Tag Archives: Impeachment

[Press Release] Disclose All or Resign All! Genuine Cleansing of the Bureaucracy not a Telenovela of Elite Infighting

Disclose All or Resign All! Genuine Cleansing of the Bureaucracy not a Telenovela of Elite Infighting

We have said it before and we will say it again. Give the Filipino people a chance for real reforms and meaningful cleansing of the rotting bureaucracy.

The impeachment of Corona is not enough. The process is a spectator sport for the Filipino masses who are neither senator judges nor members of the prosecution and defense panels. More so, it is atelenovela of elite infighting being used by the Aquino regime to consolidate its control of the state and to advance its economic interests.

In impeachment proceedings, the masses are being induced to take sides between two oppressors. They are made to choose the lesser evil among rival camps of the ruling elite, which is nothing more than a choice between hell and purgatory. By so doing, it fosters the illusion of democracy, of people’s participation in the affairs of the State.

But while the impeachment process is patently limited in its scope and objective and is being utilized by factions of the elite to pursue their self-serving economic and political agendas, it would inevitably open more meaningful questions. Its narrowness and limitation would provide exact arguments for the necessity of genuine and widespread reforms, and for other means of political activity that ensure public participation in the cleansing of the bureaucracy.

Hence, upon the opening of impeachment proceedings against Corona, we issued the “Disclose All” slogan, the demand for the full disclosure of all financial records and transactions by all government officials.

The beleaguered chief justice – who is more an astute politician than an honorable judge – knows this Achilles heel of the impeachment process. Hence, Corona is now piercing the veil of Noynoy’s anti-corruption pretense in order to save his skin as he challenges Senator Drilon and the 188 signatories of the impeachment case to “disclose all”. Truly, crooks know when to speak the truth to hide a lie.

We are neither “pro-Corona” nor “pro-Noynoy”. Both politicians are personifications of the social evil of a corrupt bureaucracy under an elite democracy. If government officials want to dispel public mistrust, they should let the sun shine into dark places. The broad masses of the people, not just the workers and the poor demand the public scrutiny of their private wealth.

If they could not “disclose all”, then they should all resign. And if the demand for “full disclosure” is continuously not met, the cry for “Resign All” would transform from an appeal for delicadeza into a call of action for their ouster. #

Mayo 23, 2012
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)

Disclose All or Resign All!
Genuine Cleansing of the Bureaucracy not a Telenovela of Elite Infighting

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[In the news] Don’t strip Corona of his rights: defense | ABS-CBN News

Don’t strip Corona of his rights: defense | ABS-CBN News.

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com
May 22,2012

MANILA, Philippines – One of the lawyers of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona on Tuesday said his client must not be stopped from invoking his rights as he takes the witness stand in his own impeachment trial today.

Defense spokesperson Atty. Tranquil Salvador III said he is not yet sure how the chief justice will respond to the questions that will be thrown at him, but insisted no one has the right to strip him of his rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.

The prosecution panel has been daring Corona not to resort to technicalities, such as invoking his right against self-incrimination, in responding to allegations that he owns at least $10 million in “transactional balances” in 82 accounts.

The report of the alleged dollar accounts came from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and was revealed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales before the impeachment court last week.

“Sa tingin ko po baka pwedeng hindi, pwedeng oo [na i-invoke niya ang kanyang karapatan]. Pero ito ang masasabi ko lang: si chief justice naman po, nagpakababa na pupunta sa impeachment court. He was humble enough to accept the challenge. Ang pakiusap na lang sana, kung ano pang merong ibinigay na karapatan sa kanya ang Saligang Batas, huwag na pong kunin pa,” Salvador told radio dzMM.

Read full article @ www.abs-cbnnews.com

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] UP student council head asks Miriam to leave students alone; polls on Corona to go on -InterAksyon.com

UP student council head asks Miriam to leave students alone; polls on Corona to go on
March 29, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – With her colorful language and witty pick-up lines, Sen. Miriam Santiago is usually a favorite of the UP crowd, but her idea of stopping surveys on the trust ratings of impeached Chief Justice Renato C. Corona has caused the state university’s student council head to draw the line, with a plea: “Please leave the students alone.”

The Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) declared on Thursday it will push through with conducting more surveys on Corona’s trust rating in different colleges and universities in the country.

Santiago had more than once denounced the conduct of such surveys, at the floor of the Senate, which has been convened as an impeachment court since January 16. The court went on a six-week break until May 7. Meantime, the results of surveys by professional pollsters have been published in recent days.

The UP’s SCAP released last March 26, 2012 a survey on Corona’s trust rating among students from five different colleges and universities. The survey, patterned after a similar survey conducted in the University of the Philippines (UP)Diliman by the UP Paralegal Society, revealed a strong distrust of Corona among students.

SCAP Secretary General Gibby Gorres said the success of the surveys was met with positive reaction from student councils and governments from different colleges and universities in the country.

“Instead of being deterred by fears that the surveys might be used for partisan purposes, many students in fact requested for such surveys to be conducted in their own schools. Many of them wanted their voices and opinions on the impeachment to be heard. The survey is one way to give the point of view of people whose interests are at stake in this process but who otherwise would not be heard,” Gorres explained.

According to Gorres, the survey was one way for the students to express their opinion and assessment of the current impeachment trial of Corona.

“We believe that the survey has helped in bringing the impeachment trial closer to the students. It has become an invaluable tool in ensuring that the impeachment trial is indeed a political exercise in the sense that the public is also an interested party to the trial. Instead of being passive actors, the students become involved in this important proceeding by learning from it and forming their own opinion about it,” according to Gorres.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

[In the news] Middle way on mining -INQUIRER.net

Middle way on mining.

March 6th, 2012

As in the impeachment court, so it was at the recent mining forum in Makati City, where pro- and antimining advocates engaged in a heated face-off, capped by the sight of arguably the country’s most powerful businessman, Manny V. Pangilinan, losing his cool and calling the environmentalist-scion of one of the country’s most influential families, Gina Lopez, a liar.

We meant the concept of hearsay—in the impeachment court something treated with disdain, the testimony classified as such eventually getting thrown out and declared inadmissible. At the mining forum, words akin to hearsay were also present, but not as one of the bright minds in the room pointed it out: namely, that when Pangilinan and Lopez were trading barbs on the effect mining can have on rural communities, both of them, really, were mouthing second-hand testimony. Perhaps they’ve seen tangible evidence of it on their occasional visits to mining areas, but neither of them has actually lived there, to experience first-hand, in the raw, how it is to be at the receiving end of this wealth-producing but also injurious activity about which they were now at each other’s throats.

The right person to have challenged Pangilinan’s apologia for the mining sector was not Lopez, however well-intentioned or deep into the cause she might be. The right person should have been an actual inhabitant of any one of the country’s mining areas who could testify, in his or her own words, and certainly more eloquently than Lopez could ever manage or Pangilinan could ever hope to rebut, whether gouging huge swaths of the country inside out to extract the mineral riches said to be underneath, displacing residents and perhaps turning the land into a howling wilderness for good, would be all worth it.

But from the ranks of farmers, fishermen and tribal minorities, the marginal and destitute folk who have lived for generations in those remote, undeveloped areas where mining often occurs and that inevitably have to bear the brunt of its aftereffects, no one was at the forum to speak on their behalf. Because, as former elections commissioner and now Meralco management consultant Christian Monsod ruefully pointed out in his speech: “It is unfortunate that two major stakeholders on the issue of mining were not invited to speak today—the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Department of Agriculture.”

Read full article @ opinion.inquirer.net

[In the news] ‘People Power to erupt if SC stops impeach trial’ -Cebu Daily News

‘People Power to erupt if SC stops impeach trial’

Cebu Daily News
February 25, 2012

A FORMER human rights lawyer said another People Power revolt may erupt in the aftermath of the Senate impeachment trial.
Democrito Barcenas believed people will once again converge on the streets if the Supreme Court (SC) stops the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“I don’t think people will not rise (if a temporary restraining order will be issued to stop the impeachment). A small spark can create a conflagration,” Barcenas said in an interview.

Barcenas is hoping Filipinos would continue the campaign to eliminate corruption as the country celebrates the 26th anniversary of the first Edsa People Power revolt.

