Prosecution: Defense witness seen arriving, leaving in Supreme Court car
Prosecution spokespersons on Wednesday decried Chief Justice Renato Corona’s use of government resources for his defense in the impeachment trial in the Senate.
In a press conference, Marikina Representative Romero Quimbo said defense witness Demetrio Vicente, a private individual and Corona’s second cousin, arrived in and left the Senate on Tuesday in a beige 1996 Toyota Camry with plate No. SEJ 953 which turned out to be registered as an official vehicle of the Supreme Court.
It was Solar News that took a video of Vicente’s departure from the Senate using the same car.
During the trial on Tuesday, Vicente said he bought seven parcels of land in Marikina City from Corona’s wife Cristina in 1990.
“Certainly, the Chief Justice is entitled to his defense and in fact, he has lawyers already defending him. But it is important just like any person, who is a respondent in a case pursuant to the performance of his public functions, for him not to use the resources of his office,” Quimbo said.
“The resources of the Supreme Court are being used to ferry witnesses to and fro. It smacks of a violation pertaining to the misuse of government funds,” he said.
Quimbo said it was different if congressmen, acting as prosecutors in an impeachment case, use government-issued vehicles as they were performing a constitutional duty.
He challenged Corona to take a leave of absence in order to insulate other members of the Supreme Court from any accusation of bias.