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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ex-CJ Corona and His Wife Indicated for Php 130 Million Illegal Wealth

Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) has indicated former Chief Justice Corona and his wife Cristina for illegal accumulation of wealth amounting to more than Php 130 Million. In a resolution, the OMB asked the Sandiganbayan to seize the alleged hidden wealth of the Corona couple. In the same 22 page resolution signed last Tuesday by OMB Chairman Morales, Corona was also charged with violating the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (R.A. 6713). Morales said the special panel of investigators found that the Corona couple amassed huge wealth which were not reported in the ex-Chief Justice's Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN). The probe body said Corona's unexplained wealth is at least Php 130.3 Million, including undeclared bank deposits and Php 17 Million in undervalued cost of real properties. However their total combined income was placed at only Php 30.3 Million, inlcuding Php 27 Million as an Office of the President, a justice in the Supreme Court and member of the House of the Representatives Electoral Tribunal. On the charges of perjury, the resolution stated that the former Chief Justice's SALN were false. It declared that Corona failed to include peso and dollar accounts in his SALNs failed in 2003 to 2010, condominium units at the high-end The Columns in Makati and Spanish Bay Tower in Taguig City in 2005 to 2009 SALNs. Corona was found to have only declared Php 6.8 Million as the acquisition cost of a dwelling unit in Bellagio I in Taguig when it's actual cost was Php 14.5 Million. He was also accused of under declaring the value of his La Vista, Quezon City, property by Php 8 Million. The resolution stated that Corona's actual cash deposits ballooned from Php 1.3 Million in 2002 to more than Php 137.9 Million in 2010. It cited the Land Registration Authority (LRA) records showing that their real estate properties in Quezon City, Makati and Taguig were undervalued by more than Php 17 Million. It pointed out that the Dept. of Trade and Industry has no record that the husband and wife were engaged in any business, despite the fact that Mrs. Corona is connected with the real estate firm Basa Guidote Enterprises.        
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