IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Monday, March 19, 2012

At 2:10 p.m., the hearing was called to order with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile presiding.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The continuation of the impeachment trial of the Honorable   Chief Justice Renato C. Corona of the Supreme Court is hereby called to order.  We shall be led in prayer by Senator Francis G. Escudero.

(Prayer led by Senator Escudero)

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

THE CLERK OF COURT.  The Honorable Senator-Judges:  Angara, Arroyo, Cayetano Allan Peter “Companero”, Cayetano, Pia; Defensor-Santiago; Drillon; Ejercito-Estrada, Escudero; Guingona; Honasan; Lacson; Lapid; Legarda; Marcos; Osmena; Pangilinan; Pimentel; Recto; Revilla; Sotto; Trillanes; Villar; the Senate President.

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

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

REP. SOTTO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  May I ask the Sergeant-At-Arms to make a proclamation.

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

SGT-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 March 15, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, and consider the same as approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any objection?  There being none, the March 15, 2012 Journal of the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, is hereby approved.

The Secretary will now please call the case.

THE SECRETARY GENERAL.  Case No. 002-2011. In the Matter of the Impeachment Trial of the Honorable Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Appearances.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  We ask the parties to enter their appearances, Mr. President.

REP. TUPAS.  Good afternoon, Mr. Senate President, Your Honors, for the prosecution panel of the House of Representatives, same appearances.  We are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  The defense.

ATTY. BODEGON.  Good afternoon, Mr. President, and members of the Impeachment Court.  For the defense, Your Honor, the same appearance.  We are ready, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, for a manifestation, may we recognize Senator Mirriam Defensor-Santiago.

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

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Thank you, Mr. President.  It appears to me that we have come to the point in this impeachment trial when we are faced with the centrepiece of the prosecution, meaning to say, the accusation against the filing of the SALN, Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth, by the Chief Justice.

It appears to be the showpiece of the prosecution, and therefore, we must take time out of number-crunching what you are doing last week, and see what the Constitution and what the Supreme Court have said about the filing of the SALN.

First, let me begin with Article II of the Articles of Impeachment.   I read it verbatim.  Respondent committed culpable violation of the Constitution and/or betrayal of public trust when he failed to disclose, I repeat, when he failed to disclose to the public his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth as required under Section 17, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution.

Notice, that this heading under the Articles of Impeachment, only uses the phrase “failed to disclose”.  If you had disclosed, and we are going to apply this article literally and very strictly then there is no more case because it turns out now that he disclosed his statement of assets and liabilities as provided by law as I shall explain later.   So, in my view, Article II is suffering from at least incompetence, impartiality because if it were to apply strictly if there is evidence and evidence is being shown in this court that defendant failed to disclose, meaning to say failed to show his statement or make his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth unavailable or inaccessible to the public, then he would have committed the impeachable offense.  But if he already made, took steps to do otherwise, then the whole case falls.  What I am saying is, that Article II should have said, when he failed to disclose and he failed to declare because declare and disclose are two separate things  as we shall see when we look at the Constitution.  Article XI, Section 17, “A public officer or employee shall, upon assumption of office and as often thereafter as may be required by law, submit a declaration under oath of his assets, liabilities, and net worth.”   Notice, therefore, that the first requirement by the Constitution is to file a declaration, you declare what your assets and liabilities are.  And  then in the closing sentence, the Constitution said, “the declaration shall be disclosed to the public in the manner provided by law.”  This is the second requirement.  The requirement that it should be disclosed.  There are, therefore, two requirements.  First, that he declared, second that he disclosed.  It appears now that the Chief Justice both declared and disclosed so the case is closed.  But in the spirit of liberality, we have taken note of the explanation of the prosecution of its Article II on the Articles of Impeachment.

Now, let us look at what our Supreme Court has ruled concerning the filing of the SALN under this constitutional provision.  In the 2003 case of Francisco versus Nagmamalasakit, etc., the Supreme Court said—“A determination of what constitutes an impeachable offense is a purely political question.  We cannot settle it by citation of authorities or by citation of cases.”  It is purely a politically question, said the Constitution.   The Constitution enumerates six grounds for impeachment, two of these namely other high crimes and betrayal of public trust elude a precise definition.   But the issue calls upon the court  to decide a non-justiciable political question which is beyond the scope of its judicial power.  Therefore, we are making history with this particular impeachment case.  We are deciding a political question.  What are the failures or the omissions in the filing of the SALN that would constitute an impeachable offense?  Notice that in the United States Constitution, it is possible to impeach a high public official for crimes “and for misdemeanour.”  We did not use the phrase “and for misdemeanours” because misdemeanours in common law systems are mere faults or failures to observe minor ordinances.  So our Constitution contemplates a very high crime.  We have to see then what is the meaning of a high crime.  In the records of the Constitutional Convention, we find at least this sentence—“ For graft and corruption and betrayal of public trust to be grounds for impeachment, their concrete manner of commission must be of same severity as treason and bribery, offenses that strike at the very heart of the life of the nation.”  They kept on repeating this clause in the Constitutional Commission, “offenses that strike at the very heart of the life of the nation.”  That is impare materia with all those other obviously high crimes that are enumerated in our Constitution.    Our question, therefore, is not about how do you distinguish this value from that value as a value acquisition cost or a market value.  We are not number crunchers, this is a quasi judicial and quasi political proceeding.  This is not  a quasi accounting proceeding.  So the question is whether there is any  discrepancy or omission in the SALN of the defendant Chief Justice that strikes at the heart of the life of the nation.

Now I come to a famous or an infamous statement that was made by an American President during the attempt to impeach one of the most famous Justices of the US Supreme Court, Justice William Douglas, in April 1970.  At that time, Gerald Ford ultimately President of the US was just a representative, and he maintained this infamous statement:  “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House, or in our case one-third of the House, considers it to be a given moment in history.”

So, we are actually writing the book for what is an impeachable offense.  Conviction results from whatever offense or offenses two-thirds of the Body, meaning to say two-thirds of the Senate, just like the Philippine Senate, considers to sufficiently serious to require removal of the accused from office.  So, it is for us to decide what is impeachable in terms of the SALN.

Now, I have already made a passing mention of the Constitution,  let us go to the laws that are meant to implement the constitutional provision.  The first law is called the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, RA 3019, Section 7, Statement of Assets and Liabilities, a public officer within the month of January every other year shall file statement of assets and liabilities in the proper case with the Office of the President or in the proper case with the Office of the Secretary of the corresponding House or the corresponding Chamber.

Next law, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards, RA No. 6713.  The provision of the first law that we cited, Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices, was expanded by a Code of Conduct.  And it said, the two documents, meaning to say the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth and the statement of financial disclosure, it says, and I’m quoting, “These two documents shall contain information of the following:  (a) real property, its improvements, acquisition cost, assessed value and current fair market value. “ That’s all that the law said.  It did not indicate how we arrive these values.  It just says that the SALN should contain information on real property, its improvements, acquisition cost, assessed value and current fair market value.  Who determines this?  The proper public officials.  So there is no need for this Impeachment Court to argue lengthily on what is acquisition, what is assessed, what is current fair market value.  These are determinations made by the proper legal officer.  And further, the Code of Conduct provides, “The SALN shall be filed by, in the case of Senators and Congressmen, with Secretaries of the Senate and the House respectively.  In the case of Justices, with the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court.”  We’ve already heard evidence that the Chief Justice filed his declaration and he filed it with the correct official, the Clerk of Court, from whom the public may see fit by the proper procedures to get a copy.  Not only do we have these two laws to guide us.  We have to look at its implementing rules and regulations, particularly of the Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct, implementing rules and regulations reflects the law itself, meaning to say the Code of Conduct, in providing that the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth shall contain information on the following, and it repeats:  “Real property, its improvements, acquisition cost, assessed value and current fair market value.”

In the implementing rules and regulations, we find this following statement, “In the event, said authority determines that a statement is not properly filed, they shall inform the reporting individual and direct him to take the necessary corrective action.”  The individual, to my opinion is rendered and any other individual involved in a similar factual situation and who after issuance of the opinion acts in good faith, underline “acts in good faith,” in accordance with it, shall not be subject to any sanction provided by in the Code, underline “shall not be subject to any sanction in the Code.”  This is the basis for the theory by some that since any failure or omission in the SALN has now been decriminalized.  It should no longer be considered an impeachable offense because of this provision in the implementing rules and regulations of the Code of Conduct, and there are certain provisions that are provided for failure to be so.

Now, we have looked at the two laws—we have first looked at the constitutional provision.  We have looked at the provisions of the two major laws, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Act and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards.  Now, let us look at the—even lower level of legislation, the Civil Service Rules, you all know by now that the recent guidelines issued by the Civil Service Commission are suppose to govern declarations made for 2011 and thereafter.  And there are definitions of terms in this guideline, but among the most salient provisions of the guideline is, for computation purposes of real properties, acquisition cost shall be used.  That is what the law says.  You use acquisition cost.  In the past, people did not know what to put in their SALNs and the law did not say anything, then, eventually, the law said, you can put either acquisition cost, assessed value or fair market value.  Civil Service Commission in practice, ruled, although the conjunctive is used for these three values, the conjunctive of “and”, actually, it should be interpreted as “or”.  So, you could just choose any of the three, but now, we have in this new guideline by the Civil Service Commission that when we compute our real properties, we should use acquisition cost.  There is no more question about this.  If the public officer fails to comply with the law, he can be charged under the Penal Code with a crime of falsification for untruthful statements or for perjury.

So, we have taken a look now by this time at the Constitution, the applicable laws that are meant to enforce the Constitution.  But let me go more deeply into the matter of the failure to disclose or the failure to declare or the omission of any declaration.  The Civil Service Commission issued the recent guidelines that will govern 2012 and onwards.  And it declares that for computation purposes of real properties, acquisition cost shall be used.  So, you and I, as Members of Congress of the House of Representatives and of the Senate, beginning from 2012 should now use acquisition cost for our SALN.  But before this guideline by the Civil Service Commission, our bureaucracy was governed by the older guideline issued by the Civil Service Commission in 2006.  2006 resolution of the Civil Service Commission does not provided any guideline.

The SALN filed by Chief Justice on 2011 but covering the period of 2010 as well as his previous SALNs was filed according to the old resolution of the Civil Service Commission.  I have already said and I repeat, according to Civil Service Commission, at that time, under the old guidelines, which was very deficient or let us just say non-specific, it is not necessary to fill-up all three values.  You could just choose among fair market value, assessed value and acquisition cost.

Now, let us come to the question, how should the current fair market value be computed?  We have already been told that there are provisions in the Local Government Code because the municipalities formulate a schedule of fair market values, and this is what is applied by the city assessors.

In our present case, the defendant based the valuation of the assets in his SALN from the fair market valuation enacted by local ordinances.  However, the prosecution contends that the defendant should have used the value by which a buyer is willing to buy the property and the seller is willing to sell.  This is the argument that uses the antique, the age-old, centuries-old, possibly, definition by an English writer called Sedgwick, in his books, Sedgwick on damages, and cited in a1919 case by the Philippine Supreme Court, defining market value as that reasonable sum, which property would bring on a fair sale by a person willing but not obliged to sell to a person willing but not obliged to buy.

I don’t see what would be the utility of discussing what should be fair market value, we should be discussing the question of whether the defendant committed an impeachable offense when he allegedly, erroneously declared, misdeclared certain entries or completely omitted certain entries in his SALN.

Let us see what the—and I come now to the gist of what I really wanted to say.  Let us come now to what the Supreme Court has to say.  When you fail to properly and completely file your SALN, what are you committing?  What crime are guilty of?  In the most recent case, 2011, Presidential Anti-Graft Commission v Pleyto, PAGC versus Pleyto, promulgated in 2011.  The Supreme Court answered: “The failure is not dishonesty but only simple negligence?”  That, prosecution panel, should be the topic of your next oral manifestation particularly your manifestation or memorandum at the end of this trial.  Here is the Supreme Court speaking, and only as of 2011, Pleyto’s SALNs are prepared by a family’s bookkeeper/accountant.  Also his wife has been running their financial affairs, including property acquisitions which form part and parcel of her lending business.  Thus, he was not directly involved and he failed to keep track of the real property acquisitions.  Here is the important sentence.  Consequently, petitioner’s SALN was not filed in proper form containing several inaccurate information.  The court had no doubt that the SALN was inaccurate.  But it went on to make distinctions among these three terms, gross misconduct, dishonesty and negligence.  It cited the two standard laws, remember, that we began with, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and then the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards.  This is what the Supreme Court said.  “For gross misconduct to exist, there must be reliable evidence showing that the acts complained of were corrupt, were corrupt, or inspired by an intention to violate the law or were in persistent disregard of well-known legal rules.  That is what you have to prove, Prosecution.  The Supreme Court went on, “And as for dishonesty, it is committed by intentionally making  a false statement and in any material fact of practicing or attempting to practice any deception or fraud, in securing his examination, registration, appointment or promotion.”  And then finally, negligence.  Negligence, said the Supreme Court, is the omission of the diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the circumstances of the persons and of the time and of the place.  In the case of public officials, there is negligence when there is a breach of duty or failure to perform the obligation and there is gross negligence when the breach of duty is flagrant and palpable.  The Supreme Court goes on.  Gross misconduct and dishonesty are serious charges which warrant the removal or dismissal  from service of the erring public officer or employee together with the accessory penalties..  Hence, opining that public official is administratively liable for such charges must be supported by substantial evidence.  Prosecution, you have to show at least substantial evidence because this sentence was made in a decision that involved an administrative case.  But we are trying an impeachment case.  The Supreme Court held that Pleyto’s failure in properly and completely filling out his SALN was not intentional.  The Supreme Court said, “Clear from the foregoing legal definitions of gross misconduct and dishonesty is that intention is an important element in both.  Missing the essential element of intent to commit a wrong, this court cannot declare petitioner guilty of gross misconduct and dishonesty.  An act done in good faith will constitute only an error of judgment and for no ulterior motives and/or purposes does not quality as gross misconduct and is merely simple negligence.  And so, in the Pleyto case, the Supreme Court said:  “Thus, at most, petitioner is only guilty of negligence.”  You have your work cut out for you.  Prosecution panel, show that an omission of a misdeclaration was deliberately intended by the defendant.  You must show essential element of intent to commit the wrong.

Now, in another case, the court found that the defendant was guilty and should be removed from service.  Office of the Ombudsman v Raccio,(?) also a 2011 case, we have two cases to choose from because the latest case always controls the jurisprudence. In that—this other case, Ombudsman v. Racho, the Court found Racho guilty of dishonesty for nondisclosure of his bank deposits in SALN.

Here is a note of caution to the defense. Defense panel, has your client, the defense, disclosed in his SALN all bank deposits, peso and dollar deposits? Because if he did not, but he admit that he made those deposits, then, under the ruling in Ombudsman under the racio decidendi, then, your client is guilty.  In this particular case, the Supreme Court defined dishonesty.  It said, “Dishonesty begins when an individual intentionally makes a false statement in any material fact or practicing or tempting to practice any deception or fraud.”

And then, finally, just for emphasis, one more case, that challenges the position of the defendant.  Carabeo, the  Court of Appeals, in 2009, he was officer-in-charge of the Treasurer of Parañaque City. He accumulated several properties and was able to travel abroad 15 times. He did not disclose this in this SALN. He alleged, as a defense, that he can simply correct the entries made in his SALN, but the Supreme Court said that while the law, indeed, allows for corrective measures, the defendant was charged, not only a violation of the Anti-Graft Act, but also violation of the Penal Code.  He failed to show any requirement that prior notice of the noncompletion of the SALN, which correction precede the filing of charges for violation of its provision. I will now stop myself.

