[Updated] Who will argue what in CJ’s impeachment trial?

Carmela Fonbuena
Panel focuses on Corona's voting record and Arroyo's appointment of his wife

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives has completed the prosecution panel that will argue to convict Chief Justice Renato Corona. They also succeeded in getting litigation lawyer Mario Bautista to become lead private counsel.

The prosecution panel assigned three prosecutors each to Articles 1 and 3, on Corona’s voting record and former President Arroyo’s appointment of his wife, respectively. Two prosecutors each are assigned to the other articles of impeachment.

Here’s the team and their assignments.

LEAD PROSECUTOR AND IMPEACHMENT MANAGER
 
 
 
ILOILO REP. NIEL TUPAS JR.
(LEAD PROSECUTOR)

CAVITE REP. JOSEPH EMILIO ABAYA (IMPEACHMENT MANAGER)
 


ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT

ARTICLE 1.
 
 
NORTHERN SAMAR REP. RAUL DAZA (LEAD)
BAYAN MUNA REP. NERI COLMENARES
ILOILO REP. NIEL TUPAS JR.
 

CHARGE : Respondent betrayed public trust through his track record marked by partiality and subservience in cases involving the Arroyo administration from the time of his appointment as Supreme Court chief justice and until his dubious appointment as midnight chief to the present.

 

ARTICLE 2. 
 
 
 
PANGASINAN REP. MARLYN AGABAS (LEAD)

CAVITE REP. ELPIDIO BARZAGA JR.
 

CHARGE : Respondent committed culpable violation of the constitution and/or betrayal of public trust when he failed to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth as required under Sec. 17, Art. XI of the 1987 Constitution.

ARTICLE 3.
 
 
ISABELA REP. GIORGIDI AGGABAO (LEAD)
AKBAYAN REP. KAKA BAG-AO
CIBAC REP. SHERWIN TUGNA
 

 

CHARGE : Respondent committed culpable violation of the constitution and betrayed the public trust by the failing to meet and observe the stringent standards under Art. VIII, Section 7 (3) of the constitution that provides that “a member of the judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence” in allowing the Supreme Court to act on mere letters filed by a counsel which caused the issuance of a flip-flopping decision in final and executory cases; in creating an excessive entanglement with Mrs. Arroyo through her appointment of his wife to office; and in discussing with litigants regarding cases pending before the Supreme Court.

ARTICLE 4. 
 
 
 
AKBAYAN REP. KAKA BAG-AO (LEAD)
  ORIENTAL MINDORO REP. REYNALDO UMALI
 

CHARGE : Respondent betrayed the public trust and/or committed culpable violation of the Constitution when he blatantly disregarded the principle of separation of powers by issuing a “status quo ante order against the House of Representatives in the case concerning the impeachment of then Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.”

ARTICLE 5. 
 
 
 
CAVITE REP. ELPIDIO BARZAGA JR. (LEAD)

PANGASINAN REP. MARLYN AGABAS
 

CHARGE: Respondent betrayed public trust through wanton arbitrariness and partiality in consistently disregarding the principles of res judicata in the cases involving the 16 newly-created cities, and the promotion of Dinagat Island into a province.

ARTICLE 6. 
 
 
 
ILOCOS NORTE REP. RODOLFO FARINAS (LEAD)

CIBAC REP. SHERWIN TUGNA
 

CHARGE : Respondent betrayed public trust by arrogating unto himself, and to a committee he created, the authority and jurisdiction to improperly investigate a justice of the supreme court for the purpose of exculpating him. Such authority and jurisdiction is properly reposed by the constitution in the House of Representatives via impeachment.

ARTICLE 7. 
 
 
 
BAYAN MUNA REP. NERI COLMENARES (LEAD)

NORTHERN SAMAR REP. RAUL DAZA
 

CHARGE : Respondent betrayed public trust through his partiality in granting a temporary restraining order (TRO) in favor of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo in order to give them an opportunity to escape prosecution and to frustrate the end of justice, and in distorting the Supreme Court decision on the effectivity of the TRO in view of a clear failure  to comply with the conditions of the Supreme Court’s own TRO.

ARTICLE 8.
 
 
 
ORIENTAL MINDORO REP. REYNALDO UMALI (LEAD)

ISABELA REP. GIORGIDI AGGABAO
 

CHARGE : Respondent betrayed public trust and/or committed graft and corruption when he failed and refused to account for the judiciary development fund (JDF) and special allowances for the Judiciary (SAJ) collections

Marikina Rep. Ramiro “Miro” Quimbo and Quezon, Rep. Lorenzo Tañada, and Aurora Rep. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara are the impeachment spokespersons.

 
 
MARIKINA REP. RAMIRO “MIRO” QUIMBO
QUEZON REP. LORENZO TANADA III.
AURORA REP. EDGARDO “SONNY” ANGARA
 

Private prosecutors

Lawyer Mario Bautista will lead the private legal team that would assist the House panel. Bautista is the private prosecutor who presented banker Clarissa Ocampo, a surprise witness during the impeachment trial of Former President Joseph Estrada in 2000.

 
LAWYER MARIO BAUTISTA
 

The panel initially had difficulties getting private lawyers to assist them. Bautista himself declined the panel’s initial feelers, said Tupas.

“Initially, he also declined. But for him it’s the right thing to do. We know him as a straight guy. He’s idealistic,” Tupas said.

Why did he initially decline? Tupas said Bautista has clients with pending clients with the Supreme Court.

“I believe in your cause,” Bautista supposedly told Tupas when he finally agreed to become lead pirvate prosecutor. – Rappler.com