Asking An Impeachment Judge To Inhibit

For his “interference” and “pressure” that resulted in having CJ Corona’s statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) presented to the court and for his continued “display of partiality” in the succeeding sessions “by directly causing the introduction of evidence from a document intended to cast doubts on the role of the chief justice about the acquisition of the property by his daughter”, Senator-judge, Franklin Drilon was asked by the defense panel to  inhibit himself from the impeachment trial of CJ Corona.

CJ Corona’s defense team submitted the motion to the impeachment court and further accused Sen. Drilon of “casting a doubt on the integrity of the impeachment trial process and even the impartiality of the judges themselves.” In a response, the Senator-judge noted that the motion to inhibit should be addressed to him and not to the court. He added that the decision to inhibit lies solely to his discretion.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, the Presiding Officer of the impeachment court, already junked the 15-page motion and said it will effectively go untouched and “let it die a natural death.” For his part, Sen. Drilon said in an interview last Thursday: “I will not inhibit. There is no basis for the motion. I am not affected by the request for inhibition.” He debunked these accusations saying, “That’s what they say. That’s a conclusion on their part.”

For me, asking an impeachment judge to inhibit is totally uncalled for. The Senators were elected by the people and it is their duty to make judgment on the charges against an impeached high official of our government. As people’s representative, asking a Senator-judge to inhibit in an impeachment trial is akin to asking the people not to pass judgment on the case. We, as free and sovereign people, are entitled to know the truth in whatever ways deemed legal under the rules.

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