MANILA, Philippines - Defense lawyers of Chief Justice Renato Corona on Monday asked Sen. Edgardo Angara to inhibit in Corona's impeachment trial.
Prosecution spokesman Erin Tañada said it is unfair to the senator and his son, Aurora Rep. and prosecution spokesman Sonny Angara, to impute that they are of like minds.
He noted that the younger Angara did not even accept the task of becoming a prosecutor because he knew his father would be a judge in the impeachment trial.
"It's just a desperate move by the defense to impute certain malicious thoughts in the people's minds that both Angaras don't have the independent minds to make certain decisions," he said.
Rep. Miro Quimbo said the timing of the defense's move is suspicious since the younger Angara has been panel spokesman since December.
"The bulk of the argument is blood relations. That relation has been there from the beginning. If they suspected it, they should have done so on the onset," he said.
He also said the blood relation angle, if taken seriously, would disqualify other senators who are sitting as judges in the trial.
He said Sen. Jinggoy Estrada is half-brother to San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito, who endorsed the impeachment complaint. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile is the father of Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, who also endorsed the complaint.
"If this will be the basis, wala nang matitira diyan. It is a political process, not a judicial proceeding," he said.
The younger Angara said the defense is merely sowing intrigue by asking for his father's inhibition in the trial.
He noted: "A vote to inhibit is a vote for acquittal."