MANILA, Philippines - Sen Edgardo Angara is the first senator to find Chief Justice Renato Corona guilty of culpable violation of the Constitution.
Angara, member of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino whose son, Juan Edgardo, is a spokesman of the prosecution team, was the first to cast his vote in Tuesday's judgment day of the Corona trial.
He said Corona committed "willful" violation of the Constituion.
"The law was never intended to be a convenient excuse to conceal their assets," he said.
He said it was Corona himself who admitted he had US$2.4-M and P80-M in peso and dollar deposits. This admission is the best evidence against him, according to Angara.
Angara's vote convicts Corona on Article 2 of the impeachment complaint, which accused him of betraying public trust and committing culpable violation of the Constitution.
In previous interviews, he has said Corona had a heavy burden to explain why he did not declare his bank accounts, and why it appears that his wealth is bigger than his salary.
Angara told reporters that the Ombudsman probe is aboveboard because “that is a product of an official proceeding so there’s a presumption of regularity.” He said that under the principle of trial and evidence, the defense is bound by the Ombudsman’s testimony because she is a defense witness.
Angara rejected a defense motion seeking his inhibition, calling it a malicious, delaying tactic. The defense had asked him to inhibit on the allegation that his son’s involvement as a prosecution spokesperson, and the approval of the Baler-Casiguran Road Project in Aurora, compromised his vote.
"The petitioners have the gall and the audacity to suggest that these are political favors for me. I reject that as an unthinking and illogical conclusion that serves no purpose at all, except to malign." - Rappler.com