Renato Corona

Renato Tirso Antonio Coronado Corona[1] (October 15, 1948 – April 29, 2016) was a Filipino judge who was the 23rd chief justice of the Philippines from 2010 to 2012. He served as an associate justice after being appointed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on April 9, 2002, and later as Chief Justice on May 12, 2010, upon the retirement of Chief Justice Reynato Puno.

Renato Corona
Renato Corona official portrait.jpg
23rd Chief Justice of the Philippines
In office
May 17, 2010 – May 29, 2012
Appointed byGloria Macapagal Arroyo
Preceded byReynato Puno
Succeeded byMaria Lourdes Sereno (De facto)
Teresita Leonardo-De Castro (De jure)
150th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
In office
April 9, 2002 – May 17, 2010
Appointed byGloria Macapagal Arroyo
Preceded byArturo Buena
Succeeded byMaria Lourdes Sereno
Chief of Staff to the President
In office
January 20, 2001 – April 9, 2002
PresidentGloria Macapagal Arroyo
Preceded byAprodicio Laquian
Succeeded byRigoberto Tiglao
Personal details
Renato Tirso Antonio Coronado Corona

(1948-10-15)October 15, 1948
Santa Ana, Manila, Philippines[1]
DiedApril 29, 2016(2016-04-29) (aged 67)
Pasig, Philippines
Cause of deathHeart attack
Resting placeHeritage Memorial Park,
Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines
Spouse(s)Cristina Roco
EducationAteneo de Manila University (BA, LLB)
Harvard University (LLM)
University of Santo Tomas (DCL)
AffiliationFraternal Order of Utopia

Corona was previously a law professor, private law practitioner and member of the Cabinet under former presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo before being appointed to the high tribunal.

On December 12, 2011, he was impeached by the House of Representatives.[2] On May 29, 2012, he was found guilty by the Senate of committing the charges under article two of the articles of impeachment filed against him pertaining to his failure to disclose his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth to the public.[3]


Renato Tirso Antonio Coronado Corona was born on October 15, 1948, at the Lopez Clinic in Santa Ana, Manila, Philippines. He was the son of Juan M. Corona, a lawyer from Tanauan, Batangas, and Eugenia Ongcapin Coronado of Santa Cruz, Manila.[1][4] He was married to Cristina Basa Roco. They had three children and six grandchildren.[5]


Corona graduated with gold medal honors from the Ateneo de Manila grade school in 1962 and high school in 1966.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, also from Ateneo de Manila, in 1970, where he was the editor-in-chief of The GUIDON, the university student newspaper. He finished his Bachelor of Laws at the Ateneo Law School in 1974. He placed 25th out of 1,965 candidates in the bar examination with a grade of 84.6%. After pursuing law studies, he obtained his Master of Business Administration degree at the Ateneo Professional Schools.[5]

In 1981, he was accepted to the Master of Laws program of the Harvard Law School, where he focused on foreign investment policies and the regulation of corporate and financial institutions. He was conferred the degree LL.M. in 1982. He earned his Doctor of Civil Law degree from the University of Santo Tomas, summa cum laude and was the class valedictorian.[5]

Doctoral degree controversyEdit

On December 22, 2011, Marites Dañguilan Vitug of online journalism site Rappler, published an article alleging that the University of Santo Tomas (UST) "may have broken its rules" in granting Corona a doctorate in civil law and qualifying him for honors. She wrote that Corona did not submit a dissertation to complete his PhD as required by the university and that Corona overstayed, since UST requires that PhD programs be completed in five years with maximum residency of seven years.[6]

Basing from a previous interview, Vitug said that Corona started his coursework on his PhD in 2000 or 2001. Corona graduated in April 2011, a decade later, where he was one of six graduates to garner top honors during ceremonies intended to commemorate the university's quadricentennial.[7]

In a statement, the UST Graduate School denied that it broke its rules to favor Corona. It added that Corona had enrolled in all of the requisite subjects leading to the doctorate, attended his classes, passed them and delivered a "scholarly treatise" for his dissertation in a public lecture. UST said that since it has been declared by the Commission on Higher Education as an "autonomous higher educational institution (HEI)" it thus enjoys an institutional academic freedom to set its standards of quality and excellence and determine to whom it shall confer appropriate degrees. It added that issues about Corona's residency and academic honor received were moot because these come under the institutional academic freedom of the university.[8] UST likewise questioned the objectivity of the article citing that Vitug has had a run-in with Corona and the Supreme Court.[9] Vitug supported Associate Justice Antonio Carpio's bid for the chief justiceship in her articles in Rogue and Newsbreak.[10][11]

Sought for comment, Vitug said UST's statement "basically says, we have rules but we can flout them, invoking academic freedom and autonomy."[12]

The book, Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court, also written by Vitug, found that his claim that he graduated with honors from his Bachelor of Arts degree at the Ateneo de Manila University is not recorded in the university's archives.[7]

As Chief JusticeEdit

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administers the oath of office to Supreme Court of the Philippines Chief Justice Renato C. Corona at the Malacanang Palace on May 17, 2010
Chambers of Renato C. Corona in the new Supreme Court of the Philippines building.

On May 12, 2010, two days after the 2010 general election and a month before President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's term expired, Corona was appointed the 23rd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, succeeding Reynato Puno who had reached the mandatory age of retirement.[13]

His appointment was highly criticized, notably by then presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III and former President Fidel V. Ramos, due to a constitutional prohibition against Arroyo from making appointments two months before the election up to the end of her term.[13] Before being elected president, Aquino said that he will not recognize any chief justice appointment that will be made by the Arroyo administration, and mentioned impeachment as an option to remove him by saying "The legislature has the power of impeachment if they feel there are grounds to impeach an impeachable constitutional body. That is open to any president... Therefore we will have to restudy the matter, study our options. At this point in time Congress has yet to be elected."[14]

However, an earlier Supreme Court decision in Arturo M. De Castro v. Judicial and Bar Council, et al. on March 17, 2010, upheld Arroyo's right as incumbent president to appoint the Chief Justice. Voting 9–1, the high tribunal underscored that the 90-day period for the President to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court is a special provision to establish a definite mandate for the President as the appointing power and that the election ban on appointments does not extend to the Supreme Court.[15]

Corona abstained from ruling on the case together with Chief Justice Puno and Associate Justice Antonio Carpio while Associate Justices Antonio Eduardo Nachura and Presbitero Velasco, Jr. dismissed the petition as premature. Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, in her dissenting opinion, stressed that the Court can function effectively during the midnight appointments ban without an appointed Chief Justice.[16][17]

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, a constitutional expert, warned critics of the Corona's appointment to obey the rule of law, saying that the appointment of Corona has already been laid to rest under the doctrine of res judicata, meaning that it can no longer be relitigated in court, because it has already been decided with finality. Further stating that "After the Supreme Court decision in De Castro v. Judicial and Bar Council last March, which settled the issue, any petition is now precluded, on the theory of so-called collateral estoppel," She also commented that "The problem with the critics is that they mistake the law as it is; with the law as it ought to be, according to their layman's interpretation. A line has to be drawn between the rule of law and the dystopian concept of freewheeling ethics," [13]


Corona's judicial chambers after the impeachment.

On December 12, 2011, 188 of the 285 members of the House of Representatives signed an impeachment complaint against Corona.[2] As only a vote of one-third of the entire membership of the House, or 95 signatures, were necessary for the impeachment of Corona under the 1987 Constitution, the complaint was sent to the Senate for trial.[18][2]

Corona was accused of consistently ruling with partiality to former President Arroyo in cases involving her administration and of failing to disclose his statement of assets as required by the Constitution. However he argues that he was not required to disclose US$2.4 million because foreign deposits are guaranteed secrecy under the Philippine's Foreign Currency Deposits Act (Republic Act No. 6426)[19] and that the peso accounts are co-mingled funds. Corona said that the case against him was politically motivated as part of President Benigno Aquino III's persecution of political enemies.[20]

On May 29, 2012, he was found guilty by the Senate of Article II of the Articles of Impeachment filed against him for his failure to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth.[3] Twenty out of twenty-three senators voted to convict him. A two-thirds majority, or 16 votes, was necessary to convict and remove Corona from office. Corona responded by declaring that "ugly politics prevailed" and his "conscience is clear." This marked the first time that a high-level Philippine official has been impeached and convicted. Senator Joker Arroyo denounced the verdict, ending his statement with "I cannot imagine removing a Chief Justice on account of a SALN. Today, we are one step from violating the constitution and passing a bill of attainder. No one can stop us if we do not stop ourselves. This is not justice – political or legal. This is certainly not law, for sure it is not the law of the constitution. It is only naked power as it was in 1972. I haven't thought that I would see it again so brazenly performed but for what it is worth, I cast my vote. If not for innocence falsely accused, of offenses yet to exist, and if not for the law and the constitution, that we were privileged to restore under Cory Aquino, then because it is dangerous not to do what is right. When soon we stand before the Lord, I vote to acquit".[21] Senator Pia Cayetano explained her vote by stating that "the failure to declare $2.4 million and some 80 million pesos is not minor."[22][23]

