Corona impeachment trial begins-A A +A
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
MANILA--The Senate on Wednesday afternoon suspended its legislative session to constitute itself into an impeachment court, which, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said means the start of proceedings against Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Led by Senate Sergeant at Arms Jose Balajadia Jr., senators filed into the session hall dressed in red judge's robes.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile took his oath as a senator-judge before Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, the youngest lawmaker in the chamber. Enrile then administered the oath to his colleagues.
After the senators took their oaths, the court directed the Senate secretary to issue Corona a summons.
After the court adjourned, Impeachment Court spokesperson Maria Valentina Cruz told reporters that the summons, which is a covering document attached to the verified impeachment complaint, will "probably" be served Thursday.
Under the impeachment rules that the Senate adopted earlier this year for the trial of former ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, Corona will have 10 calendar days to file an answer at the Senate.
The Senate will then transmit Corona's answer to prosecutors at the House of Representatives. Those prosecutors will then have 5 days from the receipt of the answer to respond. Cruz said the deadlines cannot be extended.
Sotto said it is possible that the trial proper can begin when the Senate comes back from the Christmas break on January 16 next year. (Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)