Prosecution welcomes Senate ruling on De Lima’s testimony
MANILA, Philippines—The prosecution team welcomed the ruling of the Senate, acting as an impeachment court, in allowing the hearsay-testimony of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to stand.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Thursday ruled that De Lima’s testimony based on Associate Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno’s dissenting opinion on the Supreme Court’s Nov. 15, 2011 temporary restraining order (TRO) was hearsay but it was allowed to remain on record.
“Today’s ruling is absolutely welcome, very enlightening for us, it’s a very, very welcome afternoon for us,” said Marikina Representative Romero Quimbo in a press briefing.
Quimbo insisted that the impeachment proceeding is different from a criminal proceeding. He added that US jurisprudence allows hearsay evidence to be admitted in impeachment cases.
“Based on US jurisprudence, which is what we’ve always been saying, is that the quantum of evidence is not proof beyond reasonable doubt. In fact it is just any proof which any of the judges are willing to accept to support a verdict of conviction or acquittal,” Quimbo said.
“It is entirely up to the senator to make that decision. There is no quantum of evidence that is actually required or set.
“Hearsays are actually admissible in terms of impeachment cases,” he added.
Quimbo added the prosecution is left with no choice but to use hearsay testimonies since the Supreme Court has made it difficult for them to present evidence and witnesses through their issuance of rulings like the temporary restraining order that barred the prosecution from opening foreign accounts of Corona and the February 14 ruling which disallowed SC justices from testifying and even volunteering to testify without the consent of the en banc.
“Literally, the SC has placed a field, a wall around it that makes truth seeking impenetrable,” Quimbo said.
Originally posted at 06:58 pm | Thursday, February 23, 2012