“I’m not fully satisfied. The goals that we pursued are still ongoing. The fight against corruption is ongoing,” he said.
Barcenas, who was among the activist lawyers jailed in Cebu during martial law, said the charges filed against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the impeachment trial proved that the war against corruption remains.

Read full article @ cebudailynews.wordpress.com (http://cebudailynews.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/people-power-to-erupt-if-sc-stops-impeach-trial/)

[Isyung HR] Para kang Impeachment…Baket? Baket? Nakakainit ka kasi ng ulo!

Isyung HR: Para kang Impeachment…Baket? Baket? Nakakainit ka kasi ng ulo!

by Mokong


Missed ko na ang mga pick-up lines ni Madam. Palagi na lang kasing pang hypertension ang eksena niya these past few days.  It seems that it’s less fun to have impeachment in the Philippines especially with prosecutors that we have.  Hmp!

We can’t blame them to take the impeachment seriously, it’s their job anyway, and it’s supposed to be for the people, for the country (saying this while hands on the chest) pero for mokongs mukhang the impeachment trial only exposes how vast ang kamokongan nilang lahat. Hahaha!

Imagine Senator Meriam uses her pick-up lines to our on spotlight prosecutors and defense teams.

Sen Meriam: Prosecutor ka ba? (Addressing to head prosecutor Tupaz)

Tupaz: Yes your honor baket baket?

Sen Meriam: Hindi halata a.

[The senator judges would cheer.] wooohhh!

Sen Meriam: Sana macho dancer ka na lang

Tupaz: Baket baket

Sen Meriam: Para hindi sayang pag-iinit ng dugo ko sa inyo!

[The senator judges remain quiet except for somebody from the audience. Guess who?] woowoot.

Sen Meriam: What the F_ck is wrong with you? Sinubukan ka ba i-abort ng nanay mo? Bakit nagkaganyan takbo ng utak mo?

Sen Meriam: “Kapag nagkabentahan ng utak, malaki ang kikitain mo sa utak mo”

Tupaz: “Talaga?”

Sen Meriam: “oo,kasi hindi mo man lang nagagamit eh,bagong bago pa rin”

Sen Meriam: (to Sen Lapid) Para kang nanggaling sa giyera?

Sen Lapid: Baket?

Sen Meriam: Duguan ka kasi… Nose bleed!


Isang Governor sa isang probinsiya sa Mindanao ang nagpower trip. Using all his available resources and might to implicate a human rights defender to a bombing incident.  Madami pang mga katulad ng HRD na ito ang naglalakas ng loob to defend the people against sa mga trapo at aabusadong violators of human rights.

Ganyan daw madalas, kapag hindi mahuli ang tunay na may sala, ang mga HRDs na open sa pagtuligsa sa pamamalakad ang ididiin.


According to a press statement issued by the DOT “The Tawi-Tawi incident is considered unfortunate and could have been avoided had the visitors taken necessary precautions many European tourists usually take in heed of these advisories.” O sisihin ba naman ang mga turista.

A mokong proposed that DOT slogan be changed into “It’s more fun in the Philippines except in areas where kidnappers operate.” Kahit mahaba atleast tourists are warned. Hahaha!


Lovelife of PNoy again hits the headline like Ondoy and Impeachment.  A mokong friend commented it’s like seeing aswang daw during elections. Pampalamig daw ng ulo. Pampakalma ng hysteria. Effective! Hahaha!

Pag tinanong mo na daw ngayon si PNoy “How’s your lovelife?” PNoy would answer “Wow, maganda and  It’s more fun now.”


Mokong of the world unite! Occupy their brains!

[From the web] Defining moments – RAPPLER.com

Defining moments
February 6, 2012

At the rate it’s going, it might boil down to definitions.

The past week saw the impeachment trial of the Chief Justice being occupied by the mundane task of defining terms, a task which could actually have been done outside the trial not only by the parties but by the senators themselves.

When the senators asked the panels (defense and prosecution) to define terms such as “dissolution,” “revocation” and the like, it not only wastes valuable time and effort, it also indicates that the senators are not too sure themselves of what it is they are looking for.

