Corona's lawyers oppose Sereno testimony

Posted at 02/24/12 7:37 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Lawyers of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona will oppose moves to have Associate Justice Lourdes Sereno testify in the Senate impeachment trial even if she will come forward voluntarily.

Defense panel spokespersons Atty. Tranquil Salvador and Rico Quicho said although Sereno's version of events leading to the implementation of the temporary restraining order on the Arroyo travel ban was already made public in her dissenting opinion, an actual testimony that elaborates her dissenting opinion will violate the Supreme Court's doctrine on judicial privilege.

Last February 14, the high court also issued a resolution stating that the impeachment court cannot compel either justices or court employees from testifying on matters about its internal deliberations that are confidential in nature.

"Kung tetestigo ho si Sereno at gigiling na yung testimonya, maaari ho itong kuwestyunin," Salvador said.

"Ang dissenting opinion ay opinion lang ng isa. Ayoko mangyari na 'it's my word against the rest of you,'" Quicho said.

The prosecution remains hopeful that Sereno will voluntarily testify.

Prosecutors have asked the impeachment court to invite her to testify on February 29.

Prosecution panel spokesman Rep. Miro Quimbo said Sereno will not be made to testify on matters that are pre-decisional and she can invoke judicial privilege on certain questions.

The prosecution also welcomed the motion of Senator-judge Antonio Trillanes to send written interrogatories to Sereno.

Supreme Court spokesman and Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said it is up to Sereno if she wants to respond. - ANC