A candid chat with Chief Justice Renato Corona and social media users

On Wednesday, Blog Watch met with Supreme Court Chief Justice (CJ) Renato Corona after making arrangements with a mutual friend from Noisy Minority who knew the CJ. The meeting was arranged on March 12 . The CJ wanted to hold the interview that same day but I wanted a number of bloggers and social media users to participate not just myself. The formal, planned format was scrapped and instead he welcomed questions from anyone and answered what he could while respecting his lawyers’ advice not to talk about the merits of the case. Present were 20 bloggers and social media users. – (by Noemi)

Text by Sonnie Santos

Blog Watch asked a lot of questions, but here are the highlights:

1. Theories why he was impeached according to observers:

– as head of the presidential tribunal, he is a stumbling block to the losing candidate
– he is a stumbling block to an aspiring Chief Justice
– he is a stumbling block to Hacienda Luisita

2. Why he will not resign

– it is an admission that he is guilty as charged
– his family want him to fight
– he does not want to surrender judicial independence

3. If convicted- he will fade away and remain

4. If acquitted- he will move on

He does not want to discuss the merit of the case. The only reason why he went to media last week is to prepare the way for his defense team

In the course of the discussion, I figured out that the reason why the presentation of his defense team is focused on how he acquired wealth because “he felt really slighted for insinuating he had ill gotten wealth”. His ancestors, the Coronas are of good means, having been the successful in several fields.The Basa’s on the other hand are the same Basa’s that funded the Noli Me Tangere and Fili during the spanish regime

He is soft spoken and you can feel the sincerity of his answers. Seemed confident of his defense but declined to answer the allegations squarely.

CJ is sport and he faced tough questions from the skeptics in the group. I was hoping he’d answer the allegations direct to the point but he doesn’t want to reveal defense strategies.

He refused to comment on the claim Ana and Sis. Basa because he is not involved on the squabbles of his wife’s family and it is not relevant to his case, and he has respect to the vocation chosen by Sis Basa.

On the allegation of his uncle-in-law, he also refused to comment with due respect to the dead man. Instead, gave the journalist a place to start their research, if they want to get a bigger picture.

He fondly shared collections of what remains to be historical mementos of both Basas and Coronas before world war 2. His great-great grand dad was a successful business man in Binondo. His grand dad, is known among engineers. A street in Mandaluyong was named after his grand dad.

The Basa’s on the other hand, were compatriots of Apolinario Mabini.

Listening to him talk, you will be touched by his sincerity and soft-spokeness, and the one portrayed in the media is different when you meet him in person.

I withheld my conclusion though, until his defense team have argued and presented their evidences.

After meeting him, I understood now why employees of the Supreme Court [and others presumably] support him. He is highly likable.

Blog posts from bloggers and other social media users: (updated)

Fact: the chief justice is hurt by Gelo Lopez

“I have nothing to gain, but everything to lose”- Chief Justice Corona by Luisa Reyes

The man behind the facade of Chief Justice (Part 1 of 2) by @momblogger

The man behind the facade of Chief Justice (Part 2 of 2) by @momblogger

What will Chief Justice Corona’s legacy be? by Dine Racoma

Corona the Man by Beth Angsioco

The crown of Chief Justice Renato Corona by Pat Mangubat

I know the legal justifications for your appointment, but what’s the moral justification? by JJ Domingo

Renato Corona, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Part 1 by Pat Mangubat

Chief Justice Corona: I Fear a Creeping Communist Conspiracy Part 2 by Pat Mangubat

Should Chief Justice Have resigned? Part 1 by Dine Racoma

Should Chief Justice Have resigned? Part 2 by Dine Racoma

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Blog Watch receives the “Best Story” Award for the First Data Journalism PH 2015 from the Open Knowledge Foundation and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism “Aid Monitoring: Citizens’ Initial Efforts in the Wake of Typhoon Yolanda” . Forbes Philippines also garnered the same award.

Blog Watch receives the “Best Story” Award for the First Data Journalism PH 2015 from the Open Knowledge Foundation and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism  for their story on “Aid Monitoring: Citizens’ Initial Efforts in the Wake of Typhoon Yolanda” . Forbes Philippines also received the same award.

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