MANILA - Malacanang denied it is persecuting former Chief Justice Renato Corona via a graft case that will be filed by the Office of the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Ombudsman was acting as an independent constitutional body when it decided to file criminal charges against Corona for allegedly having unexplained wealth of around P130 million.
"We trust this action was taken by the Ombudsman on the basis of objective gathering of information, and the case was filed based on concrete evidence. It's the independence of the office and the integrity of the Ombudsman herself that is on the line here," Coloma said.
He said the case is just a “logical continuation” of Corona’s impeachment trial.
"Kaya siguro dapat natin ikagalak at ikatuwa na nagkaroon ng progreso sa proseso ng paghanap ng katotohanan at katarungan (We should welcome the progress of this process of searching for truth and justice)," Coloma said.
'DIVERTING ATTENTION FROM DAP'
Meantime, Corona claimed Malacanang is using him to divert public attention from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) controversy.
“Mukhang pang media diversion lang ito para mawala ang public attention sa DAP. Ipit ang Malacanang sa DAP issue at alam nila yun. Hirap na hirap si [Solicitor General Francis] Jardeleza at [Budget Secretary Florencio] Abad to justify the government position,” Corona said.
The Ombudsman will be filing criminal charges against the ousted magistrate and his wife before the anti-graft court for having unexplained wealth of around P130 million.
After the Ombudsman announced its decision on Wednesday, Corona said: "This development, unfortunate as it is, is something we have been expecting all along. What fairness could we have expected from an Ombudsman who viciously prevaricated and testified against me as a malicious witness during my sham and multi-billion peso bribe-laden impeachment trial in 2012?"