Prosecutors for Philippine chief justice’s conviction
MANILA THE prosecution team has formally asked the Senate to proceed with the impeachment trial and conviction of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
In a 38-page reply filed with the Senate on Monday, the prosecution team asked the chamber acting as an impeachment court to “deny Corona’s prayer for the dismissal of the complaint, proceed to trial forthwith and thereafter render a judgment of conviction” against the respondent.
“Corona is not immune from accountability. For all his self-serving, grandiose and arrogant claims, his impeachment is not an attack on the independence of the Judiciary, or the rule of law, or the system of checks and balances,” said the prosecution team.
“Corona’s impeachment is purely a response to the people’s clamour to hold him accountable for his sins and offenses, and purge the Highest Court of a morally unfit officer who has betrayed their trust” it further said.
Corona’s removal from office, the prosecutors said, would free the Supreme Court from the influence of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and husband, First Gentleman Miguel Arroyo and their “cabal.” “His removal will not weaken the Supreme Court nor the Judiciary. Rather, it will strengthen and invigorate the institution by ousting GMA’s (Arroyo’s initials) single biggest coddler in the Supreme Court, thereby restoring the people’s faith in it,” they said.
The prosecutors also denied Corona’s allegation that the impeach bid against him was the handiwork of President Benigno Aquino III and the Liberal Party.
“This impeachment is not the handiwork of President Aquino, the Liberal Party and, much less, Justice (Antonio) Carpio and his ex-partners.
The Impeachment Complaint was filed, and shall be prosecuted, by the sovereign Filipino people, acting through their directly elected representatives in Congress,” they said.
The impeachment, they said, was not also motivated by the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Hacienda Luisita, “where the Supreme Court ordered the distribution of the lands owned by the Hacienda owned by President Aquino’s family, to the farmer-beneficiaries.”