#CoronaTrial: Day 2

KD Suarez

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Day 2: Prosecution says they want to tackle Article 2; defense says they're not prepared to deal with that

MANILA, Philippines – Here are the highlights of the second day of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

2:02 pm: At the Supreme Court, spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez holds a press conference. He discloses the SC en banc decided to get comments from lower courts (Court of Appeals, RTCs, etc.) on the issue of judges and justices disclosing their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) to the public. Marquez also said the en banc deferred deciding on petitions to stop the impeachment trial. Corona inhibited, he said.

2:04 pm: At the Senate, impeachment trial session starts. Roll call. Counsels enter appearances.

2:08 pm: Impeachment court denies request by defense to summon members of the House, other lawmakers; Motion is declared moot and academic, since motion for pre-trial was already denied on Monday, January 16, the first day of trial.

2:11 pm: Impeachment court discusses the motion of the prosecution to issue subpoenas for Corona, his wife Cristina, and their children.

2:12 pm: Defense opposes it. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile then directs impeachment court clerk of court to read a ruling on the prosection’s motion. The prosecution’s request is denied.

The impeachment court, in its ruling on the motion, says the solidarity and unity of the family should be protected, and that CJ Corona enjoys the right against self-incrimniation.

2:29 pm: Prosecution says they will appeal the decision.

2:30 pm: Motion for subpoenas for the Registry of Deeds, to prove authenticity of documents on the alleged properties of CJ Corona, is approved.

2:32 pm: Senator-Judge Alan Peter Cayetano speaks, puts his reservations on record regarding the motion on the subpoenas for the Coronas. Cayetano questions the court’s denial of summons, saying it was too early to say if family members would incriminate each other.

2:43 pm: Enrile responds to Cayetano, and says the ruling on the motion was made because the case at hand is similar to a criminal rather than a civil case.

2:46 pm: Cayetano appeals ruling, and Enrile asks if the senator-judges are willing to put it to a vote. Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III says the body is willing to put it to a vote. Session is suspended, senator-judges huddle.

3:18 pm: Senator-judges back inside session hall. Session resumes.

3:20 pm: Senator-judges vote on Cayetano’s appeal to reverse earlier ruling on the motion for subpoenas for the Coronas. Those who vote to retain earlier motion: 14; those who vote to reverse motion: 6. Ruling stays.

3:27 pm: Chief prosecutor Rep. Niel Tupas speaks: says prosecution team disagrees with Enrile’s view that the impeachment case is similar to a criminal case. It is sui generis, a class of its own, Tupas says. Enrile, however, explains that an impeachment case is neither criminal nor civil, but has similarities to a criminal case.

Tupas asks, “May we know the source of your explanation?” Enrile: “If you want to find the source, it’s the product of my own mind.” Laughter at session hall.

3:30 pm: Rep. Elpidio Barzaga speaks, says prosecution now ready to present evidence for Article 2, or Corona’s failure to disclose his SALN. Enrile asks, why start with Article 2? Prosecution says, it is because of public interest.

3:34 pm: Defense lawyer Serafin Cuevas opposes the prosecution’s plan, says that if the prosecution is allowed to select the order of presentation of evidence at whim, the court would be at their mercy.

Barzaga then says that they are not ready to present for Article 1, but they are ready for Article 2.

3:38 pm: Senator-Judge Joker Arroyo advises prosecution to arrange the order of presentation of evidence now.

Prosecution, defense debate on the order of the Articles of Impeachment.

3:50 pm: Prosecution then states that they simply want to present documentary evidence, such as the deeds of absolute sale; no testimonial evidence. Discussion on the authenticity of the documents. Prosecution admits they want to suspend the day’s proceedings. Laughter in the room.

3:51 pm: Senator-Judge Edgardo Angara then asks if the prosecution can present a new calendar of presentation. Later, Enrile suspends trial “for one long minute.”

3:56 pm: Session resumes – so that Enrile can adjourn trial for the day. He says trial will resume Wednesday, January 18, at 2 pm. – Rappler.com

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