MANILA, Philippines—Congressmen could not resist to speculate a day after lawyers of Chief Justice Renato Corona told the Senate impeachment court that the chief magistrate has decided to testify in his trial.
“I have heard some speculation to that effect that the defense may be laying the groundwork for a resignation and although it is possible, it looks unlikely at this point,” said Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara.
Isabela Representative Giorgidi Aggabao said it was possible, albeit remote, that Corona would resign after presumably clearing his name.
“My guess is, after the witnesses have testified, all of whom, parenthetically, will be testifying based merely on hearsay knowledge, CJ will declare there is no clear and convincing evidence about the $10 million account and then resign for the good of the country. I don’t think he will testify,” said Aggabao in a text message.
Angara said the prosecution was also looking at the possibility that the defense’s decision to allow Corona to testify was meant to “buy them time” for their plan to seek the Supreme Court’s intervention and question the move of the Ombudsman’s action to investigate allegations that the Chief Justice has been keeping $10 million dollars in the banks. Angara noted that Corona’s appearance was premised on other witnesses, such as Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, appearing before him.
“But for now, these ideas are speculative. What is important is for our side to prepare for the witnesses to be called next week particularly the CJ and the Ombudsman,” said Angara.