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MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang expressed its condolences to the family of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, who died on Friday, April 29.
“We extend our condolences to the bereaved family of the late CJ Renato Corona and join them in fervent prayers for his eternal repose,” Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a statement on Friday morning.
The members of the team that defended Corona in his 2012 impeachment trial also mourned the passing of the embattled chief justice, who succumbed to cardiac arrest after a lingering illness early Friday, April 29. He was 68.
Lawyer Rico Quicho, spokesperson of Vice President Jejomar Binay and one of Corona’s defense lawyers, said he was “deeply saddened” by Corona’s passing.
“He is a good man, loving husband and father. CJ Corona fought a good fight to uphold the independence of the institution he dearly loved. His moral courage is second to none,” he said.
“On a personal note, I thank him for the trust that he gave me during his challenging times. I will continue to fight for the rule of law and judicial independence,” he added.
Lawyer Karen Jimeno, who was once spokesperson of Corona’s defense team, posted a photo on Twitter of Corona with members of his defense team: “We pray for CJ Corona and we give our deepest condolences to his family.”
The Supreme Court also issued a statement directing Philippine flags and the Supreme Court colors to be flown at half staff starting Friday to mourn the passing of the former chief justice.
Corona served as the 23rd chief justice of the Philippines, named to the highest post of the judiciary by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in what has been criticized as a “midnight appointment.”
In 2012, the Senate, acting as an impeachment court, found Corona guilty of violating the Constitution for failing to declare his peso and dollar accounts in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN). (READ: Decrowned: The fall of Renato Corona)
Corona was the first member of the High Court to be dismissed, and his impeachment trial was the first to be concluded in the country’s history.
The former chief justice and his family later faced various tax evasion charges. – Rappler.com