Corona lawyers satisfied with testimony of witness
MANILA, Philippines – The defense panel said Tuesday that they were very satisfied with the testimony of Demetrio Vicente, who claimed to be the current owner of several properties in Marikina City despite having been found to be under the name of Cristina Corona, wife of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Defense lawyer Jose Roy III said that Vicente had the “mark of truthfulness” because he was “very clear, very consistent, very reliable.”
“I’m sure he has been telling the truth,” Roy said. “I think his behavior was very straightforward and he clarified points that were difficult to understand,” he added.
Roy added that Vicente was not afraid to lose the property even if it was still under the name of Cristina because they are related, which means there was a high trust level. Roy said that such transactions between relatives were “a common story.”
Vicente said in his testimony that he has been paying all the corresponding real estate taxes since 1990, the time he acquired the properties, but has been unable to have the property transferred to his name because he ran out of money for the transfer tax.
“We think that [Vicente’s testimony] very clearly explains the position of the Corona’s [with regards to the properties],” Roy said.
Lawyer Tranquil Salvador added that Vicente was clearly “not hiding anything.”
Salvador said that his testimony was very clear – that he had money to buy the property and that he had been living there for at least 20 years.
Vicente was even very candid in saying that Cristina Corona was the one who sold the property of her sister, Miriam Roco, through a special power of attorney.
Salvador appealed to the prosecution to not force their argument anymore to “give respect to the witness.”
“There comes a point where we need to stop and accept what is true,” Salvador said.
“Let’s not force it because his testimony is very clear and obvious,” he added.