Enrile eyes pre-trial in Corona case
MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile is proposing a pre-trial in the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona following the reported 100 witnesses that the prosecution team is planning to present against Corona.
“I’m going to suggest that to the parties because now of the volume, of the announced number of witnesses and documents to be presented,” Ernile said on Monday when asked if the impeachment trial would have been faster if there was a pre-trial.
“And I would suggest they sit down – the two panels— and see what they can agree upon so that there’s no more need for testimonial and documentary evidence to be presented and what they will prove,” he said.
Enrile’s proposal was a 360-degree turn from his previous stand against the pre-trial in his interviews with the media before the formal trial started last January 16, 2012.
In opposing the holding of a pre-trial, the Senate leader cited then the Senate’s mandate, which is to “forthwith proceed” with the trial upon receipt of an article of impeachment from the House of Representatives.
But in retracting his position, Enrile explained that at first, he did not want to call a pre-trial for fear that the public would suspect that they were tying to hide something from them.
“Kaya hindi ko ginawa yun. Ngayon dahil nga may announcement na napaka dami nyong testigo na dadating at libu-libo yata, daan-daan ang documents na ipi-presenta, e matagal yan kung ganun (That’s why I did not do it. But now, because there was an announcement that there will be a lot of witnesses, and maybe thousands or hundreds of documents to be presented—then that will prolong the proceeding),” he said.
“Nakita naman nyo ang takbo ng trial kaya kung maari e dapat pag usapan ng dalawang panig. Hindi ko sila pipilitin, imumungkahi ko lamang (You saw the pace of the trial that’s why if possible, the two parties should talk. I will not force them, I will just propose it to them),” he further said.
Enrile is presiding over the impeachment trial of Corona. It will resume at 2:00 in the afternoon.
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