Articles from January 2021

{Using Same Medicine

 

The Philippine’s Chief Justice, Renato Corona, has been held for an impeachment trial for his involvement on Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s corruption as well as his involvement on the late president’s “mid-night appointees” in which Renato Corona was given the position as the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice right before GMA’s end of term. One of the prosecutor’s key evidence to prove CJ Corona’s corruption was with his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net-Worth, or SALN. With this evidence, the prosecutors had nearly proven the Chief Justice’s possession on his ill-gotten wealth, if only his Dollar account in PSBank had cooperated with the prosecutors. Recently, however, the defense plans to use the same tactic to prove that other government officials who likewise omitted the acquisition cost in their respective declarations, and that Chief Justice Renato Corona should not be convicted for failing to include the acquisition cost of his properties in his SALN..

This, however, was denied by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. Irrelevant CaseDefense counsel Tranquil Salvador said on Sunday the presentation would not yet happen this week, which is the ninth week of trial and the last one before the Holy Week break of Congress. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad earlier admitted that he, too, did not include acquisition cost in his own SALN, a purported violation both the Aquino administration and the prosecution have pointed out in the case of Corona. But Enrile, according to latest Current Events in Philippines, the presiding officer, was not interested in seeing the SALNs of other government officials in the impeachment trial of the Chief Justice. He said that records of Cabinet members, not being impeachable officers, would be irrelevant to the trial of Corona. He said that he would question the “purpose” and “relevance” of these SALNs should defense lawyers present them this week. Trial is set to resume at 2 p.m. on Monday. “(They’re) immaterial, irrelevant to the case,” he said in an interview aired at Nimfa Ravelo’s radio program at DZBB on Sunday.

“Just because others were at fault doesn’t mean that the one on trial also committed no violation. I’m not saying that the Chief Justice is guilty, but that’s not the way it is in trial,” he explained in Filipino. According to Philippines News Today, Enrile said presenting the SALNs of government officials, such as Cabinet members, in the impeachment court would only serve as “nuisance” (pampagulo) in the trial. For more information visit to our site at