I will challenge these two panels. Number one, prosecution, show that there is intent to commit dishonesty on the part of the defendant, and you’ve won your case. On the part of the defense, show that your client has in good faith declared in SALN all his deposits, both peso and dollar deposits, and if he did not, why not? Please take these, decided cases, that I have cited accordingly. Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Joker Arroyo wishes to be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Makati and Bicol, Senator Arroyo.

SEN. ARROYO.  Thank you, Mr. President. I would not have spoken this afternoon had Senator Santiago raised certain questions. I will just follow that up. My  question is this for both panels: Is a correctible offense an impeachable offense?  I think that the two panels should think because, off-hand, that is what I am thinking.  We don’t have precedents.  We don’t have the law which implements the constitutional provision allows us correction. So, this is my—you don’t have to answer. I am raising the question for both sides to study. Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor. Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Pia Cayetano wishes to be recognized, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Lady from Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, just a very simple follow up from—follow through on the challenge posted by Senator Judge Mirriam Defensor-Santiago. And actually, also Senator-Judge Arroyo. I would like to know from both the prosecution and the defense if they, in fact, agree with the—well, with the challenge posted by Senator Mirriam  Defensor-Santiago. In other words, can we keep—I think it is very straightforward and can we simplify this because I saw the prosecution nodding? And in fact, you will agree with Senator-Judge Santiago that, in fact, what you will simply prove is that there was intent to commit dishonest act in— consistent with the Supreme Court ruling on Plato, then, we are properly guided. Because I saw you nodding and while you are discussing among yourselves, I also posed the same question to  the defense that,  do you agree, are you prepare to make a statement that if, in fact, that  you will prove that the defendant had disclosed all of his bank accounts in good faith and if not, why not?  Are you prepared to make a statement?  Because to me, as a Senator-judge, simplifies the issue and although Senator-judge Arroyo did not ask for an immediate answer to his question as to whether a corrective statement or disclosure that has a corrective remedy is in impeachable, I would also like to know your statement on this, your reaction to this, if  now or if not,  at a later date.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, we will submit a memorandum with respect to that issue

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Okay.  And may I hear from the defense.

ATTY. BODEGON.  Essentially, we seem to agree with the position presentation of Senator-judge Santiagao, Your Honor.  In fact, the direction at which we are taking in presenting our evidence is towards that.  We just want to state that  under the SALN form there is no requirement that we must have to indicate any bank deposits or bank accounts.   And the Chief Justice has not yet made any pronouncement on this, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).   But it is very clear to all of us because that statement, suddenly, if taken just within—if I take that statement in isolation, you are saying that the SALN doesn’t declare  a disclosure of assets because obviously your bank accounts are part  of your assets, correct?

ATTY. BODEGON.  No, Your Honor, it just that my reading and I am not quibbling over this, Your Honor, it does not require a listing of bank accounts.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Of that specific accounts.

ATTY. BODEGON.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).   So, let me rephrase my question, if I may.  My understanding of Senator Santiagos’s statement is that, there is a requirement that  the defendant discloses their assets that in are in the bank accounts.  Now, I will not quibble also as to whether that specific account needs to be mentioned.  But the assets whether it is in your baul at home, or  it is in a bank account, the totality of that, at the very least, must be declared.

ATTY. BODEGON.  Must be declared.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).    That one we have no argument on that.

ATTY. BODEGON.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).   All right.  Thank you very much.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Pampanga.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, just another point that I would like, perhaps, both the defense and the prosecution to comment on if they should submit a memorandum.  May we also have your views on the standard of conduct required of a member of a Judiciary, it is the same as to the standard of conduct, for example, of an executive official or perhaps that of a member of the Legislature.  We would like to see if you are comparing apples to apples.  In other words, yong requirement ba, yung standard of conduct ba ng nasa Hudikatura, parehas ba iyan ng isang dating undersecretary ng isang public works, for example.  Hopefully, we can have that, likewise, in the memorandum.

REP. TUPAS.  Your Honor, we will include that in our memorandum.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Thank you.  Majority Floor Leader.  I think we better start with the trial.  All of these matters ought to be submitted after the closure of the presentation of the evidence on both sides.  The procedure in this trial is, for the prosecution to present its case and for the defense to present its defense.  Then, if there is a need for rebuttal, then, so be it.  And if the memorandum,  if at all,  will come after the presentation of the prosecution’s case, and the defense rebuttal of the evidence of the prosecution, that’s where we are as of the moment.  So, the Gentle Lady from Iloilo is again recognized.

SEN. SANTIAGO.  Just one word.  In response to the defense counsel’s manifestation that it is their belief that the law does not require an itemization or specification of the bank deposits of the filer or the declarant, I repeat, in the case also 2011, I would citing the Plato case of 2011.  In this case is also 2011, Office of the Ombudsman v. Racho 2011.  In this case, the court found Racho guilty of dishonesty for non-disclosure of his bank deposits and SALN.  The court held that.  “In this case, Racho not only failed to disclose his bank accounts containing substantial deposits but he also failed to satisfactorily explain the accumulation of his wealth or even identify the sources of such accumulated wealth.”  And, therefore, in view of this pronouncement by the Supreme Court, defense will now have the burden of proving that failure to disclose bank deposits is not necessarily and indication of bad faith to omit a significant amount of the assets of the defendant.

ATTY. BODEGON.  We agree, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  May I suggest that we go on with the trial.

SEN. SOTTO.  Yes.  They are now ready…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let’s hear the defense to present the case for the respondent.  We cannot judge this on the basis of manifestations or just the evidence presented by the prosecution unless the defense is ready to say that we waive our right to present evidence.

SEN. SOTTO.  So, Mr. President,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And I don’t think that they are going to waive that.

ATTY.  BODEGON.  We are not, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Now, there are issues here that must be clarified and that is what we are waiting for.

ATTY. BODEGON.  Yes,Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, we are now ready to…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As far as the Presiding Officer is concerned, there is only one standard for high officials and lowly employees of this government and that is found in the first sentence of Section 17 of Article XI, to tell the truth and nothing but the truth in the declaration of assets, liabilities and net worth.  So proceed.

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

ATTY. BODEGON.  Before we proceed, Your Honor, I just would like to make a manifestation.  It is unfortunate and we apologize that our chief defense counsel is presently ill, Your Honor.

THEPRESIDING OFFICER.  Indispose.

ATTY. BODEGON.  Indispose, Your Honor.  So in the meantime, I’ll be acting lead counsel for the defense if the honourable Presiding Officer would permit.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So proceed.  We cannot control who is going to handle the defense of the respondent.  You are the panel designated by him to present his case, do so.

ATTY. BODEGON.  Yes, Your Honor.  We have specific assignments in the presentation of evidence, Your Honor.   So, for the first, may we request that Atty. Tranquil Salvador be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Atty. Tranquil Salvador has the floor.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Magandang hapon po, Senate President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  If I may proceed, Your Honor.  Last Thursday, I think the parties have agreed to enter into a stipulation on a singular document, Your Honor, in connection with the subpoena duces tecum that was issued by this honourable court.  And for the record, let me state it.  It pertains to Tax Declaration No. F-1000235345 pertaining to CCT No. 85716 issued by the Register of Deeds of the city of Makati particularly pertaining, Your Honor, to Unit No. 31B of the Columns, Ayala Avenue, Makati City, Your Honor.  And, Your Honor, in the light of this stipulation with the opposing counsel, let me put it on record that the document was previously marked as our Exhibit 150.  Okay.  And, Your Honor, and I will refer to the market value and assessed value duly marked and stipulated on by the parties.  The market value, Your Honor, is P1,210,000.00 which was encircled and marked as our Exhibit 150-A.  Your Honor, I will also refer to the dorsal portion of the same document which is the assessed value in the total amount of P726,000, Exhibit 150-B, marked and bracketed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But what is the acquisition value?

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Your Honor, the acquisition value as—there is no acquisition value, your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  There is no acquisition value?

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Your Honor, I’m referring to the tax declaration.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely there is no acquisition value..

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Indicated here, no, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How was that acquired?  Was it by donation, inheritance or what?

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Your Honor, this is by purchased.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By purchased.  So, there is an acquisition value if you buy a property.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDIG OFFICER.  All right.  Go ahead.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  In that light, Your Honor, before I further proceed, the witness who should have identified it considering the stipulation as to the authenticity of the document, and as to the competency of the witness, he is Engineer Mario Badillo, the Head of the City Assessor of Makati, Your Honor.  If allowed to testify, he should have established the accuracy of the entries of the SALN as of December 21, 2010, and likewise the assessed value and fair market value as approved and determined in the Assessor’s Office of the City of Makati.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I think that there is no problem about that.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there (inaudible) of the prosecution?

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  Good afternoon, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  That is not exactly the stipulation that we are offering.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What’s the stipulation.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  The stipulation that we are offering is to the effect that we are not questioning the authenticity of the tax declaration.  But that does not go into the accuracy of the values reflected in the SALN.  That is our position, Your Honor.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  So, in that case, would you want us to present the witness?  That statement was in connection, Your Honor, with all due respect, was for the purpose for which the witness would have been presented.  And for us, if I may, it would be necessary such that at the end of the day, if we are to submit our formal offer of evidence, there is some reference point that we have to start with in connection with the submission of evidence.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is your—Are you the one to present the witness?

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Your Honor, we would like to be in the light of their request last time to agree and to stipulate on this tax declaration and in the light of the observations of some Senator-Judges, to expedite this, we decided to stipulate them.

I think we are in agreement on the document, right, as to the authenticity?

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  As to the tax declaration …

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Yes, as to the tax declaration.  The statement of the purpose is if he would have been placed on the stand, if the purpose—and that is for the purposes of the record.  Okay.

Unless you want him to be presented right now, Your Honor, I will have to do that.  You could stipulate that with me, only for purposes of the record.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  Yes, Your Honor, may I say something.  We want to spare the honourable court with all these markings and trivialities, Your Honor.

We will stipulate on the tax declaration and only on the tax declaration.  If it goes into the accuracy of the SALN, we are not going to stipulate on that because the assessor, Your Honor, is not the one who executed the SALN—has nothing to do with the SALN of the Chief Justice, Your Honor, or that he has something to do with the tax declaration for which we admit, Your Honor.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Your Honor, if I may.  I think my statement was if the witness would have to testify that was the purpose for which it was offered.  I think we are in agreement as to the authenticity of the document.  And following Rule 132, Section 23, I think the entries therein are deemed as prima facie.  And that is the reason why we entered into a stipulation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  (Gavel)  Stop this argumentation.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  There is no stipulation so far agreed upon because your minds do not meet.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The prosecution will agree to stipulate with you only to the extent of the authenticity of the document and as far as the figures that was entered in that document, but as far as the accuracy of that document, they do not accept that.

So, since that is the situation, then you present your witness.

SUSPENSION OF TRIAL

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Thank you, Your Honor.

Can we request a one-minute break for our witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  One minute break.  (Gavel)

It was 2:53 p.m.

At 3:00 p.m., the trial was resumed.

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

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we recognize Senator Franklin Drilon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Iloilo is recognized.

SEN. DRILON.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Mr. President, during the break, we talked to both parties in an effort to make them agree on a stipulation in order to dispense with the presentation of this particular witness.  And both parties agreed to the following stipulation subject to their confirmation on record.  The stipulation is that, the entries in the statement of assets, liabilities and networth of the Chief Justice for the year ending December 31, 2010, marked as Exhibits 13 and 14, particularly the one that refers to a condo in Makati acquired in 2003, the entries under the column assessed value and current fair market value in the amounts of P726,000.00 and P1,210,000.00, respectively, are based on the tax declaration which is marked as Exhibit 150.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Yes, Your Honor.  And if I could make a very short addition to that to the extent that it is copied from the tax declation.

SEN. DRILON.  It is based on.  You know, if you change that, you might expect—there is no difference between what you say and what I have proposed, which you have agreed upon during the break.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  In that case, Your Honor, we will agree with that.

SEN. DRILON.  What about prosecution?

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  We likewise confirm that, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  With that, maybe we can dispense with the presentation of this witness, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Are you satisfied?

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  We are, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Did the statement of the Gentleman from Iloilo accurately reflect the thinking of both the prosecution panel and the defense panel?

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  On the part of the prosecution, we confirm that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How about the defense?

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Yes, Your Honor, and my understanding is, is that it was copied and it is accurate.  To that extent, I agree, Your Honor.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  Your Honor, I will have to object to the word “accurate” because that is the word that we are trying to avoid here.  You cannot say that it is accurate because it does not reflect the current market value, Your Honor.  Counsel is changing the stipulation.  That is my manifestation, Your Honor.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  No, Your Honor.  That is based on the offer.  But in that case, Your Honor, in order to expedite, we will agree on that, based on the statement of Senator Drilon.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When you say “current market value”, market value today or yesterday or in 2010?

ATTY. SALVADOR.  As of the time that the SALN was filed, Your Honor.

THE PREIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  Why do you say that?

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Because the SALN is dated at that time.  For example, the SALN in question, it SALN dated December 31, 2010.  So the current fair market value, Your Honor …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  At that time…

ATTY. SALVADOR.  It should be as of December 31, 2010.  That is our position, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And what was written in the SALN?

ATTY. SALVADOR.  What was written in the SALN were figures lifted from the tax declaration of the property.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  I understand.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, there is no meeting of the minds.

SEN. DRILON.  There is a meeting of the minds, Your Honor.  Both of them have agreed to the stipulation as this Representation has read.  And if the defense can confirm that.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Your Honor, this is just one little addition, that is as to the accuracy thereof.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  We will not agree to the accuracy, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  That is why we said the stipulation is based on.  There is no statement of accuracy because the other side will object to it.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Your Honor, if, for example, if what is based is accurate, then we will stipulate on that.

SEN. DRILON.  Then I think, I don’t think we can have any stipulation with all those qualifications, just proceed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Present your witness.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE SENATE SEC. Please stand up and raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in this impeachment proceeding.

MR. BADILLO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE SENATE SEC. So, help you God.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Mr. Witness, can you give us your name.

MR. BADILLO. I am Engineer Mario Badillo, City Assessor of Makati.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Your age?

MR. BADILLO. 59 years old.

ATTY. SALVADOR.    And your status?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you married?

MR. BADILLO. Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Alright.

ATTY. SALVADOR.    Your Honor, if I may proceed with offer?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed. Proceed.

ATTY. SALVADOR.    Your Honor, this witness is presented to establish the accuracy of the entries of the SALN as of December 21(?), 2010 and assessed values and fair market values based on the values approved and determined by the Assessor’s Office of the City of Makati, Your Honor.

If I may proceed, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes. Proceed.

ATTY. SALVADOR.     Mr. Witness, could you please tell us the reason why you are here before this Honorable Court?

MR. BADILLO.  This is in compliance with the subpoena of this Honorable Impeachment Court to bring the original and certified Tax Declaration No. F-01-00235345, Your Honor.

ATTY. SALVADOR.    So, you have that copy with you today?

MR. BADILLO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. SALVADOR.    Okay, Mr. Witness, could you please tell us who is the declared owner as appearing in the tax declaration?

MR. BADILLO.  The declared owner is Ms. Cristina R. Corona, married to Renato C. Corona, Your Honor.

ATTY. SALVADOR.    Could you please tell us the location of the property as declared in the tax declaration?

MR. BADILLO.  The location of the property, the column, corner Ayala Ave., Gil Puyat Ave. and Malugay St. Bel-Air Village Makati City, Your Honor.

ATTY. SALVADOR.    Your Honor, for purposes of the record, this has been—this document, tax declaration has been previously marked as our Exh. 150.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you marking it as such?

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Your Honor, previously marked, pre-marked as Exh. 150.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Already entered in the record.

ATTY. SALVADOR.    Opo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  And Mr. Witness, I am referring to the dorsal portion of the document that you are in possession right now and I am referring now to the market value.

MR. BADILLO.    Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. SALVADOR. Could you please read to us the market value as declared in tax declaration?

