IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Monday, March 12, 2012

At 2:08 p.m., the hearing was called to order with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile Presiding.

 

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

We shall be led in prayer by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

PRAYER BY SENATOR DEFRENSOR-SANTIAGO

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

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  With 19 Senator-Judges present, the Presiding Officer declares the presence of a quorum.  (Gavel)

Majority Floor Leader

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

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

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we dispense with the reading of the February 29, 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 29, 2012 Journal of the Senate sitting as an Impeachment Court is hereby approved.  (Gavel)

SEN. SOTTO.  Appearances, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Secretary may now call the case.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Appearances.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Prosecution.

REP. AGGABAO.  Good afternoon, Your Honors.

The prosecution is ready.  Same appearance, Your Honor.  We’re ready till 7 o’clock, as agreed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As noted.  (Gavel)

SEN. SOTTO.  For the defense, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  For the defense, Your Honor, the same appearance.  We are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  (Gavel)  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, counsel for Chief Justice Corona filed a motion to suppress illegality obtained evidence seeking to expunge from the record all evidence offered, received and proposed in relation to the subpoenas addressed to PSBank Branch Manager Miss Anabelle Tiongson.  For its part, the prosecution entered its opposition thereto.  The Impeachment Court issued on March 6 its ruling on the motion and the parties have been notified of the ruling of the court, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The motion to suppress illegally obtained evidence dated February 27, 2012 is hereby denied for lack of proof.  (Gavel)  The Clerk of Court is directed to include the entire resolution in the record of the Impeachment Court.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Just for the record, as requested by Senator Pimentel, this motion was voted on unanimously by the Members of the Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, also as directed by the Court, the House panel of prosecutors filed on March 2, 2012 their formal offer of documentary evidence while the counsels for respondent, Chief Justice Corona, also as directed by the Court submitted their comments/objections thereto on March 7, 2012.  The Impeachment Court has ruled and made this Representation read the dispositive portion of the ruling of the court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.  Please read the dispositive portion of the ruling of the court.

SEN. SOTTO.  In view of all the foregoing, acting on the formal offer of documentary evidence of the prosecution, and the comment, objections of the defense thereto, the court resolves to admit exhibits A to seven Os and exhibit seven Qs to 10 Ns of the prosecution, subject to the appreciation of the individual Senator Judges, as to their weight and sufficiency for the purposes for which they have been offered.  Further, the foregoing documentary exhibits are admitted as part of the testimonies of the witnesses who testified thereon.

The tender of excluded evidence consisting of exhibits seven Ps to seven P-7 is hereby disallowed for being improper as these documents have already been excluded by the court because they tend to prove bribery, a crime not alleged in Article 3 of the Articles of Impeachment.  The tender of excluded evidence serves no purpose because there is no appeal from the decision of this court.  The prosecution is deemed to have rested its case, subject to its reservation on the presentation of evidence on the dollar accounts of Chief Justice Renato Corona, should the Supreme Court rule that the presentation of evidence of such bank accounts before this court will not violate the provisions of Republic Act No. 6426.

The initial reception of evidence for the defense is set on March 12, 2012 at two o’clock in the afternoon.

So, ordered.  March 12, 2012, Pasay City, the Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

REP. AGABAO.  Your Honor, please.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, the prosecution wishes to be recognized.

REP. AGABAO.  Your Honor, please, may we just reiterate, Your Honor, that with the admission of our documentary exhibits, as well as the testimonial evidence of our witnesses, Your Honor, the prosecution is resting its case, subject to the reservation we have earlier made pertaining to the dollar account of the Chief Justice …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, just wait for the written resolution of this particular matter by the court, and you may make a comment or assert your reservation after you have read it.

REP. AGABAO.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, in compliance with the directive given by the Presiding Officer, the prosecution filed a notice, manifestation, confirming their oral manifestation that they have terminated the presentation of evidence on Articles 2, 3 and 7 of the Articles of Impeachment, and that they will no longer present evidence on Articles 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7, the prosecution submits that the impeachment court need not vote upon the charges in the abovementioned articles.

On March 8, counsel for Chief Justice Corona filed a motion to dismiss, seeking to dismiss the charges against the Chief Justice under the same articles with prejudice in view of the prosecution’s failure to prosecute and present evidence in relation thereto.

I move that the Presiding Officer rule on the motion.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you, regarding the motion of the defense to formally dismiss Articles 1, 4, 5, 6 and 8 of the Articles of Impeachment, the Impeachment court, in a caucus, decided not to act—not to entertain and act on the motion to dismiss, with a clear understanding however, that no evidence from both prosecution and defense panels will be received by the Impeachment Court on Articles 1, 4, 5, 6 and 8, and furthermore, that the Members of the Impeachment Court will not render any vote on Articles 1, 4, 5, 6 and 8, and that no verdict of the Impeachment Court will be rendered on Articles I, IV, V, VI, and VIII.  So Ordered.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, the prosecution also confirmed their oral manifestation that they are reserving and not waiving their right to present evidence pertaining to dollar accounts of the respondent in connection with Article II.  On March 7, counsel for Chief Justice Corona filed its opposition thereto praying that the impeachment court deny the reservation to present additional evidence on the alleged dollar accounts.  I move that the Presiding Officer rule on the motion, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This matter has already been ruled upon previously by this Court when we ruled on the suppression of the evidence involved.  But nonetheless, I would like that both panels will read the ruling of the court with respect to the admission of the offered evidence by the prosecution as well as its ruling on the objections or comments filed by the defense on that offer of evidence.  So Ordered.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we are in receipt of a request of issuance of subpoena ad testificandum et duces tecum to the Secretary General of the House of Representatives, several Representatives, and the Executive Producer Program Manager of the news program Headstart of the ABS-CBN news or the official custodian of its news videos to appear for examination before the impeachment court as to their knowledge or personal knowledge regarding the verification of the verified impeachment complaint.  I move that the Presiding Officer rule on the motion.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This is in connection with the ABS-CBN.

SEN. SOTTO.  And also the subpoena for the House of Representatives and other Representatives on the verification of the verified impeachment complaint, Mr. President.

THE PERESIDING OFFICER.  Since the purpose of the subpoena is to present evidence on the circumstances on the verification of the articles of impeachment, which has been previously ruled upon by this court when it considered the motion for preliminary hearing filed by the defense, the request is hereby denied.  With respect to … what else has been …  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes.  All of the requests are denied, Mr. President, for the record, including the request for the ABS-CBN custodian.  So, finally, Mr. President, on March 9, the prosecution filed its motion requesting that the defense panel be directed to manifest the order of its presentation of evidence in order to afford the prosecutors the opportunity to prepare for the reception of evidence for the defense.  .. Mr. President, I move to submit the motion for consideration by the Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, to be fair, in order to have an orderly proceedings, the defense is hereby ordered to comply.  Majority Floor Leader.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The defense may now start presenting their evidence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor please, may we be allowed to be heard in connection with the rulings made by the honorable impeachment court on our motion for the hearing of our affirmative defences, Your Honor.  We were made to understand, Your Honor, that the same is hereby denied, Your Honor.  We understood in the previous ruling of this honorable court earlier made or promulgated that what was denied is a preliminary hearing.  And this in conjunction with expediting proceedings, Your Honor.  We were then satisfied that the introduction of our evidence Your Honor, in connection with the affirmative defense shall be made in the trial on the merits of this case, Your Honor, and that we are prepared to do, Your Honor. May we have subpoenaed—we have requested the appearance of our witnesses and also requested for the subpoena of our other witnesses, Your Honor.

We do not—we have not received any final adjudication on the validity and/or plausibility of the affirmative defenses we have set up in our answer, Your Honor, and this is more, particularly, involved the existence, your Honor, of probable cause and other matters in relation thereto, which nullifies the entirety of the proceedings being held by this Court.

We are charged with notice, Your Honor, that there may be some objection to this because, allegedly, we have gone this far but we are entirely hopeless, Your Honor. We have filed the motion for preliminary hearing.  That was denied, Your Honor. And our understanding of that denial is, we are precluded from presenting evidence on the affirmative defenses at that time, Your Honor, but never at any instance before the case submitted for decision.  Hence, we proceeded in participating with the trial on the merits, Your Honor.  And there are so many instances, Your Honor, even in the ordinary court of justice, Your Honor, where a preliminary hearing on the affirmative defenses, or a motion to dismiss or a demurrer to the evidence had been held in abeyance only to be resolved at the time or after the parties have been heard in a trial on the merit.  That was our assumption, Your Honor. We have we no reason to entertain the belief, Your Honor, much less, concur with the present developments that our affirmative defenses have been totally denied, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Your Honor,  I hope you understand our position. The rules governing preparation of the complaint on impeachment or resolution on impeachment is the function of the House and that the function of trying and deciding the case is lodged in this court. Now, this particular impeachment case was filed under paragraph four of Section 3 of Art. XI and I would like to read to the public and to this Court the provision of paragraph four. “In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House, the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate shall forthwith begin.”

As far as this court understands this provision, there are two parts: that the complaint must be verified and that it must be filed by at least one-third of the House.

If I remember correctly, and I have here the Articles of Impeachment. “Republic of the Philippines, House of Representatives, House of Representatives Complex, Constitutional Hills, Quezon City, In the Matter of Impeachment of Renato C. Corona, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Representatives Niel C. Tupas Jr. Joseph Emilio A. Abaya, Lorenzo R. Tañada III, Reynaldo V. Umali, Arlene J. Bag-ao, and other complainants comprising at least one-third of the total Members of the House of Representatives are indicated below.” So, these—there are five named of Congressmen, and as far as we can see, the articles of impeachment field in this court has been verified.  Now, we have to ask all the members of that court, that prosecuting body, whether they indeed, they read these articles of impeachment or not.  That would be tedious and I think that what was contemplated as far as the understanding of this court, what was contemplated that as long as one, two, three, four, five or one hundred of those who filed this case, verified this complaint, that is the verified complaint spoken of in paragraph 4, Section 3 of article XI.  And so, therefore, when it reached this court, this court assumes jurisdiction and in fact we have gone through trial already, the answers and reply to the answers have been filed and we proceeded to the trial, the prosecution closed its presentation of evidence, it is now the turn of the defense to present its evidence, and I think it is the opinion of this court that it is too late to raise the question of verification at this point.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If, Your Honor, please, may we be allowed to say something on this particular issue, Your Honor.

THE SENATE PRESIDENT.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The record will show, Your Honor, that right after we have filed our answer to the impeachment complaint, Your Honor, we have also availed of the remedy of filing a motion for a preliminary hearing on our affirmative defences.

We were then abiding by the jurisprudence on the point laid down in the case of Francisco, et al., vs. House of Representatives, wherein it is stated that if there is a defect casting doubt or legality or violative of the Constitution on the part of the impeachment complaint, the same may be raised in the House of Representatives and also in the Senate prior or during the trial of the case.  And if the Senate rules either way, then, the remedy is with the Supreme Court.  That was the  dictum laid down in that case, Your Honor.

Now, we were also guided by the fact, Your Honor, that in the same case, there was an adjudication to the effect that raising the issue of non-existence of probable cause goes into the very merits of the case, Your Honor.  And as held by the Supreme Court in that case, Justice Panganiban speaking for the court, its stated, that during the oral argument, may I be allowed to read for the record, Your Honor.

THE SENATE PRESIDENT.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  All right.  “Senator Salonga and petitioner Francisco Chavez denounced the second impeachment complaint as violative of due process.  They argued that by virtue merely of an endorsement of more than 1/3 of the Members of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice was immediately impeached without being afforded the twin requirements of notice and hearing”.

In here, Your Honor, the complaint was filed by more than 1/3, Your Honor.  The proceedings were therefore null and void ab initio, and Justice Panganiban was then the Chief Justice.  I must agree.  The due process clause enshrined in our fundamental law is a condition sine qua non that cannot be ignored in any proceeding.

THE SENATE PRESIDENT.  The proceedings of which body?   The House or this court is going to be, is supposed to be null and void?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  This Court.  Yes, Your Honor, including the proceedings before this court because there is not—the impeached public official is not precluded in raising the same issue before this honourable impeachment court, Your Honor.

THE SENATE PRESIDENT.  Well, this is a very ______ opinion between the defense counsel and this court.  It was then if you insist that we will make a finding of probable cause as a consequence of determining whether there has been a probable cause in the articles of impeachment submitted to this court, then we will make a ruling to that effect.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It’s not that a ruling, Your Honor, and the existence or non-existence of probable cause is being asked by this Representation, Your Honor, but it is a matter of fact that there was no determination of probable cause.  In other words, there were no evidences, there were no allegations that will prove the existence of probable cause, and yet, the public officer involved was immediately impeached.

Supreme Court said, that is violative of the right against due process because due process requires notice and hearing.  And it applies in all cases notwithstanding the fact that this is a proceeding which sui generis, Your Honor, and the Supreme Court went further, Your Honor.

Due process clause enshrined in our fundamental law is a condition sine qua non that cannot be ignored in any proceeding, administrative, judicial or otherwise.  It is deemed written into every law, rule or contract even tough not expressly stated therein, hence the House rules on impeachment, insofar as they do not provide the charged official with notice and opportunity to be heard prior to be impeached are also unconstitutional.

We are predicating our action on this particular statement of the Supreme Court, Your Honor.  In addition thereto, likewise, the honorable Justice Santiago in a concurring opinion, likewise stated, and may we be permitted to place it on record, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The impeachment complaint suffers from yet another serious flow.  As one of the amici curiae former Senate President Jovito Salonga pointed out, the signing of the impeachment complaint by the purported one-third of the Congressmen was done without due process.  The Chief Justice, against whom the complaint was brought, was not served notice of the proceedings against him.

In here, likewise, what is referred to as an impeachment complaint filed by at least one-third of the Members of the House of Representatives.  And the Supreme Court, going further, hereby stated, no rule is better established that under the due process clause of the Constitution than that which requires notice and opportunity to be heard before any person can be lawfully deprived of his right to be heard before any person can be lawfully deprived of his rights.

Indeed, when the Constitution says that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, it means that every person shall be afforded essential element of notice of any proceedings, any act committed in violation of due process may be declared null and void, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is it the position of the defense counsel that indeed there is no probable cause in this case?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is our position, Your Honor.  And if we were allowed during the early days before the evidence of the reception in chief, Your Honor, we would have done so right at that moment.

We seem to be …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But you see, under our Rules of Impeachment in this Senate, we do not have a provision governing preliminary hearing on defences on impeachment cases.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but that was …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And we devised—We are authorized by the Constitution to devise our own Rules of Impeachment.  This is not Rules that the Supreme Court can formulate for this House.  It is the formulation of this House itself.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are in total conformity with that, Your Honor.  We are likewise in full accord with the said pronouncement of the honourable Presiding Justice.  But what we are invoking is the right of the impeached public official, in this particular instance, the honourable Chief Justice Corona, to his right to due process, and right to due process recognizes that it is available in all kinds of proceedings including impeachment proceedings, Your Honor.  It does not exempt impeachment …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Must the determination of probable cause be done by the House of Representatives or could it be done by this Court?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It may be done, Your Honor, by the House of Representatives, and any ruling by the House of Representatives may be brought before the Senate Impeachment Court if the opportunity so arises and a ruling thereon may be made either a denial or a grant, Your Honor.  In which case, judicial remedies are afforded in favour of the aggrieved party if there is an abuse of discretion that brings about the power of judicial review on the part of the honourable Supreme Court, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes.  May we recognize Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentle Lady from Iloilo.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Mr. President, may I offer the humble submission that in my view there is no constitutional issue involved.  There is no constitutional issue of due process or equal protection.  Instead, there is specific rule in our Rules of Court, Rule 16, Section 6, which is entitled, Pleading grounds as affirmative defenses, and it quotes in part, “If no motion to dismiss has been filed, any of the grounds for dismissal provided for in this Rule may be pleaded as an affirmative defense in the answer and, in the discretion of the court”, I would like to emphasize this phrase, “in the discretion of the court, a preliminary hearing may be had thereon as if a motion to dismiss had been filed.”

The annotations based on jurisprudence indicate that unlike a motion to dismiss, based on the failure of the complaint to state a cause of action, which may be resolved solely on the basis of the allegations of the complaint, a motion to dismiss raising an affirmative defense that there is no cause of action as against the defendants, poses a question of fact that should be resolved after due hearing.

Therefore, the issue is really whether the defense is, there is no cause of action as against the defendants and the question is a question of fact, then in that case, a hearing in the proper discretion of the court might be ordered, but otherwise, it is completely discretionary in the court.  A party effectively submits to trial court’s jurisdiction by praying for the dismissal of the complaints, on grounds other than lack of jurisdiction.

So, just to repeat for summary, to summarize, granting a hearing on a ground alleged as an affirmative defense is, as the rule say, in the discretion of the court.

That is my comment.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, you are not questioning the jurisdiction of this court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If there is really no probable cause, Your Honor, therefore, the Impeachment complaint is a total nullity, then, there could be no jurisdiction that the Senate Impeachment Committee can acquire, Your Honor.  And may I …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And if the issue of probable cause could be decided on the prosecution’s side as well as in the court itself, that is the—this is my understanding of the rule in the ordinary courts in criminal cases.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We appear to be quite insistent on this particular matter, Your Honor, because we have sought guidance from the jurisprudence of the honorable Supreme Court in connection with this matter, more particularly, the point whether probable cause could be raised even after the remand of the impeachment case to this honorable Supreme Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   But in the case of Francisco, the Articles of Impeachment has not reached this court.  The case arose out of the proceedings in the House of Representatives, and so, therefore, the Francisco case is not on all force with respect to the factual situation in this particular impeachment proceeding.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct, Your Honor, but it is a guidance, since there is no categorical provision under the Rules of Impeachment of the Senate Impeachment Committee.  Many times we are at a lost, Your Honor.  Here is a problem, we wanted to argue either against or for, but there is no definite provision under the Rules of the Senate, Your Honor.  So, where do we go?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You know why is it like that, Your Honor?  Because there is no appeal in the decision of this court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  There are no reversible errors.  There are no assignment of errors.  Once a verdict is pronounced, of acquittal or conviction, if it is acquittal, the government cannot appeal.  If it is conviction, the respondent cannot appeal.  There are no assignment of errors.  There are no reversible errors.

