‘Tears were shed’ in last defense meeting

Natashya Gutierrez
Defense counsels got emotional in their last meeting, as the nearly 5-month-long trial nears its end

MANILA, Philippines — Emotions are high as the historic impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona draws to an end.

But more than anticipation and relief, for the defense team, it also means the end of a tough challenge and their separation from the group they were all part of for almost 5 months.

“Saturday we had a nice, short meeting and we were exchanging sentiments about everything, and some tears were shed,” said defense counsel Judd Roy. “Some people got emotional… I think it was an affirmation of how much we appreciate each other after all this time.”

Roy denied rumors of the defense falling apart, and described the relationship of the team as “very, very warm.”

He said that while the defense has had its disputes and disagreements, everyone is well and in good terms, including him and lead counsel Serafin Cuevas.

Last week, when asked about a rumored rift with Roy, Cuevas admitted he had been thrown off by Roy sharing his thoughts on the walkout, when nothing was sure yet about the circumstances of Corona’s abrupt departure. He said the issue was minor and denied reports he told senator-judges to cite him in contempt.

Defense counsel Ramon Esguerra also told the media he does not regret defending Corona, but admitted that there were challenges in defending the chief magistrate who, several times, dealt with issues related to the trial on his own, including his opening statement Tuesday, May 22.

On the whole, as the trial comes to a close, Roy was confident about the outcome of the “compelling case” they presented. 

“Personally, I find it difficult to believe that they will have a verdict of anything other than an acquittal,” he said. “We’re very happy with the case we presented, I’m very happy with the performance of the team, I’m very happy with the way we worked.” – Rappler.com

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