MANILA, Philippines - When prosecutors submit their position paper on issues surrounding Chief Justice Renato Corona's alleged ill-gotten wealth, there's one document they can cite in their favor: Corona's own decision on the case of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth.
The ruling resulted in the forfeiture to the Philippine treasury of the Marcoses' money hidden in Swiss banks.
In her latest blog entry, journalist and blogger Raissa Robles said prosecutors might not know that they can use Corona's own decision on the Marcos ill-gotten wealth to prove their case.
Robles said Corona's "landmark decision on July 15, 2003" on the Marcos wealth stashed in Swiss banks made the following points:
"He said the burden of proof lies with the person being accused of having amassed such wealth.
"He also said the court should disregard technicalities thrown by the defendant’s side.
"And he said it was enough to compare a respondent’s SALNs (Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth) and ITRs (Income Tax Return) with the wealth in question to determine the latter’s illegal origin. If disclosed income and assets were far less than the questioned wealth, then the latter is ill-gotten."
Robles said Corona also showed in his decision "how to connect the dots using the SALN and the ITR."
Robles said Corona, in his ruling, "concluded that the Marcoses’ Net Worth was US$957,487.75 or under ONE MILLION DOLLARS. He then compared this amount to the US$356 million secreted by the Marcoses in five foundations which maintained various Swiss accounts."
Robles said: "Because of all these, CJ Corona ruled that - In the face of undeniable circumstances and the avalanche of documentary evidence against them, respondent Marcoses failed to justify the lawful nature of their acquisition of the said assets. Hence, the Swiss deposits should be considered ill-gotten wealth and forfeited in favor of the State in accordance with Section 6 of RA 1379…," Robles said.
For more about Robles' new blog entry, click here: From his own mouth:
CJ Corona’s guidelines in the use of SALNs & ITRs to prove ill-gotten wealth