Accused of pointing a gun at a property caretaker during a family dispute in 1997, Chief Justice Renato Corona has owned at least 31 licensed firearms, according to records of the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office.
Corona denied the gun-poking charge contained in an affidavit by the 83-year-old Pedro Aguilon. But he did admit in a series of interviews last Wednesday that he owned a gun.
It turns out, after inquiries made by GMA News at PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, that Corona has owned not just one gun but a veritable personal armory, from revolvers to high-powered machine guns, and even a vintage Winchester, the kind popularized by American cowboys in the 19th century.
Family dispute The alleged physical threat by Corona was first mentioned by Ana Basa, a first cousin of his wife, who described in detail to the Philippine Daily Inquirer this week how the Corona couple allegedly cheated the rest of the clan of collectively owned
property and other assets.
Corona claimed that the millions in cash that he had in bank accounts revealed during his impeachment trial were proceeds from the sale of family property, which Ana Basa said was a surprise to the rest of the Basa clan, which she claimed had long been asking her cousin, Mrs. Corona, for an accounting of the propeties. Mrs. Corona was the administrator of the family properties under the corporation Basa-Guidote Enterprises Inc. set up by her grandparents in the 1960s.
One of those properties was a lot in Sampaloc, Manila, where the family caretaker Aguilon maintained a small home. Aguilon stated in his affidavit that the Corona couple had his home demolished in January 1997 without warning, and Renato Corona, then a presidential legal counsel in the Ramos adminstration, pointed a gun at him while saying,
"Baka gusto mong pasabugin kita."
However, according to PNP records, the first two of Corona's licensed guns were registered only in late 1997, .38-caliber and .22-caliber revolvers which he registered respectively on Oct. 14, 1997 and Nov. 6, 1997.
Chief Justice Corona's firearms
The chief magistrate has had a total of 31 firearms under his name since 1997. These include 18 pistols,
two machine pistols, two shotguns, one submachine, one high-powered rifle, and a carbine. These include an Uzi, a Beretta, and a Glock, all leading gun brands.
The licenses of all the firearms have already expired except for two: a .380-caliber pistol (Lic. No. 374-2900), which expires October 15, 2015; and a 9mm machine pistol (T0624-07V0060978), which expires on October 15, 2014. It was not immediately clear from PNP records if the expired licenses have been renewed or whether ownership has already been
transferred. In a long-running family feud between Mrs. Corona and her cousins and mother's siblings, Chief Justice Corona has been accused of using his influence with judges and even of terrorizing other clan members and their workers, such as what allegedly occurred to Mr. Aguilon.
"Walang nangyaring panunutok ng baril. Hindi po ako kilala bilang mainitin ang ulo,"
Corona told Unang Hirit host Arnold Clavio last Wednesday.
In the same interview, Corona admitted owning a firearm, but quickly added:
"Meron akong baril pero hindi ko ito dinadala."
No weapons are mentioned in Corona's Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN). Firearms should be declared
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, chairman of the Senate committee on civil service and government reorganization as well as a Senator-Judge in Corona's impeachment trial, told GMA News Online that even firearms should be declared in one's SALN.
"What is required is the aggregate amount of all personal properties of significant value such as jewelry, watches, appliances, furniture, etc. Although not specifically required, it should include firearms," Trillanes said.
The lawmaker said that the firearms need not be itemized under the "Personal and other properties" column, but should at least include their total amount.
A check with Corona's SALNs in the last decade showed that until 2005, Corona had been declaring his "cash investment and jewelry" under "Personal and Other Properties." From 2006 onward however, the item has since been identified as "cash investment and jewelry, etc." Corona has consistently pegged the amount of his "jewelry, etc." at P1,000,000 each year.
A summary of Renato Corona's 31 guns with corresponding serial numbers:
.45-cal revolver (DAN1906)
.38-cal revolver (A40241) .22-cal revolver (CJS2753) .38-cal revolver (88676) .22-cal revolver (145560) .22-cal revolver (UD93691)
.32-cal pistol (DAA096492) .380-cal pistol (374-29000) .45-cal pistol (748851) .45-calpistol (1678782) .22-cal pistol (1948) .45-cal pistol (92456B70) .9mm pistol (AS335) .40-cal pistol (DLB531) .45-cal pistol M37 (GDV758) .40-cal pistol (QL1431) .45-cal pistol (RK6887) .45-cal pistol (SN24969E) .45-cal pistol (WF3557) .45-cal pistol (BL32370) .45-cal pistol (DHZ878) .45-cal pistol (KPA11832)
.45-cal frame (BL31184) .45-cal frame (PG005068)
9mm machine pistol (T0624-07V0060978) 9mm machine pistol (SR01121)
12GA shotgun (M450399) 12GA shotgun (RC101548)
9mm submachine gun MK9 (P0580)
556 high-powered rifle (4951938)
30-cal carbine (7243757) — Howie Severino/VS