Senators likely to vote anew on CJ dollar accounts

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2012 05:18 PM | Updated as of May 12 2012 01:18 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Senator-judges will most likely vote again on whether or not to heed the Supreme Court's order temporarily stopping the impeachment court from opening Chief Justice Renato Corona's dollar accounts.

Sen. Aquilio Pimentel III said on Friday that he will bring up the matter during a caucus on Monday, May 14.

He believes that although Corona's lawyers promised that he will bare everything when he testifies, including his dollar accounts, the impeachment court must not take their word for it.

"In effect, if we conduct a re-vote, we will not be dependent on their compliance with their promise," Pimentel told reporters. "Conditional promise 'yon. Puwede nilang sabihin, the conditions were not met."

Early in the trial, senators voted 13-10 to follow the Court's temporary restraining order (TRO) on opening the dollar accounts, which stemmed from a petition of Philippine Savings Bank.

Pimentel, who was among those who voted to obey the TRO, announced during Tuesday's hearing that he is changing his vote.

"My decision was an assertion of the power of the Senate as an impeachment court," he said. "It's time for the Senate to confront this particular matter."

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the matter on June 26. Pimentel said the impeachment trial will have ended by that time, and he doesn't want the trial to conclude with the issue on the dollar accounts unresolved.

"How come the Supreme Court is not yet acting or does not see the urgency in resolving the issue?" he said.