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Prosecution: Defense blocking tax records

Carmela Fonbuena

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The ill-gotten wealth issue is crucial in prosecution strategy

MANILA, Philippines – The memorandum filed by the defense panel on Tuesday, January 24, was meant to block the presentation of Chief Justice Renato Corona’s income tax returns (ITR), according to the prosecution panel.

Huwag na tayong magpaligoy-ligoy pa, ang puno’t dulo kung bakit naudlot ang paglilitis sa hapong ito ay ayaw nilang maisumite ang tax returns ni Chief Justice Corona. Ayaw nilang masuri ito ng impeachment court at higit sa lahat ayaw nilang matunghayan ito ng ordinaryong Pilipino,” said Marikina City Rep. Miro Quimbo.

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares was expected to present Corona’s ITRs on Monday. Prosecution said the ITR would show if the Chief Justice can afford all the properties under his name. (See related story: Why the ITRs matter in Corona impeachment?)

On Monday morning, the defense filed a memorandum seeking to stop the prosecution from presenting Corona’s properties. Article 2, the memorandum said, merely tackles the disclosure of Corona’s SALN. It doesn’t cover ill-gotten wealth, it added.

The prosecution was ordered to submit its response to the defense’s memorandum on Wednesday, January 25, at 10 am. The impeachment tribunal suspended hearing after the debates. The prosecution was unable to present its witnesses.

Lead prosecutor Niel Tupas Jr. said this is an important issue that could change the strategy of the prosecution.

“If they rule in our favor, it means we can present evidence on ill-gotten wealth… so it’s crucial with Article 2,” Tupas added. –



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