MANILA, Philippines – Senator-judge Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. believes President Aquino never gave Chief Justice Renato Corona a chance to prove himself after being appointed as chief magistrate by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Speaking to ANC’s PIPOL, Marcos said Aquino’s animosity with the Chief Justice started even before he took office when the President decided to take his oath of office before then Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.
“Even before [Aquino] was elected, he said he would have [Corona] removed, that his appointment was illegal. If you want to impeach him for something, then it has to be something that is a grave and heinous crime and not something that is just procedural, that is just a mistake and is not willful,” he said.
Marcos said he sees a double standard in the Aquino government’s campaign to remove Corona when members of the President’s Cabinet also made the same omissions in their statements of assets, liabilities and net worth.
“Let's not be selective. Why only the Chief Justice? We have already seen the reports how many of the Cabinet fill out their SALN in the same way so pantay-pantay lahat. It has been clear from the very beginning that he was going after CJ Corona. I am no great friend of Chief Justice Corona. Our family has suffered at his hands but you know, fair is fair,” he said.
Recently, the Supreme Court ordered the reinstatement of Senator Marcos and his sisters Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos-Manotoc and Irene Marcos Araneta as defendants in the Sandiganbayan case to recover about P200 billion in alleged ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.
The decision was penned by Justice Ma. Lourdes P. Sereno, President Aquino’s first appointee to the Supreme Court.
Marcos said their reinstatement in the case is meant to pressure him to vote for Corona’s conviction.
“Think of the timing. Why now? This is a case that is already over and then Justice Sereno decided that it should be reopened and we the children be included. Tapos na eh so why now? Why not last year? Why not next year?” he asked.
The senator said he still believes the Corona impeachment trial is unnecessary since President Aquino could have done more to sort things out and work with the Supreme Court. “Napapag-usapan naman lahat yan eh,” he said.
He noted that aside from polarizing a part of the population, many Filipinos have turned their backs on the impeachment process because it will not affect them.
Working with Enrile
Marcos said he sees no problem working with his father’s former defense minister, the current Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
“I treat the Senate President as I always have, like my uncle. He's my tito. I call him Tito Johnny,” he said.
He added: “Politics makes strange bedfellows… I work closely with him and I am very happy that he is Senate President.”
Marcos said he already discussed with Enrile his actions during the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, which led to his father’s removal from office.
“How many people have you seen in the past, in politics especially, who were mortal enemies but ended up together? Our interests are parallel, aligned. Sa pulitika hindi ka dapat matanim,” he said.
“Axiomatic yan. Ang pikon talo. Pag napikon ka, talo ka. The work is important, not you. You have to get that right. You have to really look hard and try to be objective and proper and correct in your judgment,” he added.
Marcos said he takes the role as a senator-judge in the impeachment trial seriously.
“I take it very seriously because it is really extremely important to the life of the republic. What we are doing here is redefining our government, redefining the relationships between the branches of government,” he said.