MR. BADILLO.  The amount of the market value is P1,210,000.00.

ATTY. SALVADOR.   Okay. And Your Honor, may we request and as have been previously marked this market value has been encircled and marked as our Exh. 150-A.

Mr. Witness, I am referring to the assessed value on the lower right hand dorsal portion of the same document. Could you please tell us the assessed value of the property?

MR. BADILLO.  The assessed value is P726,000.00.

ATTY. SALVADOR.    Okay. And Your Honor, may we request that this amount be encircled and be bracketed as our Exh. 150-B. And just a few more questions, Mr. Witness, there is a signature on the lower left hand portion on top of the typewritten name, Engineer Mario B. Badillo, whose signature is that?

MR. BADILLO.  This is my signature, Your Honor.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Your Honor, I have no further question.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark the document accordingly.

So, but the court would like to be clarified. When was this assessed value undertaken by the City of Makati?

MR. BADILLO.  January 11, 2008, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. And how about the market value?

ATTY. SALVADOR.    The witness is now referring to the document that is now in his possession.

MR. BADILLO.  I think 2006, Your onoHo

Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Ha?

MR. BADILLO. 2006, Your Honor, under the name of Community Innovation Inc. transferred to …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    When was that market value determined?

MR. BADILLO.  2008, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2008?

MR. BADILLO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Can you certify that that is the market value of the property as of December 31, 2010?

MR. BADILLO.  Yes, Your Honor, until …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    You can state under oath that that value stated there as market value of the property is the market value as of December 31, 2010

MR. BADILLO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  On what basis can you do that?  Did you do an appraisal?

MR. BADILLO.  Yes, Your Honor, since 2008 up to 2010, the same market value, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   It remains the same.

MR. BADILLO. Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  After December 31, what was the market value?

MR. BADILLO.  The same, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The same?

MR. BADILLO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Until when?  Until now?

MR. BADILLO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Thank you.  Proceed.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Your Honor, no further questions.  We are ready for cross-examination.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  We will conduct no cross-examination, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, the witness is discharged.

ATTY. SALVADOR.  Thank you, Your Honor.

MR. BADILLO.  Thank you po.

ATTY. BODEGON.  For our next witness, Your Honor, he will be presented by Atty.  Dennis Manalo.  So, may we request that he be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Atty. Dennis Manalo is recognized.

ATTY. BODEGON.  May we request for one minute suspension, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By the way counsel…

ATTY. BODEGON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  …why is it that you have different lawyers presenting different witnesses?

ATTY. BODEGON.  Because we have made separate assignment, Your Honor, for the different witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For the preparation of the witness.

ATTY. BODEGON.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Okay, proceed.

ATTY. BODEGON.  May we request for a one-minute suspension, Your Honor, because Atty. Manalo is fetching the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, trial is suspended for one minute to wait for the witness.

ATTY. BODEGON.  Thank you, Your Honor.

It was 3:11 p.m.

At 3:13 p.m., trial was resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial resumed.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  We are ready for the next witness, Mr. President.

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

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE SECRETARY.  So, help you God.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Atty. …

ATTY. MANALO.  I am Atty. Dennis Manalo, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … Dennis Manalo, Atty. Dennis Manalo will conduct the direct examination of the witness.

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor, the witness is offered to prove the basis of the non-inclusion of the Ayala Heights and La Vista properties in the SALN of Chief Justice Corona as of December 31, 2010.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. MANALO.  To prove further, Your Honor, that there was a transfer of the title of the Ayala Heights property in the name of spouses Renato and Cristina Corona to a certain Amelia E. Rivera, et al., on the 12th day of March 2010, based on the title of this property and the certificate authorizing registration.  To prove further, Your Honor, the transfer of the title of the La Vista property in the name of the spouses Renato and Cristina Corona to a certain Carla C. Castillo on the 22nd day of October 2010, based on the title and the certificate authorizing registration.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, go ahead.

ATTY. MANALO.  Now, the second part, Your Honor, of the testimony will delve on the basis on the non-inclusion of the properties in  Cubao and Kalayaan Avenue in the SALNs of Chief Justice Corona.  The property in Cubao, Your Honor, we will prove that it is in the name of Constantino C. Castillo III and Carla C. Castillo and the property in Kalayaan Avenue is also in their names.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In their name.  What is their?

ATTY. MANALO.  Them referring to Constantino C. Castillo and Carla C. Castillo.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

ATTY. MANALO.  And lastly, Your Honor, to prove the basis for the non-inclusion of the parking space in the Burgundy Condominium in the SALN of Chief Justice Corona beginning 2003, the parking space of the Burgundy property in the name of the spouses Renato and Cristina Corona being a part of the technical description of the TCT.  That is our purpose for presenting this witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Your Honor, if the witness will be identifying documents, maybe he can just show us and we can just submit the authenticity of the documents, Your Honor.  This witness was presented by this representation before and I’m sure he will not have any problem identifying, Your Honor, the documents.

ATTY. MANALO.  If the counsel will agree to the purpose of our presentation, then we are willing to…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed to present the witness and let them agree or disagree.

ATTY. MANALO.  Okay, Your Honor.  Mr. Witness, please state your name and other personal circumstances for the record.

MR. ALCANTARA.  I’m Atty. Carlo V. Alcantara, of legal age, married and presently the designated acting Register of Deeds of Quezon City Registry  of Deeds, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

ATTY. MANALO.  And how long have you been the acting Register of Deeds of Quezon City for the record, Mr. Witness?

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  May I interrupt..  I will admit the qualification of the witness to expedite the proceeding.  As I have said, he was my witness before.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Including his tenure as acting Register of Deeds.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  So ordered.  Proceed.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, can you just briefly explain your duties and functions.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  We can all submit that, Your Honor.  In fact, I presented that during the time when I presented him to the witness stand.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  His duties and functions and authority…

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  Admitted, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … are admitted by the prosecution.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, as the acting Register of Deeds, do you have in your record a copy of Transfer Certificate of Title No. 85121 in the name of spouses Renator C. Corona and Cristina R. Corona?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor, we have on record the Transfer of Certificate of Title No. 85121 in the name of spouses Renato C. Corona and Cristina R. Corona, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  And what is the status of that title?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, this title is a cancelled title.

ATTY. MANALO.  May we request, Your Honor, that this document presented by the witness be marked as our Exhibit…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.  But before we mark it, I just want to find out when was it cancelled?  When was that title cancelled?

ATTY. MANALO.  …185, Your Honor.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, this title was cancelled on April 13, 2010, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And why was it cancelled?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The reason, Your Honor, for the cancellation of this title is the registration of a deed of absolute sale executed by spouses Renato C. Corona and Cristina R. Corona in favour of spouses Rodel V. Rivera and Amelia E. Rivera, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the date of the deed of sale?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The deed of sale, Your Honor, refers to a…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the date?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The Deed of Absolute Date, Your Honor, is February 26, 2010, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is that a unilateral contract or bilateral contract?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, this is a bilateral contract, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Between the buyer and the seller?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And who notarized it?

MR. ALCANTARA.  This document, Deed of Absolute Sale, docketed as Document No. 138, page no. 29, Book No. 4, series of 2010 was notarized by Atty. Wena T. Tan, Notary Public for Quezon City, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And that is registered in the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City for purposes of cancelling the title in the name of the spouses Renato C. Corona and Christina Corona?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, proceed.  Mark it accordingly.  (Gavel)

ATTY. MANALO.  May we request that the document be marked as our Exhibit 185, that the rubber stamp “cancelled” be marked as our Exhibit 185-A, and that the annotation in the title of the sale of the Deed of Absolute Sale in favour of Rodel V. Rivera and Amelia E. Rivera be bracketed and marked as our Exhibit 185-B.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Mark it accordingly.  (Gavel)

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, do you have a copy of the title that replaced this particular certificate of title?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, we have a certified true copy of the title in the name of spouses Rodel V. Rivera and Amelia E. Rivera, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is the replacement of the TCT cancelled by that Deed of Sale …

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … already marked as exhibit?  Okay.  What is the number of that TCT?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The number of the title, Your Honor, is Transfer Certificate of Title No. 004-2010001387, Your Honor

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And what is the date of issuance?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The date of issuance, Your Honor, is April 13, 2010 at 11:33 a.m., Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And who signed that TCT?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, This Transfer Certificate of Title was signed by Carlo V. Alcantara, the Deputy Register of Deeds of Quezon City, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  At that time?

MR. ALCANTARA.  At that time, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Proceed, counsel.

ATTY. MANALO.  We request, Your Honor, that the title mentioned by the witness be marked as our Exhibit 186, the name of the owner therein being the spouses Rodel V. Rivera and Amelia Rivera be bracketed and marked as our Exhibit 186-A.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  (Gavel)

ATTY. MANALO.  And that the date and time of entry of this title being 13th day of April, 2010 at 11:33 a.m. be bracketed and marked as our Exhibit 186-B.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  (Gavel)

ATTY. MANALO.  Do you have with you the certificate authorizing registration of this particular transaction, Mr. Witness?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor, I have with me transfer certification, the Certificate Authorizing Registration No. 2009 …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the relevance of that authorization?  The TCT is already issued and it’s the presumption of regularity of the issuance of that title exist.

ATTY. MANALO.  We will move on to the next document, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, proceed.  (Gavel)

ATTY. MANALO.  Do you have a copy of Transfer Certificate of Title No. 0042010010259 for the La Vista property?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor, I have certified true copy of Transfer Certificate of Title No. 004-2010010259, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In whose name?

ATTY. MANALO.  This, Your Honor, is registered in the name of Ma. Carla C. Castillo, married to Constantino T. Castillo III, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is—and who—is that an OCT or TCT?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, this is a transfer certificate of title, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And who transferred the property to the named owner?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, this property or title is a transfer from the title of Renato or rather Cristina R. Corona, married to Renato Corona, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When?

MR. ALCANTARA.  This title was issued on November 9, 2010 at 3:26 in the afternoon, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the operating document that cost the transfer of that property to the present owner?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, the basis for the cancellation of the title of Cristina R. Corona, married to Renato Corona is the registration of the deed of absolute sale, executed by Ma. Cristina R. Corona, married to Renato C. Corona, in favour of Ma. Carla C. Castillo, married to Constantino T. Castillo III for the sum of P18 million.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  P18 million.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Incidentally, what was the consideration of the transfer of property, the Corona property to the Riveras?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, the transfer of title from Renato Corona …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  To the Riveras.

MR. ALCANTARA.  … to the Rivera is P8 million, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  P8 million, and this one is P18 million.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, proceed.

ATTY. MANALO.  May we request, Your Honor, that the transfer certificate of title referred to by the witness be marked as our Exhibit 187 and that the name of the owner, Ma. Carla C. Castillo, married to Constantino Castillo III be bracketed and marked as our Exhibit 187-A, and the date of entry of this title on November 9, 2010 at 3:26 in the afternoon be bracketed and marked as our Exhibit 187-B.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accorndingly.

Who was the signatory to that new TCT?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, the signatory to the new TCT is Carlo V. Alcantara, deputy register of deeds of Quezon City, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. MANALO.  That is you.  Am I correct, Mr. Witness?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Now, do you have a copy, Mr. Witness, of the transfer certificate of title N-327732, in the name of Constantino T. Castillo, married to Ma. Carla C. Castillo?  This is the property located in Cubao, Quezon City.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, I believe that was the subject of marking during my presentation as witness for the prosecution, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  I am showing to you Exhibit BBB of the prosecution which you have earlier identified when you testified the last time.  Is this the document which I am referring to as the title?  Do you confirm the existence of that title in your office?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  And under whose name is that title?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, transfer certificate of title number N-327732 is registered in the name of Constantino T. Castillo III, married to Ma. Carla C. Castillo, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And who transferred the property to them?

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

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, this is not part of the subpoena duces tecum issued to me and I don’t have the recollection as to the previous title of this property, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, will you be able to get for the record the document that will evidence the reason for the issuance of this title?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Can you present those documents?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That certificate of title was from what previous title?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, the previous certificate of title No. 125683, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do you know in whose name that previous title was?

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor, earlier this witness testified for the prosecution and they marked in evidence the deed of absolute sale which was the reason for the issuance of this title.  May I confront the witness with the document so he can just confirm that this is the document which was the basis for the issuance of the title.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Without the objection of the defense (prosecution), you may proceed.

ATTY. MANALO.  I am showing to you the deed of absolute sale marked by the prosecution as Exhibit DDD which you have earlier identified when you testified before.  A deed of absolute sale between Daniel G. Encina and Constantino T. Castillo.  Is this the document which you have earlier testified to which resulted in the issuance of this title?  Please take a look at the document, Mr. Witness.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, this is the deed of absolute sale executed by Daniel G. Encina in favour of Constantino T. Castillo III married to Carla R. Corona, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Encina was the owner?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The previous owner, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Under TCT …

MR. ALCANTARA.  Under Transfer Certificate of Title No. RT-20758 (129302), Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And that was sold to the Castillo couple.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor, Constantino T. Castillo III, married to Carla R. Corona, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When was the sale made?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, the deed of absolute is dated December 15, 2003, Your Honor, and this deed of absolute sale was registered on February 23, 2004, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  2004.  And as a consequence, the new TCT was issued.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And what was the consideration for the transaction?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The consideration, Your Honor, for this sale is P10,500,000.00, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Paid for by the buyer.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Proceed, Counsel.

ATTY. MANALO.  We wish to mark the deed of absolute sale, Your Honor, as our Exhibit 188.  We also wish to have the names of the parties in the contract sub-marked as our Exhibit 188-A, and the date of execution of the contract be marked as our Exhbit 188-B.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. MANALO.  We request as well, Your Honor, that the transfer certificate of title No. N-327732 in the name of Constantino T. Castillo III married to Maria Carla C. Castillo, which was the result of the deed of absolute sale identified by the witness, be marked as our Exhibit 189 ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  …  be marked as our Exh. 189, the name of the registered owner be marked as our Exh. 189-A. and the date of entry of this title in the Register of Deeds of Quezon City on 17th of March 2009 at 1:40 p.m. in the afternoon, be marked as our Exh. 189-B.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  This is another transaction?

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  No, Your Honor, it’s the same, it is the same TCT identified by the witness. It is the property in Cubao, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright. Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  Mr. Witness, do you have with you a copy of Transfer Certificate of Title N-260027 for the Kalayaan Avenue property in the name of Constantino Castillo III and Carla C. Castillo.

MR. ALCANTARA.  I believe, Your Honor, I have also testified on that transfer certificate of title for the prosecution, Your Honor.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  I am showing to you the prosecution’s exhibit marked FFFF, is this the transfer certificate of title that you have referred to as part of your earlier testimony?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In whose name is that transfer certificate of title?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, transfer Certificate of Title No. N-260027 is registered in the name of Constantino T. Castillo III married to Carla R. Corona, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And what was the title from which that new TCT was originated?

MR. ALCANTARA.  This title originated from RT-20758  (129302), Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In whose name?

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  May I propound the question, Your Honor, so that the witness can answer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  Mr. Witness, do you still recall bringing with you when you testified the document evidencing the underlying transaction that cause the issuance of this title.

MR. ALCANTARA.  I believe, Your Honor.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  I am showing to you a document marked by the prosecution as Exh. ZZ, is this the deed of absolute sale that you have earlier identified covering this particular title?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor,  Z is the deed of absolute sale executed by Mila Melad-Bajar married to Beneroso E. Bajar, Your Honor, as vendor and Constantino T. Castillo III married to Ma. Carla C. Castillo as vendees, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. What is the date of that document?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The date of the deed of absolute sale, Your Honor, is March 11, 2009, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And the consideration?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The consideration, Your Honor, is P15 million.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And who notarized it?

