Corona files counter-affidavit in response to tax evasion caseBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Renato Corona filed his counter-affidavit before the Department of Justice Thursday in response to the tax evasion case filed against him by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Corona, accompanied by his wife Cristina, said the cases levelled against him were sending a message to the judiciary that if they would go against Malacanang, they would suffer the same fate.
“This is just a continuation of the impeachment trial months ago in which you already know what the decision was over a very political process,” Corona told reporters in Filipino.
“This case that they are filing against me has only one message – a message to members of the judiciary that they should follow Malacañang if they do not want what happened to the Chief Justice happen to them,” he said.
The Senate impeachment court found Corona guilty of betrayal of public trust after he admitted not indicating in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) his dollar deposits, citing the confidentiality clause under the Foreign Currency Deposit Act.
On August 30, the BIR filed a tax evasion case at the DOJ against Corona after he failed to declare P150.68 million in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Networth (SALN).
Aside from the bank deposits, he also did not declare two real properties he acquired during his stint in government: a condominium unit at the Columns, along Ayala Avenue that he bought for P3.6 million in 2004 and a property in Fort Bonifacio that he bought for P9.16 million in 2005.
After examining Corona’s bank records and comparing it with his networth, Henares said they discovered a substantial disparity between the acquisition cost of the properties declared in his SALNs and the cost declared in the certificates authorizing registrations.
Using the “expenditure method,” the BIR found that Corona’s deficiency income tax liability amounted to P120.5 million for the nine-year period.