The report of the committee of the whole's legal team on the evidence submitted by Madrigal's counsel was deemed confidential.
Copies of the report, however, will be distributed to all the senators to study in private.
Another hearing is scheduled on Thursday and that is perhaps when the sparks will fly.
I expect this will be the hearing where the senators in the committee of the whole will vote to either try the ethics complaint against villar or not.
The number of votes needed to go into trial will be a majority of the quorum -- the specific number of the quorum will depend on how the quorum will be defined, nevertheless, a majority will mean at least half the number constituting the quorum plus 1.
If the quorum is defined as 23 senators, a majority vote will need 12 senators. If it is 22 (minus trillanes), a majority vote will need 12 senators. If the quorum is 13, a majority vote will need 7 senators.
However they will vote, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago was apparently well enough to give her opinion on the proceedings.
In gmanew.tv's story, Senator Santiago described the ethics probe as running on a flawed system and the explanation closely cleaves to that of Senator Vilar's own assertions that he won't get a fair hearing.
At this point, I can imagine Senator Jamby Madrigal clucking with contentment as she excitedly points out that this is proof that Senator Manny Villar and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo talked.
"See! See! Senator Miriam is casting doubt on the senate ethics probe to defend Villar! That's because Malacanang talked her into it."
Then again, what may perhaps really bolster this idea is Senator Alan Peter Cayetano's opinion that it is the Office of the Ombudsman who ought to investigate the charge against Villar.
“Senator Madrigal, therefore, should file a case with the Ombudsman if graft and corruption was there indeed, and there are proper courts and quasi-judicial bodies wherein she could also file a case if there were violations, committed by companies allegedly owned by Senator Villar.”
Certainly, if the case does land in the lap of the Ombudsman, we can expect Merceditas Gutierrez to either dismiss the case outright or just sit on the case.