Lacson, Panfilo: ‘Guilty’

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Sen Panfilo Lacson says Chief Justice Renato Corona lied by concealing his wealth

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson found Chief Justice Renato Corona guilty of culpable violation of the Constitution and betraying public trust.

An ally of President Benigno Aquino III and a retired police general, Lacson is finishing his last term as senator.

Saying he’s always been an investigator all his life, Lacson said he knows when a witness is lying.

Lacson said he “found it hard to believe” Corona’s testimony that “he does not understand accounting,” noting that Corona once worked at a huge accounting firm.

In a manifestation last March, Lacson admitted that the prosecution evidence created doubt in his mind and he believed that the impeachment complaint has basis. He challenged the defense to rebut this.

Lacson described as a bomb the testimony of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. He told reporters, “Nothing short of a convincing explanation can change the minds of, I can say a great majority of the senators kasi medyo bomba ang pinasabog ng Ombudsman at AMLC kaya kailangan talaga sagutin iyon” (because the Ombudsman’s testimony was explosive that’s why he has to answer that).

Lacson said there is a presumption of regularity in the Ombudsman probe.

Lacson is a staunch critic of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. –

(Below is the full text of Lacson’s explanation of his vote during the trial’s judgment day on May 29)

When a witness takes the stand, he is first to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That makes half-truths no better than lies.

I have always been an investigator all my public service life. Modesty aside, I have the uncommon ability to determine if a person is telling the truth or not.

An error in judgment has no place in this trial because it is final and irreversible. Equally important to me is the testimony of the respondent, particularly in this case, because the exalted position of the highest magistrate of the land must shut its door to anyone who desecrates the solemn oath that engulfs a testimony in any judicial proceeding.

Over the weekend I did my homework and discernment. Let me share it with you.

Chief Justice Renato Corona had at one point $3,977,790 and 87 cents. At a given time he had P91,280,499 and 22 centavos. If you ask me, so, what is the difference between $3.9 million and $2.4 million, between P91 million and P80.7 million? My answer is: a lot of money.

Chief Justice Renato Corona used to work as a senior officer of the tax and corporate counseling group of the tax division of a prominent accounting firm, Sycip Gorres and Velayo and Company. He also taught commercial law, taxation and corporate law at the Ateneo de Manila University for 17 years. I find it hard to believe his testimony that he does not understand accounting.

Chief Justice Corona testified under oath he invested in currencies and not in properties in the late 1960s, mindful of the Basa-Guidote family squabble over some real estate properties left by their deceased parents.

The fact is, the family feud started in 1989. One cannot simply learn from the lessons of the future, even if the standards of moral fitness for such a lofty position in government were lowered, an acquittal may still be difficult to justify.

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, I therefore find the respondent guilty as charged under Article 2 of the Articles of Impeachment. 

Click on the links below for more Rappler stories on the senator-judges’ verdict. 

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