MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang and the members of the lower House on Thursday welcomed former Chief Justice Renato Corona's decision not to appeal the Senate impeachment court ruling that removed him from the Supreme Court.
"That is properly the period that ends the chapter of the Corona impeachment," deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a text message to ABS-CBN News.
House Majority Leader Boyet Gonzales said Corona realized that he no longer holds sway over his former colleagues in the high tribunal.
"The fact that the SC, through a special en banc met yesterday and issued orders that practically demonstrated that he had already lost control of the SC and could no longer rely on his perceived allies I'm sure contributed to his decision. Nevertheless, salamat na rin at wala ng duda na final na conviction niya," he said.
Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is now the acting chief justice of the high court until President Benigno Aquino appoints Corona's replacement.
Carpio presided over a special en banc session Wednesday wherein justices decided to make their statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth public.
Members of the House prosecution team who took part Corona's impeachment trial said they are thankful for the former chief justice's decision not to appeal his case.
"It would've engendered some uncertainty for what is and should be a certain and unappealable result. There is much work to be done and for many months, the country was glued to the drama of the trial. Now I would say the next challenge is to actually focus on the economy. Fighting corruption only gets you so far by providing a good foundation for growth, but we still have to build the proverbial structure: jobs, infrastructure, opportunities. The trial was just prologue, this should be the real business of the government," Rep. Sonny Angara said.
"As far as the responsibility of the House under the Constitution is concerned, our role is finished," Rep. Miro Quimbo said.
"We welcome the decision of former CJ Corona not to pursue an appeal to the SC. Former CJ Corona showed that he has accepted the decision and ready to move on. We may be in different camps on the issue of his impeachment but at least this act of former CJ Corona would show that he had the country's interest inhis mind," Rep. Erin Tañada said. - reports from Willard Cheng and RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News