Senate votes to obey TRO on dollar bank accounts
MANILA, Philippines–Thirteen senators voted to obey the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court against the opening of bank dollar accounts allegedly owned by Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile reported the result of the voting when the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, resumed its trial on Monday.
The decision, Enrile said, was reached during a caucus held before the trial.
Those who voted to “respect” the TRO were Enrile, Senators Joker Arroyo, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, MannyVillar, Ralph Recto, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Loren Legarda, Gregorio “Gringo’’ Honasan, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr., Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, and Senate Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.
Those who voted to defy the TRO were Senate Minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano , Senators Franklin Drilon, Serge Osmena III, Edgardo Angara, Pia Cayetano, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV, Lito Lapid and Teofisto Guingona III.
“The Senate asserts that it has the sole and exclusive jurisdiction to try and decide all impeachment cases,” Enrile said.
“After the deliberation of the issue, the majority of this court has decided to respect the temporary restraining order February 9, 2012 issued by the Supreme Court in the case filed by the Philippine Savings Bank in so far as the foreign currency deposit is concerned,’ he said.
But while the Senate respects the decision of the Supreme Court, Enrile said the chamber would reserve its right to vigorously defend its position before the high tribunal.
The Senate had earlier ruled to allow the opening of Corona’s dollar accounts, citing previous rulings of the high tribunal.
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