MANILA, Philippines – Here are the highlights of Day 27 of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
2:08 pm: Session starts. Roll call: 19 senator-judges present.
2:13 pm: Court discusses defense’s motion to suppress evidence, prosecution’s formal offer of evidence, part of court formalities.
2:15 pm: Court accepts evidence presented by prosecution. Court however disallows tender of excluded evidence related to the bribery charges.
2:18 pm: Senate decides to not entertain, act on motion to formally dismiss 5 articles not tackled by prosecution. The senator-judges won’t vote on the articles in question (1, 4, 5, 6, and 8), nor will they receive evidence on the said articles from either side. Court also tackles other motions, including the denial of subpoenas for members of the House of Representatives.
2:24 pm: Defense manifests, and asks court to clarify ruling on denying affirmative defense. Lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas says they are “entirely hopeless,” after motion for preliminary hearing was denied. Enrile says the Articles of Impeachment have been verified, and that it is “too late” to raise the question of verification at this point.
Discussion centers on the validity of the complaint, as defense continues to question it.
2:47 pm: Trial suspended. Enrile proceeds to meet with senator-judges.
3:09 pm: Trial resumes. Senator-judge Miriam Defensor-Santiago manifests, says that motion to dismiss can be filed if court has no jurisdiction over the accused or the issue. She says that the defense already accepted jurisdiction of court, and that they cannot turn around and repudiate it.
3:13 pm: Senator-judge Francis Escudero asks questions to defense. He asks about what the defense really wants, and Cuevas responds that they still want a preliminary hearing.
3:20 pm: Senator-judge Alan Peter Cayetano asks questions to defense.
3:31 pm: Senator-judge Franklin Drilon manifests. He says the impeachment court categorically validated the verifcation of the complaint.
3:33 pm: Slight tension. After Drilon’s manifestation, Cuevas says they are worried the senator-judge’s statements will be taken as the prosecution’s. Drilon answers back, tells lead defense counsel that what he said is improper.
3:34 pm: Enrile orders Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III to read January 18, 2012 ruling on the validity of the complaint.
3:38 pm: Senator-judge Joker Arroyo asks defense: What is your purpose in doing this?
3:45 pm: Questions from Senator-judge Aquilino Pimentel III.
3:52 pm: Enrile makes ruling on defense’s request for affirmative defense. Court denies it.
3:54 pm: Defense presents first witness, Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco, to lay basis of Chief Justice Corona’s answer to Articles of Impeachment. Direct examination by defense lawyer Dennis Manalo.
Enrile reminds both sides the court won’t allow presentation of evidence on Articles 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8. Defense says the testimony will only cover the articles not yet withdrawn by prosecution.
Tiangco testifies about the circumstances surrounding the filing of the complaint. He also talks about his past experience in the impeachment complaint versus former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.
4:40 pm: Session suspended.
5:00 pm: Session resumes. However, prosecution panel isn’t inside hall. Session suspended again.
5:01 pm: Session resumes. Direct examinaiton continues, focuses now on the Corona impeachment complaint and the events during the House majority caucus where it was discussed.
5:48 pm: Senator-judge Francis Pangilinan asks about the relevance of the line of questioning by the defense. Manalo says the testimony is relevant to show that the grounds for impeachment is not substantial, not an impeachable offense, and it will put in question the integrity of the complaint and complainants.
5:56 pm: Direct examination ends. Cross examination by prosecution. Rep Rodolfo Fariñas asks a few questions, mainly regarding the release of the PDAF.
6:00 pm: Rep Tiangco temporarily discharged from witness stand. He will return to witness stand on Tuesday for questioning by Senator-judge Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
6:02 pm: Court discusses issuance of subpoena for members of House of Representatives. Senator-judge Panfilo Lacson reminds court that they won’t issue subpoenas for members of co-equal branches of government. Sotto concurs, and says it should be the defense or the prosecution that should invite them.
Impeachment court to discuss the subpoena requests in caucus.
6:11 pm: Senator-judge Jinggoy Estrada asks defense: May testigo ba kayo sa SALN ni CJ Corona? He compares it to the impeachment trial of his father, former president Joseph Estrada.
6:13 pm: Senator-judge Manuel Villar responds to Estrada’s statements re: “railroading” of the Estrada complaint back in 2000.
6:18 pm: Court asks if defense has any more witnesses for the day, they said they have none, and seeks to present two more lawmakers.
Prosecution then asks if the defense can disclose the order of presentation of the Articles of Impeachment. Enrile says they should be prepared for cross examination.
6:22 pm: Senator-judge Ralph Recto asks defense some questions.
6:24 pm: Court discusses decisions on the issue of Vitaliano Aguirre, the defense “P100-million bribe” press conference.
Aguirre, defense lawyer Judd Roy both cited for contempt. Roy’s punishment to be determined in caucus.
6:31 pm: Session adjourned. Trial to resume on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at 2 pm. – Rappler.com