That is the reason why in an impeachment trial, as far as I know, there is no motion to dismiss.  There are no motions for preliminary hearings.  That is why the Constitution says, trials shall forthwith proceed.  It did not say begin.  Proceed.  Go ahead and try it, then, all the way to judgment, except that you have to respect the rights of private parties that may be involved.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We were this insistent, Your Honor, because we are worried about the resulting consequences of the aforesaid pronouncement, Your Honor, with due respect to the honourable court, on the impeached public official, Your Honor.  We have here a portion, Your Honor, and before we are considered terminated in our argument, Your Honor, may we read it for the record, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We understand your position.  You want to read your argument, go ahead.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The question on the sufficiency of the complaint, in form, may again be brought to the Senate by way of proper motion, and the Senate may deny the motion to dismiss the complaint depending on the merits of the ground raised.  After the Senate shall have acted in due course, its disposition of the case may be elevated to this court pursuant to its judicial power of review.  So, we are referring to a situation where an apparent grave abuse of discretion existed on the part of the impeachment court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What this court wishes to avoid is a clash between the Supreme Court and this court because frankly, I must say that this court is not willing to surrender its power to make a judgment in impeachment cases.  And so, if the decision of this court with respect to the existence of probable cause is reviewable by the Supreme Court, then in the opinion of this Presiding Officer, and I think  as well as of this court, that will mean that the Supreme Court will override the judgment of this impeachment court.  And so, therefore, with most regret and with due respect to the Supreme Court, we will deny any interference in the judgment of this impeachment court.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, trial suspended.  I will consult the members of the court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Your Honor.

It was 2:47 p.m.

At 3:09 p.m., the session was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is resumed.

Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we recognize Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

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

SEN. SANTIAGO.  I will try and very humbly explain.  For the second time, I would like to try and very humbly explain why the ruling of the court, as articulated by our Presiding Officer is an all force with our Rules of Court.  Rule 16 governs motion to dismiss and deals with separate grounds for filing a motion to dismiss.  Here the pertinent grounds are related to each other.  You could file a motion to dismiss on the ground that the court has no jurisdiction over the person of the defending party or that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim.  With respect  to jurisdiction of the person of the defending party, the Supreme Court has taught us, “It is a settled rule, the party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of a court to secure affirmative relief against his opponent, and, after failing to obtain such relief, repudiate or question that same jurisdiction.”  So, what we are being taught is that, the only accepted jurisdiction of the court and if you have even filed affirmative defenses for the consideration of that court, but your affirmative defense is denied, after doing that you cannot turn around and then repudiate the same question of jurisdiction.  Your hands are already tied.  And then the other ground is that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim.  Once more, to jurisprudence, we can turn and find the following lesson.  “While jurisdiction maybe assailed at any stage, a party’s active participation in the proceedings before a court without jurisdiction will estop such party from assailing such lack of it.”  Again, the point is the same.  You have already accepted jurisdiction, you have tried to obtain relief, and if you don’t obtain it, you cannot now turn around and say, but after all you have no jurisdiction over me.  So, I am afraid that the ruling of the impeachment court that no preliminary hearing will be conducted on a special affirmative defense is on all force with the rulings of our Supreme Court, and the rulings as articulated by the President, our Presiding Officer have always been totally congruent with the rulings of the Supreme Court.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we recognize Senator Escudero, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Sorsogon.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  With the permission of the Presiding Officer, may I address some questions to the lead defense counsel, Atty. Cuevas.

Sir, if I may ask.  It is clear that the impeachment court already made a ruling with respect to the motion for preliminary hearing and even on the affirmative defenses itself with respect to the jurisdiction of the Senate and procedure adopted by the House.  The basic concern, Atty. Cuevas, is you might call all 188 signatories, and you might end up being bugged down on this issue that has already been decided upon and ruled by the Senate.  That is a basic and valid concern by the impeachment court, Sir.  And secondly, if it was for the purpose of establishing the absence or presence of probable cause, as mentioned by Senator Santiago and ruled by the Court in its written ruling, that has already been disposed of by the impeachment court.  However, if the purpose is perhaps to  set the tone or by way of preliminary to lay the predicate for your general theory of the case, and you will not present 188, and perhaps one or two witnesses on this matter, perhaps some understanding or bending over backwards may be given, but the concern again, Atty. Cuevas, is baka iyong buong 188 ho e ipatawag ho ninyo, ano ho ang balak ninyo?

JUSTICE CUEVAS. That is far from my mind, Your Honor, because our attack is not on the number, first.  Now, secondly, I hope you pardon me for disagreeing with your dissertation that there was already a ruling on this particular case.  May I cite the January 12, 2012, dispostive portion.  “In view of all the foregoing, the motion for preliminary hearing filed by Chief Justice Renato Corona is denied for want of merit.”  So, what was denied from our understanding, and it is clear to us, is only the right to a preliminary hearing.  Not the affirmative defenses, if Your Honor please.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  The court will decide on that, Atty. Cuevas.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.   No, I am just citing… We have every reason to rely on this.  If there was a categorical pronouncement, then probably, we could have taken other remedies, if Your Honor please.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  But may we know, Atty. Cuevas.  On this issue and on this matter and in the absence of a pre-trial wherein we would have obtained the list of witnesses, insofar as this issue is concerned, who and how many witnesses do you intend to present, if we may know.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, we have stated earlier that we will be presenting about 20 witnesses, Your Honor, on the entire impeachment proceedings, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  On this topic, Sir, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  On this topic, probably three up to five. Because, for instance, three-fourth—two-third, let’s us say, there are these numbers and two or three of them were intimidated or coerced to sign one way or the other, so, the number representing at least one-third is already obliterated, so to us, that will be a facade of false information.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Mr. President, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS. Because you have a definite number in order to determine what is one-third.  Now, supposing, of that one-third, one or two were merely coerced. They were compelled to do—to affix their signatures without being voluntary on their part, will that not at least change the color of their signature attached—affixed to the complaint?  That is—because we have every reason to rely on the jurisprudence on the point since there is no definite article, much less, any section of the impeachment rules by this Honorable Court, then, we have to resort—we to go to other sources, Your Honor, and we are not totally left on—totally left without any support whatsoever.  What we read into the records are questions where the impeachment complaint was filed by at least one-third, and to us, it is clear that the mere fact the complaint is verified complaint was filed by at least one-third does not exempt the petitioner or the complainant from observing the requirements prescribed by law in order to comply with the requirements of due process. That is our point because left with no alternative, where do we go? There is no appeal but there is a violation of the constitutional right of the accused. That is there for a ground for the Supreme Court to take cognizance of the case.  If that is the ground then, how else could we assert it except by pleadings and if we do not agree with the decision of the—sorry to say, we do not agree with the decision of the Honorable Impeachement Court then, maybe other remedies are available to us.

SEN. ESCUDERO. Mr. President, for the record, I agree with the impeachment court with respect to the nonissuance of subpoena to Members of the House, however, nothing bars a Member of the House from testifying voluntarily if they are called by the defense as their witness. And insofar as allowing the defense to present evidence on this matter, for as long as it is on a short list and will not  entail the calling of all 188 of them, which should be unreasonable to say the least.  I think, counsel, will agree with me.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yeah, we have already—I am sorry.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  For the record, Mr. President Your Honor, that is the  position of this representation, so the defense can be given some leeway with respect  to developing their case.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I am not crying for liberality in favor of the impeached public official.  Many times the prosecution have been crying for the extension of liberality on their part.  If there is anybody who should cry or call for liberality, it should be the impeached public official being the accused in a criminal case. Never is there a time where the prosecution asked for liberality.  I was a fiscal for more than 20 years, I never asked for any liberality.

SEN. ESCUDERO.   We submit and we thank the distinguished counsel for the defense for his—Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, now may we pose a question if Your Honor please. We have three members of the House of Representatives whom we intend to utilize as adverse witnesses, Your Honor. If we call for a subpoena, if we ask for a supboena to compel their appearance, Your Honor, it may again fall under the previous ruling of this Honorable Court but this time, we are not calling them as ordinary witnesses.  We are calling them as adverse party and the law allow us under the rules of court, Your honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who are the adverse party that you want to call?

JUSTICE CUEVAS. For instance, Congressman Abaya, Your Honor, Congressman Quimbo and Congressman Tañada, Your Honor.  Then, we will dispense with Congressman Gonzales.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, may we recognize …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are calling them not in their capacity as congressman, Your Honor, but in their capacity as complainants, so, they are adverse party, your Honor,  If the Court will not lend its assistance to us, we’ll have no alternative, we cannot compel them to come here.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we recognize the Minority Leader, Senator Cayetano and then, Senator Drilon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Minority Floor Leader.

SEN. CAYETANO.  Magandang hapon, Mr. President. Justice Cuevas, magandang hapon po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Magandang hapon din po.

SEN. CAYETANO.  Gusto ko lang pong maintindihan ng mabuti iyong posisyon ninyo at iyong pinaguusapan natin.  Naririrnig ko po iyong terms na “due process” and in very layman’s term, iyong makinig muna bago humusga.  Hindi po ba?  Tapos, iyong probable cause  no, iyong determination ng probable cause.

Basically, tama ho ba ang hinihingi nyo sa amin magkaroon ng preliminary hearing para i-determine precisely kung nagkaroon ang House ng determination ng probable cause o hindi.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Wala na po, because, that was denied already.  When we requested for—when we move or requested for a preliminary hearing, there was already this resolution of January 18.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So now you are asking us…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  To allow—I am sorry.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Go ahead, go ahead, Sir, doon naman papunta iyong question ko, please.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We were praying for the liberality of this court and its magnanimity to allow us to present evidence even on trial on the merits to prove our point, Your Honor, which we were not able to do because our motion for preliminary hearing was denied, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  And, Sir, what you want to prove is that walang determination ang House ng probable cause, ergo, it is a violation of due process of your client, the impeached official, the honourable Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  In a nutshell ho—go ahead po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Not only that it is a violation of due process right of the accused, Your Honor, but it is a constitutional mandate on the part of our judicial department that the accused should be entitled to due process.  Notify him, allowing him to be heard and then decide the case.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Okay.  Sir, the reason I asked this question is because I am sympathetic in general.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  And I always used the example that we used in law school na ang Diyos nga mismo e, nakita nya na kinain ni Eva at Adan iyong mansanas pero hindi nya kaagad hinusgahan, tinanong nya, di ba, bakit kayo nagtatago anong ginawa nyo?  So, before he condemned, he asked them a question.

Having said that, Your Honor, if we look at Article XI, Accountability of Public Officials, Section 3, paragraph 4.  In the case of verified complaint or resolution of impeachment if filed by at least 1/3 of all the Members of the House of Representatives, the same shall constitute the articles of impeachment and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed.

So, my problem, Your Honor, in being sympathetic with your plight if this, if we granted you a preliminary hearing, or if we allow you to present evidence now, saan to pupunta?  ‘Pag nag-ruling po kami na walang probable cause or walang determination of probable cause, or hindi kayo dininig ng lower house o ng House of Representatives, sorry to use lower house, the House of Representatives, we will be in effect amending the Constitution.  We will be now saying that mali ang paragraph 4 ng Section 3 ng Article XI, because we will be basically telling the House kailangan nyo mag-hearing muna.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If we…

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  May I finish, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Go ahead, I am sorry.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  But it is very clear here that when you have 1/3 of all members signing the verified complaint or resolution, it shall automatically constitute an article of impeachment.   So unlike a case in the fiscal’s office na kailangan ng piskalya i-inform pareho, making sa parehong side, and then, determine whether or not merong probable cause.  In the case of paragraph 4, ‘pag binasa ng Congressman at pinirmahan at umabot sila ng 1/3, iyon na po ang determination ng probable cause.  The Constitution itself does not call for—I will let you give your side,  Your Honor, after this no, but just to elaborate and please tell me if mali ang pagkaintindi ko or kung you have a different theory about—specifically, I am talking about paragraph 4, no, dahil ako ay naniniwala this is the mode na inakyat sa ating ang impeachment no.  So, Your Honor, ‘pag binasa ng congressman ito, ‘pag umabot ng 1/3 diretso na ‘to sa Senado.  ‘Pag hindi ito umabot ng 1/3, nagkakaroon ng proseso sa lower House under paragraph 1, 2, and 3.  Kaya during the impeachment of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Congressman TJ Guingona here, myself, Congressman Joel Villanueva, then Congressman now Senator Chiz Escudero, ito po ang tanong naming kay ano eh sa mga kadebate naming on the opposite side, sabi naming sa kanila – do you mean kaht na napakalakas ng pinayl naming resolution kahit klarong-klarong may probable cause, ‘pagka hindi kami naka 1/3 ibig sabihin ang finding nyo walang probable cause.  On the other hand, even if it is a scrap, a piece of paper na walang laman, if 1/3 signs, it will go to the Senate at meron ng probable cause iyon?  And there was always a unanimity there na ‘pagka iyong 1/3 nakapirma, pumunta na sa amin iyon, ang trabaho namin hind i-determine iyong probable cause, and i-determine namin number one, meron bang impeachable ground? May ground ba for impeachment under the Constitution?  Then number 2, proceed with trial whether or not nga guilty yung tao.

So, yun po ang problema ko.  Assuming I say—I ask for a reconsideration because I voted with the majority and I think the ruling of the Presiding Officer and of the Impeachment Court is correct.  But assuming, for the sake of argument, sabihin natin, dapat bigyan ng hearing, dapat payagan ang defense na magpakita ng ebidensiya na hindi nagkaroon ng due process or ng probable cause no.  Pero ang Constitution na po nagsabi e na kapagka yung one-third may nakapirma, due process na yon.  Dito na siya magpaliwanag.  Ika nga ng mga pulis, “Boss, sa presinto ka na magpaliwanag.”  Dito po ang sinabi, “Boss, sa impeachment trial ka na magpaliwanag wag na sa Committee on Justice.”

So, Your Honor, my question is and answer the way you would like to, Sir, are you saying that unconstitutional ang paragraph 4 or this paragraph is in fact violative of other parts of the Constitution?  Kasi if we return this to the Lower House, yung effect po we will be nullifying this mode of elevating an impeachment case to the Impeachment Court.

I’m through, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Pwede nako?

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Mr. Senator.

It is not merely Justice Cuevas exposing that view.  It is the honourable Supreme Court already.  In the two cases I have mentioned, the impeachment complaint was filed by at least one-third.  And the Supreme Court said, that is no exemption.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  So, Your Honor, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The determination of probable cause …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  … my question is, can the Supreme Court amend the Constitution?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It’s not amending.  That is interpretation.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  But how can you interpret it any other way?  Ang nakalagay po dito, “In case a verified complaint, a resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all Members, the same shall constitute the Article of Impeachment.”

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Correct.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Hindi po nakalagay dito, the House shall now have a hearing and determine probable cause.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  E wala rin naman hong nakalagay diyan na there is no necessity of determining probable cause.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Nakalagay po, Your Honor.  “And trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed.”

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, but in this jurisprudence it is stated, “It can be asserted before the Lower House.”  If it is denied, then you can go to the—even if the impeachment case was already filed.  The Impeachment Court may act on it either granting or denying.  So it is a reconciliation.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Your Honor, I will not answer that statement about the Supreme Court because I think in our ruling we mentioned about the ruling of Chief Justice Davide in the Estrada trial, but I’ll stop there.  And thank you for answering those questions, but I just want to put that on record that I support the decision of the court.  And I don’t think there’s any other logical interpretation of paragraph 4 which I read.  I mean, if we’re going to interpret it but would require the House to have a hearing, it will be the same as the other paragraph, Your Honor.

But anyway, I will not be—because of due process and we hear both sides, You’re not arguing with me, I’m not arguing with you, but I just want to put that on record, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  With due respect, Mr. Senator, …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Yes.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  … if we follow that dictum, then there never can a time be when impeachable officers may be immune from impeachment proceedings filed by any disgruntled individual because all they have to do is gather at least one-third, and there is no more investigation, there is no more probable cause.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  But, Your Honor, …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It’s direct to the Senate.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  … that’s precisely …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If we follow that dictum, that will lead to disastrous consequences.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  But, Your Honor, if you …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The security of technical provision will definitely be laid to rest and it may not be invoked by any impeachable public officer.

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Just for the information of the court, Your Honor, that is precisely in the records of the debate of the Constitutional Commission. Yun po precisely ang dibate nila, na if you ask for a majority of Congress to impeach a public official.  It will be very difficult to impeach a public official, it will be very difficult to impeach a public official.  Pag isa, lima, sampu naman, it will be very easy.  So ano yung compromise when one-third affix their signature in a verified complaint or resolution?  Automatic na, punta na po ‘to sa Impeachment Court, at tinanong nga don, but will that be subject to abuse, etc.?  Sabi nila, it’s not easy to get one-third and we cannot assume that the House of Representatives will not act in good faith.

So, Your Honor, that’s the balancing of accountability and transparency here.  If you make it almost impossible, then you give the Supreme Court Justices immunity.

Ang Presidente po, anim na taon lang siyang immune sa suit.  Ang Supreme Court Justice ho pag 55 years old ka na-appoint, ang sabi po nila sa Supreme Court cases, in fairness to them, not only now, matagal na tong mga kaso na ‘to, hindi ka pwede mag-file ng disbarment, hindi ka pwedeng mag-file ng criminal case, kailangan impeachment muna bago mo sila kasuhan, dahil kung hindi, indirectly, tinatanggal mo sila.  So, kung pahihirapan naman natin ng husto kung paano sila i-impeach ay maghihintay tayo hanggang 70 years old na sila, hanggang mag-retire, at doon mo lang pwedeng kasuhan, wala ng remedy po ang taumbayan, ang mamamayan, wala ng pupuntahan.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  But …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  No, Your Honor, I was just responding to your thesis that …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … it will be so easy—but I mean, I have been a Congressman for three terms and I have been monitoring Congress, I think, ilan pa lang po ang nai-impeach by this mode.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I think, we have …

SEN. CAYETANO (A.).  Thank you Mr. President. Thank you for this time.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Drilon …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I think, we have sufficiently argued this case, but anyway, the Gentleman from Iloilo is recognized.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President, I will be very brief.  The defense here, Mr. President, is making a plea that they be allowed to present evidence on their affirmative defences because allegedly, the January 18, 2012 ruling did not rule upon the affirmative defences but only the motion for a preliminary hearing.

Mr. President, the grounds relied upon by the affirmative defences is precisely the ground relied upon when the defense asked for a preliminary hearing.  And in fact, on page 2 of the resolution of January 18, it says, “The Chief Justice claims that since the verified complaint for impeachment lacks a proper verification, it should be treated as an unsigned pleading which produces no legal effect and should therefore be dismissed.”

