MANILA - Philippine senators on Tuesday found the country's top judge guilty of corruption, paving the way for him to be sacked in the biggest win of President Benigno Aquino's anti-graft crusade. Following an impeachment trial lasting more than four months, Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona was found guilty of violating the constitution and betraying public trust by failing to disclose millions of dollars in wealth.
Two thirds of the 23 senators were required to convict Corona and he was officially found guilty with the count at 20-3 in a historic day for Philippine politics. "He has lost his moral fitness to serve the people.
He has betrayed the public trust. He cannot be the chief justice a minute longer," Senator Franklin Drilon, a member of Aquino's party, said as he voted to convict Corona.
The most severe penalty that the Senate can hand down is sacking Corona, which would be a first in the country's history, and that was widely expected to be the most likely outcome.
However some senators raised the prospect during the trial of Corona, a Harvard-trained lawyer, escaping with merely being censured, fined or suspended.