Defense unhappy with bank records, new sked

Natashya Gutierrez
The defense will insist that Corona's bank records are inadmissible as evidence; calls proposed new schedule 'unfair'

MANILA, Philippines – The defense will object to the impeachment court’s decision to admit as evidence Chief Justice Renato Corona’s bank accounts.

In a caucus on Tuesday, March 6, senator-judges junked a motion by the defense asking the impeachment court to disregard the bank records of Corona related to Philippine Savings Bank. In an earlier motion, the defense said the documents were obtained unlawfully and thus should be inadmissible.

As of this article’s posting, Corona’s counsels said they have not yet been officially informed of the impeachment court’s ruling.

Defense spokesperson Tranquil Salvador said the defense will reiterate the reasons why the bank records should not be admitted by the court, through the defense’s comments and objections to the prosecution’s formal offer of evidence.

The defense is currently reviewing the offer. Their objections to it are due Wednesday, March 7.

Salvador also denied they will raise the issue before the Supreme Court.

While their motion has been rejected, the defense said it will wait for the court’s final verdict on the prosecution’s offer of evidence inclusive of their objections.

No to new schedule

Salvador also raised concerns over a proposal of Presiding Officer and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to hold morning and afternoon impeachment sessions to quicken the trial.

“That will be hard since we still have to prepare our witnesses and documentary evidence for the day,” he said.

Salvador said changes in the middle of the proceedings would be “unfair” to the Chief Justice.

Defense counsel Ramon Esguerra also pointed out that they have not yet been advised regarding the new schedule but admitted they are likely to object to it.

He said they should be afforded reasonable time to prepare for the trial.

“We believe we cannot be rushed in presenting defense witnesses,” he said. –