MANILA, Philippines - Chief Justice Renato Corona yesterday confirmed receiving an offer for a term-sharing deal with his former rival for the top judicial post, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.
Corona told dwIZ radio that the offer was made to him by Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona III at a lunch meeting “sometime last year before the talks of impeachment started filtering out.”
Reporters staked out Carpio’s office at the Supreme Court to get his comment, but were told by his staff that the justice would not comment on Corona’s allegation.
Corona recalled that Guingona, who belongs to the ruling Liberal Party of President Aquino, invited him for lunch at a restaurant.
Corona said he agreed to the meeting since Guingona was his former student in Ateneo law school.
He, however, said he requested the lunch meeting be held in a private place since he was conscious about public appearances.
Corona said they agreed to have lunch at the house of the senator’s father, former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr. in New Manila, Quezon City.
“He proposed and asked me, ‘What do you think about retiring early and sharing your term?’ He mentioned specifically Justice Antonio Carpio. He clearly said Justice Carpio,” Corona said over dwIZ.
According to Corona, he declined the offer.
“I told him that it’s against the Constitution. ThereÆs no mention of term-sharing there so that’s not legally possible,” he said.
After giving that answer, Corona said the senator then told him, “Okay, I have to leave for an appointment.”
Months after that meeting, Corona found himself impeached by allies of President Aquino in the House of Representatives in December last year. - By Edu Punay