Issue is ‘moral fitness,’ says Trillanes

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Senator says Corona should be judged on acts he committed even before he became chief justice

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, speaking before the impeachment court on Monday, January 30, said that the issue at stake in the trial is the “moral fitness” of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

He likened the ongoing trial to the honor committee trial at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), which tries cadets who violates the honor code of the PMA. Trillanes is a former Navy officer and a 1995 graduate of the PMA. He was detained under the Arroyo government but ran while in jail in the 2007 senatorial race.

Despite his victory in that election, Trillanes remained locked up.

It took President Benigno Aquino III to release him from detention in December 2010.

“The only difference is that [in the honor trial] we don’t have brilliant lawyers and thus there are no technicalities to ferret out the truth,” Trillanes said.

He cited a query made by Sen. Francis Escudero last week about whether the acts of Corona that were committed even before he became Chief Justice should even be entertained by the court.

Trillanes said the court should entertain these, claiming that the justices of the Supreme Court should “possess the highest moral standards.”

Elected officials are subjected to public judgment through an election, he noted. SC justices are not subjected to same, he added. –

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