Summary of the impeachment complaint vs CJ Corona

Posted at 12/12/2011 5:52 PM | Updated as of 01/09/2012 8:11 PM

 

SUMMARY OF THE IMPEACHMENT COMPLAINT v.
CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA 
 
I.          RESPONDENT BETRAYED THE PUBLIC TRUST THROUGH HIS TRACK RECORD MARKED BY PARTIALITY AND SUBSERVIENCE IN CASES INVOLVING THE ARROYO ADMINISTRATION FROM THE TIME OF HIS APPOINTMENT AS SUPREME COURT JUSTICE WHICH CONTINUED TO HIS DUBIOUS APPOINTMENT AS A MIDNIGHT CHIEF JUSTICE AND UP TO THE PRESENT.  
  • Midnight Appointments in violation against Sec. 15, Article VII of Constitution
  • Arturo de Castro v. Judicial and Bar Council and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et. al., SC held that the prohibition does not apply to SC but only to executive department and other courts lower than SC.
  • Indeed, Newsbreak report showed that “he has consistently sided with the (arroyo) administration in politically-significant cases”. Newsbreak further reported when it tracked the voting pattern of Supreme Court justices, “Corona lodged a high 78 percent in favor of Arroyo”
  • A table shows that in 10 cases show respondent’s voting pattern in cases involving Arroyo government’s frontal assaults on constitutional rights prior to his appointment as Chief Justice.
  • During his tenure as Chief Justice, Respondent also sided with Arroyo in the following 3 cases such as in (1) Biraogo v. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010, (2) Bai Omera D. Dianalan-Lucman v. Executive(revoking midnight appointments) and (3) Aquino vs. COMELEC (redefining districts of camsur) 
II.         RESPONDENT COMMITTED CULPABLE VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION AND/OR BETRAYED THE PUBLIC TRUST WHEN HE FAILED TO DISCLOSE TO THE PUBLIC HIS STATEMENT OF ASSETS, LIABILITIES, AND NET WORTH AS REQUIRED UNDERSEC. 17, ART. XI OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION. 
  • Respondent failed to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth as required by the Constitution.
  • Some of the properties of Respondent are not included in his declaration of his assets, liabilities, and net worth, in violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act.
  • Respondent is suspected of having accumulated ill-gotten wealth, acquiring assets of high values and keeping bank accounts with huge deposits (among others, a 300-sq. meter apartment in the Fort in Taguig). 
III.        RESPONDENT COMMITTED CULPABLE VIOLATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION AND BETRAYED THE PUBLIC TRUST BY FAILING TO MEET AND OBSERVE THE STRINGENT STANDARDS UNDER ART. VIII, SECTION 7 (3) OF THE CONSTITUTION THAT PROVIDES THAT “[A] MEMBER OF THE JUDICIARY MUST BE A PERSON OF PROVEN COMPETENCE, INTEGRITY, PROBITY, AND INDEPENDENCE” IN ALLOWING THE SUPREME COURT TO ACT ON MERE LETTERS FILED BY A COUNSEL WHICH CAUSED THE ISSUANCE OF FLIP-FLOPPING DECISIONS IN FINAL AND EXECUTORY CASES; IN CREATING AN EXCESSIVE ENTANGLEMENT WITH MRS. ARROYO THROUGH HER APPOINTMENT OF HIS WIFE TO OFFICE; AND IN DISCUSSING WITH LITIGANTS REGARDING CASES PENDING BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT. 
  • Respondent previously served Arroyo as her chief of staff, spokesman when she was Vice-President, Presidential Chief-of-Staff, Presidential Spokesman, and Acting Executive Secretary.
    • Flip-flopping of the Corona Court on FASAP vs. PAL  on a mere letter from Philippine Airlines’ counsel Atty. Estelito Mendoza (and also in the flip-flopping case of League of Cities v. COMELEC)
  • Respondent compromised his independence when his wife, Cristina Corona, accepted an appointment as on March 23, 2007 from President Arroyo to the Board of the John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC) in violation of Code of Judicial Conduct
    • serious complaints were filed against Mrs. Corona by her fellow Board members because of acts of misconduct and negligence. Instead, on acting on the complaint, the complainants were removed and Mrs. Corona promoted as OIC board chair
  • Respondent has been reportedly using the judicial fund as his own personal expense account, charging to the Judiciary personal expenditures.
  • Respondent Corona discussed with litigants (Lauro Vizconde and Dante Jimenez) regarding the Vizconde massacre case, which was then pending before the SC, and accused fellow Justice Carpio for loobying for acquittal, in violation of Code of Conduct and Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
  • Respondent Corona irregularly dismissed the Inter-petal Recreational Corporation case under suspicious circumstances. 
IV.        RESPONDENT BETRAYED THE PUBLIC TRUST AND/OR COMMITTED CULPABLE VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION WHEN IT BLATANTLY DISREGARDED THE PRINCIPLE OF SEPARATION OF POWERS BY ISSUING A “STATUS QUO ANTE” ORDER AGAINST THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN THE CASE CONCERNING THE IMPEACHMENT OF THEN OMBUDSMAN MERCEDITAS NAVARRO-GUTIERREZ. 
  • Respondent railroaded the proceedings in the Guttierez case in order to have a Status Quo Ante Order issued in her favor. 
    • Newsbreak showed that most of the justices received the Petition after the deliberations, while three (3) justices (Velasco, Bersamin and Perez) who voted to issue the Status Quo Ante Order received the petition a day after the status quo ante order was granted.
