PNoy strongly pushed for Corona impeachment: source

from a report by Jing Castañeda, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 15 2011 10:29 PM | Updated as of Dec 16 2011 06:29 AM

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino pushed aggressively for the impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, a source has revealed.

The President did not hide his joy when Corona was impeached by Congress.

According to an ABS-CBN News source, leaders of the majority coalition debated if they will keep a secret Aquino's role in pushing the impeachment case forward.

Aquino did not want to lie to the public about his role in the issue, especially since he had been openly criticizing Corona.

The Supreme Court's Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the government's hold departure order against former President Gloria Macapagl-Arroyo prompted Aquino to give the impeachment the green light, the source said.

Aquino reportedly had one-on-one talks with leaders of the coalition.

House Committee on Justice Chairman Niel Tupas was tasked to finalize the impeachment complaint, while House Speaker Sonny Belmonte and Majority Leader Boyet Gonzales had to ensure that the impeachment complaint will get no less than 95 signatories from the ranks of congressmen.

Strategy meetings

PNoy strongly pushed for Corona impeachment: source 1

After several weeks, Aquino, Belmonte, and Gonzales had a meeting in a restaurant to create a strategy.

From the restaurant, Belmonte and Gonzales went to the House Speaker's home to meet with coalition leaders and finalize Corona's impeachment.

Members of the Liberal Party, the Nationalist People's Coalition, the Nacionalista Party, party-list groups, and the National Unity Party that was formed by former allies of Arroyo.

The source said the discussion involving Arroyo's former allies became a heated debate.

However, when Gonzales made a head count, the coalition leaders found out that they have the numbers to approve the impeachment complaint.

They then decided that the impeachment complaint be filed Monday, December 12.

Gonzales denied allegations that they did not explain the complaint to congressmen who signed it.

He said they had a presentation, with party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño even bringing a copy of the complaint to his office to read the document before he signed it.

Gonzales admitted that they had to keep the plan a secret because others may file a bogus impeachment complaint ahead of them.

Aquino's allies in Congress remain firm that Corona must be removed from the Supreme Court to restore its integrity.