Fasap’s hopes for justice rise with Corona’s conviction
We in the Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines (Fasap) join the nation in hailing the triumph of justice with the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona by the impeachment court.
This is a victory for the Filipino people, majority of whom remained vigilant and steadfast in order to ensure that the truth would prevail despite efforts to muddle the impeachment issues with legalese and technicalities.
Corona’s conviction is a major step for President Aquino’s crusade to rid government of corruption. It bolsters the administration’s efforts to run after grafters, especially those who pillaged the country during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Fasap stepped forward in the impeachment trial to expose how the Chief Justice meddled in the illegal retrenchment case of 1,400 PAL flight attendants. We won the case three times in the Supreme Court, but the final decision was unduly recalled without any constitutional basis because of mere letters from PAL’s legal counsel.
Corona, who claimed he did not participate in this case, saying he had earlier “inhibited,” from it, actually played a major part in the recall of the final decision. Because of the recall, our case, which had been pending for more than 14 years, was reopened for the nth time.
In a dissenting opinion, Associate Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno stated:
“Without waiting for Justice Brion to respond to the recommendation of referral, the Chief Justice, who was presiding, informed the Court that the 07 September 2011 Resolution of the Second Division must be recalled, because it had a lot of serious problems….” This was what Fasap president Bob Anduiza pointed out during the impeachment trial—that contrary to the Chief Justice’s claim that he didn’t participate in the Fasap case, he was actually the one who recalled the final Sept. 7, 2011 resolution which favored the flight attendants. It was Corona himself who robbed the 1,400 flight attendants of justice.
We salute and congratulate the gallant men and women of the prosecution team led by Rep. Niel Tupas. Their courage to go into battle against an unjust chief magistrate was inspiring as it was heroic. Fasap would also like to make special mention of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile for his able and commendable leadership as presiding judge of the impeachment court. Enrile’s performance has earned him a much esteemed niche in Philippine history.
Now with Corona out of the Supreme Court, it is our own fervent hope that things will change for the better in the “last bastion of democracy.” The 1,400 PAL flight attendants, who were unjustly thrown out of their jobs in 1998, eagerly await the day that true justice is finally served. It is especially for them and their families, who have suffered immeasurably because of the injustice, that Fasap is resolutely pursuing its quest for justice in the Supreme Court.
—BOB ANDUIZA, president,
ANDY ORTEGA, vice president,
RICKY MONTECILLO, board secretary,
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