PNoy: Corona lied in his SALN

By Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNNews.com

Posted at Feb 16 2012 11:43 AM | Updated as of Feb 17 2012 12:39 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday called on the public not to be deceived by Chief Justice Renato Corona’s lies.

In a speech commemorating the 26th anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution, Aquino claimed Corona continues to trick the people with his “blatant lies.”

“Hahayaan na lang po ba natin na iilan ang magdesisyon para sa ating pong lahat? Iyan naman po ang sadya ko sa araw na ito: Liwanagin ang dapat liwanagin, at ituwid ang isyung pilit dinidiskaril ng ilan, upang ang karaniwang tao ay malinawan at makilahok sa usapan. Simple lang naman po ang tanong na nais sagutin ng paglilitis na ito: Dapat pa ba tayong magtiwala kay Ginoong Corona?”

Later in a discussion with students with different schools, Aquino said an acquittal of Corona will be “extremely difficult, if not impossible” for the government’s reform plans.

Aquino alleged Corona’s lies can be seen in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). He said Corona only disclosed P3.5 million in 2010, when he actually had P31 million in 3 different bank accounts.

"Noong 2010, nagdeklara siya ng cash na 3.5 million pesos. Ayon sa mga testimonya ng Pangulo ng PS Bank at branch manager ng BPI Ayala, sa tatlong account pa lang na naisiwalat sa impeachment, si Ginoong Corona ay may nakatagong 31.5 million pesos na hindi idineklara. Naman. Maliwanag pa po sa sikat ng araw: Ginoong Corona, ang sinumpaan mong salaysay ay hindi tugma sa natuklas na pag-aari mo. Maski saang paaralan po sa buong mundo, 3.5 million does not equal 31.5 million. Alin po ba ang totoo, Ginoong Corona?" he asked.

The President said the SALN is not just a piece of scratch paper. He said this is used by all government officers to be accountable to the public.

“Ilalagay po ito sa isang locked filing cabinet, at huling la-landing sa isang nakakandadong vault. Tanong naman po: Kailan pa po ba naging bahagi ng publiko ang isang locked filing cabinet? Paano mabubusisi ang laman ng SALN na ito kung nakasilid sa isang vault?”

Aquino also took note of Corona’s statements that he will open his bank accounts in due time. “Mawalang-galang na po, Ginoong Corona, marami pang naunang taon na nagpasa kayo ng SALN na puno ng katanungan. Kailan po ba ang due time? Mukha po yatang overdue ka na.”

Court interpreter's case

The President cited the case of court interpreter Delsa Flores, who was dismissed from her job in 1997 for failing to declare a stall in the public market where she gets rent.

“Sa isang court interpreter, iyan po ang batayan. Magkano po kaya ang upa sa isang puwesto sa palengke? Sa Punong Mahistrado po ba, dapat naiiba? Kung si Ginang Flores po ay sinisante, ano pa kaya ang dapat hatol kay Ginoong Corona? Kailangan pa po bang tanungin kung impeachable offense ang ginawa niya?”

He told the delegates at the La Consolacion College: “Kayo nga po ang sumagot: sa tingin po ba ninyo, ang Chief Justice ay exempted sa mga batas na kailangan nating lahat sundin? Kapag ba nasa poder na ay bawal nang tanungin, bawal nang usisain, at bawal nang batikusin?”

GMA's protector

He alleged Corona used his position to protect former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo by issuing a halt order on her travel restraint.

“Tandaan lang po natin: Punong Mahistrado mismo ang nagpilit na puwedeng umalis ng bansa si Ginang Arroyo. Ang isinampang kaso ng electoral sabotage, 2007 diumano naganap,” he noted in his speech.

Had Arroyo left for abroad and did not come back by May 2012, any case against her would have already prescribed, Aquino noted. An electoral sabotage case needs to be filed within 5 years after the election.

Defense vs prosecution

He noted that the prosecution has been getting all the criticisms even if its members chose to fight against the head of the judiciary.

“Kung nasa defense ka, ‘di ba’t ngiti ang isasalubong sa iyo ng mga tiwaling hukom, dahil ipinagtanggol mo ang isa sa kanilang uri? Manalo, matalo, panalo ka parati. Kung nasa prosecution ka naman, simangot ang pambungad sa iyo dahil sa pangangahas mong kalabanin ang Punong Mahistrado. Ipagpapasa-Diyos mo na lahat ng kasong hahawakan mo,” he said.

He said the public should not allow the injustice against the country happen in the hands of Corona.

“Di po ba’t malinaw ang mga alituntuning kailangang sundin ng lahat? Ang tungkulin natin ngayon ay ibalik ang piring ng katarungan, at gawing balanse ang timbangan. Huwag na po sana nating hintayin na tayo mismo ang maagrabyado. Manindigan na po sana tayo ngayon.”

He said that the people are now seeing the fruits of the impeachment trial, starting with the “general agreement” to amend the Foreign Currency Deposit Unit Law as well as changes to the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

He said the people have the right to demand accountability from Corona. “The truth shall set us free. Hindi pa kumpleto ang truth dahil hindi pa sya free.”