nangyari po e.

SEC. DE LIMA.  I don’t use my powers for any improper motives, especially for any, as you say, political vendetta.  I don’t do that.

SEN. LACSON.  Hindi po ba maliwanag sa ating Saligang Batas, Article III, Section 6, na iyong right to travel ay dapat ating i-uphold, maliwanag po yon dahil hindi ko na po kailangang basahin yong provision dahil alam nyo naman po yon.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  Mayroon ho talagang right to travel.

SEN. LACSON.  May mga exception lang.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Just like any other rights, meron pong mga exceptions.  It is not unlimited.

SEN. LACSON.  Yes, national security, public health and public …

SEC. DE LIMA.  Public safety.

SEN. LACSON.  … safety.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. LACSON.  Saan po pumasok si Ginang Arroyo doon sa tatlo na exception?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Doon sa tatlo po, strictly speaking, hindi ho natin pwedeng itugma yon, but ang argument po naming doon sa kaso namin ngayon sa Supreme Court is that, it is not meant to be an exclusive enumeration of those exceptions, kasi meron nga pong mga recognized exceptions ngayon.  The fact that the court itself, the regular courts can issue HDOs in cases pending before them, kahit wala doon sa tatlong stated exceptions ay pwede.

SEN. LACSON.  Iyong sa korte po—kasi ang sinabi ng Konstitusyon, as may be provided by law.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. LACSON.  Ito po bang Circular 41, meron po bang batas tulad ng tanong ko kanina?  Is there a law authorizing it?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Wala po.

SEN. LACSON.  Wala po.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Wala po, pero yong mga meron nga ho tayong mga jurisprudence katulad noong tungkol sa power ng PCGG. Isang kaso po, Kant Wong case, ay hindi nila pinakialaman iyong power of the PCGG to issue hold departure order kahit wala po iyan sa batas ng PCGG.  At iyong batas po ng PCGG is Executive Order No. 1.  Pero may ilang pong mga kaso, iyong isa nga po ay nakarating sa Supreme Court na inaffirm po nila iyon, iyong power ng PCGG to issue HDO kahit wala pong batas na nagsasabi tungkol doon.  Another example po iyong mga travel bonds po.  In another case  PASEI vs. then Secretary, Secretary Drilon.  Inafirm poi yon, iyong the authority to impose travel bond, now travel bond po that is tantamount to restraining the right to travel.  May ilan-ilan pa pong mga example.

SEN. LACSON.  Nabanggit ninyo po iyong EO 292,eto po iyong sinasabing probisyon, babasahin ko po para maliwanag, para lang maiparating ko sa inyo na hindi ninyo pwedeng gawing basehan iyon.  Eto, ang pinagbasehan dito, iyong circular no. 18, which in part, cited section 3, paragraph 1, sa paragraph 2 and 6 chapter 1, title 3 book 4, EO 292. Iyon ang source ng authority ng department circular no. 41.  Tama po ba?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. LACSON.  Ang sinasabi po ng Section 3, paragraph 6: it authorizes the DOJ to provide to provide immigration and naturalization services and implement the laws governing citizenship and the admission and stay of aliens.  E, hindi naman po alien si Ginang. Arroyo eh.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Meron pa hong mga ibang basehan iyong circular no. 41.

SEN. LACSON.  For my education pwede ninyo po bang banggitin?  Ang kino-quote ko po dito ay si Fr. Bernas.  Baka nakalimutan niyang isulat iyong sinasabi ninyo ibang …

SECRETARY DE LIMA.   Well, mayroon pa pong ibang basehan iyong circular no. 41,iyong mga probisyon po tungkol doon sa mandato, sa mga powers and functions ng DOJ lalo na po iyong tungkol nga po doon sa; the DOJ administers a criminal justice system in accordance with the accepted processes, investigate crimes and prosecute criminal offenders, etc.  Now, because of that mandate, meron  din po kami under the EO, under the administrative code in another provision of the  administrative code the rule making powers.  So, doon po ipinasok noong mga nag-draft ng circular no. 41, iyong  “the power to issue rules and regulations, eto nga po circular no. 41, the power to issue HDO and WLO for the effective discharge of the mandate of the powers and functions of the DOJ under the administrative code”.

SEN. LACSON.  Rule-making power of the DOJ, tama po iyon?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. LACSON.  Pero dapat po may pinagbabasehang batas iyon kung hindi man Saligang Batas, e, batas na ipinasa ng Kongreso.  Ayon po sa pagsang-ayon ninyo kanina, e, wala nama pong lumalabas pang batas na inianak ang Kongreso e bakit naglabas na kayo ng department circular no.41?  Hindi ko po sinasabi hindi ako sumasang-ayon sa inyo na napigilan si Mrs. Arroyo, maliwanag po iyon.  Sumasangayon po ako sa inyo pero hindi po ako sumasangayon sa legalidad na inyong ginawa.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Iyong circular no. 41 po, gusto ko pong ulitin, na hindi ko po iyan gawa-gawa.  Pagdating ko po sa Department of Justice, nandiyan na po iyan, nakita ko naman po na malaking tulong iyong pag-i-issue ng mga HDOs at WLOs and sa tingin ko po it enjoys the presumption of constitutionality and validity.  So, until otherwise declared by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional or invalid, we should assume that circular no. 41 is a valid exercise of the law-making powers of the DOJ, and also exercise of police power of the State through the Executive department.

SEN. LACSON.  You cited national interest, correct me if I am wrong, pero iyon ang narinig ko sa interview ninyo na you cited natural interest as your justification para pigilan si Mrs. Arroyo at i-implement iyong WLO.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.   Isa po iyan sa mga nababanggit ko dati in the higher …

SEN. LACSON.  Pero wala nama po sa Konstitusyon iyong national interest kasi tatlo lang po nakalahad doon eh.  Kung gusto nating i-expand na isama iyong national interest, baka pupwedeng pagusapan natin sa Kongreso, Lower House and Upper House, para ma-expand kung gusto nitong, basta’t wala lang, hindi lang contrary sa provision ng Constitution, baka pwede nating gawing isang justification.  But in the meantime, that it is limited to three na public safety, public health at saka national security, eh, wala po tayong  magagawa, kung hindi sundin iyong Article III Section 6 ng Constitution at sundin iyong mga umiiral ng batas tungkol dito.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Mayroon po tayong Circular No. 41 at iyan po ay …

REP. LACSON.  Hindi nga po batas iyon, Ginang Secretary. Nagkasundo na po tayo doon, hindi po batas iyon.   At walang batas authorizing  Circular No. 41.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Administrative issuance po iyan kahit hindi po siya batas, it’s also enjoys the presumption of constitutionality and validity dahil sa tingin po namin ay sakop po iyan talaga ng kapangyarihan ng DOJ under E.O. No. 292 and it is actually in the exercise of police power.  Now, iyong delegated authority po ng isang ahensiya ng gobyerno na ipagpatupad ang isang batas provided na may mga reasonable standards na mga nakalagay po diyan sa batas at doon din po sa administrative issuance.  Ang position po naming—iyon po ang position namin, official position, na pinaglalaban po namin sa Supreme Court dito po sa consolidated cases.

REP. LACSON.  Balik ho tayo doon sa pag-implement noong—hindi ninyo pagsunod doon sa TRO, so noong November 15, eh, maliwanag na hindi ninyo pa alam iyong mga kondisyones na violate o one of the conditions that was not fulfilled anyway, eh, just the same pina-implement ninyo iyong o sinuway ninyo iyong TRO.  So, can you now confirm that you defied the TRO issued by the Supreme Court?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Whether or not it will be called as defiance, I am not …

REP. LACSON.  Okay, you did not follow?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes.

REP. LACSON.  You did not abide? You did not abide by the TRO?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA. Yes, sir. Yes, Your Honor.

REP. LACSON.  Nagkakasundo po tayo doon?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Hindi po namin sinunod iyong TRO dahil nga po noong oras na iyon, noong gabi po na magtangkang umalis ang dating Pangulo, wala po ho kaming official copy noong TRO. At pangalawa po, since alam ko po na ina-announce nga po ni Midas Marquez na mga conditions, hindi ko pa rin alam, hindi pa rin po naming alam kung natupad na po iyong mga conditions na iyon.

REP. LACSON.  Maraming salamat po. Thank you, Mr. President.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Salamat din po.

REP. LACSON.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.   Majority Floor Leader.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo, Senator Drilon.

SEN. SOTTO. And then, Senators Legarda and Estrada.

SEN. DRILON.  Madam Witness, correct me if my recollection is wrong but I seem to recall that in yesterday’s hearing, in response to a question on why you are holding the Chief Justice responsible on what appears to be a collegial decision, you substantially answered that the Chief Justice has some ascendancy over the Justice, is my recollection correct?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  In so many words, yes, po.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes.  Because I have not read the transcript.  But is my recollection correct of your answer?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. DRILON.  Can you elaborate on what exactly do you mean by this because, really, if it was a collegial decision, there seems to be a basis on its face on the assertion that you cannot blame the Chief Justice on a collegial decision, can you elaborate on this?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Salamat po, Your Honor. Iyon nga po iyong sinasabi ko po kanina na during the cross na medyo mahaba-haba nga hong kwento, although, I did not exactly mentioned the word “ascendancy” or something. What I was saying that sa pagdedesisyon po, isang boto nga lang po ang Chief Justice, sa pagdedesisyon. Pero, mayroon pa pong  mga bagay-bagay, mayroon pong mga matters sa workings ng Korte Suprema na since si Chief Justice po shall primos inter pares at siya rin iyong pwede nating matawag na Chief Executive or Administrative Officer ng Korte Suprema, siya lamang ang pwedeng mag-utos. Binasa ko po iyong Internal Rules ng Supreme Court at ilan po s a mga bagay na siya lang ang pwedeng gumawa ay iyong katulad po noong pagpapalagay, iyong directing the immediate inclusion of any matter in the agenda.  So kung meron ho siyang gustong ipa-special raffle, siya po ang pwedeng magpagawa niyan.  Meron po siyang matter na ite-take up, ipapasingit sa agenda, siya po iyan.  Siya rin po sabi po ng internal rules, siya rin po ang nagbibigay sa Clerk of Court noong kanyang mga notes on the actions taken by the court.  Siya iyong nagte-take down ng notes at iyong copy ng agenda na naglalaman noong kanyang handwritten notes, iyong handwritten notes ng Chief Justice, iyan ang magsisilbi as basehan doon sa preparasyon ng minutes.  Binabasa ko po iyong relevant portions ng internal rules, tina-Tagalog ko lang po.  Iyan po ang magiging basehan ng preparasyon ng minutes noong proceedings.  Siya rin po ang nag-a-approve ng draft minutes at siya ang nagbibigay ng final approval doon sa paglalabas ng mga resolusyon, kasama na diyan iyong mga minute resolutions and extended unsigned resolutions.