MR. ALCANTARA.  This deed of absolute sale was notarized by Atty. Myrna S. Valdez Cruz, Your Honor, and docketed as Doc. No. 077, Page No. 016, Book No. 1, Series of 2009.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright. Counsel, proceed.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  Mr. Witness, in the title of this property, is there an encumbrance annotated, can you just—based on the title?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The question is, is there an encumbrance annotated at the back of that new transfer certificate of title?

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  Let me refer you again to the document marked as Exh. 189, which is the property in Cubao, a common exhibit between the parties.  Can you take a look at this document and confirm if there is an encumbrance in this title?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, there is an existing real estate mortgage annotated on this title under Entry No. 2504 T-327732, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is the mortgagor?

MR. ALCANTARA.   The mortgagors, Your Honor, are the registered owners Constantino T. Castillo III, married to Ma. Carla C. Castillo, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And the mortgagee?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And the mortgagee?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The mortgagee, Your Honor, is the Bank of Philippine Islands, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the total amount secured by that mortgage?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The mortgage amount, Your Honor, is P12 million, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  P12 million?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the date of that mortgage?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The date of the instrument or the real estate mortgage is 5-15-2009, May 15, 2009, Your Honor, and it was registered on May 19, 2009, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  After the transaction between the seller and the buyer of the property.

MR. ALCANTARA.  The mortgagor…yes, Your Honor, after the sale, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   All right, proceed.

ATTY. MANALO.  May we request, Your Honor, that the encumbrance identified by the witness be sub-marked as our Exhibit 189-C.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  By the way, that encumbrance still exist until today?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor, that is an existing encumbrance.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And it has never been paid.

MR. ALCANTARA.  As far as the record of the Registry of Deeds is concerned, no cancellation yet has been registered on that encumbrance, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  P12 million.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, thank you.

ATTY. MANALO.  Your Honor, may we request that the transfer certificate of title for the Kalayaan Avenue property in Quezon City no. N-260027 identified by the witness be marked as our Exhibit 190?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. MANALO.  And that the name of the registered owner be sub-marked as Exhibit 190-A, and the date of entry in the Register of Deeds in Quezon City on the 23rd day of February, 2004 at 9:43 a.m., be sub-marked as our Exhibit 190-B.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. MANALO.  We likewise request, Your Honor, that the Deed of Absolute Sale identified by the witness to be part of the record in the Register of Deeds of Quezon City for the previous title marked, which is a Deed of Absolute Sale by and between Mirla Melad Bahar and Constantino T. Castillo be marked as our Exhibit 191, the name of the parties thereto be sub-marked as our Exhibit 191-A, and the date of the Deed of Absolute Sale  being March 17, 2009, be marked as our Exhibit 191-B.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. MANALO.  I am sorry, it is not March 17, it’s March 11, 2009.

Mr. Witness, do you have a copy of condominium of certificate of title no. N-35812 for the Burgundy condominium in the name of spouses Renato C. Corona and Cristina R. Corona?

MR. ALCANTARA.  I believe, likewise, Your Honor, I have already testified on that title, Your Honor, previously for the prosecution.

ATTY. MANALO.  I am showing to you a copy of this TCT marked as Exhibit OO of the prosecution.  Do you confirm that this is the title of this particular property?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor, this is condominium certificate of title no. N-35812, registered in the name of spouses Renato C. Corona and Cristina R. Corona, Your Honors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is that an original title or transfer of title.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, this is a certified true copy of the condominium certificate of title number, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Original issue?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  From the developer?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, can you please take a look at the technical description of the property and kindly confirm to the honourable court if the description includes the parking space for that particular condominium.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, there is an annotation on this condominium certificate of title pertaining to an agreement.  This agreement was entered under Primary Entry No.4175, Your Honor.

ATTY. MANALO.  Please read it.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Primary Entry No. 4175 N-35812 agreement, executed by Burgundy Realty Corporation referred to as the first party and spouses Renato C. Corona and Cristina R. Corona referred to as the second party.  Whereas the first party is the owner-developer of 1 Burgundy Plaza while the second party is the owner of 21-D and parking slot identified as  parking slot upper Third Floor No. 11 and for this purpose, the first party and the second party have agreed that the second party alone shall use Parking Slot U3F-No. 11 under Document No. 257, Page No. 52, Book No. 59 Series of 2003 of Notary Public for Quezon City, Atty. Jose F. Ordona, date of inscription, October 8, 2003 and date of—let me correct—date  of instrument, October 8, 2003 and date of inscription, December 11, 2003, Your Honor.  This was signed by Atty. Constante T. Caluya III, the Deputy Register of Deeds of Quezon City, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Does that mean that, first of all, the question of the Chair is, is that an inscription at the back of the title of the condominium unit?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As an encumbrance?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And that in effect that parking lot does not belong to the owner of the unit but only to use it?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  As an owner of the unit.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  It remains to be the property of the owner of the condominium development.  Is that it?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The annotation simply refers, Your Honor, to the right of the…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Right of use.

MR. ALCANTARA.  … use, your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  By usufruct.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, proceed, counsel.

ATTY. MANALO.  May we request, Your Honor, that this Condominium Certificate of Title No. N-35812 in the name of spouses Renato C. Corona and Cristina R. Corona be marked as our Exhibit 192 and the annotation of the agreement between Burgundy Realty Corporation and the spouses Renato C. Corona and Cristina R. Corona referring to Parking Slot No. U3F No. 11 be submarked as our Exhibit 192-A.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. MANALO.  And the date of the instrument and date of inscription of said annotation be submarked as our Exhibit 192-B.  I have no further questions for the witness, Your Honor.

ATTY. JUSTINIANO.  No cross, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you marking it?

ATTY. MANALO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  Okay, no further questions?

ATTY. MANALO.  Just a moment, Your Honor, I think there is a matter that we have to mark.  May I just ask a question, Your Honor, with regard to Exhibit 192.  Apparently, there is a matter here…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. MANALO.  Mr. Witness, please look at the date of entry of the title in the Register of Deeds.  The date of entry is, the year is in 1993.  However, the inscription is in 2003. Can you please explain the apparent contradiction in the year.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, Condominium Certificate of Title No. N-35812 registered in the name of spouses Renato C. Corona and Christina R. Corona was issued or entered at the Registry of Deeds for Quezon City on December 11, 2003, Your Honor, at 2:15 in the afternoon, Your Honors.

ATTY. MANALO.  The first page of the document, if you will see the form, the form does not say 2000, it says 90—1993.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor, this is an old form and we did not correct as far as the form in concerned.  We simply indicated the year when the title was issued.  So, on the original form, on the form itself, on the judicial form, it is in the year 1900 instead of 2003, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. MANALO.  Thank you for the clarification.  May we just have that particular portion read by the witness sub-marked as our Exhibit 192-C.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  (Gavel)

ATTY. MANALO.  With the clarification, Your Honor, we have no further questions for this witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is there any …

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  No cross, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … cross examination?

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  No cross examination, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Who wants to—The Gentleman from Pampanga.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, just a clarificatory question with respect to our Acting Register of Deeds of Quezon City.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  You mentioned earlier that there is this property in Quezon City sold to Carla Castillo.  Is that not right?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  And this was sold October 18, 2010?  Is this the La Vista property?  I’m sort of confused.  Would you—or is this a different property?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, the La Vista property is a property with area of 1.200 square meters, Your Honor.  This was previously owned by spouses Christina Corona married to Renato Corona, and this was sold to Ma. Carla Castillo married to Constantino T. Castillo II, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes.  When was this sold?

MR. ALCANTARA.  The date of the Deed of Absolute Sale, Your Honor, is October 18, 2010, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, this is the La Vista property that is 1,200 square meters?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  It was acquired in 2003 by the Coronas, if I’m not mistaken, and then sold in 2010?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Who did they acquire it from?  Would you have records?  Is that the Bocaling?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, this title—this property was previously covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. RT-96031(270444) previously registered in the name of Victor N. Bocaling, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Okay.  So that is a La Vista property purchased in 2003 from Bocaling, and then sold in 2010 October to Carla Castillo for P18 million?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So there is no other property sold in La Vista to other persons by the Coronas, I mean based on your record?

MR. ALCANTARA.  I believe, Sir, this is the only property in La Vista previously owned by the Chief Justice, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  This is a question that is requested of me to be raised to you by Senator Lacson.  Is this the Maranaw property?  Would you know?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, I have no particularity of the property.  Our records simply indicate that this is the La Vista property, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Is this any other property in Pansol apart from the La Vista property on your record?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Pansol—Pansol is another street—another street in La Vista or …

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Is Pansol in La Vista or is this another …

SEN. SOTTO.  It is a barangay in the Third District, Mr. President, barangay in the Third District of Quezon City, Barangay Pansol.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, that would have been the—just to clarify, that would have been the P8 million property sold to the spouses Rivera in Barangay Pansol.

MR. ALCANTARA.  This is a property, Your Honor, covered previously by transfer certificate of title no. 85121 in the name of spouses Renato C. Corona and Cristina Corona, which was the subject matter of the sale in favour of spouses Rodel V. Rivera and Amelia E. Rivera, Your Honor, for the amount of P8 million, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And that is located in Pansol

SEN. PANGILINAN.  That is located in Pansol?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, specifically identified on the technical description, this is a property located in Barangay Matandang Balara, Quezon City, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Ah, Matandang Balara.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  And that was how much?  P8 million ano?

MR. ALCANTARA.  P8 million, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  And apart from this Matandang Balara, is there a property in Pansol?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, if we check the CAR, the certificate authorizing registration of the sale between Cristina R. Corona in favour Ma. Carla C. Castillo involving transfer certificate of title no. N-254901.  The location of property as specified in the certificate authorizing registration is Pansol, Diliman, Quezon City, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Referring to the La Vista property.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your HOnor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, La Vista is the subdivision, perhaps, Pansol is the barangay, perhaps ano?

Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you.

ATTY. MANALO.  I move, Your Honor, that the witness be discharged.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, Senator Escudero wishes to—wants to be recognized before we discharge the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Sorsogon.

I just want to clarify, the Pansol or La Vista property is the one that was sold for P18 million.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, the La Vista property was sold for P18 million, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And that is what is known as—located in Pansol.

MR. ALCANTARA.  The La Vista property—this was indicated as La Vista property, with an area of 1200 square meter, Your Honor.  And this was the subject matter of the sale for P18 million, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What about the property which was supposed to be in Pansol?  Are they the same?  No …

MR. ALCANTARA.  They are different, Your Honor.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Escudero, Mr. President.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Mr. President, just a clarification.  Mr. Witness, when you were first called here, ito rin ba ‘yong mga bagay-bagay na nag-testify kayo?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Ito rin po, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Lahat iyong mga documents na pina-identify, pati iyong mga transfer certificates of title, iyon din iyong tinestify-an nyo rin po noon?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Lahat.  So, we are talking about the same documents in the same exhibits.

MR. ALCANTARA.  I believe, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Wala kayong bagong pinresentang dokumento sa amin?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Wala po, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  So, lahat ng pinresenta nyo noon, noong ipinatawag kayo ng prosecution, iyon din ang iprinisinta nyo ngayon.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Walang labis, walang kulang ang defense counsel, would that be correct?

ATTY. MANALO.  There is one title, Your Honor, the title of the property in Riveras.  This was not marked in the previous testimony.  But as to the other documents Your Honor, there were no sub-markings for the registered owners and the dates of entries of these titles in the documents marked by the prosecution.  And to us, Your Honor, this data is material to our defences, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  So, at the time you came here, you knew it was already registered in the name of another person but that no question was propounded to you as to that fact.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, I remember that the Chief Prosecutor or Chief Defense questioned the presentation of the titles not registered in the name of Spouses Renato C. Corona and Cristina R. Corona, Your Honor.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  Pero wala iyong TCT na nasa record naman ninyo na nasa ibang pangalan na.

MR. ALCANTARA.  We submitted likewise, Your Honor, the copy, or we presented also the titles which are not registered in the names of Spouses Renato Corona and Cristina Corona.

SEN. ESCUDERO.  At that time.

MR. ALCANTARA.  At that time, Your Honor.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Majority Floor Leader.  The Gentleman from Pampanga.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Yes, Mr. President.  I just got a little more confused after the Senate President raised the question of whether Pansol and La Vista is the same property because the witness said, it is not.  Are we talking of three properties here, La Vista, Pansol, and Matandang Balara, is that right or just two properties.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Two properties, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, the La Vista property is not the Pansol property.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Your Honor, as I have mentioned earlier, the La Vista, in the certificate authorizing registration, also classified this property as under Pansol, Barangay Pansol, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, that is one property.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Because when the Senate President asked you,  are these the same, you said they are different.  So, I got confused.  Is La Vista and Pansol, the same property?

MR. ALCANTARA.  Based on the entries on the certificate authorizing registration for this 1,200 square meter lot, Your Honor, they are the same.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So, they are the same.  So, the other one is Matandang Balara.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  So that, these are just two properties.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Yes, your Honor.

SEN. PANGILINAN.  Thank you.

SEN. SOTTO.  We may discharge the witness, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The witness is discharged.

MR. ALCANTARA.  Thank you, Your Honors.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President,  I move that we suspend the trial for 15 minutes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial suspended for 15 long minutes.

It was 4:03 p.m.

RESUMPTION OF THE TRIAL

At 4:36, the trial resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial resumed.  Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, may we continue with the presentation of evidence by the defense.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. BODEGON.  Yes, Your Honor. Before I call on the next counsel to present witnesses, may we just be permitted to mark in evidence several Supreme Court resolutions bearing on access to SALNs of justices and judges, Your Honor. These documents have been pre-marked in the presence of the counsel for the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Alright. Proceed.

ATTY. BODEGON. And as our Exh. 182, Your Honor, this resolution of the Supreme Court en banc dated May 2, 1989 on the request of Jose M. Alejandrino.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   You are going to mark it as what?

ATTY. BODEGON. As Exh. 182, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.     Mark it accordingly.

Prosecution, do you have any objection?

ATTY. AGABAS. None, Your Honors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Alright.

ATTY. BODEGON. For the next Supreme Court Resolution, Your Honor, be marked as Exh. 183, and this refers to the resolution dated September 22, 1992 in A.M. No. 92-9-851-rtc.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.     Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. BODEGON.  And as our exhibit, Your Honor, is the resolution of the Supreme Court en banc dated November 11, 1993 in A.M. 92-9-851-rtc.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.     Mark it  accordingly.

ATTY. BODEGON.  Thank you, Your Honor. We are now—may I now call on our next counsel, Your Honor, to present our next witnesses. May I request that Atty. Noel Lazaro be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.     Atty. Noel Lazaro is recognized and he can propound the questions to the defense witnesses. Where is your witness?

ATTY. LAZARO.   Thank you, Your Honor. Good afternoon, Your Honor, Mr. President, Mr. Presiding Officer, and the Honorable Members of this Impeachment Court. I am Atty. Noel B. Lazaro,  Your Honor, a member of the defense panel of Mr. Chief Justice Renato C. Corona. I am tasked to present our next witness, Your Honor, in the person of Atty. Randy Rutaquio, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.     Randy?

ATTY. LAZARO.   Randy A. Rutaquio.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.     Rutaquio.

ATTY. LAZARO.  He is the Registrar of Deeds of Taguig City, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    R.O.T.A…I.O?

ATTY. LAZARO.  R.U.T.A.Q.U.I.O., Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.     Okay.  Call the witness in and swear him to testify in this court.

ATTY. LAZARO.   We have for  sent someone already, Your Honor, to fetch the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.     We will wait a few minutes.

ATTY. LAZARO.   May we ask a couple of seconds, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.     No need, we will wait for him.

ATTY. LAZARO.   Thank you, Your Honor.

