Prosecution insists betrayal of public trust an impeachable offense
MANILA, Philippines – The prosecution on Thursday said that there was basis for the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Renato Corona because the 1987 Constitution has added the betrayal of public trust as among the impeachable offenses.
Aurora representative Juan Edgardo Angara said that “the offense does not have to be a crime, it can be anything that violates the oath of office of an official.”
He said that the 1935 Constitution only had four grounds for impeachment, but it was revised in 1973, adding graft and corruption and then in 1987 adding betrayal of public trust.
Marikina Representative Romero Quimbo said that Chief Justice Renato Corona has not been truthfully declaring his assets in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) “not just for one year, but for many years.”
“The SALN is not just a ministerial requirement,” Quimbo said. “This is the most important tool for transparency and accountability.”
“If it can just be corrected anytime, whats the use?” Quimbo said.
He added that it was almost impossible that Corona just forgot to declare those properties because of their big values.
Quezon Representative Lorenzo Tañada said that many lower officials have been removed from office for failure to declare assets in their SALN.
“The standard should be higher because he is the Chief Justice,” Tañada said.
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