Chief Justice Renato Corona refuses to reveal his foreign currency deposits.

Chief Justice Renato Corona has set up some pretty effective “privacy roadblocks” that is preventing the Impeachment Court from finding out exactly how much money he has amassed in his short time in the Supreme Court.

The accumulation of extravagant wealth, sizable enough for a subsidiary of one of the country’s biggest banks to help hide, compels one to ask how one could possibly amass that much wealth without doing anything illegal or without having to engage in graft and corruption.

After all, that’s where the big money comes from.  And in the case of government officials and civil servants, the burden is really on them to prove that the large amount of money in their possession didn’t come from corruption.

Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s dissenting opinion describes the Supreme Court order stopping the opening of Chief Justice Renato Corona’s dollar accounts as having created “a safe haven for criminal acts” and “cultivated an atmosphere of impunity.”

In a 30-page dissenting opinion to last week’s decision by the high tribunal to temporarily stop the opening of Corona’s foreign currency deposit, Sereno said the Constitution itself mandated public officials to disclose all of their assets and that failing to do so would constitute “prima facie evidence of unexplained wealth.”

If Corona continues to hide his foreign currency deposits, the Senator sitting as judges in the Impeachment Trial may be forced to render a verdict on Corona that is based more on what they DON’T KNOW rather than what they DO KNOW.

In plain and simple terms, that just like hiring someone for a crucial job that involves the safekeeping of valuable items without an NBI or Police Clearance — which is actually proof that they haven’t committed any crime.


Petition for TRO on Impeachment goes to an Arroyo appointed Associate Justice

Camarines Gov. Lray Villafuerte and Bikol governors oppose SC TRO on Corona foreign currency deposits

Nanganganib na mapatigil ang impeachment trial ni Chief Justice Corona dahil sa isang petisyon na isinalang ng defense counsel sa Supreme Court.

Nitong hapon lamang na ito, nabatid na napunta sa sala ni Supreme Court Associate Justice Martin Villarama ang petition ni Corona na naglalayong ipatigil ang impeachment trial.  Appointee ni dating Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo si Villarama at siya ang huling appointee sa Supreme Court na bumuo ng sinasabing Arroyo Court.

Kaninang umaga lamang nadinig ang tinig ng ilang gobernador ng Bikolandia sa pangunguna ni Camsur governor Lray Villafuerte.

Ayon sa maikling panayam sa DZMM kay Gerry Baja at Anthony Taberna, nag-meeting si Villafuerte kasama si  Edgardo Tallado (Camarines Norte), Raul Lee (Sorsogon), Rizalina Seachon-Lanete (Masbate), Joseph Cua (Catanduanes), at Joey Salceda (Albay).  Nagkaisa diumano ang mga governor na tutulan ang pagpapatigil sa impeachment ni Corona.

“Ang tao’y interesado pong malaman kung karapatdapat pa bang manatiling Chief Justice si Renato Corona.  Ito ang pulso ng mga tao sa Bikolandia.  Nagmeeting po kaming mga governors, at napagkaisahan po namin na dapat ituloy ang impeachment trial ni  Corona kung gusto pong patunayan ng ating chief justice na siya po ay inosente,” Ayon sa transcription ng panayam kay Villafuerte.

Wari namang bahagyang tinuya ni Villafuerte ang nakikitang pagkabig ng ilang senador pabor sa pagtatago ng ebidensyang magdidiin kay Corona.

“Yung akusasyon po ng depensa na iniimpluwensyahan po ang mga senador ay very unfair, mali po yan. Sana po magpresent po sila ng facts.

“Napaka independent at fair po ng mga senador, kita niyo naman at nagbotohan po sila para i-respect ang TRO ng Supreme Court sa pagbubukas ng foreign currency deposits ni Corona.

“Pangalawa, gustong ipatawag ng prosekusyon ang apat na justices as witnesses dun sa isang article of impeachment, sabi po ng isang senador huwag po nating ipatawag yan kasi merong separation of powers ang legislative at executive.

“Yung pinapatawag po ang pamilya ni chief justice corona, sabi po nila eh hindi po, huwag na.  So napaka-fair po ng mga senador.”

Camarines Gov. Lray Villafuerte and Bikol governors oppose SC TRO on Corona foreign currency deposits

Limang governor mula sa Bikol sa pangunguna ni Lray Villafuerte ng Camarines Sur ang tumututol sa pagpigil sa paglalabas ng bank records ni Impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Sa isang panayam sa programa sa radio ni dating Vice President Noli De Castro kaninang umaga, sinabi umano ni governor Villafuerte na may karapatan ang mamamayan na malaman kung ano ba talaga ang tinatago ni Chief Justice Corona sa kanyang foreign currency deposits.