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

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE SECRETARY.  So, help you God.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Your Honor, please, may we ask if the private prosecutor is already present.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  Your Honor, I am Jose Benjamin Panganiban, respectfully appearing as private prosecutor under the direction and control of the honourable public prosecutors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Thank you, pañero.  With the kind indulgence of the honourable court.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Your Honor, the testimony of the witness is being offered to prove the following:

Number one, that condominium certificate of title no.  164-2010000062 issued to spouses Cristina Corona and Renato Corona on January 25, 2010 by the Registry of Deeds of Taguig City, Condominium Certificate of Title No. 164-2010000063 issued to spouses Cristina Corona and Renato Corona by the Registry of Deeds of Taguig City, Condominium Certificate of Title No. 164-2010000064 issued to spouses Cristina Corona and Renato Corona by the Registry of Deeds of Taguig City, and Condominium Certificate of Title No. 164-2010000065 issued to spouses Cristina Corona and Renato Corona by the Registry of Deeds of Taguig City, all of these titles, Your Honor, were issued on January 25, 2010, and these titles are collectively known as the Beladio property.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They all pertained to the Beladio condominium unit.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Yes, please, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

ATTY. LAZARO.  And that having been issued on such date, the same has been timely and accurately declared in the SALN of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When you say accurately, what do you mean by that?

ATTY. LAZARO.  These were declared in the SALN of the Chief Justice, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  According to the form.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Yes, please, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The SALN reflects the assessed value, the fair market value and the acquisition cost.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Only the assessed value and fair market value as determined, Your Honor, by the filer of the SALN, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The acquisition cost is not reflected?

ATTY. LAZARO.  It is not reflected, Your Honor, however, the deed of absolute sale which is a duly notarized document was publicly disclosed, Your Honor, and filed before a government agency, more particularly, the Office of the Registry of Deeds of Taguig City, and the same deed of absolute sale, Your Honor, was also considered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, a government agency which assessed, Your Honor, the corresponding taxes on this particular transaction, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The SALN did not call for the reflection of acquisition cost of the real property involved?

ATTY. LAZARO.  I understand, Your Honor, a column on acquisition cost, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But it was not, that is blank.

ATTY. LAZARO.  It was, however, left blank, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, proceed.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  May I say something, Your Honor,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  … for just a minute.  I understand, Your Honor, that this witness was also our witness and I’d like to inquire from the distinguished counsel, will this witness testify on matters which were not covered by his testimony when we presented him as our own witness.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Thank you, pañero.  Your Honor please, if I’m allowed to finish the purposes of the offer, Your Honor, it will become apparent that there will be new matters that witness will testify on, Your Honor.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  We submit, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let the counsel for the defense proceed.

ATTY. LAZARO.  May I proceed, Your Honor.  The testimony of the witness is also being offered to prove that along with the issuance of the titles I have just mentioned, there were underlying or relevant documents in his office or particularly the deed of absolute sale and the certificate authorizing registration pertaining to this Bellagio property.  As a second purpose, Your Honor, the testimony of the witness is being offered also to prove that a Transfer Certificate of Title No. 2093-P registered under the name of Ma. Charina R. Corona was issued by the Registry of Deeds for Taguig City on October 23, 2008 and that along with this transfer certificate of title there are relevant documentations to support this more particularly the deed of absolute sale entered into by and between Megaworld Corporation and Ma. Charina R. Corona dated October 21, 2008 as well as a special power of attorney signed by Ma. Charina R. Corona in favour of her parents, Renato C. Corona and/or Ma. Cristina R. Corona, to be her true and lawful attys.-in-fact among others to purchase and register a parcel of land particularly described as Lot No. 1 Block No. 16, Phase No. 2 in McKinley Hill Subdivision.  This special power of attorney, Your Honor, was executed and duly authenticated before the Consulate General of the Philippines located in San Francisco, California represented by Consul Arvic V. Arevalo on September 15, 2008.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the relevance to this impeachment trial of that property in the name of Charina Corona?

ATTY. LAZARO.  These documents, Your Honor, are being offered to prove the fact that this property was not included in any of the SALN of the Chief Justice because it is in fact owned by another person under the name of Ma. Charina R. Corona, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Lastly, Your Honor, the testimony of the witness is being  offered to prove such other relevant matters as may be applicable to the defense of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LAZARO.  May I proceed please, Your Honor.  Good afternoon, Atty. Rutaquio.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Good afternoon, sir.

ATTY. LAZARO.  This is not the first time that you testified before the honourable impeachment court, correct?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes sir.

ATTY. LAZARO.  You have testified before when you were called upon by the House panel prosecution.  Is that correct?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Your Honor, with that manifestation, may we ask for confirmation or stipulation from the good counsel whether he is willing to stipulate as to the position, qualification, competency and functions of the witness, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Are you adopting the testimony of this witness based on the direct examination of the prosecution?

ATTY. LAZARO.  Your Honor, please, no, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No.

ATTY. LAZARO.  There will be …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  There will be variance?

ATTY. LAZARO.  There will be variance, Your Honor, but I don’t think there will be variance as to the position, Your Honor, being held by the witness, along with his functions and responsibilities.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  We will gladly stipulate on that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Prosecution, what is your pleasure?

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  We stipulate, Your Honor, on the qualifications of the …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Do you mutually agree regarding the competence of this witness?

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Noted.  (Gavel)

ATTY. LAZARO.  Mr. Witness, part of the functions of your office is the issuance of relevant titles to  buyers of certain properties.  Would you confirm that?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. LAZARO.  And before your office issues a definite title on a particular application, are there any other documents that your office requires from applicants?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Sir.  Actually there are certain documentary requirements such as the submission of the original title, the owner’s duplicate title, the original deed of conveyance or sale, and the tax declaration, the tax clearance from the local government and then the certificate authorizing registration from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Do you require any other evidence of mode of acquisition between parties or among parties?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Sir.  If it is a corporation, if one of the parties or both parties are corporations, then we require the submission of the Secretary’s Certificate or Board Resolution.   If there is also—If one of the parties is represented by an attorney-in-fact, then would require a special power of attorney.

ATTY. LAZARO.  You have testified before when you were called by the prosecution and identified certain documents.  I am showing you this document previously marked as Exhibit DD, which is a Condominium Certificate of Title No. 164-2010000065 issued to spouses Christina Corona and Renato Corona by the Registry of Deed for Taguig City under the name Randy A. Rutaquio, Registrar of Deeds.  Please, kindly go over this document and just tell us or confirm whether that is the same document that you testified earlier.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  This is a common evidence on the part of the prosecution and the defense, so we admit the existence and genuineness, authenticity of this document.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. LAZARO.  I understand that, Your Honor, but we will just ask the witness to reconfirm it because there will be sub-markings that we are going to ask, Your Honor.  May I proceed, ;please, Your Honor

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, please.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. LAZARO.  May I have the answer please.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Sir.  This is the same document.

ATTY. LAZARO.  And that document was issued when, Mr. Witness?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  It was issued on January 25, 2010.

ATTY. LAZARO.  May we ask, Your Honor, that this document previously marked as Exhibit AA we will just do the request, Your Honor, permission to approach the witness, please, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Mr. Witness, I am showing you another document, marked as Exhibit AA which is condominium certificate of title no. 1642010000064, issued to spouses Cristina Corona and Renato Corona by the registry of deeds for Taguig City, and represented by Randy A. Rutaquio, registrar of deeds.  Please go over this document and reconfirm whether this is the same document that you earlier identified when you testified before the honorable impeachment court.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Sir, this is the same document.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The same document that was presented to you by the prosecution and the subject matter of your testimony.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  … when I was presented as a witness for the prosecution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  This is the same document.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Your Honor, this same document which is marked as Exhibit AA was previously marked as Exhibit 17 for the defense, Your Honor, and the document identified by the witness as Exhibit BB was also previously marked as Exhibit 18 for the defense.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Noted.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Mr. Witness, that document marked as Exhibit AA, when was that issued?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  It was issued on January 25, 2010.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Your Honor, may we ask that the date read by the witness as January 25, 2010, on the document marked as Exhibit AA be marked as Exhibit 17-A for the defense, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. LAZARO.  And also, the date read by the witness as January 25, 2010 on the document previously marked as Exhibit BB be bracketed and marked as Exhibit 18-A for the defense, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Now, Mr. Witness, I have here another document, previously marked as Exhibit Y for the prosecution.  It is a condominium certificate of title no. 1642010000062, issued to spouses Cristina Corona and Renato Corona by the registry of deeds for Taguig City, represented by a certain Randy A. Rutaquio.  Please kindly go over this document and reconfirm whether that is the same document that you testified on earlier.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, this is a common exhibit, why can you not just agree …

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  That is exactly our point, Your Honor.  All these documents …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Will that not be the same document?

ATTY. LAZARO.  We will just go directly with the sub-marking, Your Honor, this is just to give the witness an opportunity, Your Honor, to examine the same document.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Sir, this is the same document.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  The sub-markings need not be made in open court, Your Honor, because these have been previously marked.  For the prosecution, they have marked these exhibits for the defense and I do not see why we should burden the honorable court the time, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway …

ATTY. LAZARO.  With due respect, Your Honor, to may compañero, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I do not know the purpose of the submarking …

ATTY. LAZARO.  It has been a practice to allow the submarkings, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … but the entire document contains date, information and the best evidence of those information is that document and nothing else.

ATTY. LAZARO.  The submarking, Your Honor, is to highlight the date of the issuance of these titles, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, continue.  Do it.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Thank you, please, Your Honor.  Now, with the manifestation of counsel, may I just ask, Your Honor, that the document marked as Exhibit Z, previously marked as Exhibit 16 for the defense be submarked on the portion bearing the date January 25, 2010, we request that the same date be bracketed and marked as Exhibit 16-A, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. LAZARO.  And also the document marked previously as Exhibit Y for the prosecution and Exhibit 19 for the defense be sub-marked on the portion bearing the date January 25, 2010, and this date we request to be bracketed and marked as Exhibit 19-A, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  What is that, is that the parking lot?

ATTY. LAZARO.  This is, Your Honor, the condominium unit as well as the parking lots, Your Honor, collectively known as the Belagio property.  There are four titles issued to this property, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Which is the main title of the Belagio property?

ATTY. LAZARO.  The main title, Your Honor, is condominium certificate of title No. 164-2010000062, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And the other condominium titles all refer to parking lots.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Yes, please, Your Honor.  The three other titles refer to the parking areas, Your Honor, more particularly No. 50, 51 and 52, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, proceed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  Were those parking lots given separate values under the contract of acquisition?

ATTY. LAZARO.  Under the lone deed of absolute sale, Your Honor, these properties are lumped together under one consideration, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, proceed.  So, there is no separate consideration for the three parking lots.  None.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Under this deed of absolute sale, Your Honor, that is correct.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the consideration stated in the deed of sale?

ATTY. LAZARO.  After specifying, Your Honor, the properties including the condominium unit as well as the parking areas, the paragraph specifically pertaining to the consideration states that the same is P14,510,225.00, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is the totality of the consideration for the four titles.

ATTY. LAZARO.  That is correct, Your Honor please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Mr. Witness, you mentioned a while ago that there are accompanying  documents that you require before you issue a title.  For this particular Belagio property, can you tell the honorable court whether there are documents that you actually required or examined?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Can I have the deed of sale, Your Honor.

ATTY. LAZARO.  What is your answer please?  You want to verify first?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Your Honor, permission again to approach the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You don’t have to ask the permission of the court.  Just go near the witness.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Thank you, Your Honor, please.  Showing, Your Honor, to the witness  a document entitled Deed of Absolute Sale, previously marked as Exhibit CC notarized on December 16, 2009 executed by and between Megaworld Corporation and Spouses Cristina Corona and Renato Corona.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, sir.  We required the usual requirements that the buyer and seller filed with our office like the certificate authorizing registration and the tax clearance.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Thank you, Mr. Witness. Your Honor please, the defense requests that this document Exh. CC marked earlier be also marked as our common evidence for the defense and that the same be marked as Exh. 193 for the defense, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Mr. Witness, aside from the Deed of Sale, would you confirm with the Honorable Court whether you have also required a certificate authorizing registration?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. LAZARO. If you’re shown that certificate authorizing registration relative to this particular Velagio property, would you be able to identify it?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Definitely, Your Honor.

ATTY. LAZARO.  I am showing you a document pre-marked as Exh. 171, which is a certificate authorizing registration 2009 No. 00185250 issued at Taguig City on December 17, 2009.  Please go over this document, Mr. Witness, and tell us whether that document is among those documents that you required or examined before issuing the relevant titles for the Velagio property?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Your Honor. This is the same certificate authorizing registration that they presented.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Thank you, Mr. Witness.  Now, earlier, you also identified and testified on a document entitled: Transfer Certificate of Title No. -2093-P and previously marked as Exh. GG for the prosecution, please go over this document issued by the Registry of Deeds for the Taguig City and please tell this Honorable Court whether this is the same document you remembered having testified on?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Is that a title of a parking lot?

ATTY. LAZARO. This is a transfer certificate of title, Your Honor, of the so-called McKinley Property, Your Honor, registered under the name of Ma. Charina  R. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is a separate property?

ATTY. LAZARO.  This is a separate property now, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Thank you, Your Honor.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Your Honor, this is the same document.

ATTY. LAZARO.  The same document, Your Honor, has been previously marked as Exh. 158-A for the defense, Your Honor. We also request that the same be submarked particularly on the portion showing the name Ma. Charina R. Corona, of legal age, Filipino, as Exh. 158-B for the defense, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. LAZARO.  I am showing to you again another document, Mr. Witness, which was previously marked as Exh. 30 for the defense and this is actually a deed of absolute sale entered into by and between Mega World Corporation and Ma. Charina R. Corona on October 21, 2008 involving 1/Bl. 16 of TCT No. 989 with Lot Area 203 square meters and notarized on October 21, 2008. Please go over this document and tell us whether that is the same document that you required of the applicant?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Is that another property?

ATTY. LAZARO.  This is the same property, Your Honor, relative to the McKinley property.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

ATTY. LAZARO.  However, a Deed of Absolute Sale supporting the issuance of the transfer certificate of title, Your Honor, in favour of Ma. Charina Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What was the consideration for that?

ATTY. LAZARO.  This is in the amount, Your Honor, of P6,196,575.00, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Mr. Witness, please kindly go over the same document and please tell this honourable court who is the buyer in that Deed of Absolute Sale.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  The buyer is Ma. Charina R. Corona.

ATTY. LAZARO.  May I request, Your Honor, that the portion read by the witness as Ma. Charina R. Corona as the buyer of this subject deed of absolute sale be bracketed and marked as  Exhibit 30-A.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the utility of remarking this terms or names. It is already mentioned in the document marked as your exhibit.

ATTY. LAZARO.  This is for emphasis to highlight the fact, Your Honor, that the property was actually acquired under this particular name, Your Honor.  There was suggestion…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Deed of Absolute Sale speaks for itself.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Yes, Your Honor, but in our reference, when we make a formal offer of evidence, Your Honor, it is convenient to advert to a particular marking, Your Honor, so things will not mix up, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Go ahead.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Thank you, Your Honor, please.

Now, on page two of the same document, there appears to be several parties involved in this transaction, kindly go over that page and tell this honourable court who  the buyer was in this particular transaction.  The buyer please.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  The buyer is Ma. Charina R. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And the seller?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Seller, Your Honor, is Megaworld Corporation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  They are the parties to the document?

ATTY. LAZARO.  That is correct, Your Honor, if I may answer for the witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Your Honor, please, we also request that the same name read by the witness, Ma. Charina R. Corona, be bracketed and marked as our Exhibit 30-B.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Mr. Wtiness, I am showing you another document previously marked as Exhibit 39, which is actually a special power of attorney dated September 15, 2008, executed by one Ma. Charina R. Corona.  Please go over this document and tell us if that happens to be one of those documents you required of the applicant.

MR. RUTAQUIO. Yes, Your Honor, this is the special power of attorney which was filed in our office.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Thank you, Mr. Witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Yes, please, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who signed the Deed of Sale for the buyer?

