Arroyo ally says Corona should testify
MANILA, Philippines—A staunch ally of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo believes that Chief Justice Renato Corona must take the witness stand and answer personally the charges filed against him by the House of Representatives, specifically the discrepancies between in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth and his actual assets and bank deposits.
“He (Corona) has no choice; the truth has to be told from his own mouth,” House Minority leader Representative Danilo Suarez of Quezon said in an interview.
Suarez said that while he believed Corona had a strong case to acquit himself of all the charges, he must face the prosecution and senators and answer all their questions personally. Suarez said his appearance would be fraught with risks but “he has to face it all if he intends to win his case.”
Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara had earlier said that Corona would not dare sit on the witness stand because “he would risk telling the truth under cross examination.”
Marikina City Representative Romero Quimbo said that the prosecution team had studied all angles in Corona’s defense and believed there was no way he could explain the P31 million in cash deposit he did not declare in his SALN or why he terminated several time deposit accounts totaling P27 million on the day that 188 lawmakers signed his impeachment.
“Who will make that explanation? If they want to come up with a decent defense, they need somebody who will be on the stand to explain where all these funds came, and it cannot be his accountant. I think the dilemma is they are hard-pressed with the evidence that has been so far presented which they were hoping would not come out,” said Quimbo.
Quimbo said that Corona and his lawyers could not impose on the prosecution or senators and set boundaries on what questions or issues to ask the magistrate.
“He can be asked about practically anything as far as the complaint is concerned,” said Quimbo.
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