Bank accounts mentioned in a P130-million forfeiture petition against former Chief Justice Renato Corona and his wife Cristina that are subject to garnishment notices contain no cash.
The spouses Corona are facing forfeiture cases before the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division in connection with the former magistrate’s alleged misdeclaration of his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) from 2003 to 2010.
In a report filed on March 12, 2015, Sheriff IV Alexander Valencia of the anti-graft court’s Second Division reported that he has “served notices of garnishment to the different banks and other financial institutions mentioned in the petition.”
“Likewise, the undersigned caused the service of notices of attachment on different Registries of Deeds and Provincial/City Assessors in Metro Manila and Batangas,” he wrote.
Original copies of the replies from the banks and certified true electronic copies of Transfer Certificates of Title and Condominium Certificates of Title of the pieces of real property were attached to the report.
Based on the inventory of attached pieces of property in the report, the amount garnished in the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) was P1,056.27, while P6,524.71 was garnished in the Philippine National Bank (PNB SSS Diliman Branch) under the account name Cristina Roco Corona.
In a reply dated February 23, 2015 and received by the Sheriff’s Office on March 9, PNB told Valencia that as relayed to them by the PNB Trust Banking Group-Trust Operations Division and the Treasury Operations & Services Division, the spouses Corona “have no deposits, moneys, accounts receivables/collectibles, goods, shares, stocks, effects, credits and other personal properties held or maintained thereat.”
It also informed Valencia that as relayed by its PNB Domestic Branches (through Branch Operations Division), Cristina has an account with the PNB.
“Pursuant to the subject Notice of Garnishment, our PNB SSS Diliman Branch has already placed on hold, until further notice from us, the remaining balance of P6,524.71 from the account of Cristina Roco Corona maintained thereat,” PNB said.
BPI, meanwhile, informed the sheriff that it has in its possession P1,056.27, in answer to the notice of garnishment.
As to the Philippine Savings Bank, United Overseas Bank, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, China Banking Corporation, Citibank, and Phil-Am Asset Management, Inc. (PAMI), the report indicated a blank “—” across each bank account under “Amount Garnished.”
In a reply dated May 26, 2014, the Philippine Savings Bank told the sheriff that the spouses Corona “have no accounts” with the bank that may be the subject of garnishment. Meanwhile, a report from the United Overseas Bank said records “do not bear any goods, effects, bank deposits, stocks, interests in stocks and shares, receivables and any other property/ies in the Bank’s possession belonging to Renato C. Corona, et al.”
Metrobank, China Bank, and Citibank also reported that the respondents have no deposits, money or other property in their possession.
As to the PAMI, the report said “respondents are not investors/shareholders of the funds being manage[d]by PAMI as of 13 February 2015.”
Metrobank told the sheriff that the Coronas “have no deposits, credits or money which are in the possession or control of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company and all its branches.”
Meanwhile, several pieces of real property under the respondent couple’s names were attached or seized.
These include one condominium unit located in Loyola Heights, Quezon City; one in Bonifacio Ridge in Fort Bonifacio; and another in The Columns, Ayala Avenue in Makati City (Metro Manila). Four condominium units are located in Belagio I, Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City (Metro Manila).
As to a parcel of land in Maranaw, La Vista in Quezon City, whose registered owner is Ma. Carla C. Castillo married to Constantino T. Castillo 3rd — Corona’s daughter and son-in-law — the report said it has pending action “from the Acting Deputy Register of Deeds, Ms. Ethel B. Regadio.”
Last year, the Office of the Ombudsman filed the petition for forfeiture and asked the court to issue a writ of preliminary attachment, which aimed to freeze P130 million worth of the couple’s assets to secure the government’s claim.
On April 30, 2014, the anti-graft court found adequate bases and issued a freeze order on the respondents’ assets pending resolution of the case.
The order also applies to the couple’s supposed dummies, trustees, assignees, nominees and, successors-in-interest who may be found or located in the Philippines.