Now, kailangan ho kasi matandaan natin iyong mga function na iyan o kapangyarihan na iyan ng Chief Justice sa mga internal workings ng Supreme Court dahil nga po doon sa mga nalaman natin na mga iregularidad na ibinunyag ni Justice Sereno.  Kasi nga po kung ang Chief Justice ang siya lamang ang mag-a-approve finally ng pagpalabas ng isang resolusyon siya iyong nakakaalam kung tama o hindi iyong ilalabas na resolusyon lalo na po na based din po sa internal rules at sinabi din po iyan kung hindi ako nagkakamali sa parehong dissenting opinions ni Justice Sereno and Justice Carpio ay iyong mga unsigned, extended resolutions at saka minute resolutions hindi na ito pinapaikot sa kanila sa other members of the court bago ito pinapalabas.  Klarado po iyan.  Now, iyong TRO, November 15, klarado po na subject to conditions at sabi po sa dissenting opinion ni Justice Carpio may isang portion iyong November 15 TRO doon sa number one condition, isang portion po doon—I’m just looking, Your Honor, for the TRO—eto po ang number one condition.  The petitioners shall post a cash bond of P2 million payable to this court within five days from notice thereof.  Failure to post the bond within the aforesaid period will result in the automatic lifting of the temporary restraining order.  Iyong pangalawang sentence ho, sabi ni Justice Carpio sa kanyang dissenting opinion noong December 13 wala daw po iyan.  Iyong failure to post the bond within the aforesaid period will result in the automatic lifting of the temporary restraining order.  Hindi daw po iyan diniskas.  Pero bakit ho nandito sa November 15, TRO.

Number two, iyong November 18 naman po, November 18 it was a Friday since hindi nga po nakalusot iyong TRO in the sense na hindi po namin sinunod dahil nga iyong mga kondisyon hindi pa klarado kung na-comply na, so nagpatawag po ng special session.  Now, iyong sa special session merong mga ilang bagay na pinag-usapan at pinagbotohan ng Supreme Court.  Sabi uli doon sa dissenting opinion ni Justice Sereno at saka sa sulat ni Justice Carpio sa Punong Mahistrado noong November 24. Now, sabi po, yung November 18 po, pinagbotohan yung nagkaroon ba ng compliance don sa mga conditions?  That’s number 1.  That’s one of the matters.  Isa pa po, yung naging resulta ho pala don sa question na yon, meron bang compliance?  Sabi po ng korte, by a vote of 7-6, walang compliance.

So dahil walang compliance, ano ho bang ibig sabihin non?  That’s another issue na pinagbotohan nila.  Suspended ba yung TRO?  Yung effectivity ng TRO dahil nga walang compliance?  Ang sabi nila Justice Sereno and Justice Carpio, ang malinaw na naging resulta ng botohan don by a vote of 7-6 is that, hindi na lang nila sasabihin yon na suspended siya dahil yun naman talaga ang ibig sabihin ng isang conditional TRO.

But meron nga kasing isang Justice na sinabi, common sense naman yan, understood na yan by any lawyer, kaya dapat review na lang natin yan, i-categorically sabihin.  Parang, it’s a vote of silence na lang, the 7-6.

Now, kaya lang po, yung November 18 resolution na pinalabas nung araw din pong yon, wala pong nakalagay don yung dalawang punto na yan.  Yung pinag-usapan nila at pinagbotohan na number 1, hindi pa natupad yung mga conditions.  Number 2, deemed suspended yan pero hindi na lang natin yan sasabihin.  Nothing there.

Ang nakalagay lang po sa November 18 is pinapa-submit uli yung mga petitioners, through their lawyers, yung compliance na tumutupad don sa condition number 2.

Ang sabi ko po kanina, under the internal rules, ang reso po hindi yan basta-basta makakalabas kung hindi muna dumaan or approved ng Chief Justice.

Napansin ko yung depekto na yan don sa November 18 resolution ni Justice Carpio, according to him and according to Justice Sereno.  Kaya sumulat po siya o ni-request po niya na pag-usapan yon, yung November 22, at i-clarify yung naging botohan nung Novermber 18.  In-assign po Chief Justice yung pagsulat o pag-prepare ng clarificatory resolution kay Justice Velasco, in consultation or in coordination with Justice Carpio.

So, the next day, dinala or binigay kay Justice Carpio yung draft resolution, clarificatory resolution from Justice Velasco.  Nagkasundo sila sa number 1 na tama nga yon na hindi pa nakapag-comply don sa mga conditions.  Pero yung number 2, medyo hindi sila nag-agree.  Sabi ni Justice Velasco daw po, hindi ko masyadong nakuha yung nuance o yung naging agreement natin na wag na nating sabihin derecho kasi understood naman, common sense naman.

Sabi ni Justice Carpio, he was insisting daw na, hindi, very clear yung naging usapan po natin na, kasi common sense kaya pwedeng hindi na, hindi na sabihin.

Ang problema po, nagpadala si Chief Justice ng kanyang version nung clarificatory resolution of November 22, yung kina-clarify nga po nila Yung November 18.  At napansin ni Justice Carpio, mas mali yung nakasaad don, yung version na galing kay Chief Justice.  Kasi po, ang nakasaad ngayon dun sa version na galing kay Chief Justice ay there was substantial compliance with the conditions, and number two, the TRO was not deemed suspended.  So, dalawa na po yong mali.  So, ito ay galing kay Chief Justice, kung hindi po napigilan ni Justice Carpio, kasi ni-request nga niya po na pag-usapan ulit, kasi mali, siguro lumabas yon noong November 22, kaya po—after noong November 22, kaya kailangan ho nilang magbotohan uli noong November 29.

So, November 29, ganoon pa rin yong botohan, 7-6, in favour of no compliance, doon sa unang tanong, sa pangalawang tanong, medyo nabaligtad na po, instead of 7-6, na deemed suspended, but let us just keep silent, naging not suspended dahil mayroon pong isang miyembro na bumaligtad.  So, ibig pong sabihin, dahil siya po ang talagang may karapatan o may poder na nagpapalabas ng ganyang mga resolution, may mga mali ho na pinapalabas.

Now, isa pa ho doon, yong spokesperson, na sabi ni Justice Sereno, is clothed with the apparent authority by the Chief Justice to be announcing these things, mali-mali rin po ang mga in-announce, katulad noong “immediately” pwede na,”executory” na daw po, and noong November 15, pwede ng makaalis ang dating Pangulo.  Noong November 18 naman, klarado doon sa botohan noong November 18 na deemed suspended yon, pina-announce din po yon, kasi noong November 18, kung natatandaan nyo po, aalis na naman dapat po yon dating Pangulo.

So, yong mga ganoon pong, sa tingin ko po, maneuvering of the internal actions of the Supreme Court, para lang mapaboran ang isang party ng kaso.

SEN. DRILON.  Thank you very much.  I did not expect that my simple question would merit a very long explanation.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Pasensya na po, para po maintindihan.

SEN. DRILON.  I have no more questions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you very much.

SEN. MARCOS.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, the Gentleman from Ilocos Norte.

SEN. MARCOS.  I would just like to make an inquiry to the Chair, the witness has just testified in the narrative, on events that happened within the Supreme Court, therefore, does the character of that narrative that we just heard from the witness fall into the category of hearsay, in like fashion as what he had heard previously?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We are all intelligent members of the Supreme Court, I think we will know how to appreciate the testimony …

SEC. DE LIMA.  Your Honor, may I just …

SEN. MARCOS.  I understand your answer, Mr. President.  Thank you very much.  And we will exercise power on …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

SEC. DE LIMA.  May I just add something po.  Yes, primarily or predominantly or by and large, my testimony on those matters, internal matters is indeed hearsay because …

SEN. MARCOS.  Thank you …

SEC. DE LIMA.  … I was never present.  But let us also take note of the fact—okay, these decisions or these resolutions or dissenting opinions are a matter of judicial notice, and there are aspects of the accounts of Justice Sereno which I can say I have personal knowledge.  For example, when she stated…

SEN. MARCOS.  Madam Witness, thank you very much.  I think you have covered those points in the narrative that you made and again, by your own categorization, they are hearsays.  So, I just wanted to know how to handle that narrative that we just heard.

Thank you, Madam Witness.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let us allow the …

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   … witness to finish her statement.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Thank you, Your Honor.  As I was saying, there are aspects of the account of Justice Sereno which I can claim personal knowledge.  For example, when Justice Sereno said that the spokesperson Midas Marquez, misrepresented of the voting on those issues that I mentioned, especially the issue of whether the TRO is deemed suspended the announcement of the spokesperson was, it was 9-4 instead of 7-6, and other disclosures.  So, in a sense, I have personal knowledge also when she said that she has a December 2 dissenting opinion but was suppressed or not allowed to be promulgated or released, the Secretary of Justice, as a party-respondent, indeed, did not receive any such dissenting opinion of December 2, kasi pinigilan nga daw po. So, in a sense, I have personal knowledge about that.

THE PRESIDING JUSTICE.  Please take note of the statement of the witness that sabi niya, pinigilan nga daw po, so, nandiyan iyan.  Okay.

SEN. MARCOS.  Those points are were well-taken, Madam Witness.  And again, as the President has advised all the Senator-judges, we will apply our intelligence in discerning what is the wheat and what is the chaff in this narrative.

Thank you, Mr. President.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, may we recognize Sen. Gregorio Honasan.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Sorsogon, Senator Honasan.

SEN. HONASAN.  Thank you, Mr. President.   Madam Secretary, Magandang Hapon po.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Magandang hapon po.

SEN. HONASAN.  Madam Secretary, hindi na po sana ako magtatanong kaya lang bihira lang kami magkaroon ng testigo na Kalihim, kaya lahat ito ay paglilinaw lamang at sana po ay pagbigyan ninyo kami.

Kanina po gusto ko lang sanang susugin iyong mga issue na ni-raise ni kagalang-galang na Senator Lacson.  Itatanong ko lang kung itong—kung hindi batas ang naging basehan ng pagpipigil noong pag-alis noong balak akusahan at sabi nga ninyo itong department circular no 41, Madam Secretary, ito po ba ay na-publish para alam ng mga apektadong ahensiya.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Opo, circular no. 41.

SEN. HONASAN.  Na-publish po ito?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. HONASAN.  Pangalawa po, kung ito ang ginamit, kung itong circular no. 41 ang ginamit para pigilin iyong pag-alis ng magiging akusado sa pamamagitan ng watch-list order na nagpigil sa paglisan, kailangan po bang probable cause para i-apply ito?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Hindi po under circular no. 41.

SEN. HONASAN.  Hindi nga ho nakasama sa Section 2 ng circular 41.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Not necessarily dahil nga po one of the instances na pwede  po kaming mag-issue ng HDO or WLO is kapag ang isang respondent ay undergoing preliminary investigation.  So, kung hindi pa po tapos ang preliminary investigation wala pa pong determination ng probable cause.

SEN. HONASAN.  Opo, I’ll take your word for it.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. HONASAN.  Madam Secretary, kuwan ho ito ano, alam nyo naman hindi ho tayo abogado, alam naman nyo kung saan tayo nanggaling, kapag nag-order ang Korte Suprema at ibig nitong masunod iyong order niya, at hindi sinunod, ano ang gagawin ng isang Korte Suprema?  Saan siya tatakbo?  Saan siya dudulog?

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Meron hong mga inherent and implied powers or even expressed powers ang Korte Suprema na pwede nga pong ipa-contempt ang isang litigant na hindi sumusunod sa kauutusan ng korte.

SEN. HONASAN.  Pero, iyon po, I am not trying to beat the issue to death.  Pero medyo protracted ho iyon ano, matagal, bago maipatupad dahil maraming proseso na dadaanan.  Is that an accurate …

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Opo dahil, well, kasi nga po syempre ipapa-explain muna iyong litigant concerned na hindi sumunod, so, may due process din po.

SEN. HONASAN.  In short, sa madaling salita po, medyo matagal.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Depende po iyan sa aksyon.

SEN. HONASAN.  Okay.  Compared to ‘pag kayo po ang nag-utos at saka ibig ninyong ipatupad, obviously, hindi ho nakaalis iyong akusado, ‘no.  So, in other words, iyong options sa inyo bilang Kalihim ng Department of Justice, mas mabilis na susunod kaysa doon sa utos ng Korte Suprema.  From a layman’s point of view, pwedeng ipaliwanag ninyo kung papaano po ito iintindihin, uunawain?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA. Opo, tama po kayo, punto ninyo po, kasi siyempre, pag nagbibigay din ng kautusan ang Secretary of Justice katulad nga po ng HDO or WLO, ay iyan  ay ipinapaalam kaagad sa Bureau of Immigration and then, so kung ano pa hong mga pwede na gawin ay iyong Secretary of Justice having control and supervision over not only the Department of Justice proper, but also the attached agencies, and therefore, pwede hong natutupad kaagad iyong pinag-uutos ng Secretary of Justice.

SEN. HONASAN.  Opo. Kaya, anyway po ang na-invoke natin doon is national interest, which is very clear naman.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA. Opo.

SEN. HONASAN.   Ngayon po, Madam Secretary, I’ll go to what I really want to ask you.  Alam ninyo po,  talagang sinamantala ko ang pagkakataon na ito dahil dati po kayo ang Chairman ng Commission on Human Rights?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. HONASAN.  Okay. Actually, Secretary, pareho ho iyong pinanggalingan natin, kaya lang ako ho doon sa kabila. I was on the receiving end at kailangan po, huwag natin itong makalimutan dahil it will be tragic if we forget. Tulad po, in your case, as a Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, sa inyo ho tumatakbo iyong mga biktima ng extrajudicial killings, iyong mga involuntary disappearances.  Hanggang ngayon ho dala ninyo iyan nasa inyong pag-iisip at puso.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. HONASAN.   Iyong karanasan ninyo bilang Chairman ng Commission on Human Rights doon sa mga tumatakbo iyong walang matakbuhan?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo. I remain to be a human rights advocate and defender up to this very day.

SEN. HONASAN.   Opo. Hindi po nawawala sa pagkatao ninyo iyan.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA. Opo.

SEN. HONASAN.   Ako naman po iba. Alam ninyo po, ‘pag nagimbento ng intelligence report , there is no, it is just my opinion, there is no legal defense against a fabricate or inaccurate intelligence report, lalo na kung i-invoke iyong national security.  Kulong ka muna bago ka bigyan ng pagkakataon magpaliwanag, kung bibigyan ka ng pagkakataong magpaliwanag. Ganoon po ang karanasan ko. Eh, iyon nga ho kinausap lang sila Senator Trillanes with my national recovery program, eh, minasama na iyon. But, that is behind us now.  Dito po sa Constitution, wala naman akong ibang mabasa dahil nahihirapan ho akong magbasa at saka umunawa. Iyong Article I, after the Preamble, nakalagay National Territory, Article II Declaration of Principles and State Policies, Article III Bill of Rights kaagad, dito ho, in fact ho, iyong isang prinsipyo na itinanong ko sa prosekyusyon at sa defense. Sabi ko, dito ba sa trial na ito kahit na sui generis ito political process, tayo ba ay magkakasundo na isa sa mga prinsipyo na hindi natin dapat bitiwan iyong presumption of innocence, pumayag naman sila. Totoo raw, kayo po?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, there is always a constitutional presumption of innocence.

SEN. HONASAN. Okay na ho iyon. Dahil ito po, Section 14, Mr. President, can I

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the Senator continue.

SEN. HONASAN.   Iyon pong kwan, presumption of innocence, Section 14, pero, iyong probable cause, ay Section 2. In other words, sa priority, ayon sa aking pagkaunawa dito ho lahat umiikot no.

Ngayon po, itatanong ko lamang, Madam Secretary, malinaw naman  sa inyo na itong kaganapan ngayon, itong prosesong ito, ang nag uudyok dito, hindi paghihigante?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. HONASAN. Hustisya. Rule of law dahil kung ang nag-uudyok dito ay paghihiganti, ang rule natin is no rules?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Definitely.

SEN. HONASAN.   Free for all.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA. Opo.

SEN. HONASAN.   Say or do anything you want.  Sa paghahanap natin ng katotohanan at hustisya, hindi pupwedeng either or ito. Gusto nating parusahan iyong mga nagkasala noong nakaraan pero gusto rin natin na huwag na itong maulit.  Iyon po ba ay tama?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. HONASAN.  Hindi ho ito either or ano?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. HONASAN.  Alin ho rito ang mas matimbang dahil political process nga ito at, well, hindi lang political process kundi sui generis pa?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Ang palagi hong matimbang sa aking perspektiba bilang Secretary of Justice ay iyong mga prinsipyo ng truth, justice and accountability.  Iyan po palagi.

SEN. HONASAN.  Ano ba ang pinagkaiba sa inyong pananaw ng paghihiganti at hustisya?  Hindi ho iyong technical definition.  Kaya ho ba natin sa korteng ito mahimay, mabasa iyong nasa puso at pag-iisip noong nasasakdal, noong prosekusyon and defense kung nasusunod pa ang linyang ito that distinguishes between revenge, paghihiganti at hustisya?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Siguro po naman, well,…

SEN. HONASAN.  Madam Secretary, alam ninyo po kasi ang hirap-hirap para sa ating lahat lalo na iyong Senator-Judges na pagdaanan ang prosesong ito, hindi ba?  Kayo ho, hindi ho ba kayo nabibigatan?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Talaga naman hong napaka importante nitong proseso na ito.  This is historical.  Ngayon lang po tayo nagkaroon ng ganitong proceedings involving Chief Justice at kaya nga po nandiyan ang proseso, nandiyan ang Konstitusyon at nandiyan po kayo as Senator-Judges and ang mga facts po ay naibibigay sa inyo and nandiyan po iyong Articles of Impeachment kung ano po ang mga nakukuha natin na mga ebidensya ngayon o mga pananaw natin, iyon po ang magiging basehan and of course iyon nga ho pag-uusapan ninyo pa kung ano ang magiging quantum of evidence although nalinawan na po iyan ng Presiding Officer na hindi ho ito pwedeng proof beyond reasonable doubt dahil hindi nga po ito criminal case.  Dapat ho mas mababa ang batayan.  Now, so talaga hong mabigat itong proseso na ito, very critical.

SEN. HONASAN.  Opo.  Kaya ko ho sinabi, kaya ko tinanong kung nabibigatan din kayo dahil okay lang po kung procedurally we divide the house, majority rules.  Ang problema ho ay para bang we are dividing the country already.  That is what…

SEC. DE LIMA.  Hindi po.

SEN. HONASAN.  Well, that’s good that you feel that way.  Dahil in order to avoid any perception that the ultimate objective of this trial is other than the rendition of justice, kahit na liberal ang pag-apply ng rules, huwag lang natin galawin o pakialaman iyong ultimate rule which is the Constitution.  Do you agree?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. HONASAN.  Okay. Dito po sa parteng ito ibig ko lang i-inject iyong sinabi ni former President Ronald Reagan.  Of course sabihin natin Amerikano iyon wala naman siyang kinalaman dito pero he is considered a great communicator.  In fact he is the only former President I know for whom an aircraft carrier was named while he was still alive.  So kailangan ho kahit papaano tignan natin kung may mapupulot tayong aral.  Sabi niya ho ito, “protecting the rights of even the least among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing.”  Isang karapatan ang isang pinakamaliit sa atin.  Iyon lang ang buong dahilan para manatili ang pamahalaan.  Would you, more or less, agree to this?

SEC. DE LIMA.  I would generally subscribe to that.  Every citizen has rights.  Lahat ho tayo may karapatan, indibidwal na mga karapatan.  Ang estado po meron din mga karapatan.  So may mga usapin po na kailangan po nga nating binabalanse, iyong mga individual rights o individual interests as against the higher interest of the state.  Minsan po o kadalasan hindi po madaling sagutin ang, hindi ho madali ang pagbabalanse.