The January 18, 2012 ruling of this court and Mr. Senate President, categorically validated the verification.  It ruled, “It appears—appearing that the filing of the verified impeachment complaint was made in accordance with paragraph 4, Section 3, Article 11 in the Constitution, there is no more need for a preliminary hearing to receive evidence on this matter.”

If there was no need to present evidence on the matter of the preliminary hearing, there is no need for—to present evidence on the affirmative defences.  So, it is not true that it was only the motion for a preliminary hearing that was denied.  It is the validity of the verification itself that was ruled upon, and purpose, obviously, of a hearing on the affirmative defences is to have the case dismissed because of lack of proper verification, which has already been ruled upon by this court on January 18, 2012.

Thank you, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  If that commentary, Your Honor, was made by the members of the prosecution, we would have no objection, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  This is the ruling …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are worried, Your Honor, that this may be interpreted, Your Honor, as an argument by a prosecutor.

SEN. DRILON.  I take exception …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In this case, Your Honor, …

SEN. DRILON.  … to the statement of the defense counsel.  That is totally improper.  We are just reading …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  What is …

SEN. DRILON.  I am still speaking.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Go ahead.

SEN. DRILON.  Do not interrupt, because I was just explaining the ruling of the court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I request the Majority Floor Leader to reread the ruling of this court on what they posit?

SEN. SOTTO.  Resolution of January 18, 2012, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, read it.

SEN. SOTTO.  The Chief Justice claims that since the verified complaint for impeachment lacks proper or a proper verification, it should be treated as an unsigned pleading which produces no legal effect, and should therefore be dismissed—I will just read the pertinent portions—Mr. President, to continue in the resolution, during the impeachment proceedings of President Joseph Ejercito Estrada before the Senate, case no. 0012000, a motion to quash was filed by him, alleging among others, that the verification in the impeachment contract was not the verification prescribed by the Constitution–the impeachment complaint, the contract was probably a typographical error. The impeachment court at that time found the verification to be sufficient, and ruled that the perceived flaw in it was inconsequential and not fatal.  Speaking through Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., who was the Presiding Officer of that time, the impeachment court stated in a resolution dated 29 November 2000 that verification, like in most cases, required by the Rules of Procedure, is a formal and not a jurisdictional requirement.  It is mainly intended to secure an assurance that matters which are alleged are done in good faith or are true and correct and not of mere speculation.  By Miriam Defensor-Santiago.  There appears to be no cogent reason to depart from this ruling.  On its face, there appears to be no patent or obvious defect in the verification contained in the verified impeachment complaint.  The wording or content of the same is substantially in compliance with the third paragraph of Section 13 of the Rules of Procedure in impeachment proceedings of the House of Representatives.  It is not necessary for the verification to be coached in the language of the Rules of Court inasmuch as this particular wording is not strictly required by the Constitution.  If this had been what was required, the Constitution would have specified the exact required wording of the verification.  A verification is an oath or affirmation.  Under the Constitution, there is only one instance wherein the exact form of an oath or affirmation is specified, and this is found on Section 5 Article VII when the President, Vice-President or the Acting President takes his oath or affirmation before entering on the execution of their office.  Since there is no precise wording required for the verification of a complaint in case of impeachment, under paragraph 4, Section 3, Article XI of the Constitution, the actual verification in the complaint, as per the Rules of Impeachment of the House of Representatives, is sufficient and adequate for the purpose.

In view of all the foregoing, the motion for preliminary hearing filed by Chief  Justice Renato C. Corona is denied for want of merit.

January 19, 2012, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right..  We have discussed this lengthily …

SEN. SOTTO.  May we recognize Senator Arroyo, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Makati and Bicol.

SEN. ARROYO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  May I ask the defense, just what is the objective of the defense in filing this motion.  What is your goal?  Because as I see it, supposing, the Senate will grant your request, have a hearing and then it turns out that your allegations about the defects, etc. are true, would you say that the Senate has to dismiss the complaint?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  To us, it will appear …

SEN. ARROYO.  Yes, I am asking.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  To us, Your Honor, it will appear that there is no valid complaint because the complaint was not in accordance with what the Constitution requires which is the right of an impeached public official to due process.  And the requirement of due process states notice of hearing.

SEN. ARROYO.  Ergo, what you mean is that if you successfully prove your allegations, the Senate must perforce dismiss the complaint.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I do not think there is nothing illegal in that.

SEN. ARROYO.  Well, that is precisely the problem.  After 7 weeks and 27 days, we are now going to decide it on practically the arguments stated, but I was in the prosecution case of President Estrada, and the same issue arose, the defects and all.  Our argument is that the House impeaches, Your Honor, the Senate hears and decides. What the House transmits to the Senate faults in all, everything, defects in all(?) will have to be accepted by the Senate because the Senate cannot direct the House on how to make an impeachment complaint. Because the Constitution simply says that the House impeaches the Senate tries and decides. So, I’m thinking about the ultimate end of this goal.  You are asking us to in effect pass judgment on what the House did. If the defense is asking the Senate to decide and say the House is wrong, the House did this and did that.  How can we do it as a Senate? The House prepares the complaint and just like in the Estrada trial, defects in all, it was accepted, that is the precedent.  It was accepted, that was the argument. So, in fact, let me ask for just a little while. Prosecution, do you have objection to the statement of the—to the—that congressmen will be presented here?  This is not my question. This is what Senator Escudero who already spoke before me asked me to ask.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We would object, Your Honor, because the House has already performed its constitutional mandate of filing. As brought out by the good Senator, the House has the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment and the House  through that mode of direct filing under subparagraph four of Section 3 of Article XI, indeed, filed by a vote of almost two-thirds, not only one-thirds, and the power of impeachment is an emergency power. Where can you find an act of a legislative body that the vote required is the minority, one-third?  Because we want to make an officer accountable, so that portion  …

SEN. ARROYO.  I think that is sufficiently explained.  So, that is the—Justice Cuevas, my friend, I mean that is the only question we have. Now, you are asking the Senate to nullify in effect what the House did. It’s just …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I was just—if we did that, Your Honor, we have predicated our action on the decision of the Supreme Court, Your Honor, that we can raise violation of the impeached public official to due process before the House and if it is not acted with favor, we can bring it even before the Senate. That is the ruling of the Supreme Court.

SEN. ARROYO.  Yes, but in the Davide case, the Davide case never reached the Senate.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, that is not the Davide case, Your Honor, I am sorry.

SEN. ARROYO.  Oh, I am sorry.  Whatever you are referring to.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  It is the Francisco case.

SEN. ARROYO.  Francisco case.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Francisco case versus House of Representatives.

SEN. ARROYO. It reached only—it did not get out of the House, so, the ruling was still the—Supreme Court made a ruling over a decision or action made by the House.  But in this case, the Senate has already acquired jurisdiction.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Precisely that was the basis of the ruling in that case that if it is not honored by the House of Representatives, then, you can bring it up before the impeachment court, which is the Senate.  That is not my pronouncement.

SEN. ARROYO.  Which also my question.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is the pronouncement of the Court. It remains valid unless modified, reversed or revoked by the Honorable Supreme Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  At any rate, …

SEN. ARROYO.  May I, Mr. President, you have Christmas season, you could have brought that to the Supreme Court just the same as the Francisco case. Before it reached the Supreme Court or before the Senate acted on it, but the Senate has already acquired jurisdiction.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  There is no possible time, if Your Honor please, to bring it.  It was a blitzkrieg action If you have gone over our complaint with delineated, very particularly and specifically, why we were not able to act one way or the other.  It is like being hit by thunder, Your Honor.  Wala na…

SEN. ARROYO.  Thank you very much, thank you.

THE SENATE PRESIDENT.  The Chair would like to end this matter and decide it so that we can proceed.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE SENATE PRESIDENT.  Yes.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Pimentel wishes to have the floor just before you…

THE SENATE PRESIDENT.  The Gentleman from Misamis Oriental.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  I will just solicit a fact, Mr. President, which may help you decide the issue, the pending issue.

Mr. Counsel, did not Chief Justice Corona filed a petition with the Supreme Court?  And that petition also questioned or raised the issue of denial of due process?

JUSTICE CUEVAS. That is correct, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  So, you are pursuing that issue before the Supreme Court and at the same time pursue it before this impeachment court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Correct, Your Honor.  They are predicated, however, on different factual menu, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.   Anyway, that is just a factual question of facts so that the Presiding Officer will be guided.  But, just to make if of record no, although it has been—it is basic doctrine that it is the Supreme Court which interprets the Constitution.  In my opinion, the House and the Senate are not prohibited from interpreting the same Constitution, and especially, Article XI on impeachment.  Because,  if you read the sections on impeachment, these are actually directed to the House and to the Senate.  Hence, in my humble opinion the Senate can interpret Article XI on impeachment, and we will rule on the pending issue given or asserting the Senate’s power to interpret the Constitution, just as the Supreme Court can interpret the Constitution, the Senate as the impeachment court under Article XI also has the same right to interpret the same sections in the Constitution.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  As of date I do not find any valid objection to such an interpretation that may be made by this honourable impeachment court, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Anyway, thank you for that additional factual input.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, also.

THE SENATE PRESIDENT.  The Gentleman from Pampanga, are you raising your hand?  You have two minutes.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes, thank you, Mr. President.  Just very quickly.

Mr. President, all throughout the 27 days of the trial, we have been focused on the articles of impeachment – Article II, Article VII and Article III, and then we have abandoned or the prosecution abandoned the other articles of impeachment.  With its affirmative defences being raised, may we know under which article will the evidence to be presented or being asked to be presented, under which article would it fall?  Because, I asked this, Mr. President, because we have, on many occasions, prevented the prosecution from presenting evidence precisely because it is not within the ambit or does not fall within any of the articles of impeachment, therefore, it is immaterial, irrelevant.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is…

SEN. PANGILINAN.  May we know under which article will these affirmative defense be—will fall under?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is directed against me, Mr. Senator?

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes, Justice.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.  Now, it will cover the entirety of the impeachment complaint, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  All right.

THE SENATE PRESIDENT.   Now, the Chair will make a ruling.

Under the Constitution, the sole power to try and decide in all impeachment cases, belong to this court.  Only this court has the jurisdiction, the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to try and decide impeachment cases.  That is one.  Once the articles of impeachment reaches this House, the command of the Constitution that trial shall forthwith proceed.  Due process is not only the sole function of the House of Representatives.  Due process is a function of this House that tries and decides all impeachment cases.  The facts in this case are that an Articles of Impeachment was referred to this Senate by the House.  One hundred eighty-eight Members of the House filed that Articles of Impeachment for this House.  And the named complainants on that impeachment case are Representatives Niel C. Tupas Jr., Joseph Emilio A. Abaya, Lorenzo R. Tañada III, Reynaldo V. Umali and Arlene Bag-ao whom this Senate, sitting as an Impeachment Court, received the Articles of Impeachment.  It issued the proper processes to notify and inform the respondent of the existence of this Articles of Impeachment against him, and requested or ordered the respondent to file his answer within 10 days which the respondent Chief Justice did.  And a reply was equally filed by the prosecution with respect to the answer filed by the respondent Chief Justice, so that at least this Court has followed the principle of due process that is demanded in a case like this.

And so, therefore, having made the ruling that this court assumed jurisdiction under the full faith and credit given to the processes of the House of Representatives, and knowing that it has jurisdiction it proceeded with the trial and so therefore, as much as we want to accommodate the desire of the defense, this Presiding Officer, with the permission of the Impeachment Court regrets to deny the desire of the defense.  (Gavel)

So we proceed to present your evidence.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we know if the defense is ready, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed to present your evidence.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  May we call on Congressman Tobias Tiangco, Your Honor.

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

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Well, we ask permission, Your Honor, that Atty. Dennis Manalo be allowed to handle the taking the testimony of this witness, Your Honor, and we state for the record the purpose for which Congressman Tobias will be presented as a witness.

Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel for the defense may proceed.  Please state the purpose of this witness.

ATTY. MANALO.  Good afternoon, Your Honor.

We are presenting, Your Honor, Congressman Tobias Tiangco to prove or lay the basis or introduce the factual background, Your Honor, of the material defences in CJ Corona’s answer for all the Articles of Impeachment, particularly, Your Honor, we are referring to paragraph 2, paragraph 3, 4, 5, 9,10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, Your Honor, of the prefatory statement, Your Honor, in the answer, with the permission of the honourable Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Articles of Impeachment?

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor, for all the Articles of Impeachment, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you going to present him to establish the fact that there is no verification?

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor, in view of the ruling of the honorable court, we have decided, Your Honor, to forego that purpose …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. MANALO.  … because it will not serve any useful purpose in the proceedings anymore.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, proceed.

ATTY. MANALO.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Put him under oath.

THE CLERK OF COURT.  Please raise your right hand.

Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth in this impeachment proceedings?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE CLERK OF COURT.  So help you God.

REP. TIANGCO.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, proceed.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President, just a parliamentary inquiry.  Did we hear the counsel state that this witness is being presented for the Articles of Impeachment, Article 1 …

REP. MANALO.  All the Articles of Impeachment, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  All the Articles of Impeachment.  Mr. President, we have discussed this in caucus earlier, and the issue of whether or not evidence can be presented on the other articles other than 2, 3 and 7.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We have already made a ruling to that effect.  In fact, I read the ruling orally into the record that this court will not allow any reception of evidence on Articles 1, 4, 5, 6 and 8, neither the prosecution nor the defense will be allowed to present any evidence for or against these five articles.  It has been withdrawn by the prosecution and this court will not consider them at all.  They will not vote on them.  They will not accept any evidence on them and they will not render any verdict on them.  And so, be guided accordingly.

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor.  When we refer to all Articles of Impeachment, it is understood that we are only referring to the remaining Articles of Impeachment that have not been withdrawn by the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. MANALO.  Good afternoon, Mr. Witness.

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, good afternoon, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, since when have you been a Congressman?

REP. TIANGCO.  I have been a Congressman since June 30, 2010, and this is my first term as Congressman of the Lone District of Navotas, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  For the record, Mr. Witness, can you just please state your name.

REP. TIANGCO.  I am Tobias M. Tiangco of 90 M. De Vera St. Navotas City.

ATTY. MANALO.  And Mr. Witness, for the record, what district do you represent?

REP. TIANGCO.  The Lone District of Navotas City, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  This is the fishing capital of the Philippines, am I correct?

REP. TIANGCO.  Fish trading capital of the Philippines, it used to be the fishing capital, but it is now the fish trading capital, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  And Mr. Witness, what is the estimated population of Navotas?

REP. TIANGCO.  During the census of 2007, I think it was over 250,000, more or less, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Prior to being a Congressman, Mr. Witness, have you occupied any other government position?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Ano po ang mga posisyon na ito?

REP. TIANGCO.  Ako po ay naging acting mayor from June 30, 1998 to February 1, 1999.  Ako ay bumalik sa pagka Vice Mayor from February 1, 1999 to May 200.  At noong namatay ho iyong nakaupong mayor, ako ay nag-assume ng post ng mayor noong May 2000 hanggang hanggang 2001, tapos ako ho ay tumakbo ng mayor ng 2001, 2004 and 2007, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Napakahaba ho ng inyong pinagsilbihan sa inyong bayan ng Navotas.  Tingin ko ay mahal na mahal ho kayo ng mga Navoteños.

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor, diyan na ho namuti ang buhok kko.

REP. FARIÑAS.  There is no question there, may we ask that that be stricken from the record.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no, no, no, wait a minute.  Counsel proceed, you are on direct examination.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, you mentioned that you are a Congressman, a first-term Congressman.  Are you familiar with the duties of a Congressman?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, based on the rules of the 15th Congress, I am familiar with our duties and responsibilities, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  And what are your duties as a Congressman?

REP. TIANGCO.  Mainly, it is legislative work.  If you will define legislative work, most of the legislative work is attending committee hearings, and, of course, in the afternoon, attending plenary sessions, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Aside from these activities, are there other activities that you participated in as a Congressman.

REP. TIANGCO.  Formally, none, Your Honor.  But there are other informal functions and other informal meetings, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  What are these informal meetings?

REP. TIANGCO.  Social gatherings, caucuses.

ATTY. MANALO.  Ano po ba itong caucus, iyong sinasabi ninyong caucus, ano po ba iyon?

REP. TIANGCO.  Doon ho sa House, ang caucus ho is a private meeting of a group of people depending on what type of caucus, depending kung anong caucus ang sinabi.  Pag sinabi hong all-Member caucus, ibig sabihin ho ay caucus ng lahat ng miyembro of the House.  Pag sinabi hong all-Majority caucus, iyan ho ay caucus ng lahat ng miyembro ng Majority.  Pag sinabi hong Minority caucus, iyan ho ay pagpupulong ng mga miyembro ng Minority.  Pag sinabing party-caucus, iyan ho ay caucus ng isang partido.  So, depende ho kung anong klaseng caucus po, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Ano po ba ang ibig ninyong sabihin sa Majority sa Kongreso, o Mayorya?

REP. TIANGCO.  Base ho sa aming Rules, iyon hong mga miyembro na boboto sa nanalong Speaker, iyon ho ang mga miyembro ng tinatawag na Majority.  Iyon naman hong boboto sa susunod o sa Number 2, ay iyon ho ang mga miyembro ng Minority.

ATTY. MANALO.  Nabanggit ninyo po na iyon pong caucus ay isang private meeting.  What do you mean by that, that it is a private meeting?

REP. TIANGCO.  It is a private meeting in the sense na, kung kami ho ay nasa committee, mayroon hong roll call at may agenda.  Kung kami ho ay nasa plenary, nagsisimula ang plenary siyempre sa pagkanta ng National Anthem, sa pag Invocation, roll call, tapos Order of Business.  So, mayroon hong agenda.  Sa caucus, minsan ho wala hong formal advice at wala hong agenda na sinasabi.  Kung minsan ho, sasabihin sa amin, there is an all-member caucus.  O, makakatanggap ho kami ng text na there is an all-majority caucus.  Ganoon ho.  Pero, wala hong definite agenda ang kadalasan ang caucus.

ATTY. MANALO.  Sinabi ninyo po kanina na bilang Congressman, kayo po ay uma-attend din sa mga caucuses.  Ano po bang mga caucuses itong naatendan ninyo na?

REP. TIANGCO.  Ang huli ko hong naatendang caucus ay iyong all-Majority caucus noong December 12, 2011 ho.  Kami ho ay nakatanggap ng text message noong siguro 6:30 to 7:00 pm ng December 11, galing ho kay Atty. April, siya ho ang sekretarya ni Speaker Belmonte.  Ang natanggap ko hong text message is there will be an all-Majority causes at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Andaya hall, pero wala hong agenda.

