Senate caucus to discuss SC’s refusal to release logbook

February 18, 2012 12:22 am 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Feb. 17 – The Senate, sitting as impeachment court, is set to discuss on Monday a resolution of the Supreme Court (SC) which turned down a subpoena on the records or logbook containing the raffle of the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) case vs. Philippine Airlines Inc. and other confidential documents.

Senate Majority Floor Leader-judge Vicente Sotto III said the discussion in a caucus was “to allow our colleagues time to go over the resolution.”

Last week, the impeachment court subpoenaed the SC clerks of court, directing them to bring logbook of the raffle committee showing the assignment of the FASAP case and the letters of Atty. Estelito Mendoza addressed to the clerk of court dated Sept. 13, 16, 20 and 22 last year.

The House prosecution accused embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona of using his influence in recalling a 1998 final ruling that ordered the reinstatement of 1,400 Philippine Airlines workers.

The prosecution panel included the FASAP case under Article III of the articles of impeachment complaint, accusing Corona of failing to observe stringent standards of a member of judiciary.

The impeachment court will also discuss on Monday’s caucus the ‘leaked’ documents which the prosecution attached in its supplemental subpoena to Corona’s bank records.

The leaked documents became the center of heated debates during last four days of trial after Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank)-Katipunan branch manager Anabelle Tiongson said the ‘leaked’ documents were fake.

The prosecution insisted the bank documents were authentic, forcing the impeachment court to require the prosecutors to submit written explanation on the ‘leaked’ documents.

Senator-judges questioned the prosecution for attaching fake documents in their request for supplemental subpoena.

House prosecutor Rep. Reynaldo Umali of Oriental Mindoro claimed that a ‘small lady’ gave to him an brown envelope containing the bank documents somewhere inside the Senate building on Feb. 2.

However, a CCTV (closed-circuit television) footages showed no ‘small lady’ who allegedly approached the House prosecutor.

During last Thursday’s trial, Tiongson revealed that House prosecution secretariat member Rep. Jorge ‘Bolet’ Banal showed him on Jan. 31 a copy of the leaked documents as Banal tried to compare it to the original copy.

Banal explained that he found the leaked bank documents which bear signature card of Corona near the driveway of his house on the night of Jan. 30.

It would be the second time that the impeachment court would tackle SC decision following its ruling last Monday to honor the SC decision to issue temporary restraining order (TRO) on foreign currency accounts of Corona. (PNA) RMA/jfm

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