Marcos Jr. describes the High Court’s ex-chief a ‘victim of selective justice’
Former Chief Justice Renato Corona passed away after succumbing to cardiac arrest at the Medical City Hospital in Pasig City (Metro Manila) at 1:48 a.m. on Friday. He was a few months short of his 68th birthday.
He was diabetic, his lawyer said earlier in the day.
Amid the outpouring of public condolences, Senator and vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday said he was a victim of “selective justice.”
Speaking from Daet City, Camarines Norte, during a campaign rally, Marcos told reporters, “It is always sad to note the passing of a man like Chief Justice Renato Corona to whom a great injustice was visited and it is unfortunate that at the time of his death he was still under this cloud that remained above him since the impeachment trial.”
“He was clearly a [victim]of selective justice,” he said.
Corona was impeached in 2011 , the first year of the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
He was the first Chief Justice to be impeached for not declaring all of his assets in his statement of assets liabilities and net worth (SALN).
The Supreme Court under the helm of Corona ruled with finality that Hacienda Luisita should be distributed to its farmer workers.
The hacienda, a vast sugar estate in Tarlac province, north of Manila, owned by the President’s family.
Marcos said his prayer is that Corona’s passing will finally bring peace to the former Chief Justice.
“My family and I extend our deepest condolences to his wife, their children and the rest of his family,” he said.
Together with Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Sen. Joker Arroyo (who has since died), Marcos voted against the conviction of Corona at the impeachment trial.
Malacanang also on Friday expressed its condolences to the Corona family.
“We extend our condolences to the bereaved family of the late CJ [Chief Justice] Renato Corona and join them in fervent prayers for his eternal repose,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said in a statement.
Some senators who voted to impeach Corona have also expressed their condolences to his family.
Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said he recognizes Corona’s many years of government service particularly in the judiciary.
“I wish to personally extend my condolences to the family of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona on his sudden demise. We recognize his many years of service to the government, especially in the Philippine judiciary. I pray for peace and the eternal repose of his soul,” added Estrada, who is detained for his alleged involvement in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd, in a text message said, “We mourn the passing of a man of law whose true place in history is too early to say.”
Impeached for SALN failure
Corona became the 23rd Chief Justice of the Philippines on May 12, 2010 after being appointed by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on April 9, 2002 as associate justice.
He served in the Arroyo Cabinets and earlier in that of then-President Fidel V. Ramos.
He was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 12, 2011 for failing to disclose certain bank deposits in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth or SALN.
On May 29, 2012, the Senate, voting 20-3, found Corona guilty.
As a result, he was removed from public office.
After the impeachment trial, Corona lived a life away from the public eye until his death.
Corona is survived by his wife, the former Cristina Roco, and their three children.
Born on October 15, 1948, Corona graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1970 and obtained his doctorate in civil law from the University of Santo Tomas as summa cum laude and class valedictorian in 1982.
His wake will be held at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City (Metro Manila) and public viewing will start on Saturday.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has ordered that the Philippine flag at the SC and all courts nationwide be flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning.