SC defers verdict on Corona case

Paterno Esmaquel II
SC Justice Presbitero Velasco inhibits from case

TEARY-EYED. A teary-eyed Chief Justice Renato Corona surprises supporters during a pro-Corona rally Thursday.

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday, February 9, deferred its anticipated ruling on Chief Justice Corona’s urgent petition for the High Court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the impeachment proceedings against him.

Part of the reason is the decision of SC Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. to inhibit himself from the case. Velasco’s son, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, signed the impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice.

It turned out that the case was raffled to Velasco. The High Tribunal then decided to give respondents 10 days to comment on the Corona petition, after which, the Court would deliberate on it.

The urgent petition filed by Corona’s defense counsels on Wednesday, February 8, sought from the SC a TRO to stop the following: the impeachment trial proceedings; the testimony and presentation of documents by officials of Philippine Savings Bank and the Bank of the Philippine Islands; and the presentation, reception, and admission of evidence on paragraphs 2.3 and 2.4 of the impeachment complaint (related to graft and corruption and ill-gotten wealth).

Corona has “suffered grave and irreparable injury” due to the continuing violation of his constitutional rights, according to his camp’s urgent petition.

In an interview with Rappler on Wednesday, February 8, defense lawyer Jose Judd Roy III said the developments in the Senate have plunged the country in a constitutional crisis. –

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at