Lead defense counsel engages senator-judge in heated verbal exchange | Inquirer News
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Lead defense counsel engages senator-judge in heated verbal exchange

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 04:45 PM March 12, 2012

MANILA, Philippines–Tension temporarily gripped the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona Monday when his lead counsel took a swipe at a senator-judge, who has been accused of favoring the prosecution team.

It started when Senator Franklin Drilon stood up and read to Corona’s lead counsel,former Supreme Court Justice Serafin Cuevas, the Jan. 18, 2012 ruling of the Senate of its denial to a preliminary hearing sought by the defense team.

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Drilon pointed out that the alleged defects in the verification of the impeachment complaint filed against Corona was the same argument that the defense team used when it sought a preliminary hearing.

The same argument was used by Cuevas when he insisted to subpoena several congressmen and an official of the House of Representatives before the Senate despite the chamber’s denial of the motion.

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“The purpose obviously of a hearing of the affirmative defenses is to have the case dismissed because of lack of proper verification which has already been ruled upon by this court on January 18,”Drilon said.

“If that commentary was made by the members of the prosecution, we would have no objection your honor,” Cuevas answered. “We are worried your honor that this may be interpreted your honor as an argument by a prosecutor.”

Cuevas’ statement drew a sharp retort from Drilon, who said: “I take exception to the statement of the prosecution of the defense counsel and that’s totally improper.”

And when Cuevas tried to cut him, the senator said, “I’m still speaking !”

Cuevas answered, “Go ahead…” to which Drilon retorted, “Don’t interrupt!”

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile intervened and just ordered the reading of the January 18 ruling.

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TAGS: Corona Impeachment, Defense, Franklin Drilon, News, Prosecution, Senate, Serafin Cuevas
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