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Senate verdict must be foolproof

MAASIN CITY – To assist the impeachment proceedings against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Bethany Kapili, has submitted to the impeachment court a Manifestation on the degree of evidence to be observed and the quantum of proof needed to impeach the besieged chief magistrate.

The manifestation which was sent to Senator-Judge Miriam Defensor-Santigo, Lead Prosecutor, Congressman Niel Tupas and Lead Defense Counsel former Justice Serafin Cuevas wished to guide the impeachment parties on the debate on what extent of quantum proof was needed for impeachment.

In the recent deliberation of the impeachment court the majority of the senator-judges adopted the position that the proof necessary to convict and impeach Chief Justice Corona need not be beyond reasonable doubt.

The manifestation submitted by Kapili pointed out recent jurisprudence that show that impeachment proceedings against any court judge may they be magistrates of the Supreme Court or Municipal Trial Court, is highly penal in character, and were therefore governed by the rules applicable to criminal cases. Because of this the proof needed in all impeachment cases must be that quantum of proof that is beyond reasonable doubt in order for an impeachment order to issue against an accused in any impeachment proceeding.

SLT contacted the offices of Senator-Judge Miriam Defensor Santiago and the representatives of the prosecution and defense team and were told they welcomed the manifestation and would review it for possible incorporation during the impeachment trial. (By ANTHONY KINGS)





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