FORMER Chief Justice Renato Corona on Monday decried reports accusing him of asking P50 million in retirement benefits from the Supreme Court.
In a text massage, Corona brushed aside former Senior Government Officials’ (FSGO) statement against him, adding “it is a demolition job and a malicious lie”.
“The statement is untrue. I do not know of anybody in government who ever received that kind of retirement pay,” Corona said.
Corona believes that it is his right to receive his retirement benefits because it is clear that an impeachment conviction is limited only to ouster from office.
“The Constitution is very clear that impeachment is only limited to removal from office,” he said.
As such, accessory penalties are not included, such as forfeiture of retirement benefits. In addition, the decision of the Senate Impeachment Court did not include the forfeiture of his retirement benefits.
Corona argued that the press release is a vicious lie and operation of his critics.
“The signatories of the press release who are supposedly experienced senior government executives, should know that retirement pay is determined by law and is never dependent on what the retiree wants. The press statement of FSGO is a demolition job and a malicious lie.”
The FSGO earlier asked the High Court through its press release to “take a principled stand” in the retirement benefits case of Corona.
FSGO includes allies of President Benigno Aquino 3rd in the likes of Carina Constantino David, Wigberto Tañada and Edilberto de Jesus.
“By taking a principled stand on the case, the Supreme Court can reinforce its own credibility and the people’s confidence in our democracy,” the group said.
It said “the case raises many questions of public concern, the people need to know how individual justices vote on the issue.
“He did not retire; he was thrown out of office. He has not been accepted into the Association of Retired Justices.”
Corona was convicted via 20-3 vote by the Senate impeachment court for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution for his failure to truthfully declare his assets in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth from 2001 to 2010.
However, Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada revealed that lawmakers received their respective Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel ahead of Corona’s conviction.