Philippine chief justice blasts Aquino `dictatorship`

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 23:56

Manila: The chief justice of the Philippine
Supreme Court on Wednesday accused President Benigno Aquino of
plotting a "dictatorship", and vowed to fight for his job
after parliament impeached him.

Renato Corona rejected accusations against him of
unlawfully protecting ex-president Gloria Arroyo, and appealed
for popular support to resist what he said was an assault
on the judiciary`s independence.

"What they are trying to sow is a dictatorship... I will
oppose the looming dictatorship of President Benigno Simeon
Aquino III," Corona said in a speech to about 500 black-clad
court workers outside the Supreme Court.

Aquino`s allies in parliament impeached Corona on Monday
over charges his 15-member court had made a series of rulings
that hindered the prosecution of Arroyo, who was arrested last
month for vote rigging.

The impeachment complaint also accused Corona of
"betrayal of public trust" and personal corruption for
allegedly siphoning money from judicial funds.

It was the latest move in a hard-hitting campaign by
Aquino to ensure that Arroyo, who ruled the country from 2001
to last year, and her close supporters are held to account for
what he says was widespread corruption under her rule.

Aquino`s campaign has widespread public support, although
it has drawn criticism even from some supporters amid concerns
he may be abusing his presidential powers to achieve his
goals.

Aquino`s allies in parliament impeached Corona on Monday
over charges his 15-member court had made a series of rulings
that hindered the prosecution of Arroyo, who was arrested last
month for vote rigging.

The impeachment complaint also accused Corona of
"betrayal of public trust" and personal corruption for
allegedly siphoning money from judicial funds.

It was the latest move in a hard-hitting campaign by
Aquino to ensure that Arroyo, who ruled the country from 2001
to last year, and her close supporters are held to account for
what he says was widespread corruption under her rule.

Aquino`s campaign has widespread public support, although
it has drawn criticism even from some supporters amid concerns
he may be abusing his presidential powers to achieve his
goals.



First Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 18:20

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