Corona wife questions DOJ jurisdiction

Purple S. Romero

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Why investigate me only now, Mrs Crisitina Corona asked the DOJ

MANILA, Philippines – The wife of Chief Justice Renato Corona on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011, questioned the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice over her case, expressing doubts it would be fair to her.

The DOJ began its probe on a case filed last year against Mrs Cristina Corona by her former colleague at the John Hay Management Corp in Baguio City, who accused her of using the corporation’s funds for personal use.

In a counter-affidavit she filed with the DOJ, Mrs Corona said that it should “re-evaluate itself and desist from proceeding with the instant case in view of its patent prejudice against respondents.” Corona said that the timing of the preliminary investigation was suspect considering that the case was filed against her 17 months ago, or in July 2010 yet.

State Prosecutor Vimar Barcellano acknowledged that the case was assigned to him only in November this year. In December, the House of Representatives filed an impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Mrs Corona also refuted the allegations raised by complainant Frank Daytec against her and her husband. Daytec accused the Corona couple and their son, Francis, of using the funds of JHMC for their personal use. Mrs Corona was appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as JHMC president and chairperson in 2007. Daytec was operations manager of JHMC from August 2008-2010.
In her counter-affidavit, Mrs Corona said that:
a. She stays at the Baguio Country Club (BCC) on official business. Some of her hotel bills were referred to her husband’s account because he carried an honorary membership card. It is on the basis of this membership that Mrs Corona was given a guest card.

“Hence, some billings of BCC are referred to my husband’s account notwithstanding he was not the one who used such devices,” she said.

b. She had her son Francis billeted at BCC on March 23, 2010 because she was receiving death threats at the time and had asked him to accompany her. She said a ranger station in John Hay was burned and she had to rush back to Baguio to inspect other ranger stations. The JHMC cottage was not available when they got back, so they stayed in BCC. 
Corona noted that JHMC failed to reimburse her for some P107,000 worth of expenses. She added that if she indeed misused the corporation’s funds, the Commission on Audit should have noticed it.

Corona, through her lawyer Stanley Fabito, also moved for the personal appearance of Daytec. “This complaint-affidavit was made last July 16, 2010. Before an action was made on the complaint-affidavit, it should be first subscribed to before the investigating prosecutor together with the presentation of original documents,” Fabito said.

Daytec, who moved to Canada in 2010, was represented by his sister, lawyer Cheryl Daytec Yangot, in Thursday’s preliminary investigation. Yangot said that the presence of her bother was not necessary since he had already submitted a sworn affidavit.

Mrs Corona was also not present at the preliminary investigation, but she filed her sworn counter-affidavit before Assistant State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon.

Yangot has 15 days to respond to Mrs Corona’s counter-affidavit. After this, Mrs Corona will also be given 10 days to reply to it –

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