SEN. HONASAN.  Opo.  But as a constitutional principle, when you invoke the balancing of interest, kayo na rin ang nagsabi kahapon, pag ininbok iyong the right to life, tabi lahat.  Tama ho ba iyon?

SEC. DE LIMA.  That’s the highest form of right under the Bill of Rights and under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

SEN. HONASAN.  Tama ho yan.  So, you agree?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. HONASAN.  Okay.  Kaya naman, sa Section 1 ng Article II, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property.”  If you notice po, Madam Secretary, they are in sequence. No person shall be deprived of life.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. HONASAN.  Second, liberty, property.  May itatanong lang po ako.  Tinanong ko na rin ‘to, presumption of innocence.  What about presumption of honor?  Yun bang may akusado pero, bakit naman pati yung mga anak at apo ay tinatamaan na rin?  Yun ba ay katanggap-tanggap sa atin o sa iyo po, bilang Secretary of Justice, okay lang ba yan o papano po?

I mentioned this because I think, once upon a time, you and I have been exposed to this.  We were exposed to this.  Pag dumulog sa yo yung walang kalaban-laban, di ba, hindi mahanap yung anak, hindi mahanap yung family member, hindi ba life ang pinag-uusapan dito?  So, gusto ko lang sariwain yung alaala natin para hindi natin ito makalimutan.

So, ano po ba ang panananaw nyo dito?  Dapat ho bang idawit dito sa pagnanasa natin na mahanap yung katotohanan at hustisya?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Well, meron nga hong presumption of innocence.

SEN. HONASAN.  Oho.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Kaya nga po dumadaan tayo sa ganitong proseso, kaya nga po yung prosekusyon ay nagpe-present ng ebidensiya, so yung presumption of honor naman po, dignity—Well, dignity and honor is also within every person, but when you lose that honor, honor is …

SEN. HONASAN.  Madam Secretary, in a previous lifetime, I think in your profession also, honor is more precious than life.  And recent history has taught us that people sometimes take their own lives when their honor is jeopardized, and the future of their children and grandchildren are put in jeopardy.  You agree?

SEC. DE LIMA.  One hundred percent, Your Honor.  Honor really is more important than life.

SEN. HONASAN.  Last question, Madam Secretary.  So, let’s just put this on record.  Sa tingin nyo so far, prosecution pa lamang po ang nagpiprisinta, ito hong prinsipyo ng probable cause ay nasusunod naman?  Ibig ko hong sabihin, hindi natin binaligtad.  Hindi ko pinupuna ang prosecution dito, hindi pa naman nagpiprisinta yung defense.  Ibig kong sabihin, sa kaloob-looban ng puso natin, applying all our standards ultimately leading to an application of a judgement call which we call calibrating our moral compass or conscience, naniniwala tayo na—probability nga ho e, probable cause, malamang may krimen na naganap.  Hindi natin yung halughugin muna natin lahat, baka sakaling may matagpuan tayo na probable cause o ebidensiya.  Hindi ho natin binaligtad, di ba?

So, I’m asking you, Madam Secretary, Secretary of Justice, former Chairman of the Commission on Human Right, na so far sa proseso, sa inyong obserbasyon, sa pagdalo ninyo rito bilang testigo, nasusunod ba itong nasa Section 2 na the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches of whatever nature and for any purpose shall in fact, and so on and so forth, except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination and so on and so forth.

Naniniwala po kayo na ito ay nasusunod at hindi nilalabag?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Mahirap ho yung tanong nyo, ano po, because you are citing that provision therefore it relates technically or legally to searches and seizures and therefore there must a probable cause.

Now, baka po ang ibig nyong sabihin yung mga pangyayari o yung mga developments po don sa pag-tackle ng Article III, or Article II, na iyong mga certain issues that arose because of objections to how certain evidence—not evidence but certain paper as attached to the request for subpoena, and the sensitive matters with the principles or the rule of non-disclosure of deposits.

Now, hindi ho natin—wala ho tayong pinag-uusapan na search and seizure dito—I am not sure if that is what you are—kasi ho mahirap ho na very, very broad nga po yong term ninyo.

SEN. HONASAN.  Madam Secretary, pasensya na ho kayo dahil hindi ko ho ito tinatanong para sa sarili ko, tinatanong ko po ito para sa napakaraming nanonood na nagsusumikap na maintindihan at maunawaan itong proseso.  So, generally po, timbangin na lang ninyo, naniniwala kayo na—devoid of all the legal and technical aspects, nasusunod pa naman ito, sa tingin ninyo?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Nasusunod pa po iyan.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With the permission of the Gentleman, Madam Secretary, palagay ko, ang tendency noong tanong ay the inviolability of persons, papers and effects, as guaranteed by the article or section mentioned by the distinguished Senator Judge.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Iyong issue ho kasi kung whether or not, na-violate nga po iyong secrecy or confidentiality ng mga bank records ay hindi pa ho natin yan pwedeng—hindi ho ako pwedeng makapagsabi noon, hindi pa naman ho malinaw e.  Kasi ang—well, based on yong—hindi ko naman ho kasi masyado talagang namo-monitor yong dito sa impeachment, but yong tungkol nga po doon sa paano nalaman o paano nakuha yong papel na yon na naka-attach doon sa request for subpoena, and therefore, it would go into the issue of the admissibility, e ang subpoena po, sa pagkakaalam ko po, ay hindi naman kailangan na merong attachment ka o may batayan ka.  And especially, if we consider the fact na because of the priniciple or the rule of confidentiality of bank records or bank accounts, hindi mo naman talaga pwedeng matukoy kung ano ang mga accounts na yon.  So, if there is such a piece of paper na kinukwestiyon o pinaghihinalaan iyong source, ay ibang usapin ho iyon, not with respect to, whether or not we can admit the evidence obtained on account of—or obtained through the search warrant—not search warrant, through the subpoena.  Wala ho tayong search warrant na pinag-uusapan dito, it is the subpoena.

SEN. HONASAN.  Madam Secretary, ito panghuling tanong na lang po.  Pasensya na ho kayo dahil—tinanong ko po yon dahil tungkulin ng Department of Justice sa pamamagitan ng inyong mga subordinates ang alamin o i-determine yong probable cause …

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. HONASAN.  …bago ito i-file sa korte, kaya napakabigat po nito dahil once my probable cause na, tuloy na.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. HONASAN.  Opo.  Madam Secretary, maraming salamat po sa pasensya ninyo.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDNG OFFICER.  Thank you.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Estrada.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from San Juan.  The President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, Senator Jinggoy Estrada.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Thank you, maraming salamat po, Ginoong Pangulo.  Ang aking katanungan lang po ay para sa prosecution panel, si Congressman Daza.

Congressman Daza, magandang hapon po.

REP. DAZA.  Magandang hapon po, Ginoong President Pro-Tempore.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Congressman, matapos ko pong basahin ang Article VII, tama ho bang sabihin na ang nais niyong patunayan dito ay yong hindi patas yong pagdedesisyon ng Punong Mahistrado sa mga kaso ng mga Arroyo na inihain sa Korte Suprema particular na po ang temporary restraining order na pinag-uuspan ngayon.

REP. DAZA.  Opo.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Nagtataka lamang po ako dahil doon sa Article I na ipinayl ninyo po rito sa amin ay halos may similarity, halos may pagkakahawig.  Sapagkat ayon sa Article I, respondent betrayed the public trust through his track record marked by partiality and subservience in cases involving the Arroyo administration from the time of his appointment as Supreme Court Justice which continued to his dubious appointment as a midnight Chief Justice and up to the present.  Bakit hindi ninyo na lang po pinagkaisa ang bahaging ito sa mga alegasyon sa ilalim ng Article I, na iyong pinaguusapan din natin dito iyong mga desisyon ng punong mahistrado pabor sa mga Arroyo.

REP. DAZA.  Dahil po sa iyong dalawang petisyon o usaping iniharap laban sa Kalihim ng Katarungan ay hindi pa po nadedesisyunan on the merits.  Doon po sa Article I ang pinag-uusapan po e ang boto ng Chief Justice sa mga ibang asuntong nadesisyunan na magmula ng sila ay maupo sa Korte Suprema na sa aming paratang ay nagpapakita ng kanyang partiality.  Iyon po, hindi pa po kasi nadedesisyunan mismo iyong dalawang petisyon kaya inihiwalay po ito napunta po sa Article VII dahil ang Article VII po ay tungkol lamang doon sa mga nangyari o mga bagay-bagay na nauukol sa temporary restraining order.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Kayo ba ho may plano ho ba kayong magprisinta ng mga witnesses sa Article I o ihihinto ninyo na rito sa Article VII?

REP. DAZA.  Pag-uusapan pa po naming iyan, pinag-uusapan pa po namin iyan, wala pa po kaming kapasyahan tungkol sa bagay na iyan.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Okay.  Noong aprubahan po ng Korte ang nasabing TRO, pangilang beses ang pagkakataon na iyon na nagdesisyon ang punong mahistrado na pabor sa mga Arroyo?  Meron ho ba kayong datos na dala kung ilan iyong—meron ho ba kayong voting pattern na dala ngayon kung ilang beses na bumoto si CJ Corona na pabor sa mga Arroyo.

REP. DAZA.  Iyan po e nasasaad po doon sa mga dissenting opinions.  Sapagkat kung ano man ang sasabihin ko e, tatayo po kaagad ang magiting na tagapagtanggol …

SEN. ESTRADA.  Ngayon hindi ho siya pwedeng tumayo ngayon.

REP. DAZA.  … para sabihing …  Sasabihin po ay the dissenting opinion is the best evidence of its contents.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Ang tanong ko ho sa inyo, let’s be specific on this matter.  Ilan ho ang mga kaso ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo na pinaboran ni Chief Justice Corona?

REP. DAZA.  Doon po sa aming kaalaman, doon po sa research na ginawa ng aming pangkat e lumalabas po na mas o menos mga 31.

SEN. ESTRADA.  31 ang kaso po ni Ginang Arroyo?

REP. DAZA.  Opo, at ang percentage kung hindi po ako nagkakamali ay pumapabor po ng mahigit sa 80% mas o menos ang individual vote po ng Chie Justice.

SEN. ESTRADA.  So, 80% ang pabor, 20% and dispabor.

REP. DAZA.  Ganyan po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Ganun po ba?

REP. DAZA.  Mas o menos sabi nga po nila.

