Tuesday, January 31, 2012

That was too smooth, and Sen. Osmena has doubts.

Megaworld executive rehearsed, not accurate-osme%C3%B1

We commented in our timeline that testimony sounds too smooth for credibility and I just read this news item. We repeat our comment here:

Hernandez, a senior executive at SM Megaworld, said the Bellagio unit has an original price of P24 million. But situation change and they reduced it about P19 million. Megaworld further reduced the price to P10 million as the unit sustained damages during a typhoon. Hernandez however said that it was not a practice of Megaworld to sell damage units to clients and the company is in the process of rectifying it. "Apart from the damage,we compute and factor that in, and we opted to reduce the price of Bellagio," he said. Looks too smooth. We really need proof that the unit was damaged and the damage cost reasonable.

Getting away with false testimony will backfire on the one giving a testimony, if not now, then later!

Cuevas got a dressing down ?!

From a previous article , and now this ! Cuevas forced to deny Inquirer story! , we now have poor(in the sense of plight) and old (in reference to age only but not to the still sharp mental faculty) Cuevas forced to lie by denying publicly the early report.

It only adds credence to the original Inquirer story, that Malacanang sent an emissary to Cuevas with a message to resign from Corona's defense panel in return for a dismissed Nbi director to be reinstated.

The fault of Cuevas is that he belongs to a powerful religious group and he dragged the name of his groupm in the interview with the Inquirer. In fact based on the most recent Inquirer story, he has to go to his group headquarters and we can surmise secondhandly, that he got a dressing down from his group's higher officials.

I am beginning to like the man, Serafin Cuevas.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The strange pronouncements of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines

I was struck by the strangeness of the positions and actions of the current leadership of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines regarding
the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Yet some people claim that the positions of the IBP are supported by the majority of the lawyer members. (no figures to back this up though).

The first strange pronouncement was when I read simultaneously "paid" advertisements of a group of former presidents(chairmen) of the IBP and
the current IBP under the leadership of Atty. Libarios. The first group welcomed the impeachment trial(there are no "sacred cows") and the latter considered the impeachment trial as an attack on the judiciary and presented arguments against the 8 articles of impeachment. The articles of impeachment were signed by 188 members of the House of Representatives, still smarting from the Supreme Court handing a Status Quo Ante order in the ombudsman M. Guttierez case) for transmittal to the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.

The next strange pronouncement by the current IBP leadership was reported in (dated Jan 13) that IBP hits Palace use of ‘pork’.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) denounced ALLEGED moves by Pres. Aquino and his political lieutenants to use pork barrel funds to convince senators to vote for the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona.An excerpt from this report:

“Pork barrel is a detestable political tool that should have no place in the impeachment process,” said IBP spokesperson Dennis Habawel, who was reacting to news reports about the purported Palace attempt to influence the outcome of Corona’s impeachment trial.

This elicited some responses from the senators,

Sen. Franklin Drilon,threatened to cite in contempt those responsible for the accusation, saying “that canard is not even worth a denial.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson,(after receiving some messages from a text brigate): “That makes the IBP report a dubious one and a cheap shot to put the senator-judges on the spot,” he said.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who described himself as a lifetime IBP member, said: “This charge is not only unfounded. It is old, rehashed allegations.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada recalled that former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo USED the pork barrel to shoot down the yearly impeachment complaints filed against her:
I am not aware of any moves to offer us pork barrel in exchange for a conviction (of Corona) and I don’t think anyone would do what Gloria did when she was president.

Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr:"In fairness, I don’t believe that the President will allow this nor consent to it.

Finally the latest strange pronouncement from the current IBP leadership, See the Jan 28 article Still no valid proof of Corona's ill-gotten wealth

Prosecutors in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona have not established convincing evidence of corruption even after the seventh hearing on the complaint

--Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)

This early conclusion looks like a premeditated conditioning of the minds of the general public. The trial is still ongoing, and it may take more than one witnesses until article 2 is fully discussed, and what is more, the prosecution is NOT allowed to offer direct evidence on Section 2.4 about allegations on the "ill gotten wealth" issue.

Trying to connect the dots why the IBP acted strange in these situations, I chanced upon this eye opening and thought provoking article by Ed. Macasaet. He claimed that Corona has destroyed the independence of the IBP and manipulated the organization. We have the IBP leadership behaving like beholden to himself in the same manner that the Chief Justice behaved towards the previous president. Macasaet claimed that there was no election for governor or of the IBP in Western Visayas, still born out by visiting the IBP home page to see the current crop of governors http://www.ibp.ph/boardofgov.html has a glaring omission for Western Visayas!

The thesis of Macasaet's article is that Libarios was virtually installed by Corona to become IBP President. Corona rendered a controversial decision shortly after he was installed as the midnight chief justice that paved the way for Libarios to become IBP President.

Alas we can only conclude that the The IBP under the current leadership of the honorable Libarios is not a watchdog at all in this impeachment trial period but a fierce bull-dog to attack prosecutors and critics of the Honorable Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Further reading:
Ed Macasaet:Corona, Libarios: Disintegrated bar
Ed Macasaet: Libation and lawyers

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Understanding why the IBP current leadership is supportive of Corona

This is a draft. We are trying to understand why the current leadership of the IBP is very supportive of Chief Justice Corona.

I am requesting the reader to read Amado Macasaet article in http://www.malaya.com.ph/01162012/edmacasaet.html. It is an eye opener on the current leadership of the IBP.

Cuevas, drama outside the trial: Palace pressuring me to quit!

Inquirer: Cuevas- Palace pressuring me to quit

Oh the good defense lawyer, former SC justice Serafin Cuevas, is now having a "persecution" complex. He said that the Palace is exerting pressure on him to quit as defense counsel of embattled Renato Corona. He claims that an emissary, a lawyer and a former student of his in the University of the Philippines College of Law studies, has asked him The message? Being asked to leave the defense panel in exchange for the withdrawal of the criminal case against Magtanggol Gatdula, the recently sacked director of the National Bureau of Investigation.

Both Cuevas and Gatdula, the fired NBI director are members of the influential Iglesia ni Cristo.
Cuevas identified the emissary, but asked that his name be withheld. He said emissary feared Palace repercussions!

“I know him to be with MalacaƱang, (but) I’m not sure whether he’s authorized or he is doing it himself,” the defense counsel said. “I don’t speak with the President anyway … I do not want to add credence to that.”

Really?! Now Cuevas wants the public to sympathize with him about the pressure supposedly coming from Malacanang. Whether it is really true or not, this is part of the stratagems of the legal teams for this high stakes impeachment trial.The good lawyer he is, Cuevas is showing he is not a brave legal warrior, but an actor.

SC spokesman marquez will get his day in Ombudsman court.

Click on Palace welcomes filing of charges vs SC spokesman

Charges were filed by Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello in the Office of the Obmudsman against Supreme Court administrator and spokesman Jose Midas Marquez for alleged misuse of the high tribunal’s Judicial Reform Support Project (JRSP) funds from the World Bank (WB) and for abusing his office by lawyering for Chief Justice Renato Corona, who is facing an impeachment trial at the Senate.

Bello in his three-page complaint, wants Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to investigate Marquez for possible criminal and administrative offenses.

Naturally Malacanang is too happy with this development :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Is IBP speaking for every lawyer?

It took no less than an aide to the president of the Philippines to take issue with the stand of the IBP leadership that so far there is no proof that Renato Corona, the current Chief Justice did not obtained "illegally gotten wealth".

Click on Aquin aide takes issue with bar association over statements.

The IBP on Friday said the House prosecution had failed to prove Corona’s alleged ill-gotten wealth after two weeks of hearings by the Senate impeachment court.

