SC appointment of Carpio as chief justice affirms Senate verdictBy Karen Boncocan, Kate Evangelista
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court’s decision to appoint Justice Antonio Carpio as acting chief justice signifies that the institution respects the ruling of the Senate, acting as the impeachment court, to remove Renato Corona as leader of the high tribunal, senators said Tuesday.
In a chance interview, Senator Franklin Drilon said that any case appealing the Senate’s decision on Corona’s trial that will be filed to the SC will make no sense since an acting chief justice has been appointed.
“The Supreme Court en banc already recognized the Senate’s decision,” Drilon told reporters. “The very act of the Supreme Court, the issue is settled, case closed. The Supreme Court recognizes the finality of the decision of the impeachment court,” he added.
Meanwhile, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile in a separate interview said that the Senate will be ready to answer any appeal if any will be filed to the SC regarding their verdict on the impeachment trial.
“We will answer if they will ask us to answer, depending upon the position that will be taken by the Senate,” Enrile said.
However, he maintained that the Senate has the sole authority to try and decide on impeachment cases as stated in the Constitution.
“Our judgement is not appealable and I don’t think they can show that we violated any rule or that we have used our discretion,” he added.
When asked what possible implications an appeal on the impeachment case decision would make, Enrile said: “Let us not anticipate a problem.”
Meanwhile, Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara on Tuesday maintained that the Senate impeachment court’s decision to remove Corona from office was final.
He said that the Judicial and Bar Council will likely brush off the issue of a motion filed with the Supreme Court by lawyers Alan Paguia and Homobono Adaza and taxpayer Hernan Laurel to stop the impeachment tribunal from removing Corona from office.
The petitioners’ request for the high court to issue a writ of preliminary injunction was no longer valid in Corona’s case as the Senate’s decision was final, Angara said.
He said that the JBC will continue in its selection of nominees for the new chief magistrate.
The petitioners said in their motion that the trial on Corona was a violation of the Constitution and that the impeachment court’s decision was invalid since the complainants allegedly failed to verify their complaint.
They said that the high court had the right to review the impeachment court’s decision having been mandated by the Constitution to review all branches of the government on grave abuse of discretion.