Statement of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona:
On his impeachment trial and assets
[Released on February 13, 2012]
Throughout my public career, I have never been involved in any anomaly or scandal. Whatever assets my wife and I have acquired are products of 45 years of toil and honest work.
My wife and I have been privileged to come from families of comfortable means. We grew up never lacking in anything and even enjoyed some luxuries. We earned our academic degrees in some of the best exclusive schools in the country. I went on to earn several postgraduate degrees, including a Master’s degree in Harvard Law School. Our parents provided well for our future. Family resources continue to be available to us anytime.
I had a very successful career in the private sector where I was a top executive before I joined the government. That is public record.
For the past 40 years, my wife and I lived in a house, which was inherited property, and for that reason never had to pay rent or amortization on our residence. This translated to significant savings over forty years.
We have lived simple and frugal lives since we got married more than 40 years ago, to the point of thriftiness. This contributed to how we have been able to accumulate these assets. Other than our house, which we have lived in for almost 40 years, we have never had any other house.
I do not spend on vices like smoking, drinking or gambling, and have been completely devoted to my family. My family has always been my priority.
It pains me to see my family suffer the reckless abandon of a few who want to paint a different Renato C. Corona. I will not allow a career carefully nurtured and a family lovingly cared for in my lifetime to be tarnished by people in the business of lies and falsehoods. But I am determined, with my Defense Team, to explain everything satisfactorily when our turn comes to present our evidence. If you look closely at the documents already marked, the explanations are all there. In the meantime, I would like to request the public not to make any hasty conclusions. This expose that the prosecution is trying to herald as another bombshell will, in due time, be exposed as another dud like the 45 properties they claimed I owned.
To the Prosecution Team, I do know my law. I have not broken any law. I have no liability to the people and to the government. What my wife and I have is the fruit of hard and honest work for which all taxes have been fully paid. Since the Prosecution alleged wrongdoing, the obligation to prove it is theirs and theirs alone.
Do not extract it from me through means that are foul, coercive, and illegal because this can only mean one thing: you did not have any iota of evidence against me when you filed the impeachment complaint.
As to the effort of the Prosecution to enlist the assistance of certain patently partisan and inquisitorial Senator-Judges to help obtain the evidence you are digging up only now, not to mention the ruthless, unchristian and unrelenting public persecution through trial by publicity against my family and I, I hope the public will see through your schemes. My entire family is now, among others, being harassed by the BIR. I hope this persecution will never happen to any other official, officer, captain of industry, or Juan dela Cruz. I would not wish it on my worst enemy, should I have one. Finally, the President has clearly committed an impeachable offense when he came out swinging by openly urging the Senator-Judges to disobey the Constitution he has personally sworn to uphold.
Itong impeachment trial na ito ay isang huwad, isang paghihiganti ng sukdulan at kahiya-hiyang tangka na pigilin ang pagbabahagi ng lupain sa Hacienda Luisita.