LiveBlog: #CJonTrial The Judgement Day


The Corona Impeachment Trial Livestream

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Today, 23 senator judges will  lay down their verdict on the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. This is day 44.

After 13 trial weeks, the senate, sitting as an impeachment court, will vote on whether to convict or acquit the head of a co-equal branch. The Chief Justice is accused of lying in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, failing to prove his competence and integrity, and showing bias for former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The magic numbers: 16 votes to convict, 8 votes to acquit.

Senator-judges will vote alphabetically; Senate President/Presiding Officer Juan Ponce Enrile will vote last.


Session is called at 2:20pm. Villar leads the opening prayer. 

Sen. Villar: Ito ang katapusan pero ito rin ang simula. Tulungan Ninyo ang aming bansang makausad mula rito



Roll is called, all 23 senator-judges present. 

Senators then prepared themselves to vote on Article 2 of impeachment complaint. Senators allowed to use as much time as they need when they cast their vote, "This is historical," Enrile says.

Sen. Angara was first to vote. 

















Angara: Rules seeks to eradicate corruption and maintain standard of honesty in gov't. I may grant CJ a plea of honest misjudgement, but given CJ's practice in law and advisory services, failure to declare amounts to culpable violation. Defense argues Ombudsman obtain documents illegally, with no court order authorizing the production. It fails to consider that the docs produced by Ombudsman is made by AMLC, pursuant to law.

Angara: CJ himself admitted to existence of accounts and the amounts they held. As head of judiciary, a standard much higher is placed on Corona. 

Angara: I find the respondent GUILTY.

Arroyo then stands up to vote.
Arroyo: Impeachment is a political process not a political assassination. What started in the House is not an impeachment. Senate is being asked to remove CJ from office because he submitted a wrong SALN. 

Arroyo: I cannot imagine removing a CJ on account of a SALN. Today, we are one step from violating the constitution, no one can stop us when we cannot stop ourselves. This is not law, it is only naked power as it was in 1972. 

Arroyo: I vote to ACQUIT.

Sen. Alan Cayetano stands, quotes Leviticus 19:15.
Cayetano: Hindi ko matanggap ang interpetasyon ng batas ng pinakamataas na hukom ng bansa. Pesos, kahit confidential kailangan ideclare, dollar hindi? 
Mukhang ginawang kumplikado ang simpleng-simple. Pati ba sa pera may diskriminasyon pa tayo? 

Cayetano: Di ko rin po matanggap ang interpretasyon na ipapaliwanag niya ang milyong accounts sa pamamagitan ng kwento. Walang dokumento. Tatanggapin ba natin ito.

Cayetano: Bakit pag mahirap ang nahuli, ang sasabihin 'sa presinto ka na magpaliwanag? Pag mayaman, puro palusot. Lets be honest w each other, after 44 hours, sa tingin ko isang linggo tapos na ito, kung nagsabi na lang tayo ng totoo. If your client can't explain, I can't abstain. If you did not disclose, we have to depose. If you are not fit, you cannot sit.

Cayetano: In signining the waiver, Corona set a new standard. We should all follow this standard. PNoy must ask Cabinet to sign waivers.

Cayetano: CONVICT.

Sen. Pia Cayetano follows her brother in casting her vote.
Cayetano: This is not a purely legal issue. This is all the more difficult for me, for I took my oath before this man.

Cayetano: It is RA 6713, Code of Conduct, that prevails. There are no exceptions. Minor inaccuracies in the SALN would not amount to betrayal of public trust. Corrections are allowed under the law. But the failure to declare $2.4M and P80M  is not minor. 

Cayetano: We can only mature as a democracy if we can learn from this impeachment process

Cayetano: CONVICT.

Sen. Miriam Santiago to vote next. 
Santiago: SALN omission not an impeachable offense. Burden of proof is on prosecution, my standard is overwhelming preponderance of evidence. My standard is very high. SALN omissions can be corrected. The constitution provides that in all criminal prosecution, the accused shall be presumed innocent. 

Santiago: (on hearing views thar CDU law unconstitutional) I was already hoping with all my heart that God would strike me dead! There is no conflict between the constitution and the foreign currency act. Constitutional provisions are not self-executory. Mag-antay ka kung anung batas ang ipapasa sa lehislatibo. 

Santiago: Did any of you bother to find out why we have a Foreign Currency Deposit Act? I'm insulted by the way your minds run!

Santiago fuming: I find it reprehensible, REPREHENSIBLE, that AMLC document introduced without authentication. 

Santiago: Maski ano, pwede ninyong i-manufacture sa Pilipinas. Ganito ang ating korte rito.

