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Prosecutors misled the public on Corona’s 45 properties – Joker

Senator Joker Arroyo on Tuesday scolded the House prosecutors for allegedly misleading the public by claiming that impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona, his wife Cristina, and their family members own 45 properties.   "[Q]uite frankly, you misled the public by initially announcing 45,” Arroyo said as the Senate impeachment court tried to clarify the claim made by the prosecution regarding the properties supposedly owned by Corona's family.   "Is that fair? You just cannot say a person owns 45 and [then] say you are not sure. It just isn't done," Arroyo said during the impeachment trial.   The prosecution team earlier submitted to the Senate a list supposedly containing details about the Corona family’s properties, which was prepared by the Land Registration Authority (LRA) upon the request of lead prosecutor and Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr.   5 properties on Corona SALN However, LRA administrator Eulalio Diaz III denied during Tuesday’s hearing that he had certified the ownership of the 45 properties. "We are not certifying that all these properties were owned by the chief justice," he said.   Of the 45 properties, 17 were already cancelled titles, defense counsel Noel Lazaro said. Twenty-two other properties were either no longer under the names of Corona and his family’ members, and other properties had other problems, he added.   "That makes it six titles. And that is six, because there is a big lot that has actually two titles,” according to Lazaro.   As far as the SALN [statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth] is concerned, there are five lots there listed," he said.   Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile ordered both defense and prosecution camps to meet and decide on the properties that allegedly belong to Corona. Bothered by "cavalier attitude"   Earlier, the defense panel said they would argue that Corona and his family members owned only 21 properties.   Arroyo said he was "bothered" by the "cavalier" attitude of Diaz and the prosecutors in preparing the list of the Corona family’s properties.   "You practically charged the CJ and his wife of owning 45 properties. Assuming that what they claim is true, that's a lot of difference — and publicly stating that, and media repeating that, is totally unfair," said Arroyo.   Other senators likewise scolded Diaz — a classmate of President Benigno Aquino III at the Ateneo Grade School — and the prosecution team for submitting the list to the Senate.   "Next time around, kung may nag-request sa inyo, siguraduhin ninyo na tama ‘yung sinusulat ninyo," Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada told Diaz.   Diaz explained that he only made a "general name search" of Corona and his family members as Tupas requested. He said they then submitted the matches, coughed up by the computer, to Tupas.  'This is serious business'   "We just punched in the names of the people that we're requested to do," he said.   Tupas said they trusted LRA's submission. "We have every reason to believe the authenticity of these documents. We attached it in good faith."   He also denied releasing the list to the media.   Meanwhile, Diaz said he expected the prosecution team to double-check the LRA's output. "These are computer-generated," he said.   But Sen. Pia Cayetano noted that Diaz could have "cleared the air" if he had said some of the properties were not owned by Corona or any of his family members.   "This is serious business and you should be very careful," she said. — VS/YA, GMA News