Rappler Newscast | May 22, 2012

Rappler.com
Chief Justice Renato Corona, speaks for 3 hours in his defense. | Corona tears into Ombudsman Morales testimony on dollar accounts as detailed in the AMLC report. | Chief Justice Corona walks out after offering a waiver to open his accounts only if 188 congressmen and Senator Drilon do the same.

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CHIEF JUSTICE RENATO CORONA: I am no thief, I am no criminal, I have done no wrong, but honorable senators, I am also no fool.

  • Chief Justice Renato Corona, speaks for 3 hours in his defense.


CORONA: Ito pong AMLC report na ginamit ay hindi authenticated. Walang predicate crime, walang imbestigasyon, walang court order, walang notice sa depositor– clearly a polluted source.

  • Corona tears into Ombudsman Morales testimony on dollar accounts as detailed in the AMLC report.


CORONA: I am humbly asking, I am humbly asking all 188 complainants from the house of representatives led by the congressmen in the prosecution panel and senator franklin drilon to join me in a moment of truth as a gesture of transparency in reconciliation with the filipino people and to one another.

  • And, Chief Justice Corona walks out after offering a waiver to open his accounts, only if 188 congressmen and Senator Drilon do the same.


Story 1: CORONA HITS PNOY
Chief Justice Renato Corona testifies on day 40 of his own impeachment trial.

CORONA: Kababayan, ako po ay nandito sa impeach court upang tumupad sa aking pangako sa sambayanan na ako ay magpapaliwanag ng lahat.

Corona goes on to outline 3 reasons for his impeachment– all points a hit on President Aquino, calling him the “hacenderong Pangulo” or the landlord President.
He accuses the President of abrogating power to himself by crippling co-equal branches of government, and third, that the President is a pawn of alleged leftist adviser Ronald Llamas.

CORONA: Ang una po, ang matinding galit ng hacienderong Pangulo sa pagkakatalo nya sa Hacienda Luisita. Ano ba ang karapatan ng Pangulong Aquino na ikagalit sa pamamahagi ng Hacienda Luisita sa mga magsasaka?
Ang pangalawa, Ang kagustuhan ng Pangulong Aquino na kontrolin ang tatlong sangay ng gobyerno at sirain ang pagkakapantay-pantay ng Executive, ng Legislative, at ng Judiciary.
Ang ikatlo, ang unti-unting pagmaniobra at pagsakop ng kaliwa sa pamamahala ng gobyerno at ang kanilang napipintong pag-take over ng ating bansa. Tila kaya’y hawak na hawak ni Ronald Llamas at ang kanyang mga kakosa sa leeg ang Pangulong Aquino.

Story 2: BASA GUIDOTE IN SPEECH
The Chief Justice claims his family has always lived a simple life, giving up comforts and spending frugally.

CORONA: Ano po ba ang lifestyle naming pamilya? Ang lifestyle po namin ay napakasimple po namin, napakatipid, at hindi mapag-aksaya. Di po kami mahilig sa sosyalan, nakatutuok sa pamilya.
Simpleng buhay at tahanan lamang hindi man kami gumagamit ng aircon sapagkat napakadali po namin magkasakit sa lamig. Simpleng pagkain lamang ang kinakain namin sa bahay, at sa maniwala po kayo o sa hindi, kami po ay walang katulong sa bahay.

Corona goes on to narrate how his wife’s uncle, Jose Basa, cheated the mother of Cristina Corona from her share in the sale of a family property near Eastwood that is now worth 2.5 billion pesos.
He claims his wife’s family is the aggrieved party.

