I agree with the Inquirer March 14 editorial, “An inconvenient truth”: Chief Justice Renato Corona’s defense team has been milking the Basa-Guidote Enterprises Inc. (BGEI) for all its worth, that is, to account for the yawning gaps in his financial records, but it is now erecting huge obstacles to the possible testimony of Ana Basa and Sister Flory Basa on how the Corona couple oppressed them and took arbitrary control of BGEI.
By Raul C. Pangalangan
Right before the Senate went into its five-week Lenten recess, Pulse Asia released a study showing that 47 percent of Filipinos believed Chief Justice Renato Corona was guilty. Significantly, 43 percent are ambivalent as regards his innocence or guilt, and 58 percent believe that the nation will accept the Senate’s verdict either way.
This is about the Senate sitting as an impeachment court. What is obvious is that the rules of law are already being violated by ignoring and overlooking certain basic principles of our judicial system, in particular pertinent codes and canons which should be respected by members of both the legal and judicial profession.
By Neal H. Cruz
“If the recorded income can’t support the expenditure, then there’s presumption of ill-gotten wealth”—Supreme Court decision, 2003
By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
Whence are the senators currently judging the impeachment trial coming from? They are the same senators who were elected to the Senate two or four years ago. And what was the extent of the power of the Senate to which they were elected? Their power was only coequal with those of the executive department and the judicial department. How explain the claim of some senators now that their power while acting as impeachment judge has suddenly skyrocketed to a level higher than that of the Supreme Court? The answer to this question is a mystery to me.
Things have taken a truly interesting, indeed critical, turn at the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, whose lawyers have challenged the very power of the Senate impeachment court to try their client.
The verbal squabble between the defense and the prosecution in the Corona impeachment trial is a matter of semantics. It concerns the meaning of paragraphs 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4 of Article II of the Articles of Impeachment, as follows:
To call today’s impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona unprecedented would be a misnomer. We’ve had one like this before. More than 10 years ago, President Joseph Estrada was impeached and underwent trial. That one tried a chief executive; the one that’s opening today will try the head of the Judiciary. Perhaps in another 10 years, another official will be in the dock, but we will not bet on it yet. What’s important is today’s trial.
By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
The impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona is scheduled to start today. The Constitution tells us that the Senate is the sole judge of all impeachment cases. Yet, even as the Corona lawyers will go to trial claiming that the articles of impeachment now with the Senate are invalid, lawyers have also gone to the Supreme Court seeking the invalidation of the same articles of impeachment. Will the Supreme Court entertain and decide the challenge?
By Lutgardo B. Barbo
In law school, we were told that when we pass the Bar we become “officers of the court” and shame on us if we don’t adhere to the Canons of Judicial and Legal Ethics. Ethics as the “embodiment of all principles of morality and refinement that should govern the conduct of every member of the Bar” was ingrained in our consciousness.