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Chief Justice Renato Corona: Watch Me

May 19, 2010

New Chief  Justice Renato Corona is understandably keeping a stiff upper lip:

I am not starting on the wrong foot. Somebody else is.
. I’m not a politician. I don’t like appearing before the media but … it’s a good opportunity for me, like it or not, for the public to know me. They are entitled to know what kind of public official I am. That (the criticisms about my midnight appointment) does not bother me. I will have eight years to prove many things about myself and what I can do for country. I would like to assure you that I will be there fighting for the independence from politics of the Supreme Court. It’s legal ( President-apparent Aquino’s reported plan to take his oath before a barangay captain). I don’t speculate on what the repercussions are going to be. If he takes his oath before a barangay captain I’m sure he will have by that time thought about it well and sought counsel. It’s all right with me.

Methinks this to and fro doesn’t really have to trigger what others fear may be a constitutional crisis too early in a new administration.

There are arguably more urgent things to do.

But if a crisis does erupt, including the threat of some lawyers to file an impeachment case versus CJ Corona, I guess the elementary question that will be asked if the position of Chief Justice was vacant when a new occupant to the high post was appointed.

There’s, of course, the matter of the outgoing President possibly having violated a appointment ban.

Could the SC rulimg empowering GMA to make the appointment be reversed, this time under the watch of the very same person at right, front, and center of this brouhaha.

We will need to witness how this plays out.


The Corona bio:

Justice Renato C. Corona was appointed on April 9, 2002, as the 150th member of the Supreme Court. He finished his Bachelor of Arts with honors at the Ateneo de Manila University and his Bachelor of Laws at the Ateneo Law School where he ranked fifth in his class. He placed 25th in the 1974 Bar examinations with a grade of 84.6%. He thereafter pursued his Master of Business Administration at the Ateneo Professional Schools, and obtained his Master of Laws from Harvard Law School in 1982, concentrating on foreign investment policies and the regulation of corporations and financial institutions. Justice Corona also holds doctorate degrees in law, honoris causa, from the University of Batangas and the University of Cebu. He is also a candidate for a Doctor of Civil Law degree from the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School.

As a young lawyer, Justice Corona served as special counsel at the Development Bank of the Philippines. He later became senior vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary of the Commercial Bank of Manila. After a few years, he joined the Tax Division of Sycip Gorres and Velayo where he occupied a senior position.

In 1992, he joined the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos as Assistant Executive Secretary for legal affairs, concurrently head of the Malacañang Legal Office. He was later promoted to Deputy Executive Secretary and subsequently Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and member of the Cabinet. After President Ramos’ term, Justice Corona became Chief of Staff of then Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, then joined her in Malacañang when she assumed the presidency in 2001. He served as her Presidential Chief of Staff, Presidential Spokesperson, and later, as Acting Executive Secretary.

Apart from his government work, Justice Corona was the President of the Ateneo Alumni Association in 1991-1992 and taught Corporation Law and other commercial law subjects at the Ateneo Law School for 17 years. He was also a contributor to The Manila Chronicle, where he wrote extensively on tax and commercial law issues in his column “Tax Corner.” He was a recipient of the Philippine Legion of Honor Award (with the rank of officer) in 1998 and was once named one of the Outstanding Manilans.

He is the Chairman of the Third Division, and the Chairman of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Oversight Committee, Chairman of the Legislative-Executive Relations Committee and Co-Chairman of the Administrative Concerns Committee of the Supreme Court. He is a member of the Management Committee of the Judicial Reform Support Project and the Committee on Public Information. He is also the Chairman of the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal.

Justice Corona has represented the Supreme Court of the Philippines in a number of international conferences and meetings, and has delivered a number of papers in bar and judicial congress abroad. He continues to write scholarly papers for various law journals and teaches International Law at the Graduate School of the University of Santo Tomas.

A native of Batangas, Justice Corona is married to the former Cristina Roco with whom he has three children and six little crown jewels: Franco, Santino, Anika, Katrina, Natalia and Caia.

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