Solons cool to impeach rap vs Aquino, say charges need corroboration
MANILA, Philippines – Will an impeachment complaint prosper against President Benigno Aquino III for allegedly meddling during the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona?
Not for now, minority members at the House of Representatives said at a press briefing Thursday.
1-BAP Partylist Representative Silvestre Bello III said Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.’s allegations that the president personally told him to convict Corona would need to be corroborated before being used as basis for an impeachment complaint.
“For Congress to file an impeachment complaint, the allegations have to be corroborated because if there is a trial it will fall apart immediately if there is only one witness, and there is no corroboration,” Bello said in Filipino.
Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Carlos Zarate added that the minority has yet to reach a consensus on the matter.
He noted, though, that there was impropriety on the part of the president in influencing senator-judges during the trial.
He added that impropriety was prohibited under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
“In my opinion, there is at the least impropriety when the president who is very much interested in the impeachment…talks to a senator-judge. We know that under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices, that is prohibited,” Zarate said.
“Right now, it is not right for any possible complaint because Sen. Revilla’s statement … remains uncorroborated,” he added.
Aquino’s meddling charges stemmed from Revilla’s privilege speech after the senator was accused of being involved in a billion-peso racket involving lawmakers’ discretionary pork barrel funds.
The Palace confirmed the meeting but denied the president influenced the senator-judge.
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94