ATTY. MANALO.  Wala hong agenda.

REP. TIANGCO.  Opo.

ATTY. MANALO.  Pagkatanggap ninyo po noong text message na ito, na mayroong kayong all-Majority caucus, mayroon ho bang nabanggit kung ano po ang tatalakayin dito?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Already answered, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  What was your reaction, Mr. Witness, upon receipt of this notice?

REP. TIANGCO.  Wait, Your Honor, because he is making me laugh.  Ang una ko hong reaction noong natanggap ko ho iyong notice na magkakaroon ho ng all-Majority caucus  ay medyo kinabahan ho ako dahil noong araw na iyon may mga ugung-ugong sa text din na magkakaroon ho ng impeachment kay Chief Justice Corona. So, ayoko hong—I was hoping against hope na sana hindi iyon ang pag-uusapan doon sa all majority caucus. Sabi ko ho, “Sana RH Bill na.”  Ngunit hindi—parang hindi pa pwedeng RH Bill kasi kung RH Bill iyon, eh, dapat all member caucus. So, parang sabi ko, mukhang, ang pag-uusapan dito ay iyong impeachment ni Chief Justice Corona.

ATTY. MANALO.  Ano po bang mga preparasyon iyong ginawa ninyo bago dumalo sa caucus na ito?

REP. TIANGCO.  Ang preparasyon na ginawa ko is I tried to cite myself up, ‘no. Pinilit kong, pinilit kong pilitin iyong sarili ko na kung sakaling impeachment ang pag-uusapan, eh, pikit-mata na ho akong boboto ng yes sa impeachment.

ATTY. MANALO.  Bakit po?

REP. TIANGCO.  Tatlong bagay ho.  Unang-una masama ang naging ekspiryensa ko noong hindi ho ako bumoto ng yes sa impeachment ni Merceditas Gutierez dahil.  Iyan ang number one, ‘no.  Number two, alam ko ho may numero na, so, bakit ka pa hindi boboto? At number three, ayoko hong mapaginitan, oh, I don’t want me to catch the ire of the most powerful man in the country who has a very high popularity rating and that is the President of the Philippines.

Alam ninyo ho, nine and half years kalaban ko si GMA from 2001 and 2010 and the President can make life miserable for you. With the vast powers given under the Constitution, pwede ho maging miserable ang buhay ng isang tao kapag kinalaban, ‘pag hindi ka gusto ng Pangulo.  So, for those three reasons, sabi ko, “Ayoko na nang gulo.  I will just cite myself up to vote no.”

ATTY. MANALO.  You mentioned na nagkaroon po kayo ng masamang experience sa impeachment ni dating Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, ano ho itong masamang experience na sinasabi ninyo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Ang impeachment ni Merceditas Gutierrez.  Kung matatandaan ko ho is, March 21, 20—Your Honor, can I get my notes just to make sure of the date?

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor, the witness is asking permission to refer to his notes so that he could get the exact date.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead. Go ahead. The witness is authorized to refer to any material that he has.

REP. TIANGCO.  Your Honor, …

ATTY. MANALO.  The witness, Your Honor, is going over his notes.  Let the record show that.

REP. TIANGO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Proceed.

REP. TIANGCO.  Your Honor, March 21 ho, pinagbotohan ho iyong impeachment ni Merceditas Gutierez.  Noong Sabado ho before  March 21, so, ang ibig sabihin ho noon is March 19, may mga kumalat na text messages allegedly coming from Jun Abaya, Chairman Jun Abaya na sinasabi iyong mga boboto ng no sa impeachment ni Merceditas Gutierez, ay zero as in zero sa PDAF, ‘no.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Your Honor, we have to object to that because the witness is testifying on a text message …

ATTY. MANALO.  No, Your Honor, but let me proceed …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May answer.  The witness may answer.

REP. TIANGCO. No, but that is just the introduction, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  There is already a ruling, Your Honor.

REP. TIANGCO.  Based on the Journal No. 65, March 21, of the House of Representatives, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Bago Po kayo magpatuloy, let me just propound the questions, Mr. Witness, so that we will have an orderly narration of the events.  There are two things that I want you to clarify first. First you mentioned, Mr. Jun Abaya.  Who is Mr. Jun Abaya?

REP. TIANGCO.  Chairman ng Committee on Appropriations, Jun abaya.

ATTY. MANALO.  So, meron hong text message na nanggaling sa kanya na iyong boboto ng No sa Merceditas Gutierrez impeachment ay zero as in zero sa PDAF.

REP. FARIÑAS.  No, that is hearsay, Your Honor.  I object for being hearsay.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.

ATTY. MANALO.  Eto pong Committee on Appropriations, saan pong committee ito?

REP. TIANGCO.  Committee ho ito sa House of Representatives.

ATTY. MANALO.  Okay.

REP. TIANGCO. Kung papayagan nyo ho ako para patunayan kong hindi hearsay ito, base ho sa Journal No. 65, Monday, March 21 of the House of Representatives, Your Honor, if I may be allowed to read.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Read it. Proceed.

REP. TIANGCO.  “Remarks of Rep. Gonzales:  Upon recognition by the Chair, Majority Leader Gonzales (N.) remarked that when the subject text message circulated in the morning of Saturday, March 19, he got a call from the Speaker (Belmonte).  He asked him to verify the same.  He stated that in his phone conversation with Rep. Abaya, the latter categorically denied having sent the text message.  Rep. Gonzales further informed the Body that in an informal caucus called upon by the Speaker the previous day and attended by the various parties comprising the majority coalition, said text message was denied, and they were assured that no Member would be punished for his/her vote in the impeachment”.

So, ito ho ang nagpapatunay na hindi ho hearsay ito.  Na ito ho ay mismong kinonfirm at binanggit ng majority leader.  Ang nakapagtaka ho dito, e, bakit hindi ho si Chariman Abaya ang tumanggi kung siya ang sinasabing pinaggalingan ng text at si Majority Leader Gonzales ho ang tumanggi doon sa text message, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, may I see the document that you just have read.  The witness is producing, Your Honor,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  Just to clarify, what is the relation of Jun Abaya to Joseph Emilio A. Abaya?

REP. TIANGCO.  I call him Jun Abaya, Your Honor, so I don’t know if he is one and the same.

ATTY. MANALO.  Is this Jun Abaya that you mentioned, in the room?  In this impeachment court today?  Can you please look around.

REP. TIANGCO. Yes he is here, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  The person referred to as Mr. Jun Abaya, Your Honor, is present in court.  May we ask that the person who was pointed to by the witness to please identify himself.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We confirm the identity.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  It is already confirmed.  Proceed, counsel.

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor, thank you.

May we request, Your Honor, the prosecution to confirm that the exhibit…

REP. FARIÑAS.  We admit, we admit, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Okay.  The exhibit, Your Honor, pre-marked as…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You do not have to make that as an exhibit, that can be taken with judicial notice  by this court.

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor, just for…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is an official record of the other half of the Congress.

ATTY. MANALO.  Just for the convenience of the court, Your Honor, knowing that there is already a judicial notice of this, we pre-mark Exhibit 64, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   You want to mark it, all right, mark it.

REP. TIANGCO.  Can I have back my copy, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Nabanggit nyo po iyong salitang PDAF.

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Ano po ba ang ibig sabihin nitong PDAF?

REP. TIANGCO.  Ang ibig sabihin ho nun is priority development assistance fund o iyon ho ang tinatawag na budget ng bawat isang congressman o senador para sa proyekto sa kanyang distrito.

ATTY. MANALO.  Bakit po ba importante itong PDAF na ito?

REP. TIANGCO.  Natural ho, Your Honor, dahil kahit kami ay legislator, kami ho ay nilalapitan n gaming mga constituents for infrastructure projects o mga pagawaing bayan…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Counsel, with the permission of the witness, what is the purpose of this line of questioning?

ATTY. MANALO.  The purpose, Your Honor, is to set the background, Your Honor, for the defense’s raise in the articles of impeachment, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To impugn the motive of the House?

ATTY. MANALO.  Precisely, Your Honor, we believe, Your Honor, that there is no basis, Your Honor, in proceeding with the filing of the case that the motivation, Your Honor, is political.  And in fact, Your Honor, this witness is testifying at the moment on the proof of pattern or scheme or the modus operandi, Your Honor, that took place in the House, Your Honor, with regard to measures sponsored by the administration.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. FARIÑAS.  May we be heard on that—May we object on that purpose, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the examination proceed.

ATTY. MANALO.  Sige po, nung nabanggit po on record itong text message po ni Congressman Jun Abaya, ano po nangyari matapos nun?

REP. TIANGCO.  Nagkaron ho ng botohan.  Yun nga ho.  Ako ho ay bumoto ng ‘No’ sa Merceditas Gutierrez impeachment complaint, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Bakit po ba?  Ano po ba nangyari don sa inyong PDAF tungkol don sa impeachment ni Merceditas Gutierrez?

REP. TIANGCO.  Tinanggi nga ho na walang ipitan ng PDAF nguni’t yung PDAF ko ho ay sinabmit ko ho ng February 21 at February 22.  Nung Mayo ho yung ibang mga Congressman ay ni-release-an na ho ng SARO o yung tinatawag nating approval ng pagpagawa ng proyekto.  Ako ho, umabot na ho ng Mayo ay biglang nakatanggap ho ako—yung staff ko ng tawag magmula sa opisina ni—Can I look at my records, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. MANALO.  Opo.

REP. TIANGCO.  Yung soft ko ho worth P15 million o yung Social Services na tinatawag na ginagastos po namin sa medical assistance, scholarship, financial assistance to indigents na worth P15 million, tinanggap ho sa office ni Chairman Jun Abaya ng February 21, at yung hard po, tinanggap ho ng February 22.

Wala ho akong narinig na sagot.  Nagulat na lang ho ako nung yung staff ko ho ay tinawagan after three months after by a certain Noel from DBM regarding the soft and a certain Ochie of the Committee on Appropriations regarding the hard.

If I may be allowed to explain, ….

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, may I just ask you to pause for a while so that we can have the documents marked.  What is this letter that you mentioned you made to Congressman Abaya on February 17 for your soft and hard projects?

REP. TIANGCO.  It’s dated February 1, Your Honor, but it was received formally February 21 and 22, 2011.  It is the list of priority projects kasi kailangan ho naming i-submit yung listahan ng priority projects.

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor, we have pre-marked these documents mentioned by the witness as our Exhibit 65 and 66, Your Honor, with submarkings, Your Honor, and we would like to request as the prosecution whether they are also admitting the authenticity, Your Honor, of this document.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Prosecution?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  We admit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Let it be recorded that the prosecution admitted the authenticity of the subject exhibit.

ATTY. MANALO.  You also mentioned that there was a letter of May 30 to a certain Florencio B. Abad.  Two letters in fact.

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor, because as of May 30 I still did not have—kahit isa hong—kahit isang SARO wala pa ho ako.  Kung mababanggit ko ho, ako ho ay nag-submit ng 15 proyektong pang-social projects saka apat na proyekto na pang-imprastraktura, nguni’t hanggang Mayo a-30, wala pa rin hong inire-release na SARO o approval sakin.  Samantalang sa iba ho, halos na-release na ho lahat.

ATTY. MANALO.  This document, letters to Florencio Abad, have been pre-marked as our Exhibit 67 and 68.  Will the prosecution admit, Your Honor, the authenticity of these documents as well?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Prosecution?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Yes, we admit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Let the fact of admission be recorded.

ATTY. MANALO.  Thank you, counsel.

Mr. Witness, your letters mentioned that there were corrections required, what are these corrections?

REP. TIANGCO.  Please allow me to explain.  Ang bawat isang proyekto, isang SARO ho iyan.  Kung 15 ang sinabmit ko doon sa soft social projects, dapat 15 SARO—noong tumawag ho iyong si Noel, ang sabi ho doon sa 15, tatlo ho ang hindi in accordance doon sa DBM guidelines, ngunit iyong 12, ay in accordance, ngunit ang nakakapagtaka, iyong 15 iyon, hindi ni-release, okay.  Pagdating naman …

ATTY. MANALO.  So, because of the three non-conforming projects, all 15 projects, all the SAROs for the 15 were not released, am I understanding you correctly?

REP. TIANGCO.  As of May 30, dahil isa-isang SARO ho iyan, hindi naman sabay-sabay minsan nire-release, ang nangyayari diyan, kapag meron ka hong noncompliant, ire-release lang iyong compliant, pero in my case, iyong 15 ho, hindi ni-release.  Pagdating ho sa hard, ganoon din ho, hindi ho ni-release din iyong SARO para doon sa mga inprastrakturang proyekto para doon sa mga kalsada at drainage systems sa Navotas, dahil lang ho sa isa worth P334,000 out of P20 million, na hindi ho ni-release sa DPWH dahil iyong isang iyon ay hindi daw sang-ayon sa DBM.

ATTY. MANALO.  Para po maging klaro, ano-ano po ba itong mga sinasabing hindi sang-ayon sa mga requirements ng DBM.

REP. TIANGCO.  Okay.  Doon ho sa hard, ang title ko kasi is upgrading of open space at block 31, phase 2, area 2.  Mali daw iyon, ang dapat daw hong title ay upgrading of multipurpose pavement.  So, magkaiba raw ho iyong open space at multipurpose pavement.  So, pero sa akin ho, wala hong pinagkaiba iyong open space saka multipurpose pavement.

Doon naman ho sa soft, iyong financial assistance for scholarship, ang sabi ho sa akin, ibigay ko ho daw iyong pangalan ng mga scholar at saka kung saang eskwelahan ho papasok.  E paano ko naman kung sino iyong scholar saka kung saang eskwelahan papasok kung wala pa ho iyong pondo, siyempre hindi naman ako kukuha ng scholar ng wala iyong pondo dahil pag hindi ho ni-release iyong pondo, paano matutuloy iyong scholarship noon, so, I could not accept this.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Counsel, we will give you all the leeway to ask this question but what is the materiality of all of these stories to the defense of the respondent?  You are trying to prove that the impeachment case was politically motivated.

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor, and we are trying to …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please go direct to the point.

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Not go into the matter of dissecting the process of releases of funds from the DBM to the Members of Congress because we do not have time.

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor.  We will go—move forward, Your Honor.

Ito pong sulat ninyo kay Secretary Abad of the Department of Budget and Management, ano po ang naging response dito?

REP. TIANGCO.  Sumulat ho ako ng May 30, hindi ho sumagot.  Sumulat ho ako ng June 27, hindi rin ho ako sinagot.

ATTY. MANALO.  Okay, ito pong June 27 na letter ninyo, nasa inyo po ba iyan?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  We have pre-marked, Your Honor, a letter from the witness, addressed to Secretary Abad, dated June 27, pre-marked as our Exhibit 69, will there be an admission?

REP. FARIÑAS.  We admit, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Thank you counsel.

Now, Mr. Witness, ano po ang naging reaksyon po ni Secretary Abad, dito po sa last letter niyo na June 27, 2011.

REP. TIANGCO.  Wala rin po, hindi rin ho sumagot.

ATTY. MANALO.  Okay, ano po ang ginawa ninyo noong walang sagot?

REP. TIANGCO.  Noong walang sagot, ako ho ay gumawa ng press release na sinabi ko na dahil sa aking no vote, ay iniipit ho ni Secretary Abad iyong aking PDAF.

ATTY. MANALO.  Ito po bang sinasabi ninyong press release ay mayroon po ba kayong pruweba nitong press release na sinasabi ninyo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Xerox copy lang ho ng mga diyaryo, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Eto po ay inyong kinolekta, mga clippings ng diyaryo ninyo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Nandiyan po sa inyo ngayon?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor, we have here pre-marked the news clippings marked as our Exhibits 70, 71, 72, 73, 74 and 75.  Will the prosecution admit that this is the document in the possession of the witness, but not necessarily the publication?

REP. FARIÑAS.  We will admit as to the existence of the publication, but not as to the truth of the contents.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark the exhibit and present them for whatever they are worth.

ATTY. MANALO.  They have been pre-marked, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Read the markings into the record.

ATTY. MANALO.  Exhibit 70, which is a newspaper clipping from the Abante Tonight dated July 11, 2011.  Admit.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We admit.

ATTY. MANALO.  We have been directed to read it into the records?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, just admit them as exhibits.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We admit already, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Thank you, Your Honor.  We will continue.  Ano po ang nangyari matapos po nitong press release na sinasabi ninyo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Nagulat ho ako dahil nag-text ho sa akin si Secretary Butch Abad.

ATTY. MANALO.  Ano po ang sinasabi ninyong text?

REP. TIANGCO.  :Puwede ko ho bang basahin, nasa cellphone ko pa ho.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. TIANGCO.  Tsaka, kinunan ko ho din ng retrato eh.  It is a text message of Thursday, July 14, 2011 from Secretary Butch Abad.  Sabi niya ho, “Cong. Tiangco, I read your PR today re your PDAF.  On my own, I cannot withhold any legislator’s PDAF.  I suggest you find a way to talk to PNoy.  The Speaker can help you along this line.”

ATTY. MANALO.  Counsel for the prosecution, the newspaper clippings that we have marked earlier extends to Exhibit 77.  Will there also be an admission, Your Honor?

REP. FARIÑAS.  .. We admit.

ATTY. MANALO.  Thank you.  Iyon pong binasa ninyo, ano po ba ang ibig sabihin, ano po ang pagkaka-intindi ninyo noong salitang PR?

REP. TIANGCO.  Iyan ho ay tawag naming sa press release.

ATTY. MANALO.  Sinabi ninyo rin po na nakunan ninyo ng picture itong telepono ninyo that contains the text message.  Pag pinakita ko po sa inyo itong picture na ito, maa-identify ninyo po ba ito?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  I am showing, Your Honor, Exhibit 78, a copy of the picture taken of the cellphone of the witness, Your Honor.  We request that he confirms that that is the picture which he mentioned.

REP. TIANGCO.  Wait, I will confirm in a while.  I will just check if it is the same.

ATTY. MANALO.  Let the records show that the witness is comparing his cellphone with the picture, Your Honor.

REP. TIANGCO.  Ito ho.  Pareho ho, kaya lang hindi ho nakalagay dito iyong number.  Can we state the number that texted me?

ATTY. MANALO.  Please state it for the record.

REP. TIANGCO.  09209468820.

