Day 3 of Corona impeachment: ABS-CBN lawyer bungles questioning of key prosecution witness

Key point of contention on Day 3 of the trial of the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Renato Corona is the emergence of allegations that Corona did not declare all of his assets — specifically big properties already revealed to the media — in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). So now that the SALN had been provided, the argument is now around its accuracy.

Atty Karen Jimeno gives a telegenic face to the defense team

Supreme Court Clerk of the Court Enriquietta Vidal who is custodian of the SALNs of the SC justices was one of the witnesses called by the prosecution team. However, for some bizarre reason, she was questioned like a hostile witness by outside attorney of the prosecution team Mario Bautista who, some observed, consistently failed to lay the premise of his questions. Defense team leader Serafin Cuevas, on the other hand, demonstrated class and professional acumen in cross-examining the prosecution witness on the SALN and addressing the court in a way that brings them up to speed with proper court procedure. A commentor even quipped that Cuevas explained things the way a seasoned — and patient — lecturer would to one of the dimmer students in his class.

Interestingly, Bautista is a “top lawyer” of Philippine goliath media enterprise ABS-CBN and is reportedly currently the lead attorney for the private legal counsel of the prosecuting team…

“Atty. Mario Bautista has taken a leave from his functions and duties as General Counsel of ABS-CBN Corp. He informed us that he will take on the role of lead prosecutor at the CJ impeachment trial,” Bong Osorio, the broadcasting network’s head of corporate communications, told Interaksyon.com.

Furthermore…

Sources said that aside from Bautista, four other top ABS-CBN executives are working for the House prosecution team: Maximilian Uy, chief legal counsel & assistant corporate secretary; Manuel Torres, corporate secretary; Maximilian Joseph Uy, legal services head and assistant corporate secretary; and Enrique Quiason, assistant corporate secretary.

The company, however, did not comment on the other four lawyers’ alleged participation in the prosecution team.

ABS-CBN has long been criticised for acting like the family publicist of the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan. The Lopez family who now enjoy majority shareholding over the enterprise, owe much of its re-acquisition of control over the vast media network to the powerful clans it now seems to be serving. Shortly after the ascent to power of the late former President Corazon Aquino, ABS-CBN ownership reverted back to the Lopezes. ABS-CBN is also widely credited for creating the “People Power” and “Edsa Revolution” concepts, encapsulating the entire drama that saw the fall of former dictator Ferdinand Marocs and the “return” of “democracy” to the Philippines under those two catch phrases, and engineering the ingraining of these notions deep into the Filipino collective psyche through its omnipresent media channels.

Considering the precarious financial position of the Aquino-Cojuangco crown jewel — the huge Hacienda Luisita farming estate — it is not surprising that the full force of Kamaganak Inc is being conscripted to the “noble” cause of ousting Corona from the Supreme Court. Hacienda Luisita Inc (HLI) is reportedly insolvent and the clan’s continued ownership over the vast estate rests upon its continued exemption from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) which only the High Court can effect. Indeed, there is some reason to believe that it is not only the financial health of Aquino-Cojuangco Inc that is at stake, but also those of what could be a web of businesses that have lent money to HLI…

To [President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III], Corona represented an absolute roadblock to the whole point — his mission to his family while President of the Philippines [to secure the future of the clan’s control over HLI].

Indeed, this goes beyond Hacienda Lusita and further to its creditors which includes other businesses within Aquino-Cojuangco Inc and the banks who had likely had their arms twisted into lending money to the spiralling enterprise.

If HLI descends into insolvency oblivion, it is bound to drag down all the poor sods it owes money to and could even precipitate a mini financial crisis on its own if the web of financial exposure to the doomed enterprise unravels beyond what is known today.

The question that becomes even more pointed now after catching wind of the awesome legal support being provided by ABS-CBN to the impeachment prosecution team is this:

Does Hacienda Luisita Inc owe money to ABS-CBN?

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata…

For now, let us also watch certain “senators” who supposedly swore to act as judges in this exercise. There is widespread perception that Senators Franklin Drilon and Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan acted like prosecution lawyers and not like the judges which they were supposed to be in this trial. Included in the perception was Senator Alan Peter Cayetano who along with the Drilon and Pangilinan many opined “may as well have been working for the prosecution”. The plot thickens…

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44 Comments on “Day 3 of Corona impeachment: ABS-CBN lawyer bungles questioning of key prosecution witness”

  1. “…acted like prosecution lawyers and not like the judges which they were supposed to be in this trial.”

    Yes, I must say the impeachment rules are not that precise. You could sense that both sides are not quite sure what to follow: in presenting evidence, in cross examining, etc. Much is left to the good judgement/appreciation of the presiding Senator-Judge.

    You get the feeling that: OK, let’s play but we will fine tune the rules of the game as we go along.

