Prolonged trial bad for governance

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Healthy balance between the demands of the trial and that of the national interest needed

WORRIED. Senator-judge Francis Pangilinan is worried the impeachment trial will distract government from the business of governance.

MANILA, Philippines – Reacting to the prosecution’s long list of over 100 witnessees who may be called to the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, Sen Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said on Saturday, January 28, this is “pushing to the limit our ability to effectively govern the nation.”

The impeachment court must strike a “healthy balance between the demands of the trial and that of the national interest,” said Pangilinan, who sits as senator-judge in the impeachment trial.

In a press statement, he said, “If they are serious about presenting all these witnesses then we face the prospects of a prolonged  trial.”

He added, “We have had six witnesses in the last two weeks. If we maintain this pace, 100 witnesses will require 10 months of trial. This doesnt include the witnesses for the defense. Going by this lengthy route is pushing to the limit our ability to effectively govern the nation.”

“Oh my God!”

Claiming they did not want to leave any stone unturned in efforts to convict Chief Justice Renato Corona, the prosecution submitted a long list of over 100 witnesses and documentary evidence they plan to present to the impeachment court.

The defense on the other hand said it would present only 15 witnesses.

Prosecution spokesman Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III was quoted in reports as saying, “We wanted to be thorough and put on a list all witnesses who could help our search for the truth. People might say that having too many witnesses would bog down the trial further, but we don’t intend to put all the witnesses on the stand.”

Informed of the long list, Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, presiding officer of the impeachment court said, “Oh my God!” He however said he has no control over “the manner of proving the case of any side in this proceeding.”

SURPRISED. Presiding officer Sen Juan Ponce-Enrile is taken aback by the prosecution's long list of witnesses.

List of witnesses

Below is the prosecution’s list of witnesses:

Article 1: Malacañang records office chief Marianito Dimaandal; Supreme Court Clerk of Court Enriqueta Vidal; UP Law director Harry Roque; Undersecretary Jose Luis C. Gascon; Inquirer reporter Dona Z. Pazzibugan; and Congressional Library Bureau executive director Emma Rey.

Article 2: Makati City register of deeds; Megaworld Corp finance director Giovanni Ng; Ayala Land representative Aniceto Visnar Jr.; Community Innovations representative Nerissa H. Josef; Burgundy Realty Corp Greg Gregonia; John Hay Management Corp (JHMC) record officer; National Statistics Office officer;  Securities and Exchange Commission corporation registrar; Housing Land Use Regulatory Board representative; representatives of BPI, PNB and Landbank;  Filinvest Alabang Inc vice presidents Mary Eleonor A. Mendoza and Ava Venus A. Mejia; and a certified fraud examiner.

Article 3: Lawyer Gorgonio B. Elarmo Jr; high court disbursing officer Michelle M Mangubat; Corazon G Ferrer-Flores; Edsa Shangrila Plaza representative; Design Exchange Inc representative; JHMC corporate secretary; former JHMC vice president Lyssa GS Pagano Calde; retired Court of Appeals Justice Teodoro P Regino; COA directors Ma Cristina Dizon-Dimagiba and Rosemarie Lacson-Lerio; COA Supervising Auditor Arlyn M Encarnacion; Judicial Bar and Council secretary; former JHMC operations manager Frank Daytec; Lauro Vizconde; Dante Jimenez; Prof Rosario Maria T. Juan-Bautista; Fasap president Roberto Anduiza;

High court spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez; Clerk of Court Vidal; deputy clerk of court Felipa Anama; Bureau of Immigration representative; Philippine Airlines representative; Prestige Travel Agency; high court employee who handles Corona’s travel documents; SEC representative; and the 9 justices present in the Oct 4, 2011, en banc session.

Article 4: Marquez; deputy clerks Anama and Vidal; high court process server Johnny Aquino; high court en banc room attendant Antonio Altamia; the Ombudsman; and the 9 justices present at the en banc session on Sept 14, 2010.

Article 5: Clerks of Court Vidal and Anama; League of Cities representative; Fasap representative; 3 former high court justices or legal experts; and high court employees involved in pertinent cases included in Corona’s impeachment.

Article 6: UP Law director Roque and lawyers Emmanuel M. Lombos, Nelson T. Antolin, Michelle Ann U. Juan, Cynthia del Castillo; Clerk of Court Vidal.

Article 7: Inquirer reporter Marlon Ramos; journalists Raissa Robles and Marites Vitug; TV reporters Mark Meruenas, Zen Hernandez, Ina Reformina and Lia Manalac (and their cameramen); the justice secretary; Arroyo physicians Juliet Gopez-Cervantes and Mario Ver; high court process cashier; Clerks Vidal and Anama; sheriff Benjamin Anunuevo; high court judicial officer Araceli C. Bayuga; “Juliet” of the Office of the Clerk of Court; Magallanes notary public Jay Francis P. Baltazar; high court justices and spokesperson. –

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