Rep. Teodoro Locsin, Jr. is grilling Sec. Ignacio Bunye. Locsin’s questioning, as usual, is incisive. He’s zeroing in on whether the President authorized the playing of the discs, or whether Bunye did it on his own authority.
(update): Bunye says he did it on his own authority. Bunye says he decided to play the tapes because he heard one version broadcast on the radio before his presscon. Teddyboy’s questions zeroed in on the way the administration majority steamrolled the hearings on the canvassing of votes. Locsin’s point was one we carried in his defunct paper, Today: had the administration not steamrolled things, there would be little room for doubts as to the election results today.
The chairman is now questioning Bunye on whether he facilitated the burning of CD’s by the Palace press corps, and Bunye dodged the question, which would pit him against the testimony of press corps members.
Teddy Casino is now interrogating Bunye. He is inquiring as to how many versions Bunye thought existed.
(update): Bunye insists the release of the tape(s) was spontaneous, unplanned, and “perhaps, it shouldn’t have been done.”
Casino ran out of time, made a motion for Bunye to submit copy of tape(s), which Bunye says are with NBI, and now it’s descended into chaos as the majority party members oppose Casino’s motion…
(update): Bunye, to Rep. Cayetano: I never showed the recording(s) to the President, I informed her by phone, then I sent them to NBI, call was brief as President was lunching with Liberal Party members.
Cayetano (airing concerns over civil liberties): Was there search warrant when the printing press was raided?
Wycoco: We had a search warrant (names judge).
Salacnib Baternia: We must follow rules of court. We cannot ask questions of witnesses together; one at a time only. (this refers to earlier tussle, where Chairman decided to swear in Wycoco so he could answer). Hearing adjourned again in response…
Ricky Carandang is providing good commentary: very little has actually been said, or established, as to origin of tapes- they just “seem to have mysteriously appeared on his (Bunye’s) desk.”
(update): Aimee Marcos: (rattles of instances where Bunye mentions destabilization) what, precisely, is all the destabilization?
Bunye: There was lots of gossip, so it’s logical to deduce…
Marcos: Well, you came from the wrong law school, but anyway, is gossip equivalent to sure knowledge of a plot? Do you call Cayetano and me devious? Desperate?
Bunye: I already said sorry, no blanket condemnation of opposition was intended… Aimee, you don’t look desperate to me.
Marcos: Do you extend apology to ladies, and not just gentlemen, of the opposition?
Bunye: of course.
Marcos: So, back to the destabilization assertion…
Bunye: If it were a legitimate election-related complaint, it would have been brought out last year, ergo…
Marcos: Didn’t you admit it was the President on the tape, then retract, then say you felt 98% sure it was she… What gives?
Bunye: If you give me a copy of a copy of a copy of a voice that sounds like me, then I’ll probably say it was me, but I cannot be absolutely sure, so…
Marcos: Anyway, in your personal capacity, was it the President?
Bunye: My opinion doesn’t matter.
Update (4:43): the hearing’s been derailed over confusion concerning parliamentary procedure. Someone should move for all members of the House to take a course in Robert’s Rules of Order. Rep. Paras, to my mind, should be deprived of his vocal chords (he’s such an ass). Rep. Baterina seems more sensible as to procedures; the chairman, Rep. Remulla, seems out of his depth. The debate: how will the list of questioners be determined? Blah, blah, blah.
Update (5:35): Still bickering. Locsin suggests that Chiz Escudero gets the chance to ask questions; since 1 pm only 4 out of 60++ representatives have had a chance to ask questions. Also, the expulsion of opposition members of the audience was tackled in impassioned manifestations, including one by Miguel Zubiri; a motion to adjourn resulted in viva voce hooting, and resorting to a show of hands; finally all five committees, voting separately, adjourned at 5:44 pm.