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MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona has until Monday, Dec. 26, 2011, to respond to the articles of impeachment filed against him at the Senate by the House of Representatives.
The Senate gave Corona 10 days to do this, from the day they gave him the complaint on Dec. 15, 2011. The deadline falls on Christmas Day, thus it would have to be moved one more day, or the 26th, Monday.
For the first time in Philippine history, the House of Representatives impeached the Chief Justice on Dec. 12. At least 188 lawmakers signed the impeachment complaint, which accused Corona of betraying public trust, violating the Constitution and graft and corruption.
The move came in the wake of a standoff between Malacañang and the SC over the case of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Last November, majority of the justices voted to lift the travel ban on Mrs Arroyo and her husband, a decision that the justice department defied.
Instead of allowing her to leave for Singapore, the government filed an electoral sabotage case against the former president, a non-bailable offense.
Starting on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, the Senate will begin accepting media accreditation requests for the coverage of Corona’s impeachment trial.
This is the second impeachment trial that the Senate will be holding. In 2000, the Senate convened into an impeachment court to try then President Joseph Estrada. The trial was cut short by a walkout
of prosecution lawyers, which eventually triggered a people power revolt that ousted Estrada in January 2001. – Rappler.com