At one point on Day 11 of the trial, the Presiding Officer and Senate President Enrile asked prosecutor Elpidio Barzaga if being untruthful in a SALN entry was a high crime and when he got the answer that it was not, Enrile then said that only high crimes were impeachable offenses.

Taking their cue from the Senate President, other Senators (Joker Arroyo and Francis Escudero notably, both asking about the “level” and “gravity” of the crimes alleged) asked questions along the same line, i.e., the offense not being a high crime.

That, for me, was a defining moment for both the prosecution and the Senator-Jurors.

Clearly, the commission of “other high crimes” is an impeachable offense under the Constitution and the Senate President was correct in pointing that out.

But, it was certainly an irrelevant comment as none of the grounds raised in the Articles of Impeachment alleged that the Chief Justice had committed “other high crimes.” The 8 grounds alleged revolved around only two of the grounds for impeachment: betrayal of the public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.

Unfortunately for Barzaga, he never pointed that out and it took a very belated riposte from prosecutor Niel Tupas to put on record what the entire Senate should have been very clear about from the very start—that the trial is not about the commission of “other high crimes” but about “betrayal of the public trust” and “culpable violation of the Constitution.”

To Tupas’s comment, the Senate President simply then said that the Senate will discuss what “betrayal of the public trust” means—again indicating that there is no fixed or clear understanding of what the term means to the Senator-Jurors 11 trial dates into this impeachment trial.

So, what exactly does “betrayal of the public trust” mean?

Read full article @ www.rappler.com

[Statement] Workers demand reforms beyond Gloria and Corona – PALEA

In the face of the ongoing impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, workers demand “Reforms beyond Gloria and Corona.” Workers want not just the prosecution of Gloria Arroyo and her minions but the cleansing of all corrupt officials in the bureaucracy and further the institution of radical changes in the political and economic system.

Without such thoroughgoing reforms then the purging of Gloria’s followers would just pave the way for the embedding of PNoy’s own cronies in government. As it stands now, the so-called campaign for good governance by PNoy looks no more than a factional fight among the elite. This is because there is no difference between the regimes of Arroyo and Aquino with regards to labor policy, neoliberal economics and social programs.

The experience of PALEA is enlightening. The decision to allow the controversial outsourcing scheme was upheld by both the labor secretaries of Arroyo and Aquino. Moreover, the Office of the President itself under PNoy affirmed the legality of the PAL’s contractualization scam despite the USD 76.5 million profit for the last fiscal year.

Thus Corona and PNoy may be fighting over the fate of Gloria Arroyo and Hacienda Luisita but both are beholden to Lucio Tan. With a mere letter from PAL’s lawyer Estelito Mendoza, Corona’s Supreme Court recalled the ruling in favor of the 1,800 flight attendants of FASAP. But also on the mere say-so from PAL that it is losing money even when the facts deny it, Aquino’s government betrayed the 2,600 ground crew of PALEA.

The clash between Corona and PNoy looks more like a case of the kettle calling the teapot black and the teapot accusing the kettle of being ebony.

Like the rest of the people, we want to believe that the prosecution of Gloria and her minions is the start of fundamental reforms. But without any signs of real changes then such is mere wishful thinking.

We want to see the prosecution not just of a corrupt chief justice but the purging of labor dealers in the DOLE and NLRC and the imprisonment of killers of labor leaders.

We demand a change in the government’s labor policy so that regular jobs are protected, contractualization is stopped, wages are not frozen, and the freedoms to organize and bargain are guaranteed.

We call for a reversal of the neoliberal economic model that has led to the collapse of our domestic industry and agriculture. Jobs must be generated in the country instead of labor exported abroad through national industrialization, land reform and agricultural modernization.

This will be our call for the coming celebration of Labor Day. To jumpstart the campaign, we will mobilize on Monday for the impeachment trial by carrying the banner of “Justice for workers, Reforms beyond Gloria and Corona.”

Press Statement
February 2, 2012
Gerry Rivera
PALEA President (09157755073)


[From the web] The prosecution’s mistake – RAPPLER.com

The prosecution’s mistake – RAPPLER – Philippine News | Multimedia | Citizen Journalism | Social Media.