REP. FARIÑAS.  He is giving the cellphone number of the DBM Secretary, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Witness may answer to complete his testimony.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, papaano ninyo po nalaman na ito po iyong cellphone ni Secretary Abad?

REP. TIANGCO.  Pag may kailangan ho ako, diyan ko ho siya tine-text.  In fact, noong hindi pa ho siguro siya galit sa akin, noong second tranche ng PDAF ng 2010 iyong unang PDAF ko, may nag-text ho sa akin sabi sa akin, “Please, pick up your PDAF at the Speaker’s Office.”  So, pumunta naman—siyempre, first term ko ho na Congressman, hindi ko ho inutusan iyong staff ko.  Excited ho ako. Ako ho mismo kumuha ng SARO.  Ang sabi, “Please, pick up your SARO.”

ATTY. MANALO.    Please speak slower, Mr. Witness, so that the stenographer  can capture your testimony.

REP. TIANGCO.  Okay. Sabi ho, “Please, pick up your SARO at the Speaker’s Office.”  So, dahil ho ako ay first term Congressman, excited ako. Ako mismo kumuha ng SARO. So, pagkatapos noon, sabi ko, “Who’s this?” Tinanong ko pala muna, “Who is this?”

ATTY. MANALO.    Paano ninyo tinanong, “Who is this?”

REP. TIANGCO.  Text din ho, sabi ko, “Who is this?”  Sabi, “Secretary Butch Abad.”

ATTY. MANALO.    Iyon po ang reply doon sa text ninyo?

REP. TIANGCO. Oo, so, sabi ko, “Thank you.”  Tapos, magmula noon, ‘pag may mga kailangan ho ako, diyan ko ho siya tine-text sa number na iyan.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I think, there is no problem about the telephone number of the DBM Secretary—is there?  Do you deny it, prosecution?

REP. FARIÑAS.  I do not exactly have any idea as to the number of DBM Secretary.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You do not know.

REP. FARIÑAS.  I do not know,  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. MANALO.    Okay, ano pong ginawa ninyo, matapos ninyo pong matanggap itong text message na ito?  I withdraw the question.

Eto pong text message na ito, may nakalagay po dito na “speaker”, sino po ba iyong speaker na binabanggit dito?

REP. TIANGCO.  Speaker Sonny Belmonte. Isa lang naman ho ang Speaker namin sa House of Representatives.

ATTY. MANALO.     Mayroon din pong binabanggit dito  na “PNoy”, sino po ba iyong “PNoy”?

REP. TIANGCO.  Iyan ho ang alam ko—iyan ho ang tawag ng karamihan ng mga Pilipino sa ating Pangulo, Presidente Noynoy.

ATTY. MANALO.    Matapos n’yo pong matanggap itong text message na ito na nagsasabi na kailangan ninyong makipag-usap sa Presidente, ano pong ginawa ninyo?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Objection, Your Honor, misleading.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let him answer.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Gustong makipag-usap sa Presidente.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Counsel, ano ba ang kaugnayan nito sa kasong ito?

ATTY. MANALO.   Opo.  The witness, Your Honor, is testifying, Your Honor, as to the pressure that he received …

REP. FARIÑAS.  If Your Honor, …

ATTY. MANALO.  … for the approval, Your Honor, of the impeachment complaint against Merceditas Gutierez.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the connection of that to this case?

ATTY. MANALO.    We are obviously proving, Your Honor, that there is a pattern or scheme or plan, a modus operandi with the majority, Your Honor, in the House of Representatives to intimidate, Your Honor, or exert undue influence upon their other members to approve their measures such as this impeachment complaint filed against Chief Justice Renato Corona.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Your Honor, we have to object to that because may we be allowed, Your Honor, to state the reason for objection?  This witness did not sign this complaint, Your Honor, so, now, he is saying that he was intidimidated, but he did not sign the complaint, so, in the matter of impeachment case against the Chief Justice, his testimony as to the matter of Merceditas Gutierez has no relevance here, Mr. President.

ATTY. MANALO.   Mr. President, I beg to disagree.  It is very relevant, Your Honor.  It is interconnected and the rules of evidence allow a party to present proof on the pattern, plan and scheme.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  We will give the defense all the leeway to prove their case.

ATTY. MANALO.    Thank you, Your Honor.

So, ano pong ginawa ninyo matapos ninyo pong matanggap itong text message na ito?

REP. TIANGCO.  Pinakita ko ho sa mga media doon sa Congress, iyong text message para ipakitang iniipit talaga ako.

ATTY. MANALO.  Hindi po kayo nakipag-usap kay PNoy?

REP. TIANGCO.  Kay President Aquino, paano ko naman kakausapin?

ATTY. MANALO.    Iyon po ang nakalagay sa text message, hindi po ba?

REP. TIANGCO.  Iyon ho ang nakalagay pero wala naman ho akong paraan at lakas ng loob para kausapin iyon Presidente.

ATTY. MANALO.    Bakit po ba? Ano po ba ang rason bakit hindi ho kayo nakaharap?

REP. TIANGCO.  Presidente ho iyon. Ako ho ay isang first term Congressman. Hindi naman kami malapit although, siguro, we can say that we are acquaintances. So, hindi ho ako naglakas ng loob na gawin iyon.  Ang naisip ko lang is pakita sa media na talagang iniipit ni Butch Abad iyong aking PDAF.

ATTY. MANALO.    Sinabi ninyo na kayo po ay pumunta sa media tungkol po dun sa text message na ito, ano po ang naging tugon ng media sa inyo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Inilabas ho nila yong text message na yon, ngunit never hong itinanggi ni Secretary Abad na nanggaling sa kanya ‘yung text message na yon.

ATTY. MANALO.  Meron po ba kayong kopya ng sinasabi nyong inilabas ng media iyong text message?

REP. TIANGCO.  Meron po.

ATTY. MANALO.  Meron po kayong kopya dyan?

REP. TIANGCO.  Meron po.

ATTY. MANALO.  We have pre-marked, Your Honor, newspaper clippings of the witness on this alleged matter, testimony…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the marking?

ATTY. MANALO.  Exhibit 79 up to 87, may we request for an admission.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We admit, Your Honor, as to the matter of publication.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. MANALO.  Okay.  Ginoong testigo, ano po ang nangyari matapos po nitong press coverage na nangyari pos a text message na ipinadala sa inyo ni Secretary Abad?

REP. TIANGCO.  Wala po, inantay ko na lang—kasi magbu-budget briefing na ho ng August 1 at ang unang ahensiya haharap ho ay iyong DBM, sabi ko hintayin ko na lang doon si Secretary Abad para doon na lang kami mag-usap sa budget briefing.  So, nong August 1 ako ho ay—9:30 ho dapat iyong budget briefing, 8:30 pa lang pumunta na ho ako don kasi ho sa Congress ‘pag Committee on Appropriations, pila ho iyan kung sino ang unang dumating siya ho ang unang magtatanong.  So, ginawa ko ho pumunta ho ako ng 8:30 sana ho para ho ako ang unang magtanong.  E, ngunit pagdating ko doon, pangalawa na ho ako, may nauna na ho sa akin.

ATTY. MANALO.  Eto pong sinasabi nyo na kayo po ay nagpunta sa media para sabihin na sa budget hearing nyo po iko-confront si Secretary Abad, meron po ba kayong kopya nung mga press clippings nyo nito?

REP. TIANGCO.  Meron ho, pero liliwanagin ko ho, dito ho sa sinabi kong I will just face off with Secretary Butch Abad in the budget hearing, it was not a press release, I was interviewed because I think based on the news report, ang sabi ho ng minority ay magbo-boykot sila ng budget briefing.  So, ako ho ay dahil hindi pa nga nire-release iyong kanilang SARO.  Tinanong ho ako kung magbo-boykot ako, sabi ko bakit ako magbo-boykot e iyan na nga iyong pagkakataon na matanong ko si Secretary Abad bakit hindi inilalabas iyong SARO ko, so, hindi ho ako nagboykot, pumunta ho ako doon.

ATTY. MANALO.  Salamat po.  Dala nyo po ba iyong mga press clippings nyo, iyong mga press newsclippings about the interview na ginawa sa inyo?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the utility of this press clippings?  The witness already answered that he is going to meet  with Secretary Abad.

ATTY. MANALO.  As part of his testimony, Your Honor, that he was interviewed by the media.  Just for that purpose, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   But what is the relevance of that interview?  You are trying to prove that he is credible with a corroborative statement.

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there a need for that?

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor, just to prove that he is not inventing, Your Honor, the story that he actually was interviewed by the media, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Proceed.

ATTY. MANALO.  We have pre-marked exhibits 88 to 93-A, will the prosecution admit the press clippings for this?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Yes, Your Honor, press releases of the witness.

REP. TIANGCO.  No, Your Honor, it is not a press release.  The last one is a reply to the question of media – kasi ganito ho yan, Your Honor, tinanong kung sinabi ho kung magbo-boykot iyong minority, tinanong ho ako kung magbo-boykot ako, ang sabi ko hindi ako maybo-boykot at haharapin ko nga iyon na nga ang pagkakataon na makausap ko si Secretary Abad.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We will admit the matter of publication.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Admitted.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Our next question, counsel.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, doon pos a budget hearing ano naman po ang nangyari na?

REP. TIANGCO.  Nagulat ho ako dahil 8:30 ho ako nandoon, 8:45 nag-text iyong staff ni Speaker Belmonte, sabi ho sa akin nadoon na ho iyong SARO ko.  So, bago ko ho nakausap si Secretary Abad ng 9:30, before 9:00, ni-release na ho iyong mga SARO ko.

ATTY. MANALO.  May kopya ka ba nitong mga SARO na sinasabi ninyo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Nandito ho dated July 27 ho iyong mga SARO.

ATTY. MANALO.  Eto hong mga SARO na ito have been pre-marked as our exhibit no 94 to 1003-A.  Will the prosecution admit that these are the copies referred to by the witness.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Gladly.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, while they are marking…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no, you record the numbers of the exhibits SEN. SOTTO. Well, they’re recording the numbers, Mr. President.

SUSPENSION OF TRIAL

SEN. SOTTO.  May we move for a suspension of the trial for five minutes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Trial suspended for five minutes.  (Gavel)

At 4:40 p.m., the trial was suspended.

RESUMPTION OF TRIAL

At 5:00 p.m., the trial was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial resumed.

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor, we…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, you continue with your examination.

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor,  we do not want to take advantage of the absence of a prosecutor, Your Honor, they are not yet present.  The prosecution is not yet present and we would not want to take advantage of that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Where is the prosecution panel?

SUSPENSION OF TRIAL

SEN. SOTTO.  May we suspend trial, Mr. President, until they arrived.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial suspended for one minute.

It was 5:00 p.m.

RESUMPTION OF TRIAL

At 5:01 p.m., trial was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is resumed.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, having received the text message which contains the notice for the all-Majority caucus meeting, what did you do on that date mentioned in the text – December 12, 2011?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You go straight to the point.  Did he attend the meeting?

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, did you attend the meeting?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  And what time did you arrive at this meeting?

REP. TIANGCO.  It was—in the text message of the invitation, since it was said that we have to be there at 2:30, so, I made sure that I was there on time at 2:30, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Were there already people in the venue when you arrived?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor, there were already people in the venue.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who was presiding the caucus?

REP. TIANGCO.  Your Honor, it didn’t start at 2:30, Your Honor.  So, when I went in, it hasn’t started yet, Your Honor, at 2:30.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When did it start?

REP. TIANGCO.  It started…estimate, Your Honor, maybe 3:00 to 3:10, Your Honor.  That is an estimate, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who was presiding?

REP. TIANGCO.  Your Honor, it was presided by Speaker Sonny Belmonte, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, proceed.

ATTY. MANALO.  What did the Speaker say?

REP. TIANGCO.  The Speaker said, we will impeach the Chief Justice today.  Chief Justice Corona is a protégé of GMA and wala siyang gagawin kung hindi proteksyunan si  GMA.  At—Your Honor, I am distracted.

ATTY. MANALO.  Please, please continue, Mr. Witness.

REP. TIANGCO.  Sorry, I got distracted by the chattering of the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May we request the prosecution to keep quiet while the witness is testifying.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We are quiet, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Don’t heckle the witness if…

REP. FARIÑAS.  We are not, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

REP. TIANGCO.  They are not heckling, the were just talking among themselves and I could hear it.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, Mr. Congressman, proceed please.

REP. TIANGCO.  So, where was I, Your Honor?

ATTY. MANALO.  You were mentioning the statements of the Speaker at the start of the caucus.

REP. TIANGCO.  A, okay.  Speaker Sonny Belmonte said, we are here to impeach Chief Justice Corona, because he is a protégé of GMA and he will protect GMA at siya ay magiging hadlang sa magagandang layunin ni Presidente Noynoy.  Isipin nyo anim na taon magiging Presidente si Presidente Noynoy, kung iyong Chief Justice lahat na lang ng kanyang magandang hangarin ay tutulan ng Supreme Court, ano naman ang magagawa ng Presidente.  Iyan ho ang number one na sinabi nya.

ATTY. MANALO.  Meron po bang number two?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Mr. President, may we object.

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

REP. FARIÑAS.  Your Honor, a caucus as we all know is a meeting of all Members and it is akin to an executive session, Mr. President.  And in the same manner that the honourable Senate…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you claiming legislative privilege?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Yes, Your Honor, with respect to whatever happened or transpired in the caucus because under our Rules,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just go to the point.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Yes, Mr….

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, that is not covered by the rule.  Your witness may answer.

ATTY. MANALO.  Please proceed.  Ano po ba iyong number two na sinabi ni Speaker?

REP. TIANGCO.  Ang sabi ho ni Speaker ay si Chairman Jun Jun Tupas will present the grounds for impeachment.  Number three, pagkatapos ng presentation, yong mga gustong bumoto, bumoto.  Yong mga ayaw bumoto, hwag bumoto.  Ngunit ang number four na hindi ko nagustuhan ang sabi nya, this is non-debatable, no questions will be entertained.

ATTY. MANALO.  Bakit nyo po hindi ito nagustuhan?

REP. TIANGCO.  Bakit?

ATTY. MANALO.  Bakit?

REP. TIANGCO.   Syempre po kami ho ay deliberative body.  Lahat ho ng ginagawa namin sa Kongreso ay pinagdedebatehan dahil ho syempre you will get the best result out of discussing a proposed measure.  At saka para sa akin, ang dating sa akin derestsahan pag pinagdugtong mo yong sinasabing pumirma na yong pipirma at no questions will be entertained e it’s a veiled threat.

ATTY. MANALO.  Ano po ba ang mga naging reaction, kung meron po, noong mga tao na nandon sa caucus na yon?

REP. TIANGCO.  Dalawa ho ang nakapagsalita pa bago mag-present.  Isa ho dyan si former Senator Biazon.  Sabi ni  Senator Biazon, ano ba naman kayo—na mataas ho yong boses nya—ano ba naman kayo?  Magpapatawag kayo ng caucus walang agenda.  Yong media sa labas alam na impeachment ang pag-uusapan ako hindi ko alam.  Papapirmahin nyo kami ng impeachment wala pa akong nababasang kopya ng impeachment complaint.  Tapos tumalikod ho sya, hindi na sya naghintay ng sagot, tumalikod tapos hindi ko alam kung lumabas o kung saan nagpunta.  Pagkatapos ho noon ang susunod na magsalita ay si Congressman Rufus Rodriguez.  Sabi ni Congressman Rufus papaano yon kung meron kaming clarification tungkol doon sa PowerPoint presentation?  Hindi ba ho kami pwedeng magtanong?  Sinagot ho ni Speaker Belmonte.  Ang sinagot lang ho ni Speaker Belmonte ay si Congressman Biazon.  Sabi nya pwede kayong kumuha ng kopya mamaya sa likod dahil ginagawa pa.  Yon ang sabi nya kay Congressman Biazon.  Pero si Congressman Rodriguez, ang sumagot ho kay Congressman Rodriguez ay si Congressman Boyet Gonzales.  Ang sabi nya, kung gusto mong magtanong doon ka magtanong sa floor.  So pagkatapos noon, nagprisinta na ho si Congressman Tupas ng PowerPoint presentation.

ATTY. MANALO.  Napanood nyo po ba yong PowerPoint presentation?

REP. TIANGCO.  Opo.

ATTY. MANALO.  Ano po ang mga nakalagay sa PowerPoint presentation, kung naalala nyo po?

REP. TIANGCO.  Ipinaliwanag ho ni Chairman Tupas ito ang grounds for impeachment kay Chief Justice Corona.  Katulad ng sinabi nya, sinabi nya yong article tapos may nakasulat na mga bullet points tapos may narrative sya.  So, for example, Your Honor, Article I, sinabi nya yong accusation tapos ni narrate nya kung bakit.  Yong Article II, yon ho ang pinaka-famous na article.  Ang sabi nya non-disclosure of SALN is a culpable violation of the Constitution.  Number three, sabi nya, yon ho yata yong tungkol sa pag-appoint sa Misis ni Chief Justice Corona.  Tapos yong anim ho na articles parang isa ho ang presentation noon dahil ang sabi ito ho ay a pattern of deciding in favour of GMA, tapos yong tatlo doon ang sinabi—ay yong dalawa doon yong flip-flopping decision.  So ganoon ho ang pag-eksplika.

ATTY. MANALO.  Nandito po sa korteng ito yun pong verified complaint for impeachment.  Papakita ko po sa inyo ito, pwede nyo po bang sabihin kung ito po ang nakita ninyo doon sa PowerPoint presentation na sinabi nyong pinangunahan ni Representative Niel Tupas?  Pakitingnan lang po ng mabuti.

REP. TIANGCO.  Ito lang ba ito?

ATTY. MANALO.  Yung pong verified impeachment complaint lamang.  Pakitingnan lang po.

REP. TIANGCO.  Hindi, itong buong kakapal na ito?

ATTY. MANALO.  Ayan po.  Yan pong buong kapal na yan.

REP. TIANGCO.  Ito hong buong kapal?

ATTY. MANALO.  Yan po yan.  Oo, yan po.  Pakitingnan nyo lang po ng mabuti.  Yan po ba ang pinakita sa PowerPoint presentation?  Let the records show that the witness is perusing through the copy of the verified impeachment complaint.

REP. TIANGCO.  Hindi ho ganito ang—Ang pinakita ho, Article I, tapos may nakasulat ho, tapos narrative, tapos Article II, nakasulat ho yung alegasyon, tapos narrative ulit.

