MANILA, Philippines [UPDATED] – The impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona may be on a break but the senator-judges are not.
On Tuesday, March 6, the senators will discuss in a caucus 2 pending items: the penalty for a private prosecutor who covered his ears while Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago was talking and the defense team’s request not to include evidence on Corona’s bank accounts.
Private prosecutor Vitaliano Aguirre has been cited for contempt for his hear-no-evil stunt during the 26th day of the trial.
Aguirre earned the ire of Sen. Santiago and other senator-judges who now have to decide how long Aguirre will be detained and how much to fine him. Under the Rules of Civil Procedure, Aguirre could be detained for as long as 10 days and fined by no more than P2,000.
Sen. Santiago had suggested in jest that Aguirre be detained for 24 hours while her lectures are playing inside the detention room.
Aguirre has already apologized but said he does not regret covering his ears while Sen. Santiago delivered her harshly worded lectures to the prosecutors in her “shrill” voice
The senators also have to decide on the defense panel’s request to remove evidence on Corona’s peso and dollar bank deposits from the impeachment court records.
The defense has cited the legal doctrine of “fruit of the poisonous tree” regarding the bank document the team said was illegally obtained.
The prosecution team attached this document — the signature card of Corona in Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) — to its request to subpoena Corona’s bank records with PSBank, citing an anonymous source.
The bank officials have claimed the document is fake.
The Senate banks committee is currently investigating the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for possibly leaking the document after it audited various deposits in the bank, including Corona’s, in November 2010. – Rappler.com