SC decision poses roadblock to prosecution — Quimbo

February 18, 2012 12:22 am 

MANILA, Feb. 17 – A spokesman of the House prosecution panel, Marikina City Rep. Romero Quimbo, said on Friday that the rejection of the Senate subpoena on court records by the Supreme Court (SC) could pose challenges in proving the guilt of Chief Justice Renato Corona in Article 7 of the impeachment complaint.

The SC has unanimously rejected a subpoena from the Senate impeachment court on records of cases cited in the impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice.

In a per curiam resolution released Wednesday, the high court invoked its internal rules on confidentiality for pending cases and on privileged communication among justices in rejecting the subpoena from the Senate sitting as an impeachment court. A per curiam resolution is jointly written by the justices and has no single ponente or author.

Apart from the confidentiality rules as recognized by law and by court policies, the SC also cited the principle of separation of powers as basis for its denial of the request.

“We were hoping that the SC would be cooperative considering that the Chief Justice had already said in the beginning that he will cooperate as far as the retrieval and making available the documents are concerned,” Quimbo said.

With the SC decision, he said the prosecution is studying several remedies to get the documents they need.

“Our options include appealing to the Senate impeachment court to insist on its subpoena and asking the Court for clarification on the coverage of the restriction on documents,” Quimbo added.

“The SC decision just made our work harder but we are very confident that we can prove the guilt of the Chief Justice,” he said. (PNA) scs/CMR

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