Drilon: 'I will not inhibit as senator-judge'

January 23, 2012 10:43 pm 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Jan. 23 – Senator Franklin Drilon on Monday rejected call for his inhibition in the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, saying “there is no basis to do so.”

”I will not inhibit as senator-judge,” Drilon said even as he denied the accusation of the defense that he is bias to the prosecution team.

”The questions I have asked the witness that led to the release of Corona’s SALN in her custody cannot be considered as bias. Hence, the allegation of partiality has no basis,” he said.

Drilon was referring to SC clerk of court Atty. Enriqueta Esguerra-Vidal whom he did not directly asked if she brought the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth of the embattled Chief Justice.

”I was surprised when she said she brought the SALN. That’s time when Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile ordered her to submit it,” Drilon said.

Drilon said that even in ordinary court, the judge was not prohibited to ask the witness if the judge had something to clarify.

Presiding officer Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile came also in defense of Drilon, saying the senator-judge was just asking question about the subpoenaed documents.

The prosecution said the defense’s call for inhibition of Drilon was just a delaying tactic.

The impeachment trial is set to resume on Tuesday at 2 p.m. with Enrile expecting a smoother and quicker proceedings.

Enrile is hoping to finish the presentation of evidences in the eight articles of evidences by the prosecution within one month. (PNA) RMA/jfm

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