February 3, 2012

This week, from a legal point of view, the impeachment trial has come to a crucial moment. In Thursday’s session (February 2) of the impeachment court, some senator-judges raised the question of whether a mis- or non-declaration of assets by Chief Justice Renato Corona in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) — by mistake or negligence, or even if willful — rises up to the level of an impeachable offense.

With the assistance of UP Law student Danielle Mae Navarro, a member of the all-student research team that supports me in my legal work on impeachment issues, I wrote and now share these reflections.

The 1987 Constitution declares in Article XI, Section 17 that “a public officer or employee shall, upon assumption of office and as often thereafter as may be required by law, submit a declaration under oath of his assets, liabilities, and net worth (Emphasis supplied)” and this mandate can be considered as being implemented by RA 6713 “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees” and RA 3019 “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. ”

Under RA 6713, all public officials shall file under oath their SALNs and those of their spouses and unmarried children under 18 years of age. Moreover, RA 3019 explicitly requires that “every public officer… shall prepare and file… a true detailed and sworn statement of assets and liabilities, including a statement of the amounts and sources of his income, the amounts of his personal and expenses and the amount of income taxes paid for the next preceding calendar year.”

Thus, these laws contemplate both the public officer’s physical act of filing his and his family’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth and his filing of a true, genuine and accurate SALN.

The prosecution does not necessarily need prove ill-gotten or hidden wealth to convict the Chief Justice under Article 2 of the impeachment articles. In fact, as I have argued elsewhere, it is a mistake for the prosecution to proceed with such a theory of law which tends to criminalize the impeachment proceedings, raising the bar of the applicable rules of evidence and the standard of proof required for conviction.

In my view, this is a flawed strategy that must be quickly abandoned. Indeed, this criminalization of impeachment approach, a product of the prosecution, has now led many senator-judges to assert that impeachable offenses must rise up to the level of high crimes.

Read full article @ www.rappler.com

[From the web] When journalists are subpoenaed – RAPPLER.com

When journalists are subpoenaed – RAPPLER – Philippine News | Multimedia | Citizen Journalism | Social Media.
January 31, 2012

Are journalists who are subpoenaed by courts obliged to comply with them? What legitimate reasons are there for not honoring these court orders?

Subpoenas are orders issued by courts to compel persons to appear before them and provide testimony or documents that can aid in the investigation or the resolution of a particular case. Because they are court orders, failure to comply with them may carry penalties, including imprisonment.

Journalists who are subpoenaed, however, often question the reasons behind such an order. If they are called to provide testimony that will reveal their sources or what they know about a particular case or person, chances are, they will refuse on the basis of freedom of the press.

Why so? Because the confidentiality that a journalist promises his or her source is no different from the confidentiality that a priest promises during confession. Also, because a journalist relies on this bedrock relationship of trust with sources – without it, the flow of information will be more restricted and the news-gathering rights of the media will be adversely curtailed.

Compliance with a subpoena could set precedents and influence jurisprudence and even policies, too, that could result in more restrictive press laws.

Read full article @ www.rappler.com

[In the news] Bishops: No strong statement on impeachment – INQUIRER.net

Bishops: No strong statement on impeachment
By Jocelyn R. Uy, Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 30, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines—The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said its plenary council won’t make a “strong” statement on the ongoing impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona but may exhort the faithful to pray for the senators who are trying the case.

“Unlike in past CBCP [meetings], where we felt the people were expecting a strong statement [from us], this time we feel that the sentiment of the people in general is that they trust that the Senate will do its job,” said CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma in an interview with reporters Friday.

The CBCP Plenary Council is the highest decision-making body of the Catholic Church hierarchy in the Philippines. The three-day assembly attended by more than 100 bishops across the country at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila is the first under the new leadership.

Palma took over as the head of the Church hierarchy in December after Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar’s two-year term ended.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[In the news] PH economy slows down under Aquino – RAPPLER.com

PH economy slows down under Aquino – RAPPLER – Philippine News | Multimedia | Citizen Journalism | Social Media.

by Katherine Visconti, RAPPLER.com

January 30, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines – In 2011, the first full year of the Aquino administration, the Philippine economy slowed down to 3.7% from a robust 7.6% the year before due to factors beyond the government’s control–global economic woes and bad weather–as well as the well-criticized delays in government spending on crucial infrastructure.

