Former Supreme Court (SC) chief justice Renato Corona wants the Office of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan to junk the criminal and civil charges against him, citing what he saw as the OMB’s “unjustified desire to persecute rather than prosecute.”
Corona is facing 16 counts of perjury and ethical violations in relation to his allegedly misdeclared statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
He accused the OMB and state prosecutors of “grave abuse of discretion by maliciously acting as the accuser, investigator and the judge” against him.
Corona maintained that the OMB’s charges were baseless and said there was no proof that he acquired the alleged bank deposits during his time at the SC from 2002 to 2010, when he was impeached.
Last April 10, Corona’s camp filed a motion for judicial determination of probable cause with the Sandiganbayan, claiming that the OMB violated his right to due process. The prosecution has yet to comment on the matter.
If the court resolves in favor of the defense, there will be no need for a trial.
It also furnished the anti-graft court’s Second and Third Divisions with a copy of the petition for certiorari and prohibition against the OMB it submitted to the SC and a motion for special raffle of the petition.
Corona and his wife Cristina are urging the High Court to make a permanent injunction on the OMB’s finding of probable cause and to order the Sandiganbayan to dismiss all his pending cases because, he claimed, there was no credible or competent evidence to forfeit their assets and charge him criminally.
They described the field investigation office’s complaint to the OMB as a “mere scrap of paper” that was unverified and should never have been even considered by the office.
The documents which were the basis of the OMB’s charges were “illegally obtained” particularly details of his bank accounts, the petition read, citing confidentiality.
Corona also decried “no unbiased” individual took the witness stand, but instead the Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales personally testified that he had $12 million spread over 82 accounts.