MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - The defense team of Chief Justice Renato Corona confirmed on Monday that Corona's daughter bought a house in California in 2008, which a blogger said was worth P11.5 million.
In a press conference, lawyer Tranquil Salvador III said Charina Corona worked two jobs in the US as a physical therapist and so had the capacity to purchase the house near Sacramento.
"Hinulugan niya ng 30 years. Yung anak po ni Chief Justice e dalawa trabaho niya at kumikita naman po," he said.
The admission came hours before veteran journalist Raissa Robles revealed that the Chief Justice's daughter purchased a 1,337-square-foot property in Roseville, California on September 10, 2008.
In her latest blog entry, Robles said Charina took out a loan of US$245,000 in order to pay the tag price of US$269,500 (equivalent to P11.5 million at 43 pesos per US$1.00).
The purchase of the property was done 22 days before Charina bought a P6.1 million property in McKinley Hill, The Fort, Taguig on October 2008.
"It therefore becomes a legitimate question to raise in the impeachment trial whether she could afford to have paid for both almost at the same time. And why she was buying a condo unit in The Fort when she had just invested in a home in California, payable for the next 26 years and paid a downpayment of US$24,356 (P1 million) on it," she said in her blog.
Robles pointed out it is only Maria Charina who is the sole owner of the property after her husband, Carlos Salgado, signed an “Interspousal Grant Deed” waiving all his rights to the property.
Robles earlier told ABS-CBN News Channel that she got her information through "crowdsourcing" in her blog. She said at least 10 people gave leads about the Corona property and at least 1 gave evidence.
She said Charina's purchase of 2 properties in The Fort and Roseville, California in a span of 22 days raises several questions.
"All I’m saying is that given these two transactions, it has become very relevant, material and pertinent to look at the money flow in CJ Corona’s dollar accounts," she noted.
(Click here to read Raissa's new blog entry,Corona's daughter bought California and The Fort properties 22 days of each other)
CJ has no US property
In his latest statement, Chief Justice Corona insisted he has done no wrong and lashed out at those who besmirched his name.
"I have done no wrong nor ever violated my oath as a magistrate. My adversaries can fabricate all the lies they want to besmirch me and my family, but in the end, it will still be between me and the Lord God Almighty," he said.
He added: "Pairalin ang tama nang naaayon sa inyong kunsyensya, hindi kung ano ang gusto ng nakararami o ng malalakas... Marami ang naniniwala sa ating adhikain, makiisa at manindigan."
Robles earlier posed questions about why the Chief Justice's name has been linked to 2 properties in Tampa, Florida and Mountain View, California.
In her blog entry entitled “Does Renato C. Corona have a clone living in the US?”, Robles said she obtained records from the US linking the names of Corona and his family’s to two properties in the United States.
The Chief Justice, however, said the two properties were temporary mailing addresses at those various times.
“The house in Bayshore, Tampa, Florida is owned by a family friend where we stayed in the few times that we visited Tampa and Orlando/Disney World. That is also a mailing address,” he said.
He added: “We do not own any property in the United States.” -- With a report from David Dizon, ABS-CBNnews.com