Palace: We gave CJ the chance to prove his worth

Posted at 05/13/2012 1:34 PM | Updated as of 05/14/2012 12:51 AM

…says Ombudsman should reveal all

MANILA, Philippines - Malacanang denied it never gave Chief Justice Renato Corona the chance to prove himself worthy.

In an interview with radio dzRB, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said, “President Aquino gave him a chance, several times, but we saw what happened.”

Valte dismissed statements from senator-judge Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who claimed that Aquino’s animosity towards Corona was already clear since he took office.

Valte said Malacanang is now anticipating the testimony of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, who was earlier subpoenaed by the defense.

In a surprise move on Tuesday afternoon, defense lawyer Judd Roy sought subpoenas for the Ombudsman and the private complainants as "hostile witnesses."

After the hearing, Roy told reporters Corona went to a defense team meeting on Tuesday morning and gave him instructions to announce that he would like to testify.

"We told the chief justice in the meeting that it's going to be open season once he's on the witness stand. He said he's ready," Roy said.

Valte said Malacanang does not know yet the meat of the Ombudsman’s testimony, but is anticipating that she will reveal what she has learned in her investigation versus Corona.

She said: “Given her reputation, even before she was appointed [as Ombudsman], we can tell she’s doing her homework. I hope she gives the results of her investigation.”

In seeking her testimony, the defense said it also wants to know how the Ombudsman was able to arrive at her allegation against Corona. She earlier ordered Corona to explain the alleged $10 million in his bank accounts.

The Senate also subpoenaed the petitioners of the cases filed before the Ombudsman, from where Carpio Morales based her order. The petitioners, including former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, earlier admitted they never alleged any $10 million in their complaints.

As hostile witnesses, the direction of their testimonies will be controlled by the defense. The prosecution, however, has the right to cross-examine.