'CJ's trial to be as interesting as Pacquiao fights'

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 09 2012 10:00 PM | Updated as of May 10 2012 06:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The minority in the House of Representatives welcomed the move of Chief Justice Renato Corona to testify in his impeachent trial at the Senate, saying it will end the trial once and for all.

"Everything hangs on his appearance. Pagkatapos magtestify ni Chief Justice tapos na yan. The hearing next week will be very interesting, should be as interesting as Pacquiao-Bradley fight but for us within the minority we have our sympathy to the Chief Justice," House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said.

Suarez said Corona's testimony will pave the way for a final verdict in the trial before Congress adjourns on June 7.

He earlier said the Ombudsman's investigation on Corona's alleged $10 million "must be immediately exposed for the political harassment that it truly is."

"We applaud the Chief Justice's offer to face his accusers in person-- although he is under no legal obligation to do so-in the interest of ferreting out the truth and clearing his good name."

Suarez also said it will be interesting how Corona will testify against the backdrop of the law upholding the secrecy of foreign currency deposits.

Corona's looming testimony comes after the Ombudsman sent a letter to the Chief Justice asking him to explain allegations that he owns $10 million in separate bank accounts.

Suarez said the Chief Justice has opted to answer these allegations before the impeachment court rather than the public arena.

Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay said Corona's testimony will come after his accusers also testify in the impeachment court.

In a statement, the minority denounced the new charges against Corona as "old stories-having already been covered in the impeachment trial-or else new ones with utterly no evidence or attribution, i.e. the alleged $10 million in the CJ's bank accounts."

The minority feels Corona's critics may be setting the stage for another impeachment case and that it is related to the High Court's decision to distribute the Cojuangco-Aquino owned Hacienda Luisita to farmers.

"Is Hacienda Luisita really worth all this trouble? After all, as revealed by the latest StratPolls survey, 93 percent of our people agree with the Supreme Court's ruling against the President's family."