Sandigan finds P7,580 in Corona accounts amid P130-M forfeiture case
MANILA, Philippines — The freeze order issued by the Sandiganbayan against assets of ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona and his wife, Cristina, may have come too late after only P7,580.98 were found left in their bank accounts.
The Corona couple faces a P130-million forfeiture case before the antigraft court’s second division.
According to Sheriff Alexander Valencia’s report on the antigraft court’s writ of preliminary attachment, only a few thousand pesos were left in two bank accounts–P1,056.27 in a Bank of the Philippine Islands account, and P6,524.71 in a Philippine National Bank account SSS Diliman Branch under the account name of Cristina Roco Corona.
Four other accounts revealed no deposits on record by the Corona couple – United Overseas Bank, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company, China Banking Corp. and Citibank.
Two other bank accounts – Philippine Savings Bank and Phil-Am Asset Management Inc. – showed that either there were no accounts by the Corona couple or that the respondents were not investors or shareholders of the funds.
The report said the court has yet to receive a reply from the concerned department units of the Land Bank of the Philippines which holds another Corona account.
The Sandiganbayan issued the writ in connection with the forfeiture case filed by the Ombudsman in the aftermath of the impeachment against Corona over false declarations of wealth.
The writ has an effect of a freeze order to ensure that the respondents do not dispense of their properties as they face the charges.
The court has also temporarily frozen the following properties of the Corona couple – condominium units from One Burgundy Plaza in Quezon City, The Columns in Makati, Bellagio I in Fort Bonifacio (including three parking slots), and Bonifacio Ridge, Fort Bonifacio, as well as a parcel of land in La Vista in Quezon city.
BACK STORY: Corona charged with perjury at Sandiganbayan
In its complaint against the Coronas, the Ombudsman declared as false the sworn declarations of Corona in several of his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) after he failed to disclose several bank accounts and properties. Corona also allegedly misdeclared values of his other properties.
Among those allegedly not included were 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.
Meanwhile, Corona supposedly 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.
The Ombudsman also said 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 Ombudsman said 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.
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