Impeachment court not bound by rules of evidence, says lawyerBy Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
It does not matter whether the Senate impeachment court accepted or rejected the illegally obtained bank records presented by the House prosecution team against Chief Justice Renato Corona, a lawyer said Tuesday.
In a text message, Romulo Macalintal, an independent analyst of the Corona trial, said the questions on the bank records were “not material because on judgment day, the senator-judges will decide on the basis of their own personal beliefs and perceptions.”
“Not being a judicial body, its members, mostly not lawyers, are not bound by any rules of evidence or rules of court—although such rules may serve to guide them, but not binding upon them. There is no standard of proof to convict or acquit so it does not matter if evidence already introduced or made part of the records is admitted or rejected,” Macalintal said.
The election lawyer said senator-judges were different from judges in the regular courts.
“The senators are not even required to explain their verdict which cannot be appealed to any court or agency. But they will be answerable only to the people on Election Day,” he said.