Vote and Explanation Re Chief Justice Corona’s Impeachment Trial
May 29, 2012
When a witness takes the stand, he is first to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That makes half-truths no better than lies.
I have always been an investigator all my public service life. Modesty aside, I have the uncommon ability to determine if a person is telling the truth or not.
An error in judgment has no place in this trial because it is final and irreversible. Equally important to me is the testimony of the respondent, particularly in this case, because the exalted position of the highest magistrate of the land must shut its door to anyone who desecrates the solemn oath that engulfs a testimony in any judicial proceeding.
Over the weekend I did my homework and discernment. Let me share it with you.
Chief Justice Renato Corona had at one point $3,977,790 and 87 cents. At a given time he had P91,280,499 and 22 centavos. If you ask me, so, what is the difference between $3.9 million and $2.4 million, between P91 million and P80.7 million? My answer is: a lot of money.
Chief Justice Renato Corona used to work as a senior officer of the tax and corporate counseling group of the tax division of a prominent accounting firm, Sycip Gorres and Velayo and Company. He also taught commercial law, taxation and corporate law at the Ateneo de Manila University for 17 years. I find it hard to believe his testimony that he does not understand accounting.
Chief Justice Corona testified under oath he invested in currencies and not in properties in the late 1960s, mindful of the Basa-Guidote family squabble over some real estate properties left by their deceased parents.
The fact is, the family feud started in 1989. One cannot simply learn from the lessons of the future, even if the standards of moral fitness for such a lofty position in government were lowered, an acquittal may still be difficult to justify.
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, I therefore find the respondent guilty as charged under Article 2 of the Articles of Impeachment.