By: Francis Allan L. Angelo
A FORMER governor of Antique province helped reconcile the family of embattled Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona and his in-laws.
The reconciliation between Corona’s wife Cristina and her cousins in the Basa family unfolded in national television as they hugged and kissed each other while the chief magistrate was on the witness stand to continue his testimony at his impeachment trial before the Senate Friday.
Mrs. Corona and daughter Carla approached members of the Basa family and hugged them while the impeachment trial went on break.
The Basas present in the Senate included the children of the late Jose Maria Basa (Mrs. Corona’s uncle) – Ana, Eric, Carmen, Isabel and Francesa Basa. Mrs. Corona’s aunt-in-law Sicilia Henson Basa was also in the gallery.
The two families have been feuding with for 30 years over the ownership of the Basa-Guidote Enterprises, Inc. which purportedly loaned the chief justice P11 million.
On Tuesday, the chief justice called Jose a spoiled brat and accused him of striking out the name of Asuncion Basa (Cristina’s mother) from the land title of their Libis property.
The Basas have threatened to sue Corona for besmirching the name of their grandfather Jose.
Among those who mediated the Corona-Basa reconciliation is former Antique governor Salvacion Perez, columnist Belinda Cunanan-Olivares and pro-life advocate Joy Nebrida who are common friends to both parties.
In a phone interview, Perez said they arranged the reconciliation following statements from the Basas that they want to reconcile with the Coronas despite their dispute.
Perez, who is a friend of the Coronas, said she requested common friend with the Basas to bridge the feuding relatives.
“They have not been talking for a long time but through mutual friends and emissaries, we sent a message to Mrs. Corona about reconciliation. Mrs. Corona was shy about it but when she heard one of the Basa’s say that she ‘wants to hug Tina’, she cried and approached the Basas and hugged them,” Perez said.
The former governor said she admired Mrs. Corona for making the first move in the reconciliation process.
“When the Chief Justice heard the commotion, he looked back at the gallery and saw everything. I then told Mrs. Corona to bring them to the chief and they also hugged them. Hatred pervaded the atmosphere inside the Senate trial but it was refreshing to see the long feuding relatives bury the hatchet and reconcile once more,” Perez added.