MANILA, Philippines – There’s bias for the prosecution and also for the defense.
Sen Panfilo Lacson said Chief Justice Renato Corona has no reason to set the stage for the declaration of a mistrial based on the bias of senator-judges. While Corona cited 6 senators allegedly aiding the prosecution, Lacson said there are also senator-judges he sees as biased for the defense.
“Wala akong nakitang basehan simply because meron din namang mga ibang senador na kung magtanong, parang sa perception ng tao, sa perception ko mismo, eh kumikiling naman sa depensa pero hindi nabanggit iyon. I won’t cite any names any more. Obvious naman kung sinu-sino rin iyon.”
(I don’t see any basis to declare a mistrial simply because there are also senators who, on the basis of their questioning, can be perceived by people, and in my own perception too, as siding with the defense but aren’t mentioned. I won’t name them any more because it’s already obvious who they are.)
Lacson was responding to the statement of Sen Sergio Osmeña III, one of the senator-judges the defense accused of bias for the prosecution. Osmeña said the supplementary petition Corona filed sets the stage for the eventual declaration of a mistrial.
In an interview Wednesday morning, Lacson said he wants the defense to explain in a legal memorandum its basis for saying there should be a mistrial.
“The senator-judges are just human. They form their opinions after hearing both sides so it can’t be avoided that, when they ask questions, you can read what they want to come out and what they don’t want to come out. You can see that,” Lacson said in Filipino.
Get signature experts
Lacson also weighed in on the alleged fake documents the prosecution attached to its supplemental request for a subpoena of Corona’s bank records.
He said that to resolve the issue, the impeachment court can seek the help of signature experts to determine the authenticity of the documents.
“It’s very easy to secure the standard signature of CJ Corona. We can get 10 because I know you need 10 specimen signatures of a person then compare it to the questioned documents attached in the subpoena,” he said.
Lacson said in jest, “Kumuha tayo ng handwriting expert from the NBI or from the PNP. Huwag lang iyong prinessure ni Jose Pidal kasi mali ang magiging findings noon.” (We can get a handwriting expert from the NBI or PNP, just not the one pressured by Jose Pidal because his findings will be wrong.)
The senator, however, said legal issues on how the document was acquired and whether or not it will be admissible in court are another matter.
He clarified that he is not saying Corona’s dollar accounts should be opened because of a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court.
“If they will belabor the issue on authenticity, we can have that checked to settle it once and for all instead of debating back and forth when we, senators, are not handwriting experts.” – Rappler.com