Day 44 : Senate Impeachment Court Convicts Chief Justice Corona (Corona Impeachment Trial)

After more than 5 months of grueling trial, the Impeachment trial of the Chief Justice Renato Corona has finally came to its end. 23 Senators are present and have voted either to convict or acquit the accused Chief Justice.

The promulgation started with the prayer of Sen. Manny Villar then followed after by the open voting in alphabetical order. Each Senators are supposed to cast their votes and chose to explain it for 2 minutes but the presiding officer Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile ruled to have no time limit for their explanation. Sen.Edgardo Angara open the voting and ended by the presiding officer Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

And after the voting, the Senate Impeachment Court finds the respondent Chief Justice Renato C. Corona Guilty of the Article II of the Articles of Impeachment which is Culpable Violation of the Constitution and Betrayal of Public Trust for failure to disclose his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Networth. Senator Judges who voted to convict Corona were:

1. Sen. Edgardo J. Angara
2. Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano
3. Sen. Pia Cayetano
4. Sen. Franklin Drilon
5. Sen. Francis Escudero
6. Sen. Jinggoy Estrada
7. Sen. Teofisto Guingona III
8. Sen. Gregorio Honasan
9. Sen. Panfilo Lacson
10. Sen. Lito Lapid
11. Sen. Loren Legarda
12. Sen. Serge Osmena
13. Sen. Francis Pangilinan
14. Sen. Koko Pimentel
15. Sen. Ralph Recto
16. Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr.
17. Sen. Sonny Trillanes
18. Sen. Tito Sotto
19. Sen. Manny Villar
20. Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile

Meanwhile those who voted to Acquit the Chief Justice were

1. Sen. Joker Arroyo
2. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago
3. Sen. Bongbong Marcos

Senate Impeachment Court’s decision final and un-appeallable thus it is expected to be executed immediately.

Day 43 : The Oral Arguments (Corona Impeachment Trial)

After 42 trial days, the Senate Impeachment court has finally came down to the final battle on the Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. Both the prosecution and the defense panel laid their final oral arguments pertaining to the Impeachment Case of the Chief Justice. One hour for each side was given to voice their arguments and convince the Senator judges to vote either to convict or acquit the accused.

On the part of the prosecution the speakers were Lead Prosecutor Niel Tupas Jr., Deputy Prosecutor Rudy Fariñas and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte. On the other side, for the defense the chosen ones were Dean Ed Delos Angeles, Atty. Dennis Manalo and Lead Defense Counsel Ret. Justice Serafin Cuevas.

The prosecution reiterated that indeed there are malice in the intention of the Chief Justice not to disclose bulk of his assets. Rep. Fariñas in fact used the word “Palusot” for the excuses or allibis of the defense pertaining to his non-disclosure of the dollar and peso accounts. He enumerated several instances of “Palusot” by Corona because he cannot find any more creadible allibi as why he did not properly declared all his assets in his SALN. On Speaker Belmonte’s closing argument he appealed to the Senator Judges to see through the character of the accused Chief Justice. He also said it seemed the Chief Justice wants to be exempted in the SALN law, which is not good because he’s the highest magistrate and he should set good example for all.

On the other hand for the part of the defense, they banked on the argument that the Chief Justice’s non disclosure of some of his assets is protected by the FCD Law. They reiterated again and again that Corona has no obligation to disclose his dollar accounts because of the provisions on the FCD Law that prohibits disclosure of the foreign currency accounts. Another argument raised by the was, Is not disclosing his dollar accounts impeachable noting his interpretation of the FCD Law? They’ve appealed to the Senator judges to give the verdict of acquittal because although the Chief Justices admitted for not disclosing his dollars, it was done in good faith.

After the oral arguments of both panels, Senator judges were given the chance to ask clarificatory questions. But none of the 23 senators except the presiding judge Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile posted questions. He asked the defense some points on the FCD Law, if there will be undue injury on the part of the Chief Justice is he will declare the dollar accounts. That line of questioning somewhat hinted JPE’s stand on the case.

The trial adjourned much earlier than usual. And tomorrow will be the verdict day where the judges will vote to convict or acquit the Chief Justice.