CORONA: Hindi po si Mr. Jose Basa ang naapi. Siya po ang nang-aapi sa aking mother-in-law at sa pamilya ng aking mother in law. Maliban po sa pagkawala ng pangalan ng mother-in-law ko, ang pagakakaisyu ng bagong titulo ng Basa compound na nawala yung pangalan, yung kalahating share ng aking mother in law, si Mr. Basa po, and I am sorry to say… Wala naman po siyang trabaho eh. Buong buhay naman niya eh, spoiled brat po eh, anak mayaman, tuwing may kailangan  po, takbo kay mama, kay lola Charing. Hingi ng pera, kapag walang pera ang matanda, sige, benta , benta kaliwa’t kanan, benta kaliwa’t kanan. a At yung kaisa-isang property na pong natira doon sa matanda, iyon na nga po ang Basa-Guidote property doon sa Sampaloc, na kinuha at binili ng City of Manila. Pati iyon po gusto ibenta ni Mr. Basa. Ang sabi ng mother-in-law ko, enough is enough.

Story 3: PROPERTIES
Corona also went to great lengths to explain his properties and bank accounts. He cuts down LRA administrator Eulalio Diaz III, calling him the nephew of Morales and Justice Antonio Carpio and the best friend of President Aquino.

CORONA: Ako po ay pinaratangan na may apatnapu’t limang ari-arian daw. Alam naman po ni Eulalio Diaz III, administrador ng LRA, pamangkin ni Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales at ni Justice Antonio Carpio, at matalik na kaibigan ni pangulong aquino na wala naman akong 45 properties, at ang listahan ay exaggerated huwad at hindi totoo.
Wala akong 45 properties lilima lang po sa akin at lahat nakadeklara sa aking SALN.

Story 4: HITS MORALES
Around an hour and 45 minutes into his narrative, Corona launches an attack on Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and her testimony on his alleged 82 dollar accounts.
Like Morales, he uses a power point presentation to show a “shrinking pie” of alleged dollar accounts and lays the groundwork to disqualify it as evidence.

CORONA: Wala po akong kilalang taong may 82 bank accounts, baka sI Ombudsman meron kaya nakatanim sa isip niya ang 82 accts.  Ito pong amlc report na ginamit ay hindi authenticated; walang predicate crime, walang imbestigasyon, walang court order, walang notice sa depositor– clearly a polluted source.
Ang ginawa ko po tumawag po ako ng team ng accountants.
The BPI Acropolis accounts were closed as early as 200-4 & transferred to BPI Tandang Sora & BPI Cainta.
Paliit ng paliit ang pie na sinasabi ni Ombdusman.
Wala po akong 10 -12 million dollars. Wala ding akong 82 dollar accounts. naggaling sa mabuting paraan sa sariling sikap. wala akong ninakaw sa gubyerno. Kinita po ng malinis noong ako ay nasa private sector pa, nagbayad ng tamang buwis at mahaba ang fund history ng mga pondong ito.

Story 5: CORONA WAIVER
Corona argues he did not commit an offense when he did not declare his 4 dollar accounts, saying he believes there was no legal duty to do so under the Foreign Currency Deposit Act.
He further argues, what he did was not a high crime and is not an impeachable offense.

CORONA: I have never declared these accounts in my SALN consistent with the belief there is no legal duty to do so. The inaccuracies do not constitute an impeachable offense. Not every omission, not every inaccuracy is an impeachable offense. In this case, the prosecution itself in fact admitted in open court right here that an omission or inaccurate declaration in the SALN, while it may constitute perjury, is not always a high crime.

In a dramatic gesture, Corona whips out a letter of waiver and signs it.
The waiver allows government agencies to open his bank accounts and that of his spouse.
The waiver also authorizes the Supreme Court to release his SALN from 2002 to 2011.

CORONA: Be that as it may, I have here with me a waiver…
eto po pirmado ko na po…. I waive… under the Banck Secrecy Law to disclose to the public foreign currency accounts under my name… to include those of my spouse. i am likewise authorizing the SC to release to the public for the year 2002 to 2011.

But Corona had more surprises.
He sets a condition for releasing the waiver– that all 188 congressmen complainants and Senator Franklin Drilon should match his move and sign blank waivers authorizing government agencies to open their bank accounts as a gesture of transparency.

