Miriam out of order, Lacson says

Posted at 02/08/2012 1:20 AM | Updated as of 02/08/2012 1:45 AM

18 senators voted to subpoena bank records?

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago's motion for reconsideration on the impeachment court resolution ordering the issuance of subpoenas to bank officials and alleged bank accounts of Chief Justice Renato Corona "is out of order," Senator Panfilo Lacson said Tuesday.

Lacson told radio dZMM in an interview that Santiago's motion should be considered invalid, based on rules of the impeachment court and the Senate.

"Maliwanag sa rules sa impeachment doon sa impeachment trial, doon sa Rule 6, na kapag gumawa ng ruling ang presiding officer, kung may tatayong isang senador na present at sasabihin na mayroon siyang counter review ay mahahati ang house at kami ay magbobotohan," he said.

"Rules of the Senate naman ang sinasabi, kapag ikaw ay isang senador na bumoto with the majority, puwede kang maghain ng motion for reconsideration," he added. "Iyung sa aming Rule 6, nakalagay din doon na  suppletory iyung revised rules of court atsaka iyung rules of the Senate on impeachment trial."

"On both counts, walang basehan iyung motion for reconsideration, with all due respect kay Senadora Santiago," Lacson said.

Santiago's motion for reconsideration on the subpoena for Corona's alleged bank records cited 3 reasons.

Her reasons are:

  • The subpoena allegedly violates the impeachment court's own ruling that evidence on ill-gotten wealth will not be allowed;
  • The impeachment court's resolution allowing subpoena even for foreign currency deposits appears to be a direct violation of Republic Act 6426, which allows foreign currency deposits to be examined only when the depositor gives written permission;
  • The 3 cases cited by the prosecution as jurisprudence "are off-tangent."

'No basis'

Lacson said Defensor-Santiago's motion has no basis.

"Walang basehan, lalo pa nga at iyung ruling na ginawa ni Senator Enrile, ay nakapaloob sa isang resolution na kung saan pinagbotohan pa namin at pinag-usapan sa caucus kahapon," he said.

"Ang majority ay nagkasundo na para mag-issue ng subpoena, kaya nag inissue na iyung subpoena," he added. "Hindi na puwedeng baguhin iyon by a mere motion for reconsideration na sa aking palagay ay out of order."

"Napaka-awkward na pagbobotohan pa namin muli ang isang napagbotohan na," Lacson said. "Pagbibigyan lang namin na marinig ang kaniyang panig bukas sa caucus kasi, ang aming information, eh siya ay dadalo sa caucus bukas."

Villar request

He said the Senate impeachment court deferred making a ruling on Santiago's motion out of respect for a request by her partymate, Senator Manny Villar.

Lacson, meanwhile, declined to confirm a report that 18 senators -- except for Joker Arroyo, Koko Pimentel, Manny Villar, Bongbong Marcos, and the absent Defensor-Santiago -- voted in favor of the impeachment court issuing a subpoena for Corona's alleged bank records.

'Wala akong kaalaman kung papaano pumunta iyung boto. Ang usapan namin, internal lamang iyon, iyung pagsang-ayon o pagtutol sa inihain naming resolution," he said.

"Kaya hindi ako at liberty at kung alam ko man, ay hindi ko pa rin isisiwalat," he added.