Corona ready to face accusers in Tuesday's trial-A A +A
Monday, May 21, 2012
ON THE penultimate day before he takes the witness stand and rebut all accusations of being unfit to hold the position of Chief Justice, Renato Corona and his family joined a mass seeking for his acquittal.
Interviewed by reporters following the mass, Corona said he is more than ready to dispute allegations regarding the non-disclosure of some of his real properties and hefty cash deposits in the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
"Isn't it obvious?" he said in Filipino.
Corona is also accused of losing his neutrality by discussing cases with litigants and for flip-flopping in some final and executory cases and for being partial toward former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, when he led the Supreme Court last November to allow her to seek medical treatment abroad.
It's not only the Chief Justice and his battery of lawyers who are preparing for his testimony on Tuesday, which will also mark his return to the Senate after attending the opening of the trial last January 16, but also court employees.
Supreme Court employees led by its president Jojo Guerrero will wear red anew to signify their support for the magistrate. A vigil will be held beginning 4 a.m. Tuesday at the Supreme Court grounds to be followed by a mass as part of the send-off for Corona.
"This is not the last recourse. There is a final tribunal that we will have to answer to. There, our evil deeds will be the witness against ourselves and our good deeds will be a witness for our salvation," Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said in his homily Monday.
Arguelles heads the Catholic diocese of Lipa, a city in Corona's home province of Batangas.
He believed that Corona whom he considers as a friend "will speak the truth."
Arguelles said he hopes Chief Justice will be given utmost respect by the senator-judges and members of the prosecution.
"I think his position alone means he should be respected," he said.
Earlier, the Philippine Association of Court Employees (Pace), in a manifesto, condemned "the unjustified intrusion on the independence of the Judiciary by the executive and legislative branches."
The largest umbrella association of lower court employees in the country likewise said the impeachment was supposedly used as "a convenient excuse to pursue their unscrupulous motive or intent."
Corona and his supporters believe that he was being impeached 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 Supreme Court 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. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)