ATTY. MANALO.  So, hindi ho ganitong kakapal na—

REP. TIANGCO.  Hindi ho mapa-PowerPoint yung—bullet points lang ho yun e.

ATTY. MANALO.  Kayo po ba nabigyan ng kopya niyan, ng complaint nay an nung nandon kayo sa presentation sa caucus?

REP. TIANGCO.  Hindi po, kasi sabi nga ni Speaker ginagawa pa sa likod yung kopya.  Nang humingi si Congressman Biazon sabi niya, wala kaming kopya, papano kami pipirma?  Sabi niya ginagawa.  Kumuha kayo ng kopya sa likod mamaya.

ATTY. MANALO.  Dun po sa—

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ginagawa yung complaint?  Yung Articles of Impeachment?

REP. TIANGCO.  Your Honor, Mr. President, hindi ho maliwanag.  Kasi ganito ho.  Can I explain, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Oo.

REP. TIANGCO.  Ang sabi ho kasi ni Congressman Biazon, siya ho medyo galit ho e kung ano, mataas ho yung boses niya, pumasok siya, saka alam niyo na kung lumakad yon macho ho e, sabi niya, lumapit sa mikropono, sabi niya, “Ano ba naman kayo.  Magpapatawag kayo ng meeting walang agenda.  Tapos…”  Hindi ko na ho sasabihin yung sinabi niya.  “Mukha kaming—mukha naman akong ano ditto, yung media sa labas.  Alam na impeachment pag-uusapan.  Ako hindi ko alam.  Tapos papapirmahin nyo kami ng impeachment complaint wala naman kayong kopyang pinapakita.”

Ang sagot ho ni Speaker is, “Ginawaga pa sa likod.  Kumuha na lang kayo mamaya.”

So I don’t know what he exactly meant by ginagawa pa, Mr. President.  Sorry, I cannot …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  O sige, sige.

ATTY. MANALO.  I could not answer it directly.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  Correct.

ATTY. MANALO.  Pakitingnan nyo lang po don sa verified impeachment complaint.  Nandyan po yung grounds for impeachment.  Pwede nyo po bang sabihin sa korteng ito kung yan po ba ang pinakita dun po sa PowerPoint presentation?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Mr. President, we object to this line of questioning because they are now going into the Articles of Impeachment which has already been answered by the defendant, and this has been ruled upon already in the resolution of this honourable court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  He is just asking a question whether he saw, he read this Articles of Impeachment.  The witness may answer.  (Gavel)

REP. TIANGCO.  Hindi po.  Hindi po.

ATTY. MANALO.  Hindi po ano?  Hindi po yan ang nakalagay?

REP. TIANGCO.  Maiksi lang ho yon e.  Bullet points lang ho e.  Article I, tapos may bullet point dun, tapos narrative ho.

ATTY. MANALO.  Okay.  Yun pong sinabi nyong—Tingnan nyo po diyan ano, yung Article I na nakasulat po diyan, at saka base dun sa Article I na nakalagay po don sa PowerPoint presentation, mayron po bang pinakita sa inyong mga dokumento na sumusuporta diyan sa alegasyon ng Article I during the caucus?

REP. TIANGCO.  Sa Article I ho wala.  Naka-flash lang yung title, tapos narrative.

ATTY. MANALO.  Meron po bang pinakita sa inyong desisyon ng Korte Suprema para kay

REP. FARIÑAS.  Leading question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may answer.  (Gavel)

REP. TIANGCO.  Desisyon ng Korte Suprema?

ATTY. MANALO.  Opo.

REP. TIANGCO.  Wala po.  Sinabi lang ho na ang Article I ay—Sandali po, binabasa ko po.  Wala lang.  Pinaliwanag lang nya na kinakampihan si—dun sa mga kasong—may binanggit siyang mga kaso. sinabi lang niya, kinakampihan pero kung sasabihin niyong pinakita ba iyong kaso o pinakita ba iyong GR number or in-enumerate ba iyong kaso, wala ho.

ATTY. MANALO.  Wala.

REP. TIANGCO.  Wala po.

ATTY. MANALO.  Doon po sa Article 2, doon po sa PowerPoint presentation, mayroon po bang dokumentong ipinakita sa inyo tulad po ng SALN ni CJ Corona o kahit na anong sertipikasyon?  Mayroon po bang pinakita sa inyo noon—noong ipinapaliwanag iyong Article 2?

REP. TIANGCO.  Ipinakita ho iyong SALN?

ATTY. MANALO.  Mayroon po bang ipinakita sa inyong kahit na anong dokumento?

REP. TIANGCO.  Wala ho.

ATTY. MANALO.  Wala.  Ipinaliwanag po ba sa inyo iyong ibig sabihin noong Article 2?

REP. TIANGCO.  Narrative—The Article 2, it is a culpable violation—ang hindi pag—dapat mag-disclose ang Chief Justice ng SALN, kapag hindi niya dinisclose iyan, culpable violation of the Constitution.  Ganoon ho ang pagkasabi.

ATTY. MANALO.  Iyon lang pong disclosure ang sinabi, mayroon pa po bang iba?

REP. TIANGCO.  Non-filing and disclosure of the SALN ang sabi.

ATTY. MANALO.  Iyon lang po ang paliwanag in the PowerPoint presentation?

REP. TIANGCO.  Opo, nakasulat ho, non-disclosure and filing of SALN.  Iyon lang ho, pero kung tatanungin ninyo kung ipinakita iyong SALN o may ipinakitang certification ba na sinasabi na the Chief Justice did not disclose or the Chief Justice did not file his SALN, wala hong certification na ganoon at wala hong SALN na ipinakita.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mayroon po bang mga income tax return or transfer certificates of title, maski po photocopy, mayroon po bang ipinakita sa inyo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Your Honor, sinabi ko na ho, walang ipinakitang …

ATTY. MANALO.  Maski na ano.

REP. TIANGCO.  … kahit anong dokumento.

ATTY. MANALO.  Puro paliwanag lang po iyong nangyari.

REP. TIANGCO.  Opo, narrative, narrative po, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Doon po sa Artilce 3, mayroon po bang ipinakitang mga dokumento sa inyo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Wala po.

ATTY. MANALO.  Kahit na ano pong dokumento.

REP. TIANGCO.  Sa lahat ho ng article, wala hong ipinakitang dokumento, ang ipinapakita lang ho ay iyong parang bullet point, parang isang maiksing paliwanag, tapos sinasabi niya kung ano iyong—ipinapaliwanag niya kung ano ang ibig sabihin noong article na iyon, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Ano po ba ang naging conclusion ni Congressman Niel Tupas, matapos po iyong PowerPoint presentation niya?

REP. TIANGCO.  Hindi, sinabi niya na dapat i-impeach si Chief Justice Corona.

ATTY. MANALO.  Kayo po ba ay sumang-ayon sa conclusion na ito?

REP. TIANGCO.  Hindi po.

ATTY. MANALO.  Bakit po?  Hindi po ba maliwanag naman sa inyo, hindi po ba kayo nakumbinsi noong paliwanag ni Congressman Niel Tupas?

REP. TIANGCO.  Mr. Senate President, can I answer?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. TIANGCO.  No, because my answer will be that after the presentation, I was not convinced that there was probable cause, but you ruled earlier, so, you might get mad at me.

ATTY. MANALO.  Just answer and the court will make a ruling.

REP. TIANGCO.  No, I do not want them to get mad, Your Honor, because they were trying to convince us that there was probable cause that is why there was a presentation.

ATTY. MANALO.  Kayo ho ba ay nakumbinsi?  Were you convinced that there was probable cause?

REP. TIANGCO.  Hindi ho ako—kasi ang pagkaintindi ko po sa probable cause, ay iyong pobabilidad na ginawa ho ng akusado ang isang paratang sa kanya, e paano ho ako makukumbinsi kung wala hong dokumento o katibayan na ipinapakita.

Siyempere, para makumbinsi ho tayo, dapat makita natin, kunwari, non-filing of SALN, dapat ho, may certification na hindi ho siya nag-file ng SALN, pero kung wala hong ipapakitang dokumento, hindi akoa makukumbinsi na mayroon probable cause.

ATTY. MANALO.  So, aside from not being able to read the complaint and no seeing these documents, was there any other reason, valid reason for you not to sign the impeachment complaint?  Was there any other consideration that you …

REP. TIANGCO.  Dalawa ho.  Number one, hindi ako makakapirma ng hindi ko po nababasa.

ATTY. MANALO.  Opo.

REP. TIANGCO.  Iyan ho iyong unang-una.  Siyempre kahit naman ordinaryong tao, hindi ka pipirma kung hindi mo nababasa.  Number two ho, I felt, it was an attempt—hindi ito—it was not a simple impeachment of the Chief Justice, but it was an attempt It was not a simple impeachment of the Chief Justice but it was an attempt to control or to scare the Supreme Court, kaya hindi ho ako pumirma.

ATTY. MANALO.  Pakipaliwanag ninyo po iyang sinasabi ninyong an attempt to control the Supreme Court.  Bakit ninyo po nasabi iyan?

REP. FARINAS.  Objection, Your Honor.  The witness is already …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sustained, it is an opinion.

REP. TIANGCO.  Your Honor, kaya ko ho sinabing an attempt ho, kasi iyong unang attempt ho ay iyong doon sa savings ng …

REP. FARINAS.  Your Honor, may we stop the witness.  He is arguing with the Chair, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Congressman, the objection is sustained.  So, kindly wait for the next question.

REP. TIANGCO.  Sorry.  Sorry, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mayroon lamang akong tatanungin.  Doon ba sa caucus ninyo nandoon si Congressman Neil Tupas?

REP. TIANGCO.  Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Nandoon sa caucus si Congressman Neil Tupas.

REP. TIANGCO.  Oho, siya ho ang naggawa ng power point.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Si Congressman Joseph Emilio Abaya?

REP. TIANGCO.  Joseph Emilio Abaya.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Hindi mo natatandaan.

REP. TIANGCO.  I cannot ascertain.  I cannot say a definite yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Si Congressman Lorenzo R. Tañada III, nandoon?

REP. FARINAS.  May we manifest that he is taking a long time to answer, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Marami ba kayo doon?

REP. TIANGCO.  Marami po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mga ilan kayo na nandoon?

REP. TIANGCO.  At the peak, kasi ho noong dumating …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Calculation lang.

REP. TIANGCO.  120, 130.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ang nandoon?

REP. TIANGCO.  Opo.  Noong time na nandoon ako, Your Honor, Mr. Senate President, I was just there from 2:30 to about 4:10.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Doon sa panahon na iyon, marami.

REP. TIANGCO.  Marami.  Mga 120 to 130, pero umalis ho ako ng mga 4:10, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Nandoon ba si Reynaldo V. Umali?

REP. TIANGCO.  Ay yoon ho, sigurado ko ho, malaking tao ho iyon eh.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Si Arlene J. Bag-ao, nandoon?

REP. TIANGCO.  Nandoon ho.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Posibleng nandoon si Congressman Abaya.

REP. TIANGCO.  Posible ho.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Posible ring nandoon si Congressman Tañada.

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Sige, proceed

ATTY. MANALO.  Sinabi mo na you were worried about the attempt at judicial control, why were you worried?

REP. FARINAS.  Objection, Your Honor.  Again, asking for an opinion.

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor, the witness can explain.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is an opinion, Counsel.  You are asking for an opinion.

ATTY. MANALO.  No, no.  I am just asking, Your Honor, for his reason.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely.  That was his opinion.  He surmised.  It is not factual.  Reform the question.

ATTY. MANALO.  Sige po.  …So, matapos pong magbigay ng conclusion po si Congressman Neil Tupas, ano po ang nangyari doon po sa caucus.

REP. TIANGCO.  Mayroon pa hong gustong magtanong, mayroon pa hong gustong magtanong, hindi na ho pinayagang magtanong.  Tapos ang sinabi, the Secretary General will administer the oath and verify the complaints in front.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Congressman, nandoon ka magsimula sa anong oras.

REP. TIANGCO  2:30 ho hanggang 4:10, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2:30 hanggang 4:10.

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, samakatuwid mahigit sa dalawang oras.

REP. TIANGCO.  Your Honor, one and a half hours.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  One hour forty minutes.

REP. TIANGCO.  More or less, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  At natapos iyong power presentation noong nandoon ka.

REP. TIANGCO.  Kung tama ho ang aking recollection, nagsimula ho kami, Mr. President, between 3:00 to 3:10 tapos siguro mga 20 minutes iyong power point presentation sa mga 3:40 to 3:45. Tapos, umalis ho ako ng mga 4:00 o’clock.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Pinirisinta iyong walong Articles of Impeachment.

REP. MANALO.  Opo, Mr. Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  At inisplika kung ano iyong mga PowerPoint na nakalagay doon?

REP. TIANGCO.  Verbally, opo,  Mr. Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Na nag-iisplika doon sa bawat Articles of Impeachment?

REP. MANALO.  Opo, Mr. Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Proceed.

ATTY. MANALO.  So, noong matapos ho, sinabi ninyo, hindi na po pinayagang magtanong, ano na po ang nangyari noong hindi na po nagkaroon ng tanungan?

REP. TIANGCO.  Hindi, katulad ho ng sinabi ko, sinabi ho na the Secretary General will be here to administer the oath and the verification, pumila na iyong mga pipirma.

ATTY. MANALO.  Saan po pumila?

REP. TIANGCO.  Doon ho sa, kasi kung i-illustrate ko ho, nandoon ho si Speaker, doon ho nag-PowerPoint presentation kaming lahat ho nakaharap doon, so, doon ho sa baba ni Speaker, doon sa harap ho.

ATTY. MANALO. Ilan hong mga tao ang tantiya ninyong nakita ninyo na gusto pong pumunta doon para po pumila, ano po ba ang naging sistema ng pagpirma?

REP. TIANGCO.  Nakapila ho sila, tapos, mayroon din hong nakakumpol doon sa pumipila, Your Honor, ibig sabihin, there was—sa bandang likod there was a straight line, pero, right in the table, nakapaikot ho, nakapaligid iyong mga ibang mga Congressmen, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Iyon bang mga nasa linya ay iyon din mga tao na na nandoon sa caucus.

ATTY. MANALO.  Opo. Opo, Your Honor.

REP. TIANGCO.  Pero, hindi ho lahat pumila kaagad, Your Honor, iyong iba nagkukuwentuha sa gilid at saka iyong iba siguro dahil mahaba pa ang pila, pinapauna ho muna.

ATTY. MANALO.  Nakita mo po ba sila habang pumipirma?

REP. TIANGCO. Kung ang tinatanong ninyo is the act of signing, hindi ko ho makikita dahil nakapaligid ho iyong mga tao doon sa mismong tao. Kung ako pumipirma, may mga nasa kaliwa, may nasa kanan, may nasa likod, may sumisilip, so, kung sasabihin mong actual na nakita kong pumipirma, hindi ho.

ATTY. MANALO. How far away were you from the place where they were signing?

REP. TIANGCO.  Siguro, kung kayo nakatayo diyan, nandoon ho sa likod ni Senator, sa may kay Senator Bong Revilla, o sa likod ni Senator Bong Revilla at ni Senator Ralph Recto.

ATTY. MANALO.  Let the record show that the witness has demonstrated the distance of his position to the location where the signing took place, which in our estimate, would be about 20 ft.

REP. TIANGCO.  More

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. More.

ATTY. MANALO.  Thirty feet.

REP. TIANGCO.   Your Honor, nasa Andaya Hall kami, ‘no. Nandoon ho ako malapit sa pinto noong Andaya Hall at nandoon ho sila sa bandang harap.

ATTY. MANALO. Nakita ninyo pong pumipila, gaano ho ba katagal iyong isang tao bago po umalis doon sa pila matapos siyang pumirma?  How long did it take kung maaalala ninyo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Iyong, iyong katulad ng nasabi ko kanina, hindi ko nakita iyong kanilang pagpirma, ang nakikita ko, pupunta sa harap iyong isa, tapos, aalis doon sa mismong gitna either pupunta siya sa gilid, makikipag-usap po or pupunta sa bandang likod. So, iyon ho iyong tinatanong ninyo, iyong time.

ATTY. MANALO.  Opo. Iyong pong time na iyon, gaano katagal? Iyong isang tao, gaano po ba katagal, isang minute?

REP. TIANGCO.  Hindi, hindi ho. 20 to 30 seconds at the most.  Twenty seconds.

ATTY. MANALO.  Ngayon po ito pong naging action po ng impeachment against Chief Justice Corona, what other measures has been filed in Congress involving the Judiciary, if you know?

REP. TIANGCO.  Isa ho, mayroon hong ….

REP. FARIÑAS. Objection, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  He is a member of Congress.  He should know the measures involving the Judiciary.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will you clarify your question?

REP. FARIÑAS.  It is vague, Your Honor.  What other measures?

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. You reform the question.

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes.  Mr. Witness, after the signing of the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Corona, are there other measures involving the Judiciary and Congress which you know?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Leading, Your Honor, presuming that there were other actions, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  No, your Honor, I am just asking, Your Honor, if he knows.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Preliminary.  All right.  Let him answer.

REP. TIANGCO.  Your Honor, December—pwede hong tingnan iyong notes ko?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. MANALO.  The witness, Your Honor, is going over his notes.

REP. TIANGCO.  December 7 ho, December 7 was a Wednesday po, Your Honor.  So, December 7, 2011, pinagbotohan ho sa committee on justice iyong substance nong Del Castillo impeachment, okay.  Nong December 12 ho, five days after, five calendar days, but the next session day, ibig sabihin kasunod na session day, iyon ho ang impeachment kay Justice Corona.  Tapos nong December 13, base ho dito sa news reports, which quoted chairman Niel Tupas, sabi ho dito sa Inquirer saka sa Philippine Star, “House committees readies impeach raps vs. two more justices”.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Objection, Your Honor, he is testifying newspaper report.  It is hearsay, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor, he has already testified, Your Honor, on newspaper clippings in his possession and there was no objection.  So, I don’t understand the…

REP. FARIÑAS.  That is our prerogative.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the witness answer.  Anyway, that is a matter of record, a newspaper can be very…

REP. TIANGCO.  So, uulitin ko lang ho, Mr. Senate President, Your Honor, December 7, 2011, pinagbotohan ho sa Committee on Justice iyong substance nong Del Castillo impeachment alleging him of plagiarism.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Objection, Your Honor, it is not responsive because this is December 7, and the question is, pagkatapos, after December 12, was there any action.

