Prosecution suggests dropping other charges vs Corona to shorten trial | Inquirer News
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TO SHORTEN IMPEACH TRIAL

Prosecution suggests dropping other charges vs Corona to shorten trial

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 01:05 PM January 31, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—The prosecution team in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona may drop other charges against him to shorten the proceeding, House Majority Floor Leader Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales said on Tuesday.

“It’s an option open to the prosecution to drop other charges…After all, you only need one to convict Chief Justice Corona,” Gonzales told reporters.

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The impeachment complaint filed against Corona contained eight articles but the prosecution has so far presented only one of eight – Article 2 which pertains to Corona’s alleged failure to disclose his statement of asset, liabilities and net worth—since the trial began last January 16.

After Article 2, the prosecution will proceed to Articles 3,7,1,8,4,5 and 6.

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But Gonzales said the prosecution could just drop the last three or four articles and then allow the defense team to present their own witnesses.

He was confident that in Article 2 alone, the prosecution has a strong case against the Chief Justice.

If the prosecution decides to drop the other charges, Gonzales estimated that Corona’s trial could be finished in just two months.

“Maybe we can end the trial before the Lenten season,” he said. The Lenten season this year will be on the first week of April.

A member of the prosecution team, Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares, was open to dropping other charges if they have established their case against Corona.

“It has always been my position that at anytime the prosecution feels they have established their case, they have, of course, the right or the discretion to say that: This is it. We don’t want to waste the Senate’s time. We feel that we established our case so we can stop presenting our evidence,” said Colmenares.

Like Gonzales, Colmenares believes the evidence in Article 2 was strong to convict Corona.

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“I doubt very much if the Chief Justice would be able to explain it because there’s no other way to explain it para sa akin. Even if you claim allowances that’s still taxable,” he said.

Originally posted at 12:48 pm | Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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TAGS: Chief Justice Renato Corona, Corona impeachment trial, House Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales II
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