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View Poll Results: Senate's verdict on CJ

69. You may not vote on this poll
  • Guilty!

    58 84.06%
  • Not Guilty

    9 13.04%
  • i couldn't care less

    2 2.90%
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  1. Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by shadow View Post
    whose justice? theirs?
    depends on whose zombie the law is to be interpreted for...

    anyway, justice cannot be approximated. it depends on which group of zombie seeks to have the law interpreted. if it runs counter to the spirit of the cause that the yellow zombies are advancing then there is no justice for the yellow zombie but there is justice for the little girl and all other spirits inside the "nuno".

  2. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Corona is above the highest law (Constituiton) when the SC declared that the CJ position in exempted from midnight appointment he is also above any UST rules in getting the doctorate degree in civil law...mga uste ano masasabi nyo?


    [SIZE=4]UST ‘breaks rules’ for CJ Corona[/SIZE]

    By Marites Dañguilan Vitug
    8:41 pm | Saturday, December 31st, 2011

    In a special graduation ceremony in April 2011 at the historic Puerta Real, University of Santo Tomas (UST) conferred on Chief Justice Renato Corona a doctorate in civil law, summa cum laude.

    He was one of six graduates to garner top honors during ceremonies intended to commemorate the university’s quadricentennial.

    Kneeling before the UST rector and wearing a black robe and bright red cape, Corona received a “ceremonial declaration” of the graduation, apart from his doctoral degree, from Fr. Rolando de la Rosa.

    It was a proud moment for UST, the world’s largest Catholic university, as it celebrated its 400th anniversary. It was as well for Corona who was appointed to the highest post in the Supreme Court in May 2010.

    “This great educational institution … the oldest existing university in Asia … has made it possible for me to realize my dream of appending the hard-earned degree of Doctor of Civil Law to my name,” Corona said in his valedictory address.

    It was a welcome honor for the Chief Justice whose legitimacy was in doubt as he was appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during a supposed ban on appointments in an election period. The Supreme Court, in a ruling, exempted itself from the ban.

    [Corona will go on trial starting this month in the Senate impeachment court on eight charges, including betrayal of public trust as a result of his partiality in cases involving Arroyo, who is currently detained on charges of electoral sabotage, a nonbailable offense.]

    But it turns out that UST may have broken its rules in granting Corona a doctorate in civil law and qualifying him for honor.

    UST rules

    First, UST requires a dissertation. Dissertation writing takes all of 15 units spread out in four courses.

    Second, only students who complete a doctorate degree in five years are qualified to graduate with honors: “A student who has overstayed beyond the residency limit … will also be disqualified to graduate with honors.”

    Corona does not have a dissertation. Neither did he fulfill the five-year residency requirement.

    Wrong signal

    This unusual practice may set a precedent in UST and send a wrong signal to students that rank and influence trump academic rigor.

    The UST Graduate School did not reply to our questions and repeated requests for interviews. We sent our first set of questions on Oct. 3, 2010 and again on December 12. On that day, it asked for one more day of extension but did not get back to us.

    Where’s the dissertation?

    What started out as a routine request for Corona’s dissertation for a book on the Supreme Court that we were then finishing led to this story.

    Our search, which began last July, yielded no results, except a public lecture the Chief Justice delivered in November 2010 at the UST Graduate School. The Varsitarian, the official student publication of UST, reported in April last year (2011) that Corona’s doctoral dissertation was titled “To Every One His Due: The Philippine Judiciary at the Forefront of Promoting Environmental Justice.”

    Similarly, the Supreme Court website said the Chief Justice’s dissertation was on environmental law “which he defended and lectured on in a convocation attended by some 300 graduate school students, faculty members and experts.”

    When we asked the UST Graduate School for access to Corona’s dissertation, it gave us a copy of the March issue of Ad Veritatem, its multidisciplinary research journal, wherein his lecture was published. For the full dissertation, it suggested that we ask the Chief Justice himself.

    Neither does the UST Law library have a copy of the dissertation. It instead referred us to the same journal where “an article based on his dissertation is available.”

    Similarly, the UST main library does not have Corona’s dissertation. It is standard for university libraries to have files of their students’ dissertations. Eight months after the graduation, Estrella Majuelo, the chief librarian, had not received the Chief Justice’s dissertation.

    In July, we wrote Corona requesting access to his dissertation. His office did not respond despite our repeated calls.

    The public lecture, also published last year in the Philippine Judicial Academy’s sourcebook on environmental rights and legal remedies, is unlike a dissertation.

