Corona verdict out next week, says Enrile

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Presiding Officer Sen Juan Ponce Enrile orders the defense to present final evidence on Friday

LAST CHANCE. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile decides to give Corona only until Friday to return to the witness stand. Photo by Joseph Vidal/PRIB/Senate pool

MANILA, Philippines – The impeachment court on Wednesday, May 23, ordered the defense panel representing Chief Justice Renato Corona to submit its formal evidence and wrap up its case on Friday, May 25.

On Monday, May 28, both parties will be holding their oral arguments, and the court may declare its verdict that same day, or Tuesday, May 29, at the latest, according to Presiding Officer Sen Juan Ponce Enrile.

On Day 41 of the trial, Enrile asked the defense lawyers of Corona whether or not he would still return to the witness stand. Lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas said, “It may take him up to Monday.”

Cuevas cited as basis the medical bulletin issued by the Medical City hospital on Corona, who was brought to the hospital early Tuesday evening, May 22. The Chief Justice testified in his own impeachment trial Tuesday but walked out after.

“We have to apologize to the court for all this. We never anticipated this,” said Cuevas. He described the “alleged walkout” as an “unhappy incident.”

Cuevas said he’s been unable to speak with Corona.

The court and the prosecution indicated they were no longer interested in having him back at the witness stand.

Trial resumes Friday. –

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