January 18, 2012
Transcript of Senate Minority Leader
The problem with giving into this request is the precedent that it will set.
I really believe that the SC would allow the release the documents, and there's no reason for them not to. But the problem is the precedent that it will set if all the witnesses that will come here who are custodians of documents that have been subpoenaed by this court will come and say that they'll have to ask their bosses first for authorization. That will erode the authority of this impeachment court. That's why I'm constrained, Your Honor, not to avail of the two minute time allowed for each senator-judge but to raise a point of order.
Rule 5 says that the Senate shall have the power to compel the attendance of witnesses, to enforce obedience to its orders, mandates, writs, and judgments, to preserve order, and to punish in a summary way contempts of, and disobedience to, its authority, orders, mandates, writs, or judgments, and to make all lawful orders, rules, and regulations which it may deem essential or conducive to the ends of justice.
Mr. President, the subpoena is an order of this court. A few minutes ago, the presiding officer already ordered the witness to surrender those documents. So I think, Your Honor, it is proper to raise a point of order to simply order this witness to turn over this document. The Supreme Court will not hold you for that because it is precisely under the authority of this impeachment court.
Will a bank manager suffer if the president says "'Wag mo i-release" while there is an existent subpoena from the court?
This is not a request. The resolution deals with requests. This is not a request. This is an order under Section 5 of the rules of the impeachment court and these rules are promulgated under the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.
I think the rest speaks for itself, Mr. Presiding Officer. I think it is in order that your earlier order now be enforced.
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