ATTY. LAZARO.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Under this particular document.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, in the Deed of Sale?

ATTY. LAZARO.  Yes, Your Honor, this Deed of Absolute Sale by and between  Megaworld and Ma. Charina R. Corona, the signatories are, for Megaworld Corporation, Your Honor, was Giovanni C. Ng, a finance director for the company, Your Honor, and on behalf of the buyer, Your Honor, the signatory is Renato C. Corona, who is designated in the very same document as Attorney-in-fact, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So that, actually, the name parties to the agreement were Megaworld and this…

ATTY. LAZARO.  And Ma. Charina R. Corona, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  …and Ma. Charina…

ATTY. LAZARO.  That is correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  …represented by Renato C. Corona by virtue of this special power of attorney.

ATTY. LAZARO.  That is correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And that special power of attorney is executed abroad?

ATTY. LAZARON.  That is also correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Authenticated?

ATTY. LAZARO.  Executed and authenticated before Consul Arvic V. Arevalo of the Consulate General of the Philippines in San Francisco, California, United States, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who authenticated the notary public?

ATTY. LAZARO.  It says here, Your Honor, before me Arvic V. Arevalo, Consul of the Republic of the Philippines for Northern California, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington duly commissioned and qualified, personally appeared on September 15, 2008, Ma. Charina R. Corona.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So it was the consul who actually notarized the special power of attorney?

ATTY. LAZARO.  That is correct, Your Honor.  That is one of the modes of authenticating this particular document, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, no, no.  This document was executed outside of the country…

ATTY. LAZARO.  That’s correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … governed by the laws of that country.

ATTY. LAZARO.  That is correct, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And who was the notarial officer who notarized that document?

ATTY. LAZARO.  There is no particular notary public, Your Honor, but I understand that one of the modes of authentication, Your Honor, is that the consul himself can conduct, Your Honor, the oath and authenticate the document, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, he authenticates a signature but can he notarize?

ATTY. LAZARO.  He attests to the genuineness, Your Honor, of the signature…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Of Charina.

ATTY. LAZARO.  … of Charina, Your Honor.  He is also commissioned and qualified to do, Your Honor, this authentication, Your Honor,…

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes, that is for authenticating the signature.  But to make that a valid document, is it required to be notarized by an authorized notarial officer in the state where it was executed?

ATTY LAZARO.  It does not appear here, Your Honor, that there was such independent act of notarization, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Well, anyway, the prosecution will have to study the law governing notarial requirements of special powers of attorneys like that in the state where it was executed.  Because my understanding of the system of authentication is if there is a notary public, the notary public’s signature must be authenticated by a designated officer of the state where the document is executed and then the consul general will authenticate or the State Department if it is to be presented in other country will authenticate all the signatures appearing in that document.

ATTY. LAZARO.  That is correct, Your Honor, we understand that.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Anyway, that’s a problem that you will explain later one.

ATTY. LAZARO.  We will do so, Your Honor.  May I proceed please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Now, you identified this special power of attorney executed by Ma. Charina R. Corona and this has actually a cover acknowledgment.  By the way, Your Honor, the document referring to the signature of the consul is entitled Acknowledgment and this appears to be the same form as the one when a separate notary public makes a separate administration of an oath, Your Honor, because it also says here, known and known to me to be the same person who executed the attached instrument informing her of its contents and that she acknowledged that the same is of her own free will and act.  Now, please go over this document, Mr. Witness, and please tell the honourable impeachment court  whether this is also one of the documents that you required of the applicant.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Your Honor, this is the document which was filed in our office in connection with this particular deed of sale.

ATTY. LAZARO.  We ask, Your Honor, that this document just identified by the witness as one of those documents that his office required of the applicant be marked as Exhibit 194 for the defense, Your Honor.

Now, Mr. Witness, I’m also showing you a document entitled Certificate Authorizing Registration 200800093558 previously marked as Exhibit 172 for the defense dated October 22, 2008.  Please, kindly go over this document and tell this honourable court whether this is one of those documents that you examined after requiring the applicant of the same.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Your Honor.  This is one of the documents submitted to us as a requirement for the Deed of Sale.

ATTY. LAZARO.  In this certification issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, there appears to be a transfer from Megaworld to a particular person.  Can you please tell us the transferee of that particular property covered by that Certificate Authorizing Registration.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  The transferee is Ma. Czarina R. Corona.

ATTY. LAZARO.  Your Honor, we request that this name just read by the witness be bracketed and marked as Exhibit 172-A for the defense.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  (Gavel)

ATTY. LAZARO.  For consistency of marking, Your Honor, instead of 172-A, may we just ask that this same portion be marked as 172-E, Your Honor, because there were previous markings already.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  (Gavel)

ATTY. LAZARO.  Thank you, Your Honor, please.

Now, on page 3 of this four-page document pre-marked as 172-C, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That’s the Deed of Sale?

ATTY. LAZARO.  Your Honor, please, this is the Certificate Authorizing Registration involving the same property bought by Ma. Czarina Corona.

Thank you, Your Honor, please.

Mr. Witness, showing you this Exhibit 172-C which contains a list of transferor and transferee of the same property covered the Certificate Authorizing Registration, can you please indicate or point to us who the transferee is?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Your Honor, the transferee is Ma. Czarina R. Corona.

ATTY. LAZARO.  We request, Your Honor, that this particular portion read by the witness be bracketed and marked as Exhibit 172-F for the defense, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  (Gavel)

ATTY. LAZARO.  Mr. Witness, in your examination of the record covering these Bellagio property and McKinely property, did you come to know whether there are other documents, either cancelling or amending these particular properties?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Whose property?

ATTY. LAZARO.  The McKinley property, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In the name of Czarina?

ATTY. LAZARO.  In the name of Czarina.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  They are existing titles, Your Honor.

ATTY. LAZARO.  So, witness, I have no further questions.  Thank you for your time.

Your Honor, that would be all for the defense, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any cross?

SUSPENSION OF TRIAL

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  Your Honor, may we ask for a suspension of proceedings for one minute only, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, trial is suspended for one minute.

It was 5:25 p.m.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is resumed.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  Your Honor, may I make a short manifestation.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  The prosecution panel decided not to cross-examine this witness, Your Honor, to abbreviate the proceedings.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  The Chair would like to know, whether the considerations stated in these deeds of sale were paid in cash, paid by way of manager’s check or did the document describe the manner of payment, Witness?

MR. RUTAQUIO.  No, sir, it cannot be evident.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They just stated there the amount.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, sir.  Only the amount is stated in the deeds of sale.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … of the consideration without describing the manner of payment.

MR. RUTAQUIO.  Yes, Your Honor, without describing whether the payment is in cash or in checks.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, any further question to this witness?  Any further questions?

ATTY. LAZARO.  For the defense, nothing more, Your Honor, please.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Prosecution, no more.

ATTY. PANGANIBAN.  No more, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, the witness is discharged.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, the defense has another witness, but it seems that this will be taking up a lot of time of the court.  A lot of the time.

ATTY. LAZARO.  That is right, Your Honor.  May we, therefore move for continuance.

SEN. SOTTO.  We can do it tomorrow.

REP. TUPAS.  We object.  We object, Your Honor.  Can we, just for one-minute suspension, Your Honor.  One minute suspension, may we ask.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Trial suspended for one minute.

It was 5:32 p.m.

At 5:34 p.m., the trial was resumed.

SEN. SOTTO.  We are ready to resume, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Trial is resumed.

SEN. SOTTO.  After a consultation with the defense and the prosecution, the defense has agreed to present another witness for today.  Not as long as the supposed earlier witness that was …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How long will this witness take?

ATTY. ROI.  Your Honor, it should take only a few minutes.  We will try to present two witnesses who will testify briefly.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. ROI.  Although we were hoping to save them for another day so that the continuity of the story would be maintained, but in order to accommodate the request of the counsel for the prosecution, we will present these witnesses.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor. Can we have a minute to call the witness, Your Honor?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes. Go ahead.

ATTY. ROY. Thank you.

SUSPENSION OF THE TRIAL

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is suspended for a few seconds.

It was 5:35

RESUMPTION OF THE TRIAL

At 5:37 the trial resumed.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Please, bring the witness in.

Where is the witness?

ATTY. BODEGON.   For our next witness, Your Honor, may …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Session is resumed.

ATTY. BODEGON.  Thank you, Your Honor. For our next witness, may we request that Atty. Jad Roy be recognized,  Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Atty. Roy is recognized.

THE SENATE SEC.  Mr. Witness, please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in this impeachment proceeding?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE SENATE SEC.  So, help you God.

ATTY. ROY.  May I please the Court.  Good afternoon, Your Honors.  We are presenting Mr. Bens Lim to establish the circumstances surrounding  the acceptance of the Columns property indicated in the SALN of the Chief Justice.  The issue we wish to address in his testimony is to justify why the inclusion in the SALN is on a different date whereas, the titling of the property occurred much earlier. We offered the testimony of Mr. Bens Lim to show that there were just and valid reasons warranting the non-inclusion of the Columns property in the SALN of the Chief Justice.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.   Mr. Lim, good afternoon.

MR. LIM.  Good afternoon, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Can you please state your personal circumstances, meaning to say, what do you do? Are you married and so forth?

MR. LIM.  My name is Bens John Ignacio Lim, I am 25 years old, single. I am currently employed in Ayala Property Management Corporation and I was assigned as a Property Management in the Columns Ayala Ave. Condominium Corporation.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Mr. Witness.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Your residence?

MR. LIM. I live in Tondo Manila, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.

ATTY. ROY.  Mr. Lim, you mentioned that you were employed by the, what was the company, Ayala?

MR. LIM.  Ayala Property Management Corporations, sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Can you tell us what is the nature of the company’s business?

MR. LIM.  Ayala Property Management Corporation, sir,  is a property management company, which is under Ayala Land, Inc. It is a subsidy of Ayala Land, Inc.

ATTY. ROY.  May—can you please tell the court in what capacity you are employed or connected with this company?

MR. LIM. I was hired, Sir, as a property manager and I was assigned to the columns Ayala Avenue Condominium Corporation.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  Now, when you say you were hired as a property manager, what do you mean, what does a property manager do?

MR. LIM.  A property manager, Sir, is the one who manages the common area of the property itself.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  Now, you informed us that you were assigned to…

MR. LIM.  The columns Ayala Avenue Condominium Corporation, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  The columns Ayala, yes.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Is this columns, this is a condominium?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Sir, it is already under condominium corporation.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  It is a condominium and it is owned by the company you represent?

MR. LIM.  No, Your Honor, it was already under the condominium corporation, the association, itself.

ATTY. ROY.  Wait a minute.  Anyway, you were assigned to this company, to this columns project?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Now, what is it specifically that you do for the columns condominium?

MR. LIM.  I am the one, Sir, who manages all the common area of the property, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Would I be correct in describing you as the general manager or the building administrator?

MR. LIM.  Building administrator, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  As building administrator, Mr. Lim, what are your duties in relation to the residents of the columns condominium?

MR. LIM.  Basically, Sir, we are the one who handle the common area of the building itself.  Now, we also entertain complaints from the unit owners, yes, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  I understand.  Now, when you received complaints from the unit owners, what do you normally do with these complaints?

MR. LIM.  It depends on the complaints, Sir.  Basically, if the complaint is based on the common area, for example, for the cleanliness, or any equipment of the building, we handle it.

ATTY. ROY.  Can you tell us, Mr. Lim, if you perform any financial functions in the discharge of your job or work as building administrator.

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  Objection, Your Honor, question is leading, and witness has already stated that his only duties are to manage the common areas and act on complaints.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  He may answer.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.  Yes, please, Mr. Lim, tell us if there are any financial functions related to your work.

MR. LIM.  Actually, Sir,  the only financial function is the—basically, we are under association already, so, under association, we bill condominium dues.

ATTY. ROY.  I am sorry.

MR. LIM.  We bill condominium dues.

ATTY. ROY.  You bill condominium dues?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  What does that mean, Mr. Lim?

MR. LIM.  The association dues itself, Sir, of the building itself, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  What do you do with these association dues?

MR. LIM.  That funds, Sir, are the ones we used for the managing of the whole common area of the building.

ATTY. ROY.  So, do I understand it that the association dues is a fund which you used for the upkeep, is that correct?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor, that is correct.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  Now, where are these association dues kept?

MR. LIM.  Basically, Sir, the association has its own bank. We bill it, then, we collect it.

ATTY. ROY.  When you say we bill it, what do you mean we bill it, we bill what, Mr. Lim?

MR. LIM.  We billed the association dues, Sir, then, if the unit owners paid already, then, we put it in the bank of the association.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You billed the individual condominium owners.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor,

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And then, you put that in the bank account.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  For the use of the management of the common areas.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Like disposal of garbage, janitorial services, electrical repairs for other facilities of the building.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

ATTY. ROY.  Now, Mr. Lim, thank you, Your Honor.  Who is responsible, I am sorry, who is responsible for billing the home owners or the residents?

MR. LIM.  The property manager, itself, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Are you referring to yourself?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  Now, if a resident refuses to pay, what do you do?

MR. LIM.  Normally, Sir, on the condominium laws, we send billing, then, if we didn’t receive any payment yet, we send demand letters.

ATTY. ROY.  A demand letter. Who is the signatory of your demand letter when you send them, Mr. Lim?

MR. LIM.  Basically, the property manager, itself, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  Are there any other demand letters sent aside from those signed by the property manager?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel, just a minute.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What is the relevance of all of this line of questioning?  You presented this witness…

ATTY. ROY.  I’m coming to that.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  … to explain why the condominium was bought on a prior year only to be reflected in the SALN in a subsequent year.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.  The point that will be shown is that there were some issues that precluded.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, go to the point.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.  I would like to show you a document.  Do you recognize this document?  May we please make of record that I’m sending a document to the witness and I invite counsel for the prosecution to inspect the same.

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  There is no basis for the document, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  No, let him…

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, he just said that they prepared demand letters.  Do you recognize the document, Mr. Lim?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Can you tell us what this document is, if you know?

MR. LIM.  This is the final demand letter, sir, sent by our corporate secretary of the association to Mrs….

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Demand to whom?

MR. LIM.  To Mrs. Corona, sir.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who is Mrs. Corona?  What’s her name?

MR. LIM.  To Mrs. Cristina Corona, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Was he occupying the property?

MR. LIM.  No, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Who was occupying the property?

MR. LIM.  None, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Nobody?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, may I request that the document identified by the witness be adopted as defense’s Exhibit No. 195.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You are marking that document as exhibit?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor, as Exhibit No. 195.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  Can you tell us please, Mr. Witness, who executed this document, who signed it?

MR. LIM.  Our corporate secretary of the association, sir.

ATTY. ROY.  May we know the name of the corporate secretary?

MR. LIM.  Atty. Joselito Johngi Blando.

ATTY. ROY.  Did he prepare this document on his own initiative?

MR. LIM.  No, Your Honor.  This was approved by the board.  Basically, when we have a board meeting, the board approved that we send final demand letters using our corporate secretary to the delinquent owners for them to pay the association dues.

ATTY. ROY.  Going back to the document, Mr. Witness, do you confirm that what I see on this document which says, “Under these circumstances, final demand is hereby made upon you to pay your outstanding obligation to our client in the amount stated above within ten days from your receipt of this letter.”  Do you confirm those words of the document?

MR. LIM.  No, Your Honor.  Basically, this was issued by our corporate secretary.

ATTY. ROY.  Do these words appear on the document, Mr. Lim?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Mr. Lim, can you tell us what is the amount that is being demanded by the condominium corporation in relation to this letter?

MR. LIM.  P112,213.79.

ATTY. ROY.  P112,…

MR. LIM.  P112,213,79.

ATTY. ROY.  Was this amount paid, Mr. Lim?

