Renato Corona dead: Former Supreme Court chief justice dies

Renato Corona is dead. The former Supreme Court chief justice died before dawn on Friday, April 29, 2016, reports said. He was 67 years old.

"The PIO has just been informed by the family of former CJ Renato C. Corona that he has passed away this morning. No details available," the SC Public Information Office (PIO) posted on its Twitter account.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno "has directed that the flag in the SC and all courts nationwide be flown at half mast to mourn the passing of the former CJ," the high court added.

Initially, it was reported that Corona died of complications from diabetes but a Facebook post of the National Transformation Council (NTC), a group that called for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III following the Mamasapano massacre, in which the former Chief Justice was a member, indicated that he died of heart attack.

"At 1:48 am today, April 29, 2016, Chief Justice Corona succumbed to cardiac arrest. Please pray for the eternal repose of his soul as he joins his Creator,” the NTC announced on the social networking site.

The family of the late chief justice is set to release within the day an official statement regarding his death.

Corona was the 23rd chief justice of the Philippine Supreme Court and the first member of the High Tribunal to be impeached and dismissed.

Born on October 15, 1948, Corona was an Ateneo student from grade school to law school. He served two presidents, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada, before being appointed Supreme Court associate justice in 2002 by former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

On May 12, 2010, two days after the presidential election and a month before Arroyo's term ended, Corona was named chief justice in what has since been described as a midnight appointment.

On December 12, 2011, Corona was impeached by the House of Representatives for failing to disclose certain bank deposits in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth or SALN.

On May 29, 2012, the Senate, voting 20-3, found Corona guilty of the offense.

In 2013, Senator Jinggoy Estrada in a privilege speech exposed that P50 million in additional funds were given to senators who voted to convict the former Chief Justice.

Corona lived a life away from the public eye after the impeachment until his death. He was survived by his wife, Cristina, and three children.

Sources: ABS-CBN News, Rappler, GMA News, CNN Philippines