Sunstar Cebu – Impeachment affects legislation
By Elias O. Baquero | Sunstar Cebu
SENATOR Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. yesterday said their legislative work has been affected by the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, but they cannot wrap it up the soonest possible time because they want to be procedurally correct.
Speaking during a press conference at Radisson Blu Hotel, Marcos said he was only able to attend as guest of honor of the CFI Multi-Purpose Cooperative general assembly because of the seven-day break of the impeachment trial.
Marcos is the vice chair of the Senate committee on cooperatives. The chairman is Sen. Lito Lapid.
Evaluation of evidence
The son of former president Ferdinand Marcos said they will be busier in the next few days because the impeachment court will evaluate all the evidences offered by the prosecution against Corona. The impeachment court will determine which will be accepted and which cannot.
He said they have to be careful especially that it is not yet clear what to accept and not to accept as evidence. Some evidences are hearsay, but remain on record.
“These kinds of evidence have to be studied,” Marcos said.
“We are very careful because our decision is not subject to appeal. Any aggrieved party cannot seek reconsideration. So, we have to get it right. We have to be proper and correct in what we are doing. We want to hurry it up, but we want to be procedurally correct,” Marcos said.
On the second week of March, Marcos said, the impeachment court will review all the evidence presented by the prosecution before the defense panel for Corona will start its presentation of evidence.
And considering that the Senate will adjourn on March 23, the defense panel may be able to present evidence after the resumption of the Senate session on May 7.
Fires of hell
When sought to comment on the statement of Fr. Catalino Arevalo, the spiritual adviser of the late President Corazon Aquino, that Sen. Miriam Santiago is worthy of the fires of hell for tagging prosecution lawyers as fools, he disagreed.
“Sobra naman yan,” Marcos said.
“Miriam is the only senator-judge who had the experience as a court judge. If you are not prepared, you will be scolded. If Miriam gets going, everybody keeps quiet. Her acts are entertaining for all of us,” Marcos said.
Rep. Pablo Garcia agreed with Marcos.
“Miriam has a different style. That’s her style,” Pabling said.
Former senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad, who was also present during the press conference with Marcos, was a senator-judge when former President Joseph Estrada faced an impeachment trial.
Tatad said that during their time, the counsel of the impeached official was allowed to object to what he thought was inadmissible as evidence. This time, the counsel of Corona is not allowed to object if a senator-judge will ask questions from witnesses.