ONE of the lawyers of former Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial at the Senate expressed sadness on the revelation made by Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr.
Lawyer Tranquil Salvador, who also used to be the spokesman of Corona’s defense panel in the impeachment trial, said it is unfortunate that President Benigno Aquino 3rd meddled in the process.
In a privilege speech, Revilla detailed the alleged meeting with Aquino whom he accused of forcing him to vote for the conviction of Corona.
Revilla said he was invited by Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, who was then Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to his house in Cubao, Quezon City early one morning.
They then proceeded to the Bahay Pangarap, where Aquino resides, and were greeted by Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and followed by the president.
Salvador said while they fully trusted the fairness of the impeachment process, the President seemed to ruin its integrity by influencing some senator-judges.
“I am deeply saddened because we participated in the process in the belief that it was fair and compliant with the requirements of justice, due process and fair play,” he told The Manila Times in a text message.
Revilla, a known ally of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who appointed Corona in the SC, voted for the conviction of the former chief justice.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO