Defense lead counsel Serafin Cuevas misses Day 31 of impeachment trial

March 20, 2012 2:02 am 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, March 19 -– Due to health reason, former Justice Serafin Cuevas, the defense chief counsel, missed for the first time the ongoing impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona on Monday.

Lawyer Joel Bodegon took over as the acting lead defense counsel during the 31st day of the historic impeachment trial.

”May I ask this honorable impeachment court to allow me to take over?” Bodegon asked the court at the start of the trial, a request eventually granted by Senate President and Presiding Officer Juan Ponce Enrile.

In a press briefing later, defense lawyer Rico Paolo Quicho said Cuevas was not feeling well but “we’re hoping that he will be okay tomorrow (Tuesday).”

Defense spokesperson Atty. Karen Jimeno said Cuevas' physician instructed the 80-year-old former Supreme Court justice not to attend the impeachment court trial if he was not feeling well.

”From the time the trial started, Justice Cuevas is always present, even when he was trapped in a traffic,” Jimeno explained, referring to the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s prayer meeting attended by over one million people last February 28 at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila's Rizal Park.

”He is not young anymore like us. He’s 80 years old and we know that he needs a little rest,” defense spokesman Atty. Tranquil Salvador III said. (PNA)

DCT/scs/jfm

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