Matatandaan na sa Senate Impeachment Hearing, ilang beses hinarang ng depensa at ng mga kaalyado nitong mga senador ang pagbubuklat sa foreign currency deposits ni Corona. Kamakailan, naglabas ng TRO ang Supreme Court na kinatigan naman ng mga senador sa impeachment court:

The Supreme Court order stopping the opening of Chief Justice Renato Corona’s dollar accounts has created “a safe haven for criminal acts” and “cultivated an atmosphere of impunity,” according to Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

In a 30-page dissenting opinion to last week’s decision by the high tribunal to temporarily stop the opening of Corona’s foreign currency deposit, Sereno said the Constitution itself mandated public officials to disclose all of their assets and that failing to do so would constitute “prima facie evidence of unexplained wealth.”

The Supreme Court granted the petition of PSBank for a temporary restraining order stopping the Senate impeachment court from opening Corona’s dollar accounts. PSBank had explained that under the Foreign Currency Deposits Act (RA 6426), dollar accounts can be opened only with the permission of its owners.

The Senate impeachment court voted 13-10 to respect the TRO.

Sa isang statement mula diumano kay Camarines Governor Lray Villafuerte, dapat lamang na makialam na ang mga mamamayan sa tahasang pagmamane-obra upang maitago ang dapat sana’y ebidensyang magagamit sa pag-usig laban kay Corona.

Tutol diumano ang mga Bikol governors kasama ng mahit 2.5 million nilang mga mamayan sa lantarang pagtatago ng ebidensyang sumusuporta sa articles of impeachment laban kay Corona.

Although belonging to different parties, I and the Governors of Bicol Region have joined the growing clamor for the Senate impeachment court to be let loose from the legal shackles arising from the injunction order issued by the Supreme Court Thursday on foreign currency deposits.

Governors Edgardo Tallado (Camarines Norte), Raul Lee (Sorsogon), Rizalina Seachon-Lanete (Masbate), Joseph Cua (Catanduanes), Joey Salceda (Albay) and myself have agreed to discuss ways to highlight the “participation” of the local officials in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

We are set to meet this week so that we can have a common stand on the impeachment and help convey the sentiments of more than 2.5 million voters from the Bicol Bloc.

We have a tradition of all for one, one for all, on certain national issues.

Everybody is concerned, everybody is observing. Many officials have understood the issues. We need to speak up and participate in the impeachment process outside of the halls of the Senate.

The entire country is watching and this is not just a fight between the judiciary, executive and legislative. This is a process that has to happen. But in the end, I’m very positive that the outcome will be good for the country; the outcome should unify us rather that polarize the country. I’m confident that this is a process that we support. We hope for the best.

We expect the League of Philippine Provinces to come up with an official position on the impeachment trial soon. We believe that the LPP and other local officials’ associations should step up to the plate.

We play a big role. We have a big voice. We represent a big sector in the country. We’re on the ground. While the impeachment is being heard in Metro Manila, on national TV, we should ask, ‘what is the people’s pulse?’

The greater majority of the people are represented by local government units. We have to support the impeachment trial. More voices should be heard. Other sectors should be heard. Ultimately, the Senate has the power to decide, but they’re also willing to listen, willing to see the reaction of other sectors. That’s why all sectors should be active, especially us since we are the representatives in the local level.

We recognize that the Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona is in the hands of the senators now. They’re constitutionally mandated to try the case, to hear the case. And senators are very independent, they can’t be dictated upon by any sector. But I think of the large majority of the Filipinos can influence their decision.

Thus, we see the need for the citizens—either directly or through their elected officials—to participate in the process.

Compared to ordinary citizens or bureaucrats, high officials in government should be held to a higher standard.

Once elected or appointed, government officials are under a microscope. We must conduct ourselves so as to be beyond reproach. Once you enter a higher position—whether in the judiciary, executive, local government, legislative — people will really look up to you. You have to set an example.

The Chief Justice’s credibility should be “beyond question.”

If you become a Chief Justice it’s as if you’re first among equals. People expect leaders of the executive, legislative, and judiciary to perform the duties of their office according to a higher standard.

It is leadership by example; you have to set a good example and compel people to follow that good example.


Posted: February 14, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Sabi ko, mananahimik muna ako habang nililitis ng Impeachment Court ang kaso ni Chief Justice Renato Corona.  Sabi nga ng mga batikan at eksperto sa batas, innocent until proven guilty ang isang taong nililitis.

