Tañada: Chief Justice Corona and his wheelchair diplomacy

“Sabi nga nila, kapag sa batas naipit, sa wheelchair kakapit,” Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” R. Tañada III said in a press conference held today in the House of Representatives, referring to the turn of events on Tuesday after Chief Justice Renato Corona’s 3-hour long opening statement that he addressed to the Filipino people using the Senate impeachment court.

Following his hypoglycaemia episode which allowed him to evade cross-examination, the Chief Justice was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Medical City on Wednesday where his doctors declared that he was mentally and physically unfit to go back and testify in the Senate court that same day. His lawyers appealed before Senate President Enrile that the Chief Justice be allowed to rest and recover.

“We will welcome his return to the trial tomorrow, but it might become another appeal to emotion. Baka gumamit na naman ng ‘wheelchair diplomacy’ si Chief Justice Corona para magpaawa-effect sa publiko,” Tañada said in answer to news that the Chief Justice will appear before the impeachment court on Friday despite his doctors’ rest orders.

The Deputy Speaker also questioned the sincerity of the Chief Justice in proving his fitness to remain head of the Supreme Court after walking out of the impeachment court without being excused by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr., and the sudden, coincidental deterioration of his health.

“I think the defense also wants to do some damage-control tomorrow that’s why they’re bringing back the Chief Justice. They have to recover from that “walk-out/hypoglycaemia” episode. Ang importante, dapat sumagot si Chief Justice Corona nang tapat hindi lang sa mga tanong ng prosekusyon, kundi pati sa mga Senator-Judges,” Deputy Speaker Tañada concluded.