Corona lawyer asks to hear Corona first before passing judgement
MANILA, Philippines—“Hear us first before judging the Chief Justice,” Tranquil Salvador III, one of the lawyers for Chief Justice Renato Corona, said Friday in an interview over Radyo Inquirer 990AM.
The prosecution said Thursday that Corona closed at least three Philippine Savings Bank peso accounts, totaling P32.6 million, on Dec. 12, 2011, the same day he was impeached by the House of Representatives.
These were Account No. 089-121023848, which was opened on June 29, 2011, with P17 million; Account No. 089-121019523, opened on Dec. 22, 2009, with P8.5 million; and Account No. 089-121021681, opened Sept. 1, 2010, with P7,090,099.45.
Salvador said the money deposited by the Chief Justice in the three accounts with PS Bank belonged to Basa-Guidote Enterprise, which is owned by the family of his wife Cristina.
However, Salvador refused to give further details, saying it might touch on the merits of the case and that they will explain it once it is their turn to present evidence.
The defense can only start their presentation of evidence once the prosecution has terminated their presentation of evidence.
“Hear us first. We can and we will explain everything. We are appealing to the public to have extra patience,” Salvador said, adding that once the prosecution has finished with their presentation of evidence for all the eight articles of impeachment, it will be the turn of Chief Justice to present his.
“Which is why we welcome the plan of the prosecution to take measures that will shorten their presentation of evidence,” he said, adding that if the prosecution team believes that Article 2 on the non-disclosure of Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth is the strongest among 8 articles, they can dispense with the other articles.
“But of course if they want to proceed with the articles, that is their call we just have to wait for our turn,” Salvador said.
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