Is there still a way out for impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona?
Lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas says they may still appeal before the Supreme Court to review the result of the impeachment trial.
“It is an option provided for by law but whether we will avail it or not, it will depend on the chief justice,” Cuevas told reporters Tuesday, after the impeachment court handed a guilty verdict.
He said he has not talked to Corona yet to discuss their next move.
Days before the senator-judges voted on the case, Cuevas revealed that the defense may resort to a petition for certiorari before the SC to review the proceedings of the impeachment court with a motion to nullify the entirety of the trial.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, however, maintained that the High Court cannot intervene with the impeachment court’s decision and that the Senate has the sole power to try and decide all impeachment cases.
The SC has also earlier stated that it will accept whatever verdict the senator-judges will render on Corona.
Associate Justice Martin Villarama, who has been assigned to write the high court ruling on Corona’s petition to stop his impeachment, told reporters on Monday that its ruling could become “moot” since the Senate already decided the case.
Meanwhile, Cuevas said Corona’s penalty of removal as chief justice is not immediately executory and it may take 10 to 15 days depending on the impeachment court.
The lead defense counsel also admitted that he was frustrated by the overwhelming 20-3 vote against Corona.
“Alangan naman sabihin ko sa inyong masaya ako. Syempre ganoon ang labanan, may mananalo, may matatalo.
“We tried our level best and it was not enough. Inamin naman nila na ito ay political at legal. Sa political, hindi namin kaya yun,” he said.