Impeachment complaint vs Corona readied

Posted at 12/12/2011 1:51 PM | Updated as of 12/12/2011 10:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A draft impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Renato Corona is awaiting signatures of members of the House of Representatives.

The draft complaint obtained by abs-cbnNEWS.com  cites eight grounds for impeaching the chief justice, including betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.

Representatives Niel Tupas Jr., Joseph Emilio Abaya, Lorenzo Tañada III, Reynaldo Umali and Arlene Bag-ao are among those expected to file “an instant verified complaint/resolution of impeachment against [Corona]…[and in accordance with rules]…to transmit to the Senate of the Philippines the [complaint] to serve as the articles of impeachment for trial.”

They are to be joined by private complainants Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel, Rodolfo Lozada Jr., Juan Carlo Tejano, and Lea Lopez Navarro.

The eight grounds cited  in the complaint are as follows:

- Corona allegedly 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 and until his dubious appointment as a "midnight" chief justice to the present.

- Corona allegedly 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 under Sec. 17, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution.

- Corona allegedly committed culpable violations of the Constitution and betrayed the public trust by failing to meet and observe the stringent standards under Article 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.”

- Corona supposedly 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.

- Corona allegedly 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.

- Corona supposedly betrayed the public trust by arrogating unto himself, and to a committee he created, the authority and jurisdiction to improperly investigate a justice 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.

- Corona supposedly betrayed the public trust through his partiality in granting a temporary restraining order 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.

- Corona allegedly 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.