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In The Know: Mario Bautista, lead lawyer for Corona impeach panel

/ 02:11 AM December 28, 2011

For his role in the aborted impeachment trial of then President Joseph Estrada 11 years ago, lawyer Mario Bautista was commended by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2004.

“He helped turn the tide of history as private prosecutor when he presented Clarissa Ocampo as the key witness in the trial of the century. Congratulations to you, Mario, thanks for your contribution,” Arroyo said in a speech during the 2004 homecoming dinner of the University of the Philippines Class of 1979.

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Ocampo, an executive of then Equitable Bank, testified at the Senate trial that she was only a foot away from Estrada in his Malacañang office when he signed bank documents as “Jose Velarde.”

Estrada was impeached by the House of Representatives for plunder in 2000. He was ousted from the presidency by a “people power” revolution in January 2001, and Arroyo took over from him.

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He was convicted of plunder by the Sandiganbayan in September 2007 and pardoned by Arroyo a month later.

The expertise of Bautista was also tapped by then Manila Representative Mark Jimenez when he faced extradition to the United States in 2002 on charges of tax evasion, wire fraud, conspiracy, giving false statements and campaign financing charges.

Bautista, 57, obtained his bachelor of laws degree from the University of the Philippines in 1979 and placed sixth in the bar examinations in the same year. He acquired his bachelor of arts degree in 1975 from Ateneo de Manila University, where he would later teach criminal law.

He is a managing partner of Poblador Bautista & Reyes law firm, which he cofounded on Oct. 1, 1994, with Alexander Poblador and Gilbert Raymund Reyes.

His fields of legal practice are civil, commercial and criminal litigation, insurance, banking, securities and finance, among others.

Bautista has been named a leading individual lawyer by Asialaw Profiles, Legal 500 (Asia Pacific), Asia’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and Which Lawyer in the areas of dispute resolution, banking and finance, capital markets, corporate/mergers and acquisitions, securities and finance, IT telecoms and media, labor and employment and restructuring, and insolvency and bankruptcy.

He is affiliated with the Order of the Purple Feather, the honor society of the UP College of Law, and is a member of the Pi Gamma Mu international society. He was chapter director of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in 1990. Ana Roa, Inquirer Research

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Sources: Inquirer Archives, Poblador Bautista & Reyes website

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TAGS: Congress, Corona Impeachment, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Impeachment court, Joseph Estrada, Judiciary, Mario Bautista, Politics, Renato Corona, Senate, Supreme Court
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