‘Bribery’ voids Corona impeachment – Puno

37

IF it can be proved that the senators who acted as judges in the impeachment trial of former Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona were “bribed” through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), then his removal would be null and void.

This is according to Corona’s predecessor, retired chief justice Reynato Puno, who explained that if the senator-judges were influenced to vote for a conviction, the entire process should be nullified.

“[If bribery is proven], talagang void yun. Wala kasing impartial tribunal,” Puno said during a roundtable with editors and reporters of The Manila Times.

The former chief justice, who was never implicated in any controversy during his term and has a sterling reputation, stressed that bribery can be used as a ground to declare the Corona impeachment proceedings as void ab initio (from the beginning) since there was no fair and impartial tribunal.


Puno said the issue could cast doubts on the assumption of Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief justice.

“May question din sa nakaupo,” he said, alluding to Sereno, who was appointed as chief magistrate in August last year.

The former chief justice said, however, that even if the impeachment process were nullified, Corona would no longer be able to regain his position.

“Magulo ‘yan (that would be chaotic),” he admitted.

For one, the Supreme Court cannot step into the issue and rule on the nullity, legality or constitutionality of the impeachment process because the Senate impeachment court is an independent body.

He added that even if Corona were to be found innocent of the impeachment charges, prosecutors were able to dig up additional facts that the former chief justice should be held liable for. He did not enumerate what these “facts” were.

Puno however said that Corona himself can question his conviction once there is  ”solid evidence” to support the allegation of bribery, which cropped up when Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada exposed that senators who voted to convict Corona were given an additional appropriation of at least P50 million each. Some other lawmakers got even bigger allocations, Estrada said in his privilege speech.

Palace officials admitted that the funds for the additional allocations for the lawmakers were sourced through the DAP, which is now being criticized as illegal. Several petitions have been filed before the High Court questioning the disbursement program.

According to Estrada, it was Senate President Franklin Drilon, then chairman of the appropriations committee, who approved the extra funds.  Drilon is also a ranking official of the Liberal Party and campaign manager of the administration slate in last May’s polls.

If Corona had not been impeached, his term would have ended on October 15, 2018.

Besides Estrada, former senator Joker Arroyo also revealed that Drilon approved the release of P47 million to his office but that he had no inkling that it was sourced through DAP.

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago earlier said that the extra allocations given to senators were bribes even if the funds were released after Corona was convicted.

Mistrial
Puno claimed that if it could be substantiated that the DAP releases were indeed “bribes,” then there was a “denial of due process” which could be a ground for the declaration of a “mistrial”.

“Void yun. It is a denial of due process. That is a constitutional right. It binds all departments [of government],” Puno pointed out.
If Corona’s rights were violated, Puno said that like any other citizen, he has the right to raise the issue with the SC.

He maintained that Corona can file another petition to declare the proceedings in the Senate as null and void before the Court en banc.

He said that the last time a mistrial was declared by the High Court was when Rolando Galman tagged by the government as the assassin of the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr..

In that particular case, the SC en banc declared a “mistrial” and a new trial was held at the Sandiganbayan after the ouster of then president Ferdinand Marcos.

He added that there were constitutional issues on the petition raised by Corona wherein the High Court should have rendered a decision rather than declaring the petition as “moot and academic” when Corona was already ousted.

“May mga issues si Corona na ini-akyat at hindi nadesisyunan hanggang matapos ang impeachment. Dahil ang lakas ng clamor noon na purely political ang Senate impeachment,” he said.

For declaring it as a “political” procedure, the Court practically distanced itself from the impeachment case.

Puno is presently leading the group pushing for a people’s initiative to enact a law against the use of the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the DAP. The law would ensure that budgets cannot be tinkered with and funds are not misused.

Share.
.
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

37 Comments

  1. Heto ang maganda…iimpeach natin si Sereno pag tapos na term ni Pnoy…para maramdaman niya ang pain na ginawa nila to the former CJ Corona and his family…

    Somehow I have the feeling that day will come…

    At least, now you should feel vindicated Mr. Corona…!

  2. corrupt galit sa kapwa corrupt pareho lng yang mga nasa legislative at si Corona kaya nga hindi na ko bumuboto sayang lng tama si Marcos isa lang ang corrupt kahit papaano nakikinabang taong bayan at may pagbabago sa bansa ngayon puro ghost project palitan n yang gobyerno natin.HALOS LAHAT CORRUPT.

  3. nakakahiya ang gobyerno natin. using government funds just to impeach Corona. NASAAN ANG TUWID NA DAAN DITO!

  4. Yung naniniwala pa sa gobyerno ngayon after 5years balikan nyo mga sarili ninyo kung anong paniniwala nyo? Yun ay kung buhay pa kayo sa daming krimen ngayon?

  5. romeo polistico on

    Mr. Reynato Puno is trying to introduce an alternative solution to the present ills of our society brought by the massive corruption in the government wasting people’s money. Like Mr. Puno, we should not be contented to just being mere fence sitters. We should also think of some positive ways on how to contribute solving this manmade calamity that befell our country compliments of these dirty politicians.

