[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 18 January 2012 Afternoon

SLB slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Jan 18 17:42:00 PHT 2012

(The contents of this newsbrief service do not necessarily reflect the views of SLB. News and opinion are summarized from various sources; and headlines are retained as they are in the original. Rights on the article remain on the websites indicated. For more detailed information about any story in this bulletin visit the website indicated in every news item.)

Newsbriefs 18 January 2012 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Witness declines to disclose Corona SALN (INQUIRER.net)


"MANILA, Philippines-A witness in the impeachment trial has refused to disclose the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, citing a prohibition contained in an en banc resolution of the high tribunal.


"Your honor, in view of the resolution of the court en banc on May 2, 1989, I'm a restricted because it says here in one of the guidelines that all requests for SALN will have to file it with the Clerk of Court," said Supreme Court Clerk of Court Enriqueta Esguerra-Vidal when she took the witness stand on Wednesday.


"Whether or not it should be given will now depend on court," Vidal said, responding to the questioning of lead private prosecutor Mario Bautista.


"Are you considering this subpoena a request?" asked Bautista.


"It's an order for me to produce the SALN but then it partakes also a request for the SALN. I don't have any discretion to decide for myself.,"said Vidal .


"It's not within my competence. It's within the competence of the court," she added.

Vidal was the  first witness presented  by the prosecution team in relation to  Corona's alleged failure to disclose  his SALN."


Clerk of Court compelled to 'surrender' Corona SALN (INQUIRER.net)


"MANILA, Philippines-Supreme Court    Clerk  of Court Enriqueta  Esguerra-Vidal was  forced to "surrender" on Wednesday the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona which she  brought to the Senate acting as an impeachment court.


"You are now ordered by the chair to surrender these records to this court," said Senate  President Juan Ponce-Enrile, who presided over the  impeachment trial in the Senate.


On Senator Franklin Drilon's questioning, Vidal admitted that she brought with her in the trial Corona's SALN, contrary to her earlier statement that it was not with her


"I have brought the SALN with me," she said but pleaded the impeachment court to wait for the permission of the high tribunal before she submits it to the body.


But Enrile  reminded the witness that the Senate has the sole power to conduct the impeachment trial and it should not be impeded by any agency of the government to perform its duty.'


Enrile to Corona: Don't punish SC clerk of court (abs-cbnNEWS.com)

"MANILA, Philippines - Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Wednesday urged Chief Justice Renato Corona not to punish Supreme Court Clerk of Court Enriquetta Vidal for submitting Corona's Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) to the impeachment court. 

Enrile made the plea through Corona's lawyer Serafin Cuevas after making a ruling that Vidal must submit the SALNs to the Senate. 


"As the counsel for the respondent, I ask that you convey to him the request of this court that, being an impeachment court ordered by the people to solely try and decide this case, to bear with us and not to punish this witness for the order of this court," he told Cuevas. 


"We are co-equal; separate but coordinate departments. That is why I am making this pleading because you are the counsel," he added." 


Corona okays SALN submission (www.philstar.com)

"MANILA, Philippines - Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona allowed his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) to be submitted to the impeachment court, according to his spokespersons.


Lawyer Karen Jimeno said the Chief Justice himself communicated his permission to give the documents to the impeachment court.


She, however, stressed that this is only Corona's personal decision and not the entire SC justices.

"Okay lang na ilabas kay Chief Justice pero yung other justices iba ang usapan yun," Jimeno said."


Palace employee to testify on Corona SALN (ABS-CBN News)


"MANILA, Philippines - A Malacañang employee will be testifying in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona on the latter's statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) when he was still a Palace official. 


Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Marianito Dimaandal of the Malacañang Records Office will testify in the impeachment court on the veracity of Corona's SALN while Corona was still with the Office of the President.


Corona is a former acting executive secretary, presidential spokesman and Presidential Chief of Staff during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He is facing an impeachment trial before the Senate for alleged accumulation of ill-gotten wealth." 


Nine witnesses are expected to be presented by the prosecution to the impeachment court today."


Palace lauds Senate body's plunder rap recommendation vs Arroyo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

"MANILA, Philippines-Malacañang welcomed Wednesday the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's recommendation that plunder and technical malversation charges be brought against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.


The recommendation was in connection with the Arroyo administration's alleged misuse of P325 million in funds from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office during its last three years in power.


"The ball is now in the court of the Ombudsman to file charges for plunder against the officials involved," said Edwin Lacierda, President Benigno Aquino III's spokesperson, during Wednesday's regular news briefing in Malacañang.


"The findings of the Blue Ribbon Committee on the mismanagement and plunder of PCSO funds shows what happens when the misdeeds of the past are exposed to daylight," he added."


US wants more military exercises in PH (ABS-CBN News)


"MANILA, Philippines - Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Wednesday said visiting US senators led by Sen. John McCain expressed the intention of the United States to increase military exercises in the Asia Pacific region including the Philippines. 


He said the 4 US senators made the statement during their meeting with President Aquino.


He stressed that this does not mean the US establishing bases in the Philippines. 
During the meeting, the Philippine government asked for another Hamilton class cutter from the US to augment the military's capability to patrol the country's border.
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