May 29, 2012
DECISION ON ARTICLE TWO OF THE IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES
Impeachment is a Constitutional Administrative Proceeding.
When there is "Sufficient Credible Evidence" to prove a constitutionally recognized ground for impeachment, then the impeached high government official must be removed from office.
There is evidence on record which shows that Respondent Corona did not declare in his SALNs for certain years , real properties worth millions of pesos. There is also evidence on record as well as admissions that millions of pesos and millions of dollars were also not declared in the Respondent's SALNs.
The arguments of the Respondent do not persuade this Senator-Judge.
(1) The ownership of real property is transferred upon delivery of the real property sold. When the contract of sale of real property is embodied in a public instrument, the execution of the said instrument is equivalent to delivery of the thing sold.
(2) There is no law exempting commingled funds from disclosure in the SALN. Minarapatsanangpunongmahistradonaiwasanangganitongmgaalanganingtransaksyongpinansyal. Hindi na nga iniwasan, ginagamit pang kasangkapan (dahilan) upang hindi tumupad sa kanyang tungkuling ilahad ang tunay niyang yaman.
(3) The duty of a public officer or employee to submit under oath a declaration of assets, liabilities, and net worth is mandated by the Constitution. In case of conflict, the Constitution prevails over R. A. 6426!
(4) The SALN is required by R. A. 6713, a 1989 law. The Respondent relies on R. A. 6426, a 1974 law. In case of conflict, the later law prevails over the earlier law! Because the later law is the latest expression of the legislative will.
(5) R. A. 6713 emphasizes the (i) obligation of the public official and employee to file his SALN as well as the (ii) RIGHT OF THE PUBLIC to know their assets , liabilities, and net worth. The 1974 law, R. A. 6426, cannot be interpreted in such a way that it would nullify the main purpose of the Code of Conduct as a tool against graft and corruption. Hindi layunin ng R. A. 6426 ang magsilbing kanlungan sa mga tiwali sa gobierno! An earlier law cannot be interpreted to nullify the purposes of a later law.
The Respondent relies too much on the phrase "of an absolutely confidential nature". That phrase is practically useless as the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act itself provides four exceptions. Jurisprudence and other laws add six more exceptions. The Foreign Currency Deposit Act ("FCDA") itself provides one exception, and jurisprudence and other laws provide for a further two more exceptions. How can something be of an "absolutely" confidential nature when there are so many exceptions to the rule of confidentiality?
The 1974 FCDA and the 1989 SALN Law do not have to exclude each other. They can be harmonized.
This Senator-Judge respectfully submits that the two laws could be harmonized as follows: Foreign Currency Deposit Accounts continue to be protected from idle inquiry but the amounts of these deposits must be declared as assets in the SALN converted to Philippine Peso, without need of disclosing details like the existence of the foreign currency accounts, name of bank, and account numbers. Furthermore, R. A. 6713 in requiring that the SALN shall contain information on "all other assets" does not distinguish between peso and foreign currencies. When the law does not distinguish, neither should we distinguish!
The Respondent has consistently misinterpreted all the laws as releasing him from his constitutional duty to disclose his entire assets in his SALN. The Respondent never corrected his SALNs to reflect his true net worth. These facts have convinced this Senator-Judge of the Respondent's intent to avoid his constitutional duty to disclose his true net worth.
Simple lang, kung ayawmongilahadangtunaymongyaman, huwag kang pumasok sa gobierno!
Under R. A. 6713,any violation is sufficient cause for removal or dismissal of an ordinary public employee.
Ang patakarang pinatutupad para sa pangkaraniwang empleyado ng gobierno ay dapat ding ipatupad sa punong mahistrado, sapagkat tayong lahat ay pantay-pantay sa ilalim ng batas. Ang batas para kay Juan ay batas din parakay Renato.
Therefore, this Senator-Judge finds the Respondent Chief Justice Renato C. Corona "GUILTY" of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, under Article 2 of the Articles of Impeachment.
Tuesday, May 21
Monday, May 20
Sunday, May 19
Saturday, May 18
Thursday, May 16
Wednesday, May 15