Manila: The Philippine House of
Representatives impeached the Supreme Court chief justice
on Monday over alleged corruption and favoritism toward arrested
ex-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
A majority of the 284 members of the powerful House
signed a resolution to impeach Chief Justice Renato Corona,
who will now be tried by the Senate in an impeachment
Corona, who became the only known Supreme Court
chief to be impeached in Philippine history, vowed to fight
The surprise move is the latest twist in the Philippine
political drama pitting Arroyo against her popular, reformist
successor Benigno Aquino III, who has blamed her for a decade
of corruption scandals that eroded public trust in government
and held back foreign investors.
Aquino has been at odds with Corona, accusing him of
being biased for Arroyo, who appointed the Supreme Court chief
justice shortly before she stepped down last year at the end
of her nine stormy years in power.
Aquino, son of revered democracy icons, succeeded Arroyo
in June last year after a landslide elections victory largely
credited to his illustrious name and campaign promise to
battle corruption and poverty in his Southeast Asian nation.
His allies now dominate the House, which used to be the
bedrock of Arroyo`s power.
Representative Niel Tupas Jr, who heads the congressional
justice committee, said Corona was impeached due to alleged
acts of corruption and improperly issuing decisions that
Corona said efforts to illegally oust him would destroy
the country`s democracy.
"We do not want to see a constitutional crisis befall our
democracy," Corona said. "But if we are challenged to defend
our independence, we shall not meekly walk away."