MANILA, Philippines – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales locked horns with lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas during the resumption of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Morales said she asked Corona to answer within 72 hours allegations that he has $10 million in foreign currency accounts that were not included in his SALNs.
She said she issued the letter to Corona based on Section 26 of the Ombudsman Act.
Cuevas, however, noted that making the chief magistrate answer would violate his right against self-incrimination.
Morales said: “That was his lookout if he did not want to answer. He could waive…”
She said that after she sent the letter, Corona’s “immediate reaction was the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over me. That’s a phony data and all that…”
She said Cuevas is now invoking the Bill of Rights in defending his client.
ANC Chief Justice on Trial, May 14, 2012
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