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Corona says he feels 'vindicated' after Jinggoy speech

Ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona on Wednesday said he feels “vindicated” after Sen. Jinggoy Estrada bared in a speech that P50 million in additional funds were given to lawmakers who voted to convict him last year.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos sa bindikasyon na ibinigay niya sa akin sa araw na ito,” Corona said in a text message to reporters, although he added that Estrada's statement did not surprise him.

“Hindi ako nagulat sa rebelasyon ni Sen Estrada sapagka't kinompirma lamang niya ang alam namin at ng marami sa ating mga kababayan,” he said.

In his hour-long privilege speech, Estrada said the allocation was "provided in a private and confidential letter" from current Senate President Franklin Drilon, who was Senate finance committee chairperson at the time of Corona's impeachment proceedings.

Reacting to Estrada's speech, Drilon said he "may have" issued the confidential letter but added that the funds were not meant as "rewards" for senators who voted for Corona's conviction. Rather, he said these were meant to help the government meet spending targets.

Corona was convicted by the Senate impeachment court on May 29, 2012 for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Philippine Constitution for failing to properly disclose his wealth in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.

Corona, up to this day, is denying the charges levelled against him. “Sapul sa simula, sinabi ko na walang katotohanan ang mga paratang ng Malacañnang sa akin at pawang kasinungalingan ang pinagsasabi nila tungkol sa akin,” he said Wednesday.

He added Estrada's revelation proved that his ouster was unconstitutional. — KBK, GMA News