May 28, 2012 · Posted in: General
IMPEACHMENT PRESIDING OFFICER Juan Ponce Enrile confronted lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas over reports that the defense plans to file an appeal with the Supreme Court if Chief Justice Renato Corona is convicted by the impeachment body.
At the start of the oral arguments by both defense and prosecution panels on the final two days of the impeachment trial of Corona, Enrile asked Cuevas if there was any truth to the reports that the defense would elevate the issue to the high tribunal if Corona is convicted by the impeachment court.
Enrile read from a transcript of an interview between Cuevas and a local radio station, where Cuevas reportedly they would “question the validity of the actuations of the proceedings before the impeachment court and with a motion to nullify the entirety of proceedings that took place.”
Cuevas allegedly told the interviewer that defense lawyers believe that a conviction of Corona could be subject to appeal, because “wala pong sinasabi na ang desisyon shall be final and non-appealable” in the Constitution.
Cuevas confirmed that he had ma
For his part, Enrile said that while he respects Cuevas’ position, “we are just reminding you of our reading of Article 11 that the senate shall have to sole power to try and decide (on cases of impeachment.”
“I just want to put that on the record,” Enrile said.
Cuevas’ statements raises the possibility that the impeachment drama may go beyond a decision by the senate sitting as an impeachment body. The impeachment court is set to vote on whether to acquit or convict Corona tomorrow, May 29, the 44th day of the impeachment trial. At least 16 senators must cast a guilty vote for Corona to be convicted of betrayal of the public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.