SEN. ESTRADA.  All right.  Sa aking pagkakaintindi nais ninyo rin pong patunayan sa Article na ito na sadyang minadali at napakabilis ng pagkakaloob ng TRO sa mga Arroyo.  Tama po ba ako?

REP. DAZA.  Opo.  Halimbawa po, mayroong isang usapin na nasa Korte Suprema na nauukol kay Mr. Genuino.  Nagsampa po siya ng isang usapin laban sa Kagawaran ng Katarungan kung saan siya po ay humingi ng TRO.  Ang pagkakaalam ko po nauna po itong usaping ito ay hanggang ngayon iyong TRO nakabinbin pa, samantalang itong pinaguusapan po natin napakabilis pong lumabas iyong TRO.  Gaya nga po ng nasabi rito, hindi nga po nagkaroon ng hearing maging doon sa petition mismo o maging doon sa motion for reconsideration. Talaga pong, sabi nga nila sa publiko ay, talagang mabilis pa sa alas-dose.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Maraming salamat po, Congrressman Daza.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Gaano ba …

REP. DAZA.  Eh, ‘di po, nanagalog po tayo eh,

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Gaano ba kabilis iyong alas …

REP. DAZA.  Pasensiya na kayo, ako po’y Bisaya.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Mayroon ho tinatanong ang ating Pangulo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Gaano ba kabilis iyong alas-dose?

REP. DAZA.  Iyon po, Ginoong Pangulo, iyon po ang kasabihan. “Pag mabilis namang mangyari iyong nangyari ang sabi nila, mabilis pa sa alas dose.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Bine-brake ko lang iyong monotony.  Sige.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Salamat po, Congressman Daza.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Isang katanungan lang po sa ating Kalihim ng Katarungan.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Continue.

SEN. ESTRADA.   Nais ko pong ipagbigay alam sa ating Kalihim ng Katarungan na ako po’y hangang-hanga sa kanya dahil sa kanyang katalinuhan, sa kanyang katapangan, at sa kanyang kagaligan, Madam Secretary.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Salamat po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Nais ko lang pong magtanong. Isang tanong lang dahil mayroon pong mga agam-agam o hearsay, kung baga, na kung saka-sakaling ma-convict si Chief Justice Corona, kayo raw ang papalit? Totoo ho ba iyon?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Hindi po totoo iyan. Wala ho akong alam.

SEN. ESTRADA. Kung saka-sakaling …

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Wala po akong alam diyan.

SEN. ESTRADA.    Wala ho kayong alam.  Kung saka-sakaling i-offer sa inyo ni Pangulong Aquino, “O, Secretary, I have chosen you to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, kayo ho ba’y tatanggapin ninyo?”

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Hindi ko po alam. I’ll probably decline.

SEN. ESTRADA.  “I will probably decline.” Mas nanaiisin ninyo pong maging Senadora?

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Hindi ko pa rin alam po kung ano pong plano ko. Hindi ko po pinaplano ang career. Hindi ko po pinalano iyong pagka-Chairperson ko ng Commission on Human Rights.  Hindi ko rin po ito pinalano na maging Secretary of Justice na basta nandiyan na lang po.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Salamat po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, to complete the cast, may we have the third soldier of the Senate, Mr. President, Senator Trillanes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Caloocan Senator Sonny Trillanes.

SEN. TRILLANES.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Madam Secretary, marayang hapon.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA.  Marayang hapon po.

SEN. TRILLANES.   We may have had differences in our positions in the past, but we are definitely, in agreement in as far as preventing Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from escaping the country and I believe, justice was served in that particular instance and it should be of proudest comment. Thank you, thank you for that. Can I address, Congressman Daza, please?

REP. DAZA.  With great pleasure, Mr. Senator.

SEN. TRILLANES.  Good afternoon, sir.  Article VII, you presented the Secretary of Justice to relay to us the circumstances surrounding the attempted flight of Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  Is that correct?

REP. DAZA.  That is correct.

SEN. TRILLANES.  But as far as presenting or proving the substance of the allegation in Article VII, you are going to rely on the dissenting opinion of Associate Justice Sereno, am I correct?

REP. DAZA.  Well, the dissenting opinion, actually, contains two major parts. One is, her dissent to the majority on the very issue of the issuance of the TRO and the conditions and the second part what was disclosed by her in regard to the TRO, which were incidence that involved either the Chief Justice individually and/or with the other Justices that were to use a loose term irregularities that happened in the court.  We presented the dissenting opinion for that reason to support the charge of partiality because I did not repeat what has been said by the witness.  There were individual acts of the Chief Justice which we enumerated in answer to the question of the defense counsel that showed partiality towards the former President.

SEN. TRILLANES.  But, Congressman Daza, I agree with the opinion of Senator Santiago and it was even admitted by Secretary de Lima that she has no personal knowledge of those circumstances.  Would you agree now that Associate Justice Sereno could have helped clear the issue?

REP. DAZA.  Of course, yes.

SEN. TRILLANES.  Okay.  But as pointed out earlier by Senator Lacson, we have already made a ruling in that regard but still because of the circumstances before us, it is apparent that we need to know the story from the perspective of Associate Justice Sereno.  So in that light, I move, Mr. President, that we allow the service of written interrogatories to Associate Justice Sereno so that we will know the story behind those en banc sessions that led to that ruling.  I so move, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, as agreed in the last caucus, we can take up this motion on Monday in a caucus that we usually call at 12 noon every Monday.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And along with that, I also received a letter from Atty. Enriqueta E. Vidal, Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court requesting this impeachment court not to insist in requiring the presence of the, I think the…

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may I read that letter.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. SOTTO.  We received that letter dated February 23, 2012 requesting that Mr. Eric A. Borlongan, chauffer and Christopher Dollente, security guard of the Supreme Court , be excused from testifying pursuant to the subpoena ad testificandum issued by the impeachment court made upon request of the House panel of prosecutors for the reason that they will be asked to testify on the cases of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Jose Miguel Arroyo which are pending cases before the Supreme Court.  So, may I also include that in the motion or another motion to be taken up on Monday, Mr. President, during the caucus.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In the caucus, yes.  So, any objection?  Hearing none, the motion is approved.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you.  Mr. President, there are two more Judges who would wish to ask questions to the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, proceed, so that we will not require the return of the distinguished Secretary of Justice, let’s proceed and finish.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, yes.  There is a fourth soldier in the hall, I forgot, Lieutenant Loren Legarda, Mr. President, of the reserve officer corp.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The distinguished Senator who graduated from the National Defense College…

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … with the rank of Colonel.

SEN. SOTTO.  With the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  By the way, let me just make sure that it is understood she is going to be the first Brigadier General.  Senator Lacson was General Lacson.  Lieutenant Senior Grade Senator Trillanes was Lt. Sr. Grade.  Senator Honasan is DD, dishonorably discharged.  (Laughter)

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentle Lady from Antique, Malabon, Manila and the Republic has the floor.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Mr. President, I’m certain that the Majority Leader can only say that of Senator Honasan because they are the best of friends, and he would be the only one to dare say that.  Pag iba nagsabi daw susuntukin ni Greg.  Hindi.  I assure you hindi nanununtok ng tao si Greg.  Maaaring iba ang ginagawa niya pero hindi nanununtok.

Simple lang po ang aking katanungan kay kagalang-galang na Konggresistang Raul Daza.  Hindi ko po tatanungin ang ating testigo.  Just very simple.

Article VII charges that Chief Justice Corona was partial in favour or former President Arroyo which, as you say in your impeachment complaint, constitutes betrayal of public trust, is that correct?

REP. DAZA.  That’s correct.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Yes.  May this Representation be enlightened as to the degree of partiality and/or bias that will warrant such removal from public office of the Chief Justice.

In short, I want to understand the threshold of bias and partiality by the Chief Justice exhibited that would warrant his conviction and convince this court that as far as Article VII is concerned, he has to be convicted on this count.

REP. DAZA.  Yes.  Is the question of the distinguished Senator, whether the conduct of the Chief Justice amounted to betrayal of trust?  Is that the thrust of the question?

SEN. LEGARDA.  I will repeat my question, Mr. Prosecutor.  What is the threshold of the degree of bias and/or partiality exhibited by the sitting Chief Justice that would warrant him removal from office, if and when he is convicted by the Impeachment Court?

REP. DAZA.  Well, the partiality should be proved while the quantum of evidence that is somewhere between substantial evidence and proof beyond reasonable doubt.  It’s somewhere between that.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Substantial evidence and proof beyond reasonable doubt.

REP. DAZA.  Somewhere between that.

SEN. LEGARDA.  That covers already the whole spectrum?

REP. DAZA.  No, somewhere between that.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Clear and convincing evidence perhaps?

REP. DAZA.  The problem is that I’ve been researching, although not as thoroughly as the distinguished Presiding Officer, I have not found from my research either from US authorities or from authorities in the Philippines which fixes that quantum of evidence necessary to convict in an impeach trial.

It is just that it’s somewhere between substantial evidence—

SEN. LEGARDA.  I understand your answer.  However, I completely want to understand …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With the permission of the—

SEN. LEGARDA.  Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You study Charles L. Black Jr. who is from Yale and Raoul Berger who is from Harvard.  Your will see there that in foreseeing that the requirement of the quantum of evidence require overwhelming preponderance of evidence.  Although there are indications that clear and convincing evidence is enough.

So, anyway, that will be a matter that you discuss—

REP. DAZA.  Yes.  To confess, in all candor, I’m unable and I’m not competent to answer that question with—

SEN. LEGARDA.  With certainty.

REP. DAZA.  I wouldn’t want to answer that in a manner that I would be—

SEN. LEGARDA.  That is fine, Mr. Prosecutor.  We appreciate your candor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I think—I don’t know whether the—I think the question, as I understood it, is asking, what is the degree of partiality that will equate into a betrayal of public trust?

SEN. LEGARDA.  Public trust, yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Was it repeated partiality?  One partiality?  Two partiality?  Three partiality?  I think that’s—

SEN. LEGARDA.  The Presiding Officer is correct in trying to interpret the question which I post before the prosecutor.

REP. DAZA.  Well, if all the individual acts or actions of the Chief Justice, in relation to the TRO that has been the subject of the testimony is proven by sufficient evidence, whatever is the quantum that may be decided by the court, it is our humble submission that that would constitute betrayal of public trust.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, when the defense’ turn to present their evidence will come, I assume that they will—a witness from their side will be presented to explain many of these things that are being discussed now.

