After Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales testified, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday claimed of an apparent conspiracy to oust Chief Justice Renato Corona.
“Certainly, there are forces that are coming together to make sure CJ is impeached. Palagay ko wala namang magugulat kung sasabihin natin na tinatrabaho ng gobyerno na tanggalin si chief justice,” Marcos told reporters.
The senator-judge questioned Morales’ testimonies, saying the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report she presented was supposed to be inadmissible.
The defense team on Monday presented the Ombudsman as a hostile witness to testify on Corona’s alleged dollar accounts.
“The AMLC has the power to open bank accounts and to initiate an investigation. But publicizing the investigation and releasing the results require many procedures. Those procedures were not followed,” Marcos noted.
“Kung ganito na ang patakbo, eh ‘di ibasura na natin ang laws on foreign currency deposit units and banking secrecy at AMLC sapagkat hindi na natin ito sinusunod,” he added.
But Senator Franklin Drilon defended Morales' authority to probe Corona.
“Unang-una, siguro yung mga teknikalidad na iyan ay hindi dapat mangibabaw sa katotohanan. Pangalawa, yun pong Ombudsman hindi po ordinaryong abogado iyan, retired Supreme Court justice iyan. At yung SALN ni CJ Corona ay may waiver,” Drilon said in a separate interview.
He explained the waiver authorized Morales to inquire into government agencies' records to ensure that public officials truthfully declare their statements of assets, liabilities and net worth.
Drilon also said he has no knowledge of any "conspiracy."
“Kung may conspiracy, kahit ano man ang sabihin mo dapat ang una mong tingnan ay kung totoo ba ito o hindi. Kung may conspiracy para sa katotohanan, hindi naman siguro masama iyon,” he said.
Meanwhile, Corona issued a statement right after yesterday’s trial branding Morales’ testimonies as “malicious, a hoax, and a lantern of lies.”
Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III however said the veracity of the AMLC report has yet to be proven.
“If the documents are accurate, it will be a tough uphill climb for the defense. The only solution will be the testimonies of the chief justice,” Sotto said.
The Philippines' newest warship has embarked on its first journey, the Philippine Embassy in Washington said.