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National

Prosecution to present GMA doctor at Corona trial

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - Prosecutors are expected to present Monday the physician of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and several other witnesses at the resumption of the trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Bayan Muna partylist Representative Neri Colmenares said subpoenas were issued for Dr. Juliet Gopez-Cervantes; Emma Abanador, appointment custodian of the Office of the Vice President; Rochelle Inoncillo-Mendez, ABS-CBN head of video archives; and Edmond Losalla, ABS-CBN cameraman for their appearance Monday.

Colmenares is the lead prosecutor for Article 7, which alleges that Corona has been partial in issuing temporary restraining order on Arroyo’s hold departure order allowing her to leave the country. The prosecutors also filed Monday its "request for subpoena or invitation" for Assocuate Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno for her to appear at 10 a.m. on February 29.

The invitation was requested "to ask Justice Sereno to share with the Court her personal knowledge on the circumstances surrounding the dissenting opinion" in the case. The said dissenting opinion forms part of the acts of the Chief Justice mentioned in the testimony of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and the impeachment complaint pending in the Senate. Under the Impeachment Rules, the Rules of the Senate and the Rules of Court shall equally apply when applicable.

The Senate Rules allows for the invitation of resource persons and witnesses in their proceedings, the prosecution team said. "Although this may no longer be relevant to the discussion considering the Prosecution Panel’s view that the Supreme Court cannot impose on the Impeachment Court prerogative to summon witnesses or documents, we strongly assert that this Request, pertinent to Article VII, is not covered by the resolution of the Supreme Court dated 14 February 2012," the prosecutors added.

The high court resolution laid down the limitations on the disclosure of court records. These include: 1) result of the raffle of cases; 2) actions taken by the Court on each case included in the agenda of the Court’s session; and 3) the deliberations of the Members in court sessions on cases and matters pending before it. The prosecutors said that Sereno's dissent forms part of the official records of the Court, and that copies have been received by all the parties to the case and, therefore, are not in any way confidential, it being of public knowledge.

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