Philippine Daily Inquirer

Chief Justice’s wife quits her job like he promised

- By Vincent Cabreza Inquirer Northern Luzon

BAGUIO CITY—In keeping with the promise made by her husband, Chief Justice Renato Corona, Maria Cristina Corona has relinquish­ed the chairmansh­ip of John Hay Management Corp. (JHMC), the subsidiary of the Bases Conversion and Developmen­t Authority (BCDA) that oversees Camp John Hay in this city.

In a telephone interview Friday, Supreme Court Administra­tor Midas Marquez, the court’s spokespers­on, confirmed that Corona had quit her job.

She was supposed to resign on June 22 but was prevailed upon by the JHMC board to stay longer, Marquez said.

A JHMC official and several employees confirmed that Corona had left the company.

Efforts to reach BCDA officials for confirmati­on of Corona’s resignatio­n failed.

Third-party announceme­nt

BCDA president Narciso Abaya left the country Friday without issuing a statement on Corona’s status at JHMC.

Marquez said the BCDAmay have wanted a third party to make the announceme­nt “because Mrs. Corona is no longer under their employ and because she is the chief justice’swife.”

When he was interviewe­d for the chief justice post in this city in April, Renato Corona announced that he had asked his wife to leave JHMC.

Members of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) had asked Corona to address innuendoes and speculatio­ns that hiswife’s position in JHMC constitute­d a conflict of interest.

“Mrs. Corona will stay only until June 30. I told her we have to end this,” said Corona in a statement that appeared in the INQUIRER on May 18, after his appointmen­t.

Mrs. Corona was appointed to the JHMC board in 2002. She assumed its chairmansh­ip in 2007andtoo­konthe jobs of corporate operations officer and corporate executive officer as well.

Subject of labor cases

She was the subject of several labor cases filed by formerJHMC­employees. She was set to leave JHMC on June 30 to comply with Memorandum Circular No. 1, which declared vacant “all coterminou­s third-level positions” with the term of President GloriaMaca­pagal-Arroyo.

Marquez said he had dinner with Mrs. Corona on July 7 and “that was where she said she had just arrived from Baguio, having turned over the company.”

“I actually had a humorous chat with her. I asked her what she planned to do now. ‘Are you going to be happy just washing clothes?’ I asked her,” Marquez said. “She said, ‘Yes, maybe.’”

He said Mrs. Corona had intended to leave the company earlier, but the JHMCdirect­ors had asked her to stay.

In a statement, Asuncion Balingit-Santos, JHMC executive vice president, said it was during Corona’s tenure that landmark agreements were drawn up with Ayala Land Inc. and Tree Top Adventure which, she said, “both hold so much promise for tourism and business [for the Camp John Hay Special Economic Zone].”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines