MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Renato Corona is now in “stable” condition, his son, Francis, told Radyo Inquirer on Thursday.
“Thank you, he (Corona) is getting better. He is stable already,” Francis said in a text message.
Corona’s son did not answer back, however, when asked if his father will appear on Friday’s resumption of his impeachment trial at the Senate as announced by the chief defense counsel, former Supreme Court Justice Serafin Cuevas.
The Senate acting as an impeachment court gave Corona until Friday to return to the witness stand and for his defense team to present other evidence before it renders a verdict on Tuesday.
But senators could not say whether or not the Senate is willing to move its own self-imposed deadline for oral arguments on Monday and judgment on Tuesday even if Corona appears Friday just to comply with the ultimatum given to him.
“Any other motions or requests by the parties that may lead to further delay may no longer accommodated by the court. It is therefore farfetched that we will move the scheduled arguments on Monday,” Senator Francis Pangilinan said even before Cuevas announced that Corona will appear on Friday.
“Besides, the Chief Justice has already manifested the resting of the case for the defense if the waiver he requested will not be obtained. The prosecution on the other hand has said they will waive (their right to cross examine Corona) if no further direct examination is made. All parties therefore have signified their intention to terminate the proceedings,” he said.
“There is no reason therefore to delay the case any further to meet our self-imposed deadline,’ Pangilinan added,
But when told about Cuevas’ statement, Pangilinan insisted the Senate deadline, saying they can hold a hearing, if necessary, even on Saturday.
If Corona would indeed appear on Friday, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the Senate has to decide whether to grant any extension of the trial.
“They issue conflicting statements. They are not in sync, “ Lacson said, referring to statements made by Corona’s lawyers.
“I think he will reappear just to comply with the Friday ultimatum from the court. What the court has to decide if that happens is whether or not an extension will be granted on the scheduled Monday final arguments and the verdict on Tuesday,” the senator added.