Press Release
February 13, 2012

On the revelation of the Defense panel in yesterday's press conference

Day 16 of the Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona

Mr. President, I would like to denounce in the strongest possible terms the action of the defense lawyers who called for a presscon last night for a supposedly important announcement and only to later say that the source of their story cannot be discussed.

Second, I take personal notice of the statement made by the defense last night that they received very reliable information that Executive Secretary Paquito "Jojo" Ochoa acting in behalf of President Noynoy Aquino III was personally contacting and phoning senator-judges to persuade or pressure us to defy the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court in favor of the Philippine Savings Bank.

Ayaw kong palampasin ito without saying anything because the integrity, credibility and independence of individual senators as well as the honor of the Senate sitting as an impeachment court are at stake here.

Thirdly, I don't want to speculate as to the reason for the defense panel for coming out with this incredulous statement but I challenge you the defense panel to name your so-called "source." Pangalanan ninyo kung sino at nang sa ganon ay hindi tayo nanghuhula. Magpakalalaki tayong lahat dito. Dahil itong ginagawa namin ay hindi biru-biro lamang. Ang kinabukasan, ang ikasasama o ikabubuti ng ating bansa ang nakasalalay dito.

Sa mga magigiting na abogado ng depensa, hinamahon ko kayong lahat na pangalanan ang nagpaabot sa inyo ng kuwentong ito. If you believe this story, that is up to you. But when you faced the media, and passed this story on to the public with little more than your faces to back you up, then you have crossed the line. And you are all wholly accountable for attempting to besmirch the reputation of this institution which has always stood as a bastion for democracy, truth, decency, and integrity.

Malaking insulto sa institusyong ito, at sa aming mga senator-judges. And lastly I stand before you, as a duly elected senator, and I would like to look to all of you straight in the eye, and say "walang tumawag sa akin upang ako ay hikayatin o takutin o bayaran." Kung mayroon mang gustong magtangka, o gustong tumawag o humikayat sa akin, ang masasabi ko lang huwag niyo nang ituloy at mapapahiya lamang kayo.

Salamat po Ginoong Pangulo.

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