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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, March 5, 2012
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There’s enough to convict
Corona -- Bayan Muna rep


The House prosecution panel has presented enough evidence to ensure the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said at a press conference in Bacolod City Saturday night.

But the situation is so fluid among the senator judges, he really cannot say how they will vote, and if they will convict Corona, Colmenares said.

In the end the Senate will have to decide if the chief justice is morally fit to remain in his post after all that has been presented against him, Colmenares said.

“The senators will have to decide that very threshold question – Will the people still respect the chief justice of the Supreme Court after this impeachment trial?” he said.

The impeachment process is an accountability mechanism, he pointed out.

Corona should be convicted, and in the end the public sentiment will count on how the senator-judges will decide, Colmenares said.

Colmenares, the lead prosecutor on Article VII of the impeachment complaint, said it shows Corona’s betrayal of public trust through his partiality in granting a TRO in favor of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo in order to give them an opportunity to escape prosecution and to frustrate the ends of justice.

Corona distorted the Supreme Court decision on the effectivity of the TRO in view of a clear failure to comply with the conditions of the Supreme Court’s own TRO, he added.

Bayan Muna supported the impeachment of Corona based on Article 7 inspite of President Benigno Aquino III, Colmenares said. “Noynoy failed to prosecute Gloria Arroyo for a long period of time,” he said, pointing out that it was Bayan Muna that first filed charges against the former president.

“For us the fact that Chief Justice Corona issued the TRO that almost allowed Gloria Arroyo to get away, is the main reason why we support his impeachment,” he said.

“We are getting rid of Chief Justice Corona because we do not want an Arroyo court but we will not want an Aquino court,” he added.

Colmenares said there is also enough evidence in Article 2 to impeach Corona for his failure to disclose truthfully to the public his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.

He pointed out that Corona did this in his SALN from 1992 to 2010.

Corona failed to make complete and truthful disclosures of his assets, including pricey condominium units and huge bank deposits, which were grossly disproportionate to his lawful income and that of his wife, the House prosecution panel claims.

Colmenares said they anticipate that the defense will delay the trial so the people will forget about the SAL-N and TRO and lose interest.

But he is confident that the Senate judges will see through a delaying t