    This uncertainty might what prompted Sir Knight Neil Tupas to blurt out:

    In the name of God, GO!!! 🙂

    1. @Phil Manila

      We cannot make an excuse that the impeachment rules are not precise—If you are truly impartial, those impeachment rules (that you make it sound so obscure) shouldn’t even be an issue—Bottom line is Drilon as well his other KKK-member Senator-Judges couldn’t help but express their prejudice one way or the other—they might even cause a mistrial if they’re not careful.

      Actually, Tupas and the prosecutions’ job is to smear or ruin Corona in order to chastise him (as for other would-be hindrances to AbNoy) and disqualify him from the Hacienda Luisita case—The HL lawyers are already taking advantage of this opportunity even as we speak, plain and simple.

      If we ever truly need a “people’s hero,” it is the one who’ll succeed at bringing the Aquino-Cojuangco clan’s stronghold and hegemony down at all cost—yes, this should be his or her prime directive!

      Sorry to those businessmen who’ve already set their eyes on the multi-billion dollar gain that the commercialization of the Hacienda could create—It would have been all good were it not for the unfairness and injustices toward the farmers (and the Filipino people as well, if they really knew it was from government money and favor that the Cojuangcos acquired it) in order for the already uber-wealthy few to enrich themselves even further.

      Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

      1. It is greed that caused the filing of the impeachment complaint. The landlords and big business are threatened by the distribution of hacienda lands and the initial declaration of the court that contractualization is illegal. Takot rin ang mga Lopez, owner ng ABS CBN cause they are hacienderos and have dismissed their workers because of contractualization.

      1. “My dear judges, the witness is obviously lying, ahahaha.
        Her statements have been consistently (Phone rings)
        ay wait lang ha.
        Hello? Yaya, yes. yes. Hello Bimby! hows my baby? Oh, you’re playing with your kuya josh and tito noy? Ahahaha…

    1. The very same question that i want brought up… Our country is now monolpolize by them and their leeches…Its quite worrying.

  2. “Does Hacienda Luisita Inc owe money to ABS-CBN”

    Maybe not ABSCBN but the Lopezes, as it would be very easy to find this out through financial statements filed in the PSE.

  3. Drillion, Pangilinan, and Cayetano are the Running Dogs of the Hacienda Luisita Mafia; the Cojuangco-Aquino families…Remember the names of these Senators…they sold their dignities, already…they are partners of Noynoy Aquino, in the attempt to monopolize power.
    The ABS-CBN network is used as a propaganda tool of the Cojuangco and the Aquino family….There is a vested interest of the Lopezes on the Hacienda Luisita land…They will not send their Top Lawyers to the Corona impeachment for free. They are hoping to get something back from the Corona impeachment…this is the reason I have told everybody: We are ruled by a Hacienda Luisita Mafia…headed by Mafia Boss: Noynoy Aquino…they have underbosses, capos, enforcers, etc…like any Mafia, Yakuza, Triad, Cosa Nostra Crime family…this is the government , we have…

    1. @Hyden
      With Corona also receiving pro-bono service from top lawyers is also disturbing. Who can tell us that there’s really no strings attached to that? Isn’t it that he is under trial-by-publicity because of his “alleged” utang na loob to the Arroyos? So lengthy strings, I guess.

  4. Hahaha…sabihin mo lang (tulad ng ginagawa mo). Ako rin dati, na-block ako—some funk somewhere in the system. Just let them fix that.

  5. It’s the hacienda, people

    As the private prosecutors stumble and fumble – 5 are from ABS-CBN (legal department)!!! – the cojuangco-aquino publicity channel – i think midas marquez will be next in the firing line.

    1. If that turns out to be true, it would be because of Midas Marquez’s visibility as spokesperson representing the SC. He’s just a spokesperson. An attack on him would be for purely propaganda purposes.

      So people, as you watch or listen to news coming from ABS-CBN or TFC, remember that ABS-CBN’s legal department is supporting the prosecution’s side of the case. Expect that their news would be ferociously slanted to depict their side as the good and Corona or the defense as evil. Can you really be supporting one side and still pretend to be impartial & objective to the case?—“Major major” conflict of interest right there!

      Having their guys as part of the prosecution, also gives ABS-CBN firsthand and early access to information other media outfits are just not privy to (an unfair advantage if I may say so).

      Wake-up people! The ties between mainstream media and one political party couldn’t be more obvious.

      1. marquez would not be the spokesperson aquino wants as they change the rules on hacienda luisita and need any change sold to the public. they are going to use the world bank report as the way to attack him. he knows too much.

        SC needs to finalise hl asap and knock all these motion for reconsideration by the cojuangcos on the head

  6. abs-cbn have just published all coronas saln’s including his address.
    this seems unethical , a clear conflict of interest and irresponsible if not illegal.
    the salns were submitted to the court not abs-cbn

    1. Media is waging an all-out war against poor Corona. Good Lord, how much would they be receiving from the Aquino-Cojuangcos?!?

