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.