[2nd UPDATE] MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona will file a 39-page urgent petition for “certiorari and prohibition with prayer for immediate issuance of temporary restraining order (TRO) and writ of preliminary injunction.”
This is meant to stop, among others, the officers or representatives of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) from testifying and submitting Corona’s bank documents to the impeachment court.
Rep Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara of the prosecution said that they have been furnished a copy of the petition. Rappler has secured a copy which was received by the prosecution at 8:50 am Wednesday, February 8.
The urgent petition wants the High Court to issue a TRO to enjoin the following:
- proceedings before the impeachment court
- implementation of the court’s Feb 6, 2012 resolution
- officers and representatives of BPI and PSBank from testifying and submitting documents on petitioner’s or his family’s bank accounts
- the presentation, reception and admission of evidence on paragraphs 2.3 and 2.4 of the impeachment complaint
After issuing the TRO, the Supreme Court is being asked to render judgment declaring the impeachment complaint “null and void ab initio (from the beginning);” prohibiting the presentation, reception and admission of evidence on the same paragraphs of the impeachment complaint cited in the TRO petition; annulling the impeachment court’s resolution dated January 27 and February 6, and any subpoenae issued in relation to them; and making the TRO and/or writ of preliminary injunction permanent.
Corona’s urgent petition says that he has “suffered grave and irreparable injury” due to the continuing violation of his Constitutional rights. Unless a TRO is issued, the trial will continue and the banks amd their representatives will “produce and disclose the confidential statements, documents and accounts” of the petitioner. This will amount to “irreparable injury” from which Corona has “no appeal or other plain, speedy and adequate remedy.”
In their arguments, Corona’s lawyers said that the impeachment complaint is “null and void” because it was transmitted without due notice and hearing to the Chief Justice. The impeachment court, they said, “gravely abused its discretion” amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in deciding to retain paragraph 2.3 of Article 2. The lattter refers to Corona’s properties allegedly not included in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs).This is in violation of the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Furthermore, the petition to the Supreme Court says, 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.
Likewise, the presentation of evidence on charges of alleged corruption and unexplained wealth violates Corona’s right to due process, the petition says.
And finally, the impeachment court, according to the petition, committed “grave abuse of discretion” amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing the subpoena for all bank accounts. -Rappler.com (More to follow.)