Day 34 : Atienza, Cuevas and Trial Recess (Corona Impeachment Trial)

After 34 days of the trial the Impeachment Court finished today their last day before going to the Lenten break. The session was adjourned passed 6pm this afternoon and will resume trial on May 7, 2012.

But before the trial adjourned 2 witnesses were able to be presented by the defense panel. First to be presented was Miriam Mosuela of the John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC). Prosecution at the onset opposed the offer of her testimony, citing its relevance to the case at hand, but the court admitted. She then testified on the benefits, salaries and compensation Mrs. Cristina Corona earned during her tenure at JHMC.

After her, the prosecution then called on former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza to the witness stand. He testified with regards to the sales of the property owned by the Basa-Guidote Enterprise which is a family business by the Chief Justice’s wife Cristina.

On his testimony he told the court that the property bought by the city government was owned by BGEI and was sold through it’s authorized representative Mrs. Corona. During the direct examination he stated that a cheque of 34.703 million pesos was paid to Mrs. Corona in trust of the Basa-Guidote Enterprise.

The prosecution meanwhile, during its cross examination tried to test the credibility of the witness. They’ve tried to dig-in whether the sale has no indication of some special favors. They’ve also tried to show that there is some degree of lack of due diligence because the owner of the property was the BGEI but the cheque was named to Mrs. Corona and not the corporation.

Thereafter some senator-judges also inquired on the witness Atienza to ask some clarificatory questions. But the one that created the spotlight was Sen. Recto, who in his line of questioning made lead defense counsel, former Justice Serafin Cuevas quite irate. Cuevas even seemingly went into an offensive tirade to Recto saying his remarks was unfair saying they are yet to present evidence on the matter being raised by the senator. Before the conversation becomes more heated presiding judge Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile immediately interrupted Cuevas and said that Recto was just clarifying on the matter being testified already by the witness Atienza.

At the end Cuevas just apologized for his quite over reaction to Recto’s statement and then it was followed by the senate adjournment.


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