CORONA: I am humbly asking, I am humbly asking all 188 complainants from the house of representatives led by the congressmen in the prosecution panel and senator Franklin Drilon to join me in a moment of truth as a gesture of transparency in reconciliation with the filipino people and to one another. I am asking them to sign these blank forms and to join me. 

but if you decline, then you will affirm to me and to all who are watching that there is in fact no legal obligation or duty to disclose foreign currency holdings and deposits if any of you should choose to decline, I regret that there is no point in my waiver.
Isusumite ko ang aking waiver sa kinaiuukulan kapag kumpleto na ang pirmado na ang 189 waivers kung hindi sila papayag sa hamon na ito, bibigyan ko ha ang direktiba ang aking defense na irest na ang aking depense tutal wala naman silang napatunayan na paratang laban sa akin. Maraming salamat po pagpalain po tayo ng poong ma kapal and now, the Chief Justice of the Republic of the Philippines wishes to be excused.

At this point the Chief Justice stands up from the witness stand and walks out of the courtroom.

PRESIDING OFFICER JUAN PONCE ENRILE: we have not discharged him; i respect him… bit this court must be respected.
ENRILE: Please close the doors.
ENRILE: Nirespeto namin sya, wag naman sana kaming babastusin
DEFENSE COUNSEL RAMON ESGUERRA: Hindi ko alam kung anong nangyayari… low BP (blood pressure).

Story 6: MARIA-MARITES BANTER
In the studio with me is Rappler Editor at Large Marites Vitug. Marites, what do you make of this historic, dramatic and totally bewildering turn of events?

(Q & A)

Story 7: GAGA 2ND DAY
Lady Gaga performs a second night in Manila for about 20,000 Filipinos – about the same number who watched her show Monday.  
State censors ruled her provocative act was within legal bounds.
Despite protests and controversy, Lady Gaga announced she is -quote- not a creature of your government.  
Lady Gaga has become a symbolic voice for the silent and marginalized, pushing for inner and public acceptance despite societal norms.  
Her tour caused controversy in Seoul as well, and it’s still unclear whether she will perform in Indonesia, where hardline extremists are threatening violence.

Story 8: THE wRap                                     
Let’s now look at Rappler’s “wRap” for today, a list of the ten most important events around the world you shouldn’t miss.

At number 3, Facebook stocks drop 11% on Monday trading while Apple and Google drove the NASDAQ composite index higher. Tuesday in Asia, markets climbed in anticipation of Wednesday’s European Union summit, where leaders are expected to discuss how to promote growth and keep Greece in the euro zone.  In Tuesday’s US stock futures fall after Fitch Ratings cut Japan’s credit ratings.

At number 5, the showdown between Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips on American Idol’s season finale happens Wednesday morning in Manila.  It’s the first time a contestant with Filipino roots has made it this far.  Rappler takes a look at their online influence to see if social media can predict the Idol winner.  Read the two reports on Rappler.com.

At number 7, NATO sets Afghanistan withdrawal and transition to 2013.  Afghan security forces will soon be in charge of security for about 75% of the population, but it’s still unclear how this transition will happen.  Analysts warn against repeating history: it was the Soviet and US pull-out in 1979 from Afgahnistan that created a power vacuum that incubated and grew Al-Qaeda.

At number 8, from hotel maid to gang rape.  French prosecutors say they are investigating charges that former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn took part in a gang rape in the US.  His lawyer says this just shows “the incredible relentlessness” of investigators against his client.

And at number 9, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is facing charges again – this time for taking part in a rally last month that demanded electoral reforms.  Once the 2nd most powerful official in Malaysia, Anwar was stripped of power, charged with corruption and sodomy charges, jailed and released in 2004.  He led an opposition coalition in 2008, and he was slapped with more sodomy charges soon after.  Anwar was acquitted of those charges last January.  

– Rappler.com

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