MANILA, Philippines - Former Akbayan representative Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday said she never said that Chief Justice Renato Corona owned $10 million in foreign currency accounts in her letter-complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.
“I didn’t say and we who signed the letter-complaint did not say and did not mention any amount of $10 million. What we mentioned there were real estate properties and dollar accounts and a couple of accounts that had already been presented in the impeachment court in the offer of evidence of the prosecution,” Hontiveros told ANC.
She said she filed the letter-complaint urging the Ombudsman to investigate Corona’s accounts after Philippine Savings Bank got a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the Senate from delving into Corona’s dollar accounts.
Hontiveros is one of 5 new witnesses summoned by the Senate impeachment court to testify in Corona’s impeachment trial.
The other 4 are Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello, Harvey Keh of the Kaya Natin Movement, and Emmanuel Santos.
Aside from testifying in the impeachment trial, the subpoena orders them to bring the original and certified true copies of the complaints against Corona, and the documents used to support the allegation that Corona keeps $10 million in different bank accounts.
Defense lawyer Judd Roy on Tuesday said Corona would also appear before the court to rebut the allegations that he has $10 million.
Roy said that if the $10 million claim is raised before the court, Corona will be “compelled to confront directly the accusations.”
Akbayan Party acting President Machris Cabreros said Corona's lawyers are now desperately looking for a game changer in the impeachment trial after asking the court to summon more witnesses.
“Corona’s lawyers obviously requested the subpoena as a desperate tactic to reverse the tremendous public distrust against Corona. Their previous strategy of dragging the trial has only made more Filipinos turn against Corona. Now their new scheme is to use the impeachment trial as an avenue for them to pillory Corona’s enemies without even
assuring that he will really face the court,” Cabreros said.
“Corona is desperate for a game changer. However, they will only end up with a game ender: Corona’s conviction."