Corona Impeachment Process

December 15, 2011

The impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona took a different route from the case of former President Joseph Estrada and former Ombusdsman Merceditas Gutierrez. Instead of a filing made by a citizen and endorsed by a Member of the House of Representatives, the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment was signed by 188 Congressmen which more than complies with the one-third requirement under Section 3 (4), Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. As a result of this fast-track process, the verified complaint no longer passed thru the House Committee on Justice to determine if it is sufficient in form and substance. Moreover, because of this method, the verified complaint already constitutes the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed

Under Section 3 (6), Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, 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. Since for this particular case the person on trial is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, only the Senate President shall preside. To get the ball rolling, CJ Corona would have to be formally issued a writ of summons and a copy of the Articles of Impeachment after which he would have 10 days to give his Answer. Once the Senate receives the Answer, the prosecution team from the House of Representatives will have five days to submit their reply, should they opt to do so. The concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate is needed to convict the Chief Justice.

If convicted, the Chief Justice shall be removed from office and shall be disqualified to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines. He will also be liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment according to law. It is, thus, clear that the liability does not end at the Senate, the person impeached shall also be held for appropriate action as a result of his illegal and improper acts.

Related Links:

The Impeachment Process

Senate Rules on Impeachment

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