Prosecution asks Senate to allow evidence on Corona ‘wealth’
MANILA, Philippines — A memorandum asking the Senate impeachment court to allow the presentation of evidence pertaining to the alleged ill-gotten wealth of Chief Justice Renato Corona has been filed by the prosecution team.
In a 13-page document filed at exactly 10:08 a.m. on Wednesday, the prosecutors insisted that Corona’s accumulation of ill-gotten wealth and commission of graft and corruption were “sufficiently” alleged in the complaint.”
The prosecutors cited several instances were they made the allegation against Corona in the impeachment complaint.
Page 6 of the complaint states that “As Chief Justice , respondent has been lavish in the spending of public finds, blind to ethical standards of behavior expected not only of him , but his family; intrigued and conspired against his fellow justices; and behaved more like a scofflaw than Chief Justice in refusing to disclose his assets and liabilities.”
An excerpt of page 10 of the complaint reads “:..and even reportedly engaging not only in illicitly acquiring assets of high value but even resorting to petty graft and corruption for his own personal profit and convenience
Page 11 and 22 of the complaint provide that “respondent betrayed the public trust, committed culpable violation of the Constitution and graft and corruption in the following manner…” and “respondent committed culpable violation of the Constitution and/or betrayed the public trust when he failed to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities and networth.
Paragraph 2.3 of page 22 states that “It is also reported that some properties of the respondent are not n included in his declaration of his assets and liabilities and net worth n violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act;
And paragraph 2.4 of page 22 reads “Respondent is likewise suspected and accused of having accumulated ill-gotten wealth,acquiring assets of high values and keeping bank accounts with huge deposits.”
“Corona claims that paragraphs 2.3 and 2.4 of the complaint are conjectural and speculative and do not amount to a concrete statement of fact that might require a denial. Corona ignores the reality that these proceedings have long left the realm of pleadings and allegations and have now reached the stage of presentation of proof. Today will already be the sixth day of trial,” said the memorandum.
“That said, Corona’s arguments are utterly baseless and should be rejected,” it added.
Article 2 of the impeachment complaint, the prosecutors said, went beyond Corona’s alleged failure to disclose his SALN.
“His duty to disclose his SALN to the public necessarily implies a duty to be truthful, honest and accurate in the sworn contents thereof. Corona’s disclosure of a false dishonest and incomplete SALN is as much a betrayal of public trust as his failure to disclose his SALN,” they said.
“Simply put, the disclosure contemplated by law is disclosure of a SALN that is true, honest and accurate. Anything less would be a useless, futile exercise; make a mockery of the SALN requirement and tantamount to a culpable violation of the constitution and betrayal of public trust.”
Corona’s accumulation of ill-gotten wealth, the prosecutors said, “strikes at the very heart of his failure to disclose his SALN to the public.”
The prosecutors said Corona also “joined” the issue when he claimed in his reply to the complaint that he acquired his assets from legitimate sources of income mostly form his professional toils.”
“Upon a joinder of such factual issues, trial and presentation of evidence thereon should necessarily follow,” they pointed out in the memorandum.
In the same memorandum, the prosecutors also expressed opposition to the motion to quash the subpoena issued to Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares.
Henares was subpoenaed by the prosecution to testify and bring to the Senate the income tax returns of the Chief Justice, his spouse and children.
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