  • Its issuance violated the principle of separation of powers since the Supreme Court prevented the House from initiating impeachment proceedings. 
V.         RESPONDENT COMMITTED CULPABLE VIOLATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION THROUGH WANTON ARBITRARINESS AND PARTIALITY IN CONSISTENTLY DISREGARDING THE PRINCIPLE OF RES JUDICATA AND IN DECIDING IN FAVOR OF GERRY-MANDERING IN THE CASES INVOLVING THE 16 NEWLY-CREATED CITIES, AND THE PROMOTION OF DINAGAT ISLAND INTO A PROVINCE. 
  • Respondent violated the principle of the immutability of final judgments (“flip-flopping”) known to have been instigated through personal letters or ex-parte communications addressed to the Respondent:
    • League of Cities v. COMELEC case involving the creation of 16 new cities,
    • Navarro v. Ermita which involved the promotion of Dinagat Island from municipality to province,
    • FASAP v. Philippine Airlines, Inc., et al.
VI.        Respondent Betrayed the Public Trust By Arrogating Unto Himself, And To A Committee He Created, The Authority And Jurisdiction To Improperly Investigate An Alleged Erring Member Of The Supreme Court For The Purpose Of Exculpating Him. Such Authority And Jurisdiction Is Properly Reposed By The Constitution In the House of Representatives via Impeachment.  
  • Vinuya vs. Executive Secretary,it was alleged that rampant plagiarism was committed by the ponente, Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo
  • It appears that, with a clear intent of exonerating a member of the Supreme Court, Respondent, in violation of the Constitution, formed an Ethics Committee thereby arrogating unto himself, and to a Committee he created, the authority and jurisdiction to investigate an alleged member of the Supreme Court. 
VII.       RESPONDENT BETRAYED THE PUBLIC TRUST THROUGH HIS PARTIALITY IN GRANTING A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER (TRO) IN FAVOR OF FORMER PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO AND HER HUSBAND JOSE MIGUEL ARROYO IN ORDER TO GIVE THEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO ESCAPE PROSECUTION AND TO FRUSTRATE THE ENDS OF JUSTICE, AND IN DISTORTING THE SUPREME COURT DECISION ON THE EFFECTIVITY OF THE TRO IN VIEW OF A CLEAR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE CONDITIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT’S OWN TRO.            
  • The Supreme Court, under the Respondent, immediately acted upon the Petition and granted the TRO despite the fact that there are clear inconsistencies in former President Arroyo’s petition
  • It appears from reports that the ponente to whom the petitions were raffled was an Associate Justice. Under the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, a TRO can only be considered upon the recommendation of the ponente. In view of certain objections against the grant of the TRO, a holding of a hearing within the short period of five (5) days was recommended. Despite this recommendation, the Respondent engineered a majority of 8 votes (as against five dissenters) the immediate grant and issuance of the TRO in favour of former President Arroyo and her husband in blatant violation of their own internal rules.
  • Despite the conditions laid by the SC for the issuance of the TRO, Respondent allowed the issuance of the TRO notwithstanding the fact there was non-compliance of an essential pre-condition
    • Due to the Arroyos’ abject failure to comply with Condition 2, the Supreme Court en banc in its November 18, 2011 deliberations, by a vote of7–6, found that there was no compliance with the second condition of the TRO. Consequently, for failure to comply with an essential condition for the TRO, the TRO is not effective. However, by a vote of 7-6, the Supreme Court decided there was no need to explicitly state the legal effect on the TRO of the noncompliance by petitioners with Condition Number 2 of the earlier Resolution.
    • However, the SC decided that the TRO was effective despite non-compliance with an essential condition of the TRO. It is notable that Respondent did not chastise Marquez for his outrightly false and public misrepresentation. 
    • Worse, the Respondent did not correct the decision that was issued despite the fact that the decision did not reflect the agreement and decision made by the Supreme Court during their deliberations on November 18, 2011.            
VIII.      RESPONDENT BETRAYED THE PUBLIC TRUST AND/OR COMMITTED GRAFT AND CORRUPTION WHEN HE FAILED AND REFUSED TO ACCOUNT FOR THE JUDICIARY DEVELOPMENT FUND (JDF) AND SPECIAL ALLOWANCE FOR THE JUDICIARY (SAJ) COLLECTIONS.  
  • Respondent has reportedly failed and refused to report on the status of the JDF Funds and the SAJ collections.
  • There is likewise the reported failure of Respondent to account for funds released and spent for unfilled positions in the judiciary and from authorized and funded but not created courts.
    • In particular, the annual audit report of the Supreme Court of the Philippines contained the observation that unremitted funds to the Bureau of Treasury amounted to P5.38 Billion
    • the Special allowance for Judiciary along with the General Fund, Judiciary Development Fund in the amount of P559.5 Million were misstated resulting from delayed and/or non-preparation of bank reconciliation statements and non-recording /uncorrected reconciling items.