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Essays, Law and Politics

I Will Cross Examine The Chief Justice!


During my active years in trial, I have a client who issued as payment for his rental a check without funds.  The apartment owner was the late Chief Justice Felix Makasiar.

My client left the premises and would like to redeem his check by paying cash.  The late chief justice would want that aside from the value of the check,  my client pay also the other arrears.   My client, except with the cash of P10,000 for the value of the check, was insolvent.  He  was sued for violation of BP NO. 22. Most BP 22 cases can be settled by paying the amount of the check.  The late Chief Justice did not want to settle. I ended up litigating a losing case.

On the witness stand the Chief Justice said that  my client surreptitiously left the apartment to show that my client was a scumbag.  My client said that they left without informing the Chief Justice because he and his wife were so ashamed to let the jurist know of their leaving  with unsettled debts.

I objected to his word “surreptitious” because that was a conclusion.   The judge overruled me. During my cross I kept being overruled.  Like the way the prosecution in the case of CJ Corona were being muzzled by  JPE and other senators because the other litigant was someone high-up.  The mighty if you will.   Makasiar ‘s   presence was enough to intimidate the RTC Judge.  Everyone in the court room except me looked at him as if he was a demi-God.  I looked at him as another scumbag.  He was a Marcos’s foot soldier in the judiciary.  During that time almost everyone in the judiciary was a Marcos foot soldier with the exception of Justice Tehankee and Justice Concepcion.

Judicial independence is a big BS to me.

I see JPE and some senators in the mold of that Judge who presided over the case of my client  for violation of BP No. 22 years back.  In the present proceedings,  the senators unabashedly show their favoritism to CJ Corona on account of his being the Chief Justice.  JPE’s allowing CJ Corona to monologue was a reflection of that preferential  treatment the IC gave to the defense and its high profile client.  JPE’s order to lockdown the Senate premises to prevent CJ Corona from leaving was also a face-saving. He acted decisively this time because he saw Corona practically shoving a dirty finger unto his face.  Without the walkout, the IC could still cozy up with the jurist.   Overall, the IC will treat the Chief Justice with kid gloves if ever he comes back to the Senate.

The decision of the Prosecution not to cross-examine CJ Corona if ever he comes back  to the Senate Friday lies in both lingering perception of victory or fear.  Perception that the jurist has already dug his own grave and there is no point digging deeper.  Fear that whatever victory it has against the chief brought about by unceremonious walk-out  last Tuesday can crumble if the IC or its Senators become meek and deferential to the Chief Justice again.

But I will cross-examine the jurist despite the risks.

Q –  Good afternoon sir.  I am glad you were off the hospital contrary to medical advice?

A – Good afternoon, Mr. Prosecutor – Yes, because I have a duty to perform!

Q – Did they turn off the air-conditioning at the Medical City ICU so as not to aggravate your condition sir?

A –  I did not ask them to turn it off in consideration for others who need it.

Q –  Would you feel better if we turn off the air-conditioning system in the session hall sir?

A.  No, I won’t impose that burden to others whose need is different than mine.

Q – Very well sir.  You have been appointed justice of the SC in 2002, did you have any desire to become chief justice after that  appointment?

A –  That is always the desire of anyone in the Court, specially Justice Carpio.

Q-  And as a Chief Justice you must embark on a judicial philosophy – i.e., what is it that your court should be remembered years after you were gone from the bench?

A –  Yes,  my philosophy is for the court to be independent from any political blandishment,  harassment, vendetta and that the rule of law should reign supreme.

Q –   You consider the present impeachment as destructive of judicial independence and purely as an act of political vendetta?

A –  That is the truth!

Q –  You do not consider that  an oversight body should oversee the court?

A –  Yes, if we have a court oversight that is destructive of the republican state where 3 equal independent bodies are independent from each other.

Q –  But the same concept sir speaks also of checks  and balance.

A –  That is true.

Q – And  you check the executive for unconstitutional executive order like the Truth Commission and check congress by declaring the creation of provinces unconstitutional and declare other laws passed by it not in accord with the constitution?

A – Yes.

Q –  How is the check on the SC made by these two other branches?

A.  They can cut budget allocations!

Q – But the last time you were checked on allocations, you cried foul despite the fact that  you have the multi-billion judicial and welfare funds which up to now there is no regular accounting?

A – That is another story sir.

Q – Okay let me go further.  You issued a challenge that all others must reveal their money deposits giving us the impression that your argument is that if they can hide their wealth, then so must you?