ATTY. MANALO.  Sinabi ko kung meron pang iba.  He is already answering, Your Honor, how can you even object.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We are objecting, Your Honor, because…

ATTY. MANALO.  There is already an answer propounded by the witness.

REP. FARIÑAS.  The answer is not responsive, it should be stricken out.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What was the question?

ATTY. MANALO.  The question, Your Honor, was, what other measures, and it has been allowed, Your Honor, involving the Judiciary as a preliminary question.  And the witness now is explaining the other measures involving the Judiciary which is the impeachment complaint against Justice Del Castillo, and then, after the impeachment of CJ Corona, Your Honor, there is a plan again to impeach two other justices; and his basis, Your Honor, now, he has shown to the court that there are news reports, Your Honor, that…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute, wait a minute, there is no indication of another action to impeach two other justices.

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Where did you get that information?

ATTY. MANALO.  The witness has testified, Your Honor, he has already mentioned and he is reading, Your Honor, from the reports which he based his observation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, my recollection of the answer of the witness is that, prior to the impeachment of Justice Corona, the matter regarding the impeachment of Justice Del Castillo was taken up.

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And thereafter, the—what happened Mr. Congressman after the decision to impeach Justice Corona?

REP. TIANGCO.  Si Chairman Tupas ho na-interview ng December 13 at lumabas ho sa Philippine Daily Inquirer at sa Philippine Star nong December 14 na may dalawa pa ho.  Two more SC justices would also undergo impeachment for alleged graft and corruption.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, anyway, let the witness answer, that can be rebutted by the prosecutors who are here and being named by the witness.  Go ahead.

ATTY. MANALO.  What is your proof, Mr. Witness that there was such a decision to…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It was already answered, it was an interview.

ATTY. MANALO.  It was a news articles, Your Honor.  Referring you to the impeachment of Justice Del Castillo, what is your proof that there was a chain move of Congress?

REP. TIANGCO.  The minutes of the December 11 meeting of the Committee on Justice, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  I am showing to you the copy of the minutes of the December 7, 2011 Committee on Justice meeting.  Is this the document which you are referring to?

REP. FARIÑAS.  The witness said December 11, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  December 7, 2011.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Never mind about the date.  The document will establish the date.

ATTY. MANALO.  I stand corrected, Your Honor, December 7.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

ATTY. MANALO.  May we request, Your Honor, that this document be marked as our Exhibit No. 113.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. MANALO.  Do you have copies of the—referring to the intention of Congressman Niel Tupas to impeach two more Justices?  Do you have copies of that…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute, wait a minute.  What’s the relevance of that question?

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor, he has already answered that he read from newspaper reports that there were statements from Congressman Niel Tupas that he intends to oust two more Justices and he has already testified…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  He read into a newspaper clipping.

ATTY. MANALO.  I just want to mark, Your Honor, the newspaper clipping which he read.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, mark it.

ATTY. MANALO.  May we request that the two newspaper clippings which was read by the witness be marked as our Exhibit No. 110 and 111.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What newspaper was that?

REP. TIANGCO.  It’s from the website of Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

REP. TIANGCO.  Can I continue to answer his question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

REP. TIANGCO.  Because he was asking what other measures.  Before  all of these was my disagreement to the putting of the savings from personal services of the Judiciary to the MPBF.  Tumutol ho ako doon and it was on record.  Tumutol ho ako na yong Judiciary, yong tatlo hong Constitutional Commissions—yong  COA, Comelec at yong Commission on Audit at panglima ho yong Ombudsman kasi ho doon sa proposed budget ng Congress, ang gusto ho ilipat ho sa MPBF yong savings from vacant positions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ano yong MPBF?

REP. TIANGCO.  Miscellaneous Personal Benefits Fund, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ah sa budget.

REP. TIANGCO.  Hindi.  Sa budget po.  Yon pong savings on vacant positions ang gusto ho doon sa House ay ilipat ho doon sa MPBF.  Tutol ho ako doon dahil yan ho ay labag doon sa constitutional provision na ginagarantihan ho ang fiscal autonomy noong limang ahensyang ito.  Kaya ang ginawa ko ho sumulat ho ako doon sa limang ahensyang yon.  Tinanong ko ho kung magkano yong savings on vacant positions na ipinapalipat ng DBM sa MPBF at noong natanggap ko ho yong sulat, sumulat ho ulit ako kay Chairman Abaya proposing an amendment, Your Honor, na hwag hong ilipat sa MPBF yong savings ng mga ahensyang ito, Your Honor.

REP. FARIÑAS.  May we register our continuing objections to this line of questioning about the budget and other matters, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You may.  Alright, noted.

ATTY. MANALO.  Nabanggit nyo po na meron po kayong sinulatan na mga ahensya ng gobyerno particularly the Supreme Court and the other constitutional bodies, Your Honor.  Meron po bang sagot sa inyo itong mga sinulatan ninyo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Lahat ho ng limang ahensya ibinigay ho nila yong amount sa akin at iyon ho ang naging attachment ko sa sulat ko ho kay Chairman Abaya noong 19 September 2011.

ATTY. MANALO.  Meron po ba kayong copies ng mga sinasabi ninyong sulat na naging attachment ninyo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  We have premarked, Your Honor, letters coming from the Supreme Court, the Commission on Audit, the Civil Service Commission, the Ombudsman, Your Honor, and the Commission on Elections.  May we request that this be marked respectively as our Exhibits 105 to 109, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Respectively?

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark them accordingly.

ATTY. MANALO.  You also mentioned that you wrote a letter to Congressman Emilio Abaya regarding this attempt to put the savings of this Constitutional Commission and the Supreme Court in the Miscellaneous Personal Benefits Fund.  Do you have a copy of this letter?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes.  My letter, actually, was requesting him to amend it and not to put it in the Miscellaneous Personal Benefits Fund, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  We have pre-marked, Your Honor, copy of the letter coming from Congressman Tiangco as Exhibit 104.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. MANALO.  Now, Mr. Witness, what did you do after observing the people who lined up to sign the impeachment complaint?

REP. TIANGCO.  I left.  I left at about four o’clock.  I passed the session hall.  I passed the executive lounge.  And after awhile, I went home already.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And then, when you left, the signing continued?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.  Yes, Mr. Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Of all the people that were in the caucus, they were there waiting to sign the Articles of Impeachment?

REP. TIANGCO.  Not all because some of those I spoke to after the caucus were not also going to sign.  But when I left, I don’t know already, Mr. Senate President, who signed and who did not sign, and who came in after.  So I can just testify …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How many people did you talk to who indicated that they will not sign the Articles of Impeachment?

REP. TIANGCO.  Three, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Three?

REP. TIANGCO.  Three who will not sign.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Three out of the more than one hundred or one hundred thirty?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.  I was able to talk to three only, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Thank you.

ATTY. MANALO.  So, what else did you do after the caucus on the impeachment complaint?

REP. TIANGCO.  I went home.  And then after that, I slept.

ATTY. MANALO.  How about the next day?  Where were you?

REP. TIANGCO.  The next day I delivered a privilege speech resigning from the Majority.

ATTY. MANALO.  This privilege speech, do you have a copy of this privilege speech?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  And may I see the copy?  Can you please tell the court what document you are looking at?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  He is looking at his privilege speech.

REP. TIANGCO.  Your Honor, it’s congressional record of December 13, I resigned from the Majority and gave up my chairmanship of the Committee on Metro Manila Development and all membership in all committees in accordance with the Rules of the House because …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I thought you were reading your privilege speech because I was asking about what privilege speech.

REP. TIANGCO.  I was not reading, Your Honor.  I was just—The way I understood this question, Your Honor, was do I have the privilege speech.  It’s right here, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  And is it on record?  What is that document?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, on record based on the congressional record of the December 13, 2011, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor, we have pre-marked, Your Honor, as Exhibit 112, the congressional record mentioned by the witness as our Exhibit 112.  May we request that it be admitted by the prosecution.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We admit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Admitted.  (Gavel)  So have you marked it?

ATTY. MANALO.  After giving this privilege speech, what is your reason now for voluntarily appearing before this Impeachment Court?

REP. TIANGCO.  Because I made a privilege speech, Your Honor.  So, I have to protect myself because I made a privilege speech, Your Honor, so I have to protect myself because people can say later on that, ako ay nagtatago sa parliamentary immunity, so, gusto ko lang patunayan na lahat ng sinabi ko ho sa privilege speech ko ay kaya kong panumpaan, kaya kong sabihin ulit at kaya kong panumpaan para hindi ho masabi na nagsalita ako doon at later on, sasabihin, kaya mo lang nasabi iyan dahil may parliamentary immunity ka noong nag-privilege speech ka.

So, kaya ho ako humarap dito ay para patunayan na lahat ng sinabi ko sa privilege speech ko ay pinaninindigan ko at pinanunumpaan ko, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mayroon po bang pumilit sa inyo na pumunta rito?  Mayroon po bang pumilit sa inyo para magtestigo ngayon?

REP. TIANGCO.  Wala hong makakapilit sa akin, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mayroon po bang sumubok pumigil sa inyo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Sa diyaryo ho, tinatakot ho ako ni Congressman Boyet Gonzales, ang sabi niya, I will be expelled, nasa diyaryo ho lahat ngayon.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Not responsive, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  No, it is responsive.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the answer stay in the record.

ATTY. MANALO.  Ano po ito, pakipaliwanag niyo po ito?

REP. TIANGCO.  I will be expelled from the House of Representatives, doon sa aking pagtestigo dito, iyon ho ang sinabi niya, so, kung noong una ho, kung noong sa pirmahan ay build threat lang ang ginagawa sa amin, ito ho, openly, threatening me already na ie-expel ho ako.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mayroon po ba kayong—bukod po dito sa narinig niyong balita ng declaration po ni Representative Boyet Gonzales, meron po ba kayong nakausap ng ibang kasama ninyo sa Kongreso tungkol dito sa impeachment complaint na ito?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are calling for a hearsay evidence, ano ba iyan?

ATTY. MANALO.  Iyong nakausap po niya.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  O sige, basta iyong nakausap, kung may nakausap.  What is the pleasure of the Gentleman from Pampanga?

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Just a clarification at this point because, earlier, the Senate President had raised on two occasions as to whether this line of questioning will go, with respect to the Articles of Impeachment, specifically, Article 2, the SALN, bank accounts, dollar accounts; Article 3, the FASAP case, flip-flopping; and Article 7, the TRO on the case of the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  And the Chair was kind enough to provide enough—the leeway to the defense, I am asking for the third time, Mr. President, where is this line of questioning going and how will we connect this testimony of the good Gentleman from Navotas to the Articles of Impeachment, namely Article 2, 3 and 7.

May we have a clarification from the defense, Mr. President.

ATTY. MANALO.  There are two points, Your Honor, which I wish to raise regarding the testimony of this witness.

First, Your Honor, the testimony, to us, will tend to prove the grounds relied upon in the Articles of Impeachment are not substantial, Your Honor, or do not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.  And actually, Your Honor, our second reason is to question the integrity, not only of the complaint, Your Honor, but also of the complainants, Your Honor.  So, as to create a doubt, Your Honor, to create a doubt which later on may prove to be invaluable to the Senator Judges when they reach the point where they have to decide whether to convict or to acquit the impeached officer, Your Honor.

To us, Your Honor, this creates a reasonable doubt, and this will be material, Your Honor, in the evaluation that will be made by the Senator Judges when the time comes.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Mr. President, with due respect, we move to strike that from the records because the defense counsel is already testifying as to the bona fides of the 188 complainants when this witness testified only as to matters which are not even connected.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mr. Congressman, he is just explaining the purpose of presenting the witness.  He is trying to impune the integrity of the impeachment complaint that was filed against the respondent.  Let the answer stay into the record.  Proceed.

REP. FARIÑAS.  May we just react, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. FARIÑAS.  The honourable court has already made a ruling that the integrity of the impeachment complaint is beyond review by this honourable …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct.  Correct.  But we will hear them.  The court is intelligent enough to evaluate all of these things.

REP. FARIÑAS.  With that, we submit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.  The Gentleman from Pampanga.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Clarification, Mr. President.  In such an event, therefore, do I take it to mean that this impeachment court will agree to allow other witnesses to be presented by the defense and have a similar line of questioning?  Because earlier, if I recall, Justice Cuevas, said when we were having this lengthy discussion on whether or not the affirmative defenses can be presented, of course, the Chair ruled otherwise.  If I may just finish, Mr. President.  So, Justice Cuevas said that they have four or five other witnesses that they will be presenting.  Do we take it to mean that we will allow these four or five other witnesses to likewise …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I will have to hear the testimony of these other witnesses before I can make a judgment.  So, my understanding is that Congressman Tiangco is simply testifying about his own personal experience in the formulation of the articles of impeachment.  For what purpose he was introduced is according to the defense to establish the integrity and pressure, am I correct?

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … attendant to the preparation of the articles of impeachment.  Well, the Members of this court are intelligent to evaluate.  They are not bound by the testimony of a witness if they do not believe in the story.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes, Mr. President.  But perhaps, my clarification is that, we had a lengthy discussion earlier between the chief defense counsel, Justice Cuevas, and the Chair on the issue on whether or not affirmative defenses can be presented in order to question or raise questions about the validity of the complaint.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They are not presenting about the verification.  He is just telling the story, the background, of how the impeachment complaint was prepared according to his experience.  But there are so many people present in that caucus.  Many people who signed this impeachment complaint who may have a different experience.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Well, we will submit at this point, Mr. President, to the ruling of the Chair, but without prejudice to raising later on additional issues, Mr. President, on this matter.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Proceed, Counsel.  Anything more?  How long …

ATTY. MANALO.  That will be my last question, Your Honor.  Just the last question, if you have talked, regarding the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Corona.

REP. TIANGCO.  Who did I speak to?

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes.  Is there any other Congressman that you have spoken to?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  He mentioned three.  He mentioned three.

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes.

REP. TIANGCO.  Do I have to name, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, of course, you have to name, if you are going to mention it.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  If he wants to name them.  You are not bound to name them.  But if you want to name them.

REP. TIANGCO.  I only have authority to name one, because I do not want to name the others without asking them,  so I asked one if I could name him, just in case I am asked, and he agreed.  So I will just name that one if that is okay, Mr. Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sure.  Go ahead.

REP. TIANGCO.  I spoke to Congressman Dodo Mandanas.  He called me up. Congressman Dodo Mandanas called me up on Thursday or Friday.  The impeachment was December 12, I resigned December 13, on December 14, Congressman Dodo Mandanas was removed as the Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means.  And I think   on the 15th or the 16th  he called me if we could have  coffee.

ATTY. MANALO.  And what did you tell him?

REP. TIANGCO.  I told him, “Anong nangyari? Anong nangyari bakit ka hindi tinanggal?”  Sabi niya, “Kasi, sa tingin ko dahil doon sa boto ko.”  Nilapitan ko si Congressman Boyet Gonzales, sabi ko, “Ano ba itong nangyayari?”  Ang sabi ni Boyet Gonzales, “Simple lang ito. Kung pipirma ka, kakampi ka ni PNoy. Kung hindi ka pipirma, kalaban ka ni PNoy.”  And I asked permission from Congressman Dodo Mandanas to say that statement that he told it that to me and he agreed.  That is the reason why I cannot name the two others, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  Counsel.

ATTY. MANALO. We have nothing further for this witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, cross.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Just a few cross-examination questions, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you going to do a cross now?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright. Proceed.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Toby, may I call you Toby.

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, but I will still call you, Your Honor, because I respect you Manong Rudy.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Thank you.

You are aware that we received our PDAF through tranches, is that correct?

REP. TIANGCO.  What do you mean tranches, Manong Rudy?

REP. FARIÑAS.  First tranche, second tranche.

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes. Yes. Correct, the first tranche is for the first half of the year and the second tranche is for the second half of the year, Your Honor.

REP. FARIÑAS.  For the first, second tranche of 2010, which was our first six months, did you get all your PDAF?

REP. TIANGCO.  Completely, Your Honor.

REP. FARIÑAS.  How about for 2011?

REP. TIANGCO.  For 2011, I have to qualify it. For the first tranche, iyan ho iyong sinasabi ko na-delay na nakuha ko na iyan August 1.

REP. FARIÑAS.  So, nakuha mo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Pero, August 1.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Oo, nakuha mo?

REP. TIANGCO.  August 1.

REP. FARIÑAS. Okay, correct. Nakuha mo.

REP. TIANGCO.  Pero iba ho nakakuha, Mayo, eh, Manong Rudy.

REP. FARIÑAS. Pero nakuha mo?

REP. TIANGCO. Pero, iba ho iyong nakuha noong Mayo, iba ho iyong nakuha ng August 1, Your Honor.

REP. FARIÑAS.  How about the second tranche?

REP. TIANGCO. Iyong second tranche, nakuha ko ho.  Sandali, on October …

REP. FARIÑAS.  Okay na iyan, nakuha mo.

REP. TIANGCO.  Hindi, hindi.

REP. FARIÑAS. My only question is, kung nakuha mo?

REP. TIANGCO. Hindi pwedeng mag-explain.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Nakuha mo?

REP. TIANGCO.  Nakuha ko ho

REP. FARIÑAS. O nakuha.

REP. TIANGCO. Pero, ang petsa ho ng pagkakuha ko.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Those who signed …

REP. TIANGCO.  Ayaw ninyong malaman …

REP. FARIÑAS.  Are you aware that there are 188 complainants in this case who signed?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Most of them, I presumed, you know?

REP. TIANGCO.  Most of them, I know.

REP. FARIÑAS. Kilala mo …

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes. Yes.

REP. FARIÑAS.   … karamihan doon sa 188?

REP. TIANGCO.  Yes, Your Honor.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Did anyone of them ever tell you na ayaw nila iyong pagpirma nila?

REP. TIANGCO. In confidence, masama iyong loob, Your Honor.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Masama ang loob. What do you mean “masama ang loob?”

REP. TIANGCO. Pinilit sila, Your Honor, but in confidence, so, I cannot say who told me that, Your Honor.

REP. FARIÑAS.  I will respect that.  That is all, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Just one question, Your Honor, for …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  Tapos ka na ba, Rudy?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Tapos ka na ng cross mo?

REP. FARIÑAS.  Tapos na po.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  O, sige, sinong gustong mag-cross.

ATTY. MANALO.  Just one question on redirect, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. O sige, redirect. Okay.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, what is the problem if your PDAF is delayed?  What is wrong with that?

