The Sandiganbayan has ordered the seizure of the assets of former chief justice Renato Corona and his wife Cristina in connection with his ill-gotten wealth case.
The order came after the Ombudsman filed a petition for forfeiture, seeking to freeze P130 million of the couple’s assets in favor of the State.
“Now, therefore, I hereby command you to attach the estate, real and personal, of the aforesaid respondent [Corona] as may be sufficient to satisfy petitioner’s demand
. . . unless aforesaid respondent shall, in the manner provided by the Rules of Court, make a cash deposit or file a counter-bond sufficient to satisfy petitioner’s demand or equal to the value of the property to be attached, exclusive of costs,” the order read.
The freeze order also covers the couple’s supposed dummies, trustees, assignees, nominees and successors-in-interest that may be found or located in the Philippines.
It exempted the State from filing an attachment bond required of a plaintiff seeking the seizure of assets, conditioning it to pay cost and damages that the defendant might sustain in case it loses the suit.
The case is tied to Corona’s alleged misdeclaration of his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) from 2003 to 2010.
“With a combined income of just over P30 million from 2001 to 2010, respondents have been able to amass and accumulate assets worth more than P160 million for the same period,” the Office of the Ombudsman said.
“The disparity between respondents’ incomes and wealth—more than P130 million—is too glaring to be capable of any acceptable explanation,” it added, citing that the only business interest declared in Corona’s SALN is Cristina’s share in Basa Guidote Enterprises.
Last April 30, the court found adequate bases to grant the Ombudsman’s petition and satisfy the government’s claim worth P130,587,012.75.
The couple will be served the resolution and petition and the anti-graft court’s Second Division Sheriff will enforce the seizure.
Corona is currently barred from leaving the country over 16 counts of perjury in his SALN.