      Nambababoy na talaga sila ng tao! Di bale nang tapakan nila karapatan ng ibang tao. Gahaman talaga etong mga eto—-Etong mga news reporters naman, ayaw kasing magutom, kaya sunod-sunuran nalang sa kagustuhan ng mga bossing nila!

  7. the media mafia links are clear
    caradang – ex abs-cbn
    rappler – ex abs-cbn staff writers

    employing their ‘independent pet’ raissa robles as a conduit for inside info so they can claim hands off!

    am sure the price is to extend their monopoly and of course a lot of govt advertising revenue. even jiminez official portrait has abs-cbn logo in background so DoT advertising campaign will pay a lot.

    takeover of failing govt NBN station

    ? purchase of gma7 – now up for sale

    1. The political circus spectacle of the dictator Aquino’s Impeachment prosecution clowns is distracting us from the greatest danger of the enemy within. The continuing infiltration of the mainstream left into the government is thus unnoticed. Timing? Plan B is just the tip of the iceberg. The truth of Baron Buchokoy in Hacienda Filipinas is verified! Shall we wait for Plan C(Communist) to overcome our freedom and democracy?

      1. Connecting the dots to see a pattern is not fun anymore. It is public knowledge that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front(MILF) and the New People’s Army(NPA) have a tactical alliance in Mindanao.

        The NPA have attacked infrastructure, civilians and AFP units. They are not touched by the MILF even though their Godless ideology qualifies them as kafirs or unbelievers of Islamic Jihad. The MILF is known to give sanctuary and support to lawless islamic elements and the NPA.

        My point? Why is the dictator Aquino treating the NPA/MILF alliance with kid gloves? Why the position of weakness in dealing with the so-called peace negotiations? Why is there all out justice (seen as all out peace) for the MILF and not the NPA? The Tokyo, Japan peace talks is still classified as secret. Connect the dots my friends and figure it out. Treason? Collusion?

        1. The Cojuangco clan should be made aware of the danger of their little boy dictator Aquino in playing, wining, dining and sleeping with the (red) enemy. should the reds gain the upper hand in government they could end up losing everything. The dictator Aquino is truly a dangerous and evil man!

  8. Heil Der Nutzi Fuhrer EvilNoy! The greatest Nutzi mind of the Nutzi master yellow race! Der great Fuhrer is a master of black propaganda and distractions! He hides his hidden agendas in the political circus spectacle of his directed blitzkrieg against the pro-democracy CJ Corona!

    Der Nutzi Fuhrer EvilNoy has unveiled a great master plan to fulfill his destiny as the greatest Nutzi dictator! His exploration of informal talks and alliances with the extreme communist left and its legal and progressive allies will now see fruition! Ja! Der great Nutzi Fuhrer is for a formal alliance in the guise of reconciliation! With this communist alliance he will be supreme! Nothing will stand in his way! The AFP will be reduced and wilt like a vine as the communists continue to infiltrate the government up to the highest corridors of power! Once this happens, he will shine in his element! Absolute power! His friends in the MILF are not forgotten! Nein! It is the all out justice that is forgotten! Onward the banners of the Nutzis for theirs is the new order! Hacienda Filipinas and the death of freedom and democracry! Sieg Heil to the Nutzi Fuhrer EvilNoy! Truly the greatest evil scheming master of subterfuge and deceit!

  9. Such formidable forces have been arrayed against Corona and not to mention the amount of resources and effort mobilized just to take him out. It says a lot about the Yellow cabal, they know if that they fail it would be a blow to Pnoy’s pursuit of justice(actually more like pursuit of vengeance), a vindication of the belief that he and his minions are incompetent(from the way they handle their so-called evidence and their amateurish antics in the senate house) and the big financial loss due to the fact that they cannot get a friendly judge to reverse the Hacienda ruling.

    As for ABS-CBN getting on the bandwagon is also for the ratings of their studio.

  10. Well, I don’t really watch ABS-CBN for the News, because you can see that it’s very obvious on the manner of how they deliver. Very subjective.

  11. I was able to watch the impeachment trial yesterday with some friends and I could see different views depending on inclinations: that is prosecution or defense. But what is sad, was people seem to ignore facts focusing only on the number of properties being mentioned by prosecutors. They are ignoring facts that some properties are not in the name of CJ Corona and wife and even mother titles are included. Pampahaba ng listahan!

    I find the private prosecutor directly examining the QC registrar as very arrogant, sobra ang yabang! Parang naka -score na siya eh umpisa pa lang. Yan ang problema sa prosecutors, mayabang, just like their head—–Congressman Kupas.

  12. In my own opinion this act of impeachment against Corona is just an attack from those jealous government officials and actually all of them are having the same doings. Why not try to check every Government officials assets and surely we will see that all of them are greedy. Nothing differs from each other.

  13. Bakit di hinahabol ng BIR ang mga nababalitang Mansion ng daughter in law ni Drilon, Loren Legarda, Neil Tupaz at iba pa

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