My Filipina wife has been paying a great deal of attention to this for months.
MANILA — The chief justice of the Philippine Supreme Court, Renato C. Corona, was removed from office on Tuesday after it was disclosed during an impeachment trial that he failed to declare $2.4 million in foreign currency deposits.
Chief Justice Renato C. Corona attended his impeachment trial last week in Manila.
In a country where high-ranking public officials are often removed through street protests, and no one had ever been successfully impeached and convicted, the verdict was seen as a victory for the political maturity of the Philippines.
Chief Justice Corona was impeached in December by the House of Representatives and was convicted Tuesday by the Senate acting as an impeachment court. He was accused of biased decisions and hiding assets.
“If your client cannot explain, I cannot abstain,” said Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, upon voting to convict. “If you did not disclose, we have to depose. If you are not fit, you cannot sit as the C.J. of our Supreme Court.”
Chief Justice Corona’s impeachment — and the prosecution of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who appointed him chief justice — have been central to the anticorruption campaign of President Benigno S. Aquino III. The president’s supporters say that if Chief Justice Corona had not been removed, he could have been an obstacle to good governance efforts that are linked to the country’s recent strong economic performance.
In the Philippines, senior officials are required to file a statement of assets, liabilities and net worth each year to verify that they are not enriching themselves from their government positions. One of the impeachment articles against the chief justice states that he under-declared his assets.- New York Times
Corona also had 80 million pesos in a bank account that wasn’t declared. He, and his Senate supporters, tried defending the nondisclosure in various pathetic methods including that he was ignorant of the law and that the mistakes were accidental. Like another pathetic crook named former Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, Corona feigned illness including a heart attack and his being a diabetic. If his health is so poor, why didn’t he resign? If he’s ignorant of the law, how can he administer justice in the Philippines. Corona is just the latest Philippine criminal masquerading as a politician.
So Corona is gone, now will the Philippines be any different? In the short term, no.
Personal note- Me and Leonita will be married 23 years as of tomorrow.(May 30th)