MR. LIM.  Only the principal amount, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  I’m showing you photocopies of receipts apparently issued by the Columns, Ayala Avenue Condominium Corporation and I invite the counsel for the prosecution to inspect the same.  Your Honor, we are showing the witness one sheet of paper which contains the photocopies of two official receipts.  The upper half, can you please explain to us what is this upper half of the document, of the paper.

MR. LIM.  The upper half, Your Honor, is the Original Receipt No. 24141…

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.

MR. LIM.  … paid by Mrs. Cristina Corona, Unit 31-B, Tower One.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  How much?

MR. LIM.  Amounting to P78,162.36.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  May we request that the upper half of the document be marked as defense Exhibit 195-A, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  (Gavel)

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you.  Now, Mr. Witness, can you please explain to us what appears on the lower half of the document?

MR. LIM.  This is another payment, Sir, Official Receipt No. 24142, paid by Mrs. Christina Corona, Unit 31-B, Tower One amounting to P30,132.00.

ATTY. ROY.  May we request that the bottom half of the document be marked as Exhibit 195-B.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Mark it accordingly.  (Gavel)  Are those two receipts bearing the same dates?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They bear the same dates?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Okay.

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  Your Honor, just a manifestation.  The documents presented were not originals.  They appear to be photocopies of an original document that was not presented.

ATTY. ROY.  We concur, Your Honor.  We would produce the originals as soon as we’re able for the inspection of counsel.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Now, Mr. Lim, you said that in the first receipt, the amount paid was P78,162.26.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Sir.

ATTY. ROY.  And then you said that in the second receipt, the amount paid was P30,132.00?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Can you tell us, Mr. Lim, what was the total payment made by Christina Corona based on these two receipts?

MR. LIM.  Approximately, Sir, at P108,000.00.

ATTY. ROY.  One-zero …

MR. LIM.  O-eight

ATTY. ROY.  One-zero-eight thousand?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Now, am I correct, Mr. Lim, that you mentioned earlier that your demand letter was for the amount of P112,000.00.  Was that correct also?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  I think the amount mentioned was …

MR. LIM.  P112,213.79.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.  But these two receipts amount to only P108,000.00.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Am I correct, therefore, that there is a deficit of P4,000.00 more or less?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  So, does Mrs. Corona owe the condominium corporation P4,000.00 more or less after these payments?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor, upon not approval of the waiving of interest and penalties.

ATTY. ROY.  What do you mean waiving of the interest and penalties?

MR. LIM.  Basically, Your Honor, in the condominium laws, we put interest and penalties for delinquent members who are not paying their delinquent dues.  They are not paying their delinquent dues, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  And where there interests and penalties charged to Mrs. Corona?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor, for the P112, 000.00.

ATTY. ROY.  For the P112,000.00 you mentioned earlier?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  That is inclusive of interest and penalties.

ATTY. ROY.  Your testimony is that it included penalties and interests?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  But you also testified that based on these receipts, she paid less than P112,000.00.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Can you tell us please, Mr. Lim, what happened to the penalties and interests being claimed from Mrs. Corona?

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  Already answered, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  No, Your Honor.  He answered the basis of the penalties.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Let him answer so that we can finish.

MR. LIM.  Mr. Corona approached me and asked me if I can waive the interest and penalties.  Most likely, Your Honor, the procedure is that the unit owner must write a letter to the Board of Directors to request to waive the interest and penalties.

ATTY. ROY.  Mr. Lim, may I ask you to stop there.  You said she must write a letter?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Did she write a letter?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  I am showing you a letter.  Do you recognize …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Wait a minute.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  What has this line of questioning got to do with the reflection of this condominium …

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, the letter will contain precisely the reason for the delay in accepting the delivery.

The witness is about to testify why there was an underpayment, and the reasons for that are contained in the letter.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  In other words, the condominium unit was not yet delivered to the Coronas?

ATTY. ROY.  That is the question in this case, Your Honor, because the title was transferred early on but there were—I think in 2004 or 2005—but there were outstanding issues which the owner or the registered owner, in this case, Mrs. Corona, could not settle with the condominium corporation.  That is contained in the letter, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But if the title was already transferred to the Coronas, then, formally, they are the owners.

ATTY. ROY.  There was no acceptance, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But they have been billing them with dues already and they paid.

ATTY. ROY.  If you will allow me to continue, Your Honor, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Go ahead.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  Your Honor, I will just make a manifestation before we proceed, the letter that was presented by the witness appears to be a photocopy again, in violation of the best evidence rule and it appears to be a self-serving letter, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  They already promised to produce the original.  If they cannot produce it, then you make a proper motion at the proper time.

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  We submit, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  At any rate, Your Honor, the witness will identify this as a photocopy.  Do you recognize this photocopy, Mr. Lim?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  It is a photocopy of what, if you don’t mind?

MR. LIM.  This is the letter of Mrs. Crisitina Corona to the board of directors of The Columns, Ayala Avenue Condominium Corporation, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  What is the purpose of this letter, Mr. Lim.

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  Objection, Your Honor, the best evidence would be the letter.

ATTY. ROY.  All right.  Very well.  Do you confirm therefore that the letter contains this paragraph?  This is also to request for the waiver of penalties and interests incurred from commencement of payments, which Mr. Benz Lim allowed, pending confirmation by the board members in applying for this waiver, I would like the board of directors to be informed of the ordeals that I have gone through with this unit.  When I first inspected my unit, I couldn’t because The Columns administration had turned it ito a bodega storage place filled with debris from other units, dirty brooms, mops were on my kitchen counters.  The tools and brooms and mops were on my kitchen counters.  The toilets were stinking.  The kitchen sink was a mess.  It is also disinfected now because I spent time, money, to clean up their mess and to disinfect the kitchen counters.  Further, this unit has had a history of various defects, undersized electrical wires, leaking roof, damaged floors, unfinished windows, jams, etcetera, etcetera.

Do you confirm that that appears in the photocopy I am showing you.

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  Your Honor, the same objection, whether or not it appears in the document would be borne by the document …

ATTY. ROY.  This is merely confirmatory, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Sustained.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Now, what did you do when you received this letter, Mr. Lim?

MR. LIM.  I forward this to the board of directors, dated May of 2011 on our board meeting.  Basically, the board approved the request to waive the interest and penalties.

ATTY. ROY.  What do you mean the board approved the request?  What did that mean?  How much was waived?

MR. LIM.  Basically, Sir, it is amounting to P18,000, approximately.

ATTY. ROY.  Let us go back.  You testified that the demand was for P112,000 and some change.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Now, you are telling me that they waived P18,000, and some change.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  That means that the only obligation to you must have been about P98,000—no, I am sorry, P94,000.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Am I correct?

MR. LIM.  I would like to explain for that, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROY.  Could you please, Mr. Lim.

MR. LIM.  The payment that was paid by Mrs. Cristina Corona dated April 6, 2011, which I explained it, this is from the third quarter of 2009, going to the first quarter of 2011—second part of 2011.  Basically, the P112,000 that our corporate secretary of the association, given the demand letter is that that is only from third quarter of 2009 to first quarter of 2011, Your Honor.  So, basically, Mrs. Cristina Corona paid also the next billing which is second quarter 2011 amounting to P15,000.00 which is not included for the interest and penalties because this is a due billing.  This is only the updated billing.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Just a minute.  The dispute is about the condition of the unit, is this correct?

ATTY. ROI.  That is right, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I am asking the witness.

MR. LIM.  Can you repeat the question, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The dispute between the developer and Mrs. Corona was about the condition of the unit that she bought from the developer.

MR. LIM.  I don’t have an idea for that, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Because the letter says about this dirty condition of the unit.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  But basically, the letter is forwarded to the board of directors.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  I will put this question to you.  The unit was bought by Mrs. Corona.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Fully paid.

MR. LIM.  For that, I don’t have the idea, Your Honor.  This is for the developer’s concern.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  But it was already owned by her so much so that association dues were being billed on her.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And so, the only question is her acceptance of the unit.l

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  And yet, this was not included in the SALN of the Chief Justice.

ATTY. ROI.  Yes, Your Honor.  He would not know, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  You did not consider that a value to be included in the statement of assets, liabilities and networth?

ATTY ROI.  Your Honor, if you will recall, during the prosecution’s evidence in chief, the testimony was that there was no formal acceptance of the delivery.  And that the documents of the developer would show …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Correct.  But there was already a value transferred to the seller.

ATTY. ROI.  But that value was under dispute because of the defects, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely.  But did not Mrs. Corona pay money for the unit?

ATTY. ROI.  Yes, and she was asking for it back, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Why did you not report it in your SALN as a collectible?

ATTY. ROI.  Your Honor, because they wanted the money returned.  The unit was defective.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Precisely.  In other words, you considered that there was no transaction so that the developer owes you money.

ATTY. ROI.  That is precisely correct.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  That is an asset.

ATTY. ROI.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  So, proceed.

ATTY. ROI.  Thank you, Your Honor.  So, Mr. Lim, do you know if there were any dues collected from or demanded from Mrs. Corona before 2009?

MR. LIM.  I don’t have an idea, sir, because I just started to be a property manager of T Columns Ayala Avenue since 2010.

ATTY. ROI.  I see.  And yet, you have access to the records of the corporation.

MR. LIM.,  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROI.  By the way, Mr. Lim, did you present Mrs. Corona with a statement of account for the P112,000.00 that was the subject of your demand letter earlier?

MR. LIM.  I remember, sir, this was attached to the final demand letter sent by our corporate secretary.

ATTY. ROI.  Yes.  In fact, it is my mistake.  I am showing you now, just to complete the documentation, Your Honor, the statement of account that was the basis for the demand letter.

MR. LIM.  That is not the one, sir.

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  Same manifestation, Your Honor, the document presented is a photocopy.

ATTY. ROI.  Is this a photocopy of the statement of account?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY. ROI.  May we request that the statement of account be marked as 196-A because this is attached to the letter.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Counsel?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Until now, this Court, cannot understand your line of questioning.  The question is, did—there is a value involved here?

ATTY. ROY. Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Was that included in the SALN of the Chief Justice?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor, it was.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    It was included.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    In what way?

ATTY. ROY.  It was included later, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    No. No. At that time…

ATTY. ROY.  It was declared at that time there was no mention of the Columns.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   At the time of the acquisition?

ATTY. ROY. Well, …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    At the time of the payment?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, the payment was made in instalments and then, the title was transferred but the transfer of the title, if I recall, 2004 or 2005. Anyway, if I recall correct, Your Honor, the property was not formally accepted until this time when …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.   Was that this instalment payment completed?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    But it was not accepted?

ATTY. ROY.  To the best of my knowledge, yes, that is the way it happened, Your Honor, not accepted by the buyer, Your Honor,

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    When was the completion of the instalment?

ATTY. ROY.  At around that time when the title was transferred, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    But that is already a value that ought to be reflected in the SALN?

ATTY. ROY.  But that is also a defective sale, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    It doesn’t matter. There is a value, then, if the owner wanted to rescind the contract, he could have entered it as a receivable.

ATTY. ROY.  That is what happened in the interregnum, Your Honor. There was a dispute …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Anyway, proceed.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.    Senator Osmeña.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  May I just have—be clarified on couple of points. First, some questions on the prosecution’s counsel. The sale for the Columns took place on what year, sir?  What year?

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  2004, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  October 2004.  And the declaration of the purchase and the acceptance of the Columns as an asset occurred on what year?

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  It was declared in 2010.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  So, there was ten years …

ATTY. HERNANDEZ. Six years, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA. Six years, I am sorry,  six years that lapse between the time that he closed the sale and the time he declared it in his SALN?

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  That is correct, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA. How was the sale effectuated?  Was this a cash sale?  Was it a deferred payment sale?  Was it financed by a bank?  Did developer finance?

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  Your Honor, I am not so sure about the terms, all I have before me is the contract to sell which is dated January 2004 and a deed of absolute sale dated October 2004, so, it’s …

SEN. OSMEÑA. Transactions spanning less than a year and the price was P3.168?

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  P3.588, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  P3.588.

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  Yes.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Alright. Maybe, I’ll ask the defense counsel, how was the Column was paid for?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, the only thing I have in my possession is the deed of absolute sale, but I suspect it was also in …

SEN. OSMEÑA.  No, do not suspect.  You are supposed to know and I presumed you are telling us the truth.

ATTY. ROY. Well, Your Honor.

oHo

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Did he pay cash? I am asking you, did he pay the cash?

ATTY. ROY.  I am not informed, Your Honor. That would have been between the buyer and developer. I don’t have the deed of sale and confirm that the price …

SEN. OSMEÑA.  And so, you are blissfully ignorant.  Will you tell us tomorrow …

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  … whether he paid cash? Alright.   Mr. Lim, do you know if the cash was paid? Were you already with the Ayala Corp.?

MR. LIM. I don’t have an idea.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Anyway, some value was exchanged before …

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, if I may …

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Yes.

ATTY. ROY.  I’ve just been informed that this was acquired on a deferred payment basis.

SEN. OSMEÑA. Yes. So, how much down was paid?  We would like to know the payment that have made.

ATTY. ROY.  We have to wait until tomorrow, Your Honor, but I will provide you with those details.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Yes.  Senator Ping Lacson might have some information.

SEN. LACSON.  For the information of Sen. Osmeña, I have here the records. The Deed of Absolute Sale was executed on October 1, 2004.  The condominium certificate of title was issued in the name of Cristina Corona married to Renato Corona on November 3, 2004.  So, as of November 3, 2004, the Coronas already owned the condominium unit.  Is that correct?

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, the Coronas were already the registered owners of the condominium unit.

SEN. LACSON.  That is correct, as of November 3, 2004?

ATTY. ROY.  That is right, Your Honor.

SEN. LACSON.  That’s it.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Yes, but we are trying to find out how the Coronas paid for this.  Obviously, if title transferred to them in November 2004, as far as the developer is concerned, in this case, Ayala Land, I think, am I correct, Mr. Lim?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Ayala Land was fully paid.  It might have been financed through a bank loan.  Will the prosecution be able to find out how this was paid by inquiring of Ayala Land.

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  We will, we will try, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  No, don’t try, get the information.

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

ATTY ROY.  Your Honor, may I also…

SEN. OSMEÑA. Now, obviously, some value was paid and this was not 100% financed.  Is that correct, Mr. Lim?  There is usually a down payment.

MR. LIM.  I don’t have an idea for that, Sir, that is for sales.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  We would like to have that information tomorrow, because, I think, the Senate President is correct, there was value that was expended in 2004 and it was not reflected in his SALN.  And it is totally irrelevant whether he accepted the unit or not.  Title had transferred and there is value, and if he does not want to take acceptance of that, he could have recorded as an accounts receivable from Ayala Land.  But it cannot be zero.  So, there is falsification there and for it to last all the way up to 2010 is absolutely ridiculous.  So, therefore, we expect tomorrow, Mr. President, the information from Ayala Land.

Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  So, there is order.  Proceed.  Senator Guingona.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Yes, Mr. President.  I just want to be cleared on the letter, Mr. Defense counsel.  It seems Mrs. Corona was just asking for a waiver of interest and penalties, am I correct?

ATTY. ROY.  That is right, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  And nowhere in the letter did she categorically say that she refuses to accept the unit.

ATTY. ROY.  That is the subject of a different series of letters, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  In the letter, does she state that she refuses to accept?

ATTY. ROY.  In this letter, Your Honor, she says that she has been asking for a re-inspection of the unit.

SEN. GUINGONA.  So she does not categorically state that she refuses to accept.

ATTY. ROY.  Well, not in those words, Your Honor.

SEN. GUINGONA.  Okay.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right, proceed, counsel. Senator Lacson.

SEN. LACSON.  Even if the Chief Justice did not declare the property in his 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 SALNs, he corrected it in 2010.  There was no intention to hide it.

