By Charissa Luci-Atienza
“Let us give the late Chief Justice Renato Corona what he truly deserves as a form of respect.”
House Minority Leader and outgoing Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez appealed to his colleagues and incoming members of the 18th Congress for the grant of the late Chief Justice’s retirement benefits to his heirs.
“Responding to the call of retired Justice Brion, I filed a resolution that would investigate on the possible grant of the said benefits to the late CJ Corona’s heirs. At this age where justice is most sought, it is a disservice to deny without any fair and satisfactory reason, any person, of the benefits, as provided for by law,” he said.
He noted that the issues regarding the motive, merits of the Articles of Impeachment, allegations of heavy power and political brokering, clouded the integrity of the entire procedure.
“Let me emphasize that the impeachment only carried the penalty of removal from office and disqualification from holding any public office. Nowhere in the Senate decision did it state that there is automatic forfeiture of retirement benefits,” Suarez pointed out.
In 2012, the Senate voted for Corona’s ouster after he failed to disclose his assets in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), a violation of the Article II of the Articles of Impeachment.
Retired SC Associate Justice Arturo Brion called Congress’ attention to remedy the “injustices” done to Corona, the first Chief Justice who was impeached in the country.
“With this, let me call on my fellow legislators and the incoming legislators of the 18th Congress to look into this matter with fairness and justice,” he said.
In April 2016, Corona suffered a cardiac arrest and died at the age of 67.