May 25, 2012 · Posted in: General
DEFENSE AND PROSECUTION LAWYERS rested their case today, the 42nd day of the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, heralding the final days of an impeachment trial that has both divided and enthralled a nation.
The two panels submitted their case for final resolution by the impeachment court after the testimony of Corona himself. With that, presiding officer Juan Ponce Enrile has scheduled oral arguments for both sides on Monday at two in the afternoon.
Both prosecution and defense panels have one hour each to present their oral arguments, after which the senate sitting as an impeachment court may decide to acquit or convict the impeached Chief Justice.
“This case is now submitted for final resolution by this impeachment court, subject to the oral argumentsof the two sides to be held next Monday at two in the afternoon,” Enrile said before banging the gavel.
This may be the first time that the country sees an impeachment trial to its conclusion; the first impeachment trial, that of former President Joseph Estrada, was cut short by a second Edsa Revolt after the prosecution team walked out of the trial.
Corona had been impeached by 188 members of the House of Representatives on eight grounds, involving culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of the public trust.
However, the prosecution panel decided to just stick with Articles 2, 3, and 7 of the impeachment complaint. These are:
RESPONDENT COMMITTED CULPABLE VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION AND/OR BETRAYED THE PUBLIC TRUST WHEN HE FAILED TO DISCLOSE TO THE PUBLIC HIS STATEMENT OF ASSETS, LIABILITIES, AND NET WORTH AS REQUIRED UNDER SEC. 17, ART. XI OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION.
RESPONDENT COMMITTED CULPABLE VIOLATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION AND/OR BETRAYED THE PUBLIC TRUST BY FAILING TO MEET AND OBSERVE THE STRINGENT STANDARDS UNDER ART. VIII, SECTION 7 (3) OF THE CONSTITUTION THAT PROVIDES THAT “[A] MEMBER OF THE JUDICIARY MUST BE A PERSON OF PROVEN COMPETENCE, INTEGRITY, PROBITY, AND INDEPENDENCE” IN ALLOWING THE SUPREME COURT TO ACT ON MERE LETTERS FILED BY A COUNSEL WHICH CAUSED THE ISSUANCE OF FLIP-FLOPPING DECISIONS IN FINAL AND EXECUTORY CASES; IN CREATING AN EXCESSIVE ENTANGLEMENT WITH MRS. ARROYO THROUGH HER APPOINTMENT OF HIS WIFE TO OFFICE; AND IN DISCUSSING WITH LITIGANTS REGARDING CASES PENDING BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT.
RESPONDENT BETRAYED THE PUBLIC TRUST THROUGH HIS PARTIALITY IN GRANTING A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER (TRO) IN FAVOR OF FORMER PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO AND HER HUSBAND JOSE MIGUEL ARROYO IN ORDER TO GIVE THEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO ESCAPE PROSECUTION AND TO FRUSTRATE THE ENDS OF JUSTICE, AND IN DISTORTING THE SUPREME COURT DECISION ON THE EFFECTIVITY OF THE TRO IN VIEW OF A CLEAR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE CONDITIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT’S OWN TRO.
However, of the three articles of impeachment, the prosecutors had focused primarily on Article 2, which accuses Corona of failure to publicly disclose his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth.