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‘57 private lawyers volunteer for prosecution in Corona impeachment’

/ 10:25 PM January 14, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Despite alleged pressure from allies of impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona to stay out of the Senate trial, 57 private lawyers have signed up to provide law research and pointers to the House prosecution team in its bid to remove the most powerful man in the judiciary.

Marikina Representative Romero Quimbo, spokesman for the prosecution, said that the number of volunteers signing up for the prosecution team surged only two weeks ago as prosecutors initially found very little willingness among private lawyers to face up to Corona.

“We’re overwhelmed by the response in the last two weeks because it was really difficult assembling a team of private lawyers who were threatened that their pending cases in the Supreme Court would be compromised if they joined the prosecution team. Some of them were even asked to take a leave from their major law firms,” said Quimbo in a phone interview.


A source from the prosecution team, who requested anonymity, said that interest among private lawyers shot up immediately after President Aquino announced late last month that he was considering to appoint an “outsider” as the next chief justice should Corona be removed from office.

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, another prosecution spokesman, said that the 57 lawyers who agreed to support the 10 prosecution members should be commended for standing up to the pressure of being cast as “enemies of the Supreme Court.’’

“They will not be compensated by the House. They have agreed to volunteer their services because they believe in our cause. They will be a big boost to the prosecution team because it is no joke to present a case of this magnitude,” said Angara in a text message.

Angara said the private prosecutors picked their team members based on their expertise in the eight articles of impeachment lodged against Corona.

“They will be responsible for preparing questions for witnesses, readying the documents to be presented before the court. They will be asked to do anything that could assist the public prosecutors,” said Angara.

The team members of House prosecution leader Iloilo Rep. Niel C. Tupas Jr. are Arthur D. Lim and Jose Justiniano. They will handle the first articles under which Corona is charged with partiality and subservience to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from his time as associate justice to his midnight appointment as chief justice.

The team members of Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo C. Fariñas are Augusto Panlilio, Justiniano, and Gregorio Batiller. The team will take care of the sixth article.

The lawyers assisting Akbayan Rep.  Arlene J. Bag-ao are  Marlon Manuel, Magis Mendoza, Joeven Dellosa, Reagan de Guzman, Levy Ang, Jan Perry Eugenio, Peter Leo Mendiola, Marl Chester Ti and  Jane Laarni Pichay.


The team of CIBAC Rep. Sherwin N. Tugna is composed of Esteban Y. Mendoza, Gilbert Viloria, Conrado R. Sarmiento and Michelle Ann G. Erum.

The team members of Cavite Rep. Elpidio F. Barzaga, Jr. are Pedro Aquino, Mario Valderrama, Jenny Vi Buslig and Henedino Brondial.

The team of Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo V. Umali includes Rex G. Rico, Renato C. Samonte Jr., Jose Luis Rey S. Munsayac, Manuel M. Manuel, Max Banares Jr., Michael P. Millares, Ariel Radovan and Arjay N. Peralta.

The members of Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza’s team are Harry L. Roque Jr., Joel R. Butuyan, Roger R. Rayel, Romel R. Bagares, Dexter Donne B. Dizon, Allan Jones F. Lardizabal, Gilbert T. Andres, Federico C. Roxas II, Norma Singson-De Leon, Claro L. Mamaril and Vitaliano Aguirre II.

The team members of Pangasinan Rep. Marlyn L. Primicias-Agabas are Winston M. Ginez, Xerxes E. Cortel, Clarence B. Jandoc, John P. Roldan, Frederick F. Vallestero and Ernesto Viovicente.

The team members of Bayan Muna Rep. Neri J. Colmenares are Vanessa Maguigad, Jovenio Evangelista, Cristina Yambot, Al Parreno, Emil Capulong, Cheryl Daytec, Janne Baterna and Ramon Te.

The team members of Isabela Rep. Giorgidi B. Aggabao are Bodie Naval, Rosario Bautista, Daytec and Lauro Gacayan.

The 11-member prosecution team is managed by Cavite Rep. Joseph E.A. Abaya.

The lead private lawyer of the prosecution is Mario Bautista, managing partner of the Poblador Bautista and Reyes law office. Bautista was credited for harnessing bank executive Clarissa Ocampo as a surprise witness during the impeachment trial of then President Joseph Estrada in 2001. Prosecutors are hoping he can work the same magic and come up with another Ocampo—she testified she saw Estrada sign as  “Jose Velarde” in documents of a disputed bank account—to pin down Corona.

List of private prosecutors according to teams:

Rep. Arlene J. Bag-ao

1. Atty. Marlon Manuel

2. Atty. Magis Mendoza

3. Atty. Joeven Dellosa

4. Atty. Reagan De Guzman

5. Atty. Levy Ang

6. Atty. Jan Perry Eugenio

7. Atty. Peter Leo Mendiola

8. Atty. Marl Chester Ti

9. Atty. Jane Laarni Pichay

Rep. Sherwin N. Tugna

1. Atty. Esteban Y. Mendoza

2. Atty. Gilbert Viloria

3. Atty. Conrado R. Sarmiento

4. Atty. Michelle Ann G. Erum

Rep. Elpidio F. Barzaga, Jr.

1. Atty. Pedro Aquino

2. Atty. Mario Valderrama

3. Atty. Jenny Vi Buslig

4. Atty. Henedino Brondial

Rep. Reynaldo V. Umali

1. Atty. Rex G. Rico

2. Atty. Renato C. Samonte Jr.

3. Atty. Jose Luis Rey S. Munsayac

4. Atty. Manuel M. Manuel

5. Atty. Max Banares Jr.

6. Atty. Michael P. Millares

7. Atty. Ariel Radovan

8. Atty. Arjay N. Peralta

Rep. Raul A. Daza

1. Atty. Harry L. Roque Jr

2. Atty. Joel R. Butuyan

3. Atty. Roger R. Rayel

4. Atty. Romel R. Bagares

5. Atty. Dexter Donne B. Dizon

6. Atty. Allan Jones F. Lardizabal

7. Atty. Gilbert T. Andres

8. Atty. Federico C. Roxas II

9. Atty. Norma Singson-De Leon

10. Atty. Claro L. Mamaril

11. Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre II

Rep. Niel C. Tupas Jr.

1. Atty. Arthur D. Lim

2. Atty. Jose Justiniano

Rep. Rodolfo C. Fariñas

1. Atty. Augusto Panlilio

2. Atty. Jose Justiniano

3. Atty. Gregorio Batiller

Rep. Marlyn L. Primicias-Agabas

1. Atty. Winston M. Ginez

2. Atty. Xerxes E. Cortel

3. Atty. Clarence B. Jandoc

4. Atty. John P. Roldan

5. Atty. Frederick F. Vallestero

6. Atty. Ernesto Viovicente

Rep. Neri J. Colmenares

1. Atty. Vanessa Maguigad

2. Atty. Jovenio Evangelista

3. Atty. Cristina Yambot

4. Atty. Al Parreno

5. Atty. Emil Capulong

6. Atty. Cheryl Daytec

7. Atty. Janne Baterna

8. Atty. Ramon Te

Rep. Giorgidi B. Aggabao

1. Atty. Bodie Naval

2. Atty. Rosario Bautista

3. Atty. Cheryl Daytec

4. Atty. Lauro Gacayan

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