Akbayan: Corona turning SC into personal refuge

This is a press release from Akbayan.

Akbayan Party today lambasted Chief Justice Renato Corona’s filing of an urgent petition before the Supreme Court asking for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for an immediate issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a writ for preliminary injunction which, among other things, would prevent officers of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and Philippine Savings Bank (PS Bank) from giving testimonies and submitting Corona’s bank documents before the Senate, sitting as the Impeachment Court.

Akbayan said Corona’s petition is virtually seeking to transform the high tribunal into a refuge for plunderers, liars, and crooks.

“Should the SC decide to tackle the petition, it would not be for the rule of law or constitutional order but to ensure honor among thieves and guarantee that Corona remains scot free and to prevent him from being removed,” Akbayan Spokesperson Risa Hontiveros said.

According to Hontiveros, “Corona is turning to the high tribunal to whitewash his crimes.”

“He will once again use what good reputation is left in the institution to provide him with the cover from the long line of evidence and witnesses which will convict him for high crimes against the people,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros also slammed Corona for “abandoning the impeachment trial” and resorting to tactics that seemed to be “lifted from Arroyo’s game plan to resort to shortcuts and evade prosecution”.

“Arroyo also asked for a TRO from the high court just to evade accountability. Corona is certainly mimicking the actions of his political patron on how to twist the law and use it for their own convenience,” Hontiveros said.

“Sabi dati ni Corona, dapat i-uphold ang rule of law. Sabi rin niya, handa niyang harapin ang mga paratang laban sa kaniya. Ngayon, mismong impeachment process na isang constitutional at legal na paraan para harapin ang kanyang kaso ang kaniyang tinatalikuran,” Hontiveros added.

“Corona Defense team can’t transform guilt into innocence”

Hontiveros also chided the “stonewalling” being committed by the defense lawyers of Corona to prevent the receiving of evidence pertaining to the high court’s flip-flop decision on the FASAP case and in deferring the action on the subpoena of the BPI and PS Bank bank documents and testimonies from the bank officers.

The former partylist lawmaker said that it is becoming clear that the defense is “becoming desperate in trying to stave off the barrage of evidence being presented against their client.

“They are desperate. This proves that even if you have the best legal minds such as former justices, law deans, and seasoned litigators in your defense team, you can’t transform guilt into innocence with the gravity of evidence being presented,” Hontiveros said.

“Even if Corona’s defense lawyers are perceived as gods inside the courts, they cannot acquit him. They cannot transform water into wine,” Hontiveros concluded.

Corona today filed a 39-page urgent petition for certiorari and prohibition. The urgent petition wants the High Court to issue a TRO to enjoin the following:

• proceedings before the impeachment court
• implementation of the court’s Feb 6, 2012 resolution
• officers and representatives of BPI and PSBank from testifying and submitting documents on petitioner’s or his family’s bank accounts
• the presentation, reception and admission of evidence on paragraphs 2.3 and 2.4 of the impeachment complaint