Manila, Philippines – BY today, reports of the Tuesday’s impeachment trials would be in the papers and heard over news broadcasts. I had been fortunate to have an interview with Senator Franklin Drilon over my morning radio program in DWIZ 882AM before Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona was due to appear in the senate before the impeachment court on Tuesday, 22 May. He dubbed the special day as Super Tuesday. The defense panel had earlier expressed misgivings about the wisdom of letting Chief Justice Corona appear in court. One of their causes of concern is the conduct of the Senator-Judges when interviewing the witness.
Senator Drilon said that he and the rest of his fellow SenatorJudges will respect Chief Justice Corona but no one has a right to dictate to each of them what the questions will be and the manner in which these questions will be asked. He said that all of the Senator-Judges are after one thing: to uncover the truth.
The Senate impeachment court’s target date for handing out their decision is May 30, according to Senator Drilon. All of the Senator-Judges are willing to stay and continue with the trial for as many hours in a day as necessary, even until midnight, just to reach this self-imposed deadline.
When May 30 comes, their decision, at least from Senator Drilon’s point of view, will rest upon the crux of the issue and it will not be Chief Justice Corona’s alleged ill-gotten wealth. The issue, for Senator Drilon, and upon which the verdict rests is whether or not Chief Justice Corona has assets that he did not declare in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN). Whether Chief Justice Corona has eight or 80 dollar accounts is immaterial. What matters is if he declared all the bank accounts he had in his SALN. If he did so, then he should be acquitted, Senator Drilon said.
If May 22 was Super Tuesday, how next week’s Wednesday would be called would depend upon the Senator-Judges’ long-awaited verdict.