So, we will see at that point, which one is the more weighty story against the other, okay?

SEN. LEGARDA.  Yes.  Let me ask the question insofar as this TRO is concerned, with regards to Article VII, what did the Chief Justice manifest or do that he is being charge with charged with betraying public trust, through his biased actions, opinions, decision, or his so-called partiality?

REP. DAZA.  Well, as testified to by the witness, and from my reading of the dissenting opinions, there were individual acts of the Chief Justice, that together, when put together or pieced together, would show that partiality, among others, one, the fact that because he had the power or authority to decide on the agenda of the court, the two consolidated petitions were agendaed, shall we say, with some speed, I would not want to say, in decent speed.

Number two, being the Chief Justice, it was within his authority under the internal rules to order that the respondent, Secretary of Justice and the other officers be first required to comment on the petitions, even if given due course, with the end view of considering the TRO.

Number three, the ponente, to which the two petitions were assigned on the issue of TRO, recommended the hearing, and yet, that recommendation was not heeded.

Well, of course, number four, as testified here just this afternoon, on two at least occasions, his spokesperson, Mr. Marquez, misrepresented what really happened within the court, and yet, his spokesperson, Mr. Marquez was never corrected for the interest of the public on those erroneous announcements.

Another is, the matter of the efficacy of the TRO was assigned to Justice Velasco as ponente, the understanding was that he was going to sit down with Justice Carpio on that clarificatory order, but the Chief Justice on his own broke that and then put on his own version of the clarification on the temporary restraining order.  And several other acts

Now, one act we submit is not sufficient to prove partiality, but when there are so many acts and all of them show a pattern that would show favouring the former President, we humbly submit, Madam Senator, that the proof of partiality there is strong.  And that if we submit–this impeachment court agrees with the version of the prosecution based on those facts even only of discount, because there was betrayal of public trust, the Chief Justice should be removed.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Ang sinasabi ba ninyo, Mr. Prosecutor, na dahil sa kanyang pagmamabilis ng pagbigay ng TRO ay una, minadali, pangalawa, ay minaniobra niya ang desisyon na ito para paboran ang dating Pangulo?

REP. DAZA. Tama po iyon.

SEN. LEGARDA.  So in sum, iyong inyong limang minutong paliwanag ay maisasailalim sa isang salita: minaniobra bilang Chief Justice ang desisyon, ganon ba ho?

REP. DAZA.  Ganon po.  Ito po ay nangyari ng dahil siya, sa ilalim na tinatawag na general rules of the court, ay may kapangyarihan.  That he will be the authority and power as Chief Justice to influence the individual justices, and not only that as I mentioned, gaya po ng nasabi ko ay talagang lantad, tahasan po na talagang sa kanyang ganang sarili, pinakialaman pa niya ang gawain ng kapwa-mahistrado ng Korte Suprema.

SEN. LEGARDA.  Gusto ko pong maintindihan kung paano niya inimpluwensiya ang desisyon ng ibang mga kasamahan niya sa Korte Supreema para po bumoto sang-ayon sa kanyang, ayon sa inyo, pananaw.

REP. DAZA.  Hindi, kaya nga po, Ginang Senadora …

SEN. LEGARDA.   Did he bribe, coerce, harass, any of the members of the Supreme Court?

REP. DAZA.  Hindi naman po kailangang takutin o i-harass ang kapwa mahistrado.  Alam po naman natin na sa takbo ng buhay, hindi lamang sa Korte Suprema, kung hindi sa anumang pangkatin sa ilalim ng ating pamahalaan.  Kapag ang isang namumuno lalong-lalo na ang punong mahistrado, gamitin ang kanyang kapangyarihan, ang kanyang impluwensya sa kapwa mahistrado, hindi na po kailangang takutin, bulungan lamang, kausapin lamang …

SEN. LEGARDA.  At iyan po ang sinasabi ninyong ginawa niya.

REP. DAZA.  .. pero ang mahalaga po kagalang-galang na Senadora, ang mahalaga po e hindi po iyong cause e, kung hindi iyong epekto po e, iyong andiyan na e.  The reality of what happened.  How it happened.  It’s not really as important as what really happened.

SEN. LEGARDA.   Thank you, Mr. Prosecutor, sa takdang panahon po ay papakinggan ko naman ang depensa sa sinasabi ninyong pagmamaniobra ni Chief Justice Corona sa pagbibigay ng TRO in favour of former President Arroyo.

REP. DAZA.  Maraming salamat po, Ginang Senadora.

SEN. LEGARDA.   Maraming salamat.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Finally, Mr. President, the Minority Leader, Senator Allan Cayetano.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Cayetano.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Magandang hapon po, Mr. Senate President, sa atin pong mga colleagues.  May mga tanong lang po ako to clarify sa ating witness, sa ating Justice Secretary.  Ma’m, good afternoon.

SECRETARY DE LIMA.  Good afternoon, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Ma’m, are you familiar with …

REP. DAZA.  Mr. President, may I just be … the Senator will be asking questions to the witness.  In the meantime, may I be just excuse to go out for one long minute.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Before the Gentleman from Taguig will proceed with his questioning, we suspend the session for one minute. (Gavel)

REP. DAZA.  Thank you, Mr. President.

It was 5:23 p.m.

RESUMPTION OF THE TRIAL

At 5:29 p.m., the trial resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial resumes.

Majority Floor Leader.

The Minority Floor Leader has the floor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.). Thank you, Mr. President.

Ma’am, may I know if you are familiar with the internal rules of the Supreme Court, particularly, Section 2, which deals with confidentiality.

DOJ SEC. DE LIMA. More or less, Your Honor, because I read that.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.). Para lang po maintindihan ng mga nakikinig at nonood sa tanong ko po. With your permission, I will read it ano po.  “Section 2, Confidentiality of court sessions.  Court sessions are executive in character with only the members of the court present.  Court deliberations are confidential and shall not be disclosed to outside parties except as maybe provided herein or as authorized by the court.”  Section 2 po iyan, Rule 10, SC internal rules.  Ma’am, sabi ninyo po kanina nabasa ninyo iyong kay Justice Sereno and Justice Carpio na dissenting opinions.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Hindi ba po nag-discuss din si Justice Carpio na pati iyong nangyari sa loob ng deliberation ay pwede nilang ilagay at hindi ito violation noong confidentiality.  Pwede nilang ilagay sa dissenting opinion.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.  Kay Justice Sereno din po.  In fact he was saying na matagal na daw po iyan na ginagawa ng Supreme Court from 1950s up to—she appointed to a particular duration where she knows that there are cases where it is being disclosed, the manner of voting, who voted this and who voted that and the reasons for the voting.  There are examples in the case law.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  And you were pointing kanina na iyong substance o iyong ratio decidendi, halimbawa, ano po iyong reason for the decision o iyong rationale ay hindi iyon ang kinukwestyon mo doon sa—you are questioning that sa court but ang kinukwestyon ninyo dito ay iyong peculiar instances or acts that would lead to a belief of partiality na nakita ninyo dito sa dissenting opinion.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Okay.  Except that since kayo ang nag-testify may discussion kanina tungkol sa hearsay dahil hindi po isang Justice ng Supreme Court na nandoon ang nagte-testify at hindi natin hawak ang records nila.  So far am I correct?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.). Okay.  Naalala ninyo po noong private lawyer pa kayo or noong nasa Commission on Human Rights pa po kayo malaking issue po iyong kay Secretary Neri.  Kasi sinabi daw na may P200 ka diyan allegedly ni Chairman Abalos at sinabi daw sa Pangulo at tinatanong namin dito, ano ang sagot sa iyo ng Pangulo?  And ang nangyari they run to the Supreme Court and claimed executive privilege at in-uphold ito ng court at sinabi ang deliberations from the President and high ranking officials meron iyang executive privilege.

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Similar po iyan sa privilege ng justices sa pag sila nagdi-discuss may judicial privilege or executive privilege, deliberative privilege, whatever you call it, may confidentiality po iyan.

SEC. DE LIMA.  That seems to be the essence of that provision that you cited earlier, sir.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Kami po pag nagko-caucus kami ganoon din may confidentiality.  May exceptions po ba itong confidentiality na ito o iyong privilege na ito?

SEC. DE LIMA.  You are referring to the…

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Any of them po—executive privilege or the judicial privilege.  Kasi the point of this case is that may partiality dito na hindi punto iyong hindi ninyo gusto iyong desisyon.  Ang pinupunto ninyo dito kasi kung tama ang pagkaintindi ko may maniobra dito.  Kung hindi ninyo lang gusto ang desisyon ay wala tayong i-impeach o wala tayong pag-uusapan sa impeachment court because people lose cases everyday and you know, you win some, you lose some, you just have to argue your case.  But kung ang tingin ninyo na may illegal o immoral na ginawa kaya mali iyong desisyon hindi dahil mali lang siya kung hindi dahil may ginawa na falls under the grounds for impeachment and in this case betrayal of public trust, iyon po iyong tinatanong ko kahapon kay Congressman Daza, so ang problema ho parang naba-box in tayo because of this confidentiality.  So I would like to understand before we go into caucus on Monday your stand as the Secretary of Justice, not only as Madam Leila or Atty. Leila de Lima but as a Secretary of Justice.  Sa discussions po kasi, halimbawa, sa Neri case, malinaw na sinabi ng Supreme Court kapagka ginagamit iyong executive privilege to discuss a crime or to hide a crime or to commit a crime, that is an exception, hindi po ba?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  In the case of the deliberations noong Judiciary, meron din po bang exceptions?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Doon po mismo sa provision na sinayt ninyo mukhang wala pero na-discuss din po ito sa dissenting opinion ni Justice Sereno na pwede kapag ang issue ay tungkol nga doon sa accuracy noong mga pinag-usapan o ng mga botohan na may dispute doon sa kung ano talaga ang mga nangyari sa loob lalo na doon sa botohan.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Okay.

SEC. DE LIMA.  So that’s her duty to disclose that.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  But that exception apply only to her and Justices or to anyone of us?  Pwede ba nilang ilantad through the dissenting opinion lang po?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Anyone.

CAYETANO (A.).  Okay.  Let me follow-up that question later on.

