Corona Drops Plan To Appeal

MANILA, Philippines - After a bitter legal battle, ousted Chief Justice Renato C. Corona has decided to resign instead of appeal his case and just spend his life as an ordinary citizen, his defense lawyers said Thursday.

"Yes, it is already a closed chapter. (We are) no more filing an appeal," said one of Corona's counsels, Rico Paolo Quicho, in a text message.

Quicho said Corona's decision came a day after Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile warned that the Senate will defy any legal remedy that Corona's lawyers would seek to invalidate the impeachment court's guilty verdict on the Chief Magistrate.

The senator-judges voted 20-3 convicting Corona of betrayal of public trust and found him unfit to sit on as the head of the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday.

Tranquil Salvador III said it was a personal decision of Corona, whom members of the defense panel had a chance to talk with yesterday morning.

"Yes, it came from the Chief Justice. I had a chance to talk about it with him this morning. And he considers it a closed chapter of his life. He is leaving all his legal duties as a justice and is now preparing to accept his life as a private citizen," Salvador said.

"It's his personal decision. All he wants for now is for him and for the country to move on," he said.

Malacañang welcomed Corona's the decision.

"That is properly the period that ends the chapter of the Corona impeachment," Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said.

Last Tuesday, the Senate, sitting as impeachment court, convicted Corona of failing to disclose his peso and dollar accounts in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).

President Aquino has welcomed the conviction of Corona as a triumph of truth and justice, adding that the magistrate's actions led to his conviction. Even though Corona was removed from office, Aquino declared that the fight for reforms in the judiciary will continue to ensure justice will be equally applied to all. (With a report from Genalyn D. Kabiling)