Saguisag: Corona trial is a political exercise

MANILA. Former Senator Rene Saguisag believes that the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona should not be compared to other legal proceedings, saying that it is a political exercise.

“The impeachment shouldn’t be tested by the standards in other proceedings. This is a national inquest into the conduct or misconduct of high government people,” according to Saguisag.

Saguisag said that although Corona should be given due process, it should not bar the truth from prevailing.

“Hindi dapat magkatalo sa technicalities kung hindi sa katotohanan, kung ano ang makatarungan (They must not debate on technicalities but on truth, what is reasonable and fair),” he said.

The former lawmaker explained that because it is a political exercise, public opinion plays a role in the proceedings.

“That’s I don’t agree on the gag rule of the Senate. Let everybody speak, more speech, not less. In the free competition of ideas, what is the best for the country will emerge,” he added.

The impeachment complaint filed against Corona accuses the Chief Justice of graft, culpable violations of the Constitution, and betrayal of the public trust.

‘Soft impeachment’

Saguisag believes that Corona is no longer fit to be the Chief Justice, suggesting that he be censured in the event he is acquitted from the charges.

“If it is hard to get enough votes to impeach him, censure him. That’s what we call a soft impeachment,” he said.

The House prosecution team started the impeachment proceedings with Article 2 of the impeachment complaint, which zeroed in on the non-release of Corona’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) and alleged ill-gotten wealth.

Saguisag said that while the allegation that Corona did not publicly disclose his SALN may “not warrant removal” as Chief Justice, the other articles warrant impeachment.

“’The other counts, if combined, the accumulation of various counts, maybe will have proportionality between the offense and the penalty,” he said.—ABS-CBN News



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