Akbayan seeks forfeiture of Corona properties

11 03 2012


8:18 pm | Thursday, March 1st, 2012
MANILA, Philippines—Akbayan is seeking the forfeiture of the properties of Chief Justice Renato Corona, which the partylist group said were “grossly undervalued” in his statement of assets, liabilities and networth (SALN).

The complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman mentioned of the February 9 evidence presented before the Senate impeachment trial, indicating that as of December 31,  2010, Corona maintained three bank accounts with a total deposit of P31,752,623.09.

“This exceeds the declared value of his personal properties in his SALN by P27,252,623.09. Corona was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on 9 April 2002, and Chief Justice on 12 May 2010. He has been a member of the Supreme Court for nearly 10 years,” the complaint stated.

“Corona earns a basic salary of P91,226.00. Even assuming that he has served as Chief Justice for a decade, he would not be able to afford properties worth almost P50 million nor  maintain bank accounts worth some P31 million at one particular point,” Akbayan Representative Walden Bello said.

Aside from Bello, complainants include three student leaders Ernest Francis Calayag, chairperson of The Movement of Students for Progressive Leadership in UP and a member of the national secretariat of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines; Moses Mijkhael SD. Albiento, central board representative of Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo De Manila; and Tristan Daine Brioso Zinampan, incoming chairperson of UPLB College of Development Communication Student Council.

Defense lawyer Tranquil Salvador, when asked about the complaint said, “I have not received a copy of the complaint. Initial reaction is that it may be considered as forum shopping. With the complaint, the complainants would like to paint a picture that CJ’s properties are ill-gotten even before there is presentation of evidence of the defense.”

Meanwhile, INQUIRER.net got hold of a supposed copy of a Deed of Absolute Sale dated January 28, 2000 for the sale of a Manila property of the Basa-Guidote Enterprise, the family corporation of the grandmother of Cristina Corona, wife of the Chief Justice. The net proceeds from the sale was P29-million.

Defense lawyer Tranquil Salvador said they have marked the P34-million check for payment of the property as part of their evidence.

“You will agree with me that he can have savings from income and/or allowances,” Salvador said in a text message.

Another defense counsel Rico Quicho said this will be explained once the defense panel presents its evidence before the Impeachment Court. #




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