Santiago seeks reconsideration of subpoenas on Corona bank documents
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is seeking reconsideration of the Senate’s decision to subpoena bank officials and documents pertaining to accounts allegedly owned by Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Santiago said her move was in response to Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero’s position that only a member of the Senate could file a motion for reconsideration when Corona’s defense team tried to file such motion during Monday’s proceeding.
“My motion is superfluous, but might be necessary to avoid objections that could cause further trial delay,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.
She said she filed the motion under the principle of ex abundanti cautela, which means “from an abundance of care.”
“In other words, my motion is merely precautionary, because in my view the motion can be filed even only by defense counsel, and does not need to be filed by a senator-judge,” said the senator.
“There is no such requirement in the Impeachment Rules. Perhaps what he referred to was the Senate Rules, which can apply as a supplemental reference, but only if it is relevant to the impeachment,” Santiago said of Escudero.
The Senate rules on a motion for reconsideration filed by a senator, she pointed out, refers only to the lawmaking function, and not to the impeachment function of the Senate.
Santiago gave three reasons why the Senate should allow her motion for reconsideration:
First, she believes the subpoena to bank officials and documents violate the Senate’s own ruling that evidence should not be allowed on ill-gotten wealth.
“Since 2.4 is the only paragraph that specifically mentions “bank deposits,” any requests for subpoena concerning any bank deposits should be rejected,” said Santiago of paragraph 2.4 of the impeachment complaint.
Second, Santiago said that Senate’s resolution allowing subpoena even for foreign currency deposits “appears to be a direct violation” of Republic Act No. 6426 on foreign currency deposit.
And third, the senator said, the prosecution’s mention of the 1997 case of Salvacion, 2000 case of China Banking Corp., and 2006 case of Ejercito were “off-tangent.”
Santiago assured that her motion for reconsideration would not prejudice her final vote, because she said she was only giving the defense a second chance to argue against the bank subpoenas.
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