In his September 25, 2013, privilege speech, Jinggoy Estrada, one of the senators who voted to convict Corona of article two of the articles of impeachment, said that all senators, except Bongbong Marcos, Joker Arroyo and Miriam Defensor-Santiago, received ₱50 million each to remove Corona from office.[24][25][26][27] On January 20, 2014, Senator Bong Revilla revealed that President Aquino spoke with him to convict the Chief Justice.[28][29]


On April 25, 2014, the Department of Justice issued a hold departure order against Corona along with former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson.[30] In June 2016, the Sandiganbayan Third Division dismissed the pending criminal cases of Corona after his death.[31]


Corona died on April 29, 2016, at 1:48 a.m. at The Medical City in Pasig due to complications of a heart attack.[32][33] He also suffered from kidney disease and diabetes.[34]

Notable opinionsEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Philippines, Manila, Civil Registration, 1899-1984; pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-15574-21292-23 —".
  2. ^ a b c "Chief Justice Corona impeached". ABS-CBN News. December 11, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Senate votes 20–3 to convict Corona". Philippine Daily Inquirer. May 29, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  4. ^ "Philippines Civil Registration (Local), 1888-1984; pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-27113-16664-57 —".
  5. ^ a b c "The Chief Justice". Supreme Court of the Philippines. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  6. ^ "UST breaks rules to favor Corona". December 11, 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  7. ^ a b "UST: Corona's lecture enough for PhD". January 12, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  8. ^ "UST: CJ Corona earned PhD". Philippine Daily Inquirer. January 12, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  9. ^ "UST faculty affirms: Corona earned summa honors". GMA News Online. January 3, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  10. ^ Vitug, Marites (June 2009). "Carpio's Force". Rogue (22): 88.
  11. ^ "Carpio's Force". Newsbreak. July 3, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2012. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ "UST denies favoring Corona in doctoral program". GMA News Online. January 2, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  13. ^ a b c "Corona assumes as Chief Justice". Manila Bulletin. May 17, 2010. Archived from the original on May 22, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  14. ^ "Chief justice appointment explained". Sun.Star. March 21, 2010. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  15. ^ Arturo M. De Castro v. Judicial and Bar Council, et al., G.R. No. 191002 (March 17, 2010).
  16. ^ "Election Ban on Appointments Does Not Extend to the Supreme Court". Supreme Court of the Philippines. April 20, 2010. Archived from the original on June 7, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  17. ^ "Aquino-appointed associate justice sponsors mass for Corona". Philippine Daily Inquirer. May 16, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  18. ^ "House majority oks impeach case vs Corona for Senate trial". GMA News. December 11, 2011.
  19. ^ "REPUBLIC ACT No. 6426". Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  20. ^ "Philippine senate convicts top judge". Al Jazeera. May 29, 2012.
  21. ^ "SENATOR JOKER ARROYO: CORONA NOT GUILTY". News 5. May 29, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  22. ^ "Philippine top judge Renato Corona faces sack for corruption". BBC News. May 29, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  23. ^ "Philippine Chief Justice Removed Over Omission in Report on Assets". New York Times. May 29, 2012.
  24. ^ "Palace: No comment on Corona's 'vindication'". ABS-CBN News. September 27, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  25. ^ Punay, Edu (September 26, 2013). "I feel vindicated – Corona". Phil Star. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  26. ^ "Corona says he feels 'vindicated' after Jinggoy speech". GMA Network. September 25, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  27. ^ Canlas, Jomar (September 27, 2013). "Corona: Thank you Lord for vindication". The Manila Times. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  28. ^ Macaraig, Ayee (January 20, 2014). "Revilla hits Aquino for 'crooked justice'". Rappler. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  29. ^ Ager, Maila (January 21, 2014). "Aquino secret meeting with Revilla not illegal, say 2 senators". Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  30. ^ Pazzibugan, Dona Z.; Salaverria, Leila B.; Santos, Tina G. (April 26, 2014). "Renato Corona, Chavit Singson barred from leaving". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  31. ^ Cahinhinan, John Carlo (June 1, 2016). "Sandiganbayan dismisses criminal raps vs Corona". Sun.Star. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  32. ^ "Former Chief Justice Renato Corona dies at age 67". GMA News. April 29, 2016.
  33. ^ "Former Chief Justice Renato Corona dies". CNN Philippines. 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  34. ^ "Ex-Chief Justice Corona passes away at 67". Manila Bulletin. 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Aprodicio Laquian
Chief of Staff to the President
Succeeded by
Rigoberto Tiglao
Legal offices
Preceded by
Arturo Buena
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
de jure - impeached

Succeeded by
Maria Lourdes Sereno
de facto - appointment null and void ab initio
Succeeded by