Defense may ignore Ombudsman on CJ dollar deposits

by Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at May 03 2012 11:47 PM | Updated as of May 04 2012 08:46 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Senator-judge Franklin Drilon said he expects Chief Justice Renato Corona to run to the Supreme Court to question the Ombudsman order on the investigation of his alleged dollar accounts, but the defense begged to disagree.

"I expect the Chief Justice to run again to his colleagues in the Supreme Court and ask for temporary restraining order (TRO) and prevent the Ombudsman from scrutinizing and revealing his bank accounts in public," Drilon said.

"However, I am hoping that the Chief Justice will not do that since it will contradict his earlier claim that he had nothing to hide as far as his bank accounts are concerned," Drilon added.

Defense lawyer Ramon Esguerra admitted it is one of the options being discussed.

He told, however, that “the inclination of some in the defense is simply to ignore her action believed to be done without or in excess of jurisdiction in light of the current impeachment trial.”

The trial will resume on May 7.

In an order that was obtained by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Carpio-Morales said: “This office finds that there is reasonable ground to proceed further with the conduct of an inquiry vis-à-vis the charges that you, during your incumbency as a public officer, accumulated wealth that is purportedly grossly disproportionate to your salary and other lawful income.”

The Ombudsman has yet to disclose the order, which supposedly gave Corona 72 hours to respond. Both the prosecution and defense have not seen the order.

Asked if the Ombudsman can penalize Corona in some way or another for snubbing the order, Esguerra answered with a resounding: “No!”