A – That is my challenge.  We should be processed with the same standard of public accountability.

Q –  It is your position sir that the politicians must have the same unblemished conduct as the justices of the Supreme Court?

A – That is my position sir.

Q –  You do not believe in the statement that a judge like Caesar’s wife must be beyond suspicion, and there is no such standard for politicians except to consider their office as a public trust and they must be accountable to the people?

A –    l live with that code sir!

Q –  You think politicians must live under the same code of honor?

A – Yes, sir.

Q –  Assuming that both politicians and jurists did not live under that ideal code of honor, it is your position that they do not deserve that public trust and they should be removed from office?

A –  Yes, definitely.

Q –  The corrupt politicians sir are removed every election, how do you propose a corrupt justice of the supreme court to be removed?

A – Ahhh – (silence).

Q – Would you agree with me that  ‘impeachment’ is the only vehicle to remove a corrupt judge?

A –  I agree but I am not corrupt.

Q –  Would you agree with me sir, that judges have a higher standard of conduct compared to politicians simply because a corrupt politician gets axed every election year  while it is hard to ax a judge specially from the Supreme Court?

A –  ( possible answer – why are you talking about  axing a justice, he is supposed to be untouchable..   :)   ).

Q – You consider the SC beyond the oversight even from the sovereign people?

A – The people who initiated this impeachment is not the people!

Q –  You were not  suggesting that we call a plebiscite on this to find out if they will sign the impeachment?

A   – I am not suggesting that.

Q –  Would you agree with me sir that this IC was lawfully constituted to hear your case?

A –   ( possible answer:  it has no jurisdiction because the impeachment was simply a fishing expedition).

Q –  So you intend to challenge the jurisdiction of the IC before the SC?

A –  I  will do that in due time.

Q –  But it is not a fact that in coming here pleading that this case be dismissed because it was all fishing expedition, you were already conceding that is has jurisdiction to dismiss your case?

A – I have to ask Justice Cuevas about that.

Q – Will you accept a not guilty verdict from this Court?

A – Oh yes, definitely, I will kiss every member of the court who would vote for my acquittal.

Q – I assume that you will recognize the jurisdiction of the IC only if favorable, but you would not if it is unfavorable?

A —  Hehehe, obvious ba?

Q –  You said that the president was on a mission to destroy the judiciary and you would not allow this to happen.

A –  Yes.

Q –  You consider yourself to represent everything good about the judiciary, being its chieftain?

A – Yes!

Q –  Did you consider the seriousness of this position sir?

A – What do you mean?

Q – That if the IC found you guilty of misconduct, that in effect is an indictment of the entire judiciary?

A – Definitely not it is only an indictment against me.

Q –  You said that PNOY wants you out because of the Hacienda Luisita?

A –  Very obvious.

Q – That had not the Luisita case been promulgated, you would not have been impeached?

A –  That is the reason why I was impeached.

Q –  Why would not the entire members who voted to for the HL distribution been impeached?

A –   That would be too much political bloodbath he could not afford.

Q –   Was it a fact that he was already sore at you because you accepted a midnight appointment from GMA?

A –  He was sore but not to the point of undermining my appointment by impeachment.

Q –  Was he not sore at you because you  invalidated the Truth Commission?

A –  He should not be sore at me alone because it was a collegial decision. There are other jurists who voted for it.

Q – Was he not sore at you because you issued a TRO against the impeachment of Merceditas Gutierez?

A – He should not be because it was a collegial decision.  He should not blame me alone.

Q – Was he not sore at you because you issued a TRO against the DOJ so GMA and her husband can travel abroad?

A – That was a collegial decision.

Q –  You want him to blame the entire court if ever.

A – Yes, sir.

Q –  But you want to grab the credit alone in the case of HL despite it being a collegial decision?

A – Obvious ba?

Q –  You want the Court to be independent?

A – Yes, Sir.

Q – When you issued a TRO against the DOJ so GMA and her husband can travel for medical reason,  it was in your opinion the correct interpretation of the law?

A – Yes, sir.

Q – When you invalidated the Truth Commission it was for the reason that GMA was being targeted by the TC?

A – Yes sir,  the TC violates equal protection clause of the constitution.

Q – Because there are other corrupt officials that should be investigated?

A – Yes sir.

Q –  You think that all crooks must be processed at the same time?

A –  That is very ideal sir?

Q –  So that there are plenty of litigants going to the Supreme Court asking for a TRO?

A – No Sir.

Q – How much does a TRO cost?

Cuevas: Objection,

Q- I withdraw the question.

