Impeachment truce is welcome – Defense

Via Noisy Minority Facebook page

“We welcome the laudable gesture of Congressman Angara for a Holy Week truce. We just hope everyone shows sincerity.”

This was the response of Atty. Tranquil Salvador III to the call of Aurora Representative Juan “Sonny” Angara, Jr. for an “impeachment ceasefire” on the Chief Justice during the Lenten season.

Malacanang earlier gave a self-imposed gag rule on the impeachment of Corona. However, this does not prevent Palace officials from further commenting on the issue.

Salvador noted, “While a spokesman for the prosecution panel has declared a so-called ‘unilateral ceasefire’ involving the Chief Justice, a media offensive was simultaneously launched linking him and members of his family to U.S. properties.”

“The timing of the release of this report is highly suspicious. We are at the start of a six-week Senate impeachment recess, and there would be no hearings to clear the issue. This is not the first time it happened. Remember the media bombshell questioning the Chief Justice’s Ph.D. headlined by one newspaper on New Year’s Day, it was a holiday and everybody was in a cheerful mode. Where is fairness there?

“Their sole purpose is to condition the mind of the public during the long break and to give them something to chew on and discuss in the interim,” Salvador underscored.

The Senate impeachment court will resume trial May 7 after Congress suspended sessions for the annual summer break.

“I am not saying that the prosecution is behind this, but in the end, you just have to answer the question: Who stands to benefit from stories like this? Sadly, we expect stories of this kind to filter media during the break,” Salvador ended.

In a separate interview, Senator Aquilino Martin “Koko” Pimentel III said that “it is the job of the prosecutors to do investigative work” and “that the impeachment court is not “interested in reports.” This sentiment is shared by fellow senator-judge Ralph Recto who in a text message called the report “irrelevant, immaterial, and impertinent to the ongoing trial.”

Chief Justice Renato C. Corona on Sunday denied ownership of two U.S. properties mentioned by a journalist-blogger in an online report.

“The addresses cited were the apartments rented by my two daughters at various times over the past 14 years,” Corona told reporters in a text message.