Impeachment court denies motion to defer action on bank subpoenas

February 8, 2012 11:11 pm 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Feb. 8 – The Senate, sitting as impeachment court, denied on Wednesday a motion to defer action on the granting of the request of the prosecution to subpoena the bank officials and documents of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

The court came out with the decision to deny the motion of the defense after the senator-judges met in a caucus during a break of the ongoing impeachment trial of the Chief Justice on Wednesday.

With the court’s ruling, the prosecution has been allowed to present Pascual Garcia III, president of the Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank)-Katipunan branch.

Senate President-presiding officer Juan Ponce Enrile allowed Garcia to have his own counsels during the course of the hearing to assist the bank official “in the events his right will be affected.”

Aside from PSBank official, the officials of the Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI) have been subpoenaed also in relations to the bank documents of the Corona.

The defense had earlier sought the deferment of action on banks subpoenas “to immediately take cognizance of and resolve the prayer for temporary restraining order (TRO) filed with the Supreme Court.

Actually, defense lead counsel Serafin Cuevas tried to stop the presentation of the PSBank official but Enrile eventually allowed Garcia to take the witness stand.

”The impeachment court has to sole power to try and decides on the impeachment case,”Enrile said.

The impeachment court also denied motion to stop presentation of evidence on the case of Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP).

”On the motion to stop reception of evidence in relation to the FASAP case, the majority of the members have decided to deny the motion with a reminder to the prosecution not to touch upon the merits of the case which is still pending before the court,” Senate Majority Leader-judge Vicente Sotto III read from the ruling. (PNA) RMA/jfm

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