    Largely descriptive and explanatory, its main point is: “courts must administer environmental justice with the goal of giving what is due to each and every Filipino, even those who are yet unborn.”

    Corona ended with a promise: “That is the commitment of the Supreme Court to you.”

    ‘It’s up to UST’

    Pacifico Agabin, former dean of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law, said conferring doctorate degrees was completely up to the university. “The school is free to waive some requirements. Schools are given more freedom when it comes to graduate courses,” he said.

    The graduate faculty, he pointed out, could pass a resolution modifying its requirements. But it was not a “usual practice,” he said, and he was not aware if this had happened in UP.

    We asked Antonio La Viña, a lawyer and dean of the Ateneo School of Government, to describe a dissertation.

    He said that it was “a written study, with original ideas, backed up by citations, and of publishable quality. Most, but not all, universities require a public defense for a dissertation where the student faces a panel of academic experts who can examine him or her…”

    Overstaying student

    Corona told reporters after his graduation that he had worked on his doctoral degree for five years, attending classes whenever he could and spending much time on writing papers.

    UST requires, as a general rule, that Ph.D. programs be completed in five years. The maximum residency is seven years.

    However, in an interview in 2002, after he was appointed to the Supreme Court, he told Newsbreak that he was already working on his dissertation for his doctorate in civil law: “I am doing my dissertation already. By next semester, I will present it … After my doctorate in civil law, I plan to take a Ph.D. in history … by next March, 2003.”

    At the time he was working on his dissertation, Corona was chief of staff of then President Arroyo. He enthused: “My classmates in UST are very young. They would ask: Why are you still studying? You’re already in the Cabinet. (I would reply) It’s because of my drive for academic excellence.”

    This means that Corona started coursework on his Ph.D. in 2000 or 2001 since the total units required was 60. He graduated in 2011, about a decade later.

    Clearly, he overstayed as a doctoral student and should not have qualified for honors.

    It was unclear why Corona, knowing UST’s requirements, accepted the degree and the honors. Midas Marquez, Supreme Court spokesperson, did not respond to our questions.

    This is not the first time that questions have been raised about Corona’s academic record. The book, “Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court,” found that his claim that he graduated with honors from his Bachelor of Arts degree at the Ateneo University is not recorded in the university’s archives.

  3. Join Date
    Dec 2005

    This is not the first time that questions have been raised about Corona’s academic record. The book, “Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court,” found that his claim that he graduated with honors from his Bachelor of Arts degree at the Ateneo University is not recorded in the university’s archives.
    Mahilig pala sa honor-honor itong si Corona..... Ano naman kaya ang sabi ng ADMU rito?......


  4. Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Nakuw, controversy na naman! ano ba yan?!

  5. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    As an alumnus, I find ADMU's silence on the matter of impeachment quite strange. Well, at least Bernas speaks for himself and not for the university.

  6. Join Date
    Apr 2007
    oops hehhe

  7. Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Altis6453 View Post
    As an alumnus, I find ADMU's silence on the matter of impeachment quite strange. Well, at least Bernas speaks for himself and not for the university.
    I am just curious bro.,- what did Fr. Bernas say?.....


  8. Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Wala naman palang ginawang kalokohan ang UST regarding sa PHD ni CJ.

    Instead of dissertation, scholarly treatise na lang daw. There was no violation at all, because they bent the rule first.

    Sarap mag PHD sa UST.

  9. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by CVT View Post

    I am just curious bro.,- what did Fr. Bernas say?.....

    Here's a reproduction of his column, "The Sounding Board" today care of

    By Constitutional mandate the Senate is the judge in an impeachment case. Let me propose some questions arising from a summary of the charges filed by the House of Representatives. I believe the Senate will ponder these after it has determined that the complaint was properly verified.

    I. Respondent betrayed the public trust through his track record marked by partiality and subservience in cases involving the Arroyo administration from the time of his appointment as Supreme Court justice, which continued to his dubious appointment as a Midnight Chief Justice and up to the present.

    a. I too opposed the exercise of the appointing power during the two-month prohibited period. But the Supreme Court decided otherwise. May the Senate review the Court’s decision?

    b. Is it illegitimate to assume that the votes of Corona represented independent judgment?

    II. Respondent committed culpable violation of the Constitution and/or betrayed the public trust when he failed to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth as required Under Sec. 17, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution.

    a. The command on making assets and liabilities public is qualified by the clause “in the manner provided by law.” Is there a law providing the manner and did Corona violate it?

    b. Alternatively, if there is no law applicable specifically to the Judiciary, may Corona follow instead the manner prescribed in Resolutions of the Supreme Court before him? (Which I am told he does regularly.)

    c. What evidence will be presented on the alleged illegally acquired property?

