MANILA, Philippines - Chief Justice Renato C. Corona Friday said he will just "leave it to God" to judge his critics who refused to make a public apology for coming up with an erroneous list of 45 properties he allegedly owned.
He made the statement after some senator-judges urged the House prosecution panel to apologize to the public for making damaging statements against Corona and to correct their information.
Among those who assailed the House prosecutors for an erroneous report include Senate President Pro Tempore Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, Senators Loren Legarda and Joker Arroyo.
"I thank Senators Estrada, Legarda, and Arroyo for carefully weighing the facts on the erroneous report on the 45 properties," Corona said in a statement.
"Much as we want to get an apology, we cannot force this to the prosecutors. Saying sorry for a
harm done is a personal decision," Corona noted.
Earlier, Corona said that his personal feelings and emotions don't matter as he is in the business of serving the public.
"You cannot go to town with unverified information, especially given the big difference between the reported number of properties and what was submitted," Legarda earlier told reporters.
"If they made the announcement in a press conference, the correction should also be made in a press conference," she also said.
"Reputations should not be diminished due to incompetence, flaws, or computer error," Legarda added.
Estrada also chided Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., head of the prosecution panel, and asked him to correct the wrong impression "they created in the minds of the public after parading documents of the so-called 45 properties."
"May I tell you, to advise your spokesmen to rectify the error and take back what they said in the media that indeed, the properties of Chief Justice Corona are not 45, because I think the damage has already been done," Estrada said on the last day of the Senate impeachment court's proceedings.
"It was already instilled in the minds of the public, in the minds of the people, or even in the minds of the court that Corona has 45 properties, when in fact, they are not 45," said Estrada.
Arroyo on the other hand called the misleading information "sickening."
"I'm talking about the fairness principle," the senior lawmaker added.