Ombud junks Corona couple’s motion for consideration

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio-Morales on Wednesday denied the motion for reconsideration filed by ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona and his wife, Cristina, and ordered the immediate filing of criminal and administrative cases against the couple before the anti-graft court.

Morales recommended the immediate filing of a petition for forfeiture with the Sandiganbayan, along with the sets of criminal information for eight counts of perjury and eight counts of violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees against the country's former chief magistrate.

The special panel of investigators determined that from 2001 to 2011, the Corona couples earned a total income of P30.37-million, of which P27.14-million was reportedly earned by the former chief magistrate as an official at the Office of the President, a Justice of the Supreme Court, member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), and member of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).

Meanwhile, Cristina reportedly earned P3.22-million for the period 2007-2010, based on the alpha list submitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) by the John Hay Development Corporation (JHDC) where Mrs. Corona was employed.

The resolution stated that from 2002 to 2010, Corona's actual cash deposits ballooned from P1.38-million to P137.98-million and by 2010 the cumulative discrepancy between his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and net worth (SALN) declaration and his actual cash deposits amounted to P134.48-milliom

Morales also cited that the Land Registration Authority (LRA) records on several properties owned by the Corona spouses in Quezon City, Makati City and Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City, which were established to be significantly undervalued by P17.30 million.

She noted that the Corona couple's unexplained wealth is at least P130.34 million worth of undeclared banks assets way back in 2010 and undervalued cost of real properties.

The Ombudsman also mentioned that the sworn declarations in Corona's SALNs were false since he failed to include the numerous peso and dollar bank accounts (in his 2003-2010 SALNs), a condominium unit at The Columns, Makati City (in his 2004-2009 SALN), and a condominium unit at Spanish Bay Tower in Taguig City (in his 2005-2009 SALN).

Morales also said that Corona only declared P6.8 million as the acquisition cost of a condominium unit in Bellagio I in Taguig City in his SALN for 2010, when the true acquisition cost is P14.5 million.

She added that in his SALNs from 2003 to 2009, the ousted Chief Justice also undervalued the property located at La Vista in Quezon City by P8 million.

Corona was also charged for not filing true and detailed SALNs for 2003-2010, when the value of his declared cash assets, and the actual bank deposits had substantial discrepancies, and his real assets in Makati, Taguig and Quezon City were not declared. (Sunnex)

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