Representatives of 11 citizens organizations in Bacolod City yesterday launched the “Negrenses for Corona Removal (N4CR)” movement to campaign for the ouster of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
He must be removed through the impeachment process. Even if no further evidence is introduced or accepted by the impeachment court, he does not deserve an acquittal, the N4CR said in the statement read by Nana Yulo, one of its convenors, at a press conference in Bacolod said.
Corona has lost the confidence of the public and should leave, lawyer Andres Hagad also said.
“Corona lied, and lied blatantly, when, under oath, he intentionally under-valued the properties that he purchased while an officer of the government, first as member of the executive arm and later as a justice of the Supreme Court,” the N4CR statement said.
The discrepancy between of the values of the residential condominiums that Corona placed in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth as against the prices indicated in their respective purchase and sale contracts do not lie and cannot be refuted, the statement said.
It added that he became fabulously richer while in office and foolishly tried to hide the fact by describing a multi-million condominium as an “apartment”, which speaks volumes about his character, and how he betrayed the trust that the Sovereign Filipino People placed upon him.
The N4CR said a public officer occupying a high and sensitive position must not only appear pure, he must also appear and be accepted by the public as pure, and in this, Corona has proven himself unfit.
It added that the authority bestowed upon him gives him power to determine life and to wield such enormous power he must have our absolute trust and confidence which, unfortunately, is no longer present.
The N4CR statement was signed by Eres Bernaldo of the Bacolod Citizens Alliance for Good Governance (BCAGG), Jovito Berdin - Alliance of Labor Reform (ALARM), Nana Yulo – Negrense 4 Noy2 Movement (N4NM), Omon Maravilla, Jenhra Rose Garcia – Akbayan Youth, Leo Gaje III – Kabataang Liberal Bacolod, Edwin Balajadia – BCAGG/Akbayan Negros, Alex Ozoa – Paghiliusa sa Paghidaet-Negros/Peace Advocates of Negros, Andres Hagad – Liberal Party, Dondi Poblado – Tuloy Pinoy Negros, and Adnrea Si – Development Through Active Women Networking (DAWN) Foundation/PAN.
The core convenors of N4CR are composed of various progressive and social formations, and individuals who have been supporting the “tuwid na daan (straight path)” program of governance of the Aquino administration, said Maravilla, who read the group’s concept paper at the press conference.
He said their objectives are to support the calls of the people, Congress and other sectors for a truly independent, impartial and progressive SC and for appropriate reforms in the judiciary.
Among the activities planned by the group is to hold a mass for truth and justice, disseminate material on the impeachment issues, and hold a people’s impeachment court or impeachment watch every Friday to summarize the issues at the impeachment hearings during the week, he added.
Members of the Philippine Association of Court Employees in Negros and some judges have expressed their support for Corona.
PACE Negros president Zen Captar said they pray that the rule of law will prevail because they know Corona can defend himself.
Felomino Tan, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Negros Occidental chapter, also said “impeachment is not a political exercise, it must be based on facts and evidence.” Justice must prevail, due process must be followed.”
He also stressed the need for the judicial independence of the Supreme Court.*CPG