MANILA, Philippines - Some 25,000 court employees nationwide yesterday reaffirmed their support to Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, formalizing it in a manifesto signed by the officers of the Judiciary Employees Association (JudEA) on their behalf.
This developed as the prosecution panel opposed the motion of the defense team to junk the bank docu-ments of the Chief Justice from the Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank)-Katipunan branch as part of the evi-dence in the impeachment trial.
During yesterday's flag-raising ceremony at the Supreme Court (SC) led by Corona and five other justices - Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Martin S. Villarama Jr., Roberto A. Abad, Jose Portugal Perez, and Jose Catral Mendoza - JudEA president Mau Aguilar read the manifesto of support to the Chief Justice.
The SC employees wore red shirts during the ceremony. It was reported that the Padre Faura ceremony was replicated in various courts nationwide.
Aguilar said the impeachment complaint filed against Corona is an affront and an attack on the judiciary and the Constitution.
He stressed that the Articles of Impeachment lodged by 188 legislators are without basis.
Aguilar claimed that the impeachment complaint was used by President Benigno S. Aquino III to cover up for the failure of the government to address the worsening problems of the country.
The manifesto, in Filipino, stated that ''hindi lamang si CJ Corona ang kanyang hinahabol na mapatalsik sa ngalan diumano ng reporma at kampanya sa 'Matuwid na Daan' - kundi ang pagkontrol sa buong Hudikatura at labis na arogansya at pang-aabuso sa kapangyarihan sa layuning maisentralisa ang kapangyarihan ng kanyang administrasyon, walang habas na yurakan ang kasarinlan nito at babuyin ang Saligang Batas.''
It also pointed out that ''ang impeachment ay ginagamit ni PNoy bilang pantabing sa lugmok na kahirapan at pagdarahop ng mamamayan...''
Aguilar further claimed that the impeachment complaint against Corona was triggered by the SC's ruling on the Aquino family's Hacienda Luisita.
The SC earlier ordered the actual distribution of the Hacienda Luisita land to farmer-beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, the prosecution, through a 40 page comment/opposition submitted yesterday to the impeachment court, stated that the evidence on the bank accounts of Corona cannot be excluded as the Chief Justice's bank records has not been formally refuted during the hearings.