Hypothesis that Corona was Arroyo loyalist confirmed by his order
The Jan. 20 privilege speech of Sen. Bong Revilla got front-page treatment in major newspapers the following day. The headlines (e.g., “P-Noy meddled in CJ trial,” “Noy, Mar lobbied for CJ ouster”) seemed to confirm that former chief justice Renato Corona might have been an innocent victim of political vendetta waged by the Aquino administration against the Arroyo administration.
Before we get carried away, let’s get real. Corona was perceived to be nothing more than a loyalist of former president Gloria Arroyo, and he was expected to do anything to protect her. That hypothesis was proved correct when he ordered that the “conditional temporary restraining order” (enjoining Justice Secretary Leila de Lima from preventing Arroyo from leaving the country in the face of non-bailable charges about to be filed against her) was “immediately executory”! “Conditional,” then “immediately executory”? Ano ba ’yan?! (I am just a second-year law student. That order made no sense to me. Can any full-fledged lawyer, please, educate me? Our professor once said that law is a complex profession; it involves the study of the sublime and the ridiculous!” Hmm…)
But back to the actor/politician’s balderdash. I think he was just playing a role to downplay his complicity in the Napoles scam. Despite Corona’s protestations of political harassment, the senators did cross party lines to register a lopsided 20-3 vote. They used a Supreme Court decision to kick the chief justice out. Corona was a victim not so much of President Aquino’s scheming, as he was of the Supreme Court’s own decision in the case of a lowly court employee (Delsa Flores) who got fired for having violated the law on the Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth.
What was Corona (and his ilk) thinking? That the law applied by the Supreme Court to Flores was not applicable to him because he was chief justice? In my own half-baked opinion, his being chief justice should have been an aggravating circumstance! Thus, apart from gratuitously alleging that Corona’s ouster was politically motivated, Senator Revilla did admit that he nonetheless voted to convict him because it was “the right thing to do.” Amen to that!
—GABRIELLE MICHELLE M. AGUILLERA,
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