Corona, wife slapped with P130 M forfeiture case
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday filed a P130 million forfeiture case and eight counts of perjury charges before the Sandiganbayan against former Chief Justice Renato Corona and his wife Cristina.
A resolution, signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, which was made public Wednesday, showed that sworn declarations in Corona’s statement of assets, liabilities and networth were false for his failure to include numerous peso and dollar bank accounts in his 2003-2010 SALNs, a condominium unit at The Columns in Makati in his 2004-2009 SALN and a condominium unit at Spanish Bay Tower in Taguig in his 2005-2009 SALN.
Corona, based on the resolution dated January 28, only declared P6.8 million as the acquisition cost of a condominium unit in Bellagio I in Taguig City in his 2010 SALN when the true acquisition cost is P14, 510,000. In his SALNs from 2003 to 2009, Corona, according to the Ombudsman, also undervalued the property at La Vista in Quezon City by P8 million.
Aside from forfeiture and perjury, the Ombudsman also ordered charging the Corona couple with violation of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees for not filing his true and detailed SALN from 2003 to 2010.
Investigation made by the Ombudsman showed that from 2001 to 2011, the Corona couple earned a total income of P30,369,120.13, of which P27,145,472.68 was earned by Chief Justice Corona as an official at the Office of the President, a Justice of the Supreme Court, member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), and member of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).
Meanwhile, Cristina Corona earned P3,223,647.45 for the period 2007-2010, based on the Alpha List submitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) by the John Hay Development Corporation (JHDC) where she was employed.
The resolution stated that from 2002 to 2010, Corona’s actual cash deposits ballooned from P1,337,072.28 to P137,937,207.88, and by 2010 the cumulative discrepancy between his SALN declaration and his actual cash deposits amounted to P134,437,207.88.
The resolution also cited the Land Registration Authority (LRA) records on several properties owned by the Corona couple in Quezon City, Makati City and Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City, which were established to be significantly undervalued by P17,297,145.00.
It pointed out the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) certifications stating that the Corona couple had no existing business registered under their name even while Corona’s SALN for 2003-2009 disclosed that his wife was connected with the Basa Guidote Enterprises, Inc.
Originally posted at 4:11 p.m.
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