Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Jinggoy: Prosecution is the one delaying the proceedings
MANILA-This refers to recent reports using the statements issued by the prosecution which point to me and the defense panel as those who are delaying the proceedings on the bail petition before the Sandiganbayan. Such claims are utterly incredulous and bereft of logic.
More than anyone else, it is I who desires to have a speedy trial. It is I who is currently detained, who is away from my family and who is unable to perform my duties as a duly elected Senator.
We have manifested before the court our intention and willingness to attend extra hearing dates and schedules (daily marathon hearings even), apart from the morning court session conducted every Monday. We have also asked for the use of judicial affidavits to expedite the proceedings; however the prosecution has on numerous occasions rejected the suggestion. As one justice has already pointed out, the court could save 50% of trial time should the prosecution agree to executing judicial affidavits.
It is clear that the members of the prosecution panel are the ones slowing down the pace of the proceedings by presenting so many witnesses (according to one of the prosecutors: 26 all in all for the bail petition alone) whose testimonies have no probative value. Remember that we are only hearing the bail petition which is summary in nature. We are not on the trial proper yet. As I am confident that I will be granted bail, the prosecution can present a thousand witnesses if they so wish during the trial proper.
May I just emphasize that while we desire a speedy trial – as a time in jail is a time wasted – this is not and should not be at the expense of the more substantive rights of the accused, i.e. the right to due process and the right to a fair trial. This is the main reason why we will oppose and will act accordingly on the moves of the prosecution panel which we believe may be contrary to law, fairness and justice.
That’s why my lawyers have filed appropriate motions and pleadings in the course of the proceedings, merely in response to the steps undertaken by the prosecution and on other developments on the case.
To my mind, the prosecution deliberately aims to move at a snail’s pace because up to this date they have no evidence against me and maybe they intend to use such holdup to concoct stories, coach witnesses and manufacture evidence.