Q  – Every time GMA goes to your court she gets favorable judgment?

A – Not every time sir.

Q –  Only on those crucial issues?

A – You can say that sir.

Q –   You said that your mother left you a fortune to minister to your siblings, when was that:

A —

Q –  How much was the seed money?

A —

Q – Where did you deposit it?

A  —

Q  – You said that this money was commingled with your funds?

A – Yes.

Q – How do you make an accounting of her ‘inheritance money’  to your siblings?

A –  I told them this is the seed money and here are the earnings and they took it hook line and sinker.

Q – What did your mother do for a living?

A –

Q – When did she die?

A –

Q – Did she pay taxes on this fortune entrusted to you?

A –

Q – Do you have the tax receipts?

 A –

Q –  You read the letter of your daughter Carla why she bought  90.7 per cent of shares of stocks of the BGEI whose  representative value was P34.7 million for P28,000?

A – Yes

Q –  The letter gave explanation of the fact that she would not invest money on real estate because of litigation among heirs afterwards?

A –  Yes, sir.

Q – She would rather invest in shares?

A – Yes, Sir.

Q – The reason the shares were being auctioned so that the P500,000 award to your wife can be satisfied?

A –   Yes, Sir.

Q – Does she know that the bulk of the shares whose corresponding property value had already been auctioned in favor of the City of Manila for P34.7 million were in your bank  as early June 5, 2001?

A – I don’t know about that?

Q – But your wife knew about it.

A – I am sure.

Q – During the auction, your wife, Cristina, daughter Carla and Sheriff Bisnar were present?

A – Yes, sir.

Q – Do you know why your wife would auction the shares when she can easily garnish P500, 000 from the P34.7 million?

A- It was the sheriff who auctioned.

Q –   Yes, but did not your wife call the attention of the Sheriff that he just have to garnish the P500,000 from the P34.7 million already paid by the city to the BGEI property and that way, instead of being paid P28K, her full judgment of P500,000 can be fully satisfied.

A – You have to ask my wife about that.

Q – But it was you who were testifying for your wife.

A – (baka makalusot lang)

Q – As a lawyer, did it not come to your mind that they were executing a judgment against a person who was already dead?

A –  Akala ko nagpapatay-patayan lang si Jose Maria Basa III.

Q – Patawa ka pa..

Q – You said that JMB was a spoiled brat who had debauched the property of your wife’s grandparents?

A –   Yes, sir.

Q –  You said that he arrogated unto himself a two hectare property in Libis worth P3.5 billion?
A – Yes, sir.

Q –  You have the title number of the property?

A –

Q –  How did you arrive at this pricing, did you have it appraised?

A-

Q – Are the other heirs running against JMB for this billion worth of property or it is only your wife?

A –

Q – Did your wife  file any case against JMB to recover her inheritance debauched by JMB?

A –

Q – If your wife had been cheated on her inheritance on the Libis property, was her arrogating unto herself or yourself the P34.7 million your way of getting even on the traitorous manner by which JMB had cheated your wife?

A –

Q –   Is that the reason why despite the BGEI being decreed by the SEC  inoperational in 2003, you continue to hold onto  the P34.7 million and refused to distribute the sale proceeds to other claimants because of your position that the entire BGEI belongs to Carla already?

A –  Yes, sir.

Q –  And she bought it For P28K?

A – Does that make her look like she was greedy?

Q – You tell me!

Q – So you asked Carla for cash advance of P11 million in 2003?

A – Yes,

Q – Carla becomes the sole owner of BGEI.

A – It looks like.

Q – It looks like Carla’s money was also in your bank the entire P34.7 million which accounts you closed on December 12, 2011?

A – Yes, sir.

Q – This loan of P11 million between daughter and father was purely verbal arrangement. ?

A – Yes, sir.

Q  There are no loan documents or promissory note to memorialize it.

A – Yes, sir.

Q- Part of your vast fortunes includes the money of your children.

A – Yes, sir.

Q – How much is the total.

A – That is confidential sir.

Q – How much Carla contributed.

A – Confidential, sir.

Q – How much Christina contributed?

A – Confidential sir.

Q – How much Francis contributed?

A – Confidential sir.

Q – You admitted four dollar accounts?

A –   Yes, sir.

Q-   How much were in them?

A – I invoke 17(3) of the constitution sir. (against self-incrimination).

Q – Conchita Carpio Morales said you have something between $10 to $12 million?

A – I invoke 17(3).

Q –  You would not declare them because you are not required under the law?

