Sen. Edgardo Angara

Purple S. Romero

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He has warned against impeaching a Chief Justice


Sen. Edgardo Angara: 

Traumatized by impeachment

MANILA, Philippines – Lawyer groups are divided over the impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (1979) is against it, while the Philippine Bar Association (PBA) considers it as a “constitutionally ordained process which epitomizes the Rule of Law at work.” 

Sen. Edgardo Angara had served as president of the two groups; the PBA in 1975 and the IBP in 1979. 

But Angara does not think it’s wise to have an impeachment trial at all. 

In December 2011, he warned that an impeachment trial, especially a prolonged one, would cause “schism” within the  bureaucracy and the whole nation. “In the Philippines, the impeachment of former President Joseph Estrada has led to social division in the country, a political upheaval that has yet to fully heal,” he said in a statement published on Dec. 20, 2011 in Business Mirror. 

Angara stood as a witness in the impeachment trial of Estrada, which began late 2000 and abruptly ended in January 2001. As Estrada’s Executive Secretary then, Angara testified that Estrada did not have a hand in the operation of bingo2ball, a legal version of jueteng, an illegal numbers game. 

In the ongoing impeachment trial against Corona, however, Angara is not a witness but a judge. And in a twist of fate, his son, Aurora Rep. Juan ‘Sonny’ Edgardo Angara, is a member of the team from the House of Representatives that’s prosecuting Corona and is said to be eyeing a senatorial seat in 2013.

Age: 77

Education: Law, University of the Philippines; Masters of laws, University of Michigan

Professional background: Lawyer. A founding partner of ACCRA (Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala and Cruz) law office. Two of his former partners in that firm are Sen. Franklin Drilon and lawyer Francis Jardeleza, who is the new Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon.

Senate committee: Education, arts and culture 

Current term: 2007 to 2013

Eligible for reelection? No. Angara is serving his second consecutive Senate term. After serving in the Estrada cabinet, he vied for a Senate seat and won in 2001. He got reelected in 2007. Prior to this, he served for 11 years at the Senate: he was among the first batch of 24 senators to get elected under the 1987 Constitution, with a 5-year term. In 1992, he won another 6-year term, which ended in 1998.   

Political Party: Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino 

Fraternity: Sigma Rho. His fraternity brothers include SC Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, fellow Senators Franklin Drilon, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, and his son Rep. Angara

Pending case in SC: Anakpawis partylist Rep. Rafael Mariano and militant groups asked the SC to declare unconstitutional Republic Act Nos. 10083 and 9490, which created the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport. Angara is one of the authors of the bill; he was not named as a respondent (his son was, though), but the groups said the older Angara should be asked to file his reply on the petition.

Senate bloc: The Angara bloc consists of Senators Loren Legarda, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. and Manuel “Lito” Lapid, Jr. 

Position published or aired on Corona or on issues contained in the Articles of Impeachment: 

He is against midnight appointments, saying that former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should have allowed the incoming administration to replace her appointees.

Angara voted for the conversion of the 16 municipalities into cities, one of the cases where the SC flip-flopped on.

In 2006, he voted for the promotion of Dinagat island into a province – also one of the cases cited in the 5th article of impeachment against Corona. – Rappler.com

Sources: www.senate.gov.ph, www.inquirer.net, www.newsbreak.ph 

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