Drilon votes for Corona convictionBy Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Franklin Drilon voted for the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona Tuesday, saying that “he has lost his moral fitness, he has betrayed the public trust.”
Explaining his vote of guilty, Drilon said Corona “knowingly, deliberately, and with malice, filed an inaccurate Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN).
Corona’s explanation that his non-declaration of the peso and dollar deposits was “in good faith” cannot be invoked because it is a “twisted interpretation of the law”, Drilon said.
Corona had testified that he did not declare his $2 million deposits because it was “absolutely confidential” under the Foreign Currency Deposits Act.
He also said that the more than P80 million deposits were also not declared in his SALN because it was “co-mingled” funds.
Drilon said that Corona’s interpretation of the law would “encourage aspiring thieves in government to put their money in a foreign currency” to avoid having to declare it in their SALN.
The funds from the Basa-Guidote Enterprises Inc. that was said to be included in the “co-mingled” funds in Corona’s bank accounts should have also been declared as an asset and a liability in his SALN, Drilon said.
Corona, as the highest dispenser of justice in the country, should be held to a higher standard, Drilon said, citing the case of Delsa Flores, a Supreme Court employee who was removed from office because of failure to declare a market stall in her SALN.