  6. Sana mawala na ang PORK BARREL para masiguro natin na independent talaga ang congress natin.

  7. Don’t listen to this Puno. He is just creating chaos among the Fiipino people. If yu remember the name Puno was also a thief during the Marcos regime.

  8. Former CJ Renato Puno is right and I agree with him. If anything the Bribery scandal as an aftermath to the Impeachment trial at the Senate finding Ex-CJ Corona “guilty as charged” loses all the moral luster that the unprecedented trial have achieved. It’s disappointing to know that even in a supposedly sacred proceeding such as the Impeachment trial, that explains the wearing of regal robes and the strict observance of prim and proper decorum, was marred with a quid pro quo as the means to justify the end – the conviction of Ex CJ Corona. While in my personal view Corona from the very start wasn’t fit to be the nation’s highest magistrate and deserved being booted out of the SC, the senator’ acceptance of a “reward” in whatever form leaves a very bad taste in the mouth and is an utterly immoral action on their part that deserves nothing less than a resignation, that is if the are any honorable cells still residing in their body.

  9. Ngayon alam na ng marami
    na natanggal si CJ Corona
    dahil sa bribery. Kaya dapat
    alisin na yang PDAF at DAP
    na instrumento ng Corruption
    at Bribery.

  10. It’s all water under the bridge. What’s done is done. Let’s move on. I’m full up to here!!!

  11. I am convinced that ex CJ Corona’s impeachment was not fair. Bottomline ..he is not Pro Yellow. Slowly he will be vindicated and after Pnoy’s term, perception will change.Panapanahon lang yan.

  12. Philippines will HEADING to nowhere…after Marcos toppled 20 years ago…and the late former President is right…Yearly nagbabayad ng TAX ang TAONG BAYAN…pero walang MAJOR PROJECTS and INFRASTRUCTURES na makikita…Mas masahol pa sila ngayon kay Marcos…

  13. Saturnino R. Mendinueto, Jr. on

    Question of an ordinary citizen, ARE both BRIBE GIVER and the BRIBE TAKER guilty of BRIBE? If they are, will those 20 senators who received P100M and 188 congressmen P10M ” REWARDS “, IF FOUND GUILTY WILL BE JAILED??? ay sana nga para sa NBP lahat sila SAMA-SAMA AT DUON SILA MA BOCHA… DI BA HO NYONG LAHAT !!!! HE…HE…HE….

  14. What a joke!Even bribery found to be true,Corona deserve it!his background and being a crony of arroyo is enough to removed him from being a chief justice.Punogulo ka Puno!Corona has been found guilty!sasakyan ka ni Corona niyan,magkukunwari yan na wala siyang kasalanan.hindi tanga ang taong bayan,alam ng lahat ang baho niyan ni Corona.wag mo na punoguluhin pa.

    • Darewin Ocampo on

      Found guilty e may suhol nga na naganap. Naniniwala pa din ba ang mga noytards na coincidence lang na nabigyan ng 100m ang mga bumoto ng Yes?/ Sabi nga ni Miriam Defensor Santiago, accomplished lawyer si Corona kaya di nakapagtatakang aabot ng 100m ang yaman nya lalo na galing sya sa mayamang angkan. At take note, according to MDS foreign dollar assets ang di nakadeclare sa SALN ni Corono at ayon pa kay MDS, kapag foreign generated ang income optional lang na isama ito sa SALN kaya nga No ang naging boto ng senadora.

    • Much like Sereno is Noynoy’s crony? She who wasn’t even a trial court judge a day in her life before her Supreme Court appointment and FAILED A PSYCHIATRIST TEST that should have disqualified her from being appointed Chief Justice if only the Judicial & Bar Council followed their own rules.

      Corona maybe guilty of not declaring his other properties in his SALN. But, and this is a very big but, those acts ARE NOT impeachable acts. The fact that he was impeached and money changed hands between Malacanang and Congress before, during and after the impeachment trial is only one more proof that this was a moro-moro meant to put a lapdog to head the Supreme Court. A sneaky and expensive (using our taxes) way to control all 3 branches of government.

  15. Anyway, if you are stirring rebellion and revolution among the citizens as what was in the news recently instigated by you and your cohorts, Ex CJ Puno, I think you also know that this is against the sovereignty of the Philippines, and the Constitution, to instigate rebellion against the government. You are all corrupt! Walang exception sa inyo. At this point, only Pnoy has steered the country towards a positive outlook, that’s why we favored him vs anybody incl you. Kung wala kayong nakikitang pagbabago, siguro dahil sa sarili ninyo hindi nagbago.

