Ruling Against The Charge Of Ill-Gotten Wealth
The seventh day of the impeachment trial against CJ Corona ended early this evening with the prosecution team unable to present evidence on allegations of ill-gotten wealth by the respondent. This was due to an earlier ruling by the Senator-judges to disallow such move by the prosecutors who are ordered to prove the accusations against the Chief Justice based on evidence and not by mere suspicion. Specifically, the court, in the decision arrived at in a caucus among the Senator-judges, will allow the introduction of evidence on Paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3 but not in Paragraph 2.4 in Page 23 of the Articles of Impeachment.
Impeachment Article II on the alleged failure of CJ Corona to disclose to the public his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) has Paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3 pertaining to CJ Corona’s non-disclosure and non-inclusion of real properties allegedly owned by him. I already have a post about Paragraph 2.4 which states that the Chief Justice was “suspected and accused of having accumulated ill-gotten wealth, acquiring assets of high values and keeping bank accounts with huge deposits.”
Personally, I feel sad about the ruling although Sen. Franklin Drilon, in his articulation agreed to by Senate Pres. Juan Ponce Enrile, the Presiding Officer, said that the charge of ill-gotten wealth by CJ Corona could still be dealt with if the basis for the accusation can be established by the evidence for Paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3 of the impeachment article. At this juncture, I wish to quote the portion of a comment to my blog post about impeaching CJ Corona for ill-gotten wealth as follows:
News reports seem unanimous that the prosecution is performing badly as compared to the high caliber performance of the defense. Considering the strong possibility of CJ Corona’s acquittal based on technicalities, not on the weakness or lack of evidence, the continued stay of CJ Corona in the Supreme Court will never repair the tarnished image and integrity of the judiciary as an institution.
As a Filipino concerned with the repercussions of the outcome of the impeachment trial against CJ Corona, what is your take on the ruling by the Senator-judges against presentation of evidence on the charge of ill-gotten wealth by the Chief Justice?