REP. TIANGCO.  Malaking problema po iyon kasi iyong inprastraktura mo, infrastructure projects, inaasahan ho iyan ng mga constituents natin, made-delay. Iyong—magbibigay ho ako ng mas kongkretong halimbawa, lalung-lalo na iyong social services kasi diyan ho iyong medical assistance, ‘pag na-delay ho iyong medical assistance, eh, papaano ho kung may nagkasakit? Hindi mo naman pwedeng sabihin, maghintay ka ng tatlong buwan bago ka magpagamot. Iyong scholarship ho, ang pasukan June. Kung hindi mo nakuha iyong PDAF mo ng Mayo, papaano hong papasok sa eskwelahan iyong scholar mo? Katulad ko na ang PDAF ko nakuha ko ng Agosto, eh, papaano ho iyong scholar ko noong June and July? So, malaking problema ho iyon, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Nothing further.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   No more?

ATTY. MANALO.  No more, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you through with the witness?  Are you through?

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright. The witness is discharged.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President, Mr. President. Senator Mirriam Santiago wishes to ask question to the…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let us discharge first the witness.

SEN. SOTTO.  To the witness, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Toby, you can now go.

SEN. SOTTO.  We cannot discharge the witness, Mr. President, because Senator Santiago wishes to ask questions to the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, the Lady Member of the court from Iloilo will now have the floor to ask questions.

SEN. SOTTO.  Unfortunately, Mr. President, Senator Santiago wants to ask question tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, anyway, we will discharge Toby now.

SEN. SOTTO.  For today.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For today.

SEN. SOTTO.  But ask him to return tomorrow, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Please bear with us, you come back tomorrow.

SEN. SOTTO.  Tomorrow at two o’clock.

REP. TIANGCO.  I have no choice, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Pasensya ka na.  So, are you presenting another witness, Mr. Counsel?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, we have requested subpoena for the appearance of these witnesses, Your Honor.   Unluckily enough, we filed last week, up to now there is no…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Who are these witnesses?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We have..

REP. TIANGCO.  So,  permission to leave for today.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes, you are discharged.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Toby, you can now go home.  Just come back tomorrow.

REP. TIANGCO.  Okay.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I understand that this request for subpoena duces tecum are could not be granted because their testimony according to the request for subpoena is related to the issue of verification.  So…have we released the denial?  It was already decided in open court awhile ago.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  In view of that development, Your Honor, we will not touch on the question verification, Your Honor.  We will present them on other aspects of the case, Your Honor.  We are referring to Congressman Mandanas and Congressman Remulla, Your Honor, together with Congressman Rufus Rodriguez, Your Honor.

Now, this afternoon…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, you are going to use them as witnesses for other matters.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, we will grant the subpoena.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We have an opposition to that.  We filed an opposition, Mr. President, today.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute, just a minute, one by one.  What is the pleasure of the Gentleman from Cavite.

REP. LACSON.  Point of clarification, Mr. President.  I thought we had a ruling before that members of a coequal branch of government or for members of coequal branch of government will not issue a subpoena.  The same manner that we ruled, that we will not issue a subpoena against members of the Supreme Court.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Now, we have….

REP. LACSON.  Please correct me If I am wrong, Mr. President.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, we have talked with these Congressmen, Your Honor, and they are very much willing to testify.  But they wanted at least that they should be subpoenaed, Your Honor.  That is their request, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  One by one, please.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let me hear the Gentleman, first.  Proceed.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are true, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure of the Majority Leader?

SEN. SOTTO. I would like to concur with Senator Lacson, Mr. President.  Just to remind the court that we did have an agreement to that effect.  Now, if the defense would like to present them as witnesses, they can present themselves on voluntarily and we will have no problem with it.  But for us to issue a subpoena, we will be violating our own Rule.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  How about an invitation, Your Honor?

SEN. SOTTO.  Even an invitation Mr. President, if we did not issue that to a Supreme Court Justice and to a Congressman that the prosecution was asking for, the sauce for the goose will be the sauce for the gander, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  The problem with the alleged prohibition is when there is an objection on the part of the person or parties subpoenaed, Your Honor.  In this case, we were assured when we talked to them that they have no objection to being subpoenaed, only they wanted to make it clear that they are coming over pursuant to the subpoena.

REP. FARIÑAS.  May we be heard, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We respectfully oppose that, Mr President, because in the case of Justice Sereno, this honourable court also told us that we should, on our own, invite her if we wish and this honourable Senate never extended the invitation much more a subpoena.  And may we inform the honourable Senate that the Rules of the House under Rule 23 governs response to subpoenas, Your Honor, and there are procedures that we will have to follow and we invoke inter-Chamber courtesy, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I suggest, Mr. Counsel,  that you talk to these Members of the House if indeed they want to testify in the interest of justice to appear here voluntarily.  Because we do really have this problem about subpoenaing our counterparts in the House of Representatives.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Will this position of the honourable impeachment court, Your Honor, be equally applicable to adverse parties, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No.  If there are adverse parties I think they are here so I’m sure that they can testify, they can take care of themselves.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay then, Your Honor, we will just continue with our reiteration of a subpoena to these adverse parties, Your Honor, namely…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, you can ask them to testify, they’re here.  We do not have to subpoena them.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The adverse parties are complainants in this case.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Mr. President, may we be heard.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

REP. FARIÑAS.  The adverse party here now is the House of Representatives, Mr. President, not the individual members because this was filed already by the House of Representatives so there are no private complainants.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The representation of the House of Representatives are the named complainants here and I think in the interest of justice, why can you not take the witness stand?  They will ask you, did you prepare this complaint?

REP. FARIÑAS.  In the same manner, Mr. President, because what if they will call all 188…

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We will not, Your Honor, that is farfetched.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They are not adverse parties, they are just filers.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Who are the adverse parties here, Mr. President?  Just the ones named?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The identified Members of, I cannot subpoenaed et al, you know.  I can subpoena only the named complainants here.  In the matter of the impeachment of Renato C. Corona as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Representatives Niel Tupas, Emilio Abaya, Lorenzo R. Tañada III, Reynaldo V. Umali, Arlene J. Bag-ao, complainants.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Mr. President.  It says here, Mr. President, other complainants comprising at least one-third of the total numbers of…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They already made a statement in the record that they will not call the et al.  Am I correct in this?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Yes, Your Honor.  We have definitely named them and positively identified them.

SEN. DRILON.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. DRILON.  Considering the nature of the issue, may we request that this matter be discussed in caucus.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Okay then, we submit, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we recognize Senator Estrada, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from San Juan.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Maraming salamat, Ginoong Pangulo.

Habang ako po ay nakikinig sa mga debate ng ating mga magagaling na abogado rito, miyembro ng hukom na ito at ang defense counsel at ang testimonya ni Congressman Tiangco.  Hindi ko po alam kung saan ko ikokonekta yung testimonya ni Congressman Tiangco sa aking pagdesisyon pagdating ng araw.  And even ang ating defense counsel, kung naaalala nyo yung verification complaint, sa palagay ko nakapag-rule na po yung Senado diyan.  Assuming na yang 188 Congressmen na yan—assuming lang ha, ay hindi binasa, basta lang pumirma, ay nasa jurisdiction na po ng Senado yan.

Ihahalintulad ko lang po yung impeachment case ni dating Pangulong Estrada, with all due respect to then Speaker Manny Villar, kahit minadali ng House of Representatives, napunta na po sa Senado yan, under jurisdiction na ng Senado yan.

Kahit umiyak kami, maglupasay kami sa Malacañang, wala rin kaming magagawa dahil nasa jurisdiction na po ng Impeachment Court yan.

So, ang hinihintay po ng tao, Ginoong lead counsel of defense, kung magpiprisinta pa ho tayo ng mga witnesses katulad ni Congressman Tiangco, magsasalita tungkol diyan sa mga verification ng complaint na yan, nakakaantok na ho e.  Ang kailangan ko namin malaman kung mayron kayong mga testigo na magpapatunay dun sa SALN ni Chief Justice Corona.  Yun lang po ang hinihintay ko at yun lang po ang hinihintay siguro ng Impeachment Court at yun lang siguro ang hinihintay ng taong bayan para kung sa gayon ay makapagdesisyon na kami kung ano ba ho talaga ang magiging desisyon namin whether to convict or to acquit the Chief Justice.

Yun lang po.  Maraming salamat po.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you, Mr. Senator.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We thank the Gentleman from San Juan for the manifestation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Gentleman from Las Piñas, Senator Villar.

SEN. VILLAR.  Mr. President, just to set the records straight, the impeachment of the then President Estrada was about one month, not two days.  Isang bwan po yun halos.  Nagkaroon po ng hearing sa Senado, apat na hearings sa Senado muna si Senator Guingona, and then after that yung I accused ni Senator Guingona. And then, ifinayl ho yan sa House.  Mga isang bwan po at nagkaroon ng dalawang hearing sa committee.  Just to set the record straight, dalawang hearing po yan sa Committee on Justice, bago po yan nakakuha ng pormal na one-third at iba po ang impeachment against a President, a sitting President, because then ang pipirma po ay mawawalan ng anumang benepisyo sa Kongreso.  Iba po naman ang pipirma kayo ng naaayon sa gusto ng Pangulo.  There is a big different, Mr. President.  It is one hundred times different.

I’ve been hearing about this, hindi po ako kumikibo.  Now my name was mentioned, I think it’s about time I say this, iba, hindi po minadali yon.  And when you sign an impeachment against a sitting President, you are prepared to lose everything.  We heard earlier how Congressman Toby was telling us about he was afraid to lose benefits if he did not sign, but here is the reverse.

So, nakaraan na po yan.  Ayaw ko naman pong i-bring up yan.  Pero nabanggit po.  Mabuti na rin.  Gusto ko na rin pong i-bring up yan in this impeachment trial that there’s a big difference between that impeachment and this impeachment.  We were then impeaching a sitting President.  When you sign an impeachment against a President, napakalaki pong bagay nyan.  When you sign with the President, wala pong problema yan.

I do not want to show how I will vote because I do not yet.  Pero kanina po, wala namang masama mapakinggan siguro iyong mga sasabihin ng mga Congressman kung gusto nilang magsalita.  Lahat naman po ng nagsalita sa prosecution, pinakinggan natin, including ang nasabing testimonya ni Secretary De Lima, hearsay pero pwedeng ilagay sa records, sa tingin ko naman, wala naman pong masama diyan.  Napakahirap po na tayo ay mag-aacquit, na masabi na nag-acquit tayo maski na walang ebidensya at napakasakit naman po kung tayo ay magko-convict na hindi nagkaroon ng hustisya ang accused.

Kaya po hindi ako kumikibo, subalit bakit hindi po natin pagbigyan ang parehong panig.  May oras po naman tayo, sana lahat ng maging desisyon natin ay igagalang ng ating mga kababayan, na kung mag-acquit dahil walang ebidensya, hindi convincing, at kung mag-convict naman ay masasabing binigyan natin ng hustisya at pinakinggan natin ang accused.

Iyon lamang po, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Salamat.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Estrada, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDNG OFFICER.  The Gentleman from San Juan.

SEN. ESTRADA.  Well, although I respect the opinion of my colleague here, Senator Villar, I do not want to belabour the point anymore, because it is already useless because this is already history.  But what I was—not actually complaining, is the manner of how fast the transmittal was when it was transmitted here in the Senate.

Although there was a lot of—maybe the hearings that Senator Villar pointed out, iyong—hindi ko masabi kung railroaded or baka naman magalit na naman sa akin si Senator Villar, I think, on my part, I hope he respects our opinion or my opinion, that impeachment case against President Estrada was really railroaded, during that day when it was transmitted here in the Senate.

And again, Mr. President, I do not want to belabour the point because that is already history, and what I want to hear from the defense is–what I want to hear from the defense is their witnesses who can testify with regard to the SALN of the Chief Justice.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Las Piñas.

SEN. VILLAR.  Mr. President, I just stood up just to say that I respect the opinion of my colleague and I will no longer say anything on this case.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Thank you.  Mr. Counsel for the defense, are you ready to present other witnesses?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Your Honor, please, we are sorry to state for the record that we are not ready because these witnesses are not available yet.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  There is a request by a Member of the court to discuss the matter regarding adverse parties testifying here in a caucus, and we will take that up in a caucus.

SEN. SOTTO. Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Can you present other witnesses before we settle the issue regarding the testimony of the adverse parties?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We thought, Your Honor, that the two Congressmen we have mentioned will be coming over, notwithstanding the fact that the subpoena had not been issued, but to our disappointment, Your Honor, they could nowhere be found, so, we will ask for another day for them, Your Honor.

If we may be able to convince them to come over even without a subpoena, we will do so, Your Honor, in compliance with the suggestion of the honorable Impeachment Court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Congressman Toby Tiangco came here voluntarily to speak out, I hope, the others will do so also so that we can hear their side.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We are hoping against hope that we will arrive at that point, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

REP. FARIÑAS.  Mr. President, may we know the order of presentation of their articles for the defense, Mr. President, so as for us to be able to prepare also for our cross examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, the defense may do so if they wish But my statement, counsel for the prosecution is that before you started coming here for trial, you should have already some notion on how to cross-examine the possible witnesses of the defense.  That is a rule of trial.

REP. FARIÑAS.  But we are just asking, Mr. President …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  At least, you have a trial brief, how to present your direct-examination, your evidence-in-chief and how you handle your cross-examination, point by point.  Article by article.  Because I am sure you should have anticipated the witnesses that will defend the respondent per article.

REP. FARIÑAS.  We are aware of that, Mr. President, but in the same manner that the prosecution was directed to also present its order of presentation of articles, we are also asking them …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway …

SEN. SOTTO.  We already did it earlier, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They may, if they want.

SEN. SOTTO.  We gave them a directive earlier, Mr. President.

REP. FARIÑAS.  There is already a ruling.

SEN. SOTTO.  We already gave a directive earlier.  The Court already gave them a directive earlier to submit.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Chair was just reacting to the statement of the distinguished Counsel so that they will know how to prepare for their cross-examination.  I am sure that if I were in your place, by this time, any witness that will come to be presented against my case, I am ready to cross-examine.

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you.  Mr. President, may we recognize Senator Recto.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Recto is recognized.

SEN. RECTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you, Majority Leader.  Mr. President, I do have a copy of the compliance submitted by the defense with regard to the witnesses and document that they intend to present during the time, and the time has come to defend the respondent in this case, which is the Chief Justice.  And as far as the affirmative defense is concerned, it listed down more or less five witnesses.  I think we are done with the first.  Now, for Article II, assuming we go by the particular order, that was my other question earlier, that I wanted to ask the defense, that on Article II, there are roughly nine witnesses in the compliance document submitted to the court.  So, my question now is, for orderly proceeding, for us to be able to, as well in this Chamber, is it my understanding from the defense counsel that you will continue with four other witnesses for your affirmative defense.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  No, when we made that announcement, Your Honor, or arrangement, we were not clear about the impact or the coverage of the order of denial or resolution of denial, Your Honor.  With this order of denial, barring us from presenting evidence on the affirmative defenses, Your Honor, then we will have to change our course of action, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO.  Yes, I understand that.  That is fine with me.  With regard to Article II, there are nine witnesses listed down here.  Do we expect any changes as far as the nine witnesses?

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  As of today, Your Honor, we do not intend to make any changes, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO.  So, more or less, we will be following the compliance document as far as …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Correct, that is correct, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO.  In Article III, there are only two witnesses listed in the compliance.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct also.

SEN. RECTO.  And for Article VII, there are only four witnesses.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  That is correct, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO.  Then I take it that at this point in time, no amendments or there are no more changes as of the moment.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  We have not heard yet the testimonies of these people that we intend to present, so, that will highly be dependent on us, Your Honor.  If, in our appraisal, there is no necessary or further imperative necessity to call other witnesses, then we will not do so.

SEN. RECTO.  In total, Mr. President, just for the food for thought for the impeachment court, there are 15 witnesses listed.  Thank you, Mr. President.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  Thank also, Mr. Senator.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the pleasure now of the House?  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we go now to other matters.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre, a private prosecutor, was cited for contempt during our last hearing.    the penalty to impose upon Atty. Aguirre was agreed to be discussed in a caucus. Related thereto, Atty. Aguirre has filed a withdrawal of his appearance as private prosecutor. Also, there is a pending motion of Senator Trillanes to rule on the participation of the lawyers in a press conference regarding allegations of offer of P100 million to each Senator-Judge. The issues have been fully discussed, so, the impeachment court is ready to rule, Mr. President.  We would like to ask for your ruling.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, as I said previously, the court finds it prudent because of the attendant circumstances to impose a penalty of admonition upon Atty. Vitaliano N. Aguirre II in view of the fact that he already filed a withdrawal of his appearance as private prosecutor in this impeachment case and in addition, I think, he made an apology. However, the explanation and apology from—

On the other hand, there was also this motion of Senator Trillanes on the participation of certain members of the—certain lawyers in a press conference regarding allegation of offer of P100 million to each Senator-Judge. And I think the court hears that, in effect, there is an implied suggestion that there is a quid pro quo in the votes to be obtained from the members of this court, which this court considers an indirect contempt of the court. And—so, therefore, this court is constrained to cite one of the lawyers of the defense, Atty. Roi, for contempt. The penalty to be imposed will be subject of a determination in a caucus of this court. So Ordered.

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I thought it is either life imprisonment or death penalty.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, we do not go that far.  We will …

JUSTICE CUEVAS.  I said that in jest, Your Honor.  I apologize.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I understand but that could be misunderstood by the public. And I hope that, with due respect to the defense, this court must assert its dignity and honor in this proceeding and we are going to think about the penalty to be imposed upon him commensurate to the degree of what we consider to be an accusation to the members of this court. The implication of the statement of one of your members is rather serious because it, in effect, suggests that this court could be paid in making a decision and I don’t think that is a proper thing to even think about this impeachment court. We may be politicians, but we have our own integrity and honor that we have earned over time.

So, we will take up the commensurate penalty that we will impose against the erring member of the defense panel.  So ordered.  (Gavel)

SEN. SOTTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.

We assure the counsel of the defense that it is not like what he said, but Senator Honasan says something to that effect.

Mr. President, in compliance with the request of a member of the impeachment court, the prosecution submitted the transcripts of all videos presented to the court on February 27 and 28.  Just for the information of the court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.

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

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

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

ADJOURNMENT OF SESSION

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, I move that we adjourn until two o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, March 13, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  (Silence)  The Chair hears none; therefore, the trial is hereby adjourned until 2 o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, March 13, 2012.  (Gavel)

It was 6:31 p.m.

 

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