Abigail Valte, one of President's spokespersons said:

“As a member of the IBP also, I will say that the views being propounded by the leadership of the IBP are not mine. I know a lot of IBP members also who do not subscribe to the views propounded by the officers of the IBP,”

This is not the first time that the IBP leadership has issued statements which were not supported by past leadership. For example, see our previous article, Is the IBP speaking with one voice?.

It would be better for the IBP leadership to shut up. Already the Supreme Court has problems because its credibility is shaken thru one man, Chief Justice Renato Corona. IBP refuses to believe that the impeachment court is not an attack on the Supreme Court but a trial to see if Corona deserves to continue to sit as chief justice. If they continue to support corona, fine, that is their prerogative, but to claim that what they are saying is what most members hold on to, that is stretching the truth till it becomes a big lie.

Is the good Senator Joker Arroyo complaining?

Sen. Joker Arroyo said in an interview and posted in a news item ( Senators view 100 witnesses too many!).

“The cat is out of the bag. Does the prosecution need 100 witnesses to be able to remove the Chief Justice from office? At the rate the trial is proceeding, it can’t be finished before the end of 2012”

Arroyo said the Senate had been devoting 25 percent of its plenary time on legislation,
“its principal duty,” and 75 percent on the impeachment trial, “an incidental function.”
“That is too much of an imposition on the Senates and a derogation of its principal constitutional function … to legislate and make policy,”

“The trial is hampered not because the House prosecutors are not good, because they are, but because of the articles of impeachment transmitted to the Senate which were wantonly prepared, and the root cause of all the arguments. This impeachment case will be like the never-ending Ampatuan trial,” he said, referring to the case involving the November 2009 massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao.

Well we CANNOT sympathize with our beloved senator Joker Arroyo. At least the Senate has something worthwhile to do and it is MANDATED by the constitution. If he is REALLY complaining, then the good senator can INHIBIT himself!

Proposal: all incomes or earnings must be shown in the ITR.

Last thursday, January 26, 2012, the BIR commisioner Kim Henares pointed out that NOT all incomes or earnings for the year are NOT shown in the annual Income Tax Return.

Click on PCIJ: Not all earnings reflected in ITR-Henares

The following may not be reflected in the annual ITR:
1. Capital gains tax from the sale of real properties;
2. Final tax such as interest earned from bank deposits;
3. stock transaction taxes.
4. interests in bank deposits are documented by the bank itself,

We therefore propose that Congress will require that all individuals or corporations earning income for the year must divulge all sources in the ITR.

This Blogger will appreciate any reader bringing attention to any grammatical errors.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sen. Lito Lapid's wife caught with USD 50,000 in Las Vegas. Are you surprised?

The Philstar headline was Lapid's wife arrested in US for smuggling $50,000

We are not surprised that the wife of Senator "Lito" Lapid was carrying a big wad of cash to the tune of 50,0000 dollars. She could have escaped public scrutiny by officially declareing the amount when she arrived in the US last November.

But we are not surprised that she is super rich, though we refuse to say categorically she and Lito are "filthy" rich. You see, when the Lapids were in the provincial capitol, the quarry funds earned by the province were ridiculously very low, in comparison to the amount earned by the province under the a priest turned politician, Eduardo Panlilio. But a plunder case against the Lapids (who were allied with the previous president of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal Aroyo, was unsurprisingly dismissed.

In one of her last acts in office and one she made before she stepped down, former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez cleared Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid, son Mark and three ex-Pampanga officials of plunder in connection with more than P500 million in unremitted quarrying fees.

We will dig up the amounts of quarry fees later. Abangan!

We are not surprised therefore that the Lapids are super rich!

Just added the following:

Seems the Lapids is in political damage control mode: The wife avers that she is going to buy a house, while the good senator claims it is for medical consultation. But the lawyer in Nevada stated that the wife visited Nevada to answer charges of dollar charging last November!

Further reading:

1. Wife is rich!

2. Eddie Panlilio

3. Inquirer:Ex ombudsman let lapids of plunder case before quitting post

Rep. Ignacio Arroyo is dead, shall we be crying?

No, if his name was closely associated with the "Jose Pidal" Arroyo scandals illegal hidden wealth controversy:

  1. August 18, 2003: First gentleman hiding millions in still unproven illegal funds?
  2. Sen. Panfilo Lacson makes a privileged speech accusation, that First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, brother of Iggy, the false name Jose Pidal to hide tens of millions in supposedly illegal funds. and ten days later, businessman Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo, declares he is Jose Pidal!
  3. September 8, 2003: Iggy refuses to "prove" he is "Iggy"
  4. In a senate appearance, Iggy refuses to sign as Jose Pidal.
  5. July 8, 2005: Sandra Cam
  6. Sandra Cam, a self-confessed bagwoman, tells the Senate that Mike is the real owner of the Jose Pidal secret bank account and not Iggy.
  7. August 23, 2011: jueting kickbacks beneficiary
  8. Restituto Mosqueda, who was accused of providing jueteng payola (pay offs) to some members of the Arroyo family in 2005, reveals that Iggy was not the actual owner of the questioned bank accounts.

Yes, cry if you are an immediate Arroyo family member. No one can take the cudgels for illegal activities anymore or use a congressman's position as a shield against exposes and revelations.

For more information, click on the following links:

1. ABS-CBN news: Mike: Iggy Arroyo dead

2.Philstar: Iggy Arroyo dies in London

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Flash! Chief Justice Corona did not file income tax returns from 2002-201!!

Am watching the impeachment trial on cable and we have now the information from Madame Kim Henares, BIR Commissioner that Chief Justice Corona did NOT file Income Tax Returns from 2002 to 2010. The reason was that he was a govenment employee with no other stated source of income and his name was on the Alpha list of his employer/office.

But let use investigate further the amounts of his income, assets and liabilities. We will make or present a summary table per year.

Will keep you posted, after the cable TV is over.

From ABS-CBN, this table shows the values in the declared SALNs and incomes.

jan. 27: added the following:

Further reading:

1.Gaps between Coronas SALN and land records

2.abs-cbn news: Corona's income does not match his net worth

Will trial bog down on Article 2?

I do not understand why the senate impeachment court cannot see the full Article 2 of the Impeachment charges. We have previously expounded on this aspect, see our previous post.

May we remind everyone involved that this is not a criminal trial, only a trial to show that the Chief Justice has lied and has hidden his full transaction details involving real estate properties. Who knows, companies might have given him cash gifts if CJ Corona has no oter visible source of income. This trial is to judge whether he can continue to sit as the highest magistrate of the land.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Defense afraid of tackling the 2nd article of impeachment. Trial might be over sooner than later.

Chief Justice Corona has opened a Pandora's box when he allowed the Clerk of Court to "surrender" his SALN (Statement of Accoounts, Liabilities and Net Worth) to the Impeachment Court.

Now we have the prosecution panel perusing over the summarized statements and they are being helped indirectly by independent investigative journalism outfits such as RaissaRobles.com and Rappler.com with free DETAILED information and even advice.

We also are inspired to insinuate in some ways that real estate companies may have given the Chief Justice perks and advantages in exchange for favorable court decision!

Only when complete records such as taxes will be divulged will we get the full story and to fill in gaps to have a clear and convincing proof(s) that CJ Corona has lied even with his wife's and children's financial activities.

It is not a wonder that defense that is vehement about NOT allowing the 2nd article of impeachment to delve into the nasty meaty details for the sordid details clearly shows Corona has committed graft and corruption! (like claiming his wife had a government position later than what he wrote, and the worth of the properties are way way below the sum total of what he could earn as a government employee/manager (Chief of staff, Associate Justice, Chief Justice).