This confirms previous forecasts that the government missed its GDP growth rate target of 4.5% to 5.5% for 2011. Gross domestic product (GDP) is one of the primary indicators to gauge the health of an economy.

Read full article @ www.rappler.com

[In the news] Bishops begin plenary assembly, may tackle Corona impeachment | Sun.Star

Bishops begin plenary assembly, may tackle Corona impeachment | Sun.Star.

January 28, 2012

 MANILA–At least a hundred bishops from various dioceses across the country will meet to tackle church and pressing national concerns for their three-day plenary assembly at Pope Pius XII Center.

However, it is not immediately known if the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will issue a statement regarding the ongoing impeachment trial against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, who has since rejected calls to leave his post.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] ‘Journalists are not the story’ – RAPPLER.com

‘Journalists are not the story’ – RAPPLER – Philippine News | Multimedia | Citizen Journalism | Social Media.

January 27, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines – Veteran journalist and Rappler editor at large Marites Dañguilan-Vitug on Friday, January 27, rejected a prosecution request for her to testify at the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

On Friday, a press release from the prosecution team announced that they have invited as witnesses 4 journalists, among others.

Aside from Vitug, the prosecution said they will also be summoning to the witness stand the following journalists: Criselda Yabes and Raissa Robles, both freelancers, and Ina Reformina, a reporter of ABS-CBN.

In her letter to lead prosecutor Rep. Niel Tupas, Vitug said: “I am surprised to learn that I am listed as one of the prosecution’s witnesses for Article 7. I have repeatedly explained to your colleagues that I am not going to testify in the impeachment trial. All my works are public and they speak for themselves. And, of course, you know that confidential sources is another matter.”

She added: “Journalists are NOT the story. We tell the story. We merely chronicle our country’s comings and goings in the best way we can. This is how we serve the country.”

Vitug, Yabes, and Robles were speciflcally called to “testify among others on the close personal relationship between Corona and GMA and other allegations contained in the Verified Complaint, and other pleadings filed by complainants, and other matters relevant to the instant case,” according to the press release.

Read full article @ www.rappler.com

[In the news] On sub judice and gag orders – RAPPLER.com

On sub judice and gag orders – RAPPLER – Philippine News | Multimedia | Citizen Journalism | Social Media.

by Edsel Tupaz, RAPPLER.com
January 26, 2012

  On Monday, an ABS-CBN news flash announced the House prosecutors’ plan to launch a social media campaign “to inform the public on latest developments in the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.”

But Rep Romero “Miro” Quimbo, a spokesperson for the prosecution, was quick to admit that the plan was, in part, a reaction to the defense’s own social media. He was fearful that the prosecution, in his own words, is “getting left behind.”

The defense, through their own spokespersons and lawyers Tranquil Salvador III and Karen Jimeno, seems to have joined Quimbo at least in principle, stating that spokespersons of the defense and prosecution alike ought to inform the “ordinary people” about the “procedures” of the impeachment trial and “enhance public participation.”

Regardless of one’s angle or position, any social media campaign will implicate a parallel debate on who really is covered by the “gag order” issued by the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.

No less than Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, the presiding official, has warned the chamber (and, arguably, the public at large) that those who violate the impeachment court’s orders or rules may be cited for contempt.

A number of positions have been expressed by at least four camps – the prosecution, the defense, the Senate itself, and Malacañang spokesmen. Even between and among the senators there seems to be a weak consensus as to who is covered. Neither is there agreement on the very nature and substance of the speech that is prohibited or allowed.

Read article @ www.rappler.com

[Statement] Pursue truth in the impeachment; hunt Palparan for justice – PAHRA

Pursue truth in the impeachment; hunt Palparan for justice

 “Kung wala kang tinatago, hindi ka dapat matakot.” / “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” – A Filipino truism, ironically often quoted by Ex-Major General Jovito Palparan, Jr. This was repeatedly announced during his tour of duty when people whom he suspected as subversives or “enemies of the State” were “invited” into military camps “to clear their names” / “upang linisin ang kanilang pangalan” were hesitant or did not show up at all.

