Prosecution panel hits Corona’s alleged 'game plan' to get acquittal from SC

February 8, 2012 11:11 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Feb. 8 — The House of Representatives’ prosecution panel on Wednesday warned of an alleged "game plan" by the camp of embattled Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, designed to acquit him from the ongoing impeachment trial by bombarding the High Tribunal with series of petitions seeking temporary restraining order (TRO).

The prosecution said it was obvious that the chief justice, who is reportedly keeping bank accounts with huge deposits he did not declare in his sworn Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), was hiding something that he finally sought the help of his colleagues in the SC.

"We view this petition with deep alarm," said Marikina City Rep. Romero Federico "Miro" Quimbo, one of the spokesmen of the prosecution. "Nakababahala po ‘yung kanilang mga hakbang na ginagawa dahil literally po sa pina-file po ng defense ay gusto nilang isantabi ‘yung lahat ng nangyari buong buwan ng Enero at Pebrero. They are not just asking for a TRO (temporary restraining order) to stop the Senate impeachment court… Effectively, the petition filed by the defense this morning asked for declaration of the impeachment complaint as null and void."

"What they are actually seeking is an acquittal not by the impeachment court of the Senate but an acquittal through the issuance of a TRO by the Supreme Court. Dumudulog po sila sa sarili nilang tahanan," he said.

Corona's camp earlier asked the Supreme Court to stop the ongoing impeachment trial as it accused the Senate, sitting as the impeachment court, of grave abuse of discretion.

In a petition for certiorari filed Wednesday with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and writ of injunction with the High Court, Corona’s lawyers also asked for the nullification of the impeachment complaint against the chief magistrate for allegedly being defective.

They also sought the inhibition of Associate Justices Antonio Carpio and Maria Lourdes Sereno from the deliberations because they are perceived to be vying for the chief justice post.

According to the petitioners, the Senate committed grave abuse of discretion when it granted the prosecution’s motion to subpoena Corona’s bank records to the trial.

They said the Supreme Court should stop the impeachment trial pending the resolution of their request to strike down Section 2.3 of Article 2 of the Articles of Impeachment, which accuses Corona of not properly declaring all his assets in his SALN.

House Deputy Speaker and Quezon Rep. Lorenzo "Erin" Tanada described the defense’s move as a "direct attack on the jurisdiction of the impeachment tribunal."

Under the Constitution, the Senate impeachment court has an exclusive and sole jurisdiction over impeachment proceedings brought against impeachable officials.

Tanada said the chief justice was already "running scared of what may happen once his bank accounts are presented before the Senate impeachment tribunal."

"Ang maliwanag po sa amin ay natatakot na depensa kung ano ang pwedeng mailabas ngayong araw… Ang nakikita po namin dito ay very suspicious ang timing dahil nandito na po ‘yung yugto kung saan itong ebidensya na mailalabas po natin, kung papayagan ng impeachment tribunal ay magpapakita po talaga na ‘yung SALN na ipinayl ni Chief Justice Corona ay hindi makatotohanan at dito natin makikita base doon sa bank deposits na ilalabas," he said.

Aurora Rep. Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, another spokesman for the prosecution, said that if the chief justice had nothing to hide, "he (Corona) should allow the Senate to scrutinize his bank accounts, including that with the Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) which supposedly contained deposits of US$ 700,000 or roughly P34 million.

"Ano po ba ang kinatatakutan ni Chief Justice Corona? Sabi naman nila (defense) lahat deklarado po, buksan na lang po natin at tingnan na lang po natin dahil maski po kami ay hindi namin alam ang nilalaman ng bank accounts," said Angara in a press conference.

The Aurora lawmaker said it had already been established that the Bank Secrecy Law did not apply to impeachment proceedings, as he allayed fears that opening Corona’s bank deposits would lead to "blanket searches" of other bank accounts.

"Nais naming i-assure ‘yung mga bangko at mga negosyante na hindi po kami after the blanket search ng bank accounts. Kung kayo po ay hindi impeachable official at hindi naman kayo nasasangkot po sa panunuhol o ‘yung tinatawag na bribery o sa mga activities specified in the Anti-Money Laundering Law ay wala ho kayong dapat katakutan," he said.

Meanwhile, the House prosecution panel appealed to the Supreme Court justices not to set aside the constitutional provision that gave the Senate the sole jurisdiction over impeachment proceeding and other matters related to it.

"Nananawagan kami sa mga mahistrado ng Korte Suprema na sana galangin po natin ang ating Saligang Batas. Klarong-klaro naman po doon sa probisyon ng Article 2 na ang natatanging kapangyarihan na magdesisyon at makinig sa isang impeachment case ay nasa Senado po. At kung binalewala po natin ang jurisdiction o responsibilidad ng Senate ay parang binalewala na rin po natin ang Saligang Batas," they said. (PNA) RMA/LGI

Comments

2 Responses to “Prosecution panel hits Corona’s alleged 'game plan' to get acquittal from SC”

  1. cobra 123 on February 9th, 2012 3:53 am

    Lahat naman kayo di gumagalang sa batas eh! kung sino sa inyo ang dihado palaging magsabi igalang ang saligang batas, piro kayo lahat walang ginagalang na batas! sa tutuo lang position lng habol dito eh! sa tutuo lng pagbumaba si CJ Corona sa SC habang hindi pa tapos ang paglilitis iwan ko may administrative ba or criminal case na susunod sa kanya. Halimbawa mo nlng ombudsman mercy tahimik na ang issue.

  2. cobra 123 on February 9th, 2012 4:03 am

    Mabuti pa lahat ng public official specially mayors up to President kung kinakailangan lantad niyo lahat kayamanan niyo! Justic carpio may 42 million na assets laki laki naman to! cong . tupaz may mansion na 14 milyon, ang iba kaya? bakit may pira silang ganito kalaki? talaga bang mayayaman sila? Kung si Pinoy ang may ganyang pira di tayo magtataka dahil talagang mayayaman sila! Piro yung magsabi nangungutang ng Minilyon para lang magtayo ng mansyon iwan ko! in practical thinking questionable yan!