MANILA, Philippines (Feb 21, 2012) - Citing badly crafted Articles of Impeachment, presiding Senator-Judge Juan Ponce Enrile disallowed this afternoon the testimony of an exective the country's flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL), during the resumption of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Enrile's instant ruling, made after hearing an objection raised by lead prosecutor former SC Justice Serafin Cuevas, effectively shelves the testimony of PAL vice president for sales Enrique Javier for reason that it is not relevant or not alleged in the Article 3 of the complaint.
Not one of the Senator-judges objected to Enrile's ruling.
Javier as a prosecution witness was supposed to testify on the alleged special treatment to Chief Justice Renato Corona and his wife Cristina from the flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL).
Presiding Senator-Judge Juan Ponce Enrile disallowed the testimony of PAL vice president for sales Enrique Javier before the impeachment court because it is not relevant or not alleged in the Article 3 of the complaint.
Enrile told private prosecutor Sherwin Tugna that the special treatment allegation against the Coronas is not contained in the impeachment Article 3.
"Now you are expanding the coverage of this Article. This court will not allow this Article unless you amend it," a visibly irked Enrile told Tugna, who tried to explain the prosecution's position.
Enrile even read the allegations or charges contained in the Article 3 of the impeachment complaint, including that the Supreme Court had acted on mere letters filed by a counsel, causing a flip-flopping on cases and creating of excessive entanglement with former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Mrs. Arroyo allegedly made a "midnight appointment" of Corona as chief justice before vowing out of office in 2010.
Enrile further admonished Tugna, noting that the prosecution panel should first properly framed its allegations on the complaint.
"If you want to introduce that (PAL special treatment), you amend your articles of impeachment," the presiding officer said.
Tugna, on the other hand, said the special treatment charge does not necessarily appear in the allegation but "it helps in determining the partiality of Philippine Airlines."
Enrile also advised Tugna to "take me to court" if the prosecutor does not agree with the impeachment court's decision.
Due to the Senate impeachment's court ruling, Javier was discharged early from the witness stand. (From Philstar.com)