Yesterday, the defense and the prosecution team of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona gives their summary of arguments on whether the Chief Justice should be acquitted or convicted based on the evidences presented by both sides after more than four months of trial.
I am writing this blog entry to show my stand on this trial on whether the Chief Justice should be acquitted or convicted, I choose the former for this specific reasons according to the evidences presented and according to its legality or validity within the 1987 constitution.
First is that the non-disclosure of dollar deposits by the Chief Justice is not an impeachable offense because the RA 6426 or the Foreign Currency Deposits Act that secures the absolute confidentiality of a depositor from stating his/her dollar account to the SALN or Statements of Assets and Liabilities however that RA 6426 according to the prosecution or the CJ’s critics says that it is an unconstitutional because it contradicts on what the Article XI, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution states that:
Section 17. A public officer or employee shall, upon assumption of office and as often thereafter as may be required by law, submit a declaration under oath of his assets, liabilities, and net worth. In the case of the President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Commissions and other constitutional offices, and officers of the armed forces with general or flag rank, the declaration shall be disclosed to the public in the manner provided by law.
But these critics and the prosecution forgot on what it says on the last part of the paragraph on that section that states manner provided by law which a section of the constitution shall be supplemented by a statutory laws ratified by the Congress after 1987 or any statutory laws that was ratified before 1987 whether that certain law contradicts what a section of the constitution or not shall be still in force unless being superseded by a statutory law that conforms what in a section of the constitution says and in this case right now, the RA 6426 or Foreign Currency Deposits Acts was not superseded by any statutory law enacted by the Congress after 1987.
The prosecution through Rodulfo Fariñas said RA 6713, the Code of Conduct for Public Officials and Employees clearly states that officials must declare “all other assets such as investments, cash at hand or in bank, stocks, bonds, and the like” however he and the prosecution team forgot that the previous law (RA 6426) imposes an absolute veil of confidentiality on foreign deposits that not even the Code of Conduct can force open therefore CJ Renato Corona is not liable because he believes in good faith on the absolute confidentiality of foreign deposits means that CJ Renato Corona merely follows on what the RA 6426 say and also the RA 6713 and that RA 6713 never really supersedes on what the absolute confidentiality provisions of RA 6426 says.
In conclusion, the Chief Justice Renato Corona never committed an impeachable offense like non-disclose of dollar accounts to his Statements of Assets and Liabilities or SALN as that action never really comply on what the 1987 Constitution says on valid cause for impeachment likeculpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust and also Renato Corona’s actions were guaranteed by a statutory law and therefore by the Constitution. Means that the Chief Justice Renato Corona should be acquitted.