Convict 20, Acquit 3, Abstain 0
Twenty Senator-Judges voted guilty, more than enough from the required number for the Senate sitting as an Impeachement Court to remove Chief Justice Renato Corona from his post for failing to disclose all his assets in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SALN).
An overwhelming majority of senator-judges, including the presiding officer, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, delivered the guilty verdict that automatically stripped Corona of his position as chief magistrate.
The prosecution panel, however, cannot lay claim to have convincingly won its case as it was Corona’s testimony that led most of the senator-judges to rule in favor of conviction and not the pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution panel that is led by allies of President Aquino in the House of Representatives.
Even senator-judges whose “votes” were to convict Corona strongly chastised the nature of evidence they presented before the impeachment tribunal as well as the manner of laying down their basis for their charges in the verified impeachment complaint.
Senators Joker Arroyo, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. stood firm on handing down their vote for acquittal.
No less than the presiding officer himself made mention his disgust over the prosecution panel’s repeated “unethical and unprofessional conduct, the penchant to engage in trial by publicity, to use the media to disseminate and advance so-called nformation or evidence, to provoke and disrespect the Court and its members and to irresponsibly hurl disparaging insinuations and accusations.”
This was an impeachment trial were the voting for a verdict was made mostly not from the presented evidences and known legalities but more from the moral obligations required to keep the position of the highest magistrate in court. As one Senator said, his vote was from his conscience!