Corona’s move after Senate impeachment

Lawyer Serafin Cuevas spoke on May 25 about plans by his defense team to look at possibly filing with the Supreme Court (SC) a petition against potential conviction of SC Chief Justice Renato Corona by the Senate impeachment court on May 29. He said he plans to cite possible grave abuse of Corona by the Senate judges.



Who abused whom?

The Senate accepted Corona’s 3-hour self-serving declaration of innocence last Tuesday, May 22 — despite HIS ABYSMAL FAILURE to present documentary evidence to support his empty claims of innocence.

The Senate gave Corona and his defense team more than ample time to present documentary evidence to refute allegations against Corona, especially his failure to declare in his annual statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) pesos and dollars stashed in numerous bank accounts, as well as very expensive condominiums. Corona and lawyers never did ….. until the last minute with a lousy offer on May 25 of a waiver on the secrecy of his peso and dollar deposits.

And what about Corona’s walkout from the Senate court last Tuesday, May 22 …. even before he was discharged by the presiding judge? Di ba pambabastos yon ng korte at ng madlang bayan na umasa at naghintay na siya ay ma cross examine ukol sa mga paratang sa kanya?

The impeachment proceedings against Corona have clearly shown that Corona is unfit to continue leading the highest court in the Philippines. On May 25, he admitted at the Senate impeachment court having about US$2.4 million and about 80 million pesos in bank deposits.

His explanations for amassing such large amounts of cash were far from satisfactory, especially because he failed to show any documents to show that those monies came from his earnings as a government employee and from other legal sources.

He also failed those monies in his SALN, a very serious shortcoming for the country’s highest court official.

With suspicions of ill-gotten wealth swirling around his head, how can people trust him? How can people stop speculating if he is abusing his position as chief justice of the Supreme Court to make money?

How can he continue dispensing his duties and functions as Supreme Court justice if he is perceived as not being “whiter than white” or well beyond any suspicion of being corrupt?

The extensive media coverage of Corona’s trial will do the Filipino people a very great and meaningful service.

On one hand, it has unmasked to all Pinoys and the whole world the evils of people like Corona and his shameless lawyers like Cuevas. While lawyers have the mandate of defending their clients to the best of their ability, I believe that they should not lose their morality and sense of right and wrong in spite of the outcome of the trial of their clients.

On the other hand, the trial has also shown to everyone that big-time white-collar grafters, like Corona, can be prosecuted, publicly shamed and made to account for their malfeasance. And that the frenetic fight against corruption is on and that Juan de la Cruz may hope for better and cleaner services from public servants.


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