    III. Respondent committed culpable violations of the Constitution and betrayed the public trust by failing to meet and observe the stringent standards under Article VIII, Sec. 7 (3) of the Constitution, which provides that [a] member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence in allowing the Supreme Court to act on mere letters filed by a counsel which caused the issuance of flip-flopping decisions in final and executory cases; in creating an excessive entanglement with Mrs. Arroyo through her appointment of his wife to office; and in discussing with litigants regarding cases pending before the Supreme Court.

    a. Is the flip-flopping of the Court in collegial decisions attributable to Corona alone or to a body struggling to arrive at justice? Did Corona himself flip-flop?

    b. Is the Court prohibited from modifying prior decisions or doctrines?

    c. When and by whom was Mrs. Corona appointed to John Hay Management Corp.? Is a husband obliged to compel his wife to turn down an appointment? Or did he try to dissuade her at all? Or was he overruled by the wife?

    d. Can a husband be made answerable for acts of the wife?

    e. Will Justice Carpio be asked to testify about the alleged lobbying about pending cases?

    IV. Respondent betrayed the public trust and/or committed culpable violation of the Constitution when it blatantly disregarded the principle of separation of powers by issuing a status quo ante order against the House of Representatives in the case concerning the impeachment of then Ombudsman Merceditas Navarro-Gutierrez.

    a. What can be made of the fact that the status quo ante order was a resolution of eight justices? How did Corona vote on the later reversal of the status quo ante order?

    V. Respondent committed culpable violations of the Constitution through wanton arbitrariness and partiality in consistently disregarding the principle of res judicata and in deciding in favor of gerry-mandering in the cases involving the 16 newly created cities, and the promotion of Dinagat Island into a province.

    a. Were not the League of Cities case and the Dinagat case collegial decisions upholding acts of Congress? Were the laws involved statutory responses of Congress to the people as “master” as against the greed of the League of Cities?

    b. Was not the Fasap (Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines) decision also collegial?

    c. Is the Supreme Court powerless to look into the activities of its members (e.g., plagiarism) especially if it involves things that might affect the reputation of the Court?

    d. Was not the creation of new districts in Camarines Sur done by Congress, the representative of the people?

    e. Who decides the application of the principle of proportionality (or “one man, one vote”) in the size of districts?

    VI. Respondent betrayed the public trust through his partiality in granting a temporary restraining order (TRO) in favor of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo in order to give them an opportunity to escape prosecution and to frustrate the ends of justice, and in distorting the Supreme Court decision on the effectivity of the TRO in view of a clear failure to comply with the conditions of the Supreme Court’s own TRO.

    a. The constitutionality of the restriction on the right to travel through a Department of Justice circular on hold-departure orders is pending before the Court with the decision expected after New Year. Should the Senate preempt the Supreme Court decision?

    b. What is the import, if any, of the existence of a House bill and a Senate bill disempowering the DOJ?

    c. The continuing effectivity of the TRO has been affirmed by the Supreme Court. What power does the Senate have over it?

    VII. Respondent betrayed the public trust and/or committed graft and corruption when he failed and refused to account for the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) and Special Allowance for the Judiciary (SAJ) collections.

    a. Involved in this is the interpretation of the extent of fiscal autonomy of the Court. What is the jurisprudence on this? Will the Senate apply or depart from existing jurisprudence on the subject?

    Quite interesting was that, in a previous column Fr. Bernas has said he wouldn't pass upon the merits of the Articles of Impeachment but eventually did so in today's edition.

    Also, Fr. Bernas recognized that the appointment of Corona during the 60 day prohibitive period during elections to be wrong and yet he accedes to it because the Supreme Court says that the appointment is valid despite the clear language of the Constitution which says:

    "Two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety."

    When courts of law, most especially the SC, starts to use constitutional draftsmanship to twist the import and meaning of the Constitution in order to circumvent what is prohibited, it has effectively subverted its judicial power in order to accommodate the rise to power of a single person who, in this case, happens to be the incumbent Chief Justice.

    Just reading the above provision over and over, you can't help but feel that the SC is telling us, "you're dumb if you think this applies to us".

  10. Join Date
    Nov 2010
    My own perspective is that the SC should have used more "delicadeza" in this matter. They seem to be implying that they are not mere employees of the Gov't and as if above the law as they interpret it.

    They of all branches of gov't should make sure to avoid as much controversy since their rulings will be the norms of the future. Would we want a SC with a distinction/connotation of being partisan and political?

Impeachment against CJ Corona..