MANILA, Philippines – Former Senator Freddie Webb, who was at the Senate session hall during the testimony of Chief Justice Renato Corona on Tuesday, believes that Corona may have faked his illness so he could leave the impeachment court.
Webb said Corona had a strong demeanor while he was delivering his statement, saying the Chief Justice did not even stammer during his almost 3-hour testimony.
Webb also said Corona did not appear weak when he walked out of the session hall.
“I think he was well. If you look at [the footage], you will see him walking out, nobody was helping him out. Makikita mo he was fine. But surprisingly, after awhile, he was having this sickness already,” Webb told ANC’s “Prime Time” on Wednesday.
“The script was good but the actor needs to go to a workshop,” Webb added.
On Day 40 of the impeachment trial, Corona abruptly left the witness stand after his testimony on Tuesday despite not being discharged by the Senate impeachment court.
Senate President and presiding officer Juan Ponce Enrile, who felt insulted by Corona’s sudden exit, barred the Chief Justice from leaving the Senate building.
Corona’s lawyers explained that Corona was not feeling well due to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar and had to excuse himself.
The Chief Justice, who is a diabetic, is now confined at Medical City in Pasig.
Webb said he thought Corona was “scoring points” and “convincing” during the first part of his speech.
“When he said that he was signing a waiver, I told myself, ‘This guy is for real. He doesn’t have any money. [Ombudsman Conchita] Carpio-Morales must be lying, there’s something wrong here,” Webb said.
However, Webb noted that when Corona dared the 188 congressmen and Senator Franklin Drilon into signing a waiver as well, he “destroyed everything.”
“He pushed his luck too much,” Webb said.
Webb has been attending some of the proceedings because he wanted to monitor Article 3 of the impeachment complaint against Corona, which accuses the Chief Justice of discussing the murder case of Webb’s son Hubert with Lauro Vizconde.
Corona is accused of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust for failing to meet standards that require a member of the judiciary to be “a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.”
Article 3 has been dropped by the prosecution.
Being a former senator himself, Webb said the senator-judges will have a difficult time deciding on the case as it may affect their political future.
“Maraming possibilities sa botohan,” he said.
Webb also said that although it is apparent how some senators will vote, there are about 6 senators who remain undecided.
Webb added that if Corona is acquitted, he believes that a second impeachment case will be filed against the Chief Justice next year.