Friday, May 25, 2012

Corona in ICU for possible heart attack - SC spokesman

Chief Justice Renato Corona has been admitted to the intensive care unit of The Medical City "for a possible heart attack," Supreme Court spokesman Midas Marquez said early Wednesday. Corona was brought to the hospital Tuesday evening after complaining of dizziness during his impeachment trial earlier in the day. In a telephone interview aired over ANC, Marquez said he had visited Corona late Tuesday and talked to the magistrate about the possibility of returning to the Senate for the continuation of his testimony on Wednesday. He said he was at the hospital until 11 p.m. "When I got home, I received the disturbing news that he was wheeled to the ICU for a possible heart attack," Marquez said. Defense lawyers earlier said that Corona, who has diabetes, had suffered from low blood sugar after giving an almost three-hour opening statement at his impeachment trial Tuesday afternoon. Marquez said family members had informed him that Corona has had a previous double bypass and has weak kidneys, among other medical conditions. He said Corona was under sedation when he arrived at the hospital and was "kinda groggy" when they talked earlier in the evening. "He asked me about the hearing tomorrow. I told him if he's physically able to attend, it would be best because the senators are waiting for him," Marquez said. "I thought he would be alright already," Marquez added. Senate President and presiding officer Juan Ponce Enrile has warned the defense team that Corona's testimony would be stricken from the court records, and the senator-judges would make a decision on the basis of previous evidence if the magistrate does not return to the impeachment court on Wednesday for cross-examination. Enrile was outraged when Corona capped his lengthy opening statement by saying, "And now the chief justice of the Republic of the Philippines wishes to be excused," before briskly walking out of the Senate hall despite the Senate President's appeal for him to come back because he had not yet been discharged. Corona looked disheveled when he was brought back to the hall after an hour. He remained silent while Enrile was castigating lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas about the actions of his client. Marquez said Corona's wife Cristina and their two children were at the hospital with the chief justice. A medical bulletin will be issued about Corona's condition at around 8 or 9 a.m. Wednesday, he added. - YA/HS