Philippine Chief Justice Removed

A belated post on the Philippine Chief Justice who was removed from office on May 29, 2012. As I noted here, he was impeached for not declaring $2.8 million held in foreign currency. Note that the amount seems to have declined from $28 million to $4.2 million. This New York Times article noted some of the complex politics behind the case (see here):

The case has been politically delicate from the start and is tied up with a feud between the Aquinos and Mrs. Arroyo, who is a member of the House of Representatives but did not support the impeachment. Mr. Corona was Mrs. Arroyo’s chief of staff before she appointed him to the Supreme Court in 2002. She named him chief justice just days after Mr. Aquino won the presidency. Mr. Aquino and his supporters argue the move was meant to squelch efforts to build corruption cases against Mrs. Arroyo and those in her administration.

Mr. Corona faced no criminal or civil charges, though cases could still be filed against him, and he is barred from ever holding public office. Although Mr. Corona faced an impeachment charge of making decisions that were biased in favor of Mrs. Arroyo and her supporters, the Senate never voted on it because after a conviction was obtained on the first charge, which involved hiding assets — the $2.4 million as well as 80 million pesos, worth about $1.8 million, that he had in bank accounts — the trial ended. The Senate then voted, 20 to 3, to remove Mr. Corona from office.

Mr. Corona’s supporters say that Mr. Aquino is trying to consolidate power by attacking the judiciary. The chief justice has also accused the president of favoring the impeachment in retaliation for court rulings that ordered the breakup of an Aquino family plantation, an accusation the president has denied.

I’m seriously behind in reading my newsfeed and posting articles here for posterity (I see this blog as a form of data collection)–I’ve articles starred for reading/posting from back in April!


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