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MANILA, Philippines - Former Chief Justice Renato Corona issued a statement days after he was found guilty of betraying the public trust and committing culpable violation of the Constitution in a historic impeachment trial.
He signed the statement on Saturday, June 2, when he was discharged from the Medical City where he was confined for a near heart attack.
In his statement, he quoted a famous Bible verse, 2 Timothy 4:7 - "I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
He stressed that while he will be leaving the Supreme Court, "The quest for transparency in government service…has in fact only just begun…as many have taken up the cudgels of demanding higher levels of transparency through the outright waiver of confidentiality."
The impeachment trial has set a "new standard for public trust in government service…and a new culture for public service," he said.
To his defense team whom he described as "fiercely loyal and hardworking", he said: "We did our best, but reality has a way of getting in the way of idealism…Despite the outcome, I believe you did an excellent job within the confines of what was legal and moral."
To those he worked with in the Supreme Court and the judiciary, he said: "In spite of everything, I do not regret making a stand and will continue to fight for the cause of judicial independence.
He also thanked those who continued to believe him, those who visited him in the hospital, and those who supported him online. He said he and his family are "witnesses to God's immense love" during the almost 6-month-long period since the impeachment complaint was finalized and filed.
Below is the full text of his statement.
The events of the last 6 months taught me and my family to put all our trust in God’s providence. He has been the healing touch, the calming presence and assuring protection in our most difficult moments; and by His Amazing Grace, we remain standing like trees firmly planted in the ground.
My wife Tina and I, together with our children and grandchildren, are all witnesses to God’s immense love, as reflected in the kindness and good deeds - big and small - extended to us by countless people.
To the doctors, nurses and other hospital staff of The Medical City, thank you for restoring my well-being and getting me out of harm’s way. Your dedicated and selfless service indeed demonstrates that Filipino health professionals are among the world’s best because of their medical expertise and specialization, and their caring and nurturing attention.
I am overwhelmed, humbled even, by the outpouring of affection and support for me and my family. The seemingly endless stream of visitors daily - from my fiercely loyal and hardworking defense counsels, my family in the Supreme Court and the different courts, friends and even strangers who went out of their way to visit me - became my wellspring of hope and cheer.
I am likewise grateful to all who offered prayers for a favorable outcome, for my speedy recovery and for my family’s strength to withstand the extraordinary ordeal we are going through. I would like to make special mention of our online supporters from near and far all over the world. I am inspired by your dedication and trust in me and my cause. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
To my defense team, despite the outcome, I believe you did an excellent job within the confines of what was legal and moral. As 2 Timothy 4:7 says:
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
We did our best, but reality has a way of getting in the way of idealism. I am grateful to all of you for sharing my belief in the cause.
To my family in the Supreme Court and the Judiciary, thank you for the privilege of leading you and fighting for you. In spite of everything, I do not regret making a stand and will continue to fight for the cause of judicial independence.
I express my deep appreciation to the Filipino people for giving me the distinct privilege of serving this nation in various official capacities and ultimately as the Chief Justice. The time has come, however, to render service to our people outside of the limitations of public office.
The quest for transparency in government service does not end with my leaving the august halls of the Supreme Court. It has in fact only just begun.
A growing number of dedicated Filipinos have now taken the clarion call and, with the help of our friends in the media, many have taken up the cudgels of demanding higher levels of transparency through the outright waiver of confidentiality.
This is the new standard for public trust in government service. We assure our people that this new thrust will bring better governance and a new culture for public service.
The Filipino people deserve nothing less.
May God bless us all.
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