Corona warns of Aquino 'dictatorship', vows to fight impeachment

The Chief Justice has reached his tipping point.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona Jr. on Wednesday lashed back at President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III as he vowed to stay in his post and uphold the Judicial branch's independence.

"Ako'y tumututol sa walang tigil na pag-aalipusta... Ako'y tumututol sa binubuong diktadurya ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino III," Corona said in an emotional speech before his supporters at the Supreme Court.

Under the law, the three branches of government (Executive, Legislative, Judicial) have separate functions but are co-equal in nature.

Corona, who is in danger of losing his post due to his ties to former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, also lambasted Aquino and his allies for the unusual speed of the filing of impeachment against him.

"Kinikilala natin ang proseso..ngunit ang hindi natin kinikilala ay ang pag-abuso ng kapangyarihan at proseso..makapagtalaga lamang sila ng sarili nilang mahistrado ng Korte Suprema," said Corona.

On Monday, Aquino's lower House allies successfully impeached Corona for supposed betrayal of public trust, violation of the Constitution, and graft and corruption. The impeachment is now at the Senate.

"Itong impeachment ay dala ng kasakiman na magkaroon ng Korte Suprema na kaya niyang diktahan: na nakukuha sa tingin at magkakandarapang ipatupad ang kanilang bawat hiling," Corona said.

However, Corona said he would be the first to fight such a move.

"Kung kailangan ipaglaban ang Korte Suprema, ako ang mangunguna," he said.

Corona said he is already tired of trying to make amends with the President. He noted that despite his efforts to unite, Aquino chose to embarrass him in public recently.

"Tayo po ay nagpigil at nagtimpi at ito ay aking ipinalampas. Wala po akong kasalanan sa inyo, Ginoong pangulo! Wala po akong kasalanan sa bayan," Corona said, drawing cheers from his supporters.

'Sleeping soundly at night'

The Chief Justice also denied every allegation hurled against him, saying that he is able to sleep soundly at night.

"Mahimbing po ang tulog ko at tahimik ang aking konsensiya," said Corona.

"Haharapin ko ng buong tapang at talino ang mga walang basehang paratang na ito, punto por punto, handang handa po akong humarap sa paglilitis," he added.

Apart from his supposedly questionable appointment, Corona is also hit for his decisions in critical cases such as the declaration of Truth Commission's unconsitutionality, and more recently on the Temporary Restraining Order on Arroyo's travel.

Corona also said although he is Chief of the Judiciary, he does not control the magistrate's decisions on issues.

"Pantay pantay po kaming lahat dito. Ang aming pasya ay pasya ng buong Korte Suprema. Ang opinyon ng isang mahistrado ay hindi desisyon ng Korte Suprema," he said.

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