• Coronas want forfeiture case junked

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    Former Chief Justice Renato Corona and his wife Cristina have asked the Sandiganbayan to throw out a forfeiture complaint filed against them that seeks to seize their assets worth P130 million.

    In their 29-page answer filed on Friday before the anti-graft court’s Second Division, the couple maintained that all their pieces of property and bank accounts were earned through legitimate means and hard work.

    “Petitioner maliciously disregarded the fact that respondent Renato Corona acquired considerable savings over the 45 years that he has worked, both in private and public sector. Wherefore, respondents Renato C. Corona and Cristina R. Corona respectfully pray that this Honorable Court lift the writ of preliminary attachment and dismiss the amended petition [for forfeiture]…for utter lack of merit,” they said.

    The Coronas added that their cash assets come from the Basa Guidote property expropriation, conjugal funds, children’s funds and roll-over earnings from co-mingled funds.

    Last March, the Office of the Ombudsman ordered the filing of the forfeiture case against the couple. The Sandiganbayan issued a freeze order against their assets in connection with the case.

    The Ombudsman said from 2002 to 2010, the former Chief Justice’s cash deposits ballooned from P1,337,072.28 to P137,937,207.88. By 2010, the discrepancy between his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) and his actual cash deposits amounted to P134,437,207.88.

    Several pieces of property owned by the Coronas in Quezon City, Makati City and Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City were undervalued by P17,297,145, it alleged.

    In sum, the Office of the Ombudsman determined that the Coronas’ unexplained wealth is at least P130 million.

    But the couple said the forfeiture complaint “is nothing but an offshoot of the vindictive desire to continuously harass and persecute the former Chief Magistrate of the land under the cloak of a supposed crusade against corruption.”

    Corona attributed the filing of the case to an SC decision in November 2010, when he was still Chief Justice, which ordered the distribution of land titles to farmers of Hacienda Luisita owned by the family of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    He said the ruling was also the reason for the impeachment complaint against him in 2011 that led to his removal from office in 2012.

    “The amount of P137,937,208.88 allegedly reflecting the respondents’ supposed actual cash assets was erroneously computed and simplistically arrived at by merely adding amounts in the respondents’ bank accounts,” the couple said.

    They argued that their assets and earnings before 2002 were not included and that the P137 million was arrived at without considering “redemptions, maturities, withdrawals and integrations of cash placements.”

    The Coronas also denied owning 82 bank accounts.

    “As early as the impeachment trial, respondent Renato Corona already clarified that there were only several accounts under his and Mrs. Corona’s names, contrary to petitioner’s voluminous bank records supposedly showing eighty-two bank accounts,” they said.

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    11 Comments

    1. If Corona was truly guilty why did it take billions of DAP and PDAF money to pay of the senators to convict him ? As premature and unjust is the imprisonment of the 3 senators, karma lang yan. It is amazing to watch the cause and effect of karma happen in a short span of time

    2. Let us all remember that since CJ Corona’s ouster, no strong evidence yet has been presented by the government to convict him of corruption. The same thing is happening to GMA. No evidence yet to date. Indeed, the yellow newspapers were very successful in brainwashing the minds of a lot of people.

      • To those who are versed with our so-called justice system prevailing at this time, with the history of reversals in mind as cases are appealed, it is wiser to let them stay as they are, instead of letting these cases go with all the the connections and money to buy a reversal. Look at what the famous Visconde case has divided us.
        Speaking of evidence,enough were adduced coupled with the NOTORIETY of these cases, like what courts’ have taken judicial notice thereof.

    3. Rental Corona was so greedy of position when he accepted GMA midnight appointment as Chief Justice over the head of most senior justices. He could have just rejected the appointment out of delicadesa and I propriety of the appointment itself being last days of GMAs term of office. He could have given newly elected President the courtesy of making his own choice. In return Corona got a boomerang revenge from a vindictive President, who spearheaded his impeachment. Corona committed another serious mistake of taking the witness stand instead of claiming his rights against self-incrimination and withholding his testimonies. Had he not shed his immunity from self-incrimination he could have appealed his impeachment conviction to the Supreme Court on ground of ” grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction”, after all he was still the Chief Justice and could have won and overruled the judgment as invalid for lack of jurisdiction. Instead, Corona made an appeal to emotion by doing a depressed drama scene. What a shame as the first high magistrate fire in office for impeachment . A stupid exercise of guts and idiotical judgment. After all Corona showed his virtual lack of legal knowledge as a litigation lawyer or legal strategist.

    4. Three yellow turds who cannot see the injustice done to this man. Why don’t you look at the assets of Abnoy and his cohorts and see if the are playing an even plain. YOU CANARDS ARE PATHETIC!

    5. The stand of our Sandiganbayan again is out into test.There are cases, or instances in our system whereby we cannot get reasonable certainty, but better wisdom must prevail for our people to be satisfied of an outcome. Impunity has been the monopoly of the rich and the famous in our society. Let our people take their break.

    6. If coronas money is legitimate its just so easy to prove. I wonder in his 29 page answer if he made a long speech, just as he did in the impeachment trial, or if he showed actual evidence of where this money came from. Its so easy to make a speech but remember he was the supreme court chief justice & who more than he should know speeches are so easy & are not required in court, its evidence that is required. I hope they take everything off this corrupt scumbag & lock him up in jail where he belongs.

      • This is all I can say ” all injustices done esp to Haiyan victim and to the poor farmers of Hacienda Luisita, etc. (too many to enumerate) is beginning to haunt those people responsible for their death and suffering, the endless Karma is only beginning. God never sleeps 24/7, with fervent prayers of the faithful.

    7. that’s ok if he return all the millions of pesos he stolen to the national treasury to be spent for healthcare and other basic services. ano siya sinsusuerte?

      • The Senate leader along with few others who tried the former Chief Justice Renato Corona are now in jail for the corruption exposed by whistleblower Benhur Luy as reported by every newspaper..