Here is Article 2 of the Impeachment Copmplaint:


2.1. It is provided for in Art. XI, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution that “a public officer or employee shall, upon assumption of office and as often thereafter as may be required by law, submit a declaration under oath of his assets, liabilities, and net worth. In the case of the President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and other constitutional offices, and officers of the armed forces with general or flag rank, the declaration shall be disclosed to the public in the manner provided by law. ”

2.2. Respondent failed to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth as required by the Constitution.

2.3. It is also reported that some of the properties of Respondent are not included in his declaration of his assets, liabilities, and net worth, in violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act.

2.4. Respondent is likewise suspected and accused of having accumulated ill-gotten wealth, acquiring assets of high values and keeping bank accounts with huge deposits. It has been reported that Respondent has, among others, a 300-sq. meter apartment in a posh Mega World Property development at the Fort in Taguig. Has he reported this, as he is constitutionally-required under Art. XI, Sec. 17 of the Constitution in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN)? Is this acquisition sustained and duly supported by his income as a public official? Since his assumption as Associate and subsequently, Chief Justice, has he complied with this duty of public disclosure?

Defense conveniently forgets that this is in Artcle 2.4!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Is Mdias Marquez an "untouchable"?

Here are some pertinent parts of a news item regarding the world bank report:

The World Bank team also questioned Corona’s appointment of one man as court administrator, head of the Supreme Court’s public information office and chairman of the bids and awards committee.

It did not however name Midas Marquez as such official. Corona authorized Marquez to approve disbursements of up to P200,000, which was later increased to P500,000.

“This senior official due to the combination of his appointments and functions, was the requestor of services, the approver of the terms of reference, the end-users of services (requested), the authorizer of contract extensions, and the authorizer of payments,” it said.

The team pointed out that the situation presented a conflict of interest and did away with internal checks and balances in disbursements and procurement of supplies.

Shame, It takes a foreign institution review to bring attention to the lack of good manqement in the Supreme Court and Corona is currently under impeachment trial. they both should go! They wont be missed.

Midas Marquez denies impropriety, hits Palace

Friday, January 20, 2012

The 1987 Constitutional Provisions on Impeachment

The reader of this politics blog can now access online the full text of the 1987 Philipine Constitution at the download site of our afiliated site http://extreme.adorio-research.org. Here are the pertinent provisions on Impeachment.


 Public office is a public trust. Public officers and
employees must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve
them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency;
act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.

 The President, the Vice-President, the Members of the
Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the
Ombudsman may be removed from office on impeachment for, and
conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason,
bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of
public trust. All other public officers and employees may be removed
from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment.


  1. The
    House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate
    all cases of impeachment.

  2. A
    verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the
    House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution or
    endorsement by any Member thereof, which shall be included in the
    Order of Business within ten session days, and referred to the
    proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The
    Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members,
    shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from
    such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The
    resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within
    ten session days from receipt thereof.

  3. A
    vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be
    necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles
    of Impeachment of the Committee, or override its contrary
    resolution. The vote of each Member shall be recorded.

  4. In
    case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by
    at least one-third of all the Members of the House, the same shall
    constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate
    shall forthwith proceed.

  5. No
    impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official
    more than once within a period of one year.

  6. The
    Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of
    impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on
    oath or affirmation. When the President of the Philippines is on
    trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but
    shall not vote. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence
    of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.

  7. Judgment
    in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from
    office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of
    the Philippines, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be
    liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment, according
    to law.

  8. The
    Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively
    carry out the purpose of this section.

Click for a timeline of the trial.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Philippine Revolution: Former Justice Cuevas should inhibit himself from Corona Impeachment Trial

New Philippine Revolution: Former Justice Cuevas should inhibit himself from Corona Impeachment Trial

I was wondering what makes the leading topblogs.com.ph/politics blog click. The above link was automatically generated by some "create a link" widget tool We will look into this in the future to increase our blog exposure too.

Click for a timeline of the trial.

Much ado about the aide memoire

Yes we have to spend time on understanding an what an aide memoire is

Recap: From Inquirer.net Jan 15, 2012: WB loan to Supreme Court High Rish!

Excerpts from this news item:
The World Bank has uncovered questionable procurements and disbursements in the high court in connection with the Judicial Reform Support Project (JRSP). The project, partly funded by a World Bank loan of $21.9 million (P930.75 million at an exchange rate of P42.50 to $1), was designed to restore efficiency in the dispensation of justice in the country.

The World Bank is now demanding a refund of $199,900, covering “70 payments” deemed “ineligible” or unauthorized under the terms of the JRSP, by Jan. 31.

  • Where is the aide memoire?
  • http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/910-full-text-wb-aide-memoire-on-the-judicial-reform-support-project
  • Is the Aide Memoire a report
  • The best answer is from someone with WB projects experience: Aide Memoire is a REPORT of a mission. It is FINAL and comments from it by involved parties will be considered as additional inputs. Depending on its status, aide memoire may be classified for official use only or public disclosure.

    Other people opine that the aide-memoire is NOT a report or is NOT a final report yet and is just a proposed recommendation pending confirmation of final details in question.
  • Why is WB asking for refund?

    The Supreme Court used the WB funds for purposes not in the purview of the JRSP project.

    Again from the above cited news resource:

    Included in the “ineligible” purchases were the printing supply of the Court Reporter’s Case Index, purchase of laptop computers, speaker’s fee for seminars, registration fee of justices attending international conferences, and foreign travels of justices and their staff (including airfare, hotel accommodations and meal allowances).

    This comes to a astounding total of 199,900 USD! == 8.8 millions of pesos!

    By definition there are no wasted expenses to the WB since the WB can demand a refund of the expense money for activities not under the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) of JRSP program.

    Ultimately , it is he People of the Philippines who will shoulder the misappropriated funds.

    The Supreme Court therefore AFFIRMED it spent money from the WB but which is outside the MOA (memorandum of agreement).

    In other words, the Supreme Court is wasting TAXPAYERS money to cover for these refunds to the WB.

    In other words. specifically, the Supreme Court people have spent WB money traveling to attend and spend on conferences, managed by a company under the control of the family of a certain Estilito Mendoza who has pending cases with the SC, cases like the overturned PAL union case!

    Conclusion: It is NOT wasted money on the part of the WB because it can always get refunds
Click for a timeline of the trial. To be continued.

Who is Tatad to approach a Senator of the Impeachment Panel?

From the following news item,

Philstar: Prosecution unveils more Corona properties in QC we have this strange entry that

Tatad wants Drilon inhibition

Meanwhile, former Senator Kit Tatad wanted Senator-Judge Franklin Drilon to be disqualified in the roster of judges in the impeachment proceedings against Corona.

At a break during a proceeding today, Tatad approached Drilon and asked him to resign if he can't help but "assist" the prosecution panel.

The former senator also wanted Drilon to be disqualified from the roaster of judges for being "bias" in favor of the prosecution.

Wow! This from the man who was the spokesman of the Marcos dictatorship who declared the existence of martial law across the country!!
Why doesn't he tell other senators showing partiality to the defense panel?

Tatad should be cited for contempt for approaching a member of the Impeachment Panel. He has no legal personality to do so!

Remember folks, if not for Sen. Franklin Drilon, there would be more problems the impeachment court could face! Like a confrontation of the Supreme Court and the Impeachment Court.

Feel free to post comments, this is a democracy!

Further reading on "partiality of Senators": Enrile, Drilon deny Senators lawyering for opposition.

Tatad with his history of subservience to tyrannical government, should be more careful of making moves which undermine the prestige and moral right of the Impeachment Court to hold trials under its MANDATED constitutional function!

Click for a timeline of the trial.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Should Clerk of Court be cited for contempt for perjury ?

