Defense panel ‘frustrated’ but are ‘successful’ to an extent
As the Senate impeachment court convicted Chief Justice Renato Corona, the defense panel on Tuesday said that they are ‘frustrated’ over the decision adding, however, that they nevertheless emerged “successful”.
“Maraming tayong frustration, pero baka sabihin naman we are sour-graping,” lead defense counsel and retired Justice Serafin Cuevas said in a chance interview with reporters on Tuesday.
Asked whether the Senate impeachment court rendered an acceptable decision, he said, “‘Yun ‘yung desisyon nila. We have our own advocacy. We have our own articulation and ‘culturation’. However, we may not agree on the way they disposed of the case.”
Still, Cuevas noted that they will accept the court’s decision. “Eh meron ba tayong magagawa kundi tanggapin ‘yan desisyon? Kung mayroon man tayong puna, due process must prevail.”
In a separate interview with reporters, defense spokesman Tranquil Salvador III concurred with Cuevas saying: “We respect the separate decisions of the senator-judges.”
After about five months of hearings, the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday voted 20-3 against the chief magistrate. The Senate ruled to remove Corona from his position as the chief justice as they found him guilty of Article II of the impeachment complaint which is the non-disclosure of his assets in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, or SALN.
Though the Senate’s verdict has not been favorable to the defense panel, Corona’s lawyers said that they were relieved that the impeachment process was over.
“I think to this extent, we are successful dahil po nabuo ang proseso dahil po noon ay walang umaasa na matatapos po ito. Kahit na po umabot ng halos limang buwan, ay nabuo naman po ang buong proseso ng impeachment,” said Atty. Salvador.
“Natutuwa po ako at natapos na. Medyo makakatulog na nang mahimbing, makakapagpahinga,” quipped retired Justice Cuevas.
Out of all the impeachment complaints ever filed in the Philippines, Corona’s case was the first ever resolved by a Senate impeachment Court. — Rouchelle Dinglasan/DVM/HS, GMA News
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