BAGUIO, Philippines – Reeling from accusations he lied in his previous statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), Chief Justice Renato Corona said he will not leave any part of his 2011 SALN blank this time around.
Corona told reporters on the sidelines of a media forum on judiciary coverage Wednesday, April 18, that he is “not hiding” anything and will provide all details in the public document due for filing on April 30.
“I’ll just fill up everything. Wala naman tayong tinatago (We’re not hiding anything).”
He said he will consult his accountant about this over the weekend.
Corona’s statement came amid his lawyers’ dilemma on whether or not it would be wise for the chief justice to amend his SALN to include all the properties he had acquired in the previous years.
An Inquirer report cited defense lawyer Tranquil Salvador as saying that they have reservations about amending the SALN as they may be accused of admitting inaccuracies.
Discrepancies in Corona’s declared assets are the most contentious issue in his ongoing impeachment trial.
During one of the impeachment court sessions, it was discovered that a condominium unit Corona purchased in Makati City in 2004 was only declared in his SALN in 2010.
Lawyers of the chief justice argued this was because the “defective” unit was only turned over to the Corona spouses that year.
Corona is facing three articles of impeachment, including betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution for failing to truthfully fill out his SALN forms.
Prosecutors claimed Corona did not list down several of his posh properties and some P30 million worth of bank accounts from 2002 until 2010.
They also said he only specified the fair market value of the properties he acquired and not their acquisition cost.
The defense has said that Corona could not be impeached based on missing information in his SALNs since the law provides room for corrections.
It argued that each filing is a continuation of the previous ones, and can still be revised.
The SC, in its past rulings, however, said that errors in SALNs could constitute simple negligence or dishonesty — the latter punishable by dismissal from office. – Rappler.com