Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 2: Chief Justice On Trial

Prosecution tries to summon witnesses vs Corona

On the second day of the impeachment trial, senator-judges will vote on the request of the prosecution to summon witnesses to prove Chief Justice Renato Corona’s alleged failure to disclose his properties and assets.

In a press conference, impeachment court spokesperson Maria Valentina Cruz said the prosecution has filed petitions to summon several persons, including Corona himself and his family.
For its part, the defense team has opposed the move to have Corona’s wife and children and their spouses to appear during the trial.

The prosecution has asked to summon the following persons in connection with Corona’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
- Clerk of Court Enriquetta Vidal to bring to court Corona’s SALNs from 2002 to 2011;
- The city assessors of Taguig, Marikina, Makati and Pasay;
- The personnel officers of the Office of the President and Office of the Vice President;
- Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares to bring to court Corona’s annual income tax returns;
- Giovanni Ng of Megaworld Corp.;
- Aniceto Bismar Jr. and Lourdes Reyes of Fort Bonifacio Development Corp.;
- Grace Evangeline Mananquil-Sta. Ana and Nerissa Josef of Community Innovations Inc.;
- Rogelio Serafica of Burgundy Realty Corp.; and
- Jaime Agbayani, president of the John Hay Management Corp.;

Private prosecutors

The impeachment court will also try to resolve today the motion of the defense to disallow the appearance of private prosecutors in the trial.
Cruz noted: “[Presiding Judge and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile] already said that the prosecutors are allowed only in respect to the presentation of evidence but not on the legal argumentation.”
In yesterday’s hearing, the prosecution tried to present its private lawyer, but was immediately thwarted by Enrile.
The prosecution will try to ask today for a clarification on the assistance of private prosecutors. During the impeachment trial of then President Joseph Estrada, private prosecutors helped in the legal argumentation.
Meanwhile, Cruz also said the senator-judges agreed yesterday that each could not pass on to another his or her two minutes to question a witness. The two minute mark limit is only for questioning purposes, and is intended per witness.

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