Corona’s attack on PNoy ‘an eye for an eye’

Lawyers of Chief Justice Renato Corona justify his attacks on PNoy as "an eye for an eye."

MANILA, Philippines – Defense counsel Jose “Judd” Roy III criticized President Benigno Aquino III’s speeches against Chief Justice Renato Corona as an attempt to pressure the senators and condition the public’s mind for a conviction.

Roy said it is improper for the chief executive to comment on the merits of the impeachment trial. But when asked about his client’s own personal attacks against the President, Roy said, it’s “an eye for an eye.”

Last week, Corona dared the President to release alleged psychological reports, the authenticity of which had already been questioned during the 2010 presidential campaign. One such report was allegedly signed by former Jesuit priest Carmelo “Tito” Caluag. He said he did not sign the report which described Aquino as suffering from depression and in need of continuing therapy. The report turned out to be fake.

A second report that said Aquino suffered from depression and melancholia was attributed to another Jesuit who taught at the psychology department, Fr. Jaime Bulatao. He denied it as well.

In apparent retaliation, Aquino told reporters in an ambush interview on Sunday that he refrained from responding to Corona’s “scurrilous attacks in various fora.”

He acknowledged that he initiated this latest discourse. “This is not directed at Corona personally but at the system of which he is the personification.” He added, “Siya ‘yung mukha ng pinaglalaban natin dito na dapat iayos ang sistema ng hudikatura sa bansa.” (He is the face of what we are fighting for here, which is the need to fix the judicial system in the country.)

He said he will not keep quiet about the Corona issue despite calls by some senator-judges to refrain from engaging in a word war. “A democracy is the majority deciding for everybody and you cannot decide properly if there is no discourse within the contending sides in any issue. So to keep quiet about the whole thing is I think wrong. Time to time I reserve my right to be able to say what I believe should be said to the people,” Aquino said. –

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