Day 11 Highlights – Another Happy day for defense, Courtroom behavior, memorable exchanges and a free tutorial

by Adolfo Mortera


JUSTICE CUEVAS TO PROSEC COUNSEL CLARENCE JANDOC: “Strike out all manifestations, otherwise take the witness stand.”

SEN. ESTRADA TO PROSEC COUNSEL CLARENCE JANDOC: “What are you trying to prove here, that the chief justice failed to disclose his property? Did the CJ have to stipulate his parking lot in his SALN? “ JANDOC: Yes, he disclosed his Burgundy unit only in 2003 but it was undervalued. SENATOR ENRILE: “That’s an opinion. Culpable violation of the constitution refers to high crimes….

SEN. JOKER TO PROSECUTION LAWYER: “I would like to caution you. On points of law, we have agreement that the role of private counsel is limited only to conducting a cross-examination. Please observe that rule.”

SEN, ESCUDERO AND JOKER ARROYO: “Are these complaints impeachable offenses and culpable violation of the Constitution?

SEN. ENRILE: “We need to evaluate what amounts to impeachable offenses. We will ask Fr. Joaquin Bernas about it.”

SEN. ENRILE TO TUPAS WHO SUBMITTED NUMBEROUS REQUESTS FOR SUBPOENA: “You have to lay the basis first for subpoena, present semblance of evidence. We can’t just subpoena anybody. You can’t simply ask for records of the supreme court, neither can you subpoena someone to look at senate records. You have to consider equality of the 3 branches of government.” Regarding subpoena for banks you mentioned, Section 2 of bill of rights guarantee inviolable rights of persons and institution.

INAPPROPRIATE COURTROOM BEHAVIOR? During a cross examination by Defense Counsel Ramon Esguerra of the witness, the register of deeds of Marikina, Atty. Esguerra was able to establish that the properties in question do not belong to the chief justice, and that the property has one title, 7 parcels, and that there was already payment of fees but the buyer did not register it. An apprehensive rep. Barzaga of the prosecution immediately approached Esguerra and said there’s no basis for that statement. Sen. Enrile reprimanded him: “The prosecution should stay where they are!!”

DRILON LEADS RESCUE 911. During an exchange among Sen. Cayetano, Recto, and Justice Cuevas, the three had this similar view about the filing of SALN: If there are discrepancies in the SALN and errors are not deliberate and repetitive, it can be corrected, and there are no criminal liabilities. Sen. Drilon immediately rose and changed the topic. “Let’s proceed,” he thundered.

SEN. ARROYO’S MOMENT. At last, Sen. Arroyo recovered his brilliance, and illumined the court with this statement. “We have been hearing the evidence. We overlooked determining whether the offenses are impeachable. Not every omission is impeachable. The responsibility of prosecution is to submit evidence that’s impeachable. Otherwise, it’s not fair to listen to it. In the case of the impeachment against former US president Clinton, for example, the US Senate decided the complaint was not impeachable. Give us evidence that reached the level of an impeachable offense, of a higher bar.”

GEMS OF WISDOM, FROM SEN. ENRILE. “I’d like to admonish our colleagues to allow the defense to do the cross examination/” (Was he referring to Drilon?)…“Both parties should be courteous. We will enforce the rules, because the defense counsel is still speaking…. We should respect the rights of the respondent…Apart from being politicians, we are governed by ethics of our profession. We appeal to both sides to observe the norms of ethical conduct as lawyers.”

DID REP. TUPAS LIE ON NATIONAL TV? Let’s check out the following exchanges:

1. SEN. ESCUDERO TO TUPAS: “You released to the media Corona’s alleged 45 properties, but it now turns out there are only about 18 – 24 including parking lots and properties of his children. Don’t reveal this information to the public – unless evidence is presented to court.”

2. TUPAS: “We will not reach (sic) 45 properties. That information didn’t come from us. ESCUDERO: “But it was your spokespersons who said there are 45.”

3. SEN. ESTRADA TO TUPAS: “Sinong naglabas sa media nung 45? Sino ang naglabas ng listahan ng LRA? You released it to media? So, you’re now making it appear there are only 21“Yung iba cancelled, naibenta, pinapalabas nyo na marami pero 24 lang.” TUPAS: “Yes, pero marami rin po yung 24.”

4. SEN. HONASAN AND ESTRADA CONDEMN TRIAL OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE BY PUBLICITY: Honasan: “We can’t …allow premature disclosure to the public. The trial outside is faster than trial inside the court.” CUEVAS: “What’s revolting to us is that while these are marked, they are not yet evidence, not yet offered, pero pinapakita na ng prosecution sa media..” . ESTRADA: “I saw a video over at ANC showing Tupas together with spokespersons showing to the media the list of 45 properties. So they even had picture taking. They are putting us on the spot.”

5. TUPAS’ REPLIED WITH A STRAIGHT FACE: “I admitted last week that we released documents to the public, but that’s the only one we released. I never released that, it was an attachment for a subpoena.”

AFFIRMATION. As the witness, SVP Gregg Gregonia of Burgundy enumerated the installment payments from CJ Corona for the parking lots, it became clearer that the Chief Justice paid hard-earned money, otherwise he could have paid the parking lots in cash.

AN EXAMPLE OF CROSS-EXAMINATION BY JUSTICE CUEVAS TO TEST THE CREDIBILITY OF WITNESS. Addressing SVP Gregonia of Burgundy, he asked: “Do you have authorization from your boss, Mr. Serafica, to appear here? I noticed you referred to an ex parte motion from your Board. Were you privy to the board meeting? What’s the wording of the secretary certificate? Were you instructed to tell what’s to testify? Did they discuss with you the SALN? So, you have no knowledge of CJ Corona’s SALN amd therefore you’re not in a position to handle it. Did your secretary tell you the subject of testimony? Is this the first ime you saw these documents? Now about the receipts, were you a party to the preparation of receipts? It’s clear your job is to produce only the documents, bring them here, and nothing more.


ENRILE TO PROSEC COUNSEL: “Ask the witness what are these receipts in relation to burgundy? Don’t testify for the witness. Reform s against unreasonable and unwarranted search.” . your question.. Your questions are leading that’s why you meet a lot of objections.”


1. Since Day 1, I have heard about this advice from either Sen. Enrile and Justice Cuevas: “Reform your question.” Does it mean the questions from the prosecution are always deformed?

2. I can’t understand how they mark the documents. From quintuple, it’s now triple, then quadruple. Is that how a numbering system?

3. Both sides always mention “dorsal” portion of the documents. Why can’t they simply refer to it as marginal notes? Dorsal means palikpik ng isda, di ba?

4. Heard from the prosecution counsel: “…title for the parking Slot.”

5. I missed Day 9, but I caught Rep. Rey Umali’s courtroom act. He moved a lot, but that’s okay. I noticed though that he sstammered all throughout his show, muttering Ah…Ah…after each phrase. I think he could have uttered Ah…more than a 100 times. Did you find his Ahs sensual?

6. THINKING IN ENGLISH, SPEAKING IN TAGALOG. But I have to hand it to Rep. Barzaga for showing how an average Pinoy speaks in English. His is an excellent example of “Thinking in Tagalog, speaking in English.” That’s okay, Yur Onor.” ))