February 7, 2012
Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago's Motion for Reconsideration
Dear Mr. Senate President:
This is to respectfully and humbly propose the procedure to be followed on the defense counsel's pending motion for reconsideration. I refer to this Court's resolution yesterday, which approved the prosecution's request for subpoena to certain bank officials.
At today's hearing, counsel from both panels should be allowed to argue the motion for reconsideration for not more than one hour for each side, unless the Senate orders otherwise. (Impeachment Rules, Rule 5.)
After this debate, the Senate President could then give time for each panel to submit its written memorandum. After both memoranda have been filed, then the Court could go into closed session (caucus) to resolve the pending motion. If necessary, I shall, despite ill health, attend this caucus, if give advance notice of at least three hours.
Yesterday, I watched the live telecast of the proceedings. I noticed that one senator stated that the Rules allow s a senator to file a motion for reconsideration. There is no such provision in our Impeachment Rules. Perhaps what he referred to were the Senate Rules, which provides that any senator who voted with the majority may move for reconsideration within the next two session days. (Rule 33). The only time that the Impeachment Rules allow the Senate Rules to apply suppletorily is under Rule 6, which does not concern a motion for reconsideration filed by counsel.
In any event, if it is your judgment that only a senator can file a motion for reconsideration, then I respectfully request that this letter should be considered, ex abundanti cautela, as a motion for reconsideration from a senator-judge, on the following grounds:
1. It appears that the subpoena would violate this Court's own ruling that evidence shall NOT be allowed on ill-gotten wealth. (Complaint, Art. 2, para. 2.4.) Since 2.4 is the only paragraph that specifically mentions "bank deposits," any requests for subpoena concerning any bank deposits should be rejected.
2. It appears that the Court's resolution allowing subpoena even for foreign currency deposits appears to be a direct violation of R.A. No. 6426. The Supreme Court ruled in Intengan v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 128996 (2002), that this law is violated if a foreign currency deposit is examined, except only when the depositor gives written permission. This is the only exception, and it is not present in this case.
3. Prosecution cited the 1997 case of Salvacion, 2000 case of China Banking Corp., and 2006 case of Ejercito. It appears that all three cases are off-tangent.
I cite these grounds, without prejudice to my final vote, after the motion for reconsideration has been properly debated.
MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO
Monday, March 2