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Report: Binay is target of Corona trial

Chief Justice Renato Corona was impeached allegedly to facilitate the removal of Vice President Jejomar Binay from office.

This is the gist of unconfirmed reports based on a newspaper column by former Arroyo spokesman Rigoberto Tiglao

According to Tiglao’s column at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the impeachment trial is a power game that has nothing to do with an anti-corruption crusade but, in fact, a way for Mar Roxas to win his Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) complaint against Binay.

Tiglao said that as startling as the claim may seem, the facts supporting it are unassailable. He noted that Roxas filed an electoral protest in July 2010 with the PET alleging massive cheating by Binay.

In the electoral protest, Roxas alleged that Binay’s lead over him of 730,000 votes would have been wiped out and he would have won by a landslide if the optical-scan counting machines had not voided 3 million of his votes.  Tiglao said the PET has already secured the ballots in the areas where Roxas claims he was cheated, and its pre-hearing investigations are underway.

Tiglao said the PET, many have forgotten, is the Supreme Court chaired by Chief Justice Corona. “If Aquino gets to control the high court, which he will if Corona is taken out, and with the rest of the justices frightened either by the prospect of their own impeachment or media demonization, he controls the PET, which would fast-track Roxas’ protest, declare him the winner, and proclaim him the Republic’s vice president,” he said.

Tiglao said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, assisted by a new member of the Commission on Audit, would hurl a flurry of graft cases against Binay to demonize him. Tiglao noted that Morales is a cousin of Justice Antonio Carpio, and the law firm he founded, now the Villaraza Cruz Marcelo & Angangco, is also Roxas’ counsel for his electoral protest.

Tiglao noted that recent impeachment of Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo “bolsters fears that the regime can browbeat justices to submission.” The former Arroyo spokesperson said that despite Corona’s ongoing trial, the House of Representatives’ justice committee still rushed Del Castillo’s impeachment February 7. “Two days later, the embattled Del Castillo voted with Carpio and with Aquino’s three appointees – Ma. Lourdes Sereno, Bienvenido Reyes and Estela Perlas-Bernabe – for the Senate to scrutinize Corona’s dollar accounts,” he said.

Tiglao noted that four Liberal Party senators unabashedly want to prove Corona guilty, even assisting bungling prosecutors.

Tiglao said the people in the campaign to take out Corona are all from the Liberal Party production — from party chairman Aquino to vice chairman Franklin Drilon who has been accused of practically being a prosecutor in the trial, to executive vice president Feliciano Belmonte, speaker of the House of Representatives that filed the complaint, to Niel Tupas Jr. head of the prosecution panel, down to the prosecutors’ belligerent spokespersons.

“This is not because of the party’s servility to Aquino, but because its future depends entirely on party president Roxas becoming vice president soon, which will be his jumping board for the 2016 presidency,” Tiglao said.