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Meet the prosecution team for the Corona impeachment trial

January 4, 2012 6:16pm
House prosecution spokesmen show the impeachment rules of procedures
House prosecution spokesmen show the impeachment rules of procedures . At a press conference on Wednesday, Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tanada III, Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo and Aurora Rep. Edgardo Angara Jr. show the rules of procedure for the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Corona. Mark Adrian
The House prosecution team is a mix of neophyte and seasoned lawmakers from various political parties and with different law backgrounds. Despite the diversity, the 11 members of the prosecution panel have one goal: convict Chief Justice Corona for betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution and graft and corruption during his impeachment trial, which is set to start on Jan. 16.

The selection of the public prosecutors was in accordance with Rule VI of the House rules of procedure in impeachment proceedings, which states that: "The House of Representatives shall act as the sole prosecutor at the trial in the Senate through a committee of 11 members thereof to be elected by a majority vote."
Below is a list of the members of the House prosecution panel, with their respective credentials, political affiliations and designated articles of impeachment.

Rep. Niel Tupas, Jr. (Iloilo, 5th District)
-Chief public prosecutor
-Chairperson, House Committee on Justice
-finished Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines in 1998
-served as junior partner at the Belo, Gozon, Elma, Parel, Asuncion & Lucila Law Offices from 1999 to 2004
-currently a member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) chaired by President Benigno Aquino III
-secondary prosecutor for Article I (partiality and subservience in cases involving the Arroyo administration)

Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya (Cavite, 1st District)
-Chairperson, House Committee on Appropriations
-originally an officer of the Philippine Navy
-obtained a law degree from Ateneo de Manila University in 2005
-currently serves as LP secretary-general  
-assigned as the House prosecution team's manager

Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao (Isabela, 4th District)
-obtained his law degree from Ateneo de Manila University in 1980
-ranked 10th in the 1980 Bar examinations
-worked as associate attorney for the Siguion-Reyna, Montecillo and Ongsiako Law Office from 1981 to 1987
-worked as lecturer and reviewer in commercial law at the FEU and the De La Salle University from 1989 to 1992
-currently aligned with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC)
-lead prosecutor for Article III (lack of competence, integrity, probity and independence in allowing the Supreme Court to act on mere letters filed by a counsel; in allowing his wife’s appointment to office; and in discussing with litigants' cases pending in the Supreme Court)

Rep. Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao (Akbayan party-list)
-finished Bachelor of Laws from Ateneo de Manila University in 1993
-served as lead counsel for the Sumilao farmers. The case resulted in an agreement under which the farmers can reclaim their lands.
-served as executive trustee for the BALAOD Mindanaw law group
-lead prosecutor for Article IV (disregard of separation of powers in issuing a status quo ante order against the House of Representatives during the impeachment proceedings of former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez)

Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, Jr. (Cavite, 2nd District)
-Chairperson, House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms
-finished a law degree, magna cum laude, from the Far Eastern University in 1975
-worked as a certified public accountant and lawyer f0r 22 years from 1976 to 1998
-worked as a pre-bar reviewer and law professor in civil law at the FEU until 1992
-bolted the Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats coalition in 2010 and was one of the lawmakers who founded the National Unity Party, in which he currently serves as the vice-president for external affairs
-lead prosecutor for Article V (gerrymandering of 16 newly created cities and promotion of Dinagat Island into a province)

Rep. Neri Colmenares (Bayan Muna party-list)
-finished Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines
-served as former secretary-general for the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers
-served as lead counsel of the party-list organizations and won the suit before the Supreme Court questioning the “First Party Rule” that unduly cut down the number of winning party-list representatives after the 2007 elections
-lead prosecutor for Article VII (partiality in granting a temporary restraining order in favor of Mrs. Arroyo and her husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo)

Rep. Raul Daza (Northern Samar, 1st District)
-Deputy Speaker
-graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines College of Law
-practiced law in the Philippines from 1958 to 1969 and 1998 to 2001
-served as deputy minister of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) under the presidency of the late Corazon Aquino. 
-served as senior defense counsel in the impeachment trial of former President Joseph Estrada in 2000
-currently aligned with the LP
-lead prosecutor for Article I (partiality and subservience in cases involving the Aroryo administration)

Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas (Ilocos Norte, 1st District)
-Vice-Chairperson, House Committee on Justice
-finished Bachelor of Laws from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1978
-ranked 8th in the 1978 Bar Examinations
-aligned with the Nacionalista Party
-the only public prosecutor who did not sign the impeachment complaint against Corona
-lead prosecutor for Article VI (arrogating the authority and jurisdiction to improperly investigate Associate Justice Mariano Del Castillo of plagiarism)

Rep. Reynaldo Umali (Oriental Mindoro, 2nd District)
-obtained his law degree from the Manuel L. Quezon University in 1987
-practised law for 10 years, while holding posts at the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council from 1990 to 1992
-worked at the Bureau of Customs in 2003 and eventually became the agency’s deputy commissioner for revenue collection and monitoring
-currently aligned with the LP
-lead prosecutor for Article VIII (failure and refusal to account for the Judiciary Development Fund and Special Allowance for the Judiciary collections)

Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (Pangasinan, 6th District)
-Chairperson, House Committee on Revision of Laws
-finished law from the San Beda College of Law
-aligned with the NPC
-lead prosecutor for Article II (failure to publicly disclose the chief justice’s statements of assets, liabilities and net worth)

Rep. Sherwin Tugna (Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption party-list)
-obtained his law degree from Ateneo de Manila University in 2006
-served as junior associate lawyer for the Puyat Jacinto and Santos Law Offices and the Angara Abello Concepcion Regalla and Cruz Law Offices from 2007 to 2008
-secondary prosecutor of Articles III and VI

-with GMA News Research/ HS
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