An issue the impeachment court should also look into
by Emmanuel Mongaya
(journalist & blogger)
Kudos to investigative journalist Raissa Robles for exposing in her article “Chief Justice Corona personally met with World Bank officials, bank documents show” that the beleaguered head of the Philippine Supreme Court lied before employees of the judiciary, the media, and the general public.
Chief Justice Renato Corona, in a speech last January 16, 2012, said that allegations of fund diversion amounting to US$199,900 from a US$21.9 million WB loan was a “huge lie.” It happened a decade before. But Robles exposed the existence of official World Bank papers that documented fund diversions in 2011. In fact, Corona met World Bank officials looking into these diversions.
In effect, Chief Justice Corona conducted himself in a manner hardly beyond reproach and unfit of being the head of the Philippine Supreme Court.
With the impeachment court now determining whether CJ Corona is fit to continue as Chief Justice, I believe our senator-jurors should also dig into and discuss this alleged World Bank fund anomaly.
Nonetheless, let us expect former justice and defense counsel Serafin Cuevas to prevent this from happening by claiming the issue is irrelevant to the articles of impeachment filed by 188 congressmen. He invoked this legal incantation against efforts to know whether Corona lied in his SALN or not. How much more against the introduction of this damaging allegation?
Assuming the prosecutors take this up, would they be able to maneuver through the legal technicalities expected from Cuevas? They obviously are so inexperienced in courtroom battles in contrast to the defense veterans.
I hope though that our respected senator-jurors would ask Chief Justice Corona if ever the defense decides to call him as a witness. After all, the impeachment trial is an opportunity, a challenge, and an obligation for them to really test if Corona is fit to continue sitting as Chief Justice.
- Did Corona submit a truthful SALN? (politika2013.wordpress.com)
- Witnesses vs. Corona lined up (politika2013.wordpress.com)
- Corona enjoyed condo discount for favorable decision? (politika2013.wordpress.com)
- Corona can beat impeachment? (politika2013.wordpress.com)
- PNoy vs. Corona: A PDI columnist’s perspective (politika2013.wordpress.com)
- [In the news] Senate to probe SC use of WB loan – INQUIRER.net (hronlineph.com)
- Cebuano lawyer among private prosecutors vs. Corona (politika2013.wordpress.com)
- Expose on properties just ‘tip of iceberg’ (www.philstar.com)