Miriam urges Corona, wife to testify

Posted at 03/30/12 5:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Miriam Santiago on Friday said she hopes Chief Justice Renato Corona and his wife, Cristina, will personally testify in the impeachment trial to reinforce their integrity and defense.

Santiago said experienced trial judges like her need to see the demeanor of the defendant. However, she conceded that due to the right against self incrimination, Corona cannot be compelled to testify.

The senator-judge gave her assurance that the chief justice will be treated with respect since the defense panel and senator-judges will stand up for Corona.

Santiago said the defense will not be as strong without Corona's testimony. However, she said the prosecution must win on its own and not rely on the weakness of the defense.

The senator said that so far, there is no basis for the prosecution to submit rebuttal evidence.

She also said she will no longer have survey groups cited in indirect contempt to avoid prolonging the impeachment trial. She said she just wants her objections to surveys placed on record for future trials.

Survey results expected

Santiago downplayed recent surveys against Corona, saying the results had been expected since the surveys were taken after the presentation of the prosecution and before the defense made its case.

Corona was impeached by the House of Representatives on December last year for allegedly failing to declare his true wealth and for showing bias for former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The impeachment trial, which began on January 16, is on a break and will resume on May 7.