Why the ITRs matter in Corona impeachment

Carmela Fonbuena
Barring delays, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares will present the Income Tax Returns (ITR) of Chief Justice Renato Corona on the 5th day of the impeachment trial

TAX CHIEF. Bureau of Internal Revenue chief Kim Jacinto-Henares arrives at the Senate to present the tax documents of impeached chief justice Renato Corona on the 5th day of trial

MANILA, Philippines – Barring delays, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares will present the Income Tax Returns (ITR) of Chief Justice Renato Corona on the 5th day of the impeachment trial.

“Wait for it (ITR) later,” she told Rappler when asked if she has the tax forms with her. She arrived at the Senate on Tuesday, January 24, at around 11:30 am.  

The ITRs will show the Chief Justice’s total income and sources of such income.

The ITRs will also answer lingering questions on Corona’s wealth:

  1. Are Corona’s declarations in his ITR consistent with his declarations in his SALN?
  2. Can Corona afford all the properties he acquired through the years?

However, the defense panel is set to block the prosecution from continuing to present evidence on Corona’s alleged ill-gotten wealth. They argued that Article 2 of the impeachment complaint only questions the Chief Justice’s declaration of his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).  

Prosecutor Elpidio Barzaga Jr. is also yet to finish direct examination of the Registry of Deeds Marikina Branch officer. On Thursday, January 19, seven titles under the name of the Corona spouses were presented before the impeachment court. These properties were not declared in his SALN. 

According to Barzaga, sub poenas were also sent to City Assessors of Quezon City, Taguig, Makati, and Marikina; and developers from Megaworld, builder of one of Corona’s condominiums.

Without delays, the presentation of evidence for Article 2 is estimated to take 2 more weeks.

Another issue that cropped up in the media during the weekend is Corona’s P11-M loan from Basa Guidote Enterprises, a company owned by his wife’s family.

The company was revoked by the Securities and  Exchange Commission in 2003. Corona’s SALN shows he has been paying the loan until 2009.

Relatives of Mrs Corona have likewise joined the controversy in asking who the Chief Justice had been dealing with the firm. 

It remains to be seen if this issue will affect the impeachment trial. – Rappler.com