Who is prosecution's 'small lady?'

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 07 2012 07:41 PM | Updated as of Feb 08 2012 03:41 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The search is on for the "small lady" who supposedly gave Rep. Reynaldo Umali some of Chief Justice Renato Corona's alleged bank records.

The Senate sergeant-at-arms is reviewing the closed circuit television footage of the Senate that was captured Thursday.

As this developed, Umali thanked the "small lady" for supplying the documents.

"Maraming salamat. Isa kang dakilang puso sa pagtulong sa inang bayan. Tunay na hulog ng Langit. Small lady, isa kang hulog ng langit," he said.

But for someone who is thankful, Umali could not remember much about the lady who may have given them a crucial lead, and neither is he inclined to make an effort to locate her.

Umali cannot even describe the woman, only saying that she is "ordinary" and "not beautiful."

"Small lady ito. Iba ito, maliit," he said. "Alam mo very negligible iyung si small lady. Very negligible, di mo nga iisipin. I don't even know her. Definitely, di maganda. Ordinaryo, napaka-ordinaryo.  Napaka-simple."

Umali said what is important is how much she helped their cause.

"Probably, I couldn't (locate her). Para sa akin, that's irrelevant sino nagbigay. Mas crucial sa akin subpoena to be issued by court to allow the presentation of evidence," he said.

He said he thought the lady was just soliciting financial assistance from him.

Umali can't remember

He said it's common for a congressman like him who meets people every day to not recall well who he is talking to.

"Kaming congressman, maraming ganoon. I'm not good at guessing age, lalo na mga babae," he said.

Umali said he wouldn't know if the small lady is someone's emissary. He also denies he is covering for anyone.

He said that he can identify the woman if he is confronted with the CCTV footage.

Umali also could not recall details on how the woman handed the bank documents to him and couldn't recall exactly when and where in the Senate it happened.

"Inabot lang. That should be if I'm not mistaken, I think it was a Thursday. Recollection ko, ganito nagyari. Nung Thursday, umalis ako ng maaga 2:30 to 3:00 kasi nga nagpunta ko kay [Public Works] Secretary Babes Singson to follow up on so many of the projects I have in Mindoro. Nung asa kotse na ako pabalik, may meeting kami ng prosecution team along Roxas Boulevard, one of the hotels. Tinitignan ko dokumento ko, I saw that envelope," he added.

He gave the documents to House lead prosecutor Niel Tupas when he saw that the documents had the signatures of Corona.

Tupas expects the prosecution to fight the disclosure of the bank documents since these are supposed to be crucial.

He said he is prepared for the possibility that the defense will take the issue to the Supreme Court.

He sidestepped questions on whether it will lead to a Constitutional crisis.

Tupas said prefers that these matters to be settled by the impeachment court instead of the Supreme Court.