Perjury charges filed vs Corona

Buena Bernal
The charges are filed on Tuesday, April 1, at 11:38 am before the Sandiganbayan

FILED. Perjury charges have been filed versus dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona before the Sandiganbayan. File photo by AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Eight counts of perjury and 8 counts of violation of Republic Act (RA) 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees were filed against dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona Tuesday, April 1.

The charges were filed at 11:38 am before the Sandiganbayan.

This, after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales had ordered the immediate filing of the charges against Corona and his wife Cristina for allegedly amassing over P130 million in ill-gotten wealth

Because perjury is a bailable offense, Corona can secure his temporary release at P10,000 per case or a total of P160,000.

The filing of perjury charges against Corona as ordered by Morales is based on allegedly undeclared cash and real estate assets in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) from years 2004 to 2010. 

But the former magistrate earlier said Morales arrived at an “arithmetically exaggerated” amount of his income as she “maliciously” included redeposited income in the calculation.

“This ‘error’ of the ombudsman was something we have called her attention to over and over again in our pleadings, only to be cavalierly ignored and waved away by the office of the ombudsman,” Corona said.

Corona cried foul over what he termed as “merciless persecution” by Morales, who, he said, “should have inhibited” herself from approving the charges.

He said Morales testified against him “with unmasked hostility” during what he called a “sham, bribe-laden persecutory impeachment trial.” (READ: Corona lashes at Ombudsman for ‘merciless prosecution’)

The impeached Chief Justice also faces tax evasion charges before the Court of Tax Appeals for failing to pay P120.5 million in taxes and failing to file his income tax return for 6 years – 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010. The subject income is allegedly outside of his compensation as Supreme Court (SC) justice.

Corona was dismissed in 2012, the year senators who declared him guilty of violating the Constitution supposedly received millions of pesos through the Aquino administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

The DAP is now the subject of deliberations by SC justices, after its constitutionality was questioned before the High Court. – Rappler.com

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