    • Good day yellow lemming. Kailan naging “steering the country towards a positive outlook” yong pagbili ng presidente sa mga senador at kongressmen para matanggal sa puwesto ang taong gustong ipatanggal ni presidente? At ang taong gusto niyang ipatanggal ay ang Chief Justice of the supreme court lang naman. At ang perang ginamit niya pangbili sa mga senadores at kongresmen ay kinuha lang naman niya kung saan.saan pagkatapus sila (si presidente at ang mga magigiting niyang mga alipores) mismo nagdeklarang “savings” ang mga ito.

  16. di lumabas din ang rason mo kung bakit ka nagpupuyos vs DAP, si Corona pala ang dahilan. Ayun!

    • c corrona talaga ang dahilan… kung d dahil sa kanya d sana ma bribed ang mga senators at congressman…kaya kasalanan pa rin ni corrona at wala kasalanan yata ang nag bribe maliit lang naman na pera 100 million lang per senator, whereas hirap sila daw kumuha ng pera para sa victem ng lindol.. please explain….

    • DAP was “re-aligned funds” used to bribe the senators and congressmen to impeach Corona. Corona’s reputation was shredded into pieces and was more hated than Gloria just because he, together with other justices, have finally made a decision to distribute Hacienda Luisita fairly though belatedly to the farmers.

  17. If I were you, Mr. Ex-Chief Justice of the SC, Mr. Puno..I’l just simply shut off your mouth because what you are saying to get media attention does not make any sense at all. Senate who voted for Corona impeachment is an independent body. As a former justice, you should understand that all govt. officials of the land is impeachable and the Constitution as it was crafted will be acting as the judge to decides.

    You are trying to make a scenario by misleading the people that DAP might be use as a bribe to convict Corona. How do you define bribery in the first place. A bribery is a direct pay-off to an individual to keep their mouth shut or to decides in favor to an individual. Bribery should be establish for the receipient that they pocketed the money. DAP releases is to augment the recommended projects of the Senators or Congressmen to be use only for their identified projects. Unlike PDAF, DAP was not given to them directly nor has the final say where to use it but just a recommendatory in nature. How come you are so silent during the years in power of GMA who overwhelmingly corrupted and drain the taxpayers money for only one purpose. To cheat an opponents in elections, and to enrich themselves.

    • Darewin Ocampo on

      So coincidence lang na ang mga bumoto lang ng YES ang nabigyan ng DAP? At bakit most congressman don’t know about DAP kundi lang pumutok ang issue? Simple, walang batas na gumawa ng DAP at tinawag lamang ng palasyo na DAP yung isinuhol nila para majustify nila.

  18. Just let him go (Corona). Filipinos has to face the issue on hand and not dwell on something else from the past. Anyway, Corona is corrupt Chief Justice whose case for unexplained wealth including his wife and kids is not even heard yet.

    • if corrona could not explain of his hard earned wealth? what will you say of hundreds of millions of peoples money our good senators and congressman received from our very good government they called later DAP? paki explain….

  19. Justice Coorona, I am with you all the way even before you were impeached. I know then that your removal from office is not fair. This is the work of a very vindictive President. Even if you will not get back your old position, at least you are vindicated. God is with you and I continue praying for you. God bless Chief Justice Corona.

    • Mr. CJ Puno, I agree with you.

      Mr. CJ Corona. Hold on Sir. Justice will always prevail.

      Hindi lahat ng Pilipino nabibili at nabobola kagaya ng nararami.

  20. As a rejoinder of this article, the intelligent public knew too well that Corona was not guilty of anything Congress and the Senate accused him of. PNoy hated Corona so much because of acting on the legality of the Hacienda Luisita ownership, which was a very bold, intelligent move and which the public and the farmers should be very thankful to Corona. PNoy declared himself the King of Pork and manipulated all the funds he can handle to make sure that Corona will be judged guilty. Who among the intelligent public does not believe that PNoy bribed the Senate to assure guilt? Maybe nothing can be done now because the noynoying President will continue to bribe the legislators but after PNoy is gone, Corona should do something about the failure of justice in his case. Meanwhile, the public will have to allow a pretender as CJ in the name of Lourdes Sereno, who is failing miserably in her job.

    • Nieves Godinez on

      Tama ka, justice has to be served. Corona was convicted by corrupt judges and was denied due process in a highly political exercise. Mga bayaran ng Malacanang, back off and read more about what justice means!!!

  21. abraham.magtanong on

    I think mr puno is full of wisdow. He knows the law.he is a righteous person. Who knows, he will lead the pilipinos to bring light and to restore credibility to the dying and stinking government system led by corrupt poloticians and the result is hardship and poverty to the millions of pilipinos. Let’s support mr punos peoples initiative

  22. Corona’s loyalty to Gloria infuriated Pnoy’s hatred to the latter thus, by hook or by crook and by the power of the pork Corona was uncrowned.

    • Darewin Ocampo on

      No. It was Corona’s decision to hand over hacienda Luisita to the farmer’s that made Pnoy hate him to the bone. And look, Pnoy’s tactic work. More than 3 years after Corona’s decision almost the entirety of hacienda Luisita still belongs to the Aquino-Cojuangco.