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Transcript of PDI interview with retired SC Justice Cuevas (with audio)

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Transcript of PDI interview with retired SC Justice Cuevas (with audio)

/ 01:50 AM January 31, 2012

Below is a transcript of the interview that Philippine Daily Inquirer reporter Christian V. Esguerra had with retired Supreme Court Justice Serafin Cuevas at the latter’s Makati City  office on Friday night. This was the basis of an Inquirer story about Cuevas which appeared in the Monday issue.

Cuevas spoke largely in Filipino and this is retained in the transcript to ensure fidelity to his statements and avoid misinterpretation. The Inquirer questions are in bold letters.

Cuevas on Monday denied that a lawyer with links to Malacañang had approached him, urging that he quit his role as lead counsel of Corona’s defense team.

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How did you come in as a Corona lawyer? – Ilang beses ako tinawagan dito, eh, siguro 2-3 linggo, ayaw ko pahagilap, ayaw ng mga bata, ayaw rin ni misis, masigalot eh, matinik ang kaso, kalaban mo Malacañang, eh.

Ngayon lang. Meron kaming building sa West Avenue. Dalawang building magkatapat na ganiyan. Eh, ’yong aming administrator do’n ipinasa-submit ’yong aming income, ’yong kuwan ganito. Eh, bakit ngayon lang? Ang tagal tagal na no’n. ’Di ba isa ’yan?

Building na loan? – Building na paupahan. Six units. Ang isang unit eh three units each. P15,000 a month ’yan. All right.

Pinapa-submit po ’yong? – Pinasa-submit ’yong book of account, lahat lahat, kung anu-ano tinatanong…

Bakit? – Eh, hindi natin alam, it must have something to do with this…Ngayon lang, ’yong aming, ’yong sa Manila Bank, sabi sa ’kin ni Lani, sir, tinatanong nila kung magkano binabayad ng Manila Bank sa inyo dati. Ganito. Sa kaso na ’to. Why? Why all of a sudden ngayon lang?

Parang may konting harassment? – Hindi lang konti, mabigat na ’yan. I don’t know what will follow next.

’Chilling effect’

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Ano ’yong nakikita n’yo ro’n sa impeachment? – Siyempre chilling effect ’yan siguro. Baka naman hindi alam ni Presidente, baka naman ’yong gusto lang mag-magaling sa kaniya, pinakikitang oo, ganito, gano’n.

What do they hope to achieve? May makakalkal na baho or something? – Ang gusto nila mag withdraw ako eh. (Cuevas pauses, dials a number). Napakadali gumawa ng pami-merhuwisyo, eh, maski sa income tax lamang and so on, lahat.

Nung mag-argue ako ng case ni Ombudsman Merceditas, ilang BIR nandyan, tatlo. Sabi ko, “Brod, pagbutihin niyo sana ’yan, ha. Dahil alam naman ninyo, ang buhay ganoon lang. Today you are up, tomorrow you may be down…” Recently lang. Kung ano man ang kuwan niyan, pagkatapos, eh, kung ano mangyari diyan, kung hindi naman tama, pagbutihin niyo lang, inexamine lahat ng books, mga kung anu-ano, mga kliyente, na-scare ’yong clients siyempre. (Cuevas pauses, talks with his secretary.)

Palace emissary

Who wants you to withdraw po? – Emisaryo daw ng Malacañang…I know him to be with Malacañang. I’m not very sure whether he’s authorized or he is doing it himself. ’Di ba nakalagay na sa peryodiko? Tapos sinabi nag withdraw na nga ako?

Was the name mentioned? – Kung ibibigay ko sa iyo ’yong pangalan, baka naman mapagalitan ito, sabihing ganito-ganito…Estudyante ko ’yan before…He was convincing me before na mag-join ng campaign.

Estudyante sa? – UP.

Ano s’ya sa Malacañang? – Nando’n siya sa pangkat ng rah-rah boys, eh.

Case of Gatdula

So siya ’yong nagsasabi sa inyo? Ano ’yong sinasabi niya po? Ano ’yong mga sinasabi niya specifically? – Eh pinagkukuwan…parang ang gusto raw ni Presidente, kung maaari, i-bargain ako do’n sa kaso ni Colonel…’Di nila itutuloy ’yong kaso, provided I withdraw, eh, hindi ko naman pi-nallow up ’yon, eh. In the first place, hindi na ako…ayoko nang…basta sige na lang…

Anong kaso po ’yon? – ’Yong si…sa NBI…

Si Gatdula? – Gatdula.

’Yong kay Gatdula? – Oo.

So confirmed ’yon? Kaya nila sinibak because you did not accede? – Hindi naman, hindi naman…Hindi ko sinasabing…’yon nga hahawakan ko pa…hindi pa kami nagkakausap…’yon ang ibina-bargain… Alam po ninyo, ’wag nang ipagpatuloy iyon at maintain na siya sa NBI…Mag withdraw na ’ko. Hindi naman ako nakipag-usap kay Presidente…hindi naman na ’ko nakipag-usap sa kuwan…Dito lang sa ano…Ayoko nang dagdagan pa…I do not want to add credence to that kuwan.

Dahil Iglesia rin si Gatdula? – Yah, oo.

Listen to the interview .

Originally posted: 7:11 pm | Monday, January 30th, 2012

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TAGS: Corona Impeachment, impeachment trial, interview, Serafin Cuevas, transcript
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