MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III found Chief Justice Renato Corona guilty of the charges filed against him before the impeachment court.
He said Corona failed to “persuade” him in his defense of his failure to disclose his wealth.
A bar topnotcher, Pimentel argued that the law that created the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) supersedes previous laws. The foreign currency deposits law does not prohibit public officials from disclosing their dollar accounts, he said, citing various exemptions in the confidentiality stipulated by the law.
If you want to hide your wealth, don’t join government, he said.
A re-electionist in 2013, Pimentel is president of PDP-Laban, which is headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay.
In previous interviews, Pimentel disagreed with Corona’s interpretation of the Foreign Currency Deposits Act. He said this would render the SALN law useless.
He told ANC, “As a mere law professor …. my interpretation is different from the interpretation of the Chief Justice and if he were my student in a recitation class, I would have failed him.”
Pimentel also disagreed with Corona’s statement that there is a conflict between the FCDA and the SALN law. “The two laws can co-exist and you can comply with your duty [to declare assets] and at the same time, deny the power [to investigate your dollars] to the agencies.” – Rappler.com
Click on the links below for more Rappler stories on the senator-judges’ verdict.