Senate receives Articles of Impeachment vs Corona

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 13 2011 10:10 AM | Updated as of Dec 13 2011 09:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - The House of Representatives on Tuesday formally transmitted the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Renato Corona to the Senate.

House Justice Committee Chairman Niel Tupas and Rep. Reynaldo Umali personally delivered the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate at around 10 a.m.

A total of 188 congressmen signed the impeachment complaint accusing Corona of betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.  

Tupas reiterated that the complaint was not railroaded, having gotten more than the required number of signatures. He said congressmen have been studying the possibility of impeaching Corona when the Supreme Court blocked their impeachment proceedings against then Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez early this year.

He said they used 3 grounds to impeach Corona, with 8 articles.

Among the issues raised are Corona's failure to file his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth, and the appointment of his wife to a government corporation despite it being prohibited since he was already in the Supreme Court.

Tupas said they are now finalizing the composition of the prosecution panel.

He earlier said there were no instructions from the Palace to impeach Corona, claiming it was a purely House initiative.

However, he said they recently informed President Benigno Aquino III about their decision to impeach Corona, and "he [Aquino] said he'd support it."

The Senate, meanwhile, said it will convene as an impeachment court next year after going on break on Thursday.