Corona reiterates petition for pretrial hearing | Inquirer News
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Corona reiterates petition for pretrial hearing

Chief Justice Renato Corona has not given up on his resolve to scrutinize how congressmen led by members of President Benigno Aquino III’s Liberal Party prepared and transmitted the impeachment complaint against him last month.

Corona has filed another motion asking senators to grant his previous request for a preliminary hearing to ascertain the validity of the complaint.

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The Chief Justice said a preliminary hearing would allow his camp “to prove (its) allegation” that there were “fatal defects” in the impeachment complaint.

In his motion to admit reply to comment filed late Thursday, the Chief Justice said that prosecutors from the House of Representatives “have refused to explain how it was physically possible for 188 congressmen to read, understand and evaluate the 188-page complaint and annexes within a short period of time.”

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Corona was referring to the incident on Dec. 12, 2011, when Mr. Aquino’s allies rallied other congressmen behind the impeachment complaint. It was presented to them and was approved for transmittal to the Senate that same day.

A number of House members later complained that they were not able to read the documents. But others admitted signing the complaint anyway after a caucus wherein House leaders made a PowerPoint presentation on the impeachment complaint.

“While the House of Representatives has the power to initiate impeachment cases, the manner of its exercise must be made in accordance with the Constitution. Hence, this Honorable Impeachment Court has the power to determine if the power was exercised under the Constitution,” Corona said in the new motion.

Corona said it would be “absurd” that the impeachment court would be “obliged to entertain an impeachment case and hold a trial on the merits even if the complaint flagrantly violated the requirements of the Constitution.”

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TAGS: Chief Justice Renato Corona, Corona Impeachment, Liberal Party, President Benigno Aquino III, pretrial hearing
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