Saturday, March 17, 2012

News Update Posh condominiums belong to Corona daughters'

Witnesses for the defense team on Thursday testified that certain properties allegedly owned by Chief Justice Renato Corona actually belonged to his daughters.

Roberto Villaruz, officer-in-charge of the assessor’s office in Taguig City, showed a copy of the McKinley Hills property’s tax declaration and transfer certificate of title in the name of Maria Charina Corona.

Rodolfo Ordanes, officer-in-charge of the assessor’s office in Quezon City, meanwhile brought a copy of the La Vista property’s tax declaration showing that it was cancelled under Corona’s wife, Cristina, because it was transferred to Maria Carla Corona-Castillo.

The prosecution, in Article 2 of the impeachment complaint, accused the chief justice of not declaring in his SALN at least 21 properties, including the McKinley and La Vista properties.

The defense said these testimonies would prove the properties did not belong to Corona and that was why it was not in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.

But the prosecution earlier presented evidence that although the deed of sale of the McKinley property was in the name of Charina, her parents paid for it as shown in the official receipts of the purchase of the McKinley property.

They also presented evidence that Charina and Carla were incapable of buying the properties as they have no enough taxable income.

Villaruz and Ordanes also testified on the authenticity of the assessed and market values of the Bonifacio Ridge and Bellagio properties in Taguig City, and the Burgundy Plaza and Loyola Heights properties in Quezon City.

All the assessed and market values they testified matched the declared values in Corona’s SALNs.

The prosecution, however, said acquisition costs of the questioned properties were never declared in the SALNs.

“Kung walang nilagay si Chief Justice Corona na acquisition cost sa SALN, ibig sabihin may tinatago siya?” Senator Ralph Recto asked the prosecution to which they replied, “Meron po.”

Recto further asked if there’s a law stating that assessed and market values and acquisition cost should be included in the SALN.

Lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas said that there is no definite provision requiring it.

Nevertheless, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said that the acquisition cost should be declared in the SALN as well.

"When you talk about graft and corruption, you talk about acquisition cost versus income," he said.