Aquino meets House allies, hits Corona anew

A DAY after Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona was impeached at the House of Representatives, President Benigno Aquino III convened his allies at a political caucus held at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel.

Aquino, addressing those who voted to impeach Corona, expressed support for the articles of impeachment, which already been submitted to Senate Tuesday morning.

He said the impeachment trial will serve as a platform for Corona to defend himself on the perception that he is still beholden to the person who appointed him -- former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Ginoong Corona: Sa Kongreso at Senado, harapin mo ang pinagmulan ng poder mo: Ang taumbayan,” he said.

Corona has tainted the High Court's integrity by issuing partial decisions particularly those that involved former President Arroyo, the President said.

He again cited the junking of the Truth Commission, which he created to investigate the alleged anomalies during the Arroyo administration.

He also lambasted the SC on its attempt to block the impeachment of former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

The President said he was given Corona a chance to prove that he is not indebted to Arroyo but the Chief Justice failed to do so.

“Nakita naman po ninyo: hindi tayo likas na pala-away. Simula pa lamang po, may nagsabi nang hindi magiging parehas si Ginoong Corona; siguradong magkakaroon ng kuntsabahan; malaki masyado ang kanyang utang ng loob sa nagsiksik sa kanya sa puwesto. Ngunit pinilit pa rin po nating makisama sa Korte Suprema sa ilalim ni Ginoong Corona; umasa tayong mananaig ang katarungan, kaysa sa pagkakatali niya kay Ginang Arroyo,” he stressed.

He believed “Corona will not change” and always be beholden to Arroyo and not to the people, whom he should have been serving.

Aquino again cited the temporary restraining order issued by the SC on Arroyo’s watchlist order which allowed her to leave the country and seek medical treatment abroad.

“Hindi po ako ang sumisira sa kanyang institusyon; sa kanyang pagtanggi na panagutin si Ginang Arroyo, inuubos ni Ginoong Corona ang dangal ng Korte Suprema,” he said.

President Aquino also cited the flip-flopping decisions of Corona on the case of Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines and on cityhood.

Aquino further hit Corona for supposedly not filing his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.

“Kailan po ba kayo huling nakakita ng SALN ng mga mahistrado ng Korte Suprema?” he asked.

The President is optimistic that Corona will be impeached stressing that the public is on his side. He is also expecting the Senators to do their part on the impeachment trial.

Among those who attended the event were House Speaker Sonny Belmonte, Iloilo Representative Neil Tupas Jr., Paranaque Representative Roilo Golez, and Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex

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