MANILA, Philippines – Here are the highlights of Day 31 of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
2:10 pm: Session starts. Roll call: 18 senator-judges present.
2:13 pm: Senator-judge Miriam Defensor-Santiago manifests. She discusses Article 2 of the Articles of Impeachment, particularly the SALN issue, as well as the political nature of the case.
She explains the legalities in the filing of SALNs, and tells both prosecution and defense they need to prove/disprove dishonesty on the part of the Chief Justice.
2:37 pm: Senator-judges Joker Arroyo, Pia Cayetano, and Francis Pangilinan ask questions to both prosecution and defense.
2:47 pm: Presentation of defense witnesses continue. Tranquil Salvador for defense.
Defense, prosecution discuss stipulation of documents and presentation of witnesses. Senate Pres. Juan Ponce Enrile allows defense to present witness related to the property documents.
2:54 pm: Session suspended.
3:00 pm: Session resumes. Senator-judge Franklin Drilon manifests, says defense and prosecution stipulate on several issues related to the property documents.
3:05 pm: Defense’s first witness: Mario Badillo, Makati City Assessor. He testifies regarding the Columns condominium property. Short direct examination by Salvador; no cross examination.
3:10 pm: Session suspended to wait for next witness.
3:13 pm: Session resumes. Next witness is acting Quezon City Registrar of Deeds, Carlo Alcantara, presented by defense lawyer Dennis Manalo.
Prosecution accepts Alcantara’s qualifications and background, as he previously testified for the prosecution.
He testifies in relation to Corona’s alleged QC properties.
3:51 pm: End of direct examination. No cross examination. Questions from senator-judges. First off, Senator-judge Francis Pangilinan, followed by Francis Escudero.
4:02 pm: Witness discharged. Session suspended.
4:35 pm: Session resumes. Defense presents additional marked documents.
4:37 pm: Defense counsel Noel Lazaro presents Randy Rutaquio, Taguig City registrar of deeds, as next witness. Rutaquio, who also testified for the prosecution before, will testify in connection to CJ Corona’s properties in the said city.
5:25 pm: Defense ends direct examination of Rutaquio; Session suspended.
5:33 pm: Session resumes. Senator-judge Vicente Sotto III suggests continuation of defense testimonies, but prosecution objects. Session suspended again.
5:35 pm: Session resumes again. Court agrees to let 2 more witnesses testify. Session suspended again.
5:37 pm: Session resumes again. Next witness is Benz Lim, property manager for The Columns, where a condominium unit owned by the Coronas is located. Defense counsel Judd Roy conducts direct examination. Lim testifies regarding the Coronas’ Columns property, specifically the payments of dues.
6:05 pm: Confusion over the mode of payment for the Columns property. Senator-judge Sergio Osmeña III asks prosecution, defense. Senator-judge Panfilo Lacson also joins in discussion.
Senator-judge Franklin Drilon asks Lim when the key to the unit was given to the Coronas.
6:24 pm: Defense ends direct examination. Prosecution to conduct cross in next session. Senator-judges Osmeña, Ferdinand Marcos and Pia Cayetano ask Lim several clarificatory questions. Witness Lim is temporarily discharged, and court agrees to continue defense’s presentation of witnesses during next session.
6:37 pm: Court denies defense motion to cite Rep Neptali Gonzales for contempt.
6:38 pm: Session adjourned. Trial resumes on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, at 2 pm. – Rappler.com