Solons admit impeach rap vs Chief Justice Corona rushed
MANILA, Philippines — Some lawmakers have said the process of signing up for the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona was indeed rushed but proponents of the ouster move maintained it was all above board.
Bayan Muna Representative Teodoro Casiño said the majority of the 188 members who signed the impeachment case were clueless of the eight articles used as the basis to kick out Corona when they entered the majority caucus at 2:30 pm Monday.
Casiño admitted that they were not allowed to read the 57-page document, which they signed on as both complainant and endorser. The signing of the document by 188 congressmen paved the way for the approval of the complaint without having to toil through committee hearing or plenary voting.
The bulk of the signatures took less than one hour to gather and Corona was formally impeached at 7:40 p.m. Monday or less than five hours after the signatories were officially told for the first time about the charges versus the Chief Justice.
Casiño said the lawmakers relied solely on the presentation made by Liberal Party (LP) bigwigs who orchestrated the impeachment case under orders of President Benigno Aquino III.
Alliance of Concerned Teachers Party-list Representative Antonio Tinio said that LP’s strategy was to hold discreet meetings with leaders of the administration coalition partners – the Nationalist People’s Coalition, the National Unity Party, the Nacionalista Party, the party-list bloc and militant groups – to explain the case in broad terms and get their commitments.
“The meetings were from morning till night the day before the caucus. Everything was hush-hush and the details were very vague. But we support the cause,” said Tinio.
A lawmaker who requested anonymity said that while the LP managed to gather the signatures of more than one-third of all members necessary to fast-track the transmission to the Senate, the proponents did not observe the process of having a formal complaint filed and a sponsor of the complaint.
The same lawmaker did not sign because he did not want to be part of what he called a “travesty” and he felt that his vote would not matter anyway because they had nearly double the minimum 95 votes.
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