And on the third day, of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Corona, the first called witness, the Clerk of Court, did not want to surrender the SALN of CJ Corona without the permission of CJ Corona. However on Senator Franklin Drilon’s questioning, she admitted that she brought with her in the trial Corona’s SALN, CONTRARYary to her earlier statement that it was NOT WITH her.

Question: Why did not the Impeachment Court cite her for contempt for lying??!

CJ- Chief Justice

SALN- Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How was the WB aide memoire for the JRSP leaked?

I was reading Negros Bloggers and I found myself reading this post by Ms. Kristine Kua. She said that it was a husband of a daughter of budget secretary Abad working at the world bank who released the aide memoire.

I googled again today and I came across this site:
[Ref 1] Ellen Tordesillas: Phil. media fell for WB hoax? It is worth noting that Manila Bulletin was the only newspaper to publish an OFFICIAL DENIAL from the World Bank.

The World Bank denied on Monday (January 16, 2012) it released a report on the Supreme Court’s Judicial Reform Support Project (JRSP) that noted its dissatisfaction with the way the project was being implemented.

Erika Leann Lacson-Esguerra, World Bank program assistant for external relations, said Monday the bank did not release to the media a supposed memo regarding the “unsatisfactory” progress of the high court’s loan.

“This email message did not come from the World Bank. Any official statement from the World Bank will be posted online (www.worldbank.org.ph),” Lacson-Esguerra said.

But the above is only a news item!
The earliest mention of an email comes was in January 8 [See Ref 1]. I visited the official WB site and only was able to read an overview WB Philippine s Overview without a mention of the JRSP(Judicial Reform Support Program) loan. I am wondering where the original WB report is!

But a getrealphilippines.com post purportedly revealed the following:

In a Dec 28, 2011 letter addressed to SC Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro, chair of the Judicial Reform Support Project (JRSP) Management Committee, Matthew Stephens, acting WB country director, cited seven concerns and issues on how the High Tribunal used the US$21.9M loan (P903-M based on current rates) it granted the High Tribunal in 2003.

A member of the getrealphilippines FB page had this to say about the above “report”…

It seems that [the above request] was not supposed to be published publicly as yet but it was leaked to RAPPLER.COM. It is alleged that Andre[w] Parker husband of Presidential Management Staff chief leaked the paper to RAPPLER. This is the report which seems to insinuate and fuel anti [Chief Justice Renato Corona] sentiments before Monday’s trial.

So it is just allegations that A. Parker leaked the request to rappler.com.

We hope to get to the bottom of this clever operation soon!

Click for a timeline of the trial.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Opening statement for Defense in Corona Impeachment Trial

Here is the full text of the opening statement of the defense,in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona at the Senate. It was read by Eduardo de los Angeles.

Your Honors,

My Countrymen:

Good afternoon.

During the past few days, Prosecutors happily displayed pictures of the Bellagio and a list of some 45 properties, supposedly owned by the Chief Justice, to create the impression that he accumulated ill-gotten wealth. In fact, the Chief Justice owns only 5 real properties.

Yet, the Complaint, which contains 8 grounds for impeachment, does not accuse the Chief Justice of acquiring ill-gotten wealth. He is accused of graft and corruption only for refusing to account for the Judiciary Development Fund or JDF. Even with regard to his statements of assets, liabilities and networth or SALN, the issue is whether or not the alleged failure to disclose violates the principle of accountability.

The pictures of the Bellagio and the bloated list of titles are, therefore, irrelevant to this trial.

This impeachment finds its roots in President Aquino’s fight against corruption and his perception that the Supreme Court is a hindrance to his quest. He believes that the Supreme Court protects former President Gloria Arroyo. On the other hand, the defense believes that President Aquino is antagonistic to the Court because of its ruling in the Hacienda Luisita case.

The nobility of President Aquino’s fight against corruption cannot be questioned. It is respectfully submitted, however, that in his fight, the President and the Executive Department are duty-bound to scrupulously observe an abiding respect for the Constitutional rights of every one of us.

The 8 Articles of Impeachment can actually be classified into 2 categories. First, those that involve decisions of the Supreme Court (Articles I, III, IV, V, VI, VII). And, second, those that pertain to the non-disclosure of the SALN of the Chief Justice, and his alleged refusal to account for the JDF. (Articles II and VIII).

Let me first address the latter. Complainants accuse the Chief Justice of allegedly refusing to account for the JDF. The documentary evidence will prove the contrary. And, with respect to his SALN, the defense will establish that in accordance with law, the Chief Justice annually files his SALN with the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court, who has legal custody of such documents. We shall show that the Clerk of Court is restricted from disclosing the SALNs by resolutions first issued during the term of Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan way back in 1989. In ligt of current developments, the Chief Justice has already caused these resolutions to be included in the agenda of the Supreme Court for re-evaluation.

With respect to the decisions, the complainants made a tally of selected cases to show that the Supreme Court was biased. This is not so. First, it is not fair to handpick decisions that supposedly favor the Arroyo administration; all the decisions of the Supreme Court must be considered. Second, there are several decisions against the former President and her administration. For example, in Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines v. Office of the Executive Secretary, the Chief Justice himself penned the decision declaring former President Arroyo’s Executive Order No. 46 null and void. Third, in any decision, the Supreme Court always bases its judgment on sound legal grounds.

Take the case of the Truth Commission. The defense will establish that the Supreme Court was not biased towards the Arroyo administration. Aming ipapakita na tama ang desisyon dito. Nilabag ng Executive Order No. 1 ang Equal Protection Clause dahil ang pag-imbestiga kay Ginang Arroyo ang tanging layunin ng Truth Commission. Moreover, the Supreme Court even suggested a cure for the defect by not limiting the probe to the Arroyo administration. But the Executive Department stubbornly refused to adopt such simple amendment.

The defense will also explain that when the Supreme Court issued a TRO enjoining Secretary Leila De Lima from enforcing her Watchlist Order, the Supreme Court acted in accordance with the Constitution and jurisprudence. Hukuman po lamang ang maaaring magbigay ng Hold Order kapag mayroon nang naisampang criminal case. Ngunit, noong panahong iyon, wala pang naisasampang criminal case si Secretary De Lima laban kay Ginang Arroyo kahit, bago pa dito, matagang nang naghain ng reklamo ang Akbayan for Plunder. Bakit naman po natin sinisisi si Chief Justice? Di po ba’t malinaw na ang Exective Department ang may pagkukulang sa kaso ni Ginang Arroyo?

I remember a Secretary of Justice who aimed to rid our country of corruption. His name is Jose W. Diokno. He secured several search warrants and raided the offices and homes of Harry Stonehill, a rich American businessman who was alleged to have bribed government officials. To set an example, Secretary Diokno sought to prosecute Mr. Stonehill. Using the search warrants, the raiding teams seizes truck-loads of incriminating documents, including a “blue-book” containing the names of the bribed government officials. Yet, after 3 days, the Supreme Court issued a TRO preventing Secretary Diokno from using all the seized documents. Tulad ng marami, nagtaka ako: paano ito nangyari? After I read the decision penned by Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, I understood. The decision explained that the search warrants were void and the seized documents inadmissible in evidence because the warrants did not specify the things to be seized, as required by the Constitution.

The Stonehill case is strikingly similar to the crusade of President Aquino. In both, there are crusading officials who want to eliminate corruption. In both, the public overwhelmingly support these officials. In both, the officials unfortunately transgressed the Constitution. And in both, the Supreme Court stepped in and issued adverse and unpopular decisions because its task is to always uphold the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The House also complains that the Chief Justice betrayed the public trust when the Supreme Court decided on the cityhood of 16 municipalities, the creation of a new district in Camarines Sur, and the conversion of the Dinagat Island into a province. Aba, nakakalimutan na yata nila na sila ang naglikha nitong mga batas na ito. Now that the Supreme Court has upheld what they did, sila pa ang nagagalit at nagmamadaling magsampa ng impeachment case laban kay Chief Justice. Ano bang kalokohan yan?