Yung Mary case po kaya, would you think as the Secretary of Justice applicable then if a crime is being committed?

In effect, halimbawa po, whether it’s Congress or the President or Judiciary, may executive session, nag-uusap, pinag-uusapan bribery, o bibigyan tayo ng ganitong milyon, hati-hatiin natin, yung isa ba sa kanila pwedeng pumunta sa inyo magsumbong dahil sasabihin hindi na ‘to covered ng judicial or executive privilege or legislative privilege kasi pinag-uusapan na dito krimen?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo. That’s outside the privilege.

CAYETANO (A.).  Tiningnan ko po kasi dun sa—Si Justice Carpio may cinite din po siya, yung case po ni Williams vs. Mercer, ang sabi po dito, “The privilege of judicial communications, however, is not absolute and must yield if significant interest outweighs a judge’s interest in confidentiality.  For example, the demonstrated need for evidence in a criminal prosecution or in an investigation of judicial misconduct warrants an intrusion into the confidential judicial communications.”

Ito po bang impeachment is a form of investigation into judicial misconduct kapagka Justice ng Supreme Court ang ating nililitis?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

CAYETANO (A.).  Okay.  So you think this falls under the exception?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Yes, Your Honor.

CAYETANO (A.).  So if a Justice or an employee of the Supreme Court comes to you and says, ma’am may impormasyon ako.  Kasi, kayo Secretary of Justice e, natural na kayo sumbungan at sabihin, ma’am confidential man yon e krimen to, o kaya mali ito o imoral or whatever, may misconduct dito, normal na magsumbong sa inyo?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

CAYETANO (A.).  And, ma’am, alter-ego kayo ng Presidente di ba?  All Secretaries are alter-ego—Cabinet Secretaries are alter-ego of the President?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

CAYETANO (A.).  And in your case, you are the alter-ego as far as the Department of Justice is concerned?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Opo.

CAYETANO (A.).  So let me ask you a very sensitive question.  Pause for a minute then—

Dun lang po ba sa dissenting opinion po nabuo yung inyong opinion na may maniobra dito as alleged dito sa TRO na ‘to?  O meron din po bang nakaabot sa inyo whether derecho or napasa ng kwento about what happened and how they deliberated on it?

SEC. DE LIMA.  Can I have one minute?

CAYETANO (A.).  Yes, please.

SEC. DE LIMA.  I’m ready to answer.

CAYETANO (A.).  Yes, Ma’am.

SEC. DE LIMA.  I will momentarily decline to answer that question on the ground that may be covered by executive privilege.

CAYETANO (A.).  Okay.  So there is a possibility, ma’am, na nabuo yung inyong impormasyon or nabuo yung inyong paniniwala pati ng prosecution hindi dahil lang sa pagbabasa nito kung hindi may nakapagsumbong din.  I’m not saying nangyari, but it is possible na may nakapagsumbong din sa inyo whether it’s first-hand information or second-hand information, tungkol sa nangyari don sa loob ng deliberation.

SEC. DE LIMA.  I’m declining because it’s covered by executive privilege.

CAYETANO (A.).  May I ask anyone from the prosecution, because this is an impeachment case, so pwede din po na may pumunta din sa inyo na taga court.

Can I you the same question?

REP. COLMENARES.  Pupwede pong information po kami, Mr. Senator, on what happened inside but I’d like to stress lang po, dito po sa issue ng pagbaligtad ng desisyon, we don’t need any information—

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Meron kayong impormasyon?

REP. COLMENARES.  Po?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Meron kayong impormasyon?

REP. COLMENARES.  Marami po kaming natatanggap po na LBC, text, sulat.  We don’t even know if they are true or not.

CAYETANO (A.).  Okay.  Ang tanong ko, Congressman, aking kaibigan, yung reliability nito no, wag na yung little lady or big congressman, …

REP. COLMENARES.  Opo.

CAYETANO (A.).  … or very tall congressman, tutal lampas na ang Ash Wednesday kaya wag na si Congressman Banal ang pag-usapan natin, iba namang ano.  Ang tinutukoy ko, anyone who has first-hand knowledge na nangyari sa Supreme Court.

Kasi kami mismo, ang dami naming naririnig na tsismis.  Ganito raw nangyari sa maniobra, nagmi-meeting daw yung ganito, ganyan, ayoko sabihin dito, One, tsismis, Pangalawa, kalalaki naming tao saka mga Senator-Judges kami, hindi kami dapat makinig sa tsismis.

But I was listening to the defense counsel and I was listening to Senator Miriam and the Senate President yung sinasabi nila, ito yung dissenting opinion pero merong ibang opinion na sinasabi iba nangyari e.

So gusto ko malaman, kasi tingin ko hindi nyo ifa-file ‘to impeachment at itong ground na ‘to na wala kayong mas solid na basehan na credible na nagsabi sa inyo kung ano ang nangyari doon.

REP. COLMENARES.  Actually po, maliban sa paglabas nito sa media at that time na inisyu ang TRO, ako po, wala po akong—hanggang ngayon po, wala po akong personal knowledge po …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Sa mga kasama po ninyo.

REP. COLMENARES.  … na may isang may personal knowledge sa loob na nagsabi sa akin, pero gusto ko lang pong i-stress, we do not even need to go there.  Just look at the four records po, iyong decision ng November 22 at yong mga concurring opinion.  Ang gusto ko lang po …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Iyong tanong ko po kahapon, maraming nasagot ngayn, loud and clear yong mga circumstances, iyong mga pinakita na alleged irregularities, narinig—loud and clear po yan today.

Ang question ko po, at sana, i-consult nyo iyong mga kasama mo, iyong kung—nandiyan si Congressman Tupas sa likod, kasi po, I do not think it is a violation e, if Justice or an employee comes to you and said, this is an impeachment case, judicial misconduct is an exception, so, can you consult them and ask, meron bang justice …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the Senator continue.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Thank you, Sir.  May I pursue just this point, and ask them to consult Congressman Tupas or Congressman Abaya or any of them, meron po bang justice or mataas ang katungkulan sa Supreme Court, na nagbigay sa inyo ng reliable information that you depended upon it para tumindi ang belief nyo na may maniobra sa TRO na ito?

REP. COLMENARES.  Wala po kaming alam and we are going to ask them also, pero sinisigurado ko po, wala pong lumapit sa amin.  The newspaper accounts, the records itself are very clear po.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Yes, I understand that.   The reason I ask is, may statement ang Presidente, na pag hindi na-impeach, yong kanyang paghabol sa corruption, yong kanyang laban sa dating Pangulo sa mga corrupt, etcetera, maapektuhan kasi baka panay ganito ang mangyayari.  And it is obvious na—I do not know if it that is true or not.  If it is true, obviously, hindi gagalaw ang Supreme Court, ngayon na may impeachment, after yan.  If it is not true, it is unfair to them.

But I think, it is irrelevant to us to know whether you have that information, so, let me stop there and can you consult your team, the impeachment team and …

REP. COLMENARES.  They are actually signalling, Your Honor, wala silang nakausap, …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Okay.

REP. COLMENARES.  … pero idugtong ko lang, tama po kayo, wala pong masama diyan, hindi ito katulad ng iba pang mga acts na may batas na nagsasabing bawal iyan.  Ito po ay isang issue ng accountability.  And for us, in fact, we would encourage people to give us information.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Hindi, dahil humingi kasi kayo ng subpoena na ipatawag ang mga Justices at iyong records nila.

REP. COLMENARES.  Opo.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So, hindi nyo naman siguro hihingin yon na wala kayong konting knowledge man lang kung ano ang sasabihin nila o kung ano ang nandoon.  Hindi naman ho ako naniniwalang tatawagin niyo, tapos, pagdating dito, ang sasabihin nila, baligtad, so, …

REP. COLMENARES.  Malinaw po sa dissenting opinion, malinaw po sa concurring opinions.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So, ang basehan niyo ng paghingi ng subpoena, iyong dissenting opinion?

REP. COLMENARES.  Hindi  po.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So, you want them to elaborate, you want Justice Sereno and Justice Carpio to elaborate on that.

REP. COLMENARES.  Hindi lang po, pati concurring opinions po.  Actually, ang pinakamalaking ebidensya naming is the concurring opinion of Justice Velasco and Justice Abad.

Ganito po, If I may be given lang po, noong November 22, may desisyon daw ang Korte Suprema na sabi noong anim na mahistrado, I am not yet counting Justice Sereno—pitong mahistrado, na suspensive ang condition.  Klaro po iyon.  So, pero, si Justice Abad, later on, lumipat e, so, anim lang muna.

So, ang naalaala noong anim po, noong November 15, noong nag-usap tayo, suspensive ang condition, ibig sabihin, tuparin mo muna ang kondisyon bago ka makaalis.

Ngayon, pwede nating sabihin, minority sila kaya nila sinabi yon, pero ito po ang crucial, sabi ni Justice Velasco sa kaniyang concurring opinion noong December 13, totoo yan, yang pinag-usapan natin noong November 15, suspensive talaga ang condition.  Kaya lang, sabi niya, e nagbayad na sila noong gabing yon, so, naging moot na ang issue.

Ibig sabihin po, pitong Justices, on the record, without even any witness, are saying na ang desisyon natin noong November 15, suspensive ang condition.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Counsel.

REP. COLMENARES.  Ngayon po, ang nakalagay po sa November 15 resolution ni Chief Justice, hindi po suspensive, baligtad po.  Malaking bagay po yong tuparin mo muna ang kondisyon bago ka makalipad kesa sa desisyong crinaft ni Chief Justice na nagsasabing, a hindi, pwede ka ng makalipad, may limang araw ka na tuparin ang kondisyon.

And I would like to add, one more decision, concurring opinion of Justice Abad.  If you’ll look at the concurring opinion of Justice Abad, part sya ng majority, the operative word there is “realized”.  Sabi ni Justice Abad, tama si Justice Sereno, noong una, nagsabi ako, walang compliance and sinabi ko rin na kung walang compliance, therefore, hindi effective ang TRO kasi suspensive nga naman yon.

However, sabi niya, I changed my vote when I realized, sabi niya, that the condition written in the resolution drafted by the Chief Justice says that it is effective immediately unless salutary.  So, ibig sabihin po iyong anim na naniniwala, nagsabi suspensive ang condition, plus Justice Presbitero Velasco nagsasabing suspensive ang condition, plus Justice Abad was late November 18 said, that suspensive, walo po iyon, majority na po ng Korte Suprema ang mga …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Counsel, malinaw na malinaw iyon, records, in fact, singlinaw nong Secretary of Justice, pwede ka ring maging Secretary of Justice.

