Civil society group: Corona should ‘do a Merci’

This is a press statement from Akbayan

The Bantay Gloria Network today said that with Chief Justice Renato Corona hounded by serious charges of amassing ill-gotten wealth, he should follow the example of former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez who opted to resign rather than face a prolonged impeachment trial.

Akbayan Spokesperson Risa Hontiveros said that with the recent revelation by Rep. Niel Tupas, head of the House prosecution panel, that Corona had bought a 300-square meter penthouse worth P14.5 million in an exclusive enclave in Taguig City as well as other high-end properties, “the Chief Justice can no longer ignore allegations that he has enriched himself in office way beyond his legal salaries and allowances as a member and now head of the Supreme Court.”

For her part, Leah Navarro, Spokesperson of the Black and White Movement which is a member-organization of the Bantay Gloria Network, said Corona should “resign forthwith and spare the nation a tedious political exercise that’s likely to find him guilty anyway, considering that the evidence against him is so strong”.

Hontiveros said that with the prosecution panel gathering more explosive evidence against Corona, “the Chief Justice wouldn’t even know what hit him and may be forced by circumstances to resign rather than face the ignominy of more damning evidence against him.”

“We reiterate our earlier position that Corona should resign now instead of exposing himself to more humiliation and embarrassment as the trial progresses”, the former Akbayan representative said.

The impeached Chief Justice, according to Hontiveros, “can no longer perform effectively as head of the High Tribunal even in the very slim chance that he is acquitted by the senator-judges. His reputation is already in tatters. He should voluntarily exit as Chief Justice now and ride off into the sunset with as much dignity he can muster.”

Navarro said her group, as well as the Bantay Gloria Network composed of various civil society organizations, will be closely monitoring both the impeachment trial of Corona and the filing of more plunder cases against former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

“Arroyo and Corona worked hand-in glove to perpetrate and then cover up the most vicious crimes against the Filipino people. They both deserve to rot in jail,” Navarro said.

“We in the Black and White Movement and the Bantay Gloria Network call on the people to unite behind our efforts to uphold good governance, the Constitution and the rule of law in this country,” Navarro added.