Who is Mario Bautista?

Carmela Fonbuena
He was hesitant at first to be part of the prosecution but accepted because he believed in the case

PRIVATE PROSECUTOR. Lawyer Mario Bautista takes on the Chief Justice during his testimony. File photo.

MANILA, Philippines – Private prosecutor Mario Bautista, played a key role in the impeachment trial of former President Joseph Estrada. He made a comeback as the lead private prosecutor of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Bautista was first approached by the defense panel, particularly by lawyer Eduardo Delos Angeles, to join their team.

In the Estrada impeachment trial, it was Bautista who presented star witness Clarissa Ocampo, a banker who testified that she personally saw the former president sign a check as “Jose Velarde.”

“He was approached by the defense counsel first. He refused,” prosecution spokesperson Romero “Miro” Quimbo told Rappler. He said the defense offered Bautista to become “co-lead counsel.”

“When we (prosecution) talked to him (Bautista), he had talked to the defense already,” Quimbo added. Quimbo used to be a junior lawyer in Bautista’s law firm.

“He was hesitant at first. He took it because he believed in it,” Quimbo said.

Bautista agreed to become lead private prosecutor shortly before Christmas 2010. “It was when we were desperate to find a prosecutor,” Quimbo added. – Rappler.com

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