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Philippine Supreme Court justice impeached

Dec. 13, 2011 at 10:38 AM

MANILA, Philippines, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Philippine lawmakers are moving ahead with the impeachment of Chief Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona, the Senate majority leader said Tuesday.

Vincente "Tito" Sotto III said he would make a motion Wednesday to convert the upper chamber into an impeachment court to try the chief justice, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

Once the motion has been made, the legislative body will adjourn and reconvene as an impeachment court with the senators sitting as judges, he said.

Corona will then have 10 days to file his answer to charges of corruption and biased judgments in favor of ex-President Gloria Arroyo.

The resolution to impeach Corona, who was appointed by Arroyo, was signed on Monday by 188 of the 284 members of the House of Representatives.

The impeachment grew out of a battle between Corona and Benigno S. Aquino III, the popular Philippine president, The New York Times reported.

"This is more a battle of personalities than a conflict between the branches of government," said Florin Hilbay, a constitutional scholar at the University of the Philippines.

Corona, who has portrayed the impeachment as an effort to weaken the judiciary, told court employees Monday he would "fight all who dare to destroy the court and our system of justice."

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