Prosecution: Corona’s lesson is corrupt officials may hide behind dollar accounts
Corona signs waiver, opens up his assets. Chief Justice Renato Corona signs an unconditional waiver authorizing the opening of his dollar accounts and other assets as his son Francis looks on during the impeachment trial on Friday at the Senate. Bernard Testa/Pool
The prosecution on Friday said the absurd lesson that embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona taught the public is that corrupt officials may hide their wealth in dollar accounts.
“Ang tinuro ni chief justice sa taong bayan at sa corrupt officials ay convert your pesos to dollars and you will not be caught,” prosecution spokesperson and Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo told reporters on Friday.
“Ang dineclare niya sa kanyang 2010 SALN ay P4 million. [Meaning out of the P80 million he said earlier], P76 million is entrusted to him. That is absurd and, in fact, even ridiculous,” the Marikina Representative said.
For his part, fellow spokesperson and Aurora Representative Sonny Angara, said that the chief justice should have “higher standards” in interpreting the laws, specifically the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth law and the Foreign Currency Deposit Secrecy Law.
He claimed that Corona provided a “self-serving” interpretation of the two laws, adding that transparency should be the foremost goal of a SALN declaration.
“[Corona’s interpretation of the law] would not succeed even in a criminal case.” Angara said.
During Friday’s impeachment trial, Corona revealed he has around P80 million in his peso accounts–the monies commingled with those of other members of his family including his wife and three children–and $2.4 million in dollar accounts.
“Today is a major high for the prosecution. Corona’s testimony Left more stories hanging. No single document has been presented to support his claims,” Quimbo noted.
“Sa tingin po talaga namin dapat talagang convicted [ang maging hatol],” spokesperson Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, said in the same briefing.
Quimbo added that the defense panel did not provide enough evidence which would challenge the prosecution’s claim that Corona truthfully declared his assets and liabilities in his SALN.
“There has been no essential evidence that has been presented…[The unconditional waiver] is too late. It is just for a publicity [stunt] that sadly is not going to work,” he said. —DVM/VS, GMA News
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