MANILA, Philippines – Two senators on Thursday said any attempt by Chief Justice Renato Corona’s camp to bring his impeachment trial before the Supreme Court either on the ground of “mistrial” and denial of due process would be useless.
Senator Panfilo Lacson said a decision by the Senate acting as an impeachment either to acquit or convict Corona may not be appealed in court.
“The court’s decision is not subject to appeal. Its possible error in judgment is irreversible by any entity, not even the Supreme Court,” Lacson said in a text message.
“Only the Filipino people can sanction the senator-judges who represent them,” he said.
But asked what if Corona claims he was being denied of due process when the tribunal set the Friday deadline for submission of his defense, Lacson said: “He can try but the court will assert its authority and mandate under the Constitution.”
Meanwhile, Senator Franklin Drilon ruled out a mistrial in the impeachment proceedings, saying it does not exist in the country.
“The mistrial is in the jury system in the United States. I don’t know who’s hoisting this idea of a mistrial. Obviously a mistrial has no place in our system,” Drilon said at a weekly forum at the Senate.
“There’s no such thing in our jurisdiction so there could be no mistrial…certainly there can be no mistrial in an impeachment proceedings.”
“Absolutely no basis to claim that there is a mistrial,” Drilon added.
Drilon reiterated that the Senate’s sole power to conduct impeachment proceedings against any impeachable officers.