It was another dressing down day for the prosecution panel of the impeachment trial.
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago got irked and even threatened private prosecutor Arthur Lim to have him inhibited in the trial.
The breath-taking debate below was about the accusation to Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona of violating Anti-Graft and Practices Act.
Santiago: I do not need to underline that what you alleged against the respondent is he failed to disclose to the public his SALN. Under the rules you are not allowed to introduce evidence that is not connected to the failure to disclose SALN. It is also reported that some of the properties of Respondent are not included in his declaration of his assets, liabilities, and net worth, in violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act, My first question: are you charging respondent under the anti-graft and corrupt practices act?
Lim: Let me point out that first of all…
Santiago: Why do you have to point out? Answer yes or no. I am tired of hearing your voice.
Lim: The allegations of the complaint….
Santiago: Do not override me. We’ve already heard that in your pleadings. You’ve said that in your motion for subpoena. Do not be sententious. Every hour counts. Madali lang naman sagutin itong pagtatanong na ito. Binibintangan mo ba sa ilalim ng graft and corrupt practices act?
Santiago: And don’t ever overstep yourself. Do not engage in a colloquy with me. You are not supposed to discuss or argue.
Lim: Can we answer the question the way we feel it should be answered?
Santiago: No! You should answer according the rules of the court determined by the Senate acting as an impeachment court. That’s the rule here!”
Lim then asked for the specific rule.
Santiago: The Constitution allows the Senate to promulgate in this. And this is the end of this colloquy. How dare you raise questions to my authority? Be careful because I might request to inhibit you, or disqualify you from appearing here.
Santiago: I am a senator-judge, I am not a politician. You cannot heckle me. You cannot engage in a discussion or argumentation with me.
After the exchange, Santiago left the trial early as she felt unwell. She was absent in the first week of the trial because of her hypertension.