MANILA, Philippines—Chief Justice Renato Corona on Monday said the recent report that he allegedly owned $10-million in bank accounts was part of the Aquino administration’s retaliation after the Supreme Court ordered the distribution of Hacienda Luisita.
Hacienda Luisita is owned by the family of former President Corazon Aquino , mother of incumbent President Benigno Aquino III.
“Obviously, (it’s) a clear retaliation for our decision on Hacienda Luisita,” Corona said in a text message sent to reporters.
“I do not own $10million. It simply does not exist. It’s part of the black propaganda and mind conditioning preparatory to the resumption of trial on May 7,” the Chief Justice said
“Why are they putting this out in the Inquirer and not in the impeachment court,” he added.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer, a member of the Inquirer Group of Companies reported Saturday that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales gave the Chief Justice 72 hours to explain allegations raised in several complaints that he allegedly owned $10million worth of bank accounts.
Morales’ order was in response on complaints filed separately by former Akbayan Party List Representative Risa Hontiveros, Akbayan Representative Walden Bello, and Emmanuel Tiu Santos.
The Chief Justice said the order of the Ombudsman is “no different from the phoney LRA (Land Registration Authority) list, phoney U.S. property list, phoney surveys… The Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over the Chief Justice.”
Last week, the high court affirmed with finality the distribution of the almost 5,000 hectare Hacienda Luisita pegging the price to the 1989 value of the land instead of HLI’s position that it should be pegged in the 2006 market value. Thus, Haciencda Luisita Inc. will be getting about P196-million instead of about P10 billion just compensation.
Corona’s lawyers pointed out that the bank accounts are already part of the impeachment proceedings
Defense Lawyer Tranquil Salvador said that with the ongoing impeachment proceedings, the Office of the Ombudsman has lost jurisdiction to handle the complaint.