The Impeachment court passed judgement yesterday leading to a GUILTY verdict against Chief Justice Corona. With 20 Guilty and 3 Not Guilty vote on Article II of the impeachment complaint. The Senate’s decision made Corona the first public official in the Philippines to be forced out of office by an impeachment court.
Senators Edgardo Angara, Alan Peter Cayateno, Pia Cayetano, Franklin Drilon, Francis Edcudero , Jinggoy Estrada, Teofisto Guingona III, Gringo Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Lito Lapid, Loren Legarda, Sergio Osmeña, Francis Pangilinan, Aquilino Pimentel III, Ralph Recto, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Vicente Sotto III, Antonio Trillanes IV, Manny Villar and Juan Ponce Enrile entered “guilty” votes.
Senators Joker Arroyo, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. voted to acquit Corona in Article 2.
Here are some of the memorable lines during the Corona Finale…
“This impeachment breaks new ground…I find the respondent guilty.” –Senator Edgardo Angara
Verdict: Not guilty. “This is not justice, political or legal. certainly not the law..it is only naked power, as it was in 1972.” –Senator Joker Arroyo
Verdict: Guilty. “Hindi ko po matanggap ang interpretasyon ng pinakamataas na hukom ng bansa.” –Senator Alan Peter Cayetano
Verdict: Guilty. “The failure to declare $2.4 million and P80 million is not minor.” –Sen. Pia Cayetano
Verdict: Not guilty. “Does SALN omission amount to an impeachable offense? NO! SALN carries light penalty, allows correction.” and added, as she addressed her colleagues ” I am insulted by the way your minds run.” –Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago
Verdict: Guilty. “He has lost his moral fitness as leader.” –Senator Franklin Drilon
Verdict: Guilty. “Ikinalulungkot ko na di ko po masasang-ayunan ang posisyong ito ni Chief Justice Corona. . Para sa akin, maliwanag ang mga batas natin at di ito nagbabanggaan. Ang pinagbabawalan ng FCDU law na mag-release ng impormasyon ukol sa dollar deposits ay ANG MGA BANKO AT DI ANG DEPOSITOR. ” –Senator Francis Escudero
Verdict: Guilty “I pray that as we conclude this defining moment, we can unite again as a nation, as a society.” –Senator Jinggoy Estrada
Verdict: Guilty. “”Ang nasasakdal na punong mahistrado ay hindi na, hindi na po karapat-dapat sa pagtitiwala ng sambayanang Pilipino.” –Senator TG Guingona
Verdict: Guilty. “He is no longer fit to preside in highest court in the land. May duda na sa kakayahan ng ating punong hukom. ” –Senator Gringo Honasan
Verdict: Guilty. “Guilty as charged under Art II on the Articles of impeachment.” –Senator Panfilo Lacson
Verdict: Guilty: “Sa akin ay malinaw na malinaw na si chief justice ay lumabag sa batas.” –Senator Lito Lapid
Verdict: Guilty. “My chief concern is the credibility and the trust of our people in the most important institution of the land.” –Senator Loren Legarda
Verdict: Not guilty. “When the furor has died down and this political storm has subsided, I know that like the lady Justice we shall find solace in the fact that this decision, though maybe not popular, was fair, impartial and just.” –Senator Bongbong Marcos
Verdict: Guilty. “There is more reason to apply the law when the assets in question amount to P180 million.” –Senator Sergio Osmena III
Verdict: Guilty. “The Chief Justice displayed a disturbing pattern of dishonesty.” –Senator Kiko Pangilinan
Verdict: Guilty. “Ang batas para kay Juan, ay batas rin para kay Renato.” –Senator Koko Pimentel
Verdict: Guilty. “It is easy to impeach one man. What is hard is to impeach hunger, joblessness, poverty.” –Senator Ralph Recto
Verdict: “Napakahirap man, alang-alang sa pagkakaisa at paghilom ng ating bayan. alang-alang sa pagpapatibay ng institusyon ng ating pamahalaan at nang darating pang henerasyon. I found Chief Justice Renato Corona guilty.” –Senator Bong Revilla
Verdict: Guilty. “Ang tunay na hukom sa paglilitis na ito ay ang taong bayan.” –Senator Tito Sotto
Verdict: Guilty. “From now on, no one is untouchable.” –Senator Antonio Trillanes
Verdict: Guilty –Senator Manuel Villar
“This court means serious business and would not succumb or to allow underhanded tactics and gimmickry to deter this court from our tasks.” –Senator Juan Ponce Enrile
Source: PH Yahoo News
MANILA, Philippines—Chief Justice Renato Corona’s fate now hangs on 23 senators, who sit as judges in the impeachment trial of Corona that started on January 16, 2012 and ended on Monday, May 28, 2012.
After holding trials for 43 days, the Senate, acting as an impeachment court, is ready to give its verdict at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday.
At least sixteen votes or two-thirds of the total membership of the Senate are needed to convict the Chief Justice while only eight votes to acquit him.
First in history
This will be the first in history that the Senate render judgment to the highest magistrate of the country.
