MANILA, Philippines – Two lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to stop the Senate from implementing its verdict in the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, found Corona gulity of culpable violation of the 1987 Constitution and betrayal of public trust on May 29 for failing to disclose his P183-million peso and dollar bank accounts in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
Lawyers Homobono Adaza and Alan Paguia filed a petition for preliminary injunction before the SC on Tuesday, June 5, saying that the Senate and House of Representatives committed grave abuse of discretion in proceeding with the impeachment trial amid questions over the alleged haste in the filing of complaint against Corona.
In their previous petition before the Court filed in January, Adaza and Paguia said the 188 congressmen who signed the impeachment complaint did not check the veracity of the allegations against the deposed chief justice. Hence, they said it was not a verified complaint and could not be acted upon by the Senate.
The SC has yet to rule on their petition, however, on top of 5 other petitions, one of which was filed by Corona himself. In February, Corona asked the Court to nullify the impeachment complaint against him, claiming it violated his Constitutional rights.
Adaza and Paguia, meanwhile, also argued that the Senate should not have continued the impeachment trial without a ruling from the SC on the pending petitions.
The two said that some senator-judges — Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Eduardo Angara and Jinggoy Estrada — should have inhibited from the trial because their relatives signed the impeachment complaint. Enrile and Angara’s respective sons (Reps. Jack Enrile and Sonny Angara) and Estrada’s brother (Rep. JV Ejercito) were among the 188 congressmen who signed to impeach Corona in December 2011.
Adaza and Paguia were the second to question the validity of the verdict in Corona’s impeachment trial. The first one was Oliver Lozano, who filed a petition on May 31.
Corona had said he will not appeal his conviction anymore before the SC. – Rappler.com