The Corona impeachment trigger

It's the Gloria Arroyo connection, CJ

The trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona has started.

It is expected that like the Estrada impeachment trial, the Corona impeachment would also be a blockbuster telenovela that will be followed by the Filipino nation. Afternoons will now be prime TV hours, Mondays through Thursdays.

It is appropriate to ponder how we got into this situation that viewed from the Aquino administration’s perspective would result in reforms in the judiciary and better government for the people. From the political opposition’s perspective, however, it’s trampling on the Constitutional guarantee of separation of powers and bastardizing democracy.

I think it’s good to know how we got into this situation in the first place. We must ask why, after one-and-a-half-years in office, Aquino finally decided to move for the ouster of Corona.

I don’t believe that the Supreme Court decision on Hacienda Luisita was the trigger in Aquino’s decision move against Corona, who is a known ally of Gloria Arroyo. (He served as Arroyo’s spokesman and legal counsel.)

That’s what Corona thinks. Asked last Friday if his impeachment had anything to do with High Court’s decision on cases that Aquino had a personal interest, Corona replied, “It’s very clear that it’s Hacienda Luisita (decision) that they want reversed. It’s very clear, nothing else.”

I don’t think so.

The information I got was, it had something to do with the electoral sabotage case of Gloria Arroyo, which is the basis for her imprisonment. Confinement is the more appropriate term because she is under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.

It must be recalled that Arroyo questioned before the Supreme Court, dominated by her appointees, the legality of the joint Department of Justice and Commission on Elections panel that investigated anomalies in the 2004 and 2007 elections. From the information gathered during that investigation, Comelec hurriedly filed last Nov. 18 the electoral sabotage case against Arroyo and four other officials.

Electoral sabotage is non-bailable.

The information I got was that Malacañang learned that the Corona court, in a vote of 9-5, was going to declare the DOJ-Comelec panel illegal.

Had that happened, the electoral sabotage case against Arroyo would be null and void being a “fruit of a poisoned tree.”

If the electoral sabotage case is thrown out, Arroyo walks out of VMMC and can fly to wherever she wants to go and never come back while Aquino is in Malacañang.

What would happen to Aquino’s promise of making Arroyo accountable for all the crimes that she committed against the Filipino people?

If Aquino and his legal advisers had been slow in the past one and half years in building up a strong case or cases against Arroyo, they more than made up for it by resorting to legal shortcuts.

The decision on the legality of the DOJ-Comelec panel is still pending in the Supreme Court. Now, with what is happening to Corona, who among those nine justices will still vote to declare the joint panel illegal?

January 16, 2012 5:49 pm  Tags:   Posted in: Justice, Supreme Court

584 Responses

  1. Ellen - January 16, 2012 5:53 pm

    Sorry for the delayed posting of this column. My DSL conked out last night.

  2. MPRivera - January 16, 2012 6:02 pm

    i see nothing trustful sa mukha nitong kababayan ni anna.

    gloryang glorya ang pilit na pagpapaaliwalas ng mukha!

  3. koko - January 16, 2012 7:05 pm

    mukhang dehado ang mga prosecutors na congressman pagdating sa abogado,mukhang walang karanasan sa mga balitaktakan sa korte (obserbasyon lang naman) hindi ba puwedeng gamitin ang mga private prosecutors sa mga oral arguments?

  4. duane - January 16, 2012 7:05 pm

    Whatever it is, efficient o makupad ang DOJ, through a long or short legal process, dapat pa ring makasuhan si gloria arroyo at hindi siya dapat maka-alis ng bansa.

  5. Oblak - January 16, 2012 8:02 pm

    I agree with you Ms. Ellen na ang pakikikutsaba ni Corona para makaalis ng bansa si GMA ang pina trigger. kahit sino naman na gustong utasin si GMA mapipikon sa ginawa ng Supreme Court na hindi pa naman ayos ang conditions na tinalaga nila, nag issue na ng TRO. Para sa mga gustong managot si GMA, iyon ang panahon para mag desisyon kung patatalsikin na si Corona.

  6. saxnviolins - January 16, 2012 8:51 pm

    It seems that Alan Paguia has scored; not at the Supreme Court, but at the Senate.

    Paguia’s thesis is that the Senators as members of the impeachment court, are jurors, not judges. In the American system, the judge makes rulings on questions of law, while the jurors only make findings of fact. In a civil case, for instance, the jurors do not determine whether a contract is binding or not (that is a legal question). They only determine whether the parties gave their assent or not (question of fact).

