January 21, 2012
HIGHLIGHTS OF DAY 4, JANUARY 19, 2012
TO THE PROSECUTION: 1. On the 'disclosure' of CJ's SALN ASC: First of all, in article 2 you said "There is culpable violation of the Constitution and for betrayal of public trust when he failed to disclose to the public the statement of assets and liabilities."
Yesterday, all of the SALNs were presented. So is this institution now admitting that they have in fact been presented? As a follow up, the more important question: In your eyes or in the judgment of the prosecution is this the disclosure that the law requires?
IN SIMPLER TERMS, Given that Article II of the Impeachment Complaint charges the Chief Justice of culpable violation of the Constitution and / or betrayal of public trust for failure to disclose his SALN to the public as required by the Constitution, ASC wished to clarify if the presentation of SALN's made by the SC Clerk of Court during DAY3 of the trial (as far as the prosecution is concerned) satisfy the requirements of disclosure under the law?
ASC's manifestation aims to simply clarify the basis from which Article II of the impeachment complaint should be decided upon by the Senator-Judges.
2. On the reports of non-inclusion of some properties in the SALN, alleged 'ill-gotten wealth': suspicion or charge? ASC: In Article 2.3, sabi niyo po dito, "It is also reported that some of the properties of the respondent are not included in his declaration of assets, liabilities and net worth in violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act."
Ang question ko po: Paano niyo po nasabi na mayroong properties na hindi kasama sa SALN kung hindi niyo pa pala nakikita yung kanyang SALN?
So that's why you used the word 'reported' because you haven't yet gotten hold of it?
In 2.4, the prosecution used the words "suspected and accused". Are you accusing the Chief Justice of accumulating ill-gotten wealth and acquiring assets of high value and huge deposits or not? Or are you just suspecting that he does have?
So what you're saying is because the SALN was not available, you were constrained to use these words? But in your interpretation, is this sufficient to fulfill the requirements of having the ultimate fact? IN SIMPLE TERMS, Is the Prosecution accusing CJ Corona of ill-gotten wealth or is it just suspecting that he has acquired ill-gotten wealth?
IN ADDITION, ASC noted that allegations under Article 2.3 and 2.4 pertain to graft and corruption and ill-gotten wealth may be viewed differently to the main allegation in Article 2 of the impeachment complaint which is betrayal of public trust and/or culpable violation of the constitution for failure to disclose.
ASC's manifestation, again, aims to simply clarify the basis from which Article II of the impeachment complaint should be decided upon by the Senator-Judges.
TO THE DEFENSE 1. Sufficiency of complaint on allegations of ill-gotten wealth through suspicion or accusation ASC: "Just one question to the defense counsel. Your honor, in one Supreme Court decision, the Supreme Court held that the complaint is sufficient if it contains sufficient notice of cause of action even if the allegation may be vague or indefinite or in the form of conclusions, in which event the proper course would be to file a motion for bill of particulars. "
I'd just like to try to understand your argument. Are you saying that their use of the word 'suspected' means that there is no cause of action or sufficient notice, even if they used the word 'accused'?
IN SIMPLER TERMS, ASC is inquiring whether or not the prosecution's allegations of ill-gotten wealth based on suspicions or accusations are valid or sufficient basis (as far as the defense is concerned) to notify CJ Corona of the charge of Article II of the Complaint. *This will be further clarified by both parties in their memoranda to be submitted in next week.
ASC's manifestation, again, aims to simply clarify the basis from which Article II of the impeachment complaint should be decided upon by the Senator-Judges
WHY ASC ASKED THE QUESTIONS He wanted to be clarified what is really being charged by the Prosecution based on its stated allegations under Article II of the Complaint. The clarifications, he said, would address the following issues: 1. What offenses/ transgressions are being leveled against CJ Corona under Article II of the Articles of Impeachment? 2. Are the specific charges grounds for impeachment? 3. Should CJ Corona be held guilty of the charges as stated in ARTICLE II? He said it is important for him, as Senator Judge, to fully understand the following and help him (as well as other Senator Judges) eventually make the proper judgment at the proper time.
STATEMENTS OF ASC ON THE CRUCIAL ROLE & IMPARTIALITY OF SENATOR-JUDGES
During impeachment trial of DAY 4 (January 19)
1. "The rules on impeachment allow us (Senator-Judges) to ask questions to both the defense and the prosecution, to both the witness and also to the counsels."
2. "In any attempt to remove a public official, it is the prosecution's obligation to prove why this public official should be removed. That is why it is normal for us (as Senator-Judges) to ask about the articles of impeachment. What do they mean and what is the intended message? What do they intend to prove based on the articles of impeachment which they drafted?"
3. "As I said before, the Senate is also on trial here. The problem is if we keep quiet and don't ask questions, it will be as bad or even worse than asking questions and be accused of taking sides."
During media interview after DAY4 of impeachment trial
4. "What I'm saying is that a single question or lines of questioning will not determine one's neutrality. What will determine whether one is neutral or not is whether a senator-judge has decided on one's guilt (without consideration to the merits of the case)."
5. "Ang dapat manalo dito ay ang mamamayan. Ang katotohanan ang dapat lumabas. Kaya sana, ang mga mamamayan, 'wag titingnan na ang boto o desisyon ng isang senator-judge ay makikita sa kaniyang tanong o kaniyang manifestation. "