PNoy defends House prosecutors

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2012 01:37 PM | Updated as of Feb 07 2012 04:09 PM

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino defended Monday the performance of the House prosecution panel in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, saying the prosecutors have managed to let the truth come out like the non-disclosure of Corona’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
 
“Tinanong siya: nag-submit ba ng SALN? Ang sabi niya: ‘opo’. Tapos anong ginawa mo sa SALN? ‘Nilagay ko ho sa filing cabinet na naka-lock tapos nilipat sa vault. Ang tanong doon, sa Constitution… nakalagay doon hindi lang naman ‘yung magfa-file lahat ng government officials and employees pero mula sa akin hanggang sa mga one-star rank ng AFP, ay kailangan public disclosure. So tanong: ‘yung paglagay ba sa filing cabinet ay public disclosure?” Aquino said.
 
On suggestions that the panel of prosecutors should be revamped, the President says the House prosecutors have a disadvantage: as congressmen, they are not allowed to build on their trial experience and they are faced with a panel of defense lawyers who have more experience in litigation.
 
“May disadvantage nang konti ‘yung ating mga congressman. For instance, nasa batas bawal silang humarap sa korte during their incumbency. Katapat naman nila ‘yung araw-araw ‘yung hanapbuhay ay humaharap sa korte, syempre mas polished from the beginning. Pero, at the end of the day, paniwala ko katotohanan ang ipinaglalaban. So ‘yung lalabas na totoo at kung ano ‘yung totoo ang siyang magbibigay sa atin ng gabay at direksyon kung saan tayo tutungo,” Aquino said.
 
“Ngayon, maski gaano ka kagaling kung talaga namang ‘yung totoong napakaliwanag ay pipilitin mong gawing malabo ay talagang mahihirapan ka lalo na ganoon ka-glaring, ‘di ba? Ulitin ko ho, ano, nag-file ka ba? Binigay ko ho sa clerk na nauutusan ko, na inutusang ilagay sa filing cabinet na pina-lock ko, na pinalipat pagkatapos sa vault. So paano nga [‘yung] public disclosure?” he added.
 
Reacting to a newspaper survey showing the most people believe Corona will be acquitted, Aquino said there may be a need to make the people more aware of the developments in the trial.

He said the prosecution has established the basis for impeaching Corona.
 
“‘Yung surveys with enough information—baka naman kulang rin tayo sa pagpapaliwanag sa taumbayan, magpaalala nitong mga bagay na ‘to—ay maliwanag na pong na-establish na ‘yung mga basehan ng impeachment,” he said.