At eto pa po, sabi nila, this impeachment is not against the Supreme Court but aimed to make the Chief Justice accountable for his personal actions. All decisions are, however, rendered by the Supreme Court, never by the Chief Justice alone. Isa lamang po ang boto ng Chief Justice at hindi niya kontrolado ang ibang mga mahistrado. Each Justice votes according to his own opinion. Taliwas sa sinasabi nila Congressman Tupas, wala pong voting bloc dito.

Your Honors, in performing its responsibility under the Constitution, the Supreme Court as a co-equal branch of government is now being assaulted and criticized. It is our humble submission that in upholding the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice cannot be considered as obstacles to clean government or to the President’s vision to realize his “daang matuwid.” In upholding the Constitution and in safeguarding individual rights, the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice cannot be considered the enemies of the people. Precisely, they protect individual rights and therefore do not betray public trust.

Today, the House of Representatives and the Executive Department have joined all their might, power and resources to impeach the Chief Justice. This impeachment sends a chilling threat to the Supreme Court to withhold the exercise of its judicial power and just let the President have his way.

Unfortunately, his obsessive pursuit of his goal has, at times, resulted in the infringement of the law. It has also brought the branches of government into collision, and now it divides the nation. During this crucial moment in history, we fervently pray that you, our Honorable Senators will listen, consider the evidence and as your solemn oath declares, do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws of the Philippines.

May God Bless us all.

Opening statement delivered by Rep Niel Tupas of Iloilo in the Impeachment Court January 16, 2012. As this is a public speech, we feel we do not have to provide attribution.

As public servants, we took an oath to uphold the people’s will at all times. All who hold positions in the government of our Republic are accountable for their actions. For the power of the sovereign Filipino people is a power that is higher than the Executive, the Legislative or even the Judiciary. And therefore, no matter how high and mighty one's position may be, one can never, ever be beyond public accountability.

Today, we lay down before this impeachment tribunal the product of the collective voice of the people. Impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona for betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution, and for graft and corruption is the verdict in the House of Representatives. By issuing such verdict, we took the first step to accomplish our oath as the keepers of the people’s trust.

Let me be clear: We are not here to indict the Supreme Court as an institution, or to do battle with the judicial branch of government. We are here to search for the truth so as to restore the strength and independence of the judiciary. We are here because one man -- Chief Justice Renato Corona -- has bartered away for a pot of porridge the effectiveness, the independence, and the honor of the Supreme Court.

Mr. Senate President, your honors, one very important question before this honorable impeachment tribunal is, by what standards should Renato Corona be judged?

You only have to look at the Supreme Court itself to know the answer. As you climb its steps, you will see two statues. One of these statues is of Cayetano Arellano, the first Chief Justice, a man of absolute integrity, and of the deepest legal wisdom. The other is of Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, who viewed his oath so sacred, and loved his country so deeply, he preferred to die at the hands of the Japanese rather than betray his country.

The Supreme Court itself, then, views the position of Chief Justice as beyond politics, beyond personal considerations, and always about putting honor and justice ahead of every other consideration. Pagkatao po ang ating pinag-uusapan dito. The Code of Judicial Conduct demands that a judge must be like Caesar’s wife -- someone who must not only be pure but must be beyond suspicion at all times. Therefore, a Justice must be judged according to the highest standards. Against such standards, we then ask: Who is Chief Justice Corona? What kind of a man is he? Ano po ba ang pagkatao ni Renato Corona?

Chief Justice Renato Corona was a loyal servant to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from the time she became Vice-President in 1998 until she became President in 2001. Such loyalty had numerous rewards for the Chief Justice. Imagine, GMA paid for his back surgery. His wife was given plum positions in the John Hay Management Corporation. He was appointed Associate Justice, and the best reward of all, against all odds, he took a midnight oath as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Corona’s appointment as Chief Justice also served an immoral purpose: that of shielding GMA from prosecution for her misdeeds during her presidency. The prosecution will show how Chief Justice Corona became the crowning glory of the cast of accomplices of former President Arroyo, and how he protected GMA’s interest in exchange for his position of prestige and power. This is at the heart of Article 1 of the Impeachment Complaint.

This unholy alliance between Chief Justice Corona and GMA, and Corona’s deep indebtedness to the former President culminated in the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) to enable GMA and her husband to leave the country, and escape accountability. This is Article 7, Corona’s biggest favor yet to his benefactor. And in Article 4, we will show how the Chief Justice intervened in the impeachment case against former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez also to protect GMA.

In Articles 3 and 5, we will show the lack of moral fitness of Chief Justice Renato Corona when he committed acts of impropriety involving parties with pending cases in the Supreme Court. His mockery of the disciplinary institutions of the Supreme Court in the plagiarism charge against a Supreme Court Associate Justice will be proven in Article 6. And in Article 8, we will show how he failed to account for the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) and the Special Allowance for the Judiciary (SAJ), funds which are managed by the Chief Justice. Malinaw po: Kung gusto natin ng hustisya, hindi na dapat ipagkatiwala kay Chief Justice Corona ang pinakamataas na pwesto sa hudikatura.

And finally, we come to Article 2 where the prosecution will prove that Chief Justice Renato Corona amassed ill-gotten wealth after he was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2002. To give you an idea of this article, let me present to you some of the prized pieces of the Corona crown jewels:

Spanish Bay Tower, Bonifacio Ridge, acquired October 14, 2005, purchase price Php9,159,940;

McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, acquired October 21, 2008, purchase price Php6,196,575;

Bellagio I Tower, Taguig, acquired December 2009, purchase price of Php14,510,225;

The Columns, Ayala Avenue, Makati City, acquired in 2004;

One Burgundy Plaza – the building where Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had a penthouse unit while she was Vice-President - acquired in 2003, purchase price Php2,758,000; and

Number 57 Maranao Street, La Vista, acquired in 2003, zonal valuation Php20.4 million, sold to his daughter for Php18 million.

The governing principle of our laws is clear: unexplained discrepancy between an official’s income and his assets, declared or undeclared, is prima facie evidence of ill-gotten wealth, and therefore, is an impeachable crime of graft and corruption.

The process of accountability is always a painful one. But the legislature is tasked by no less than the Constitution, the very expression of the people’s will, to undertake this sacred duty. And if at this instance, this is how we are called upon to be of service to our country, impeach we must. Mr. Senate President, your honors, we submit that Renato Corona, by his misdeeds, is unfit to remain Chief Justice.

In closing, the message of the House, as the representatives of the people, is the same as that given by Oliver Cromwell when he dismissed England's Long Parliament on April 20 of 1653. Before God and country, we say: “It is high time for us to put an end to your sitting in that place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice, you are an enemy to good government, as you have sold your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas Escariot betrayed your God for a few pieces of gold. Depart I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

Thank you and good afternoon.

Corona: Kill me if you want to remove me.

Click on ABS-CBNnews: Corona: Kill me if you want me out of SC!

The impeachment trial is getting to Corona's nerves. The only way to remove him is to kill him, he suggessts in a news item.

This simply shows he has a shallow sense of public service. In a democracy, everyone serving the government is displensable. Corona believes the impeachment trial is NOT the way to remove him from office.
Imagine! from the top magistrate of the land! He is inviting MURDER to make him a hero, thinking his death will stop the attempts to investigate and recover ill-gotten wealth obtained by him (or his family).

By his dramatic emotional statement, Corona is feeling the heat of his stupid decision subjecting himself to an impeachment. As we said in a previous blog, the loss of confidence should be sufficient reason for him to step down.

