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Religious Superiors to Corona: For transparency open your dollar accounts

MANILA, Feb. 19, 2012—The country’ association of major superiors of religious women urged Chief Justice Renato Corona to allow the opening of his dollar accounts for the sake of transparency and accountability.

The religious body in a Feb. 17  statement expressed disappointment on the Supreme Court’s issuance of temporary restraining order (TRO) that prevented the Senate Court from obtaining the dollar accounts of Corona.

On February 9, the High Tribunal issued a TRO on the Senate acting as an Impeachment Court, preventing it to secure the foreign currency accounts owned by CJ Corona, citing RA 6426, section 8.

“This issuance of the Temporary Restraining Order by the Supreme Court is indeed disappointing since the Impeachment Trial is an invaluable political process to restore, renew and strengthen the integrity, transparency and accountability of the Judiciary and Philippine governance,” the religious superiors said.

What is doubly disheartening, according to the group, was the acquiescence of the Senator judges who voted to obey the Court’s TRO.

By obeying the TRO, the women superiors averred, the Senator Judges sitting in Impeachment court have acknowledged “the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court over them but it is clear in the Constitution that the Senate Court is supreme in matters regarding impeachment.”

“And the only question they should have asked themselves before voting was: “Will the TRO serve to discover the TRUTH or will it hinder it?” the superiors said, adding that the answer to the question is obvious.

Corona has been questioning the constitutionality of the impeachment trial claiming that it is a violation of his human rights.

But the religious body in its statement also hit the Chief Justice for his lack of “delicadeza” in asking the Supreme Court Justices, who are directly under him, “for protection and solace.”

Far from being a battle between the Judiciary and the Executive branches of the government, the impeachment trial “is a political process to protect the integrity, transparency and accountability of a democratic government, [and] essentially, [….that] of CJ Corona,” the group said.

“We therefore implore Chief Justice Renato Corona to listen to the stirrings of truth, justice and respect the Senate Court and the impeachment proceedings,” the group furthered.

It also urged the Senate Judges to remain firm in their task of pursuing the truth while maintaining their independence as an impeachment body.

The group said that “each and every Filipino citizen is asked to act with integrity, to maintain a sense of decency and honesty, and to be held accountable for actions which have grave ramifications on the common good.”

“We ask no less of a Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona,” it said.

The Association of Major Religious Superiors of Women in the Philippines (AMRSWP) is an assembly of 275 women religious congregations. (CBCPNews)