25 January 2012
Sen. Pia on Presiding Chair’s ruling on Article 2
Transcript of Interview
Q: Please comment on the ruling of the Chair on Article 2…
SPSC: The allegation in Article 2 is the non-disclosure of the SALN. Under the non-disclosure of the SALN, the Senate President ruled that we will also accept evidence in connection with section 2.2 and 2.3, which are basically the non-inclusion of certain properties in the SALN, and effectively, parang the ‘mis-declaration’ of other properties.
In connection with that, the prosecution was limited to presenting the BIR commissioner to establish basically that purpose. But they have to put it all together, so it would be presumptuous on our part (as senator-judges) to jump to any conclusion.
Which is why, honestly, the prosecution was having difficulty putting it together because we have such a thing as the ‘Best Evidence Rule.’ But it appears to me that the prosecution wanted to have the witness (Comm. Henares) to testify. But the rules of court require that we follow the best evidence rule, which is the presentation of the document itself.
So if not for Senator Recto, siguro andoon pa tayo sa loob (at the session hall). Kasi under the ruling of the Chair, which is consistent with the rules of court, it should be based on the document itself. And so they have to put it all together later on.
Q: So yet to be presented by the prosecution (are) those properties covered by the CARs which were excluded from the SALN? They have yet to say that, no?
SPSC: Yes, markings pa lang (ng evidence), wala pang offering. #