The House of Representatives has designated Deputy Speaker Lorenzo R. Tañada III as spokesperson for the prosecution team in the Senate impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Tañada was earlier one of five members of the prosecution team whose members include Representatives Niel C. Tupas Jr., Joseph Emilio A. Abaya, Reynaldo V. Umali, and Arlene J. Bag-ao.
As this developed, Tañada said the prosecution team will make Corona answer for his statement accusing President Aquino of instigating the House impeachment complaint against the SC chief justice.
Tañada said that the SC chief justice has not answered the verified impeachment complaint, but has instead accused President Aquino and the Liberal Party to have instigated the filing of the impeachment complaint against him when he sought the immediate dismissal of the impeachment complaint voted by 188 members of the House of Representatives.
“These are 188 members whose constituents represent the voice of the people that need to be heard,” Tañada said, noting also that “Corona is running away from the charges by asking for the dismissal of the impeachment complaint instead of facing the charges as he said he will.”
“The fact that he did not verify his answer shows that he does not want to be held accountable for what is written in his answer,” Tañada said.
The veteran legislator also expressed confidence “the prosecution team will get the 16 votes needed to impeach Corona” as chief justice of the Supreme Court.”
The Senate acting as an impeachment court for Corona has given the prosecution team five days or until yesterday (Jan. 2, 2012) to answer the Corona’s petition for the dismissal of the impeachment case filed against him.
The prosecution team has submitted a 40-page reply to the Corona’s answer to the verified impeachment complaint filed last Dec. 21 by the House of Representatives that, under the Constitution, has the sole power of impeachment.
In its reply, the prosecution will insist on Corona’s removal from office, being the “biggest coddler” in the Supreme Court of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.”
“This impeachment will not weaken the Supreme Court nor the Judiciary. Rather, it will strengthen and invigorate the institution by ousting GMA’s single biggest coddler in the Supreme Court, thereby restoring the people’s faith in it,” the prosecution stated in its reply.
It also hit Corona for allegedly hiding behind the cloak of collegiality and legal technicalities to delay the trial or avoid accountability.#