BACOLOD

Appeal with Supreme Court not yet final, Corona lawyer says

MANILA -- No decision has been reached so far by the defense team whether Chief Justice Renato Corona should run to his colleagues in the Supreme Court in case the Senate issues a guilty verdict in the impeachment trial Tuesday.

Lawyer Tranquil Salvador III clarified the matter late Monday following the comment of lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas that filing a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court could be an option.

"We haven't talked about it yet. My opinion at this point will not matter. This is the defense team and our personal opinion is just secondary to the opinion of the group," he told reporters.

In response to Cuevas's statement, Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile reiterated before the start of closing arguments last Monday that the Senate has the sole mandate to try and decide impeachment cases.

"At this point it is unclear what action the defense will take as there seems to be an inconsistency in their pronouncements. Better to wait for the verdict. Whatever steps the defense will take after is a matter of strategy," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a text message.

The Senate is expected to give its verdict by 2 p.m. today, Tuesday. Any decision that will be handed down can no longer be reconsidered.

Corona is on trial for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution especially after he supposedly hide some real properties and hefty cash deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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