The war of words between President Benigno Aquino III and Chief Justice Renato Corona is back, less than a month before the resumption of Corona’s impeachment trial at the Senate.
The President said on Wednesday he would just pray for the Chief Justice, scoffing at the latest accusations from the latter as “divorced from real life,” thus breaking his word that the Palace would no longer be commenting on Corona so as not to divert attention from the issues at the trial.
Mr. Aquino struck back at Corona when he was asked to comment on the Chief Justice’s allegations that the government had placed his home under a 24-hour surveillance, ordered the wiretapping of the cell phones of his family and an investigation of family members.
“Maybe the simple answer there is I will just pray for the Chief Justice,” the President said, adding that Corona seemed to have been thinking about a lot of things lately.
He said Corona’s accusations would seem good “when one is making an action film or a drama.”
“That seemed divorced from real life,” he said.
But even before these comments were made during a chance interview at the Manila Hotel, Mr. Aquino earlier Wednesday made a veiled attack against Corona in a speech at the Centro Escolar University, where he was conferred an honorary doctorate.
Without mentioning Corona by name, Mr. Aquino launched into a lengthy criticism of the judiciary.
“In the past years the justice system seemed to be the exclusive privilege of the few; that it seemed that each provision in the Constitution, there are words and letters that are being manipulated to the appeal of the magistrates and lawyers,” he said.