MANILA, Philippines—Farmers from the vast sugar estate of President Benigno Aquino’s family heard Thursday’s Thanksgiving Mass at the Supreme Court.
The Catholic mass, officiated by Fr. Dave Clay, was offered for embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona to mark his second year as chief magistrate.
Also in attendance were Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro and Jose Perez, defense lawyers Judd Roy, Ramon Esguerra and German Lichaoco II and court employees.
Members of the Confederation of Government Employees of the Philippines also heard the mass, which was also the 5th day of Octave Mass for Corona, who is set to testify Tuesday at his impeachment trial in the Senate.
The Supreme Court last month ordered the distribution to farmers of the 4,915-hectare Hacienda Luisita. The farmers on Thursday called Corona “Champion of Agrarian Reform.”
Corona was chosen as chief magistrate in 2010 by then outgoing president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
His appointment was highly contested, citing constitutional prohibition on appointments two months ahead of national elections.
The high court, however, upheld Arroyo’s power to appoint justices of the high court, saying it does not fall under the prohibitions of the Philippine Constitution.