Corona is covered by judicial privilege–SC
MANILA, Philippines—Chief Justice Renato Corona is also covered by the judicial privilege, the Supreme Court said as it maintained that it will not waive its judicial privilege to any individual justice, official or employee of the court.
In a 5-page full court resolution dated February 28, the high court said “it cannot waive the privilege that belongs to the Court as an institution, not to any individual Justice, official or employee who may disclose these documents without the Court’s authority.”
Lawyers of the Chief Justice said the consensus is for the high court chief to testify in court.
The high court said it reiterated its February 14 resolution because of its “intense desire to fully be mindful and compliant with the separation of powers that the Constitution mandates for the three branches of government-the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary.”
In that same resolution, the high court took note of the report by high court Clerk of Court Enriqueta Vidal that she did not strictly followed the high court’s Feb. 14 resolution identifying court documents which are confidential in nature and should not be released to the public.
She said furnished some of the documents to the Senate Impeachment Court which are confidential in nature. She explained that while the documents are confidential in character, it can still be requested by the parties to a case.
The high court last February 14 said that Justices, Judges and Court employees must be excused from testifying in court given that documents such as promulgated decisions and resolutions as well as separate concurring and dissenting opinions are matters of public record.
“Necessity consists in the inconvenience and difficulty of requiring the official’s attendance as a witness to testify to the innumerable transactions in the course of his duty. A public officer is excused from appearing in court in order that public business may not be interrupted, hampered or delayed. Where there is no exception for official statements, hosts of officials would be found devoting the greater part of their time attending as witnesses in court, delivering their deposition before an officer,” the high court said.
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