SENATOR-JUDGES narrowly avoided a collision with the Supreme Court when they voted to respect the temporary restraining order issued by the high tribunal against the disclosure of the dollar accounts reportedly owned by Chief Justice Renato Corona.
In a caucus held this morning, the Senator-Judges voted 13-10 in favor of heeding the TRO issued by the Supreme Court last Thursday. The Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) had asked the Supreme Court to stop a subpoena issued by the impeachment court for the records of dollar accounts allegedly owned by Corona.
Bank officials had refused to disclose the contents of the dollar accounts despite the subpoena, arguing that the Foreign Currency Deposits Act barred the disclosure of such accounts unless there is a written authorization from the account holder.
The 13 senators who voted to uphold the TRO are Senators Joker Arroyo, Miriam Santiago, Manny Villar, Ralph Recto, Francis Escudero, Aquilino Pimentel III, Loren Legarda, Gregorio Honasan, Bong Revilla, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Vicente Sotto III, Jinggoy Estrada, and Juan Ponce Enrile.
Those who voted in favor of upholding the impeachment court’s subpoena despite the SC TRO are Franklin Drilon, Alan Cayetano, Serge Osmeña, Edgardo Angara, Panfilo Lacson, Pia Cayetano, Francis Pangilinan, Antonio Trillanes, Lito Lapid, and Teofisto Guingona III.
However, Presiding Officer Juan Ponce Enrile emphasized that the vote is not to be construed as an act of surrender by the impeachment court to the power of the Supreme Court.