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MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Renato Corona’s camp has asked the Senate impeachment court to punish the prosecution team for publicly disclosing evidence on his alleged ill-gotten wealth.
Corona’s lawyer, Jose M. Roy III, said Rep. Niel Tupas and other prosecutors violated Rule 18 of the impeachment rules when they held a press conference last week to release documents on Corona’s alleged undeclared property in Taguig City.
Citing Rule 5 of the impeachment rules, he asked the Senate to “issue or promulgate any interim or disciplinary measures to enforce and carry into effect its legal mandate.”
Under the rule, the Senate may “punish in a summary way contempts of, and disobediene to, its authority, orders, mandates, writs or judgments…”
“CJ Corona strongly manifests his objection to the prosecution’s unbridled dissemination of information or documents, which may not even be admissible in evidence of relevant to the case,” Roy said in a manifestation filed at the Senate on Monday, January 9, but released to the media on Tuesday, January 10.
He added that as complainant and chief prosecutor, Tupas must honor the authority of the impeachment court and strictly comply with its rules.
“The prosecution’s recent tack, no less than that of its chief prosecutor, is a clever ruse to destroy the image of CJ Corona before the bar of public opinion and generate a negative public perception of his guilt ahead of the impeachment trial,” Roy said. – Rappler.com