Armida says CJ walk-out 'disrespectful'

Posted at 05/23/2012 5:29 PM | Updated as of 05/24/2012 7:57 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Armida Siguion-Reyna, the sister of Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrlie, said she is "saddened" by the turn of events during Day 40 of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Siguion-Reyna during Day 40 of the impeachment trial of
Chief Justice Renato Corona

Siguion-Reyna, who had worked with Corona when she was chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) while Corona was head of its Appeals Committee, said the chief magistrate's apparent "walk-out" after delivering his opening statement on Tuesday was a "disrespect" to the court and its presiding officer.

The former singer and actress also said Corona's speech earned him public sympathy until his sudden walk-out without permission from the court.

"Nalulungkot ako dahil tapos na ang kanyang speech, and the public was sympathetic to him, pero nu'ng ginawa niya na before Senator Enrile banged the gabel, dun siya nag-walk out, kabastusan 'yon," Siguion-Reyna said.

"He's pretty mad, I'm sure," she added, referring to her senator brother, the presiding officer of the senate impeachment court. "Kahit maliit na korte sa probinsya, hindi ka makakalabas hanggat hindi bina-bang ang gavel," she said.

Siguion-Reyna, who was at the Senate chamber at the time, also told ABS-CBN News that Corona's appearance in his impeachment trial was overshadowed by the dramatics, saying "it should have been his moment."

On Day 40 of his trial, Corona suddenly stood up and left the witness stand after ending his opening statement, prompting Enrile to order security to padlock the Senate exit gates, even as Corona's vehicle was seen parked outside the Senate building exit waiting for the chief justice.

Corona later returned on a wheelchair with his chief legal counsel Serafin Cuevas explaining his client suddenly experienced low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.