Key points in prosecution reply to Corona cited by Tañada

Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” R. Tañada III said today the House of Representatives prosecution team has expressed dismay over the “revealing response” of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona’s answer to the verified House impeachment complaint. Tañada described it as a clear example of how a fish is baited when it opens its mouth.

“The chief justices is now saying President Aquino instigated the impeachment to enable the chief executive to appoint a chief magistrate who will be beholden to him being the appointing authority.

‘And because he is in fact beholden to the former president, he ascribes his same perverted notion to President Aquino,’ ” Tañada said, lifting a line from the 40-page reply of the prosecution team that was issued on Monday.

Tañada vowed to have the chief justice answer “for accusing the President of instigating his impeachment and showing disrespect for the House of Representatives that has the sole prerogative to file an impeachment complaint under the Constitution.”

“This is sheer disregard for separation of powers enshrined in our government through a national election which has been cleanest national polls in Philippine history,” Tañada pointed out.

The 40-page reply accuses Corona of seven complaints as grounds for his impeachment. These are: Allowing GMA and FG escape prosecution by issuing a TRO on the DOJ watchlist order (WLO); partiality and subservience to GMA; non-disclosure of his statement of assets and liabilities; lack of competence, integrity, probity, and independence; disregard of separation of powers in Ombudsman Gutierrez case; wanton arbitrariness and disregard of the principle of res judicata; and arrogation of the authority to investigate Supreme Court members.
It’s not just the judiciary, but the entire nation that will gain from the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona.

The House of Representatives has designated Tañada as spokesperson for the prosecution team in the Senate impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona to provide media and the public official updates on this impeachment trial and explain certain prosecutorial actions to the public as they take place at the Senate.

Tañada was earlier one of five members of the prosecution team whose members include Representatives Niel C. Tupas Jr., Joseph Emilio A. Abaya, Reynaldo V. Umali, and Arlene J. Bag-ao.

Tañada said that the SC chief justice has not answered the verified impeachment complaint, but has instead accused President Aquino and the Liberal Party to have instigated the filing of the impeachment complaint against him when he sought the immediate dismissal of the impeachment complaint voted upon by 188 members of the House of Representatives.

“These are 188 members whose constituents represent the voice of the people that need to be heard,” Tañada said, noting also that “Corona is running away from the charges by asking for the dismissal of the impeachment complaint instead of facing the charges as he said he will.”

“The fact that he did not verify his answer shows that he does not want to be held accountable for what is written in his answer,” Tañada said.

The veteran legislator also expressed confidence “the prosecution team will get the 16 votes needed to impeach Corona” as chief justice of the Supreme Court.”

“This impeachment will not weaken the Supreme Court nor the Judiciary. Rather, it will strengthen and invigorate the institution by ousting GMA’s single biggest coddler in the Supreme Court, thereby restoring the people’s faith in it,” the prosecution stated in its reply.