Let us punish this dramatic actor in CJ Corona. He still wants to cling to the CJ position. Not because of public service concerns, Not because of a noble calling. But because!!:,

He still wants to protect his benefactor and appointer, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

He still wants to enjoy the perks of his office.

He still wants to make a GOOD! name in the Supreme Court history.

Corona has blown his his chance to be the greatest Chief Justice of the Philippines in history. He is fast losing touch with reality. He has gotten a persecution complex already! He cannot admit that a lot of people do not like HIM anymore!Is

Is he inviting his own murder? It would be nice if the one doing that would be blameless. The poor (in judgment) Supreme Court Chief Justice is aksing for it! Of course, that will be evil in the eyes of the Lord!

Click for a timeline of the trial.

Let's admit it. There is loss of confidence on Chief Justice Corona.

Let us admit that the President of the Philippines has lost confidence on the capacity of the embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona. For did not president Aquino lambasted the chief justice in front of him at the First National Criminal Justice Summit hosted by the Department of Justice at the Manila Hotel last December 5, 2011?

Let us admit that the a majority of the House of Representatives, 188 in number, more than the required 1/3 of the House of Representatives initiated the impeachment proceedings last December 12, 2011?

Let us admit that one Senator, Sen. Frank Drilon, an LP party member even listed the number of cases which the Supreme Court flipped flopped or the Chief Justice has shown unhealthy partiality to the former president of the Republic Gloria Macapagal Arroyo?

Let us admit that the World Bank felt being used as a pig bank by the Judiciary for spending on travels one of which is to a conference managed by one Estelito Mendoza who has active cases in the Supreme Court?
[NOTE: Manila Bulletin: World Bank denies JRSP report]. ]

Let us admit that mayors of big cities (League of Mayors) are angry that the SC has flipped and flopped on the status ot towns which many not have reached the required minimum for populationn to be a city or did not reach the minimum of tax collections?

Our institutions have lost confidence on the leadership of Chief Justice Corona over the Supreme Court.

Alas the only way to remove corona by legal means is by impeachment. In Japan, people in power have committed seppuko (hara-kiri) when they feel people have lost their trust and confidence in them.

Let us hope that the prosecution will be strong and presents strong evidence.

Let Corona squirm in his seat in the following days.
Let him file a leave of absence in the Supreme Court. Lets remove him from office, the man is morally unfit!

Click for a timeline of the trial.

Will the prosecution panel include the World bank report?

We shall see if the able prosecution panel will be able to include the World Bank report (damning!) on the corrupt leadership of Chief Justice Corona in the just opened impeachment trial.

How much did the nation suffer for malversation of foreign funded funds for restoring or increasing the efficiency of the Judiciary branch?

CJ Corona should quickly resign for his transgressions at the helm. Imagine spending the funds for travel to a conference managed by one Estelito Mendoza who has big cases with the Supreme Court!

Click for a timeline of the trial.

Corona defense assertion: Listed Properties have no bearing on the impeachment trial?!

It is worth noting that the defense wants the evidence linking the embattled chief justice to 35 properties. Even assuming that the CJ claimed only 5 listed properties, the very fact already out was that his defense council tried to brush away the damning evidence in the ongoing trial which just started today means that the "evidence" uncovered by the prosecution panel and feed to the adoring news outlets (they have to sell newspapers) may shake the foundations of their defense strategy.

We do not condone illegally gotten weatlth. In fact this shows that the rewards for being a lapdog of the previous president GMA is lucre (filty riches).

No, Corona should be stripped of his Chief Justice title if ever proven that his salary cannot cover the imagined costs in millions of his high-profile properties. His family, wife, daughter, son should be summoned to shed light on the ammassed wealth. Let them suffer the penalty for unexplained (illegally gotten) wealth.

Click for a timeline of the trial.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The deafening silence of the Supreme Court over the WB damning report.

Discovery by the WB of anomalous practices in JRSP

I have tried to condense the report in the following link. I recommend reading the original link also.

Click on wB loan to supreme court a high risk

The World Bank hascovered questionable procurements and disbursements in the Supreme Court's JRSP(Judicial Reform Support Project). This project was supported by a WB load of 21.9 million USD(930.75 Phil Pesos)! Sus! the project was designed to increase efficiency in the dispensation of justice in the country.

Unsatisfactory rating for Supreme Court

The WB has rated the judiciary reform program as unsatisfactory and requiring with implementation delays and additional correctional for smooth project closing. Thw peoject consisted mostly of Justices and high court justices visiting the courts in various parts of the country. The JRSP is now a high risk lending case and is demmed unsatisfactory on project management, project procurement and financial management dimensions . The financial statements of the project cannot be even relied upon by the World Bank.

Improprieties and corrupt practices uncovered!

Here are some of the things uncovered:
  • “diminished existing internal check-and-balance mechanism,”
  • purchase of information technology equipment outside of the agreed procurement plan
  • practice of borrowing funds from the loan for the justices’ foreign travels, paid to a travel agency owned by lawyer Estelito Mendoza.
  • the printing supply of the Court Reporter’s Case Index
  • purchase of laptop computers
  • speaker’s fee for seminars,
  • registration fee of justices attending international conferences
  • foreign travels of justices and their staff (including airfare, hotel accommodations and meal allowances).

The World Bank wants a refund of $199,900, covering “70 payments” deemed “ineligible” or unauthorized under the terms of the JRSP.

The World Bank review was triggered by a rise of several withdrawal applications” presented to the World Bank by the tribunal’s Program Management Office (PMO), “which seemed to signal a sudden and significant increase in the disbursement in the latter half of 2011.”

Responses of the Supreme Coourt and Corona defense panel

The Supreme court has not responded to this story but the spokesperson of Corona’s legal team, said:
“not in any way connected to any of the articles of impeachment” against the Chief Justice.

He added that it was the high court as a whole, and not Corona alone, that should respond to the accusation and suspected about the timing of the release of the WB report and simply dismised it as black propaganda.

Internal details

The most glaring example of mismanagement was the appointment by Corona of one man as
as court administrator, head of the Public Information Office, and chair of the Bids and Awards Committee
The court administrator was authorized to approve, on Corona’s behalf, payments of up to P200,000 which was later increased to P500,000, the World Bank said.

Such conflict of interest and lack of controls (check and balances) has contributed to the irregular and inappropriate procurement and expenditure decisions.

It is the people who will suffer for this!

Ultimately it is the people via taxes which will sufere for the failings of the SC regarding JRSP procject. They will have to pay back the WB and forget the people who have enriched their pockets from this WB loan.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Timeline of Events in the Corona Impeachment Period.

I have now transformed this to a page for ease of editing and modification. The new url is
Impeachment timeline page

Please click on the above link. The entry below is now history.

I shall work backwards, and update this as the days unfold on the gripping Corona impeachment trial!

General Resources:
1. Benigno Aquino biography

2. Chief Justice Corona biography

3. Supreme Court of the Philippines Official Site

4.Office of the President Official Site

5.Congress of the Philippines official site

6.Senate of the Philippines official site

7. President's speech

8.Wikipedia: Impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona. With additional links.

The dates are the dates of the news sources. The actual events reported may have happened one day before!

jan 14, 2012 Philstar: SC warned vs meddling in trial!
Prosecutors may charge Corona for possession of "ill gotten wealth" even if he donate assets found to be undeclared.

Corona assets worth P200M
Corona replies: This is a hoax! We are a family of no ordinary means!
Jan 13,2012
Coronas gave 16M pesos taguig lot to daughter
World Bank questions alleged Supreme Court Loan Misuse!
League of Cities back impeachment trial vs Corona

House asks Senate: Summon CJ's family

Dec 15, 2011Chief Justice vows to lead fight vs Aquino ‘dictatorship’
Inquirer.net: Corona declares war on Aquino!
Dec 14, 2011Corona's speech

Dec 12,2011A minute-to-minute recording of the momentous political event of the year 2011!

