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CJ distances self from reports of Noy, Binay parting

President Aquino chats with Vice President Jejomar Binay during the 2nd Ministerial Meeting of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City yesterday. Willy Perez

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Chief Justice Renato Corona is keeping his distance from the brewing issue between President Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay on the supposed political parting of ways of the country’s top two leaders. In a chance interview with reporters after the annual media forum, the embattled head of the judiciary said that he would rather not comment on political theories linking his impeachment to the “inevitable parting of ways” of Aquino and Binay.

He said such an issue is best left to politicians.

“I am not a politician. I think I should no longer comment on that (issue),” Corona said.

It was also in reaction to the statement made by former senator Ernesto Maceda that a vote of senators to acquit Corona could be perceived as a vote for Binay in his presidential bid in 2016. Maceda had said: “This is the Binay factor. If you’re for Binay for president for 2016, you’ll probably vote for acquittal. Why? First of all, if Corona is convicted, that strengthens Noynoy and a stronger Noynoy means stronger support for his [chosen] candidate.

“If Corona is acquitted, in the words of Inquirer columnist Amando Doronila, ‘that will be the start of the downturn of Noynoy Aquino’s popularity.’ He becomes ‘weaker’ and his candidate becomes weaker,” he added.

Binay has already distanced himself from Maceda’s statement. Malacañang also did not comment on the issue. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, however, told reporters earlier that there will be an “inevitable parting of ways” between Aquino and Binay. She said the administration could have a different standard-bearer.

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However, Aquino flatly denied this the following day.

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