Malacanang on Tuesday lauded the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona in misdeclaring his assets, noting that this simply depicts that democracy is at work.
"This afternoon, 20 Senators voted to convict Mr. Renato C. Corona on Article II of the Articles of Impeachment. Our democratic institutions have been strengthened and have been proven to work," Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said just after the impeachment court handed down its verdict.
Valte also described Corona as "merely the public face of the things that ail our justice system."
She added that the Senate's verdict will hopefully change the image of the Supreme Court.
"The verdict of the Senate is a step forward in terms of restoring public confidence in our courts, and trust in the members of the judiciary," Valte added.
She also urged the public to "never forget that those who come to court, be they rich or poor, must do so in the expectation of receiving impartial justice from those who uphold both the spirit and the letter of the law.
Corona was convicted of Article II of the impeachment complaint, which accuses him of inaccurately declaring his assets, including peso and dollar deposits and real estate properties.
In his 2010 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, Corona declared "cash and investments" amounting to P3.5 million.
Senators voted 20-3 for the removal of Corona from office, most of them noting that the top magistrate no longer deserves his post.
Prosecution happy but no celebration
The prosecution team also hailed Senate’s decision to convict Corona “as a victory for accountability, transparency and the rule of law.”
House panel spokesperson Quezon Rep. Erin Tanada said the Senate has shown to “the people and the world that the country is politically mature and ready to forge ahead in the fight for transparency and accountability in democratic processes.”
The prosecution said they hope that Corona’s conviction would lead to “a change in the way things are done in government” and the restoration of the Filipinos’ faith in the institutions.
“We are hopeful that this historic decision of the Senate impeachment court will help restore the people’s faith in the judiciary and in government,” Aurora Rep. Sonny Angara said.
The House panel also claimed that Corona’s removal from office is a “big boost” to the Aquino administration’s campaign to clean the bureaucracy of graft and corruption.