Chief Justice Renato Corona Impeached

December 12, 2011

In a sudden turn of events, the House of Representatives virtually impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona after gathering signatures of more than one-third of its members. As reported by inquirer.net, the eight grounds of impeachment against CJ Corona are:

1.) Betrayal of public trust due to subservience to Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her presidency, from the time of his appointment as Supreme Court justice to his midnight appointment as Chief Justice. Examples are his partiality in the Megapacific contract decision, Fernando Poe Jr. case, the Lambino versus Comelec case (people’s initiative), David v Arroyo and Neri v Senate (executive privilege).

2.) Culpable violation of the Constitution for non-disclosure of the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.

3.) Undue closeness to Macapagal-Arroyo as shown by the appointment of the Chief Justice’s wife to a seat in the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

4.)  Betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution when he issued a status quo order ante that had suspended the hearings of the House justice committee on the impeachment case against previous Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

5.)  Voting on the cityhood cases and the creation of the province of Dinagat.

6.) Creation of the ethics committee to look into the plagiarism case against SC Justice Mariano del Castillo, which resulted in clearing Del Castillo of any liability.

7.) Temporary restraining order on the travel ban on Mrs. Arroyo.

8.) Refusal to account for judicial development funds, special allowances and other court collections.

It is expected that the Senate will receive the Articles of Impeachment in the next few days and will convene itself as an impeachment court. The surprising twist came after CJ Corona gave a defiant speech in the Supreme Court this morning saying that he will face any ouster plot and fight all those who dare to destroy the court and system of justice under the Constitution. In the past few weeks, President Benigno Aquino III and CJ Corona have been at loggerheads due to different issues that have pitted the executive branch of government against the judiciary, such as the TRO issued against the watchlist order on Congressman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the midnight appointment of CJ Corona, the junking of the Truth Commission and other decisions by the Supreme Court which have been adverse to Malacanang. In the past week, President Aquino even took to task CJ Corona in his speech during he 1st National Criminal Justice Summit, saying that the high court was making it difficult for the executive to prosecute officials involved in graft and corruption.

During his inauguration, President Aquino even opted to take his oath of office before then Supreme Court Associate Justice now Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

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