Corona urges judiciary to follow Palace wishes-A A +A
Thursday, October 25, 2012
MANILA -- Former Chief Justice Renato Corona advised his former colleagues in the judiciary to bow to the orders of Malacañang or risk possible retaliation like impeachment, which he suffered last May.
Corona was at the Department of Justice on Thursday to file his counter-affidavit on allegations that he deliberately failed to pay P120.5 million in taxes as a result of his acquisition of pricey condominium units and a house during his 10-year stint at the Supreme Court.
His misdeclaration in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) cost him the job along with low public confidence in his abbreviated leadership.
"Isang mensahe lang ang inihahatid nitong mga kasong ipinupukol sa akin at sa aking pamilya. Ang mensaheng ito ay sa mga miyembro ng hudikatura na kayo ay sumunod sa Malacañang kung ayaw ninyong mangyari sa inyo ang nangyari sa punong mahistrado (This case filed against me and my family means only one thing. It means that members of the judiciary should bow to the orders of Malacañang or face the same fate as the chief justice)," Corona told reporters.
Corona and his supporters believe that he was removed from office for leading the High Court in issuing a decision to break up the Hacienda Luisita, which is owned by the family of President Benigno Aquino III.
The SC placed the vast sugar estate in Tarlac under the government's agrarian reform program in its April 24, 2012 ruling and pegged the value in 1989 as actual just compensation due to the hacienda's owners.
Six months after the landmark ruling, Corona expressed disappointment with the slow pace of the land distribution.
"Bakit hanggang ngayon di pa rin naipapamahagi sa mga naaaping magsasaka ang kahit katiting na lupa ng Hacienda Luisita? (Why is Hacienda Luisita not distributed yet to the offended farmers?)" he asked.
Meanwhile, Corona said he will be vindicated in the end especially with the supposed outpouring of support for him and his family.
"Alam ko na ako ay tama sapagkat kahit saan kami pumunta, hindi ko na mabilang ang dami ng tao na lumalapit sa amin na nagpapahayag ng kanilang dasal, suporta at pagmamahal. Ako ay nagpapasalamat (I know I was right because wherever we go, I can't count the number of people coming to us expressing their prayers, support and love. I'm grateful)," he said.
Prior to Thursday's hearing, the former Chief Justice skipped the probe of the three-man DOJ panel thrice as he requested for more time to submit his counter-affidavit.
Corona's daughter Carla and her husband Constantino Castillo III are also facing a separate P30-million tax evasion case. The couple filed their reply last week, calling the case a tool of harassment. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)