Corona’s ordeal started when 188 members of the House of Representatives signed the impeachment case on December 11, 2011 and immediately filed the same before the Senate the following day.
On January 16, 2012, the Senate formally convened itself as an impeachment court and started hearing and receiving the evidence presented by the prosecution team against Corona.
8 minus 5
The prosecution team headed by Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas Jr. initially lodged eight charges against Corona but later decided to drop the five.
The three charges that the prosecutors decided to pursue against Corona were the following:
Article II– Corona’s alleged failure to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) as required under Section 17, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution
Article III- His alleged failure to meet and observe the stringent standards under the Constitution that provided that a member of the judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence in allowing the Supreme Court to act on mere letters filed by a counsel which causes the issuance of flip-flopping decisions in final and executory cases; in creating an excessive entanglement with Mrs. Arroyo through her appointment of his wife to office; and in discussing with litigants cases ending in the Supreme Court
Article VII- His alleged partiality in granting a temporary restraining order in favor of Mrs. Arroyo (Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo)and her husband (Mike Arroyo) in order to give them an opportunity to escape prosecution and to frustrate the ends of justice, and in distorting the Supreme Court decision on the effectivity of the TR0 in view of a clear failure to comply with the conditions of the Supreme Court’s own TRO.
Focus on Article 2
Of the three charges, the prosecution team dealt heavily on Article 2 when it exposed a list of 45 properties allegedly in the name of Corona and other family members.
But when the prosecutors presented to the Senate the source of the list, Land Registration Authority administrator Eulalio Diaz III and Tupas himself admitted that only 24 properties, and not 45, were in the name of Corona and his family members.
Corona’s defense team, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Serafin Cuevas, denied that the Chief Justice owned 45 or 24 properties as alleged by the prosecution.
Instead, Corona’s camp presented witnesses and evidence to show that he had only five properties and all were declared in his SALN.
One of the highlights in the trial was the issue of multi-million dollar bank accounts that were also in the name of the Chief Justice.
Bank officials were subpoenaed by the Senate after the prosecution team submitted certain bank records pertaining to Corona’s alleged dollar accounts. The prosecutors claimed the documents were provided to them by a ‘small lady.’
But the Philippine Savings Bank wherein Corona allegedly maintained dollar accounts immediately brought the issue before the Supreme Court, which immediately issued a temporary restraining order against any discussion of the dollar accounts.
The Senate decided to obey the high tribunal.
While the trial was on a month long break in April, however, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ordered a probe into the alleged $12 million that Corona had allegedly owned.
So when the trial resumed in May, Corona’s defense lawyer, Jose Roy III, dared the Ombudsman and other personalities to take the witness stand. In return, the defense lawyer promised that Corona will testify in his own trial.
Carpio-Morales took the challenge and testified before the Senate on May 14.
In her testimony, the Ombudsman revealed that Corona had at least $12 million deposits in 82 dollar accounts based on a 17-page report that the Anti-Money Laundering Council furnished to her.
On May 21, 2012, Corona appeared for the first time in the trial to belie all the allegations hurled at him.
In a three-hour opening statement, Corona admitted owning only $2.4 million in four banks and P80 million “co-mingled” funds in three banks.
Corona said he did not declare the $2.4 million in his SALN because of the “confidentiality” clause in the Foreign Currency Deposit Act while he did not declare the P80 million because he only managed the funds but did not own it.
After his testimony, the defense team rested the case. Both the defense and prosecution panels then immediately proceeded with their formal offer of evidence and presented their final oral arguments Monday, May 28, 2012.
So the lingering question in millions of Filipinos here and abroad, for not declaring his $2.4 million and P80 million “co-mingled” funds in his SALN, is Corona going to be removed from office?
Is it just me or is there a trend here? Why is it that when public officials are put in to trial for their “alleged” corrupt acts they end up in the wheelchair? I mean seriously? I feel like this is a repeat performance with a different actor. Come on!
Not so long ago Gloria Arroyo pulled the same act when she and her husband tried to leave the country while in the middle of an investigation. Are these politicians frustrated actors? I’m sorry but they should know better that Filipino’s are not that stupid!
Corona gave a dramatic performance while giving his testimony at the witness stand and even signed a waiver giving the court full access to his bank accounts as well as his wife for investigation. Everything was going really well until he said that there is a condition to this waiver. He wants all the senator judges to sign the waiver as well and have their bank accounts be subjected to scrutiny. I’m sorry but to me ALL PUBLIC OFFICIALS are corrupt so that doesn’t change anything. It’s like him saying “Hey I stole money from the government but everyone does it right?” Poor Philippines! I really wish there would come a time when we can get rid of all these corruption or at least to the point where we can minimize it.
Enrile, said that if the chief justice will not be able to return on Wednesday for cross examination, his testimonies will be stricken off the record and the case will be considered submitted for resolution. As of the moment Corona’s camp appealed to the court to have him come back on Friday due to health reasons.
Better be ready with your popcorn and soda for another telenovela.