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CJ Corona: Impeachment trial now an inquisition

He also said, “I have always tried to be a man of the law. Despite the pain and the difficulties, I readily submitted myself to the constitutional process, to prove one point: That fear has no place in a magistrate’s heart.”

One-man rule

He again took a swipe at Malacañang, saying that “this whole sordid affair has all been about politics from beginning to end. It is about Hacienda Luisita, the P10-B compensation which the President’s family reportedly wants for the land…The need to terrorize and instill a chilling effect on the justices of the Supreme Court, to be able to bend their decisions in favor of the Malacañang tenant.”

He warned that recent events show “we are teetering towards one-man rule, where the rule of law is undermined and the system of government, particularly the principal mechanism of checks and balances is being destroyed.”

Corona’s defense team – with the exception of lead counsel Serafin Cuevas and Joel Bodegon – was present during the affair.

DEFENSE. Defense counsels Dennis Manalo and Jose Judd Roy III grace the Ateneo Law School event. Photo by Emil Sarmiento

DEFENSE. Defense counsels Dennis Manalo and Jose Judd Roy III grace the Ateneo Law School event.

Photo by Emil Sarmiento

Also at the Rockwell campus were Supreme Court Associate Justice Mariano C. del Castillo, who will be facing an impeachment complaint, Ateneo Law Dean Emeritus Fr. Joaquin Bernas, former Associate Justices Adolfo S. Azcuna, Roberto A. Abad, Philippine Association of Law Schools member Perry L. Pe, Supreme Court spokesperson Midas Marquez, and notable Utopian figures.

Loving wife  

Before his offensive, Corona acknowledged the role that his wife has played in his life.

“I’m lucky to have her, my loving and understanding wife, who was, from the very beginning, the wind beneath my wings, and whose dedication to me, has never wavered all these 45 years.”

LOVING WIFE. Cristina Corona and the Chief Justice stand by his new portrait. Photo by Emil Sarmiento

LOVING WIFE. Cristina Corona and the Chief Justice stand by his new portrait.

Photo by Emil Sarmiento

Married for 45 years to Cristina Corona, the Chief Justice said, “Kita naman ninyo, walang kakupas-kupas.” (You can see for yourselves. [Her beauty] has not faded.)

Dragged into the impeachment trial because of properties acquired, loans extended, and appointment by former President Arroyo to the Camp John Hay Management Corp, Mrs Corona has been accompanying her husband in most public appearances – from the Senate to the Supreme Court.

Media campaign

Corona also again lambasted the media, blaming them for tainting his name.

“It is so easy to destroy a reputation which a person has taken a lifetime to painstakingly build. Well-funded media campaigns can destroy reputations, even before the target has even had the opportunity to present his side.”

The objective, he said, was to destroy him and his family "without even giving us any chance to defend ourselves."

For the past 2 months, 2 newspapers and a broadcast network, according to him, have "crucified me and my family without letup," adding that paid bloggers are all over the Internet, vilifying him.

“Taxpayers' money is being used...with so much ruthlessness and malice, the likes of which I have never seen in my entire life.”

Towards the end, Corona said, “I have nothing to gain but everything to lose in this fight...I thank God for this one great opportunity of a lifetime, which does not happen often, to show that in this world, there are men willing to lose everything, including their lives, for what they believe in.” - Rappler.com