MANILA - Former Chief Justice Renato Corona feels he has been vindicated of the accusations against him in his impeachment trial following the speech of Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Wednesday afternoon.
In a text message, Corona said it just goes to show that his ouster from the Supreme Court was against the Constitution.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos sa bindikasyon na ibinigay niya sa akin sa araw na ito. Hindi ako nagulat sa rebelasyon ni Sen. Estrada sapagka't kinumpirma lamang niya ang alam namin at ng marami sa ating mga kababayan. Sapul sa simula, sinabi ko na walang katotohanan ang mga paratang ng Malacanang sa akin at pawang kasinungalingan ang pinagsasabi nila tungkol sa akin. Lalabas at lalabas ang katotohanan,” he said.
Twenty senators moved to oust Corona in May 2012 after he was found to have failed to include in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) his dollar accounts.
In his long speech, Estrada said P50 million additional pork funds were given to those who voted to convict Corona.
“Sa naisiwalat ni Sen. Estrada hinggil sa tunay na nangyari noong impeachment trial ko, malinaw na labag sa Saligang Batas ang pagkatanggal sa Punong Mahistrado. Nagpapasalamat din ako sa mga iilang mga broadcaster at mamamahayag na buong tapang na naglahad ng katotohanan sa kasagsagan ng impeachment, sa kabila ng massive demolition campaign ng Malacanang,” Corona said.
Estrada said he stands by his decision to convict Corona, and that he did not “ask or solicit” for additional pork funds. “I was not influenced by this incentive, which came after the fact.”
During his interpellation, he said he was approached by someone “close to Malacanang” although there was no promise of reward.
He did not say who the person is, promising only to reveal the name “in due time. Rest assured I was never swayed,” he said.
During his privilege speech, Estrada said the evidence is contained in a “confidential” letter supposedly addressed to then Finance Committee chairman and now Senate President Franklin Drilon.