MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Pia Cayetano said there is no doubt in her mind that Chief Justice Renato Corona walked out of the impeachment trial after his testimony Tuesday.
Cayetano said she and her fellow senators were surprised that Corona stood up at the end of his lengthy opening statement and then proceeded to walk out of the Senate session hall before he could be excused.
“The first thing that entered my mind is - ay, baka hindi niya na-realize na hindi pa siya dismissed kasi alam ko in the heat of passion pa yung waiver waiver and I assumed good faith on his part na hindi naman siya aalis kung hindi pa siya pinapaalis,” she told ANC’s Headstart.
She said even the defense counsels were surprised and tried to call Corona back to the witness stand.
She said Supreme Court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez had followed Corona out and then went back “and his body language was like ‘hindi na babalik.’”
This angered Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile who noted that as the head of the judiciary, Corona should also show respect to the impeachment court.
“It is a courtesy that we owe the court. Every member of the Bar owes that,” she said.
Cayetano said she has no doubt that Corona walked out of the impeachment proceedings. She said Corona still looked strong when he walked out. She said the chief justice made no effort to come back to explain that he was not feeling well.
“He was walking out strongly pa naman. My interpretation is really walkout, without a doubt in my mind,” she said.
She added: “It's clear that he wanted to excuse himself. He wanted to be the witness and the judge. He asked to excuse himself and then he stood up. He didn’t wait for the presiding officer.”
She also said the walkout will have an impact on Corona’s defense especially after Enrile gave the chief magistrate so much leeway in narrating his lengthy opening statement, which lasted almost 3 hours.
“You have to remember we gave him the utmost leniency in narrating…You’ve never seen that. I don’t even know if the rules of court allow a narration of facts,” she said.