Senate starts votingBy Karen Boncocan, Katherine Evangelista, Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate, acting as an impeachment court, started voting Tuesday on Article 2 of the impeachment case pertaining Chief Justice Renato Corona’s alleged failure to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
Senator Edgardo Angara was called first to cast his vote.
“I found the respondent guilty,” he said.
Angara told the court that the defense panel’s “main objective does not sound acceptable.”
“It seems hollow to me,” he told his co-senator-judges during the last day of the impeachment trial. He pointed out that information on Corona’s bank accounts which the chief magistrate himself admitted to have hidden were divulged to the court by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.
Angara said that the Ombudsman had authority to investigate Corona and the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s report were “official records.”
Corona, as head of the Supreme Court was expected to uphold transparency, said the senator-judge.
Senator Joker Arroyo was the second to cast his vote.
“I vote to acquit Chief Justice Renato Corona,” he said.
Arroyo said he could not imagine removing a Chief Justice based on account of the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
“Impeachment is a political process not a political assassination… An impeachment trial must forever uphold the due process,” he said.
Arroyo said that “What started in the House is not an impeachment, for impeachment is accompanied by formalities.” He added that the purpose is to arrive at some probably cause which will be sufficient to file a case.
According to Arroyo, the alleged failure of Corona to file a truthful statement of assets, liabilities and net worth is not sufficient for him to be removed from office.
“I cannot imagine removing a chief justice on account of his SALN,” Arroyo said.
He also reminded the court of what presiding officer Enrile warned during the start of the trial regarding the Bill of Attainder, which is when a person is, though innocent was deemed guilty upon enactment of a law.
“Today we are a step from violating the constitution… This is not justice… this is certainly not law, for sure… This is naked power as it was in 1972. I never thought I would see it again,” Arroyo added.
Senator Pia Cayetano found Corona guilty for not disclosing to the public all his assets his SALN.
Pia Cayetano was the third to cast a “guilty” verdict for Corona, after her younger brother, Senate Minority Leader Alan Cayetano, and Senator Juan Edgardo Angara.
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago found Corona not guilty of Article 2 pertaining to the latter’s non-disclosure all of SALN.
In explaining her vote , Santiago pointed out that if Corona had wanted to hide his wealth, then would have not put his properties and bank accounts in his SALN.
Corona had admitted owning $2.4 million and P80 million “co-mingled”funds but did not declare them in the SALN because of the “confidentiality” clause in Foreign Currency Deposit Act for dollar accounts, while he said the P80 million was the combined savings of his children.
Santiago was the second to cast a “not guilty” verdict for Corona. Senator Joker Arroyo was the first who voted to acquit Corona.
“Would you be surprised if I vote not guilty?” she said.
Senator Franklin Drilon, an administration ally, voted to convict Corona.
“I find the respondent guilty…” Drilon said.
Drilon was the fourth to cast a ‘guilty” vote for Corona after Senators Edgardo Angara and Pia Cayetano and Senate Minority Leader Alan Cayetano.
Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero has found Corona guilty for non-disclosure of his SALN.
Escudero is a known close friendof President Benigno Aquino III, who publicly backed the impeachment move against Corona.
Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada
Senate Pro-Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada was the sixth to give a “guilty” verdict for Corona.
“To my eyes, he’s (Corona) guilty,” Estrada said.
Teofisto Guingona III
Senator Teofisto Guingona III voted to convict Corona.
“Mr. President, I vote to convict the accused, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,” Guingona said.
Senator Gregorio Honasan found Corona guilty for non-disclosure of his SALN.
“Ang hatol ko po ay guilty,” said Honasan, who belongs to the so-called ‘Gang of 4′ in the Senate along with Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, Senate Pro Tempore Jose Jinggoy Estrada and Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.
Senator Panfilo Lacson found Corona “guilty as charged.”
It was Senator Lito Lapid who cast the 10th ‘guilty’ verdict for Corona.
“Pasensya na po, pasensya na po, ang hatol ko sa inyo guilty,” Lapid said, directing his statement to Corona.
Senator Loren Legarda found Chief Justice Renato Corona guilty for non-disclosure of his SALN.
Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr
Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr voted to acquit Corona .
“I vote to acquit the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,” Marcos said.
Marcos was the third to acquit Corona after Senators Joker Arroyo and Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
Eleven senators have already voted to convict Corona, just five votes away from the needed 16 votes.
Sergio Osmeña III
Senator Sergio Osmena III was the 12th senator to give a guilty verdict for Corona.
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan voted for the conviction of Corona.
Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III
The 14th senator to cast a ‘guilty” verdict for Corona was Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III before the Senate, acting as an impeachment court, suspended the voting for a few minutes.
Senator Ralph Recto voted guilty for Corona.
Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr, a known ally of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, has cast the 16th ‘ “guilty” vote for Chief Justice Renato Corona, the magic number needed to convict him.
“I find Chief Justice Renato Corona guilty,” Revilla said.
Vicente Sotto III, Antonio Trillanes
Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Sen. Antonio Trillanes voted for the conviction of Corona.
Sen. Manuel Villar voted guilty for Corona.
Juan Ponce Enrile
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile voted guilty, making him the 20th and last senator to remove Corona as chief justice.
Originally posted at 02:51 pm | Tuesday, May 29, 2012