CJ acted on Mendoza’s letter
This is in relation to the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, which will start on Jan. 16, 2012.
The Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (Fasap) has been dragged into the impeachment process because of the highly controversial recall by the Supreme Court of its “Final and Executory Resolution” on the Fasap case against PAL’s illegal retrenchment of 1,400 flight attendants.
The case has been dragging for more almost 14 years and the victims of PAL’s illegal retrenchment are being denied justice. According to Supreme Court administrator Midas Marquez, Chief Justice Corona did not participate in the controversial recall of the decision on the Fasap case and that he had “inhibited” from the case as far back as 2008. This is misleading.
The truth is, on Oct. 4, 2011, Chief Justice Corona acted on a letter of PAL’s legal counsel, lawyer Estelito Mendoza, and recalled the valid and final Sept. 7, 2011 decision of the Supreme Court, effectively re-opening the case despite three previous decisions “with finality” in favor of Fasap.
On Sept. 7, 2011, the Supreme Court said in its resolution that “This case has dragged on for so long and we are more than duty-bound to finally put an end to the illegality that took place; otherwise, the illegally retrenched employees can rightfully claim that this Court has denied them justice.” Indeed, this case has been pending for almost 14 years. But this “Final Resolution” was recalled by the Court based on a mere letter from Mendoza.
President Aquino was correct in asking, “Imagine: it only took one letter from a lawyer of PAL for the Supreme Court to withdraw their decision on a case that had so many times already been decided upon. I ask you: Where will the members of Fasap end up with this kind of system in place?”
The Fasap case is a telling controversy which has eroded the credibility of Chief Justice Corona. After the sudden recall by the Court of its Fasap decision, clouds of doubt descended fast upon the high court.
Now Corona is trying to depict himself as an underdog. The real underdogs and victims here are the ordinary people like the 1,400 illegally retrenched PAL flight attendants as well as their respective families. Corona is neither ordinary nor an underdog. He is high and mighty and very powerful.
Corona should save the Supreme Court from further ruin by leaving his post. His insistence in dragging the entire Philippine Judiciary into his personal battle is most unfair to all the other judges and justices and the thousands of ordinary, hardworking rank-and-file court employees.
Instead of desperately hanging on to his “midnight” appointment, Corona should just resign and consider joining Mendoza in defending their client and patron Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her crimes against the Filipino people.
—BOB ANDUIZA, president,
ANDY ORTEGA, vice president,
RICKY MONTECILLO, board secretary,
Flight Attendants and Stewards
Association of the Philippines (Fasap),
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