Monday, May 28, 2012

A "weak" guilty verdict could spark constitutional crisis

Tomorrow, Senator-judges will render its judgment on Corona. If found guilty, Corona's lead counsel Serafin Cuevas said, they will appeal his case before the Supreme Court.


The Constitution is silent on whether impeachment cases are appealable. If it is, then, they should file a reconsideration or immediately direct it to the Supreme Court, being the sole arbiter of legal controversies. Their cause of action? The silence of the SALN law insofar as foreign dollar deposits are concerned. 


In the eyes of the defense, Corona is innocent because he just exercised an option of not disclosing his foreign bank deposits due to the Foreign Bank Deposits Law. No one can say that he did so out of ignorance---he did so out of compliance of a special law. When there is doubt as to the legality of an organic law, then, the rules of special law will apply. Special laws, which are deprived from organic laws, are specific. 


So, there. What this means is, we wasted 40 plus days listening to arguments ad inifinitum and eventually, everything will boil down to just one event---an appeal before the very court where Corona holds office. 


Should Cuevas does, indeed, file such a case, then, impeachment cases against Supreme Court justices or any other posts, like the President, will always go to the Supreme Court for final arbitration. 


This also means that the Senate is actually not the highest court when it comes to impeachments--it is just an ordinary court. 


The Supreme Court will either sit this one out and wait for the termination of Corona's term or render a special judgement favoring Corona. This is possible given these circumstances.