Press Release
November 28, 2011

Drilon: Corona voted in favor of Arroyo in all 19 cases brought
before the Supreme Court

"The current score is 19-0. Chief Justice Renato Corona consistently voted in favor of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in all 19 cases brought before the Supreme Court. He never voted against her."

This was how Senator Franklin Drilon described the "judicial record" of the incumbent Chief Justice which he noted "was untarnished by a negative vote against the ex-president." Drilon then gave Senate reporters of the list of the 19 cases.

In a statement, Drilon reiterated his appeal for Corona to inhibit himself from deliberations on the cases involving the former president to avoid doubts on the impartiality and objectivity of the Supreme Court.

"I reiterate my call for Corona's inhibition in cases involving former President Arroyo because the Chief Justice's consistent voting pattern in all 19 cases involving the Arroyo government's controversial policies have created doubts in the public's mind about his impartiality," Drilon said.

"All his decisions are all for Gloria. His own record shows that he favors Arroyo. Even if Chief Justice Corona's votes in the 19 cases are based on merit, what is important here is how people perceive him," Drilon said, noting that Corona's voluntary inhibition would "go a long way in maintaining the credibility of the Supreme Court especially in cases involving Arroyo."

To drive home his point, Drilon gave media a list of 19 cases in which Corona voted in favor of Arroyo. The cases are:

1) Corona concurred in the Dec. 7, 2010 SC ruling declaring President Noynoy Aquino's order creating the Truth Commission unconstitutional.

2) Corona concurred in the Oct. 10 2010 SC decision stopping the Aquino administration from revoking the appointment of alleged midnight appointees made by Arroyo.

3) Corona concurred in the April 7 2010 SC ruling denying the petition of then Sen. Noynoy Aquino and upholding Republic Act 9716 creating the First and Second Districts of Camarines Sur.

4) Corona concurred in the SC decision reversing its previous decision ordering the Sandiganbayan to proceed with the trial of former Rep. Benjamin "Kokoy" Romualdez, whose son is a known ally of Arroyo.

5) Corona concurred in the Feb. 11, 2009 SC decision upholding the validity of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States and ordering the transfer of US serviceman and rape convict Daniel Smith to a Philippine detention facility.

6) Corona dissented in the SC October 14, 2008 SC decision declaring the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) entered into by President Arroyo's peace negotiators with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as "contrary to law and the Constitution."

7) Corona concurred with the July 16, 2008 SC decision declaring that communications in theJapan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement signed by President Arroyo and former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on September 9, 2006 were covered by executive privilege and not subject to public disclosure.

8) Corona concurred with the March 25, 2009 SC decision stating that then Social Security System Chairman Romulo Neri was not liable for contempt for not appearing in the Senate hearings of the NBN-ZTE scandal because his testimony was covered by executive privilege.

9) Corona dissented in the February 15, 2008 SC decision declaring that the wiretapped conversation between then presidential candidate Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Commission on Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcellano Jr. was not prohibited from broadcast.

10) Corona dissented in the May 3, 2006 SC decision declaring Arroyo's Presidential Proclamation 1017 which placed the country under a state of national emergency in March 2006 as "partly constitutional, partly unconstitutional,"

11) Corona dissented in the October 25, 2006 SC decision dismissing the petition of the pro-Arroyo Sigaw ng Bayan to allow a people's initiative to amend the 1987 Constitution due to failure to comply with Constitutional requirements of conducting a people's initiative.

12) Corona concurred in the Aug. 15, 2006 SC decision declaring as valid President Arroyo's gag order that prohibited executive and military officials from appearing before congressional investigations without the president's consent. The case was filed by then Marines General Francisco Gudani.

13) Corona concurred in the April 20, 2006 SC decision upholding the controversial gag order known as Executive Order 464 which allowed Malacanang and other executive officials to invoke executive privilege in refusing to testify in congressional investigations.

14) Corona concurred with the April 19, 2006 SC cases declaring a valid President Arroyo's Executive Order 420 involving the establishment of a national identification card policy.

15) Corona concurred in the December 13, 2005 SC decision declaring that President Arroyo can make appointments "in an acting capacity" without seeking confirmation from the Commission on Appointments.

16) Corona concurred in the October 18, 2005 SC decision declaring Republic Act 9337, also known as the VAT Reform Act, as constitutional.

17) Corona dissented in the March 2, 2004 SC ruling dismissing petitions to disqualify then presidential aspirant Fernando Poe Jr. on the ground that he was not a natural born citizen.

18) Corona concurred with the Feb. 3, 2004 SC decision declaring that President Arroyo did not exceed her powers in issuing Proclamation number 427, 435 and General Order No. 4 declaring a state of rebellion during the so-called Oakwood Mutiny.

19) Corona dissented in the January 13, 2004 SC decision voiding the contract entered into by the Commission on Elections with the Mega-Pacific firm for not undergoing the required public bidding.

In a statement, Drilon said he opted to release "Corona's voting pattern" to media in the name of public transparency and to support his call on the Chief Justice to inhibit himself from court proceedings involving Arroyo.

Earlier, Drilon said Corona's history with Arroyo has created perceptions that the SC was biased in favor of the Pampanga lawmaker. He noted that Corona once served as chief of staff and spokesman of Arroyo when she was vice president.

Drilon also noted that Corona's appointment as chief justice in May 2010 stirred a lot of controversy since it came so close to the end of Arroyo's term and many considered him a "midnight appointee."

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