Analyzing Corona’s SALNs from 2002 to 2010

Corona’s assets should reflect how he was able to pay off his liabilities starting 2005 all the way to 2010

MANILA, Philippines – Many things have been written on how the assets of Chief Justice Renato Corona increased by P8 million, or by 53% over a span of 9 years, from P14.9 million in 2002 to P22.9 million in 2010.

While there have also been various analyses on the specific assets – whether they were reported on zonal value or “fair market value” as required by law, or whether they were reported on the year acquired or not – the SALNs can also be analyzed on a pure financial basis.

Summary figures based on the SALNs (In million pesos)

Year Real Properties Cash/Inv/Others Assets Liabilities Net Worth
2002 10.138 4.83 14.968  — 14.964
2003 14.059 4.3 18.359 11 7.359
2004 14.059 4.3 18.359 11 7.359
2005 14.059 4.3 18.359 10 8.359
2006 14.059 3.5 17.559 8 9.559
2007 14.059 3.5 17.559 6.5 11.059
2008 14.059 3.5 17.559 5 12.559
2009 14.059 3.5 17.559 3 14.559
2010 18.439 4.5 22.939 22.939


Let me from the beginning say that it will be more meaningful if the movements are analyzed together with Corona’s ITRs for the same period. With these, we can get a better understanding as to the sources and uses of funds so we can verify his claim that all his assets were in fact acquired through his “personal toil.”

Nevertheless, some valid points can still be raised at this time based solely on his SALNs. For example, an P11-M liability appeared in his SALN in 2003. While the SALN is an abbreviated form which does not show how assets and liabilities and networth are balanced, valid points can be raised that definitely require explanations.

 1. When he incurred a liability of P11-M in 2003 and his assets increased by only P3.39 million with an added reduction of P500,000 in “cash and investment,” it means that the difference of P7.605 million (P11 million less total assets of P3.395 million) all went to expenses. Why? Because if they were not expenses, then they should be reflected in the SALN as other assets, another real estate perhaps, or increases in cash or investment. What a big amount for him to spend in one year!  This also means that in 2003, Corona’s net worth decreased by P7.605 million. Ergo, he became poorer by this amount.

2. Then the comparison running up to 2010 becomes even more significant. Corona’s net worth actually increased by 211% from P7.359 million in 2003 to P22.9 million in 2010. This is equivalent to an average increase of a substantial 26.3% per annum over an 8-year period – definitely a rate much higher than inflation. In the corporate world, we can say that the business performance was excellent.

3. Another major movement in Corona’s SALNs was between 2009 and 2010 when the following happened:

a) total real estate assets increased by P4.38 million

b) cash and investment increased by P1 million

c) liabilities of P3 million were completely paid off

4. Total uses of funds, therefore, amounted to P8.38 million. The big question here is where did the funds come from to add up to assets, and to completely pay off liabilities? One can note that the total net worth of Corona also increased by P8.34 million – from P14.559 million in 2009 to P22.9 million in 2010.

5. It is interesting to note too that while the aggregate value of the real estate properties remained constant from 2003 to 2009 at P14.05 million, total liabilities were decreasing annually: by P1 million in 2005, by P2 million in 2006, by P1.5 million in 2007, by P1.5 million in 2008, by P2 million in 2009, and finally, by P3 million in 2010.  

Definitely, there were sources of funds not reflected in the SALNs to pay of these liabilities. Corona’s assets should reflect how he was able to pay off his liabilities starting 2005 all the way to 2010.

At the end of the day, they can only be reflected in his income tax returns (ITRs) as additional income. A lot more can be analyzed when the ITRs are made public by next week. As we do, let us remember that the same accounting principle follows in personal SALNs: sources and uses of funds must balance out. –

The author is former chair of the Philippine National Railway (PNR). Other former positions he held include: president/CEO Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.  (PDIC); president/CEO of Philippine Banking Corporation; director/treasurer of Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE); chair of Philippine National Bank (PNB). He has over 30 years experience as a commercial/investment banker mostly with Citibank. He also shared this analysis with the prosecution.