JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima won’t take the witness stand for the second time in the continuation of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona on May 7, 2012.
De Lima said the plan of Corona’s defense panel to summon her anew is objectionable as it does want her to stand before the Senate impeachment court as a hostile witness.
“The defense wants to recall me to the witness stand as a hostile witness. That’s objectionable. If they missed certain points in the cross examination, that’s their fault,” De Lima pointed out.
The DOJ head said she has doubts on the purpose of the defense in summoning her back to the witness stand.
“I leave it up to the prosecution – if they agree with me that summoning me again is objectionable,” she said.
De Lima had spoken before the court on the alleged loyalty of the chief magistrate to former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“Why do they need to recall me? I already testified about the same angles, the aspect charge of impartiality… and the maneuvering in the SC on the case of Mrs. Arroyo’s watchlist order (WLO). And I was already cross-examined,” De Lima asked.
“I want to know what is their objective… What is their game plan really?”
However, De Lima did not say if she would disobey a defy a possible subpoena from the impeachment court.
She said she would immediately refer to the House prosecution team the subpoena she would receive.
It can be recalled that the Senate impeachment court had threw out the testimony of De Lima that Corona influenced the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) favoring former Arroyo for being hearsay.
De Lima again took the witness stand for the cross-examination of the defense team headed by Serafin Cuevas.
The DOJ chief had cited Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s dissenting opinion, which stated that the resolution issued did not reflect the voting of the justices.
Cuevas asked De Lima why she gave more emphasis to the opinion of Sereno over the other dissenting opinions of several justices.
When de Lima admitted that her testimony was hearsay, Cuevas moved to strike it out from the record. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile granted Cuevas’ motion.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago also sided with the defense team, saying that de Lima’s testimony is hearsay as stipulated in the rules of admissibility on hearsay evidence. Sen. Panfilo Lacson supported Enrile’s decision.(mtimes)