#CoronaTrial lawyers remember Cuevas
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Former Supreme Court associate justice Serafin Cuevas died Sunday, February 9, marking an end to a decades-long career as lawyer and judge.
One of Cuevas' most recent and most prominent cases was the impeachment of former chief justice Renato Corona in 2012. Here are reactions of some of those whom he worked with during the trial.
Tranquil Salvador III, defense lawyer: "He is a true litigator. He has a mastery of rules of court more particularly the evidence and the allowable objections. In formulating his theory he sees to it that it is within the boundaries of the law and jurisprudence. It was an honor to work with him."
Jose "Judd" Roy III, defense lawyer: "My relationship with JC - as I called him- goes back quite a bit. He was also counsel of Merceditas Gutierrez and my law partner was her spokesman. When he was Sec of Justice, my father worked with him for a few years. He was a courageous defender of the Supreme Court and the Rule of law, a dedicated public servant. His strong presence and intellectual force were important factors during the removal of Corona. Even after the impeachment, he continued to share with us the wisdom of his experience by discouraging talk of reviving the impeachment, because of the unpopularity of Corona. We, the former lawyers of Corona, all consider ourselves privileged to have worked with JC. His ability to capture the imagination of the public and natural charisma proved inspirational to us during the impeachment. I will miss him and never forget my good friend, JC."
Karen Jimeno, spokesperson, defense team: "I am deeply saddened by the passing away of Justice Cuevas. Our country has lost one of its greatest legal luminaries. But for me, the defense team lawyers and my family, we have also lost a great friend. He has left a legacy in my family by having taught law in UP to both my parents, and having taught me when I worked with him at the impeachment trial. He has left a legacy in the Philippines through his law practice and Supreme Court decisions. I will miss him, his white suits and his silly jokes during our defense team meetings."
Rico Quicho, defense lawyer: "I'm saddened by the news of Justice Cuevas' death. I still remember his wit and charm that captured the nation's approval during the impeachment. I can never forget the intense defense meetings and light moments spent together. He is a true advocate, patriot and icon of the legal profession. Justice Cuevas showed by example how to be firm, uncompromising and humble. As I said in my [Instagram] account, we fought the good fight and I will always remember all the values he shared to us."
Joel Bodegon, defense lawyer: "I'm saddened by his death. He was my professor at UP Law, a very spirited and inspiring teacher. It was an honor to work with him as part of the defense team during the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Corona. For sure the legal community will miss him."
Sen Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, then Aurora representative and prosecution spokesperson: "He was a very formidable defense counsel. Hardly anything escaped his attention. We would often remark he was like a wall anything you threw his way came back to you. He was confident and thorough in his preparation often citing supreme court cases from memory. Despite the many days of hard arguments, he also always had a ready smile for his opposing counsels after trial work was done. He will be remembered with a mix of respect fondness and admiration."
Iloilo 5th Dist. Rep Niel Tupas Jr., lead prosecutor: "My deepest sympathies to the family of the late Justice Serafin Cuevas. The legal community has lost a highly-esteemed legal luminary. Justice Duevas has made significant contributions to the judicial system with his brilliance and legal savvy. It is indeed a great loss and he will be sorely missed."
Ilocos Norte Rep Rodolfo Fariñas Jr, prosecution lawyer: "I consider the passing of Justice Cuevas as a personal loss because he and I have developed a friendship in our many years of association in our respective careers. May his soul rest in peace!" – with reports from Natashya Gutierrez and Ayee Macaraig / Rappler.com