The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - The camp of Chief Justice Renato Corona might seek the help of the Supreme Court if the Senate impeachment court decides against the chief magistrate, former justice and lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas said on Sunday.
He said it is possible that Corona's camp would file a motion asking the high tribunal to nullify the entire Senate impeachment proceedings against the chief justice. The impeachment court is set to decide on Corona's fate on May 29, Tuesday.
Cuevas said Corona's camp was just going along with the perception that the decision of the impeachment court would be non-appealable. But in truth, there's nowhere in the 1987 Constitution that states that the impeachment court's ruling is final and thus could not be appealed.
"Yun pong walang appeal, hindi po kami totohanang sumasakay doon, sapagkat hindi po naman nakalagay sa Konstitusyon iyon. Ang nakalagay lang, the moment the Senate convenes as the impeachment court, they shall continue the trial," Cuevas said in an interview with dzBB radio.
[It's not true that we believe that it's not appealable because it's not stated in the Constitution. What's just stated there is that the moment the Senate convenes as the impeachment court, they shall continue the trial.]
"Wala naman pong sinasabing and their decision shall be final and non-appealable. Wala pong ganoong nakalagay sa Constitution," he added.
[There's nothing there that says their decision shall be final and non-appealable. There's nothing like that in the Constiution.]
An "alternative," he said, was to resort to a certiorari, a formal request to a court challenging a legal decision of a tribunal.
Cuevas hoped the Senate would understand such possible actions, as it won't be right for the defense not to do anything when they believe that Corona did nothing wrong.
"I hope patawarin nila ako because, wala, hindi po naman namin maaaring gawing magpikit-mata na lang, maghalukipkip at tanggapin na lang kung ano 'yan, [I hope that they will fogive me because we can't just close our eyes, close our forearms, and accept whatever it will be]," said Cuevas. "Because if it's our honest conviction that he has not committed any violation of the law that will warrant this impeachment."