PNoy reacts to 'hasyenderong presidente' tag

by Jojo Malig, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jun 04 2012 11:04 PM | Updated as of Jun 05 2012 07:21 AM

Nothing personal, PNoy tells Corona

MANILA, Philippines - Removing former Chief Justice Renato Corona from the Supreme Court was nothing personal, President Benigno Aquino said.

In an exclusive interview with Ted Failon that aired Monday night on TV Patrol, Aquino said he took in stride Corona's "hasyenderong presidente" insult.

"Hindi ko siya pine-personal. Siya ang tumawag sa aking... ano na nga ba ang sabi niya, "hasyenderong presidente na dinadala ang bansa sa komunista para samsamin lahat ng kapangyarihan."

"So, trabaho ko ito, lunukin ko, ano ba naman sa akin iyon. Pero again, ang point dito, ganoon na lang ba?" he asked.

"May gawin ka, pakiusapan na lang, OK na iyon?" Aquino said.

"Siya, hindi ko pinepersonal pero siya iyung mukha ng mali sa hudikatura," he added.

He downplayed allegations that the Aquino administration used the full weight of its executive powers to persecute the Corona.

Aquino said the truth came out because of Corona and his lawyers themselves.

"Sino ba ang nagsabi na 'mayroon akong $2.4 million?' Siya. Sino ba ang nagpasa ng property na tinanong ni Congressman Fariñas? Siya. Sino ang nagyaya kay Ombudsman na magtestify? Sila," he said.

He added that Corona's defense helped uncover the truth, "more of the truth than previously known."

Meeting after inauguration

Aquino revealed that he met with Corona after his inauguration to thresh out issues with him.

"Nag-usap kami 2 weeks or so after ng inauguration ko. Pinuntahan ko siya, nag-usap kami. Sinabi ko, baka akala ho niyo, pinepersonal ko kayo, hindi ho ako nag oath-taking sa inyo," he said.

"Wala ho kaming pakay na makipag-away kaninuman. Ang habol lang ho namin, ayusin iyung mga problemang ipinasa sa amin, sa ganoon paraan, maiparehas niyo kami, masaya na ho kami," the President added.

Anxious, not suprised

Aquino said he was anxious, but not surprised with the results of senator-judges' votes to remove Corona from office.

"Ako'y nagalak at napakalaki ng mayorya. Siyempre natuwa at umiral ang katarungan," he said. "Kung doon lang sa base ng nailabas na testimoniya at ebidensiya, eh iisa lang naman ang hatol doon."

"So kung nagulat ba ako sa desisyon, sa palagay ko, hindi," he added.

"Pero nag-agam-agam ba ako? Paano kung basehin iyung desisyon sa ibang bagay, paano kung basehin sa pulitika, paano kung basehin sa hindi ko malaman, etc... hangga't di natapos siyempre anxious din tayo," the President said.

Justice must prevail

The President said justice must prevail in the case of Corona, who faces investigation by the Ombudsman and the Bureau of Internal Revenue for his undeclared wealth.

He said he won't interfere in the investigation and possible filing of criminal charges against the former chief justice.

"Ang sa akin, pangangalagaan namin ang karapatan niya, bibigyan lahat ng naayon sa proseso," Aquino said.

"Sa dulo, kung napatunayan na nagkasala siya, doon sa mga korte, meaning malamang sa Sandiganbayan at sa Ombudsman, kailangan naman sigurong namang may kabayaran doon sa kasalanan sa bayan," he added.

Aquino said he is not taking the issue personally but sees it as an obligation that must be fulfilled.

"Hindi namin binalak na manakit. May obligasyon kami. May katarungan. Ang sinasabi ko lang dito, from the start, hindi na namin pine-personal."