GMANetwork.com: How the House impeached Corona in a day
Dec 6, 2011It started on this day! December 5, 2011. An omen for Chief Justice Corona. High Court says presidential speech disturbing!

Inquirer.net: Aquino lambasts Supreme Court in front of Corona

Click for a timeline page of the trial.

The Articles of Impeachment, condensed version

Click for a Full text version .

The Eight articles of Impeachment fo the Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona

1. partiality and subservience in cases involving the Arroyo administration; from the time of his appointment as SC justice to this midnight chief justice apointment up to the present.(Sec 15, Article VII of Constitution).

It is also self-serving for the SC to decide that the midnight prohibition does not apply to the SC but to the executive department and other courts lower than SC!

2. Betrayal of public trust in failure to declare his SALN (Statement of Assets, liabilities, and Net worth; as required under Sec 17,Article X1 of the 1987 Constitution.

The latest news item is the the Prosecution Panel has asked the Senate to summon the Chief Justice and his family (wife and three children and a son-in-law) to shed light on numerous real properties listed in his name, some of which are not declared in his SALN, in violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act. See Philstar

3. issuance of flip-flopping DECISIONS IN FINAL AND EXECUTORY CASES;

Respondent violated the principle of the immutability of final judgments (“flip-flopping”) known to have been instigated through personal letters or ex-parte communications addressed to the Respondent:
League of Cities v. COMELEC case involving the creation of 16 new cities,
Navarro v. Ermita which involved the promotion of Dinagat Island from municipality to province,
FASAP v. Philippine Airlines, Inc., et al.

4. Issuance of the “status quo ante” order; against the House of Representatives in the case concerning the impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez; blatanly disregarded the principle of separation of powers by issuing a “STATUS QUO ANTE” ORDER AGAINST THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN THE CASE CONCERNING THE IMPEACHMENT OF THEN OMBUDSMAN MERCEDITAS NAVARRO-GUTIERREZ.

5.decision in favor of gerrymandering in the cases involving 16 newly-created cities, and the promotion of Dinagat Island into a province;displaying wanton arbitrariness and partiality in consistently disregarding the principle RES JUDICATA and in deciding in favor of gerry-mandering in cases involving the 16 newly-created-cities, and the promotion of Dinagat Island into a province.

6. creating an ethics committee to look into the plagiarism case against SC Justice Mariano del Castillo, which eventually cleared him; arrogating unto himself and to a committee he created the authority and jurisdiction to improperly investigate an alleged erring memeber of the Supereme court for the purpose of exculpating him. Such Authority And Jurisdiction Is Properly Reposed By The Constitution In the House of Representatives via Impeachment (involving Asoociate Justice Mariano del Castillo)

7. granting a TRO Temporary Restraining Order in favor of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her husband JOSE MIGUEL ARROYO ;
in order to give them an opportunity to escape prosecution and to frustrate the ends of Justice and in distorting the Supereme Court decision
of the effectivity of the TRO in view of the clear failure to comply with the conditions of the of the SC's own TRO!

8. failure and refusal to account for the Judicial Development Fund (JDF) and special allowance for the judiciary collections; commited graft and corruption when he refused to account for the JDF and special allowance for the Juiciacy collections; In particular, the annual audit report of the Supreme Court of the Philippines contained the observation that unremitted funds to the Bureau of Treasury amounted to P5.38 Billion with the Special allowance for Judiciary along with the General Fund, Judiciary Development Fund in the amount of P559.5 Million were misstated resulting from delayed and/or non-preparation of bank reconciliation statements and non-recording /uncorrected reconciling items.

Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona will start on January 16.Abangan!

Click on the following legal terms for more information.

Res Judicata- already judged
Satus Quo Ante Order- the way things were before
TRO - Temporary Restraining Order or injunction.

Click for a timeline of the trial.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Corona Impeachment: Let him, who is sinless, cast the first stone!

[This article is in need of condensation.]

The following news news item is catching the attention of political bloggers:


This is based on an investigative report of Ms. Malou Mangahas of the (PCIJ) Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.

In one of the eight articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, the 188 members of the House of Representatives who signed the complaint censured him for refusing to disclose his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth or SALN. The Mangahas report asserted that Ombudsman, and most members of the Lower House (representatives) did not also disclose their SALNS, ie. keep them secret.

Some bloggers have taken a moral tone and quotes Jesus christ
He who has no sin should cast the first stone
! and have strongly complained that the other Justices should have been impeached too! While we agree with this sentiment, the reality is that it is Corona currently being impeached. The others who did not divulge their SALNs may someday have their time in court.

Transparency applies to all. Let us start with the Chief Justice who's mistake was to attract attention to his obvious glaring partiality to his former patron, the previous president of the Republic Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Corona was a former Chief of Staff of the madame president! The biggest in stature should set a good example of impartial justice.

The Supreme Court has, by virtue of a memo (which may be unconstitutional!, has made this non-disclosure standard. They Justices are paying for this behavior bordering on being 'untouchables'. If this memo is to be believed, then the Congressmen do NOT have the right to impeach Corona! This make us remember a past corrupt official who said the infamous words: What are WE in power for?"

Still people claims that Equal protection of the law implies it is not only CJ Corona who should not be impeached but also all the other justices including the Aquino appointees.

Reality however bites again that it is beyond the legal and political systems capacity to try ALL for impeachment.
That is impractical, and if we charge everyone in the Supreme Court, it will only paralyze the entire judicial system.

In an ongoing legal trial, the accused cannot give that reply "others are doing it." He has to take account only of his/her actions.
That is UNFORTUNATE, but a fact of life. Life is so UNFAIR!

The House of representatives may be sinful as anyone else, and they casted the first stone already, very quickly, for the past history taught them that SC can issue an SQA (Merciditas Gutierrez ombudsman case) Such opportunity is now out of reach of the SC hands which is a good thing.

So let us wait for the Jan. 16 start of the impeachment proceedings!

SQA- statu quo Ante order.

Click for a timeline of the trial.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Are we 100 % sure that Iran has a secret nuclear weapons program?

I keep thinkging abou those American soldiers and 10,000 Iraq who are dead now because of the Iraq war. The reasons in retrospect, especially the intelligence afencies assessment that Iraq was in the advanced stage of development of weapons of mass destruction should wake us from the paralyzing stupor of believing without question the public releases of the US State department, the CIA and the military establishment. When the US successfully invaded IRAQ, NO WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) were found!

The situation in Iraq may have a parallel with the current situation in Iran. Iran is currently unabashedly anti-Israel for religious reasons, but of course in the biblical era, the Medes were much more tolerant of the Jews. Naturally this avowed declaration of annihilation of Israel gives a MORAL JUSTIFICATION if ever Israel attacks the nuclear installations in Iran.

By its secretive nature, Iran is inviting the USA, Israel, Europe and even its own muslim ARAB neighbors to suspect its nuclear development program.

Please take a look at Robert Kelley's article published in Bloomberg.

The documented 'proofs' are imperfect, but Israel and its ally, the USA, would rather err on the side of CAUTION. It is the fault of the current Iranian government if they are not forthcoming in showing that they are really sincere that their activities are for peaceful purposes.

Yet, again and again, from not allowing atomic energy inspectors to the most recent verified installation of an UNDERGROUND nuclear installation, protected by more than 300 feet depth, this blogger cannot show sympathy to Iran's claims that it is demonized by the USA, Israel and its allies!

What can Iran do? First, a declaration that it supports the right of the nation state of Israel to exist. Will Iran do this?

