Corona urged to explain P14.5M condo

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 03 2012 07:23 PM | Updated as of Jan 04 2012 03:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Chief House prosecutor Niel Tupas on Tuesday showed media a deed of sale and and 2 condominium certificates of title to prove that spouses Renato and Cristina Corona purchased a 300-square-meter condo at The Bellagio in Fort Bonifacio, Global City in 2009 for P14.5 million.

The condo is believed to now cost P30 million.

Tupas is urging the impeached Chief Justice to reveal his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net (SALN) worth to prove he declared the multimillion-peso property.

One of the impeachment charges against Corona is his alleged failure to disclose his SALN.

"Marami ang properties na pag aari ni CJ Corona. Umpisahan natin yung Bellagio, high-end codominum sa Fort, Taguig. Ito iyun... ibibigay ko sa inyo deed of sale purchase. Dito nakalagay lang P14.5 million. May certificate of title tayo. Nasa SALN ba ito? 2009 pa ito dapat nasa SALN ito nong 2010," he said. "We're challenging Supreme Court for members of the SC to disclose to the public his SALN, since CJ ang punong mahistrado we challenge him na umpisahan niya. Gusto ko malaman naming ito ba kasama ito sa SALN."

Supreme Court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez declined to comment on the matter, out of deference to the impeachment court.

"Let's give due respect to the Senate. These are matters that delve into the merits of the articles of impeachment. The Senate impeachment rules clearly tell us we should refrain from making any comments and disclosure in public regarding the merits of the case," he said.

He also advised the congressmen to keep their silence on the issue.

On Tuesday, the prosecution panel had a meeting to map out their strategy.

Ten law firms are helping the team.

Pangasinan Rep. Marlyn Primicias Aggabas has been named to replace Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III in the prosecution panel.

Tañada will become one of the prosecution team's spokespersons.

The prosecution hopes the Supreme Court will not help Corona, by acting on the several petitions seeking to stop the impeachment trial.

President Benigno Aquino has also asked his Cabinet to maintain their distance from the senators.

"We respect the separation of branches here, so the President has given us instruction to distance ourselves especially from the Senate because it is going to act as the trial court here. We don't wanna be accused of intervening," said Budget Secretary Butch Abad. - ANC