Sen. Miriam says Rabusa will prevail over Pichay

February 8, 2011 11:49 am 

MANILA, Feb. 7 -– Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, a former regional trial court judge, said that if ex-Rep Prospero Pichay attends the ongoing Senate hearing on military corruption, the rules of evidence will favor his accuser, Lt. Col. Rabusa.

“At this point, it appears that Rabusa will prevail over Pichay. Rabusa is a witness who testified in a clear, positive, and convincing manner. He has remained consistent on cross-examination. He is a credible witness,” Santiago said.

The lady senator said that a possible defense for Pichay is alibi and denial, but it will be hard to prove.

“Pichay has to prove that he was somewhere else when he was supposed to be receiving money from Gen. Garcia. In addition, Pichay will have to prove that it was physically impossible for him to be physically present at the office of Gen. Garcia at the time of the alleged bribery,” she said.

Santiago said that inconsistencies in the testimony of Rabusa, when referring only to minor details and collateral matters, do not affect the substance of his declaration, its veracity, or the weight of his testimony.

“Rabusa’s testimony, which so far has been free of any sign of impropriety, is sufficient for conviction, even if uncorroborated,” she said.

On the question of Rabusa’s motive, Santiago merely quoted a Supreme Court decision which ruled that a person would not impute a grave crime upon another, unless the same is true.

Proof of Rabusa’s motive against Pichay is not crucial, where the identity of the accused has been amply established,” she said.

Santiago stressed that denial by Pichay cannot be given greater evidentiary weight than the positive declaration of Rabusa as a credible witness.

“Positive testimony from Rabusa is entitled to greater weight than negative testimony from Pichay,” she said.

Santiago clarified that she is merely applying the rules of evidence to a theoretical scenario where ex-Rep. Pichay will deny the statement of former Lt. Col. Rabusa about alleged bribery by Gen. Garcia to Pichay.

Pichay reportedly denied the allegations of Rabusa, threatening to sue the former military budget officer for linking him to the anomalies.

“I will file a libel complaint against Rabusa for maligning my name. There’s no truth at all to his statements,” Pichay said in www.inquirer.net report. (PNA) DCT/LOR/jfm/utb

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