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MANILA, Philippines -- Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Tuesday denied the motion of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago to summon the managers of banks where Chief Justice Renato Corona allegedly maintains dollar accounts to testify at the impeachment trial.
At the same time, Harvey Keh, convenor of the civil society group “Kaya Natin,” got off with an admonition from the impeachment court after apologizing to the Senate for attempting to submit to Enrile’s office bank documents supposedly owned by Corona but whose authenticity Keh admitted he could not prove.
Last week, Enrile ordered Keh to show cause why he should not cited for contempt.
In rejecting the motion to summon the bank managers, Enrile said: "I would like to remind all of us members of the Senate sitting here to perform a function to judge the respondent that we are not conducting this inquiry in aid of legislation."
He stressed that the impeachment court is not an "inquisitorial court."
"So therefore with that in mind, this court cannot issue the subpoena to make the appearance of certain persons to act as witnesses,” he said. “The rules of procedures suggest that this is an adversarial proceeding done by representatives of the people so we must define for whom will the witnesses that will appear here will stand as witnesses. Are they going to stand as witnesses for the prosecution? For the defense? Are we authorized as hearers of fact to call anyone we want to testify here to enlighten us, having this in mind, this chair has decided to resole to respectfully deny the motions?"