Paradoxically, Palparan, when accused of kidnapping and illegally detaining U.P. students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno, declared his readiness to stand trial and prove his innocence. Palparan has chosen to be a fugitive from the law.

Words similar to Palparan were recently also enunciated by Chief Justice Renato Corona. He had nothing to hide. He had nothing to fear. And Renato Corona’s presence in the opening day of the trial for his impeachment underscored this self-confidence to clear his name.

Technical excuses though on the third day of trial delayed the presentation of the statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of CJ Corona. It was not a product of pro-active transparency on his part, but an attempt to forestall if not to hide through a legal technicality – a permission from an en banc session of SC justices.

It is the people’s right to demand accountability from every branch of and every official in government, including the officers of the security forces. To obtain truth and justice, the people have the right to demand for full disclosure from those who have chosen to serve. The people must always keep their eyes open to ensure that the collective or collegiate character to serve is not distorted to a conspiracy for corruption and impunity against human rights.


Max M. de Mesa
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
January 20, 2012

[In the news] Lagman: Don’t use Corona impeachment to delay RH bill approval -SunStar.com.ph

Lagman: Don’t use Corona impeachment to delay RH bill approval
January 18, 2012

  MANILA — A principal author of the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill called on the House leadership to avoid using the impeachment proceedings to supposedly derail the passage of the long-delayed measure.

“The impeachment proceedings should not be used to derail the passage of a long delayed legislation which will benefit the multitude of women and children,” House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman said in a press statement.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Citizen judges will also try the Chief Justice – RAPPLER.com

Citizen judges will also try the Chief Justice
by Voltaire Tupaz, RAPPLER.com
Posted on 01/16/2012 7:43 PM | Updated 01/16/2012 11:23 PM

 MANILA, Philippines – “Maraming salamat po, and I love you all!”

Chief Justice Renato Corona, in a rally this morning, Jan 16, 2012, punctuated his speech with a public declaration of affection. The public, after all, will influence the verdict of the Senate convened as an impeachment court.

In an interview via Twitter, Senator-juror Francis Escudero (@SayChiz) said the people participate as “citizen jurors” during the impeachment trial.

“In a sense, this also makes the process ‘political’ because the public can be part of the proceedings, be ‘citizen judges’ and make known their opinion without fear of being sanctioned.”

Escudero was the first interviewee on Rappler’s Ambush, a quick and brief interview with newsmakers conducted on the popular microblogging site. This writer moderated the online exchange that included Rappler executive editor Maria Ressa (@Maria_Ressa) and multimedia reporter Ayee Macaraig (@AyeeMacaraig).

Asked by Ressa about what the stake is for the Philippines with this impeachment, Escudero replied, “Our ability to show and prove to the world that we can settle our differences legally, peacefully and rationally both as a country and as a people.”

Read full article @ www.rappler.com

[In the news] Day One: Senate sweeps aside obstacles, signals intent for efficient and fair impeachment trial – InterAksyon.com

Day One: Senate sweeps aside obstacles, signals intent for efficient and fair impeachment trial
by Abigail Kwok, Karl John C. Reyes and Joseph H. Ubalde, InterAksyon.com
January 16, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines – Day One of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona ended less than two hours after it started, as the Senate, convened as the impeachment court, set aside pending motions and signaled its intent to proceed with the historic trial.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile swiftly dismissed the most contentious issue – Corona’s plea for a preliminary hearing to prove the impeachment complaint defective. With the Chief Justice and his wife, Cristina, in the gallery, Corona’s lawyers argued that the articles of impeachment were railroaded at the House of Representatives and were not properly verified. After giving each party five minutes to defend or debunk the proposition, Enrile sided with the prosecution panel in its argument that the Senate’s duty is to try impeachment complaints, and not to determine the soundness of the same. That part of the process, Enrile agreed, lay with the House of Representatives, which had already transmitted the impeachment complaint to the upper House of Congress.

That in itself signaled that the first impeachment trial of a Chief Justice of the Philippines would proceed on what is expected to be a gripping weeks-long chapter in Philippine politics. Enrile later denied twin motions to cite in contempt prosecutors of Chief Justice Corona for prematurely disclosing material evidence outside the impeachment court even before trial started Monday.

Read full article @ interaksyon.com

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