REP. COLMENARES.  Opo, salamat po.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Pero ang pinupunto nga po kanina ng defense at ng ibang Senador, iyon po ay personal knowledge noong sumulat.  Pero iyong nag-te-testify po ngayon hindi iyon ang personal knowledge niya.  She was basing that on her reading and you are basing that on your reading of that.  That is why tinatanong ko kung meron diretsong nagsabi sa inyo kasi ayokong magkamali sa impeachment case na ito eh.  Gusto ko sana kung merong nakapagsabi sa inyo, madala dito sa witness stand, justice man siya, empleyado man siya ng Korte, para diretsuhan na nating malaman kung ano iyong buong istorya na ito kasi.  I leave you this witness one question which I asked Congressman Daza yesterday, and I saw you standing behind him.  Kasi iyong sinasabing the Chief Justice exerted influence, ang hirap to draw the line eh.  When are you exerting influence and when are you just being an advocate?  Halimbawa sa caucus sa Monday, kung kumbinsihin ko ng kumbinsihin iyong mga kasama ko, payagan ninyo iyong subpoena, payag ako sa sinabi ni Senator Sonny Trillanes, is that influencing?  Na minamaniobra ko na iyong kapwa ko Senador or is that simply advocating.  Because you expect the justices to precisely advocate their stand.  So, that is why nanalo iyong majority, because someone was more persuasive than the others.  But, ang gist ko sa sinabi ninyo kahapon, hindi ito ordinaryong advocacy, may maniobra dito or you cross the line dito no.  So, tingin ko po mas makikita natin iyan kung malalaman natin at hindi siguro mabubuo ang impormasyon ng Presidente, the good Secretary declined no, so, I guess she doesn’t confirm or deny, ganon din po—ang Presidente po is allowed to receive information from the military that he does not have to shar,e or from intelligence or from his alter ego, it is covered by executive privilege no, but, I think, that would be very relevant information here, but I don’t want to go into circles because I think I made my point there.

At the end of the day, ang magiging desisyon kasi naming impeachable ba dahil partial at nagkaroon ng maniobra dito or normal lang ito na iyon ang akala ng Chief Justice na ayon sa batas at kinumbinsi lang niya, or siya nakumbinsi din ng mga kasama niya.

REP. COLMENARES.  Tama po kayo.  Actually, ang charges po naming dalawa.  To the Chief Justice as a justice who voted with partiality; and to the Chief Justice who is the Chief Justice is the administrative head of the Supreme Court. Doon po sa pangalawa po muna tayo.  Marami siyang acts, he alone could promulgated the decision, he alone could have ordered Midas Marquez to mislead the public with information, he alone could have extended office hours of the Supreme Court, he alone could have ordered the process server i-serve mo iyan kahit ala-7:00 kay Secretary de Lima …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.). A ..

REP. COLMENARES.  I am just … If I may, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Yes, yes.  Counsel, it is just unfair to the defense kasi halimbawa sinabi mo, he alone could extend it, lagay kayo ng witness na ganon para i-assert yan.

REP. COLMENARES.  Opo.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Baka naman sabihin nong may opisinang ganon siya nag-decide mag –so let me stop that to be fair to the defense.  But you made a good assertion naman today.  But, I wanted to say this because si Senator Lacson nandito, isa siya sa advocate noong Whistle-Blowers Act.

REP. COLMENARES.  Yes.

sSEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Sa Pilipinas kasi kung sino ang nagsumbong, siya pa mimsan ang kawawa eh, siya pa ang nakakasuhan.  And this is only applicable to lower employees ha, lower level employees.  Ibig sabihin kung iyong isang Supreme Court Justice biglang pumunta dito, baka pagtulungan din siya noong iba eh, kung or halimbawa kaming mga Senator may nangyari, biglang may magsumbong, hindi nangyayari iyon ha sa mga caucus naming, and I assume hindi nangyayari iyon sa Supreme Court.  But, assuming na may ganong pangyayari, nacre-criticize din no, so, I think the Supreme Court is also watching us.

So, hindi man kami nag-issue ng subpoena sa kanila, they can come here voluntarily di ho ba?  You can call some of the justices and ask them, Ma’m, Sir, payag ho ba kayong magtestigo doon sa inyong dissenting opinion para maipaliwanag ninyo sa Senator-judges ito.  And of course, tingnan nyo po iyong Secretary of Justice hindi ko pinilit, hindi ko pinilit na sagutin niya iyong tanong na iyon.  And I think she will say we are fair to her no.  But it will really help us to decide one way or the other rather than relying just on the dissenting opinion.  I am not saying it is not enough.  I am just saying we want clear and convincing, one proof beyond reasonable doubt, et cetera, ‘di ba?  Let’s have the kind of witnesses here that can tell us the—that can paint the whole picture.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you, to my colleague.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leeader.

REP. COLMENARES. If I may lang …

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

REP. COLMENARES.  Just a short ano lang kay Senator Cayetano. Tama po kayo.  In fact, the Senate has already laid the precedent by inviting and I will probably also file a manifestation, so, a motion on Monday for the Senate to issue an invitation, but, of course, that for the Senate to decide. Kahit na tingin namin mahalaga ang testimony ni Justice Sereno lalo na at interisado ang defense, ang prosecution and even the Senators.  Hindi ko na po i-discuss iyong kanina pong he alone, doon lang po ako sa isang sinabi ko kanina na does not make a witness. Pwede bang maging partial ang isang justice sa desisyon niya? Pwede po.  In fact, ang teyorya ng defense is you impeached all justices or no one at all. Kasi ang sabi nila, collegial iyon. So, lahat naman po ng desisyon noon collegial, eh. Pero, hindi, the Constitution required that each Justice will be of impartiality, independence, probity.  Hindi naman pupwedeng sabihin sampu tayong nagnanakaw. Nahuli po ako, sabihin ko, ay huwag ninyo akong kasuhan, may siyam akong kasama diyan. No. It’s collegial, yes.  Ang issue ngayon dito is that the Chief Justice is being impeached, the other Justices may be partial or impartial.  It is not the issue here.  If the other justices side with him, based on their innocent reading of the evidence of the Constitution, that’s their issue, but the fact is, you cannot hide behind collegial merely on the basis marami namang nakumbinsi ako. Kung na-bribe ka for example lang, hindi ko sinasabing na-bribe is Justice, pag na-bribe ang isang Justice, out of the ten, hindi siya magsabing, eh, sampu naman kaming nagbigay ng TRO.  Pero, ikaw, nag-bribe po kayo kasi.  You cannot claim innocence on the ground na collegial ito.  So, ang akin hong sinasabi, partial si Chief Justice dito.  For us, he cannot hide behind collegiality because the Constitution, precisely, requires that each justice, not each justice will have probity independence, competence, otherwise, that constitutional provision requiring each justice to be of independence, impartiality will never be triggered at all, Your Honors please. Kasi collegial lahat iyan, eh. I-impeach mo lahat ng Supreme Court Justices, but you cannot impeach one.  So, iyon lang po ang pinunto kop o. Maraming salamat po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please,

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from the defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I was trying to observe and analyze the representation being made by Congressman, by the public prosecutor, Your Honor. And I am inclined to believe that he is very knowledgeable of the facts involved in this case. So, I would like to suggest that he take the witness stand, so that we can cross-examine him, under oath, Your Honor.

REP. COLMENARES.  Your Honors.

JUSTICES CUEVAS.  He is already arguing the case. There is no resting of evidence yet. They have not closed. We have not, we have not even started, Your Honor. He is impregnating the records of this case, unnecessary, unnecessarily.  I hope there will be lesser confusion.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

REP. COLMENARES.  If I may lang, Your Honor. Manifestation lang po iyon.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.   Let’s stop …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Order, let us …

SEN. SOTTO.  We have already given the defense a chance to say that.  That’s it. Let’s stop this, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  May I just move to strike out a statement of the Minority Leader concerning: “Mga lalaki naman kami dito.”  It’s not gender-sensitive, Mr. President, so I move to strike out.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Mr. President.  Mr. President.

SEN. SOTTO.  This is being supported by Senator Pia Cayetano and Senator Loren …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  If I said that, then, I would be wronged. Ang sinabi ko po, “Kalalaki kong tao, magiging tsismoso ako. Hindi dapat akong maging tsismoso.”  Hindi ko sinabing, “Mga lalaki tayo dito.”

SEN. SOTTO.  No. You did.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  I am sorry, I will submit if that is what I said, but I am sorry, it might to be—my trend of thought, ‘di ba’. I didn’t mean to be gender-sensitive.  Ang sinasabi ko po kasi, I was talking to—before I ask this question, I asked Senator Guingona and Senator Lacson about the Executive privilege and I was just saying “Kalalaki kong tao, hindi dapat ako making sa mga tsismis na ang mga Justice ganito ginawa, ganyan.”  That is why I also asking the question, but I apologize to the women.  I am more of a lover than a fighter. So, I will never say things that will offend the women especially my dear sister.

SEN. SOTTO. Apology accepted, but I move to strike the statement.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let it stay.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With due respect to the female members of the impeachment court, let it stay as part of the manifestation of the Minority Floor Leader.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Sergeant-at-arms is directed to make the announcement.

THE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS.  Please all rise.  All persons—hold it.

REP. DAZA.  Mr. President.

SEN. SOTTO.  I’m sorry, Mr. President.  We forgot about the witness, Mr. President.

REP. DAZA.  Yes, Mr. President.

SEN. SOTTO.  We have to discharge the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.  Before we adjourn, the witness is excused.  Thank you, Madam Witness.

SEN. SOTTO.  Witness is discharged.

THE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS.  Please all rise.

REP. DAZA.  Mr. President, may I request that the witnesses, we have other witnesses, who are here today, that they be ordered to come back on Monday.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All witnesses who were not able to testify in this impeachment trial today must come back on Monday at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

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

SEN. SOTTO.  I move to adjourn until 2 o’clock in the afternoon of Monday, February 27, 2012, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any objection?  Hearing none, the motion is approved to adjourn.

It was 5:56 p.m.

 

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