Corona daughters bought pricey properties without enough income
MANILA, Philippines—The impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona on Thursday shifted to his children, whose capability to buy multi-million properties with their declared income was put under scrutiny.
Testifying before the Senate impeachment court, Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares said that Corona’s daughter, Carla, declared a ‘taxable income” of P8,476 in 2009 while her sister, Charina, had no income tax returns (ITRs) filed before the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
But Carla managed to buy an P18 million property in La Vista, Quezon City on October 18, 2010 or just 10 months after she filed her ITRs as shown in a deed of sale presented to the Senate.
She bought the property from her parents—the Chief Justice and wife, Cristina.
“The daughter (Carla) has barely minimal income and therefore is not capable of buying the property,” said Henares when she was being examined by private prosecutor Arthur Lim.
Corona’s lead counsel, former Supreme Court Associate Serafin Cuevas, immediately moved to strike out Henares statement, saying it was “irrelevant, impertinent, and immaterial.”
Henares was, however, allowed to continue with her testimony and proceeded with the details of the transaction.
But when the BIR chief gave the Senate information about the sale of the property, Cuevas repeated his objection, citing the impeachment court’s ruling against presentation of evidence pertaining to the alleged ill-gotten wealth of Corona and his family.
Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, the presiding officer, explained that the evidence was being offered for “unreported assets.”
Cuevas registered his continuing objection when the witness went on discussing the tax records and alleged properties of another daughter, Charina.
Still under Lim”s direct examination, Henares disclosed that Charina had not filed a single ITR when she bought a property in Taguig City in 2008.
“The buyer is registered with us as an onet (one time) taxpayer which is just to purchase this property and had not filed any tax reruns to date,” said the BIR chief, referring to a lot in Mckinley Hills in Taguig City that Charina bought from Megaworld Corp in October 2008.
“Not a single income tax return?” asked Lim to which Henares answered,” None, Sir.”
She gave a similar answer when asked if Charina did not file any ITR even through an alphalist, which contains the names of employees and their income and withholding tax information being filed by their employers with the BIR annually.
“None because she just registered as a one-time tax payer,” Henares said.
When it was the defense team’s turn to cross examine the witness, Cuevas mentioned that Charina was abroad for less than 10 years now.
“Do you know her (Charina) personally?” asked Cuevas to which Henares answered no.
“You don’t know therefore that she’s abroad for less than 10 years,” said Cuevas.
The lead defense counsel then proceeded questioning the BIR chief about her appearance in the Senate as a witness for the prosecution in relation to her alleged ill-gotten wealth of the Chief Justice.
At one point, Cuevas asked if Henares got an order from President Benigno Aquino to testify and “crash” Corona.
“Did he (Aquino) tell you: Go ahead, sundin mo ‘yong subpoena. Mag appear ka at sabihin mo ang katotohanan?” asked Cuevas and Henares answered yes.
“Did he also say that ‘durugin’ mo na si Corona, kung maari?” Cuevas asked again.
“Wala ho syang sinasabing ganun,” said Henares.
“So you were holding your punches in connection with the subject matter because there was no order from Malacañang?” Cuevas asked .
Henares answered: “Sir, I don’t hold punches. I only do my job and I’m a very professional person even if you’re my worst enemy, I’ll just do my job.”
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