"Issues regarding motive, the merits of the articles of impeachment, allegations of heavy power and political brokering clouded the integrity of the entire process."
Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Arturo Brion recently called the attention of Congress to remedy the injustice done to the late Chief Justice Renato Corona regarding the denial of the late Justice’s retirement benefits. In 2012, the Senate voted against the late Chief Justice, forcing him to be removed from office. Let me emphasize that the impeachment only carried the penalty of removal from office and disqualification from holding any public office. Nowhere in the Senate decision did it state that there is automatic forfeiture of retirement benefits.
The late Justice pursued for rightful claims, but abandoned it eventually upon the absence of hope in the political environment then. He died without getting the injustice rectified.
Responding to the call of retired Justice Brion, I filed a resolution that would investigate the possible grant of said benefits to the late CJ Corona’s heirs. At this age where justice is most sought, it is a disservice to deny, without any fair and satisfactory reason, any person, of the benefits, as provided for by law. This is aside from the fact that the impeachment process itself was controversial. Issues regarding motive, the merits of the articles of impeachment, allegations of heavy power and political brokering clouded the integrity of the entire process.
With this, let me call on my fellow legislators and the incoming legislators of the 18th Congress to look into this matter with fairness and justice, and let us give the late Chief Justice Corona what is due him under the law.
On other matters, there is another looming water shortage in various areas in Metro Manila. During the first quarter of 2019, we sought the commitment of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and the two water concessionaires, Manila Water and Maynilad, on the resolution of the water shortage which occurred during the said period. Congress has adopted House Resolution No. 2592, co-authored by this Representation, urging MWSS and other concerned agencies to fast-track the mitigation of the water crisis and ensure provision of safe and stable water supply in the Metro. It is surprising that as we enter the rainy season, we still experience the same problem. Hence, I urge MWSS and the water concessionaires concerned to explain and address this water shortage immediately. The China-funded Kaliwa Dam Project will not be enough to provide adequate supply to cover the water requirement in the coming years. Thus, it is imperative that concerned agencies implement long term solutions as what we have sought before. The public cannot live on empty faucets and empty promises.