Oo nga, at tama ito.  Hindi porke’t inakusahan, may sala na.  Pero hindi rin nito ibig sabihin na dalisay at busilak ang pagkatao ng isang inakusahan.

Sa ilalim ng sistema ng hustisya na umiiral sa ating bansa, dapat eksakto at klaro ang akusasyon sa isang tao… kailangan nakuha sa tamang paraan ang ebidensya… at kailangan naayon sa mga “rules” ang paglilitis sa inakusahan.

Pero, ang nakakatawa dito, minsan napaka-tinik ng nililitis.  Minsan may mga taong nakakagawa ng kamalian na lantad na sa mata ng karamihan, pero nakakapuslit pa rin at taas noong nakakapaglakad sa ilalim ng tirik na tirik na araw na parang nagyayabang pa.

Parang pinamumukha sa lahat na, “Hoy, hindi niyo ito kayang tibagin!”

Higit pang nakakatawa dito ang bilang ng mga taong waring bumibilib pa sa isang taong nakakagawa ng mali pero hindi napaparusahan.

Astig! Ikanga. Astig nga.

Marami sa atin ang bumibilib talaga sa mga taong sobra-sobra ang katalinuhan at pagka-wais.  Heto iyong mga magagaling mambilog ng ulo, ang mga magaling manlito, at ang mga expert sa pagpapalusot.  Sila iyong mga kalimitang sinasabihan na, “Pare, ang galing mong magpalusot, dapat mag-abugado ka!”

At heto nga, maraming abugado ang pumapalakpak at humihiyaw sa bawat galaw ng taga-depensa ni Korona.  Lahat ng salag at lahat ng palusot, bentang benta.

Nakakalungkot talagang isipin na ang batas na dapat sana’y ginagamit para proteksyunan ang walang kapangyarihan ay nababaluktot upang maitago ang lantarang pagnanakaw sa kabang bayan at harap-harapang pang-aapi sa ordinaryong mamamayan.

Naalala niyo ba nuong tinanggal si Presidente Estrada? Walang basehan sa Saligang batas natin na pwedeng mailuklok sa posisyon ang dati’y bise presidente na si Gloria Arroyo nang hindi nagre-resign o namamatay ang hinirang na pangulo. Pero, ano ang nangyari?

Nailuklok pa rin siya sa pwesto.  Napalusot ng mga kaalyadong abugado at kinikilalang eksperto sa Saligang Batas ang pang-aagaw ng kapangyarihan.  Ikanga ng isang abugado at political analyst dati, kahit man ang baluktot na dahilan ay nagagawang diretso basta nasa kapangyarihan ka.

Lumarga ng siyam na taon at sa pamamagitan ng kapangyarihan, nagawang mapalusot ang lahat ng kamalian.

Sumambulat ang sukdulan sa kagalingan sa pagpapalusot noong lumabas ang tinig ni Arroyo sa tinatawag na “Hello Garci tapes”…  Mantakin niyo, huling huli na si Arroyo na nandaraya, nagawa pa nilang i-mane obra?!  Nag-sorry lang si Arroyo at parang bulang nawala ang napaka-laking kasalanan.

Hindi daw ebidensya ang “Hello Garci Tapes” kasi nakuha ito sa maling paraan. Hindi naman daw nakikipag-usap si Arroyo sa isang opisyal ng Comelec para mandaya kungdi para malaman lang ang kalagayan ng kanyang mga boto.

Matatandaan natin na si Kristo’y pinahiya at pinahirapan sa pamamagitan ng paglalagay sa ulo niya ng isang korona na gawa sa tinik.  Isang huwad na karangalan na simbulo ng pang-aalipusta’t pambabastos ang Koronang Tinik.

Sa mga nakaraang araw at mga dadaang pang araw, tiyak tuloy-tuloy ang panglilito sa atin at ang dapat sanang ebidensya ng katiwalian ay mapapalusot.

Pero, huwag sana tayong magpalito o magpa-buyo sa kaisipang puro ligalidad lang ang dapat tignan.  Ano ba ang silbi ng pagka-dalubhasa sa lahat ng may kinalaman sa batas kung resulta ay ang pagkakawalang sala ng isang nagbibigay ng proteksyon sa mga kilalang mapang-api, mapang-abuso, mandaraya at mandarambong.

Kung ganun na rin, wala na tayong pinagkaiba sa mga taong nagpawalang sala kay Barabas at hininging ipako sa Krus si Kristo.

Isang simple tanong lang naman ang dapat sagutin ng mga Senator Judges natin… NARARAPAT PA BANG MAGING CHIEF JUSTICE SI RENATO CORONA?


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Posted: February 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

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