Last Feb. 9, 2012, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order preventing the impeachment court from looking into the foreign currency accounts of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, citing Sec. 8 of Republic Act 6426.
The Supreme Court’s issuance of the TRO is very disappointing considering that the impeachment trial is an invaluable political process to restore, renew and strengthen integrity, transparency and accountability in the Judiciary and Philippine governance. It is even more disappointing that 13 senators voted to “respect” it because it meant acknowledging the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court over the impeachment court. But it is clear in the Constitution that the Senate is supreme when it comes to impeachment trials. The only question the senators should have asked themselves before voting was: “Will the TRO serve or hinder the search for truth?” The answer is obvious.
Chief Justice Corona says that he will open his foreign currency accounts in due time. Our question is, if he is not hiding anything, why can it not be opened now? Instead, the Chief Justice remains adamant to calls for the opening of those accounts and has instead asked the Supreme Court to stop the impeachment trial for going outside the constitutional parameters and for violating his human rights. And in questioning propriety and legitimacy of the impeachment court and its proceedings, Chief Justice Corona has continually sought refuge in the Supreme Court for protection and solace. This is against decency and delicadeza because he is asking this of justices under him in rank.
The Association of Major Religious Superiors of Women in the Philippines (AMRSWP), a gathering of 275 women religious congregations in the Philippines, strongly believes the impeachment proceedings will strengthen the foundations of democratic governance in the Philippines.
The impeachment trial against Chief Justice Corona is not a battle between two warring government bodies—the Judiciary and the Executive. Neither is it a personal contest between Chief Justice Corona and President Aquino.
We implore the Chief Justice to listen to the stirrings of truth and justice, and to respect the impeachment court and its proceedings. We implore him to advance the cause of integrity, transparency and accountability in our democratic government.
We also urge the senator-judges to remain steadfast in their duty and to assert their sovereignty in the pursuit of the truth.
Each and every Filipino citizen is asked to act with integrity, to maintain a sense of decency and honesty, and to be held accountable for actions which have grave adverse ramifications on the common good.