On presentation of ‘evidence’ to media

News Release
26 January 2012

On trial documents being presented as ‘evidence’ to media
Manifestation of Sen. Pia S. Cayetano
Impeachment Trial Day 7

“With the agreement of senators, I think we can reconcile the views. We simply have to distinguish between the ‘presentation’ or the ‘marking’ of the evidence and the ‘formal offer’ of evidence. When we are just in the marking stage, by all means, this should not be paraded [to the media or the public]. I beg to disagree when the statement is made that ‘this [a document] has not been released.’ Perhaps, this has not been distributed to the public yet, but the news will bear me out that it is shown ‘like this’ [raises a document] by spokespersons. I don’t know how close-up that goes, and I don’t know if this has been released. But I have reports that these are circulating in the internet, and there’s a big difference between documents that have been ‘marked,’ and those that have been ‘offered.’

“And I totally agree that this is a public hearing, that the public should be well-informed, that we should not hide anything. In fact, I’m not aware that we have provisions for executive session, but there’s a big difference between deceiving the public and making it appear that these [certain documents] have been formally offered, when in fact they have only been marked. And these are fine distinctions for lawyers or members of the Senate to determine at the proper time. But to use it for media when it has only been marked is deceiving the public.” #

Photo courtesy of Joseph Vidal-PRIB / Senate Pool

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