(Editor's intro: Raissa, foreign correspondent for South China Morning Post and Radio Netherlands, is an independent blogger.)
These are the questions I wanted to ask Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona but never got the chance because all my requests for interviews were met with silence:
1. On September 26, 2001, Marichu Villanueva of The Philippine Star quoted you as having issued a press statement inside Malacanang Palace where you were then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s chief aide. In answer to allegations made by Jose Maria Basa III that you were using your office to sway decisions in your wife’s favor in the matter of the family feud inside Basa-Guidote, you said in a Malacanang Palace statement which Marichu wrote for the Philippine Star:
“From the very beginning, I have purposely stayed away from the financial and material affairs of my in-laws,” Corona said in a prepared statement.
“This private case is a family dispute over inheritance within their family and I do not even know how this came about. For Mr. Basa to accuse me now of meddling in this inheritance case is unfair, baseless and un-Christian,” Corona said.
Unknown to us then, but now known to us because of the direct testimony of former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, your wife Cristina received P34,703,800 payment from the city of Manila on June 5, 2001. The check was made out “in trust” to her. June 5, 2001 is only around three months before you issued that September 26, 2001 statement from Malacanang Palace that you had “purposely stayed away from the financial and material affairs of my in-laws.”
1.1 How do you now reconcile that statement you made in Malacanang Palace with ex-Mayor Atienza’s recent testimony that you had accompanied your wife twice to see him on the Basa-Guidote property?
1.2 How did you introduce yourself then to Mayor Atienza? Did you give him your calling card? And what was written on your calling card?
2. Unknown to us in 2001, but now known to us because of the direct testimony of former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, your wife Cristina received P34,703,800 payment from the city of Manila on June 5, 2001.
I heard you say just now during your opening statement before the Senate impeachment court that Malacanang Palace is very powerful and can do anything. Do you think that on June 5, 2001 when your wife Cristina obtained the P34 million check from the city of Manila – at a time when you were already a close Malacanang aide of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – the P34 million check was a manifestation of what you just said – that Malacanang Palace is very powerful and can do anything?