Disqualify Drilon, defense asks Senate

Natashya Gutierrez

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But Drilon says he won't inhibit

MANILA, Philippines – The defense team of Chief Justice Renato Corona asked the impeachment court on Thursday, January 26, to disqualify Sen. Franklin Drilon from the ongoing proceedings.

The motion “most respectfully states and avers the grounds and legal bases relied upon to call for the recusal of Senator Judge Franklin M. Drilon,” the motion said. (Copy of the motion below)

It emphasized that “a judge must take every effort to avoid even the appearance” of partiality, something that defense counsels said Drilon has failed to do.

They added that Drilon “caused the issuance of a subpoena for Atty. Enriquetta Vidal…for the purpose of having her testify and produce the Statement of Assets, Libailities and Networth (SALN) of CJ Corona.”

Drilon said he will not inhibit, saying the defense motion has no basis.

The prosecution “found an ally in Senator-judge Drilon, who proceeded to ‘cross-examine’ and badger Atty.Vidal in the guise of ‘classificatory’ questions,” the defense motion said.

Upon Drilon’s questioning,  Vidal produced the SALNs of Corona.

The motion also cited the introduction of the deed of sale intended to cast doubts on the role of Corona about the acquisition of property by his daughter, Charina. It was Drilon who asked the registrar of deeds on whether Corona’s name ever appeared in the deed. The registrar said Corona signed as Charina’s attorney-in-fact.

The defense noted that Drilon’s behavior has been noticed by the public and cast doubts on the trial’s integrity, as well as the impartiality of the judges. – Rappler.com

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Natashya Gutierrez

Natashya is President of Rappler. Among the pioneers of Rappler, she is an award-winning multimedia journalist and was also former editor-in-chief of Vice News Asia-Pacific. Gutierrez was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2023.