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, yes, you could view it that way, but, we will try to establish that he entered it in 2010 because of that point the issues regarding…

SEN. LACSON.  That is my point.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes.

SEN. LACSON.  He had no intention to hide his property.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, yes, that is true, Your Honor.

SEN. LACSON.  And, therefore, even without this impeachment trial, he already corrected in his subsequently, I mean, in his 2010 SALN.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. LACSON.  Are you arguing with me?

ATTY. ROY.  No, Your Honor, not at all.

SEN. LACSON.  Thank you.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Drilon.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes.  Mr. Witness, is it correct to state that you charge association dues only to the owners of the unit?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  And there was mention in the course of your testimony that Mrs. Corona had a lot of complaints about the unit.

MR. LIM.  I just got an idea for the complaint, sir, when she wrote the letter.

SEN. DRILON.  So you had no personal knowledge of this complaint.

MR. LIM.  I don’t have any idea, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Now, she complained about the condition of the unit.  Is that correct?

MR. LIM.  Based on the letter, sir, she stated it, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.   And I assume she had access to the unit.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  All right.  Did she have a key to the unit?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  And would you know when the key was delivered?

MR. LIM.  For that, sir, I don’t have an idea.

SEN. DRILON.  Who in Ayala Land would know this or the developer?

MR. LIM.  Basically, sir, we in Ayala Land, Aldeo have quality control team.  These are the teams who are—in front of the unit owner, they inspect the unit before turnover and then they are the ones also giving the keys and signing the acceptance forms.

SEN. DRILON.  I see.  Now, who in Ayala Land would know this?

MR. LIM.  Basically, sir, this is handled by Aldeo, the developer itself and CRU, Clients Relations Unit.

SEN. DRILON.  The names please.

MR. LIM.  Miss Carmina Cruz, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  And since you could not testify of your own knowledge, can you ask them instead of our requiring these people to come around.  Unless the prosecution would object, we can take your word on the delivery unless you want to bring along the person who brought the key and gave the key to Mrs. Corona.  Are you willing to do that?

ATTY. ROY.  If I may, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes.

ATTY. ROY.  We requested for a subpoena of the developer to come and send their representative.

SEN. DRILON.  Particularly on the person who delivered the key.

ATTY. ROY.  The issue of delivery will be central in that presentation, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  That‘s right.  Just a factual testimony as to when the key was delivered.

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.  I’m sure that the witness we subpoenaed would be in a better position to respond.

SEN. DRILON.  Now, I am looking at Exhibit NNN-3.  This document is marked in evidence, this is the contract to sell marked in evidence on January 24, 2012 and accepted by this court as evidence for the prosecution.  This is the contract to sell.  On Annex 3 of this contract to sell, this pertains to the Columns and there is a deposit here of P25,000 made on January 29, 2003, a downpayment of P543,181.82 on March 28, 2003.  There is also a delivery date of the unit indicated, June 2006,  and across that is a signature of Cristina R. Corona.  Would you know if this is the actual delivery date, Mr. Witness.

MR. LIM.  I don’t have an idea for that, Your Honor, that is already for Sales.  The one who handle that is Sales of Ayala Land, sir.

SEN. DRILON.  You are not involved in that.

MR. LIM.  No, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Okay.  So, on what date did Mrs. Corona agree to pay the dues, effective what date?

MR. LIM.  Basically, sir, we charge it  third quarter of 2009.

SEN. DRILON.  And she paid association dues effective the third quarter of 2009?

MR. LIM.  Based on our records, yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  But you were charging her association dues long before that?

MR. LIM.  I don’t have an idea for that, Sir, and we don’t have records of it, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  You do not have records for that or you just do not know of your own personal knowledge, Mr. Lim?

MR. LIM.  I just don’t know, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  Of your personal knowledge?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  I assume counsel would present that kind of evidence with the proper …

ATTY. ROY.  Your Honor, I think there is a misapprehension that must be clarified first.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes.

ATTY. ROY.  The Columns did not exist even in 2004, Your Honor.  This was a pre-selling of unit.  It came into agreement much later, Your Honor.  That is why there were no dues being collected until many years later.

SEN. DRILON.  Yes.  That is a contract to sell?

ATTY. ROY.  That is right, Your Honor.  Now, with respect to the acceptance of the keys, I can tell you tentatively that it was no sooner than late 2009 or early 2010.  I will endeavour the ….

SEN. DRILON.  You are not testifying …

ATTY. ROY.  No, Your Honor.  Relaying information that I received, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  That is not evidence here.

ATTY. ROY.  I’m just trying to assist, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  I don’t need your assistance.

ATTY. ROY.  Thank you, Your Honor.

SEN. DRILON.  We will wait for the witness to be presented and we will ask the questions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  When was the building constructed and finished?

MR. LIM.  Based on our records, Sir, there are three towers in The Columns.  2006 for Tower one, 2007 for Tower Two and 2008 for Tower Three.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Where was the unit of Mrs. Corona?

MR. LIM.  In Tower One, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Tower One, the first one?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  And that was finished when?

MR. LIM.  Based on our record, it’s 2006, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

SEN. SOTTO.  Senator Pimentel, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Pimentel.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Thank you, Mr. President.

For the defense counsel, …

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Sir.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  … did I hear you correctly earlier that you stated that Mrs. Corona wanted her money back?

ATTY. ROY.  Well, yes, in effect, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Did she take steps?  Did she write a demand letter or even file a case?

ATTY. ROY.  There were an exchange of letters but my recollection is that there was a reluctance on their part to file a case, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  What do you call this action?  What’s the technical name for this action?

ATTY. ROY.  Cancellation or rescission, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Rescission, right?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Governed—Do you still remember the Article in the Civil Code?

ATTY. ROY.  I’m afraid you might have me at a disadvantage, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Anyway, just for the …

ATTY. ROY.  Eleven ninety-one.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  … for the benefit of—Ilan?

ATTY. ROY.  I think so, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Or 1151.

ATTY. ROY.  Somewhere there.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Somewhere in the Civil Code.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  So, the only action taken by Mrs. Corona was to write a letter.  Did you present the letter?

ATTY. ROY.  Not yet, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  This is the letter asking for the return of the amounts that she has paid for the …

ATTY. ROY.  There is a different witness for that exchange, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  And you will do it?

ATTY. ROY.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. PIMENTEL.  Thank you.  Thank you, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Counsel.  (Gavel)

ATTY. ROY.  I have concluded my direct presentation—my direct examination, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  Cross.

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  May we conduct cross examination tomorrow, Your Honor.  We don’t have copies of the documents …

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.  This witness is discharged …

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Senator Osmeña.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Thank you.  Mr. President, may I direct some questions at the witness himself.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Yes.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Mr. Lim, good afternoon.

MR. LIM.  Good afternoon, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Mr. Lim, just to refresh your memory, there are three towers in The Columns.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  The first one was finished and occupancy started In 06?

MR. LIM.  2006, yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  The second one in 07?

MR. LIM.  07.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  And the third one in 08?

MR. LIM.  08, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  And the unit that was purchased by Mrs. Corona was in the first, second or third?

MR. LIM.  In the first, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  In 06?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  All right.  Now, you were hired just recently?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  You belong to a company that is a property management company?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Is that property management company owned by Ayala?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Sir.  Yes, Your Honor.  This is a subsidy of Ayala Land Inc.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  All right.  Now, you are familiar with the Condominium Law …

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Essentially, what a person buys is aire between the four walls, the ceiling and the floor, do you know that?

MR. LIM.  Can you repeat the question, Your Honor?

SEN. OSMEÑA.  You know that a unit owner in a condominium building is actually buying the aire which his unit is supposed to occupy.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  The common areas, the ceilings, the walls, the floors, the pipes, the electric, the corridors, all owned by the condominium corporation, correct?

MR. LIM.  That is correct, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  And that is what they call commonly owned areas.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  And that is what you are responsible for.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  That is exactly …

SEN. OSMEÑA.  All right.  Now, so, when a tenant complains about an undersized electrical wire, that would be the fault of the developer?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  All right.  And would these wires be any different from the wires in the other units of the building or wouldn’t they all be the same sizes?

MR. LIM.  It depends on the unit size, Your Honor.  But basically, it is similar.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  The bigger the unit, the heavier the wire?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  All right.  So, therefore, were there complaints from any other unit owners in the building about the size of the electrical wires?

MR. LIM.  There are seldom, Your Honor.  On my tenure, there are about less than ten, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Who complained about the size of the electrical wires.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Were these corrected by the developer?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  All right.  And did you correct also the complaint, and attend to the complaint of Mrs. Corona about the undersized electrical wires?

MR. LIM.  For that, Your Honor, I do not have an idea because, maybe, that …

SEN. OSMEÑA.  So, we shall ask the Ayala Corporation.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Now, the unit of Mrs. Corona is on 31st floor.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Is that the top floor?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  No, that is the second penthouse in the area, and she had a leaking roof.  Did she complain about the leaking roof?  I just heard earlier that …

MR. LIM.  Actually, Sir, I do not have an idea for that.  When she wrote the letter, that is the time I had an idea, but basically, the upper floor of Mrs. Corona is a roof deck already, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Was what?

MR. LIM.  Is a roof deck already, roof deck.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Yes, it is a roof deck, that is why she complained of a leaking roof.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor, but I don’t have an idea for that because I did not see it personally.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  You don’t know if it was actually repaired.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  All right.  We will check with the developer.  Now, the billing of P112,000, ano po, what did that cover?  Did that cover 12 months of condominium fees, six months, two years?  Ano ang breakdown po ng P112,000?

MR. LIM.  The breakdown of that, Sir, is, from third quarter of 2009 to first quarter of 2011, approximately of one year and a half.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  So, from third quarter of 2009 to …

MR. LIM.  First quarter of 2011.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  … first quarter of 2011.  2011, so that is about six quarters.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Three, four, seven quarters.  Am I correct?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  Seven quarters.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  Seven quarters, at how much per quarter?

MR. LIM.  Approximately, P15,000, Your Honor.

SEN. OSMEÑA.  P15,000 per quarter.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.  We will wait for the—we hope that the prosecution or the defense can invite the developer of Ayala Land.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The prosecution wants the cross examination to be started tomorrow?

ATTY. HERNANDEZ.  Yes, Your Honor.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  All right.

SEN. SOTTO.  May we have Senator Marcos first, Mr. President, before we dismiss …

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Gentleman from Ilocos Norte.

SEN. MARCOS.  Thank you, Mr. President.  I would like to direct just some very simple questions to the witness.  The dates are very important, Mr. Lim, which years, etcetera.  Am I correct in understanding that 2003, the pre-selling for the Columns began?

MR. LIM.  I don’t have an idea for that, sir, that is for sales already.

SEN. MARCOS.  Tower I where unit 31B which was bought by Cristina Corona was completed in 2006.

MR. LIM.  I don’t have an idea also of that, sir.

SEN. MARCOS.  But did you not testify to that earlier on, that it was completed in 2006?

MR. LIM.  The whole building itself, Your Honor, 2006.

SEN. MARCOS.  Iyong Tower I where Unit 31B is located.

MR. LIM.  2006, Your Honor, the whole building itself, Your Honor.

SEN. MARCOS.  So, the entire project was finished in 2006.

MR. LIM.  The Tower I, Your Honor.

SEN. MARCOS.  The Tower I where the Unit 31B is located.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. MARCOS.  Very well.  The duties that were being charged were first charged in 2009, is that correct?  The dues, sorry, not duties, the dues, the condominium dues, the first time they were charged to Mrs. Corona were in 2009.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. MARCOS.  Why is there a three-year interregnum between the time that the unit was finished, I would presume, when you say it is finished, it is ready to be moved into, and since they already a contract to buy the unit, why did the management corporation not start charging condominium dues in 2006 when the unit was completed?

MR. LIM.  I am sorry, Your Honor, but I don’t have an idea for that, but basically, maybe there is a complaint, Mrs. Corona has a complaint with the developer itself.  Maybe that is the reason why.

SEN. MARCOS.  What other possible reasons could there be for the three-year delay between the time that the unit was completed and dues were starting to be charged or demanded by the management corporation of Mrs. Corona.

MR. LIM.  Basically, sir, on our records only, we started billing 2009.  For that, sir, I don’t the idea already.

SEN. MARCOS.  Very well.  Perhaps the defense can help us out here because I think that is a critical period, the three-year period, and it will give us a better indication as to whether or not or when, what year …

ATTY. ROI.  As I understand it, Your Honor, the obligation to pay dues commences from the time that you are recognized as the owner of the unit.  Before that time, it is whomever the owner of the unit is that pays dues to the condominium corporation.  As you know, membership in the corporation is premised on ownership of the unit.  Without that nexus, there is no obligation to pay dues.

SEN. MARCOS.  Very well, so the implication that is being made, at least, by the defense counsel was that the management corporation did not, in fact, recognize Mr. Corona as the owner?

ATTY. ROI.  That is the implication I am trying to drive at.

SEN. MARCOS.  And Mr. Lim, the reason that you cite for that non-recognition until 2009 of Mrs. Corona as the owner that came about because there were still complaints and deficiencies being pointed out by the prospective owner.

MR. LIM.  I am not so sure for that, Your Honor, but maybe that is a reason.

SEN. MARCOS.  Well, very well.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Mr. President.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The gentle Lady from Taguig.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Mr. :President, I direct my question to the witness.  Just a follow through on the line of question also of Senator Marcos.  So, this particular condominium project was completed sometime in 2006.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor, for Tower I.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  And the procedure is for the developer to inform you as project manager that you should  start billing the various owners of individual units, is that how the billing for the condominium dues works?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  So, sometime in 2006, you started sending out billings to different condominium unit owners, correct?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor, that is the procedure.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  And so, at different periods of time, you would be informed by the developer something like somebody already purchased this unit, then you can start billing this other unit.

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  And you did not receive such instructions from the developer until 2009 for the particular unit we are discussing, the one owned by Mrs. Corona?

MR. LIM.  I just want to clarify, Your Honor. I started working in Columns starting 2010.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  2010.  Correct, but what does your record show?

MR. LIM. 2009, third quarter.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).    But sometime in 2009, you, as project manager started dealing them?

MR. LIM. Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.). Which means you got some kind of information or direction from the developer that start dealing this unit because there is already an owner, something to that effect?

MR. LIM.  Something to that, yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  And so, henceforth, that was the first time from your record that you started dealing?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.  Third quarter of 2009.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  And prior to that, you were testifying earlier, if I remember accurately that you, as project manager, you do not know personally nor do you have record as to what the status is before 2009 when the billing for Condominium dues first started?

MR. LIM.  Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO (P.).  Okay. Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Okay.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, in the light of the fact that the prosecution panel will cross-examine tomorrow, we may excuse the witness temporarily, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright, the witness is excused and ordered to return tomorrow at two o’clock in the afternoon.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President, perhaps, we may continue with the other witnesses tomorrow.

ATTY. ROY.  May I please the court, Mr. President. With your permission, we would like to rest for the day and present our other witnesses tomorrow.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Alright.  The Majority Floor Leader.

SEN. SOTTO.  Mr. President last March 15, 2012, counsel for Chief Justice Renato Corona filed a motion asking the House of Representatives—House of Representatives Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales Jr. be directed to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt and thereafter, if the evidence warrants, to declare Representative Gonzales guilty of contempt of Court.  Mr. President, I move that the Presiding Officer rule on the motion.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  The Court has the decision of the caucus this noon on this matter, the motion of the defense is denied. That is the ruling of the Court.

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

THE PRESIDING OFFICER. Sergeant-at-arms will now make an 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, there being no other business for the day, I move that we adjourn until two o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, March 20, 2012.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER.  Any objection?  Hearing none; therefore, the trial is hereby adjourned until 2 o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, March 20, 2012.  (Gavel)

It was 6:37 p.m.

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