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Today on Rappler.
- The Supreme Court makes a landmark decision for transparency overturning a 2-decade old ruling to release the full SALN of all justices and judges.
- Judicial Bar and Council member Senator Chiz Escudero says the next Chief Justice should come from outside the circle of the President’s family, friends and the current Supreme Court justices.
- And, the MTRCB suspends the Tulfo brother’s show on TV5 for 3 months.
Story 1: SC TO RELEASE FULL SALN
Overturning a twenty year-old guideline, the Supreme Court will release the 2011 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth or SALN of “all judges and justices” in the country.
Meeting in a special en banc, the SC decides on Wednesday to release the SALN of all 14 SC justices as well as the justices of the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, and the country’s judges.
The country has around 2,000 justices and judges.
Facing the media after the session convened by Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio new SC spokesperson Gleo Guerra says this was a “collective decision” made by the justices who met a day after their chief was convicted and removed from office.
Insiders say one SC justice opposed the release but was outvoted by the majority.
The justice was not identified.
The justices’ and judges’ SALNs will be released on June 13.
In the past, invoking a 1989 resolution, the SC banned the public disclosure of the justices’ SALN.
Corona himself used this as basis for his refusal to disclose his SALN.
Story 2: CJ POSITION NOW VACANT
With Chief Justice Corona’s conviction Tuesday, his position is now vacant, unless he goes to the Supreme Court and challenges the validity of the impeachment court’s decision.
The next senior justice, Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, 62, is acting chief justice.
He is also Corona’s political and personal foe.
Whenever Corona was abroad in the past, Carpio presided over en banc sessions but was never named acting chief.
The Judicial and Bar Council can now begin the process of accepting nominees and vetting them for the President.
From the JBC’s short list of nominees, President Benigno Aquino III must name Corona’s replacement within 90 days after May 29.
Among the members of the JBC are Senator Francis Escudero and lead prosecutor Iloilo Niel Tupas.
Escudero says the next Chief Justice must come from the outside circle of the President’s family, friends and the current Supreme Court justices.
Story 3: CORONA ACCEPTS VERDICT
Former Chief Justice Renato Corona says he is sad after the impeachment court decision, but adds he has long accepted the “burden.”
Corona was convicted in a vote of 20-3 Tuesday. He says his fate is now up to God and the Filipino people. He apologizes to his family and supporters for placing them in a difficult situation. He asks for forgiveness for failing to successfully “defend the truth.”
He thanks senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Joker Arroyo, and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr for voting to acquit him.
Corona maintains his conscience is clean and that he is a victim of politics.
He says the entire machinery of government was used against him.
Story 4: CORONA’S NEXT MOVE?
Hours after the verdict, Corona’s lawyers troop to his hospital to discuss their next moves with the ex-Chief Justice.
Defense lawyers say they leave the choice to appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court to Corona.
Lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas says they would need to -quote- think long and hard before turning to the Supreme Court because it may carry a backlash.
He says “We have to be very careful and to be very, very circumspect.”
Ateneo School of Government Dean Tony La Viña says Corona may file a petition with the High Tribunal and say the impeachment court committed grave abuse of discretion against him.
In February, Corona asked the SC to void the impeachment complaint.
La Viña says this case could be consolidated with Corona’s new petition, if he files one.
But Retired Court of Appeals Justice Hector Hofileña, who withdrew from Corona’s legal team before the trial started in January, says the SC cannot intervene in this matter.
Hofilena says the “Senate is the sole judge.”
House majority leader Neptali Gonzalez said last week that even if Corona goes to the Supreme Court he will not be able to get enough votes to overturn the conviction.
Gonzales said in press conference, “I don’t think the justices still have the guts to side with him,” he added, “I don’t think he has enough allies at the SC to even get a TRO.”
Story 5: ENRILE TO CORONA CAMP
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile says the Senate will not back down on its decision to convict Corona.
In a television interview, he says “If they question the jurisdiction of the impeachment court and reverse our decision, we will defy them. And if they want a constitutional crisis in this country, they will have one.”
Story 6: BIZMEN ON VERDICT
Businessmen applaud the result of 4-month-long impeachment trial.
The Makati Business Club says our country has taken another major step in the road to political maturity.
Foreign and local businessmen are more concerned about the integrity of the process.
Businessman Manny Pangilinan says good governance will benefit the country’s democracy.
He says foreign investors believe the decision should be respected.
San Miguel Corp. president Ramon Ang shrugs off the effect of the trial saying none of his investors or business partners even asked him about it.
Story 7:NEW ENVOY TO CHINA
Newly appointed envoy to China Sonia Brady will fly to China to help ease tensions in the disputed Scarborough Shoal.
Brady’s 4-decade experience with China will come in handy as the Philippines seeks a diplomatic solution to the Scarborough conflict, now approaching its second month.
China welcomes her appointment saying she will help strengthen communications between both sides.
Experts say a Philippine ambassador to China is crucial because the standoff is more diplomatic than military in nature.
Defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin says both sides have agreed to exercise restraint.
Story 8:TULFO SHOW SUSPENSION
The Tulfo brothers’ public affairs show, T3, will go off-air for 3 months following a suspension by the censors board, MTRCB, for threatening Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto.
Hosts Erwin, Ben and Raffy Tulfo will pay a 100,000 peso fine according to TV5’s news site.
MTRCB earlier imposed a 20-day suspension on their show.
TV5 President and CEO Ray Espinosa calls the MTRCB order a -quote- violation of press freedom.
In a recent interview with Rappler, Mon Tulfo said his brothers were wrong to threaten the celebrity couple on-air.
Story 9: THE wRap
Let’s now look at Rappler’s “wRap” for today…
a list of the ten most important events around the world you shouldn’t miss.
At number 3, A dozen countries, including the US, UK and France, expel Syrian diplomats in response to the Houla massacre that killed more than 100 people.
A UN official says it’s clear the Syrian government took part in the massacre.
Syria denies the charge and insist terrorists are behind the killings.
UN special envoy Kofi Annan met with President al-Assad but prospects of peace remain bleak.
At number 4, Mitt Romney secures the presidential nomination after taking Texas and securing more than 1,000 delegates.
But a statement made by his supporter, Donald Trump, raising doubts about President Barack Obama’s citizenship, overshadows that victory.
Obama’s camp hits back – saying Romney is lacking in -quote- moral leadership.
At number 6, Newly elected Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives in Bangkok on the first stop of her historic world tour.
This is the first time she has left Myanmar since 1988, when she was put under house arrest.
Suu Kyi is scheduled to attend the World Economic Forum on East Asia.
She also plans to travel to Europe in June, including a trip to Norway to accept the Nobel Peace Prize she won 21 years ago.
And at number 10, Samsung’s newest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S3, is now available in 28 countries, including the Philippines.
The Galaxy S3’s impressive feature list includes a 4.8-inch display, an 8 megapixel camera, and a quad-core processor.
For the full top ten, visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap’.
We leave you with images from the Rappler documentary: Damned Nation by Patricia Evangelista.
(Excerpts of the documentary, “Damned Nation” runs.)