Press Release
February 25, 2012

Cayetano to SC justices: 'We need your testimonies to see the whole picture and not just pockets of truth'

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano called on the Supreme Court justices to voluntarily offer their testimonies in the impeachment court in order for the senator-judges to effectively determine whether or not Chief Justice Renato Corona is guilty of the allegations presented in Article 7 of the Impeachment complaint.

Article 7 pertains to the alleged betrayal of public trust by the Corona-helmed Supreme Court for granting the request of Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband Mike Arroyo to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the watchlist order issued by the Department of Justice.

"While we don't want to force the members of the Supreme Court to appear in front of the impeachment court through a subpoena, we have the option of asking them to come forward on their own volition," he said in Filipino.

He pointed out that he and his fellow senator-judges only want to see the whole picture by getting testimonies from persons actually present during the confidential deliberations in question under Article 7.

"If we want to have the whole picture and not just pockets of truth, we need to hear the story from someone who was really there. I think that the whole truth will only come out if any of the justices testifies during the trial," he said in Filipino.

The senator explained that doing so would not violate any of the rules promulgated by the Supreme Court since this issue is one of national interest.

"Let me reiterate that the legal community accepts testimonies in this nature as an exception to the rule of confidential deliberation if the issue is judicial misconduct," he said.

The minority leader stressed that the goal of the impeachment court is to arrive at a fair and just verdict.

"We don't want to make a mistake. We don't want to remove a Chief Justice who isn't guilty of partiality and betrayal of public trust. At the same time, we don't want to let him keep his post if he really did violate public trust, is partial and is an obstacle to achieving justice in the country," he said in Filipino.

Cayetano assured the Supreme Court justices that extraordinary courtesy will be extended to them should they decide to present their testimonies in the impeachment court.

He said that he is even willing not to ask questions himself in favor of simply letting the Senate President or an impeachment court-appointed lawyer to ask questions in behalf of the entire impeachment court to ferret out the truth in an orderly manner.

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