MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - It is officially over.
Former Chief Justice Renato Corona will no longer appeal the impeachment verdict before the Supreme Court, according to defense spokesperson Tranquil Salvador III.
"He (Corona) believes that this is a closed chapter of his life. He will be moving on forward," Salvador told Rappler.
Two days after the verdict was served by the Senate impeachment court, the defense team considers the almost 5-month long trial done. After the trial ended, Corona reportedly told his lawyers to review the case to see if there would be any basis for an appeal.
Defense counsels told media that they would need to find grave abuse of discretion in the proceedings for them to be able to ask the High Tribunal to intervene. Lawyers had mixed feelings about appealing the decision, acknowledging the possible backlash they would receive.
While they explained that it is their duty as lawyers to look at all legal remedies available for their client, a number of the counsels also expressed their belief that the impeachment court's decision is final.
Corona was found guilty by the impeachment court on a vote of 20-3 for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the constitution Tuesday, May 29.
One of the senator-judges, Sen Alan Peter Cayetano thanked the defense for choosing not to appeal the verdict. "Thanks for averting a constitutional crisis. I choose to believe inisip nila ang bansa," Cayetano told the Kapihan forum. Watch here:
On Wednesday, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who was also presiding officer of the impeachment court, warned Corona against going to the Supreme Court to question the senators' verdict.
“If they will question the jurisdiction of the impeachment court, and reverse our decision, we will defy them. And if they want a constitutional crisis in this country, they will have one,” Enrile said in an interview on ANC's Headstart. - Rappler.com
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