Senator-judges admonished impeachment complainant and civil society group leader Harvey Keh for trying to influence the impeachment court.
The defense team presented Keh as one of the hostile witnesses after filing a complaint against Chief Justice Renato Corona before the Ombudsman seeking investigation on Corona's alleged unexplained wealth.
Keh, who is the lead convenor of Kaya Natin group, submitted to the office of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile an envelope containing the purported transaction records of Corona’s foreign and peso accounts last May 7.
Enrile, who said he did open the envelope, asked Keh why he brought the documents to his office accompanied by a TV crew and publicized it instead of submitting it to the Ombudsman where he filed the complaint.
“I received the documents anonymously and I didn’t know what to do with it. I think the Senate would be in the best position to evaluate this document,” he replied.
“You're trying to influence the court. I felt insulted and offended,” Enrile told Keh, ordering him to explain in writing why he should not be cited in contempt.
Although Keh has expressed his apologies to the presiding officer, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago further reprimanded the witness.
“What kind of good governance are you trying to promote? You're acting on anonymous sources. You didn't even bother to examine whether the complaints are fair or not? You're not even a witness and you're a complainant against the chief justice?!
Even a layman knows that no person shall influence a judge during the court proceedings. I am angry at you! Consider yourself admonished!” Santiago said.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada also pounced on Keh for peddling the unverified documents to the media.
Keh tried to deny that he is only after the publicity but later confessed that he actually called some reporters about the documents.
“Sinungaling ka ah,” Estrada told Keh.
The senator-judge further grilled the witness if he just fabricated the documents to which Keh denied, “Hindi ko po ito gawa-gawa.”
The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …