‘This is the end game,’ says Speaker Belmonte

Carmela Fonbuena
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr has received the Ombudsman's full report on her probe on the Chief Justice consisting of '4 bundles of documents'

END GAME: Speaker Jose Belmonte says Chief Justice Renato Corona's dollar movements are puzzling

MANILA, Philippines – The Ombudsman has submitted to the House of Representatives its report on its probe on Chief Justice Renato Corona on Friday, May 11, including bank documents and other records of his properties, such as vehicles.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr told reporters that based on the findings, he can very well say: “The moment of truth is here. This is the end game.”

“There is a puzzle. What the heck are they doing with all those movement of money. Hopefully somebody will explain what it is all about,” the Speaker said.

“Because of yesterday’s revelation, it will be extremely difficult for any senator to acquit him,” added House majority floor leader Neptali Gonzales II.

Belmonte said 4 or 5 officials went to his house to deliver 4 bundles of documents. Congress–Senate and House of Representatives–doesn’t hold sessions on Fridays.

Belmonte said he didn’t open them until Monday, together with House majority leader Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II.

The bundles of documents from the Ombudsman include records from the Anti-Money Laundering Council, data on motor vehicles, property titles, salaries of Corona and his wife, and Senate documents among others.

The Ombudsman report concludes there’s at least US$10-M and P200-M in Corona’s bank accounts, Gonzales said.

“If the documents are now used in the impeachment trial, it’s the fault of the defense,” said Gonzales. He’s referring to the fact that it was the defense team that had asked the impeachment court to subpoena the Ombudsman and explain her alleged probe on Corona’s dollar accounts.

The Ombudsman dropped a bombshell in her testimony last Monday, May 14, saying Corona had 82 dollar accounts from 2003 to 2011.

The Ombudsman had to submit her report to the House of Representatives since the latter has the sole power to impeach the Chief Justice. But her investigation happened at a time when Corona is already on trial.

The report also summarized the Chief Justice’s allowances in various offices and his wife’s salaries at Camp John Hay. It made the conclusion that what the Coronas own are “grossly disproportionate” to their salaries.

“I fully expect him (Corona) to show up this week,” Belmonte said. – Rappler.com

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