January 28, 2012
SENATE MINORITY LEADER ALAN PETER CAYETANO'S FIRST MANIFESTATION DURING CJ TRIAL DAY 7
On Presenting Confidential Documents in Public and the Difference of Gag Order and Sub-judice
Binanggit ni Senator Alan Cayetano ang Senate Impeachment Rule partikular na sa pagbabawal pagbibigay ng komento at paglalahad ng merito ng nakabinbing kaso na nag-aaply sa lahat - hindi lamang sa Presiding Officer at miyembro ng Senado kundi pati sa taong subject ng impeachment, counsels at mga testigo ng magkabilang panig bilang paliwanag kung saan nagmumula ang posisyong nilahad ni Senador Arroyo at Senador Lacson.
Dalawang punto ang gusto niya bigyang diin:
(1) Una, noong ginawa nila ang Impeachment Rules sila ay nagkaisa na ilantad ang lahat para walang magsuspetsa kung paano sila dumating sa kanilang desisyon at kung ano ang ebidensyang pinagbasehan nila nito.
Sa kanyang pananaw ay naging maingat naman ang mga saksing humarap sa Impeachment Court mula sa Clerk of Court ng Supreme Court hanggang sa BIR Commissioner. Tulad ni Commissioner Henares, noong iprinesinta niya ang Alpha List ng Supreme Court, sinabi niya na may ibang mga pangalan doon kaya hindi niya inilabas ang naturang dokumento sa kanyang kabuuan. Tungkol naman sa ITR ng Chief Justice, binigyan naman siya ng pahintulot ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas na ilahad ito sa trial.
(2) Pangalawa, kaugnay dito at mga nababasa niya sa pahayagan ay ipinaliwanag nya ang pagkakaiba ng "subjudice" at "gag rule". Ang gag rule ay absolute. Ibig sabihin ng "gag" ay tatakpan mo ang bibig. Hindi pwedeng magsalita at all tungkol sa kaso. Sa kabilang panig ang subjudice naman ay mayroong parameters. Kung nagkukwento ka lamang o naglalahad ng nangyayrari, hindi naman ito ipinagbabawal. Ngunit ang mga Senator-Judges tulad nila mas maingat sila sapagkat iniiwasan nila na mapagbintangan na may kinakampihan sila.
ACTUAL TRANSCRIPT OF MANIFESTATION:
Section 18 of Senate Resolution 39 embodying the impeachment rules of the Senate states:
"The presiding officer and the members of the senate shall refrain from making comments and disclosure in public pertaining to the merits of the pending trial. The same shall likewise apply to the prosecutors, to the persons impeached, and to their respective counsels and witnesses."
I read this rule in support of all those who stood before me. Senator Joker Arroyo is correct when he said that just because it's a trial and it's open, it doesn't mean that we can violate people's rights. Sen. Lacson is correct in pointing out that we have to suspend our rules if we want to go in executive session. But we all agreed when we made the rules that we should put everything before the people. Nagkasundo kami na ilantad lahat ito para walang magsuspetsa kung ano ang magiging desisyon, at kung ano ang mga ebidensya.
Mr. President, I would like to point out two things.
First, our witness here, Ms. Henares, has been very careful and has followed her oath and work very well. Noong iprinesinta ang Alpha List ng Supreme Court, sinabi niya na may ibang mga pangalan doon kaya hindi niya inilabas para hindi makita ang ibang pangalan. There have been times in the past where this has been in discussion. Ang totoo niyan, napag-uusapan na rin namin ang gagawin kung halimbawa, may lalabas na ibang mga titulo na may ibang pangalan, kailan pwedeng madamay ang ibang tao dahil kailangan sa trial, at kailan hindi.
I agree with the Presiding Officer to exercise caution and in following the law. In the case of the ITR of the Chief Justice, the president has already authorized its release. And if it's brought up in the trial, the cameras here are very powerful. They can zoom in anytime and see the documents clearly.
Let me go to my second point.
I keep reading in the newspapers about a gag rule and I think they are referring to the second and third paragraph I read. Let me just point out that there is a difference between a sub judice rule and a gag rule. A gag rule is absolute. Ibig sabihin ng "gag" ay tatakpan mo ang bibig. Ibig sabihin, hindi pwedeng magsalita at all tungkol sa kaso.
Sub judice, on the other hand, has certain parameters. For example, if you are simply narrating or detailing what was in the complaint or what happened today, or what it was in the answer, or if you're part of the media or spokesman and you are merely recapping or showing both sides, that is not prohibited. Kung titingnan natin ang rules, ang nakalagay, "refrain". Hindi nakalagay dito na absolutely, hindi ka pwedeng magsalita ang prosecution or judges. Pero kaming judges, mas maingat kami sapagkat iniiwasan namin na mapagbintangan na may kinakampihan kaming isang panig kapag nagsalita kami.
Mr. President, let me agree with my colleagues here and let me agree with you. Let's just be very careful that we don't get too excited that in coming out with the evidence, whether for the prosecution or the defense, we violate and trample upon people's rights. But so far, our witnesses have been very careful, from the clerk of the Supreme Court to the BIR Commissioner.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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