Lawyer blasts CJ's 'wheelchair' defense

Posted at 05/23/12 02:20 PM
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MANILA, Philippines - Lawyer Victoria Avena said Wednesday she had an inkling that Chief Justice Renato Corona might use his health as an excuse to avoid cross-examination in his impeachment trial.

Avena said she first had that suspicion after hearing from Corona's daughter that the chief magistrate had a heart condition.

She said the scene where Corona walked out of the Senate session hall and then came back on a wheelchair drew back images of former agriculture official Jocjoc Bolante and former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

She said Bolante, the alleged mastermind of the fertilizer fund scam, arrived on a wheelchair at the NAIA and was whisked away from the prying eyes of the media.

She said Mrs. Arroyo was also on a wheelchair when she attempted to leave the country last November.

Avena said the Senate must prove if there was good faith or bad faith behind Corona's alleged medical condition. She said many people are frustrated with Corona's testimony after months of legal wrangling to avoid testifying in the impeachment trial.

The lawyer said Corona must undergo cross-examination to allow the prosecution to find out if he was telling the truth in his opening statement.

She said Corona could be questioned using Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales' PowerPoint presentation because he used the same presentation on Tuesday.

Radio dzMM, May 23, 2012