Corona drew P11M cash advance from ‘dissolved’ firm–witness
MANILA, Philippines – A corporation owned by the family of Chief Justice Renato Corona’s wife where he supposedly drew the P11 million cash advance as shown in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) was put under scrutiny during the resumption of his impeachment trial on Wednesday.
Testifying before the Senate sitting as impeachment court, Benito Cataran revealed that Basa-Guidote Entrprises Inc (BGEI) did not file its general information sheet from 1991 to 1997 as well as its financial statements from 2000 to 2010.
“We found out that since 1991, the corporation has not been submitting any report…From 1991 up to 1997,” Cataran said, responding to direct examination of prosecutor and Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali.
“The latest general information sheet that we have is that of 1990,” said the witness.
The non-filing of the general information sheet “in the period of more than at least six years – from 1997 up to 2002 – prompted the revocation of the certificate of registration in April, 2003, said Cataran. (The witness initially said the corporation did not file from 1991 to 1997).”
The year of the revocation of the license, 2003, was the same year that the Chief Justice filed in his SALN an P11 million cash advance from the corporation.
But Cataran, responding to Senator Loren Legarda’s questioning, could not say whether the corporation was still in operation when the Chief Justice took the cash advance.
“We can’t say whether it’s still in operation because they are not submitting reports,” he said.
Directing her question to the prosecutor, Legarda asked what the connection was between the corporation and Corona’s alleged failure to disclose his SALN.
Umali said the prosecution suspected that there was no transaction made between the corporation and the Chief Justice “because the corporation has already been dissolved or revoked.”