On day 11 of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona impeachment case proceeding in the Senate, sitting as the impeachment court, the Senate has arrived at the most substantial issue of the case when Senator-Judge Joker Arroyo addressed the court in hearing evidence only for impeachable offenses, which was strongly supported by Senator-Judge Francis “Chiz” Escudero.
Section 2, Article XI, Accountability of Public Officers of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that
The president, the vice-president, members of the Supreme Court, members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the ombudsman may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of: culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust.
However, though the Constitution provides impeachable category of crimes, the same does not specifically or absolutely define crimes as impeachable offenses. Hence, the Constitution may imply that committing impeachable offenses is committing high and real criminality that may pose grave threat and danger to the public and to the nation as a whole. Why? Because the Constitution implies respect of the sanctity of the impeachable high public officials so as not to be used and abused as they are vulnerable to the ire of political scrutiny.
Hence, then, geniuses of the legal field would agree in concluding that the question of whether or not Chief Justice Corona committed an impeachable offenses sufficient to removal from office is NONJUSTICIABLE. It can not be construed based on judicial authority and objectivity as to categorize the charged offenses as impeachable or not especially on the charge against betrayal of public trust. In other words, even if the Senate sitting as the impeachment court guaranteed by the Constitution, does it follow to having the sole authority of defining absolutely, especially on defining specifically what are those crimes impeachable under betrayal of public trust, where in fact even the Constitution doesn’t have its specified definition?
Well, under the pain of nonjusticiability, the Senate sitting as the impeachment court shall be expected to vote ACQUITTAL in favor of Chief Justice Corona. Furthermore, the Senate must learn the lessons from the history of impeachment cases, especially in the United States, where the Philippine has patterned its impeachment proceedings.
Who would have dared to contest the majority votes of Democrats for acquittal of President Clinton impeachment case where public morality versus private morality was under the ire of political clash? Normally, common people may assert that former President Clinton not only committed grave misconduct but also committed a crime under betrayal of public trust. However, the Senate acquitted Clinton.
Then, would the Philippine Senate mark history to convict the chief justice? Either or not, the Senate verdict would be still PARTISAN in favor of conscience!
Filed under: Laws and Jurisprudence, Politics and Government Tagged: | Chief Justice Corona impeachment, impeachable offenses, justiciable, nonjusticiable, Philippine Constitution, President Clinton impeachment, Senate, Senator Escudero, Senator Joker Arroyo