Sandigan reviewing P130-M forfeiture case vs Corona

By Michael Punongbayan, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 11 2014 04:57 AM | Updated as of Apr 11 2014 12:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The P130.3-million forfeiture charge filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against former chief justice Renato Corona is now being reviewed by the Sandiganbayan to determine if there is basis for the case to proceed.

Since the complaint that was raffled to the anti-graft court’s Second Division is a civil suit, no arrest order will be issued.

The Sandiganbayan said that in civil cases, the accused, in this case Corona and his wife Cristina, do not appear before magistrates in an arraignment.

STAR sources in the anti-graft court said the P130.3-million forfeiture charge is now undergoing automatic process of judicial determination of probable cause.

If the Sandiganbayan finds that the Office of the Ombudsman does have evidence to support its claim that the Corona spouses acquired unexplained wealth from 2001 to 2011 as charged, then a pre-trial conference will be set.

On the other hand, sources said that if the anti-graft court finds that there is insufficient basis to proceed with the case, then it will be dismissed.

As of yesterday, Corona and his wife have not filed any pleading questioning the filing of the forfeiture case against them, like what they did in the perjury and violation of Republic Act 6713 complaints which were raffled to the Sandiganbayan Third Division.