Corona: This is all about Hacienda Luisita
It’s all about Hacienda Luisita.
This was Chief Justice Renato Corona’s answer when asked if his impeachment had something to do with the cases that President Benigno Aquino III had a personal interest in and which were decided unfavorably by the Supreme Court.
“It’s very clear that it’s the Hacienda Luisita [decision] that they want reversed. It’s very clear, nothing else,” Corona told reporters in an ambush interview after the eighth novena Mass held at the Supreme Court on Friday, sponsored by the Solidarity for Sovereignty group.
The high court unanimously voted to award Hacienda Luisita—a 6,400-hectare sugar estate owned by the family of President Aquino’s mother, the late President Corazon Aquino—to its tenant farmers who had been demanding for decades that the property come under the agrarian reform program.
Corona, however, said he did not feel any reason to bear a grudge or to want revenge against Mr. Aquino and his congressional allies who voted to impeach him.
‘I forgive them’
“I still adhere [to the principles] I grew up with as a Christian. I’m not angry at him. I hope that his mind will be cleared. I can’t think of getting angry at him or wanting to take revenge because that’s not what my parents taught me and that’s not what I learned in school. What I’ve learned and what was taught to me is to forgive all those who hurt me.
“If ever God wills that I’ll be acquitted, I’m telling them right now that I forgive them for what they did to me. I won’t even wait for the day I’m acquitted. Right now, I’m saying that I forgive them,” he added.
Black to show support
He also reiterated his resolve not to resign. “This battle has gone beyond me. What’s dominant here is the country’s fight for democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law. That’s why no Filipino who loves his country would resign with this kind of challenge,” he said.
Supreme Court employees wore black to show their support for the embattled Chief Justice. Mass-goers sang “The Impossible Dream,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and the “Prayer of Saint Francis.” The Mass celebrant, in his homily, spoke about saints and their sufferings and at one point even asked Corona, who was seated in front, if he wanted to be a saint.
After the Mass, high court employees chanted “CJ! CJ!” to show their support for Corona.
Later, members of Unified Groups for the Advancement of Truth sponsored a candlelight vigil at the Supreme Court grounds.
However, at around lunch time, the militant Confederation for the Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage) picketed the high court taking it to task for its “antipeople decisions.”
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace, will celebrate the final Mass of the novena today. Retired Pangasinan Archbishop Oscar Cruz, who paid a visit to Corona on Friday, will be attending the Mass.
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