    So if the Senators are mere jurors, as Paguia posits, they cannot make determinations on whether a Supreme Court decision is Constitutional or not. That is why he is asking the Supreme Court to stop the proceedings at the Senate (I do not agree with his resort to the Supreme Court).

    Note the opening speech of Enrile. Twice, he referred to the Senators as jurors, not judges.

    (second paragraph)

    The task at hand is a constitutional mandate and duty which we have no discretion to postpone or evade. As jurors, it is our obligation and responsibility to closely and diligently examine the evidence and the facts to be presented before us, to determine whether such evidence and facts sufficiently and convincingly support the charges, and ultimately, to decide the fate of no less than the Chief Justice of the Highest Court of the land, and the head of a co-equal branch of our government.

    (seventh paragraph)

    While it has often been said that, by and large, the trial in an impeachment case is political in nature, nonetheless, such is neither an excuse nor a license for us to ignore and abandon our solemn and higher obligation and responsibility as a body of jurors to see to it that the Bill of Rights are observed and that justice is served, and to conduct the trial with impartiality and fairness, to hear the case with a clear and open mind, to weigh carefully in the scale the evidence against the respondent, and to render to him a just verdict based on no other consideration than our Constitution and laws, the facts presented to us, and our individual moral conviction.

    Looks like the only articles seriously in play are those on graft and corruption. The long-winded allegations attacking Supreme Court decisions are in jeopardy, because Enrile seems to not want the Senate to review those decisions; jurors do not review legal issues.

    Score one for the defense, as regards Enrile, and those articles concerning Supreme Court decisions.

    Mayroon pa namang tatlo. The SALN issue, the JDF, and the allowance of the allowance (Corona allowing his wife to allow the John Hay Board to declare company perks).

    The only good fight to me is the SALN and the JDF.

  7. chi - January 16, 2012 9:21 pm

    I don’t believe that the Supreme Court decision on Hacienda Luisita was the trigger in Aquino’s decision move against Corona, who is a known ally of Gloria Arroyo. (He served as Arroyo’s spokesman and legal counsel.)

    That’s what Corona thinks. – Ellen

    It is Corona’s only alibi benefiting his image, he refused to see the real issue as it concerns his patrona Gloria.

    Agree fully, it was the (unrendered) SC decision rendering Comelec-DOJ panel illegal.

    The legal process in this issue was cut short to get Gloria. It was to the dislike of lawyers and Gloriatics, but the madlang pipol like it. I very much like it. :)

  8. chi - January 16, 2012 9:30 pm

    The decision on the legality of the DOJ-Comelec panel is still pending in the Supreme Court. Now, with what is happening to Corona, who among those nine justices will still vote to declare the joint panel illegal? – Ellen

    It only goes to show that Noynoy, a perceived weakling, can play any games with gusto. :)

  9. chi - January 16, 2012 10:05 pm

    Sabi ni Corona ay tatlong tao daw ang gustong magpatanggal sa kanya, si Pnoy, si Lacierda at Mar Roxas (even if he did not name them klaro naman).

    Nagsisingkit-singkitan lang itong si Corona, kunwari hindi nya nakikita ang more than majority of pinoys who wanted him out of the SC due to his Arroyo-Pidal konek.

    Putting the blame on only three (political) persons makes Corona a very bad seer of truth!

  10. Ellen - January 16, 2012 10:54 pm

    Oh-oh..oh…oh. May nakuryente.President Aquino cited this WB report and the Prosecution even wants to use this report.

    World Bank disowns JRSP report
    January 16, 2012, 5:38pm

    MANILA, Philippines — The World Bank denied on Monday it released a report on the Supreme Court’s Judicial Reform Support Project (JRSP) that noted its dissatisfaction with the way the project was being implemented.

    Erika Leann Lacson-Esguerra, World Bank program assistant for external relations, said Monday the bank did not release to the media a supposed memo regarding the “unsatisfactory” progress of the high court’s loan.

    “This email message did not come from the World Bank. Any official statement from the World Bank will be posted online (,” Lacson-Esguerra said.

  11. Robert - January 16, 2012 11:17 pm

    “mukhang dehado ang mga prosecutors na congressman pagdating sa abogado,mukhang walang karanasan sa mga balitaktakan sa korte…”—koko

    hindi naman siguro, koko. kung pagbabasehan ang nagyari kaninang unang session ng trial, mukhang llamado na kaagad ang mga prosecutors na congressmen.

    akala ko magaling itong Atty. de los Angeles na ito, pero sa opening statement niya, mukhang narinig ko na ang mga sinabi niya. parang kinopya lang niya ang mga sinabi ng mga pro-GMA na nababasa natin sa mga blogs, hehehehe.

