MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/16 January) – Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona issued stinging remarks against President Aquino and other officials he accused of having masterminded the impeachment complaint against him a few hours before the scheduled opening of his trial at the Senate.
In a speech before court employees after a mass at the Supreme Court this morning, Corona insinuated that Aquino wanted him out owing to the court’s decision ordering the distribution of Hacienda Luisita lands to its workers under the agrarian reform program.
Speaking in Filipino, the Chief Justice said he is a hindrance to people who didn’t want the hacienda given to the farmers, a remark met with wild applause by his supporters.
Hacienda Luisita, a 6,000-hectare sugar estate in Tarlac, belongs to the Cojuangco clan. Aquino is related to the Cojuangco clan on the mother side.
Corona also said two other personalities wanted him impeached. One of them, he said, “ay gustong maging bise president pero hindi nanalo noong 2010” (wanted to become vice president but did not win in 2010), “at ang isa naman ay gustong maging (and another one wants to become) Chief Justice.”
In the same speech, Corona assailed the statement of the House prosecutors that he owns 45 real estate properties. He said that of the properties mentioned by the prosecutors he only owns five.
The chief magistrate cited each of the properties and made clarifications on the names of the supposed real owners. He said some of the properties were either inherited by his wife from her parents or acquired by his son and in-laws.
Others belong to persons “na hindi ko kilala” (not known to me), he said, adding he was planning to hold answerable the Land Registration Authority official who signed the documents presented by the prosecutors.
Corona vowed “wala na itong atrasan” (there’s no turning back).
Corona’s chief legal counsel in the impeachment trial is former Supreme Court Associate Justice Serafin Cuevas. [MindaNews]