Santiago: Strike me dead! Are you for real, prosecution?!

Santiago: Kung hatulan nating may sala yan, ibig sabihin lahat tayo honest.  Kung honest tayo, why is the PH always ranked as the most corrupt countries in the whole world?!

Santiago: Bigyan niyo ako ng isa pang buhay at iimbestigahan ko lahat dito sa House at Senado. Pati sarili ko imbestigahan ko!


Enrile: May I request the lady to wind up? Santiago: I thought I was unlimited! But I will obey the injunction

Santiago: Would you be surprised if I vote not guilty?  (ACQUIT)


Sen. Franklin Drilon now explaining his vote. 




Drilon: The law does not prohibit the respondent from disclosing his accounts

Drilon: He has lost the moral fitness to serve the people. He cannot be Chief Justice any longer.

Drilon: I find the respondent GUILTY.

Sen-judge Francis Escudero explains his vote on Article 2.



Escudero: I do not agree with Corona's interpretation of FCDU law. Para sa kin, maliwanag ang batas. Hindi po ito nagbabanggaan.

Escudero: Dahil dito pwede na nating tanggalin ang presidente and lahat ng mahistrado dahil di dineklara and SALN.

Escudero: Di ko masasang-ayunan ang posisyon ng CJ. ANg binabawal ng FCDU law ay bangko, hindi depositor.

Escudero: Panahon na para itaas ang pamantayan ng mga naninilbihan sa pamahalaan. Dapat pantay ang pamantayang ito.

Escudero: CONVICT.

Sen. Estrada casts his vote.



Estrada: This trial is a historic redemption of our justice system. This same process failed for my own father.

Estrada: Today, I join the nation in healing the wounds inflicted by this trial.

Estrada: Napatunayan ng depensa na hindi 45 properties kundi lang. Hindi 82 accts kundi 4.  But these numbers are irrelevant. The question is, idineklara ba ito sa tamang oras at panahon? Hindi.

Estrada: In my eyes, he is GUILTY.

Sen. TG Guingona explains his vote.

Guingona: Ito ay isang pagbaluktot sa isang probisyon ng konstitusyon. This is constitutional perversion in its ultimate form. Ano ang aasahan nating tagapagtanggol sa SC kung mismong ang pinuno nito ang bumabaluktot sa batas? Ito ang hatol ko: ang nasasakdal ay hindi na karapat-dapat sa pagtitiwala ng sambayanang Pilipino. 

Guingona: I vote to CONVICT the accused Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Sen. Gringo Honasan explains his vote.

Honasan: Based on my experience, I know how it is to be deprived of due process. I know what its like to having my family maligned & lack due process, this is about judging if CJ if fit for the job.

Honasan: Since trial began, I have been looking for reason to acquit Corona based on compassion.

Honasan: CONVICT.

Sen. Lacson explains his vote.  

Lacson: CJ used to work at SGV, taught corporate law. I find it hard to believe his testimony he does not understand accounting.

Lacson: An error of judgment is inacceptible in this trial because it is final, irreversible.

Lacson: CONVICT.

Sen. Lapid explains his vote.

Lapid: Bilang HS grad, anong sasabihin ko na hindi marunong mag-Ingles, hindi maalam sa batas? Ano kayang magiging desisyon?

Sen. Legarda explains her vote. 


Legarda: I select Article 2 as the anchor of my verdict. Mahirap pong humusga sapagkat tayo ay tao lamang

Legarda: Disclosure of SALN is the only window of the public to know if we have enriched ourselves while in public office

Sen. Marcos explains his vote

Marcos: Bill of Rights stands supreme over powers of govt. Govt mustered all powers at its disposal in this case.

Marcos: CJ interpretation of law has been publicly criticized as flawed; public officials construe law in same manner

Marcos: When furor has died down I know like Lady Justice we'll find solace that this judgment is fair and just. I vote to acquit

Sen. Osmeña explains his vote.

Osmeña: Justice must not be merely done but also seen to be done. We must tell people that justice is applied equally.

Osmeña: CONVICT.

Sen. Pangilinan explains his vote.

Pangilinan: Based on evidence, there was systematic concealment of Corona's assets.

Pangilinan says CJ showed blatant disregard of law, quotes Corona saying dishonest members of judiciary should be disbarred. 

Pangilinan: CONVICT.

Sen. Pimentel explains his vote.


Pimentel: CJ arguments don't persuade me. There's no law exempting commingled funds from SALN disclosure.


