Prosecution haunted by poorly-crafted case
MANILA, Philippines—The prosecution was being “haunted” by their poorly-crafted articles of impeachment, defense lawyer Ramon Esguerra said Wednesday.
“You have heard the ruling of the Senate President as presiding officer of the impeachment court, he was very, very categorical. No words minced—the problem … was the crafting of the articles of impeachment, nothing else, and that bound [the prosecution] and that haunts them up to this day,” Esguerra said.
In Tuesday’s trial, the prosecution’s witness Enrique Javier, Philippine Airlines (PAL) vice president for Sales, was barred from testifying by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on the alleged travel perks received by Chief Justice Renato Corona from PAL because bribery was not specifically stated in the articles of impeachment.
Esguerra pointed out that “there are defects in the articles of impeachment [and] this has been observed from time to time by the Senate, especially the presiding officer.”
He said that article 2.4, which alleges ill-gotten wealth, has already been barred from being presented. “Now you see an outright ruling on the irrelevancy of the witness yesterday from PAL on Article 3,” Esguerra said.
Esguerra said the defense would no longer go back to the issue that the House of Representatives did not have enough time to study and understand each allegation in the articles of impeachment when the 188 congressmen voted to impeach Corona.
“Our position on the matter is being validated, that there is something really wrong with the articles of impeachment,” Esguerra said.
“It’s up to [the prosecution]. If they don’t want to amend it, then they wait for another year [and] they file another complaint. Maybe they will have a better complaint [and] a better trial in terms of their presentation of evidence,” Esguerra said.
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