Senators defer vote on dollar TRO
Senators decide to wait for the testimony of the Ombudsman and the Chief Justice before revisiting their initial vote on the Supreme Court's TRO

MANILA, Philippines – Senators on Monday, May 14, decided to wait for the testimony of defense witnesses before voting anew on the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued in February by the Supreme Court, that stopped the disclosure of Chief Justice Renato Corona’s dollar accounts in the Philippine Savings Bank.

According to sources privy to the Senate’s Monday caucus, some of the senators present were initially inclined to “revisit” their initial 13-10 vote which heeded the TRO. Last week, Sen Aquilino Pimentel III already said he would vote to lift the TRO; Pimentel was among the 13 senators who earlier decided to follow the High Court.

In February, the SC stopped the PSBank from disclosing to the impeachment court details of Corona’s dollar accounts. Majority of the senators agreed to follow the verdict.

At their caucus Monday, some senators raised the likelihood of putting the issue to another vote given the ongoing probe of the Ombudsman on Corona’s alleged US$10-M dollar accounts.

Sources told Rappler, however, that the senators deferred a second voting. Instead, they decided to just wait for the scheduled testimony of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Corona himself.

The senators decided to “hear the presentation of evidence by the defense and see whether or not, based on what will be revealed, it would still be necessary to revisit” their vote, according to one source privy to the caucus.

The Ombudsman is scheduled to testify before the impeachment court on Monday.

As of posting, her deputy, Orlando Casimiro, has arrived to show his “support” for his boss. –