  12. chi - January 16, 2012 11:23 pm

    #10. Hala, the prosecution should be very aware of communications they get, baka dyan sila madali sa kuryentehan. Check the veracity muna a!

  13. Manachito - January 17, 2012 6:48 am

    Ano man ang mangyari sa pagtataluwalag kay Ginoong Corona, alam na ng sambayanang Pilipino kung ano ang kanyang uri at kung sino ang pinaglilinkuran niya. Ano mang pagsasadula ang kanyang gawin at pagkukunwari na siya ay malinis, hindi maniniwala ang mga tao sa kanya. May kabayaran ang lahat.

  14. xman - January 17, 2012 9:33 am

    Hacienda Luisita is BANKRUPT. According to it was P2 Billion in the red per May 2010 report. How much more now?

    “…… lawyer Fernando Cojuangco, in an interview with the New York Times in April—that the family has no intention of distributing the lands.”

    “If the TRO is lifted and Republic Act 6657, the comprehensive agrarian reform law, will be strictly enforced, the Cojuangcos will be left with less than 200 hectares of agricultural land.”

    Remulla said it all boils down to this: “If the TRO is lifted, they will go bankrupt. The Cojuangcos will be the new poor.”

    “This is why, according to columnist Alvin Capino of Manila Standard Today, there are speculations that Noynoy Aquino is criticizing President Arroyo’s apparent intention to name a new chief justice before she steps down on June 30. Aquino wants himself, if elected, to make that appointment.”

    Family’s wealth depends on Noynoy presidency

    Will he use his position to bail out the bankrupt Hacienda Luisita?

  15. xman - January 17, 2012 9:51 am

    TIMELINE: What is the real reason why CJ Corona is being impeached?

  16. xman - January 17, 2012 9:54 am

    Timeline of Deception:

  17. chijap - January 17, 2012 1:54 pm

    In the ABS-CBN interview, Corona said that Carpio was one of the three behind the scene personality who wants Corona out because Carpio wants to be CJ. Corona even said Carpio was the one close to GMA (which is true, the firm being GMA’s firm for a period until the Hello Garci exploded) and Corona wasn’t sure why they fought (sure, do you believe Corona that he did not know but he know Carpio wanted to be CJ? Selective memory perhaps?). Corona reiterated di raw sya close with GMA.

    Ted Failon today mentioned, wait, so Executive Secretary ka ni GMA since VP days, and then she paid also for your surgery and di kayo close? May ganun pala.


    Aquino has said it clearly, while he obvious did not agree that Arroyo can appoint Corona as CJ, he gave CJ’s challenge (“watch what i will do”) some time. And like Aquino, we all saw CJ’s decisions. He was obviously leading the pack of GMA’s stooges. Had it not for De Lima, GMA would have been skiing somewhere in the German slopes and husband driving his cars in the autobahn thanks to technicality as orchestrated by Corona.

    Assuming the TRO was legit, GMA’s camp failed to fulfill the requirements, pero Marquez under Corona’s explaination said the TRO is valid. Aba may ganun pala.

    On your insinuation: Aquino not only stepped away from Hacienda Luisita issue but also reiterated his campaign promise: distribution by making it happen (he not meddling) and he fulfilled that.

    Did you not realize that the land was made final for distribution to the farmers under Aquino’s term (the wheels may have started under GMA, but it was Noynoy’s term did the land distribution got on the way without the Presidency making any attempt to delay).

    Your propaganda is full of holes and lies. Sayang yung graphics kung walang kuwenta naman yung laman.

  18. chijap - January 17, 2012 2:03 pm

    @sax, the jury and judge difference was previously discussed by Chiz in a TV interview (not a fan but he did explain they were more judges than jury since jury can’t ask a question).

    I also think that the Senate reviewing the SC’s decision is not gonna happen and the focus will be just about the personality: Mr. Corona.

    That is better too since we don’t want the Senate taking the role of Supreme-Supreme Court when it comes to decisions. Well not in this situation.

    Dapat nga that its all about Mr. Corona and his violation of being a public servant. And Enrile guiding us all to that is i think enough and good to remind us that we are not after destroying the cogs of our system but only to remove the dirt causing one of our cogs to be problematic.

