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Archive for January 18th, 2012


I’ve just changed my blog theme here at WordPress after using the former one for so long, but I keep coming back to it so probably in a month or two, I’ll go back to the old one. Anyway, I am sharing some photos of my daughter’s wedding. it’s taking them so long to choose what to go in their official wedding album. I love these though which my daughter made herself.

 

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Day 3  – The Chief Justice Trial

Wow, they are supposed to tackle Article 2, 1 and 7 of the Articles of  Impeachment but until now after two long recess, they have only touched Article 2 which is the presentation of Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) by CJ Corona.  Cuevas, head of the Defense panel made a manifestation on the sequence on the Articles of Impeachment and said further that they were not dealing with the impeachment proceedings to satisfy the common man. I don’t know where he was coming from, it’s good Enrile said that they can’t waste time on mere technicalities and ruled that they  proceed and comply with Article 2. The first court witness was the clerk of court of the Supreme Court Enriquetta Vidal. It was Atty. Mario Bautista, the lead private prosecutor who questioned their first witness. Enrile, however, reminded him that he had the tendency to cross-examine the witness which was improper and they cannot impeach their own witness.  The Prosecution failed in commanding the witness to produce the SALN because she said that she was not in the position to do so.

Now this is the fun part because everyone watching probably reacted too on how some of the senator judges interpellated  Supreme Court’s  clerk of court Vidal. It was Sen. Drilon who asked her if she will bring the SALN or not. Actually Sen. Drilon saved the day for the Prosecution with his intelligent query. Maybe, Vidal was not so much impressed by Atty. Mario Bautista but when it was the senators’ turn to question her she finally admitted that she brought said record with her but was in a quandary whether she was doing the right thing in turning it over  to the Impeachment Court. She was apprehensive to submit it without Supreme Court’s  authorization. Being the custodian, Enrile said that she should produce it since they should not be impeded by any branch of the government in performing their duties.  Sen.  Joker Arroyo suggested that she be given one day to seek  SC’s authorization. Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano said that it is not a request but an order of the Impeachment Court. Sen. Kiko Pangilinan said that  seeking SC authorization would undermine the power of the Impeachment Court.  Sen. Francis Escudero assured the witness Vidal that the subpoena issued by the IC is a valid defense. I love the  way  Sen. Jinggoy Estrada  took the floor and urged Vidal to obey the subpoena of the IC . He seems funny at times but he makes sense.  Kung wala nga namang itinatago, bakit hindi ipakita? (if there is nothing to hide, why not show it?) The presiding Judge, Sen. Enrile reiterated that the subpoena is not a request but an order. The Impeachment Court is a different body, not co-equal to the Supreme Court.  Sen. Pimentel added that if she ever goes to court to defend herself, he was sure there would be many lawyers to volunteer to defend her. That probably prompted Vidal to finally submit the SALN and for both Prosecutor and Defense to mark it as exhibits. And it is interesting to note that right after Vidal turned over the SALN to the Impeachment Court, Atty.  Marquez,  the spoke person for the Supreme Court held a media briefing saying that there never was any hesitation on their part to have said documents shared with the public and that long before the trial started,  the Supreme Court Justice  allowed it.  If that was the case, why was Vidal in a quandary and confused about turning over the SALN to the IC and kept repeating that she needed the  authority of her big boss?

The Defense’ head lawyer Atty. Cuevas said that Vidal may be subjected to criminal charges because of what she did but Sen. Enrile asked him that he should explain to Corona the need to submit the SALN. After more than thirty  minutes of recess, they assumed session  at around 4:40pm only to stop again after a minute for a long, long one hour recess.  They presented the second witness Marianito Dimaandal who is in charge of keeping the SALN of Corona in Malacanang.  He presented certified true copies of SJ Corona’s SALN from 1992  to 2002 which he could not even say are truly authentic.

It was  an exciting third day, a day where everyone learned something about disclosing public documents for public scrutiny which in this case is the SALN.  It must be too hard on Vidal to make that final decision to turn over the SALN which she brought to court. The agony of being a witness, the fear  of saying something that would trigger the ire of the Senator judges or the Prosecution or even the Defense. She was composed but you could see in her expression that she was afraid.  The idea of presenting the SALN is for the Prosecution team to establish whether what Corona  filed was true and correct and to establish if he really was capable of acquiring those assets which are part of the articles of his impeachment. And this may take a long time.

I wonder how long this would take, but it surely makes TV afternoon viewing truly interesting.  The Prosecution should really do its assignment and  prepare itself  for another battle with the seasoned and experienced trial lawyers of the Defense. We are speaking of tax money here which could be channelled  somewhere else if not for this Impeachment trial.

Ride on Day 4!

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