SALNs already act as waivers – prosecutor

Lawmakers dismiss Chief Justice Renato Corona’s challenge for them to sign waivers to open their dollar accounts

MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers are dismissing Chief Justice Renato Corona’s challenge to the 188 signatories of the impeachment complaint to sign waivers that would allow the opening of their dollar accounts.

The Chief Justice signed a conditional waiver on Tuesday, May 22, pertaining to his dollar deposits. If the 188 and Sen Franklin Drilon woudn’t sign the waiver, he said there is no point for him to issue it.

Prosecutor Rep Reynaldo Umali said there’s no need for them to sign waivers because they regularly file their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN), which he said already acts as a waiver.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales used Corona’s SALN to be able to get his bank records from the secretive Anti-Money Laundering Council. There’s a paragraph in the SALN form which allows the Ombudsman to get the assistance of government agencies to verify SALN declarations of public officials.

Earlier, Sen Franklin Drilon said he will not fall for Corona’s trap. He reiterated this before the impeachment court Wednesday.

House majority floor leader Neptali Gonzales II dismissed Corona’s dare as a “media ploy”

“It’s a diversionary tactic to turn the tide para iba naman ang maging issue at sila mag-dictate ng ano ang dapat mangyari,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales maintained that Corona’s testimony did not hurt the case of the prosecution. The House majority floor leader said the Chief Justice left more questions than answers.

House prosecution spokesperson Rep Juan Edgardo Angara said he was initially impressed when Corona signed the waiver.

“We thought it was brilliant, a stroke of genius. That’s when we thought it was sincere. But when the punch line came later, that’s when we realized it was a joke,” Angara said.

“It was a shame because for a minute there, he really had the whole country listening to his every word and believing his every word, but then he lost it,” Angara added. – Rappler.com

 

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