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MANILA, Philippines - As the impeachment trial of Renato Corona draws to a close, the Palace insisted on Sunday that there was clear evidence to convict the chief justice.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the verdict of the senator-judges, which could happen either on Monday or on Tuesday, should not be seen as a mere numbers game.
"It is not the votes but the evidence that is important - what has been presented thus far," Valte said.
"What is the charge? That he did not declare some of his assets and that he was dishonest in filling up his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth. And what have we seen based on the evidence? (Corona) himself admitted he had assets that he did not include in his SALN. So the evidence is there, and the evidence is very clear to us," the Palace official added.
Valte said the legal phrase "res ipsa loquitur" or "the thing speaks for itself" applies to the evidence presented against the chief magistrate.
Corona earlier admitted not declaring at least P80 million in bank accounts because the funds were co-mingled with his family members, including those held in trust by his wife for the Basa Guidote Enterprises Inc.
The Chief Justice also admitted not declaring at least $2.4 million in four bank accounts as these are covered by the absolute confidentiality provision of the Foreign Currency Deposit Act.
Asked if President Benigno Aquino III was willing to work with Corona in the event that the impeachment court acquits the chief magistrate, Valte refused to consider the scenario.
"That’s hypothetical at this point...We’d rather wait really for the verdict that will come out either tomorrow or on Tuesday," she said.