Baguio lawyers react on Corona's impeachment

May 29, 2012 10:38 pm 

BAGUIO CITY, May 29 — The non-declaration of dollar deposits and assets of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona convinced 20 senator-judges the chief magistrate is guilty in his impeachment case.

This was the reaction of Lawyer Larry Gacayan, a professor of constitutional law in a leading law school in this mountain resort.

Prior to the conviction of Corona, Gacayan said the dollar deposits undeclared in the statement of assets and liabilities violated public trust and was a culpable violation of the Constitution.

"Dollars, although not legal tender, can be used by its owner to buy cars and other luxuries. If so, the dollars are assets which should have been included in the questioned SALN," Gacayan explained.

On the other hand, Lawyer Jingboy Atonen, a member of the board of the local chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, said the Senate considered fairly the evidence adduced by the prosecution and defense to arrive at their decision.

Lawyer Sheryl Daytec Yangot said there was "prima facie" evidence that reinforced Article II in the impeachment complaint.

Several people here who refused to be identified were glued to their transistor radios as they go about their ordinary jobs like selling and repairing watches.

They echoed they did not understand the legalities in the historic trial.

However, they believe what they heard about millions of pesos which Corona did not declare in his SALN eroded their trust in his integrity. (PNA)

hbc/LAM/AAG

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