Prosecution to include US properties in rebuttal?

by Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Mar 28 2012 04:30 PM | Updated as of Mar 29 2012 12:30 AM

Prosecution alleges Corona using his daughters as dummies

MANILA, Philippines - The prosecution is already studying the possibility of including Chief Justice Renato Corona’s alleged properties in the United States during the rebuttal stage of the impeachment trial.

In the meantime, House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales said Corona owes the public a “convincing” explanation amid his “flip-flopping” answers about his family's properties.

“Ano ba talaga, Chief Justice Corona? Does your family own the properties or not?” asked Gonzales. “The Filipino people deserve an explanation, they deserve to know the truth.”

In an answer to a question raised by a blogger-journalist on Sunday on whether he owns properties in the US, Corona said: “We do not own any property in the United States.”

In her blog entry entitled “Does Renato C. Corona have a clone living in the US?”, Raissa Robles said she obtained records from the US linking the names of Corona and his family’s to two properties in the United States.

Corona answered: “The addresses cited by Raissa Robles were the apartments rented by my two daughters, both licenses physical therapists in the United States, at various times over the past 14 years.”

The following day, Robles alleged Corona’s youngest daughter, Maria Charina, has bought a property in California 22 days before buying the 203-square meter P6.2 million Mc Kinley property in 2008.

Corona maintained they did not change stories on the matter. “What my daughter owns is hers, not mine, nor my wife’s. So, what story did I supposedly change?”

‘Convince us’
“The chief justice must convince the public that he does not own the US properties. He should come up with a convincing explanation otherwise people would think he is again hiding something,” Gonzales said.

He described Corona’s turnabout “a bit strange.”

“Buying a property abroad is not ordinary occurrence that one can easily forget. I’m sure he has been to the place,” Gonzales said.

“We wouldn’t be surprised if the chief justice also owns the Placer County house looking at how he made the McKinley property appear to be owned by Maria Charina,” Gonzales said.

The prosecution alleged Corona is using his children as dummies to hide his supposed wealth, such as the McKinley property.

The prosecution submitted as evidence a reservation agreement on the property signed by Corona himself.
They also submitted several receipts bearing his name.

Last week, however, the defense presented the executive clerk of court and ex-officio sheriff of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court before the impeachment court to prove that it was Charina who bought the McKinley property.

Lawyer Perlita Ele said she made entries on March 16, 2007 on the declaration of trust appointing Corona and his wife Cristina as the trustees of the McKinley property for their daughter Charina.

She said she also made an entry regarding the execution of a special power of attorney for Corona to make payments for the property.