January 5, 2012
Excerpts from Kapihan sa Senado with Sen. Koko Pimentel
Pimentel: I-announce ko na sa inyo na nabasa ko na ang impeachment complaint, nabasa ko na ang answer at nakalahati na ako sa reply. Tignan ko muna on the basis of our Rules. Pero , ako rin naman 'yung ako nag protesta, ako din na contempt so ok lang yan. Risk na 'yung sa prosecution kung silang ma-disciplina, basta handa lang silato face the consequence of their acts.
Basta may nakikita ng pattern, if it's already a pattern, if it's an abusive pattern, then you will be disciplined. Ganun po naman ang mga judges mag-disciplina. One action, which is at the boundary of the rules of allowable pronouncements, papayagan pero kung pattern na, parang sasabihin 'yung korte abuse na 'yan dapat didisiplinahin na. But that is how I will personally process this incident, hindi ko alam mga kasama ko, marami kami, 23 kami.
On Rep. Tupas' statement that they are not yet covered by the Rules of Impeachment
Pimentel: We have already the impeachment complaints, their names and their signatures are already there. It will be a colleagial decision on whether to discipline them or not, but personally, I will be liberal in interpreting the Rules kasi ayoko maranasan sila kung ano naranasan ko.
On pre-trial of impeachment case
Pimentel: Ang trend ngayon in practice, even sa Korte, sa Rules of Court, gagawin lahat ng less formal activities na makakatulong sa pagpapabilis sa litigation kasi the less formal the better bago uumpisahan mas formal na proceedings. So, if the pre-trial or the preliminary conference would help expedite the case then open po ako dyan. Wala po obstacle kasi ganyan naman talaga ang trend. Let us dispose of issues, let us admit the facts that is admitted naman by the parties para hindi na paulit-ulit na hahaba pa 'yung litigation.
On surprise witnesses or surprise evidence
Pimentel: Ang trend naman sa practice, sa Rules of Court, hende lang sa atin bansa kundi sa ibang bansa, is full transparency. You lay your cards on the table, as much as possible, no surprises. So, kung meron kami i-propose na measures na prevent 'yung surprises, then I will support those measures.
Q: Sir, ano 'yung implication ng maagang pagpre-present sa public ng evidence ng prosecution?
Well, that is for your consumption. Kaming mga senator-judges dapat marunong kami na balewalain 'yun, kalimutan lahat ng sinabi. So, dapat may discipline kami na kahit narinig namin ang statement na 'yun, burahin namin sa isip namin 'yun. Unless it is formally presented as evidence before us, hindi namin dapat i-consider 'yun. Discipline of the mind lang. Dapat kaya naming burahin 'yung narinig namin, nabasa namin na hindi formally na-introduce sa impeachment trial.
Q: Pero, sir, hindi ba sya pambabastos kasi in-open na nga 'yung venue yet they still presented the evidence to the media?
Sa akin, I'm liberated. Sa akin, personally, hindi. I'm not affected. Kaya kong i-disregard lahat ng narinig ko at nabasa ko.
Q: Senator, maco-consider po bang merits of the case po 'yung pinapakita ng House prosecution panel?
Actually, oo. Evidence na. Merits of the case, actually.
Q: Sir, hindi po ba mas napaghahandaan ni Corona kasi na-present na?
Oo, may mga pros and cons naman. Alam naman ng kabila 'yan. Dapat naman kasi sinasabi talaga kung ano ang ebidensiya mo. Wala ng taguan ngayon. Hindi na uso 'yun ngayon 'yung surprises. You should win by the merits of your case and then you tell the other party what you have and then the other party will also tell you what they have. Ganon po 'yun. Lay your cards on the table. 'Yan na po ang trend ngayon.
Q: Sir, nasa Rule 18 ng Rules of Procedure ng Impeachment na refrain from mag-comment so lalabag itong House prosecution panel...
Andon ba ang penalty if you do not refrain from. It's really addressed to the good discretion of the senator-judges. Ganito lang ang reminder ko sa prosecution, kung gusto pa nilang magsalita, be man enough and be ready to face the consequences.
Q: Paano kung ico-course through nila 'yung evidence...
Common sense tells us that what the right hand cannot do, the left hand should not be allowed to do. Common sense naman po iyon kasi kung ang rule ay the right hand should not do this is based on respect for the tribunal, then why will be the left hand be allowed to do it and disrespect the same tribunal. Same thing. Alam nila 'yon kasi 'yung mga spokesman nila lawyers din. Doon na lang sila tumingin sa Code of Professional Responsibility ng lawyers. Nandoon na rin 'yun. Anyway, basta if they want to keep on talking, just be prepared for possible consequences. 'Yun na lang ang general reminder ko.
Q: Ano po ang possible consequences?
Open-ended ang Rules namin. We will borrow from the Rules of Court, Jurisprudence, kung ano 'yung mga possible sanctions on people who discuss matters which are sub judice. I have personal knowledge on that because during my protest, I was fined a total of P35,000. Alam ko 'yan.
Q: Ano 'yung offense niyo noon?
Contempt for discussing the merits of the case.
Q: Sir, do you think it's part of the strategy of the House prosecution panel to release these information?
Hindi nap o kami makikialam sa mga strategy nila basta they should follow the Rules of the Senate and then if they want to test the limits of the Rules, be prepared for the consequences. 'Yun lang po.
Q: Pero, sir, 'yung defense din maglalabas ng ebidensiya...
Ang assumption din naman diyan ay ang defense knows the common sense meaning of the Rules kaya kung gusto nilang gumaya, they should also be prepared for the consequences. And actually kung gumaya ang defense, kung mape-penalize ang isa, the same penalty will be imposed on the other side. Ganoon po ang mangyayari.
Q: Pero, sir, 'yung penalty po will be resolved at the first week of the trial?
If there is a motion coming from a party or one of the senator-judges then it will be taken up. Ako rin dapat, I should now keep my mouth shut kasi I should be ready to face the consequences.
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