  19. Star 1542 - January 17, 2012 5:38 pm

    Kung ma-convict si Corona ng Impeachment Court, what is next? Uunlad na ba ang Pilipinas? Bababa na ba ang mga presyo ng bilihin? Mapipigilan na ba ni Penoy ang halos araw-araw na pagtaas ng presyo ng gasolina? Aangat na ba ang kabuhayan ng mga mamamayang Pilipino? Gaganda na ba ang ekonomiya ng bansa? Ano ang ibig sabihin nila nang sabihing ibalik sa tao ang Korte Suprema?…Sino ang makikinabang kung ma-convict si Corona? Kung ma-convict ba si Corona, hindi na ba nila babaligtarin ang Supreme court decision against Hacienda Luisita at tuloy-tuloy ba ang pamamahagi ng lupa nito sa mga magsasaka ayon sa decision kung totoong hindi ito ang dahilan ni Penoy kaya gusto niyang ma-impeach si Corona?

  20. MPRivera - January 17, 2012 6:05 pm

    “Kung ma-convict si Corona ng Impeachment Court, what is next? Uunlad na ba ang Pilipinas? Bababa na ba ang mga presyo ng bilihin? Mapipigilan na ba ni Penoy ang halos araw-araw na pagtaas ng presyo ng gasolina? Aangat na ba ang kabuhayan ng mga mamamayang Pilipino? Gaganda na ba ang ekonomiya ng bansa?…….” – Star 1542.

    No country/government would be able to achieve that overnight. If that happens as we ordinary citizens hope, magiging maluwag para sa aming tanggapin na kahti naghihirap sa Pilipinas ay “gumugulong” ang hustisya at walang sino man kahit na ang pinaka-henyo sa batas ang may karapatang SALAULAIN ang Saligang Batas sa pamamagitan ng pagtanggap ng appointment during appointment ban UPANG maging tagaharang ng anumang kasong ipapataw at ihahain LABAN sa pinakamasibang sinungaling na mang-aagaw at mandarayang kawatang itinuring ang sarili niya bilang presidente ng bansang NI hindi siya pinili o ibinoto KUNDI ng mga katulad niyang mga naglalaway sa kapangyarihan at pagkakamal ng salapi MULA sa kaban ng bayan.

  21. MPRivera - January 17, 2012 6:43 pm

    kapag laging BATAS ang pakikinggan (na binabaluktot ng mga nagpapakadalubhasang dapat sana ay maging tagapanatiling malinis nito), ang katulad nitong kaso ni corona ay mababasura lamang.

    ang tanging magiging sagot at solusyon – REBOLUSYON ng karaniwang mamamayang MAS tinatamaan ng lahat ng bunga ng katiwalian!

  22. Star 1542 - January 19, 2012 1:58 am

    Nag-rebolusyon na tayo against Marcos pero sinalaula nila ang tinatawag na “Democracy” at lalong lumobog ang Pilipinas dahil sa vindictiveness ni Cory na walang ginawa kundi habulin at makasuhan si Marcos na siya diumanong nagpapatay kay Ninoy na hanggang ngayon ay not an iota of evidence points to Marcos as the one behind the killing. Ayaw nang pabuksan ni Penoy ang kaso dahil malalaman ng lahat ang kasinungalingan nila behind the murder of Ninoy…Lahat ng ginawang mabuting projects ni Marcos ipinatigil ni Cory dahil ayaw niyang isipin ng tao na mabuti si Marcos…Rebolusyon? Kanino? E, halos lahat ng maykaya sa Pilipinas sinasamba si Penoy ke mali o tama ang gawin nito at ilalaban nila ng patayan.

  23. duane - January 21, 2012 3:00 am

    @Star 1542:

    Matagal nang wala si Cory, siya pa rin ang ginagawa mong dahilan kung bakit lubog ang Pilipinas.

    At least kung si gloria arroyo, hindi pa kalayuan, pwede pang paniwalaan.

  24. MPRivera - January 21, 2012 6:26 pm

    Star 1542, pakibasa lang kung sino ang pinatutungkulan kong dapat magrebolusyon na siyang palaging tinatamaan ng mga katiwalian?

    Huwag masyadong mabilis ang tuon ng mga mata. Palagi ninyo kasing kinakalimutan ang mga pobre, eh.

  25. dtranscriber - January 22, 2012 7:13 am

    I just wanted to share this link, it’s an article written a an Francisco-based lawyer, Atty. Ted Laguatan entitled the “Arroyo 8,” please read on…

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