Rappler Newscast | May 23, 2012

HEADLINES
Today on Rappler:

SEN. JUAN PONCE ENRILE: This court will give you until Friday to close your evidence, after that we will consider the case submitted on the record.


CARMEN BASA: We believe that the libel cases filed against my father and the other owners of BGEI, including Sister Flor Basa, were unfair, unjust, and were pursued due to the power and influence of CJ Corona and his wife, Cristina.

 

Story 1
MEDICAL CITY: CORONA TREATED FOR POSSIBLE HEART ATTACK
Doctors of Chief Justice Renato Corona say on Wednesday, he is being closely monitored due to a -qoute- possible heart attack.
The doctors recommend he stay in the hospital for 48 hours.
Medical City’s Dr. Eugenio Jose Ramos says Corona is being treated for "possible acute coronary syndrome or heart attack," and that he considers the Chief Justice a "very high-risk patient."
Corona did not attend Wednesday’s impeachment trial.

CJ Renato Corona was brought to the Medical City at past 7 last night for shortness of breath cold sweat and light headedness. Hypoglycemia was suspected because the patient was given his usual insulin dose at around lunchtime and according to the patient he was not able to take his lunch because of preparations that he had to do. He is currently being treated for a possilbe acute coronary syndrome, in layman’s terms-- a heart attack. For close monitoring, he has been transferred to the ICU.
DR. EUGENIO JOSE RAMOS
SVP, MEDICAL CITY

Dr. Ramos says Corona is "diabetic for the past 20 years, on daily insulin", adding his kidney function is "poor," and he’s had two heart bypass surgeries.

Story 2
CORONA TRIAL END IN SIGHT
After 41 trial days, the end of the impeachment trial is near.
Presiding Officer Juan Ponce Enrile gives the defense until Friday to present evidence.
Oral arguments are scheduled for Monday, with a decision expected soon after.

ATTY. SERAFIN CUEVAS: I went to the hospital where the cj is now confined. From Mrs Corona I got the assurance CJ Corona is willing to be back in order to continue his direct & cross examination but the stumbling block against that desire is his mental and physical condition your honor. He can’t even stand-up your honor he is gasping for breath.
SEN. JUAN PONCE ENRILE: Tell us when your client can come here in this court
accdg to physicians in charge it may take him until Monday
ENRILE: if you cannot assure us then we will make a ruling
REP. NIEL TUPAS: if the CJ is coming back only for cross-exam then the prosecution is willing to waive our right to cross-exam. ENRILE: very good
ENRILE: this court will give you until Friday to close your evidence, after that we will consider the case submitted on the record on Monday we schedule oral argument it will depend upon the court whether we render judgement or we postpone for another day, so ordered.

Story 3
TUPAS & DRILON: NO TO WAIVER
Chief Justice Corona Tuesday gave an audacious challenge to his 188 accusers in Congress and one senator.

CHIEF JUSTICE RENATO CORONA: I am humbly asking, I am humbly asking all 188 complainants from the house of representatives led by the congressmen in the prosecution panel and senator Franklin Drilon to join me in a moment of truth

Congressman Niel Tupas and Senator Drilon gave their answers Wednesday in court.

SEN. FRANCIS ESCUDERO: May i ask the prosecutors if anyone has already signed it? 
TUPAS: none, none your honor
SEN. JINGGOY ESTRADA: just to satisfy my curiousity are you willing to sign the waiver TUPAS: hindi po hindi po siguro ako, we don’t want to divert the issue.
SEN. FRANKLIN DRILON: i report all my assets in my SALN, there is no requirement that we open up our bank deposits because that would be disastrous to our banking system.

Story 4
CUEVAS NOT RULING OUT A MISTRIAL
Defense lead counsel Serafin Cuevas is not ruling out a mistrial.
He says, if Corona is convicted, they will review the transcripts of the trial to see if the senator-judges committed ‘grave abuse of discretion’ during the trial.
He says it’s too early to make a conclusion but it is an option they will study carefully.
He maintains the prosecution has no case because the Chief Justice declared all his properties in his SALN.
Cueves says the senator-jurors should appreciate the evidence presented in court.
But Senator Drilon maintains, a mistraial does not apply to impeachment courts.

CUEVAS: If it will amount to what is known as known as grave abuse discretion. Then we will avail of it as ground for petition for review
We will exhaust all legal resources, constitutional at that. Maski saang laban, pwede mo bang sabihin na sige kung matalo ka pahinog ka na matulog ka na talo ka. Hindi naman siguro iyon ang inaasahan ng iyong kliyente,”
Hanggang ngayon umaasa kami na makukumbinsi naming sila na walang kasalanan si Chief Justice.

