The seat of the Chief Justice is getting hot for the embattled Renato Corona. In the last 13 days of the impeachment trial, the Filipino public was treated to a spectacle of wrongful and missing entries in His SALN declarations. In fact, the SALN would not be even divulged if the defense panel got its way!
We are now wondering how Corona got to pay for his real estate investments, which amount to more than 30 million pesos on a low public servant salary for twenty years!
Yesterday, the prosecution started to treat Article 3 about "flip flopping", i.e., entertaining of reconsiderations to supposedly FINAL DECISIONS. Nothing is final to the Supreme Court as long as Corona is in charge. Not only did the Corona court displayed flipflopping in the PAL case, but also in the declaration of Cityhood of several "NEW CITIES".But the PAL case is a real egg thrown at the Supreme Court. Perhaps insulated in the history of the Philippines of any entity (congress, senate, public, workers, etc.) NEVER questioning how the Supreme Court acts or judge on cases, the Corona court got so careless especially it its hasty issuance of STATUS QUO ANTE order on the Merceditas Gutierrez impeachement case and the issuance of a faulty TRO on the foreign travel of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
According to the Rappler report,
- The impeachment complaint is "null and void" because it was transmitted without due notice and hearing to the Chief Justice
- The impeachment court "gravely abused its discretion" amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in retaining paragraph 2.3 of Article 2. (The latter refers to Corona's properties allegedly not included in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth or SALNs. This is in violation of the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act.)
- Paragraphs 2.3 and 2.4 of the impeachment complaint are based on "pure speculation and conclusions," which cannot be considered ultimate facts to support a complaint. (Paragraph 2.4 refers to Corona's alleged ill-gotten wealth, acquiring assets of high value and keeping bank deposits with huge deposits.)
- The presentation of evidence on charges of alleged corruption and unexplained wealth violates Corona's right to due process.
The impeachment court committed "grave abuse of discretion" amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing the subpoena for all bank accounts, as requested by the prosecution. -
We comment on point #1. The very fact that the the Chief Justice was even present on the first day of the impeachment trial and the fact that he has an active defense panel in the 14 days of the undergoing impeachment trial, invalidates this point. How could he have attended the first day of the trial?
As for point #2, we can only say that any article opening into his "hidden" wealth is naturally repugnant to the likes of Chief Justice Corona. It does give the game (trial) away!
It is hight time for Corona to get out of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has been tarnished as an institution by one man, Renato Corona, and as long as he is Chief Justice will continue with his amazing wealth generation scheme (the man has an MBA!).
At this juncture of the impeachment trial, Corona cannot and WILL NEVER explain how he got his wealth in order to buy luxurious out of the orinay public servant reach, nor how the Supreme Court flip flopped on final decisions.
So what is the answer to our question? Has Corona been sufficiently unmasked as morally unfit to be Chief Justice?