'CJ bought, paid for, McKinley property'
MANILA, Philippines - It was Chief Justice Renato Corona who bought, acquired and paid for the 203-square-meter McKinley property in Taguig City for his daughter Charina whose name appears in the deed of absolute sale, a witness in the impeachment court said on Monday, January 30. The property cost P6-million.
Joseph Perez, private prosecutor, told the court that the Buyer's Information Sheet in the hands of Megaworld Corp as presented by finance director Giovanni Ng reveal the following:
- Renato Corona was the declared buyer of the 203-square-meter McKinley Hill lot in Taguig
- The reservation for the property and offere to purchase was made by Cristina Corona, wife of the Chief Justice on May 9, 2006
- The Coronas had requested that the deed of absolute sale be put in the name of their daughter Charina
Earlier testimonies showed that Charina was represented by her attorney-in-fact, Renato C Corona.
The 303.5 square-meter Bellagio I condominium also in the Fort is considered “prime location,” with amenities fit for an upscale condominium. The Coronas purchased a penthouse unit on the 38th floor, according to Ng, which cost P14.5 million.
Ng explained that long-payment terms provide for payments of P78,000-P80,000 per square meter for 4 years. The penthouse condominium unit was completed in late 2008 to early 2009.
Asked by Senator-judge Aquilino Pimentel III where the prosecution was headed, Perez said they have information that the Coronas got a 40% discount from Megaworld equivalent to P10 million.
Furthermore, Perez said, this falls under Article 2 of the Articles of Impeachment which is about the “failure to disclose and truthfully disclose” his SALN. Likewise, he said, it falls under Article 3 (which is about the probity and integrity of the Chief Justice).
Standards dictate, according to Perez, that the Chief Justice should not accept a P10-M discount from a developer like Megaworld.
Defense spokesman Tranquil Salvador III said that the documents indicate the Chief Justice was attorney-in-fact for his daughter who is abroad. It is not unusual and not necessarily irregular, he pointed out.
Spokesperson Karen Jimeno also said that receipts are issued to authorized representatives (such as an attorney-in-fact) and persons physically present.
On cross-examination by defense counsel Serafin Cuevas, Ng said that the Special Power of Attorney granted by Charina to her father was issued after the Corona couple made the last payment on the property. - Rappler.com