As the Senate President says at the outset, this opinion is yet to be discussed by the Senate Court. Doubtless it will be debated at length and modified somewhat, but I expect its most durable features to survive into the Majority view.
"May I now state the position of this humble presiding officer. And this position is subject to the opinion of the court, of the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.
"In the humble view of the presiding officer, the Senate as an impeachment court must at all times observe the rule of law.
"It cannot transgress any of the applicable provisions of the bill of rights. It must be guided by the presumption of innocence, before the pronouncement of guilt. It must at all times observe the principle of procedural and substantial due process.
"It cannot use its power to issue compulsory process or processes to compel any witness to appear and testify and in testifying is forced to commit a crime. It cannot compel a witness to testify against himself.
"It cannot arbitrarily declare a person guilty of contempt and deprive of that person his or her liberty.
"It cannot violate the laws passed by Congress of which it is an integral part.
"That is the humble position of this presiding officer of this Senate sitting as an impeachment court.
"Now, as far as the subpoena duces tecum involved, which was issued by this presiding officer upon the behest of the prosecution, this presiding officer assumes full responsibility for issuing that subpoena. And is ready to defend his position in any court of law if there is a need for that.
"I will not pass the buck to the Senate sitting as an impeachment court. It was my decision as the presiding officer and I am personally bound to assume the consequences of my action as a presiding officer.
"Having said that, I do not wish to delve on the issue [on the] exercise to issue compulsory processes by this court in this particular instance involving Republic Acts 1405 and 6426.
"I do not want to make any pronouncement on that because precisely this court, through this presiding officer, exercised the discretion to heed the request of the prosecution to issue a subpoena duces tecum to help them obtain the evidence they wanted in the face of proscriptions by laws of the land passed by Congress.
"And that is the subject matter now of the case before the Supreme Court filed by a private party asserting its rights under the laws of this country and under the Constitution to be protected from any liability, and that is the reason for which the Supreme Court issued a TRO.
"And that is the reason why this court, or a majority of this court, yesterday ruled, in an open, uninfluenced voting that the court must respect the order of the Supreme Court to issue its temporary restraining order.
"Whether or not in the end this court abused its discretion or committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or excess of jurisdiction will be decided...by the Supreme Court being the highest court of the land and the final arbiter and interpreter of the Constitution of this country.
"For no one else was given by the sovereign people in their Constitution the power to make a final determination or interpretation of what the Constitution ought to be or what a law ought to be except the Supreme Court.
"Not the executive. Not congress. But only the Supreme Court.
"And so it is my bounded duty as the presiding officer of this impeachment court to respect the authority, the power of the Supreme Court to review acts of this impeachment court, in interlocutory matters, meaning, matters bearing on the manner which this court will conduct the trial of this particular impeachment case.
"But it is my humble view that the Supreme Court, in spite of the fact that it has the power of judicial review, cannot assume jurisdiction over the power, the sole power of this Senate sitting as an impeachment court to try and decide this impeachment case.
"That is the position of this humble presiding officer."
The most important of these may be the distinction JPE draws between a POWER and a JURISDICTION, between the Supreme Court's power of Judicial Review and the Senate's sole power as Impeachment Court to TRY and DECIDE all cases of impeachment and the JURISDICTION in which each power is applicable under the 1987 Constitution.
In particular, JPE believes the Supreme Court may exercise judicial review over INTERLOCUTORY MATTERS, by which he means the "manner" by which the Senate Impeachment Court conducts the trial, but draws a Line in the Sand beyond which not even the Supreme Court may cross: it may not take jurisdiction over "the power, the sole power of the Senate to try and decide this case." which is explicitly stated in the 1987 Constitution's Article 11 Section 3.6-8:
(6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Philippines is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but shall not vote. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.The Supreme Court's judicial powers are in the 1987 Constitution Article VIII, in particular, for the purposes of this discussion:
(7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment, according to law.
(8) The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section.
Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. Judicial power includes  the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and  to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.Above is a much quoted and discussed provision of 1987. So Manolo Quezon's recent links to the sponsorship speech of Justice Roberto Concepcion before the 1986 Constitutional Commission is worth reviewing. In that speech, one discovers the intent of the Framers of 1987 to give the courts of justice an EXPANDED CERTIORARI POWER, a special power of judicial review not given even to the United States Supreme Court.
Notice that Judicial Power includes two DUTIES of the courts of justice:
(1) to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable.
(2) to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.
The first duty is "conventional" and is the usual definition of what Judiciaries do, such as those in the Western traditions of America and England from which our own justice system is largely derived. Courts of justice SETTLE cases of controversy among persons based on the laws.
The second duty is the much ballyhooed EXPANDED CERTIORARI POWER granted in 1987, which obliges courts of justice, as their duty, to determine the existence of something called grave abuse of discretion by "any branch or instrumentality of the Government" in a quantity or degree that "amounts" to a violation of JURISDICTION.
Now look at the very last point Enrile makes:
"But it is my humble view that the Supreme Court, in spite of the fact that it has the power of judicial review, cannot assume jurisdiction over the power, the sole power of this Senate sitting as an impeachment court to try and decide this impeachment case.If the Supreme Court is supreme, why can it not assume jurisdiction over the Corona Trial? Because it would be grave abuse of its discretion! ("except for interlocutory matters--so ordered!"-JPE)
I think it is a line in the sand.
((February 14 Valentines Day was Juan Ponce Enrile's 88th birthday. Happy Birthday!))