Pimentel:Earlier law can't be interpreted to nullify purposes of later law;he relies too much on 'absolutely confidential nature'

Pimentel: CONVICT

Recto explains his vote.

Recto: I base decision on facts, not opinions aired outside of court; on testimonies, not theories; on arguments, not analysis

Recto: In an impeachment complaint, length is not strength. The way evidence was produced left a bad taste in the mouth

Recto says there's no such thing as statistically perfect SALN, but notes Corona should have declared his assets.

Recto says there's no such thing as statistically perfect SALN, but notes Corona should have declared his assets

Recto: CONVICT.

Revilla explains his vote.


Revilla: Ang panunungkulan ni CJ ay dapat walang bahid ni katiting dahil sa mandato ng kanyang katungkulan, kahalagahan posisyon.

Revilla: CONVICT. (Revilla casts 16th vote to convict Corona. CJ is removed from office.)

Sotto briefly explains his vote.

 Sotto: In my conscience I have heard (the people's) decision and for them I vote guilty.

Sotto: CONVICT.

Trillanes explains his vote.

Trillanes: CONVICT.

Villar explains his vote. 
 

Villar: CONVICT

Villar recalls he was victim of villification campaign during pres'l campaign, just like Corona.

Villar: Sana hindi na maulit ang mga Little Lady, Mr. Mailbox at Mr. Anonymous

Villar believes Corona is a good person despite vote for conviction.

Sen. President Juan Ponce Enrile casts his vote. 

Enrile thanks colleagues for fulfilling duty, thanks defense & prosecution panels for untiring effort in the trial.

Enrile:  I have faced many difficulties,the delicate balancing act to make sure we do not stray from constitution, laws.

Enrile: Prudence, justice dictate in determining guilt, we must try our best to confine ourselves to pieces of evidence presented

Enrile: This court means serious business and would not succumb to allow such underhanded tactics & gimmickry.

Enrile: I've always believed the case will rise or fall on Article 2.

Enrile expresses immense frustration over haphazard crafting of the articles of impeachment, and introduction of dubious sources.

Enrile: I submit CJ had justifiable & legal grounds to rely on SC guidelines on SALN disclosure when he was still not yet with SC.

Enrile: I grant the CJ believe in good faith that after periodically filing his SALN, the guidelines issued by SC was sufficient.

Enrile: Code of conduct recognizes public right to info on SALN except for purposes contrary to moral purpose or commercial use.

Enrile: I'm convinced defense sufficiently established there was no ill intention to understate/misrepresent value of properties. 

Enrile: Ombudsman reference of transactional balance of $12M should not mislead this court.

Enrile: Regrettably both defense, prosec didn't present AMLC/bank officials to ascertain veracity of Ombudsman's testimony.

While Enrile lauds CJ signing waiver, he says it would serve Corona better if he had presented bank documents as evidence.

Enrile: The impeachment court could only rely on documents of Ombudsman which do not show actual balances of accounts.

Enrile: CJ did not declare assets bec. peso accts are commingled funds & he's not required to report dollar accts. I disagree.

Enrile:Assuming any part of such deposits belong to 3rd parties, CJ could've indicated these as corresponding liabilities in SALN

Enrile: Corona's reliance on absolute confidentiality of deposits is grossly misplaced.

Enrile: If consti command to disclose is limited to peso, would we say consti allows less than honest, complete disclosure?

Enrile: Non-disclosure of deposits would naturally result in corresponding distortion of CJ's real net worth.

Enrile:RA 6426 can't be interpreted as exception to Consti command. I regret the highest magistrate no less would think otherwise.

Enrile: The so-called conflict bet. RA 6713 & 6426 is more illusory than real to me.

Enrile: Nothing in RA 6426 barring depositor from declaring foreign currency funds especially when Constitution mandates official to disclose.

Enrile: If we agree w/CJ that he's correct in not disclosing, can we expect SALN's to be more accurate & true? I don't think so.

Enrile on declaration in SALN: I believe it is our duty to resolve the dilemma of the law.

Enrile: To render a just verdict is a sacred duty that I have taken on myself, that I have sworn to perform.

Enrile: With full trust that the Almighty will see us through, I vote to hold the CJ guilty.

Enrile: CONVICT.

No need for senator-judges to vote for Articles 3 & 7 since Corona is already convicted for Article 2.

Impeachment court votes 20-3 to convict Chief Justice Renato Corona for failing to disclose all assets in SALN. Clerk of impeachment court to provide copy of decision to House Speaker, SC, JBC, Pres. Aquino

#CJontrial adjourns after 44 days, 13 weeks.

[ POLL: How would you rate the senator-judges? ]

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