Palace, Corona trade barbs on $10-M bank accounts | Inquirer News
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Palace, Corona trade barbs on $10-M bank accounts

MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang and Chief Justice Renato Corona on Monday exchanged seething remarks in connection with $10 million worth of bank deposits allegedly owned by Corona.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales had asked Corona to explain the bank deposits in response to complaints filed separately by former Akbayan Party List Representative Risa Hontiveros, Akbayan Representative Walden Bello, and Emmanuel Tiu Santos.

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Morales gave the Chief Justice 72 hours to explain the alleged bank accounts.

In a statement he issued on Monday, Corona said the recent report that he allegedly owned $10-million in bank accounts was part of the Aquino administration’s retaliation after the Supreme Court ordered the distribution of Hacienda Luisita.

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Hacienda Luisita is owned by the family of former President Corazon Aquino , mother of incumbent President Benigno Aquino III.

“Obviously, (it’s) a clear retaliation for our decision on Hacienda Luisita,” Corona said in a text message sent to reporters.

But Malacanang later in the day turned the tables on Corona, pointing out that the Ombudsman had asked the Chief Justice to explain the alleged bank deposits through a letter dated April 23, or a day before the high court issued its final decision on Hacienda Luisita.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that “obviously”, the Ombudsman’s letter to Corona was not a retaliation on the Hacienda Luisita ruling.

“It is highly possible that since the Chief Justice already knew that he was required to explain by the Ombudsman, he is now conditioning the public to think the letter was a retaliation, when in fact it came before the Luisita decision,” Lacierda said in a text message to reporters.

He said the Chief Justice “should be more prudent with his statements.”

“It clearly shows his unstatesmanlike behavior,” Lacierda added.

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Corona, in his earlier statement, denied he owns the bank deposits and said that Malacanang was behind the new charges against him as a result of the high court ruling on Hacienda Luisita.

“I do not own $10million. It simply does not exist. It’s part of the black propaganda and mind conditioning preparatory to the resumption of trial on May 7,” the Chief Justice said.

“Why are they putting this out in the Inquirer and not in the impeachment court,” he also asked.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Saturday that the Ombudsman gave the Chief Justice 72 hours to explain allegations raised in several complaints that he allegedly owned $10million worth of bank accounts.

Corona said the order of the Ombudsman is “no different from the phoney LRA (Land Registration Authority) list, phoney U.S. property list, phoney surveys… The Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over the Chief Justice.”

Corona’s lawyers pointed out that the bank accounts are already part of the impeachment proceedings.

Defense Lawyer Tranquil Salvador said that with the ongoing impeachment trial against Corona, the Office of the Ombudsman has lost jurisdiction to handle the complaint.

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TAGS: Bank Deposits, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, Hacienda Luisita, News, Renato Corona, Supreme Court
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