Yet Iran is threatening the free passage of tankers ans ships in the straits of Hormuz and developing improved missiles which can reach Israel easily. It should not be surprised that Arab neighbors will be alarmed to the point of arming themselves against the non-arab but fellow muslim state of Iran.

The clock is winding down. Even if Iran's protestations of innocence that its nuclear research and development program is TRUE, the simple threat and danger that it is indeed developing nuclear weapons is a big STRIKE against the modern incarnation of old Persia.

Is Senator Franklin Drilon prejudging in the Corona Impeachment trial?

I wonder why Senator Franklin Drilon is issuing his views on the Chief Justice Corona Impeachment trial which will start on January 16, 2012. The reason he is supposed to be quiet is that he is a member of the panel of judges which will try Chief Justice Renato Corona. That might be a slip of judgement on the part of the good Senator of the Republic.

In the past he also explained why CJ Renato Corona is unfit for the Supreme Court by listing some of the decisions showing partiality to the previous President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

He should clam up now! I mean some of his colleagues in the Senate panel already warn of citing in contempt the members of the Prosecution Panel who divulged details of the SALN (statements of Assets and Liabilities and Networth.

Certainly we want to see the real SALN of Corona which is required of every official of the land. If Corona insists that they are just following the memo of a previous Chief Justice on NOT making available for public access the SALNs then I can agree on the point that he has some properties ahich may not have been obtained in an aboveboard or clean manner.

I actually understand Senator Franklin Drilon's position at the moment. He wants Corona to RESIGN IMMEDIATELY. Unfortunately, Chief Justice Corona still has the right to a speedy and fair public trial just as any oridnay Filipino citizen has(in PRINCIPLE)! However, CJ Corona has the image now of digging IN and is busy issuing moves to delay the start of the trial. The whole judiciary now looks poor and captive to the fortunes of the Chief Justice!

Abangan ang start ng Impeachment Trial of the century for any democracy in history! (presidents are usually the ones impeached) Only in the Philippines!

January 16, 2012. Mark this on the calendar. We will see what the Chief Justice is made of. and let us not forget the reason we write thid piece. Tell Senator Franklin Drilon to keep his mouth shut at the moment!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Was Chief Justice Corona caught lying?

A news item just out today quoted Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone that the the camp of Corona “may not be telling the truth” about Corona’s P14.5-million penthouse at the Bellagio Tower in Global City, Taguig.
He Representative said research conducted by investigative journalist Raissa Robles showed that Corona and his wife Ma. Cristina signed a deed of absolute sale on Dec. 16, 2009 covering the 303.5-square meter penthouse. In the document, he said the seller, property developer Megaworld Corp., acknowledges receipt of the purchase price of P14,510,225 “in full.”

This latest expose' from Raissa Robles is that the Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona's claim that he paid for a codnominium property on installment basis got busted by the fact that he actually paid for it on CASH basis.


This fact should punch a hole on the truthfulness of the seemingly imperturbable Chief Justice. We don not know if this evidence is acceptable in the impeachment trial, but the Right of the Public to Know exceeds the Senate's rule on any gag-order.

The ball now is in the defense panel of CJ Corona. I suggested already in a strongly worded article that he resigns immediately. He might escape more embarrassingly public humiliation if more juicy tidbits come out in the open.

We expect the Chief Justice always to be truthful. if he cannot be even on his financial dealings , he cannot prevent insinuations that his decisions on SC cases may have been arrived in a not so transparent above board manner.!

He should avoid further damange to the prestige of the Supreme Court in particular and the Judiciary in general.

We regret that Ms. Raissa's expose' may not be formal, but a lie is a lie is a lie is a lie, ad infinitum!

Click for a timeline of the trial.

Click for a timeline of the trial.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Flash! The prosecution reply to Corona's Answer to Impeachment complaint

Rappler.com is to be commended for publishing quickly the reply of the prosecutors in the House of Representatives. The link is

Prosecution replies to CJ Corona answer to verified complaint.

The HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, through its PROSECUTORS, in reply to respondent’s Answer [To Verified Complaint For Impeachment] dated 21 December 2011,[1].

We will include shortly the public document contents here!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Rappler.com piece on Chief Justice Corona

Flash! Here is the latest rappler.com entry on the Ph.D controversy:
Corona's Lecute enough for a PhD

Visit Rappler.com

I got my free copy of the local Philippine Daily Inquirer. It carried the following headline "UST: CJ earned Ph.D" which states that the Dominican Order founded University of Santo Tomas denied tit broke academic rule when it granted a Doctorate of Laws from the university.

It was a response to the rappler.com online article's claim that

1. Corona does NOT have a dissertation in the UST library.

2. Corona did NOT fulfill the five-year residency requirement.

So far, rappler.com has not received any official replies from UST Graduate School. It is worth noting that according to the Rappler.com,the Chief Justice does not have a dissetation. Instead. a mention of a Public Lecture was divulged:

except a public lecture the chief justice delivered in November 2010 at the UST Graduate School. The Varsitarian, the official student publication of UST, reported in April that Corona’s doctoral dissertation was entitled “To Every One His Due: The Philippine Judiciary at the Forefront of Promoting Environmental Justice.”

Oh well, I have a PhD in Mathematics, which required both a dissertation and a public defense. What UST is doing may be all right for this institution, but from now on, a blot on it PhD in Law has been inked by its conferring of the PhD degree on Chief Justice Corona. UST prestige, whatever the school does, has been harmed and may be difficult to repair.

Further reading:

Inquirer news on Corona's Ph.D.

What UST has denied is that rules were broken to favor Corona. If it says that a written dissertation is NOT required, that is its call, not rappler not even this blogger's call. We call it a lapse of judgement.

Even the Chief Justice's undergraduate degree with honors is being questioned, but we stop from going further in this post.

We thank Rappler.com for pointing out the fact that Yes, a submitted dissertation is NOT an absolute requirement.

Click for a timeline of the trial.

Will the Senate listen to the new motion of SC Chief Justice?

We have an interesting situation in the impeachment of the Chief Justice, the Honorable Renato Corona, by the lower house.

The so-called reply by the Chief Justice should not be accepted by the Senate and should be vigorously opposed as properly submitted by the Chief Justice for the simple reason of being defective: it does not carry His Honor's signature. Imagine the Chief Justice violating a cardinal rule in legal proceedings. Such a legally learned man has some hidden motivation expressed by his own refusal to verify he concurs to the truths implied in his required reply to the impeachment charge.

Moreso, the 79 page reply by CJ Corona to the impeachment charge claimed that the impeachment was defective since the complaint failed to comply with the requirement of verification and the complaint is insufficient in substance and form.

It would be the height of stupidity for the Senate if it gives in to the demands of CJ Corona. Not only that, it gives an impression that the Senate questions the logic of its own equal, the House of Representatives. Another thing the reply also made unproven charges of unconstitutionality of the House move to transmit the article of impeachmnt to the Senate.

As if the Supreme Court itself is perfect in dealing with cases under its consideration. Already it has been disclosed that the Supreme Court itself issues decisions (as in the Ombudman Gutierrez impeachemnt case) without due deliberations and even without giving its own Justices full copies of the cases at hand.

The reply also allege that the blitzkrieg adoption of the complaint was due to the concerted action of the majority coalition dominated by the Liberal Party headed by President Aquino. Actually, a Philstar columnist Jarius Bondoc has written a cogent opinion piece, available also online!:


explained Why the House had to act quickly.

We recommend that the Senate ignores this new motion by the defense of Chief Justice Corona, questioning the constitutionality of the impeachment complaint,and the request to dismiss the impeachment complaint. Instead, the Senate concentrate on its constitutional mandated responsibility of holding impeachment trials.