Malacañang on Saturday mocked Chief Justice Renato Corona’s lawyers claim that they have “cracked the code” in Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales’ testimony on the impeached magistrate’s alleged $12 million in 82 dollar accounts.
“They didn’t have to crack the code. All they needed to do was ask their client if he had dollar deposits,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over government radio station dzRB.
Defense lawyers on Friday that they were confident Corona would be acquitted after the trial. They said that out of the 82 accounts Morales testified to, only three or four actually exist and they don’t necessarily belong to the Chief Justice.
“It doesn’t matter whether there’s three, whether there’s four, whether there’s 82. What matters is what’s in them. How much is the amount that is in those [bank accounts],” Valte said.
“These are simple questions that must be answered. First, is it true that there are dollar deposits? Second, if it’s true, how much do they contain? Third, if there are indeed deposits, were these declared in his SALN (statement of assets, liabilities and net worth)?” she added.
Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III, a spokesperson for the prosecution panel, also said the number of accounts and how much was in them didn’t matter. What matters is whether Corona declared those accounts or not.
For Sen. Franklin Drilon, that is the issue. “Whether or not there are eight or 82 accounts, or $12 million or $1.2 million, is immaterial to me,” Drilon said by phone. “What is material to me is whether these amounts were reported in the SALN.”
Corona is scheduled to testify on Tuesday. With reports from TJ Burgonio and Leila B. Salaverria