A –  Yes sir.

Q –  Besides all these vast dollar holdings were income from your money trading business, savings from 40 years of parsimonious life style, money from your children and funds entrusted to you by your late mother?

A – That is very correct sir.

Q – Every cent of it was earned by your toil and your family and through inheritance?

A – Yes, sir.

Q – And you would not want the public to see your fortune even only to inspire them that with simple and modest living, they too can be millionaires?

Cuevas:  Objection.

Q – Withdrawn.

Q – You said that you were rich already having a family of substantial means and that you were making a lot of money as a private tax consultant?

A – Yes, sir.

Q- And there is no need to join the govt. to make money.

A – Yes sir.

Q – So we get the impression that your joining the govt. was motivated more or less by a desire to be of service to the Filipino people?

A – That is very correct sir.

Q – Your idea of public service was to be paid by the SC with regular salaries, emoluments, allowances and do money trading on the side?

Cuevas:  Objection.

Q – Withdrawn.

Q – It seems that money trading was profitable and you were in it since 1960?

A – Yes sir,

Q – And you cannot provide us with the details of this money trading because it is protected by the foreign currency deposit act?

A- Yes sir.

Q – And as such we would not be able to know how much time you devote on this money trading business except on the testimony of Ombudsman Morales that there were huge circuitous transactions on these dollar accounts on election years, 2004-2007 and on 2011, during the month that you were impeached?

A-   I am afraid sir I cannot provide you the details because I am protected by the law.

Q – And the government is helpless to find the percentage of labor you devote in dispensing justice and the percentage of time you devote in your money trading business?

A – It is not my intention sir, but the law protects  my foreign currency transaction details.

Q –  But you are an employee of the government who should devote full time on the duty assigned to you by virtue of your office?

A – Yes, sir.

Q – Do you not consider this money-trading a kind of ‘moonlighting.’

A –  Better I think than dip my fingers on the treasury.

Q – BTW this foreign currency trading of yours, did you secure a license from the Bangko Sentral?

A –

Q – Did you pay taxes from its earnings?
A –

Q – Money trading is a regulated business and the market is captive of those who have lots of money to trade. Bank runs and the collapse of investment houses are quite normal.  Regulators being sued by bankers are common.  Banco Filipino is one of such scenario.  If issues are brought to the Court between regulators and money traders, do you think you have that impartiality of a judge to make a judicious ruling?

Q – You do not have to answer the question.

Q –  Do you have airconditioning in the Supreme Court?

A – We have sir.

Q – Do you have it in your chamber?

A – I have sir.

Q.  Does it make you sicker?

A –  Actually sir, I am out most of the time currency trading.  (biro lang.. :) )

Q – Nothing further your honor!

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7 comments on “I Will Cross Examine The Chief Justice!

  1. chit
    May 24, 2012

    hello JCC-
    excellent cross….
    naka post na ba ito sa blog ni Raissa Robles?

    Cheers!!!!

    • jcc
      May 24, 2012

      thanks, you can refer this cross in her blog. i did but it is stil awaiting moderation. :)

  2. Jerry Rivera
    May 25, 2012

    hahahaha ,para bang paniwalaan sya kasi the chief justice wants to be excuse d na nakahirit lahat.lahat d normal sa nangyayari sa totoong buhay ano,pati kapatid nya sya din nagpapagamot gamit ang pondo ng ina nila.ganon na lang politikal speech un eh,politikahan na,sabagay politikahan naman talaga ang impeachment from the start pa lang paghahain pa lang sa ng complain pag ayaw speaker na opis tapos na o sa comitee level tapos na,pag gusto me paraan pag ayaw me dahilan cannot be truer saan bang jep ko nabasa yon hehehe naramdaman nya na na wala na talaga si gma nagawa na nya napagastos na nya ang gobyernong walang gusto magbayad ng tax:)

  3. cho
    May 25, 2012

    CJ Corona come back to the impeachment hearing was a winning script for him. He sort of soften the heart of some most the prosecutions, They don’t need to sign their waiver what a relief! Quimbo said the CJ even admitted he had the dollar deposit. He started collecting dollar since 1960’s (pennies, nickels & dimes) lol everyone’s seems to forgive his walking out tantrum last Tuesday. The Basa women even gave him kisses & embraces,Enrile seems happy. So lets wait for next week next kabanata of the soap. Will he or will he not be able to slither out from the pit? really Filipino are forever gullible…ahihihi

  4. Pingback: I Will Cross Examine The Chief Justice! | BP Share Price

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