With not much witnesses to prove CJ guilt, prosecution scolded

Senator-judges on Day 24 of the impeachment trial told the prosecution team to get their act together and stop relying to the court to do the job for them.

This means the prosecution should produce witnesses on their own instead of requesting subpoena all the time.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile announced that Senator Antonio Trillanes III already withdrawn his motion to send written questions to Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, saying that it is the prosecution’s responsibility to bring the justice to the impeachment court.

The prosecution wants Sereno to testify on Article VII of the impeachment complaint which accuses Chief Justice Renato Corona of acting in favor of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo when the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against the government’s hold departure order.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima earlier testified that Sereno’s dissenting opinion allegedly revealed the irregularities committed by the SC, particularly by Corona, on the issuance of TRO. The court, however, ruled De Lima’s testimonies as hearsay.
Senator-judges advised the prosecution to talk to Sereno first instead of using compulsory process of the impeachment court.
“Bakit hindi niyo muna imbitahin si Justice Sereno? Kayong prosecution dapat kinausap niyo yung gusto niyong testigo at dalhin dito,” Enrile said.
“Nalalagay po kami sa alanganin. Tuwing may gusto kayong tumestigo, hinihingan niyo kami ng subpoena,” Senator Francis Escudero likewise told the prosecution.
Senator Panfilo Lacson added, “Bakit niyo kami isinusubo sa hindi niyo kayang gawin?”
But Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares pointed out that the SC resolution, which prohibits justices from testifying in the trial, is preventing them from getting witnesses.
“Reluctant ang witnesses namin kasi siguro si chief justice ang kalaban,” Colmenares added.
“Kung isusubpoena ba namin si Sereno at hindi siya pumayag, inaasahan niyo ba na icocontempt namin siya?” Enrile told Colmenares. “Kaya nagdadahan-dahan ang korteng ito dahil may iniiwasan tayong mangyari.”
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago noted that the prosecution is putting the Senate in direct collision with the SC.
“Pagisipan muna natin ito! Hindi ito pataasan ng ihi! You are asking us to overturn the Supreme Court. What if she doesn’t follow? Malaking kahihiyan iyon sa impeachment court!” an irked Santiago said.
Senator Joker Arroyo also noted that the prosecution should have no problem getting witnesses.
“I'm amazed by statement of the prosecution that they have difficulty inviting Sereno because the respondent is chief justice. You have the backing of no less that the president of the Philippines. You should have no problem getting witnesses,” Arroyo said.
Santiago further hit the prosecution for declaring earlier that they will present more than a hundred witnesses then later trim them down to 15.
“What on earth were you thinking? Were you playing games with us when you were asked how many witnesses you will present? Were you aiming for trial by publicity? Huwag ninyo kaming lokohin dito!” she yelled at the prosecution.
Santiago also scored the House panel for personally attacking senator-judges for their alleged bias in the trial.
“Are you trying to intimidate the impeachment court into doing what you want? Irespeto niyo ang impeachment court! Huwag kayong umatake ng personal!” she said.
“I think to myself, ‘What will lawyers outside our country think when they read the transcript?’ You are an insult to the intelligence of Filipinos!” Santiago told the prosecution.
She added that she has evidence against a congressman who testified in the court. “I can prove that he is lying under oath. Be careful!”
Meanwhile, defense lead counsel Serafin Cuevas maintained that when the House members filed the impeachment complaint, they had no evidence on hand and was merely doing a fishing expedition in the course of the trial.
“It is our opinion the complaint was haphazardly prepared, railroaded, thrown into the lap of impeachment court,” Cuevas said.

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