February 13, 2012 · Posted in: General
FOR DAYS, her name was bandied around as one of the critical witnesses who could shed light to the accounts owned by Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona in the Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank.)
But when PSBank Katipunan branch manager Annabelle Tiongson finally appeared before the impeachment court today, it appeared that no one wanted to consider her their witness.
Tiongson’s name had come up in online forums and some news reports in the past several days as the possible source of some of the PSBank documents that were allegedly leaked to the prosecution team.
But when Tiongson finally took the stand today, prosecutors said that they did not need to question her as they had already examined PSBank president Pascual Garcia III. Prosecutor Demetrio Custodio said Tiongson was only bringing the same documents that Garcia had already brought to the court last week.
A visibly peeved Presiding Officer Juan Ponce Enrile berated prosecutors, saying that he will be stricter with the issuance of subpoenas in the future.
“If the prosecution will disown witnesses that they request to be subpoenaed, then I will not, unless ordered by the Senate as an Impeachment Court, issue a subpoena unless you have a reason to present the witness,” Enrile said.
“Your procedure seems to suggest to me that you did not have any evidence, and that your are just gathering evidence through subpoena through this court,” Enrile said. “This will be a fatal error on your part.”
“The witness was not called by the prosecution, because the evidence she will present was already presented (to the court,)” Custodio said.