Sen. Santiago gestures during the trial (pool photo)

 

SENATOR-JUDGE Miriam Defensor Santiago went full throttle against Land Registration Authority Administrator Eulalio Diaz, accusing him of gross negligence and malice for providing impeachment prosecutors a list of 45 properties allegedly owned by Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona that later turned out to be bloated.

Both prosecutors and defense counsels have concurred that the list of 45 properties released by Diaz to lead prosecutor Niel Tupas last January 12 contained properties that had already been sold to other persons by the Coronas.

Santiago had her turn with Diaz on the 33rd day of the impeachment trial. Diaz had already been severely criticized by Senator-Judges  in his previous appearance before the impeachment court yesterday.

Santiago however took another tack and unearthed Diaz’ involvement with President Benigno S. Aquino III from several years back. President Aquino has been consistently pressing for the conviction of Corona by the impeachment court.

Under questioning by Santiago, Diaz admitted that he was part of the Senate staff of President Aquino when he was still a senator. Too, Diaz admitted that he also served as a volunteer during President Aquino’s presidential campaign in the 2010 elections.

Further back, Diaz also admitted that he had been a grade school batchmate of Aquino at the Ateneo de Manila.

Santiago said she found it hard to believe that these facts did not occur to Diaz when he drew up the list of 45 properties allegedly owned by Corona.

“You knew when you issued that certification that it was the President of the Philippines whom you served for many years who wanted the Chief Justice impeached,” Santiago told Diaz.

To this, Diaz replied: “It did not occur to me your honor.”

Santiago said it was highly unbelievable that Diaz was “completely innocent of the purposes” for which the prosecution asked for the list.

Diaz replied that he thought that Congressman Tupas merely “needed materials for research.”

Santiago said that Diaz could be held liable for gross negligence for releasing the list. She said the list of 45 properties that Diaz gave to the prosecution had unnecessarily dragged other people into the controversy. More than that, the list from Diaz had given the impression that Corona owned 45 properties.

Santiago said that the list had implicated “people with no relation to this case.”

“You issued a document highly incriminatory of these people,” she said.

For his part, Diaz said that he tried to be objective when he drew up the list, and that he would have done the same had the defense panel requested a similar list from him.

“I am not a party to this case,” Diaz said. “I would have assisted the defense if they asked for documents for their research.”

Santiago also dismissed Diaz’ protestations of innocence. Diaz had said that he did not take the extra effort to verify if the list was current in relation to the Coronas because he did not want to be accused of bias.

“I did not review the list because i might be (accused of) bias,” Diaz said.

“You mean you abstained from reviewing the list because you did not want to be called biased?” an incredulous Santiago said.

 

4 Responses to Santiago links Diaz to PNoy,
accuses him of negligence, malice

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Anthony Martin

March 21st, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Paano na po iyan, saan lulugar si Atty. Eulalio Diaz, kay Pres. Pnoy o kay Chief Justice Corona.

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GIE

March 21st, 2012 at 6:50 pm

DAPAT MAHAHABA

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Peggy

March 21st, 2012 at 10:56 pm

@Alex – If you’re being grilled in the public, would you not defend yourself? Be objective. You’re being biased. They wanted to impeach the Chief Justice, of course he has to clear his name. Would you think if Aquino is being impeach, he will not spend all his resources to clear his name? It’s not about loving your country, it’s being fair with yourself and the people. It’s Aquino who is pushing for the impeachment, if he will just move on and take care of the country instead of grilling his enemies, maybe our country’s economy will improve. The president is wasting our time and the country’s resources instead of acting like a real president. He is really noynoying and it’s annoying to Filipinos…

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Ruby Gonzales

March 26th, 2012 at 8:00 am

He is doing what he promised to do during the election – get rid of those who allegedly enriched themselves while in office.
It’s so easy to say “He should be taking care of the country.” when it’s your favored people now feeling the heat.
Santiago loves to hear the sound of her own voice and enjoys lording it over people, It’s also been alleged that she has ties to Corona and Tatad. Are you surprised she is hammering away at the prosecution? Granted they are not too bright. I do agree they should have checked the list for properties currently under Corona and his wife’s names.
Don’t tell me it NEVER occurred to you that some of these properties were sold/transferred to friends and families to hide their tracks? Don’t be naive.

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