Sen. Arroyo still looking for evidence of impeachable offense vs Corona
MANILA, Philippines – Three weeks in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, a senator- judge is still searching for evidence that will prove that that Corona committed an impeachable offense.
“Give us evidence that has reached the level of an impeachable offense. It must be of a higher bar because we’re removing a Chief Justice,” Senator Joker Arroyo said on Thursday.
Arroyo said that not every offense or omission was impeachable.
“In other words, even a crime that may have been committed is not an impeachable offense. Now, now we should not overlook that,” he said.
Arroyo said the prosecution must present evidence that would amount to an impeachable offense, “otherwise, if the evidence presented is just any kind of evidence then I think it’s not fair to the Senate because our criteria is an impeachable offense.”
The senator even cited the case of former President Bill Clinton, who was also impeached by the US House of Representatives but the Senate decided that the allegations filed against him were not impeachable offenses.
Senator Francis Escudero agreed with Arroyo when he asked the prosecution if the non-disclosure of Corona’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth was an impeachable offense.
“I join Sen. Arroyo. We might be wasting our time discussing crimes that may not be impeachable,” Escudero said.
“What essentially we are asking for is kindly educate us on the gravity and level of crimes that would be and should be considered as impeachable,” he said.
Escudero specifically asked the prosecution whether Corona’s failure to declare more than a million pesos in his SALN (Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth) could be considered an impeachable offense.
“Kung limang daang libo lang does that make it impeachable? Kung anim ang deneklara tapos lima lang pala talaga is that impeachable?” he further asked.
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