Story 5
DEFENSE IN DISARRAY?
Did Tuesday’s walkout by Chief Justice Renato Corona leave the defense in disarray?
Corona’s lawyers say they had no idea what would happen during their client’s testimony, from his opening testimony to his sudden walkout from the Senate session hall.
The lawyers say they never read the final draft of Corona’s 3-hour statement.
Text messages that members of the Corona team were thinking of resigning spread overnight.
It said Corona’s lawyers met at the Golden Bay restaurant after the proceedings at the Senate supposedly for a post-mortem.
The defense lawyers were described as “bewildered and depressed” during the meeting.
Defense counsel Ramon Esguerra confirms the defense met at Golden Bay, but denies he was there.
Esguerra says, “Maybe some of us [thought about it]. We were all surprised,” he said. “But we slept on it.”
Defense counsel Judd Roy, however, denies the rumors.

Story 6
JOSE BASA DAUGHTER: CORONA USED INFLUENCE AGAINST US
Carmen Basa, the daughter of Jose Basa and niece of Corona’s wife says, Corona’s statements are completely false.
Basa was reacting to this statement by the Chief Justice.

CORONA: Hindi po si Mr. Jose Basa ang naapi. Siya po ang nang-aapi sa aking mother-in-law at sa pamilya ng aking mother in law. Si Mr. Basa po, and I am sorry to say, wala naman po siyang trabaho eh. Buong buhay naman niya eh, spoiled brat po eh, anak mayaman, tuwing may kailangan po, takbo kay mama, kay lola Charing.

Carmen Basa says their father, Jose Ma. Basa III, was an honorable man and was never unemployed.

The statement of Chief Justice about our father, Jose Maria Basa III, are completely false
Jose Maria Basa was an honorable man who strongly believed in the justice system.
Our father was never unemployed. He was an agricultural entrepreneur and farmer, and even an agricultural consultant to the Philippine military.
CARMEN BASA
DAUGHTER, JOSE BASA

Basa also contradicts statements made by Corona that their father cheated Corona’s mother in law of ownership over a Libis property.
Cristina Corona’s niece also says the libel case against the Basas were “pursued due to the power and influence of CJ Corona and his wife, Cristina.”

Contrary again to the Chief Justice’s statement, the property, the property was never in Asuncion Roco’s name.
It is the family’s firm opinion that the Coronas ‘actions, with respect to BGEI, have been illegal, and they have simply, in effect, stolen the company from the other legitimate owners, of the corporation
We want to state for the record, that up to this day, we believe that the libel cases filed against my father and the other owners of BGEI, including Sister Flor Basa, were unfair, unjust, and were pursued due to the power and influence of CJ Corona and his wife, Cristina.

Story 7
DEAN LA VIÑA: CORONA DOES NOT DEMONSTRATE STRENGTH OF CHARACTER
Ateneo School of Government Dean Tony La Vina says Corona’s testimony - in his words - was a terrible let down.
He says: the truth demands stringent rigor, a burden enough to break lesser men.
What we saw of the Chief Justice on May 22, fails to live up to the demands of that rigor.
Renato Corona does not demonstrate the strength of character we need from a person who sits as the primus inter pares (first among equals) in the highest court.
He made the assumption that he did not need to declare his dollar assets in his SALN due to bank confidentiality laws.
For this interpretation to come from the Chief Justice of the Philippines is simply unacceptable.
La Viña says he now calls on Renato Corona to resign.
I believe that he certainly is culpable under Article II given his absolute failure to disclose his dollar accounts in his SALN.

Story 8
THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
Let’s now look at Rappler’s “wRap” for today, a list of the ten most important events around the world you shouldn’t miss.

At number 6, after condemnation and warnings from world leaders last week, a defiant North Korea says it will continue to strengthen its nuclear program.
Satellite imagery shows it’s doing just that - upgrading a launch site to handle larger rockets.

At number 8, Mitt Romney continues his winning streak in Republican presidential primaries in Kentucky and Arkansas.
He is now just 89 delegates short in securing the GOP nomination and is expected to get that number during the Texas vote on May 29.

At number 9, the Scarborough Shoal standoff between the Philippines and China continues but according to the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs, China has a total of 92 vessels in the area against only two from the Philippines. It’s a considerable increase from the 5 Chinese vessels monitored last week. The Philippines sent a note verbale to China.

At number 10, can you turn skin cells into heart cells?
The answer now is yes!
This is a great development for heart attack survivors.
It also addresses the possible rejection of transplants by creating heart cells from the same patient’s own tissues.
For now though, lab tests have only been conducted on rats.

Story 9
JESSICA SANCHEZ CHOSE WRONG SONG?
Will Jessica Sanchez win this year’s American Idol? The decision is in the hands of America after the final performance show.
The 16-year-old singer goes up against Phillip Phillips for 3 rounds.
Sanchez kicks off with Whitney Houston’s I have nothing while Phillips’ chose John Lennon’s Stand by Me.
In round two, she sings Celine Dion’s The Prayer while Phillipps goes with Moving Out by Billy Joel.
In the final round, both sing originals they would choose as their first single. Phillips sings Home, which draws a standing ovation from the judges.
Jessica sings Change Nothing and judge Jennifer Lopez tells her she would not have picked a pop ballad for her first single.
The results of the "Idol" voting are expected Wednesday, May 23 (Thursday, May 24 in Manila).

-Rappler.com