Ombudsman: I have jurisdiction over Corona

by Henry Omaga Diaz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 30 2012 05:12 PM | Updated as of May 01 2012 03:09 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales insists she has jurisdiction over Chief Justice Renato Corona.

In a text message to ABS-CBN News, Carpio-Morales cited section 22 of Republic Act 6770, or the Ombudsman Act, which empowers her office to investigate any impeachable official.

She said that under the law, the Ombudsman can even suspend the impeachable officer pending an investigation.

Chief Justice Renato Corona insisted, however, that the Ombudsman does not have authority to investigate his office.

He branded the Office of the Ombudsman's investigation into his alleged dollar and peso accounts as part of the Aquino administration's "retaliatory moves" following the Supreme Court's (SC) landmark decision to distribute Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita to farm workers.

He also denied he has $10 million in his bank accounts.

Corona believes this is part of the black propaganda against him. His impeachment trial will resume on May 7.

Explain at the Senate

Former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, one of those who filed the complaint before the Ombudsman, said Corona should explain the dollar accounts before the impeachment court.

She insisted they have documents to prove that he has at least $700,000 dollars in Philippine Savings Bank, which he allegedly did not declare in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).