MANILA, Philippines - A hopeful Chief Justice Renato Corona celebrated the second anniversary of his appointment Thursday, and jokingly remarked afterwards: “See you next year.”
Corona, who is facing an impeachment trial for his integrity, is set to face the public and the Senate on Tuesday.
Corona, a former presidential chief of staff of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, was appoined to the Supreme Court on April 9, 2002.
He was appointed Chief Justice on May 17, 2010, upon the retirement of Chief Justice Reynato Puno. His entry as the highest magistrate of the land was met with criticisms, with some quarters saying he was a midnight appointee of President Arroyo during that election year. The Supreme Court would later quash petitions that the next president should appoint his own chief justice.
Even before the start of his term, President Benigno Aquino had already voiced his dislike for Corona, opting to take his oath before then-Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales.
On Monday, Carpio-Morales, whom Aquino appointed as the new Ombudsman, took the stand, alleging that Corona has at least $10 million deposits in several bank accounts.
On his second year anniversary as chief justice, family and supporters surrounded Corona, who led the consecration prayer for the 5th day of the Octave Mass and Novena at the Supreme Court.
The mass was also attended by farmers of the Hacienda Luisita, who thanked Corona for a high court decision favoring them over the Cojuangcos.
Corona earlier said the administration was the mastermind behind his ouster try. He said a Cojuangco son, President Aquino himself, was out to retaliate for the distribution of the Cojuangco-owned sugar estate in Tarlac to farmer-beneficiaries.
After the mass, he told the farmers: “Tinaya ko na po ang buhay ko para sa inyo. Tinaya ko na ang lahat para sa inyo.”