Confusing markings of evidence baffle Sandiganbayan justice in Enrile PDAF trial

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2023 09:37 PM

The Sandiganbayan building in Quezon City on Feb. 19, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
The Sandiganbayan building in Quezon City on Feb. 19, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — A piece of documentary evidence marked twice and with different contents baffled Sandiganbayan 3rd Division Associate Justice Ronald Moreno in the continuation of the trial for the graft cases of former senator and now Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

Moreno was asking prosecution witness Lolita Soriano, a retired records custodian of the Commission on Audit, about the document she brought to court: a memorandum of agreement between Enrile, a non-government organization and an implementing agency.

Moreno then found out that the document he was holding had a different person who certified it as a true copy in comparison with the document of Soriano.

Both documents had the same exhibit marking: Q-6.

Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez then noted that he and Division Chair and Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang have a document similar to Soriano's.

"For the record lang 'yan, I am not inciting anything," Fernandez quipped.

"Bakit naman sini-single out ako, iba 'yung dokumento sa akin, wag n'yo naman akong iligaw," Moreno told the prosecution.

(Why are you singling me out, the document is different from mine, don't mislead me.)

Prosecutor Jennifer Se then explained that during the marking of the exhibits, there were several discussions with the defense, compounded by the huge number of documents to be marked.

"Maybe, your honor, it was inadvertence, because if I recall your honor, before there were really a lot of questions with respect to the documents," Se said.

Moreno then accepted the explanation of the prosecution and Soriano proceeded with her testimony as the records custodian of COA documents pertaining to the PDAF scam.

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