Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Philippine Chief Justice Renato Corona on Monday said he is prepared to lose everything in his fight before the Senate impeachment court.
"Acquittal will give me nothing new. But if I am not upheld, my life will turn upside down, losing everything that has been always dear to me-my pride, my honor, the stability and peace of our family, my friends, even my retirement pay and pension for which I have worked so hard all these years.
"Why am I risking all these? For one reason alone and that is in my heart of hearts, I am fighting for democracy and the preservation of the fundamental freedoms that guaranteed the preservation of our way of life," Corona said in his speech before the graduates of the Philippine Law School (PLS).
"You should be prepared to lose everything when you are fighting for your principle," he said.
Corona said he submitted himself to the impeachment process despite knowing that everything will be thrown at him and his family because
"I have done no wrong nor ever violated my oath as a magistrate."
"My adversaries can fabricate all the lies they want to besmirch me and my family but in the end, it will still be between me and the Lord God almighty," he added.
Recently, reports came out alleging that he has property in the United States, which he denied. He said the house in Bayshore in Tampa, Florida, is owned by a family friend where he stayed a few times. He said it was also a mailing list.
Corona is currently facing the Senate impeachment court, which some sectors perceive as an attempt to undermine judicial independence.
Corona said impeachment is "one of the attacks'' which can be used against the judiciary.
"The judiciary has been at the receiving ends of attack on its independence from media bashing, budget, impeachment-the unending threats of impeachment only for one purpose-to create a compliant and malleable judiciary," Corona said.
Corona also lamented that "it is unfortunate that some even in the higher echelons of government refuse to acknowledge the role of the judiciary to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution."
"We are a government of laws, not of men, and the foundation of our laws is the Constitution. The interpretation of the laws and the Constitution is the exclusive province of the courts," he said.
Corona, who was accompanied by his wife Cristina, said he felt nostalgic in addressing the graduates of PLS because his father was a PLS graduate in 1936.
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