Emmanuel N. Mongaya
Journalist & Blogger
“The Chief Justice of the Republic of the Philippines wishes to be excused.” These were the last words of Chief Justice Renato Corona before he abruptly stood up at the witness stand earlier this afternoon.
These are not words of somebody who suffered a sudden drop in his blood sugar levels. These are words of somebody who wanted to end his three hour opening statement with an insult on the Senate Impeachment Court followed by a swift exit out of the building. Fortunately, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile quickly ordered the closing of the doors of the Senate building and the sergeant-at-arms blocked Chief Justice Corona and his group.
The prospect of being forced to face grilling by prosecutors and senator-judges right there and then, Chief Justice Corona had to do some quick damage control — a diabetes attack.
Signing a waiver that would allow proper officials to open his bank accounts would have been a fitting climax to Chief Justice Renato Corona’s three hour opening statement before the Senate Impeachment Court. It would have shown his sincerity and commitment to transparency.
But he proceeded to impose a condition that revealed his insincerity. Chief Justice Corona wants the 188 congressmen who signed the Articles of Impeachment and Senator-Judge Franklin Drilon to also sign similar waivers. Then he walked out.
After attacking President Noynoy Aquino, Sec. Ronald Llamas, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, the prosecution in the Senate Impeachment Court, journalist blogger Raissa Robles, and the Basa clan, Chief Justice Corona tried to escape cross-examination.
Now, he is left with his diabetes excuse that he needs to play to the hilt. As Edwin Espejo, a journalist from Mindanao said in a Facebook comment, “Corona came with a swagger and left in a wheelchair.” I would not be surprised if defense lead counsel Serafin Cuevas would announce when the trial resumes that Chief Justice Corona would not be able to testify because of his diabetes. (This morning, Rappler.com reported that Supreme Court spokesman Midas Marquez was already talking of a possible heart attack and might skip trial.)
Still, I find best for the Filipino people if he would just bare the truth and resign.
- Corona’s hypoglycemia (www.rappler.com)
- Corona back at session hall (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Corona: ‘We invested in foreign exchange’ (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Philippine Justice Denies Charges, Blames Aquino (abcnews.go.com)
- Corona walks out of session hall (newsinfo.inquirer.net)