Defense bows to court decision; to block prosecution’s offer of evidence

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01:25 AM March 7th, 2012

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March 7th, 2012 01:25 AM

Tranquil Salvador III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Lawyers of Chief Justice Renato Corona on Tuesday said they respected the decision of the Senate impeachment court to deny their motion to exclude Corona’s bank records as evidence in his impeachment trial, but they would block the prosecution’s offer of evidence.

Tranquil Salvador III, one of the defense panel’s spokespersons, said the Senate decision covered only the defense motion to suppress evidence and not the prosecution’s formal offer of evidence.

“We have yet to file our objection to the formal offer of evidence. We will file it (Wednesday) and the (Senate) will have to resolve it by Thursday,” Salvador said in a mobile phone interview.

Asked if they would appeal the Senate’s ruling, he said: “We are still considering our options. But for now, we will just file our objection and reiterate the reasons why the bank records (should not) be admitted by the court.”

He said the defense panel would oppose the inclusion of Corona’s bank records as evidence because “its offer was misleading” since the documents were supposedly presented by the prosecution panel in support of its allegation in Paragraph 2.4 of the second article of impeachment.

Salvador said Paragraph 2.4, which accused Corona of amassing ill-gotten wealth, had been stricken from the records by the Senate as part of the impeachment complaint.

“(The bank documents) were introduced in connection with the ill-gotten wealth allegation. But that is no longer a reason (for impeachment),” he said.

“Second, the source is questionable. It violates the exclusionary (provision of the rules of evidence),” the lawyer added.

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