MANILA, Philippines - Chief Justice Renato Corona is leaving it "up to God" the matter of the erroneous leak of his alleged 45 properties to the public by the Prosecution team.
"Ipapasa-Diyos ko na lang sila," said Corona in response to the Prosecution's refusal to apologize on the leaks of a list of his alleged 45 properties from the Land Registration Authority (LRA).
The list turned out to be inaccurate, as testified to by LRA Administrator Eulalio Diaz before the Senate Impeachment Court.
Calls for the Prosecution to issue a public apology came following statements from Senators Loren Legarda and Jinggoy Estrada about the need to issue a public correction for the damage done to Corona and his family by the erroneous leak.
"You cannot go to town with unverified information, especially given the big difference between the reported number of properties and what was submitted... If they made the [announcement] in press conference, the correction should also be made in a press conference," Legarda had said.
"Reputations should not be diminished due to incompetence, flaws, or computer error," she added.
Estrada, for his part, told Lead Prosecutor Niel Tupas, Jr. in open court: "May I tell you to advise your spokesmen to rectify the error and take back what they said in the media that indeed, the properties of Chief Justice Corona are not 45, because I think the damage has already been done. It was already instilled in the minds of the public, in the minds of the people... when in fact, they are not 45."
Sen. Joker Arroyo called the Prosecution's release of the erroneous list "sickening."
"I'm talking about the fairness principle," Arroyo said.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, meantime, told LRA Administrator Diaz he could be charged for negligence for releasing the inaccurate information that unnecessarily tarnished the name of Corona and his family.
Santiago stressed that due diligence should have been exercised by the LRA chief due to the sensitivity of the impeachment proceedings.
Corona said he thanked the senators for "carefully weighing the facts on the erroneous report."
"Much as we want to get an apology, we cannot force this on the prosecutors. Saying sorry for a harm done is a personal decision," Corona said.
We don't own any US property: CJ
Corona also denies owning any property in the United States in response to a story written by a blogger that he and his family owns real estate properties there.
In a statement, Corona said: "The addresses cited by Raissa Robles were apartments rented by my two daughters (both licensed physical therapists in the US) at various times over the past 14 years."
The Chief Magistrate pointed out that these were merely temporary mailing addresses when his daughters were still rented by his daughters Carla and Charina.
Robles, in her blog entry entitled “Does Renato C. Corona have a clone living in the US?” said she was able to obtain public records from the US linking the Coronas to two properties in Tampa, Florida and Mountain View, California.
Corona, however, said that these were mere temporary mailing addresses.
"The house in Bayshore, Tampa, Florida is owned by a family friend where we stayed in the few times we visited Tampa and Orlando/Disney World. That is also a mailing address," he said.
"WE DO NOT OWN ANY PROPERTY IN THE US," Corona stressed.