The bribery incident involved Justice Corona allegedly receiving a 'platinum card' from Philippine Airlines that afforded him several perks. Among these was free first class travel for Corona and his wife. The government charges that he reversed the Supreme Court decision in favour of the FASAP union because of this.
During the impeachment trial, Senator Enrile refused to allow this to be heard as part of the government's case. The reason? The impeachment complaint DID NOT SPECIFY BRIBERY. Article 3 of the complaint specifies 'betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.' While it is an impeachable offence, government prosecutors did not charge Corona with 'bribery.'
The ACTUAL events are…
The impeachment complaint against Corona alleges that he allowed the Supreme Court to act on a letter from PAL's counsel in FASAP v. PAL, which resulted in the high court flip-flopping in that case.
It was also alleged that "the Court did not even require FASAP to comment on those letters of PAL's counsel, Atty. Estelito Mendoza, betraying Corona's lack of ethical principles and disdain for fairness." It's an insinuation that the letters were kept from FASAP and that they were prevented from responding to them.
In FASAP v. PAL, a Special Division of the Supreme Court found PAL guilty of illegal dismissal and ordered them to reinstate 1,423 employees. On 07 September 2011, the Court's Second Division denied PAL's motion for reconsideration and ordered that no further pleadings will be entertained.
However, on 04 October 2011, the Court en banc issued 'A.M. No. 11-10-1-SC' recalling the 07 September resolution. This was in response to a letter sent by PAL lawyer Estelito Mendoza pointing out a procedural error. The first resolution was issued by the Second Division, when it should have been resolved by the Special Division that rendered the original decision to reinstate the FASAP employees.
In typical hyperbolic Pinoy fashion, the media got wind of the recall, twisted it, and portrayed it to be a reversal of the original ruling in favor of the employees.
During the impeachment, Corona's defense offered this explanation: "Lawyers and litigants often write the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice regarding their cases. The Supreme Court uniformly treats all such letters as official communications that it must act on when warranted."
They went on to state "the practice is that all letters are endorsed to the proper division or the Supreme Court en banc in which their subject matters are pending. No letter to the Supreme Court is treated in secret."
'A.M. No. 11-10-1-SC' DOES NOT REVERSE THE RULING AGAINST PAL. Instead, it merely recalled the original decision so that it can be heard by the proper division of the Supreme Court. As it stands, the case is still in judicial 'limbo' as the Special Division has yet to render a final resolution.
It should be noted that since 2008, Renato Corona had inhibited himself from FASAP v. PAL. There was NEVER any mention of a US$100,000.00 bribe in the impeachment. Nor have these characters posting on GRP ever provided definitive proof for the bribery aside from a lot of screaming that everyone in government is a 'crook.'
There are a lot of things wrong with Filipino society and government. We don't need to fabricate lies to further stir up an already messy situation.
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