Corona's widow asks SC to dismiss forfeiture case

MANILA, Philippines – The wife of the late former chief justice Renato Corona asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday, May 31, to dismiss the P130-million forfeiture case against them, which is pending before the Sandiganbayan.

According to a Manila Bulletin report, Corona's wife Cristina filed a motion asking the court to order the Sandiganbayan Second Division to dismiss the case and nullify a joint resolution from the Office of the Ombudsman and a joint order which mandated the filing of the civil case against the Corona couple before the Sandiganbayan.

In her motion, Corona beseeched the High Court to "resolve this Petition and spare her and her family from the effects of the Ombudsman’s Joint Resolution and Joint Order, which are mere offshoots of the public and political persecution suffered by the former Chief Justice." 

The motion went on to say, “Mrs Corona and her family should not be allowed to continuously sacrifice their rights and liberty, and suffer unwarranted anxiety and undue oppression due to the harassment suits filed against the former Chief Justice."

In March 2014, the Ombudsman asked the Sandiganbayan to immediately issue a writ of preliminary attachment to freeze the couple’s assets, including peso and dollar deposits and real estate properties in Quezon City and in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Corona filed a motion for reconsideration which the Ombudsman denied. A special panel of investigators constituted by the Ombudsman found probable cause to charge the Coronas for abusing their public positions to amass ill-gotten wealth. Cristina was former John Hay Development Corporation president and board chairperson.

The former chief justice back then had branded the denial of their motion for reconsideration as “merciless persecution.” He said, “My right to due process was denied because here the Ombudsman is the accuser, complainant, prosecutor, investigator, judge and executioner, all rolled into one.”

But the Office of the Ombudsman said they had evidence to prove the Coronas accumulated wealth that was not proportionate to their lawful incomes. Rappler.com