In defense of Corona
MANILA, Philippines - Packed with seasoned lawyers, the defense team of Chief Justice Renato Corona believes that the prosecution has a weak case against him.
But it is the court of public opinion that they are up against. The lawyers fear that the public is already being conditioned to condemn Corona.
"It's an uphill battle," conceded Tranquil Salvador III, one of Corona's lawyers, in a January 14 interview with Rappler managing editor Glenda M. Gloria. "But let's stick to evidence, not just public opinion."
Ramon Esguerra, general counsel of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and one of the members of Corona's defense team, is not new in this game.
As early as 2003, Esguerra already raised alarm over what the news media is capable of vis-a-vis chief justices. At that time, then Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr was the subject of an impeachment complaint in the House.
In an interview with the Philippine Star in 2003, Esguerra had warned that some "well-funded" media companies would demolish Davide. Nine years after, Esguerra is saying the same thing, this time as a member of Corona's defense team.
Although he did not say that they are being paid, he has told reporters that news organizations writing against Corona show a pattern of harassment against the Chief Justice, all intended to demonize him.
The influential bloc also pushed for the candidacies of several senators who now sit as judges in the impeachment court.
This is the third impeachment case to be handled by Cuevas. He lost in the first one, while the second one -- which involved Gutierrez -- did not proceed.
avoid a conflict-of-interest situation, while Francisco said he decided to leave because one of the senator-judges, Sen. Manuel Villar,is involved in an ethical complaint that the lawyer helped expose.
taught in Ateneo, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Far Eastern University and was former dean of the law school of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasay.
Philippine Stock Exchange. He was dean of the Ateneo law school from 1984-1990. De los Angeles was a private prosecutor during Estrada's impeachment trial.
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