May 22, 2012
ANGARA ON CJ DOLLAR ACCOUNTS: 'THEY ARE NOW
Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored that the numerous dollar accounts allegedly owned by Chief Justice Renato Corona are now a matter of public record given that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales had made revelations on them.
"Nabuklat na eh. Public record na 'yan, [It was already opened. It's now on public record]," explained Angara during an ambush interview in the Senate. "At hindi ang prosecution ang nagbukas nun--kundi witness ng defense. [And it wasn't the Senate court, nor the prosecution that opened this up, but a witness of the defense.]"
"That is a product of an official proceeding, so there's a presumption of regularity," Angara further emphasized. "May prinsipyo kasi ang 'trial and evidence' na kung sino man ang nag-produce ng witness ay bound by the testimony given--good, bad or indifferent. [There is a principle in 'trial and evidence' that whoever produces a witness is bound by the testimony given--good, bad, or indifferent.]"
The veteran lawmaker then stressed that the burden on Chief Justice Corona is to explain why these accounts were not included in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
When asked about Corona's right to self-incrimination, Angara said it was a basic constitutional right.
"Ngayon, nasa judgement ni Corona kung anong tanong na sasabihan nya ng right against self-incrimination. Wala namang indication of guilt kung mag-invoke ka ng right against self-incrimination eh. Walang adverse implication yun. [Now, it's upon Corona's judgement which questions he can claim for the right against self-incrimination. There is no indication of guilt if you invoke your right against self-incrimination. There is no adverse implication.]"
The former UP President then concluded, "Kung lahat naman ng tanong ay you will deviate or not answer, on the basis of the right, medyo masama yun. Parang may tinatago ka. Kapag selected issues, selected question, na sa palagay nya ay debatable, siguro ay hindi natin dapat tanggalin ang karapatan na ito. [But if for all the questions, you will deviate or not answer on the basis of the right, that's not so good. It's like you're hiding something. If selected issues, selected questions, that upon his judgement are debatable, then maybe we should not remove this right.]"
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