Press Release
November 30, 2011


Amid mounting calls for Chief Justice Renato Corona to inhibit himself from the cases of former president, now-Congresswoman, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan reiterates his earlier statements calling for the Chief Justice's inhibition. He also questions the manner by which Arroyo lawyer Raul Lambino seems to have been "defending" Chief Justice Corona and says this is a proof of the ties between the Chief Justice and the accused.

"Are the Arroyo lawyers also lawyering for Corona?" Pangilinan asks. "Why the spirited defense of the chief justice amidst the call 4 his inhibition?"

He then continues: "We reiterate our call for Chief Justice Corona to inhibit himself from the cases involving the former president. We likewise question the manner by which Atty. Lambino was so quick to come to the defense of the Chief Justice when calls for his inhibition first surfaced. It is highly suspect that it was he who first came out to publicly defend Corona as if his client's case was in peril should corona inhibit himself. He sounded more like the lawyer of the Chief Justice than that of the Arroyos."

"This establishes the fact that Arroyo's lawyer does not want Corona to inhibit, and we can assume it is because his client would lose one critical vote should it happen. Ang isda nahuhuli sa bibig. Whether true or not, the vociferous defense of the Chief Justice put up by Lambino creates the image and perception of a Chief Justice squarely behind the accused."

"Under the canons of judicial conduct, perception of impropriety--even if untrue--is solid basis for inhibition by a judge. The appearance of Lambino lawyering for Chief Justice Corona has harmed the image of the chief justice as an impartial judge. This on top of the fact that Chief Justice Corona was a former chief of staff of GMA, a former presidential adviser, and former executive secretary. All told, the ties are too obvious to ignore or disregard. We urge him to spare the Office of the Chief Justice from further harm by inhibiting himself from the cases involving GMA."

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