, the spokesman of the defense panel during the impeachment trial of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona?
The lawyer who gave the impeachment trial a “pretty face” because of her good looks and eloquence, has jumped fences and is now working at the Palace.
Jimeno was appointed media director of the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) headed by former Sen. Panfilo Lacson. The agency is Sen. Panfilo Lacson. The agency is under the Office of the President.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd was said to be Corona’s biggest public prosecutor and it was the President who prodded his allies in Congress to pursue the magistrate’s ouster.
Jimeno was officially introduced to the media when Lacson appeared for a briefing in Malacañang on Monday.
As Corona’s spokesman, Jimeno staunchly defended the then embattled chief magistrate who was accused of hiding ill-gotten wealth which were not disclosed in any of his statements of assets, liabilities and networth.
Jimeno gave interviews and conducted press conferences to counter “media attacks” by Corona’s tormentors—the prosecution panel and the Palace.
Asked how he finds Jimeno’s appointment, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said he welcomes the entry of Jimeno into their team.
“I have no problem with Attorney Jimeno. She is a professional,” Lacierda told The Manila Times.
He said it was Lacson himself who invited Jimeno to work for the government.
“She came on board with Secretary Lacson upon his invitation and that she knows that by being Secretary Lacson’s Communications Director, she can help communicate the role of OPARR in the rehabilitation of Yolanda affected areas,” Lacierda said.
The rehabilitation of Yolanda-devastated regions is among Aquino’s top priorities and Lacierda said he sees nothing wrong with having a former “opponent” to do the talking and media coordination for Yolanda efforts.
“Also on a personal note, we both came from the law firm of Quisumbing and Torres where we got the same rigorous training in corporate legal work although we were not there at the same time,” he added.
In a text message to The Times, Jimeno said she was grateful for having been invited to work for the government and Lacson, who was among those who voted to oust Corona. She said Lacierda welcomed her very warmly and even gave tips on how to handle communications for OPARR.
“When I spoke to Secretary Lacierda he was very helpful and gave me constructive suggestions. I didn’t consider Secretary Lacson as Corona’s prosecutor. He was a senator judge who rendered a decision based on his appreciation of the case. The OPARR is about helping the Yolanda affected people and communities get back on track,” she said.
She added that her entry into Malacañang is not about politics or personalities.
“ We should not lose focus on the fact that this is all about the Yolanda victims. For those who can’t or don’t want to help, then don’t. But don’t get in the way. I’m fortunate to work for a man who shares my view that we should all do what we can to help regardless of personal differences or affiliations. Helping fellow Filipinos recover is an aspect where the country should be united, not divided,” Jimeno said.
She added that she knew that her becoming an official of the Palace would certainly raise eyebrows but maintained that it should not be an issue.