MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Renato Corona became the best witness for the prosecution, Malacañang said Friday.
In a statement, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said: “The issues have been joined. Mr. Corona has become the best witness for the prosecution. He has proven, by his demeanor and his very own statements, the validity of the charges against him, and provided evidence more than sufficient to determine his fate.”
He said Corona “admitted” what the impeachment court has been waiting to find out.
“Had he withheld information from his SALN? He did. Did the information include dollar accounts? Yes. In his 2010 SALN, he reported 3.5 million pesos in cash. Today, he admitted he has 80 million pesos in the bank, and that furthermore, he has 2.4 million dollars,” he said.
Corona cited the Foreign Currency Deposit Act, which he said gives the guarantee of absolute confidentiality.
He added he did not declare some of the pesos because these were not his. Some were parked in his account, but are owned by the family corporation of his wife, the Basa Guidote Enterprises Inc.
“By his testimony today, Mr. Corona has proposed that a 1974 law is supreme over the requirements of the 1987 Constitution. He has made his legal legacy a Get Out of Jail Free Card for all officials who are plunderers and crooks. They will merely have to park their ill-gotten funds in foreign currency accounts to immunize themselves from the effects of our anti-graft laws,” Lacierda said.